MY story began some time in 2012 when it became clear we would be having an independence referendum in 2014.

My background was traditional in that I wasn’t sure Scotland would be able to make a successful break.

Years of an establishment assault on the subconscious which had made me feel the Union was indispensable were probably the reason for this.

I knew from my experience of working in local government, however, that the SNP were as capable of good political management as any other party, in spite of their relative inexperience, and I was also impressed both with my own constituency MSP, John Swinney, and the way the SNP were maturing into government at national level.

I initially thought I’d probably vote No but I had a stern word with myself and told myself this was a very important choice and that I should remain open-minded and make a decision based on arguments I read and heard.

READ MORE: From No to Yes: With hindsight, I should have seen UK’s belligerence

I realised a lot of people I respected were promoting independence while most of those I didn’t were staunch Unionists. Frankly, it didn’t take me long to decide I would vote Yes as all the positive, myth-busting and visionary arguments were coming from the pro-independence side.

There was an upbeat optimism about those advocating independence which greatly appealed to me.

By contrast all that those who were promoting No could offer was to threaten with scare stories about currency, pensions, lack of stability and that voting No was the only guarantee of staying in Europe.

There was NOT ONE single positive argument or vision advanced by No and so the choice was made really easy for me.

Not long after the crushing blow of the referendum result, I started to buy The National every day in a bid for at least some consolation and I was delighted to see such quality journalism and like-mindedness.

READ MORE: From No to Yes: Listening to Bob Dylan turned me into a Yes voter

I now realise that my experience at primary school in Edinburgh in the late 1950s and early 1960s was nothing less than British brainwashing (in virtually every subject) and this was being constantly reinforced in all aspects of “British” life thereafter.

I was also in the Cubs and Scouts, which were also important tentacles of the Union and the notion of Unionism was hard-wired into these organisations.

I have become active in my local SNP branch and started to go on the wonderful marches and my devotion to the cause strengthens with every passing day.

I’m astonished that the polls suggest so many continue to shun the idea of independence. If only more Union-minded Scots would simply open their minds, it wouldn’t take them long to be swayed either.

Jim Finnie, Pitlochry