I WAS genuinely moved to read the column written by former Daily Record editor Murray Foote, in which he wrote of his conversion from supporting the Union to supporting independence for Scotland. As the man responsible for the infamous Daily Record “Vow” front page, that is an amazing turnaround.

The reasons that he gave for his change of heart go to the very core of what our desire for independence means; that on principle Scotland should have the same right to run its own affairs for the benefit of its citizens as any other country.

The decisions about what’s best for Scotland’s environment, its health, education, defence, trade, in fact every aspect of life here, should be taken by a parliament we elect as a reflection of our society, and not by a parliament hundreds of miles away which treats us with contempt and which appoints a mouthpiece to talk down to us.

A mouthpiece who tells us our country was extinguished and that we are not the valued partners they led us to believe, in fact they see as not even partners at all, just an insignificant part. Who tells us to sit down, shut up, do as we are told and just be thankful for the benevolent charity they bestow upon us.

Mr Foote must have hung his head a thousand times as the Vow he crafted suffered the death of a thousand cuts. All its sentiments were revealed as false, until there was nothing left but a trail of broken promises, and I am sure that Mr Foote is not alone in his realisation that it is time to stand up and say that enough is enough.

Mr Foote is clearly not a British nationalist, and voted No on the basis that at the time he thought he was acting in Scotland’s best interest. Four years later he has looked at what was promised against what has been delivered and has made a reasoned decision that the best way to protect our country is to make it independent. This goes to the very heart of our campaign and it is one that we must grasp; that many of our fellow Scots weighed up the information and voted No because they thought they were standing up for Scotland in doing so. Instead they have come to realise that remaining in this Union is damaging Scotland and is actually against Scotland’s interests.

These are, by and large, people who have over the last few years – and indeed probably all their life – not supported the SNP, and perhaps never will. People who support traditional Labour values and followed their leadership when it told them that they were Better Together perhaps now see that we are not, but haven’t changed their mind on other issues and have realised that perhaps the best way to see those values implemented is in an independent Scotland. There are also people out there who are Conservative but not Unionist, who will still believe in their ideals but see that Britain isn’t working for Scotland and will carry those ideals forward independently of the UK.

There are many people who are committed to the UK and will support it no matter how damaging it is to Scotland. They will never be swayed by any reason, even the evidence of their own eyes. People like Mr Foote, however, have crossed the tipping point. Others like him have yet to do so and we need to help them to think again afresh, and I feel that we need to reshape our argument to win those people over. The very existence of Scotland is under threat from Westminster. They attack our language, our culture, our people and our parliament. Those facts are indisputable. We now need to ask people not if they are Yes or No to independence, but if they are for or against Scotland. We need to rip out the anti-Tory, anti-Labour rhetoric from our repertoire and instead make a place for them beside us. People who once opposed us are now close to being convinced that being a normal, self-determining country is now best for Scotland, and that it’s a place where they have every chance of contributing and thriving. So let’s welcome them, not isolate them. After all, we all want what’s best for Scotland, don’t we?

James Cassidy