I WANT to start by saying that with the benefit of hindsight, I regrettably voted No in 2014. At that time I was working more than full-time and I struggled to find enough time and energy at the end of extremely busy and arduous days to try to understand the potential implications of the historic vote that would change everything for Scotland.

My heart was strongly and emotionally Yes but on what I was hearing, seeing and reading, my head remained unconvinced.

I felt that too much of what was being presented by the pro-independence advocates was going to require a substantial “leap of faith” on my part to agree to voting Yes. I almost did but adrenalin changed my mind on the final few days leading up to the vote.

It seemed to me at that time too many personalities including well-known actors and musicians, no doubt sincere, were being wheeled out to utter what I perceived as glib, emotionally-loaded comments that only left me doubting the integrity of the Yes campaigner’s case and substance.

Not enough was being done to sell independence to the public and the Yes lobby at that time were beset by the anti-independence lobby’s fear campaign. They appeared to be continuously on the back foot, and allowed the pro-Union establishment to always have the upper hand.

I was not into social media at the time and the almost complete lack of support for independence in the mainstream media also greatly contributed to the final result.

So what has changed?

Well on the first day after the vote, David Cameron and EVEL emerged from 10 Downing Street to talk to the press. Doubts started to creep in. It became increasingly clear that Westminster and the establishment’s requirements and ambitions were always going to take precedence over anything else.

Any decisions going forward would not include a Scottish voice or Scots – by the latter I refer to all people living in Scotland. After securing the No vote, Scotland and with it its people, no longer held any interest, power or sway over the Westminster Government.

This was then further compounded by the disastrous and ill-thought decision in 2016 to hold, what was a significantly compromised, and ostensibly advisory referendum on Europe. By excluding young adults and EU Nationals residing in the UK from the vote, they effectively loaded the outcome in favour of the Leave campaign. Although non-binding, it was nevertheless construed by the Government as “the will of the people”. This thereby ensured that Scotland – still a part of the UK – would have to leave the EU against “the will of the Scottish people” who voted strongly to Remain.

However, the consequences of this whole sad and sorry state of affairs appears to have initiated a quantum boost in re-energising Scotland and her people to claim back their sovereignty.

The case has never been stronger than now, in spite of MSM’s continued misinformation and lack of any unbiased reporting. It gets stronger every day as the inevitable independence date draws nearer.

AN additional and massive plus for me personally has been meeting the incredible number of truly passionate people on the ground who daily promote and live the independence message. Eclectic does not begin to describe them or do them justice!

I had one of the most awe-inspiring days of my life when, at the ungodly hour of 6am, I first met the “500 Milers” team under the bridge at South Queensferry before All Under One Banner’s Edinburgh march.

This was followed by an extremely pleasant and leisurely walk discussing independence, starting in the darkness with our high-vis tops ons, heading into the approaching eastern light, pausing only to stop at Cramond Brig, Sainsbury’s and Bute House before arriving at Johnstone Terrace and joining the rally.

What a crowd, what a carnival atmosphere, bonhomie overload. Emotions on overdrive with the pipe band and the 500 Milers deservedly leading the marchers to cross their finishing line in Holyrood park, aye one and all in defiance of Historic Environment Scotland.

A SIGNIFICANT factor in all of my deliberations has been the UK Government’s total and continued ineptitude and incompetence. (Although a part of me, the paranoid part, still wonders that it possibly may all be deceitful in its nature with the “powers that be” lurking in the shadows orchestrating a wholly different agenda!)

This time, the overall Yes strategy has been extremely well-considered and implemented, addressing all the key areas with access to information available to all allowing extensive and inclusive debate. Some of the information for consideration has been instigated by the SNP such as the Growth Commission discussion report. Other bodies such as the Common Weal with their publication “How to start a new country – a practical guide for Scotland” have promoted the establishment of focussed discussion groups in every city and town.

Yes groups are utilising the power of social media platforms to communicate, high-profile bloggers and independent broadcasters are active daily. All this is to good effect, negating and rendering wholly impotent any and all of the negative influences, the innuendos and drip poison approaches of the mainstream media.

There now exists a substantial groundswell of momentum informing and irrevocably overcoming any residual voter inertia and gaining traction day by day. The tipping point has in my opinion been passed.

The independence movement is marching forwards on its collective feet, driving towards its ultimate goal and a new all-embracing and socially inclusive chapter in Scottish history.

I only very recently started to engage with “the people” of the independence movement and have been overwhelmed and humbled by their honesty, their integrity, their energy, their passion and their commitment in driving home their message. Nothing can stand in the way of such a irresistible force for good, for “the common weal” and this is the clarity I needed and what it is all about for me going forward.

Scotland and its people need to manage its own affairs – this is our one and final opportunity to gain control of our own destinies and we have to and will succeed for future generations of Scots.

Look out world, Scotland is coming for her independence, and it cannot come soon enough!