David Laird, 49, is from Northern Ireland but moved to Scotland 30 years ago. The sales engineer, who lives in Edinburgh, talks us through his long journey from being a Unionist in Northern Ireland to an independence supporter in Scotland.

I WANTED to tell my No to Yes story, as I’m told it’s quite a journey. I was born in Northern Ireland to Scottish parents in 1971.

Both were Protestants so immediately I became a Rangers-supporting Protestant Unionist.

Not that I have ever believed in God, but that was the norm in 1970s NI. Either you were a Protestant Unionist, or a Catholic Nationalist.


Growing up in the 1980s, the Troubles were rife, and although I had a number of Catholic friends, when there was a flashpoint, the town would polarise, and the brainwashing would deepen.

I left Ballymena in 1989 when I joined the Royal Navy, and almost immediately, my eyes were opened very wide. I looked back on my youth in Northern Ireland and realised the futility of all the conflict back home, and don’t get me started on “flegs”.

Unfortunately I failed the pilot training and after two years I had to move back in with my folks in 1991. By then, they had moved back to Scotland – to Livingston.

At the time of the referendum in 2014, I voted No – something I regretted almost immediately. Within months of the referendum, I did some research and I began to see through the lies.

Scotland was not too small, the Vow was nonsense, we didn’t need Westminster and the BBC didn’t report facts.

I still had concerns over the economy, and to this day I have not been able to find out how much it costs to run Scotland, and where that tax revenue will come from – the figures are not clear. I realise that the reason the figures are not clear, is because Westminster hides the truth.


I know for a fact (due to work) that the Irish whiskey industry is smaller than Scotland’s whisky sector – yet Westminster would have us believe that the Irish industry dwarfs our own.

My doubts deepened when the UK voted to leave Europe – remember this was a key point in the Better Together campaign: “You must remain in the UK to remain part of Europe.”

The final straw came when Boris Johnson assumed the role of PM, as I genuinely cannot think of a worse person to lead the UK.

When I look at the Tory front benches, I am horrified, and the level of corruption is now complete. They don’t even try to hide it any more.

If the only benefit to come out of Scottish independence is for us to be divorced from Westminster then I’m all for it. A modern, progressive political system? Yes please. So … am I a Yes voter now? Absolutely.