I HAVE been facilitator of our AIM For Yes Garnock Valley & West Kilbride group in North Ayrshire since its inception in April 2013.

For the past year, I have been one of Believe In Scotland (BIS) Ayrshire region’s two national steering group reps – the other being Craig Allison, also from our group.

At 71, I believe more than ever that we in Scotland can only realise our potential by achieving independence.

Over my lifetime the Scottish cringe has been perpetuated by successive Westminster governments’ mythical portrayal of Scotland and our peoples as being dependent on Westminster patronage for our wellbeing.

Thankfully, more and more Scots (new and old) now recognise this for the propaganda it has been and continues to be. Realising that the collective Scottish psyche is healing day by day, Westminster is now resorting to being the equivalent of the playground bully as it seeks to overrule whatever our Holyrood Parliament votes to do that does not fit its “one size fits all” post-Brexit Internal Market Act agenda.

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Quite simply, for Scotland and our peoples, the biggest inhibitor of Scottish wellbeing is the Westminster government.

In my experience, the concerns most frequently expressed by people who do not support independence (though not those involved in West of Scotland unionist “traditions”) include:

  • Worries about the economic viability of an independent Scotland.
  • Pension security.
  • The currency an independent Scotland would use.

An excellent tool for increasing awareness on such issues is the uniquely informative Scotland. The Brief book published by Believe in Scotland, from Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp.

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Concerns of independence supporters include:

  • Progressive privatisation of (Westminster) NHS services – with its direct negative impact on Scottish Government funding and service provision via the related reduction in Barnett consequentials.
  • Imposition of Westminster immigration policies and values on Scotland which are anathema to majority Scottish thinking.
  • Restrictions by Westminster on Holyrood’s ability to deal with welfare issues.
  • The overruling of democratically approved devolved Scottish Government legislation by the Westminster government via its ironically termed “taking back control” Internal Market Act.
  • Indignation at the refusal of Westminster to facilitate an independence referendum, despite repeated electoral mandates here for such a referendum.
  • Indignation at the constant onslaught of disproportionate negative criticism in Scottish news stories on BBC news and in other media in contrast to reporting of similar news elsewhere in the UK – where similar finger-pointing at government or assembly has been shown by research to simply not be happening to the same extent it happens in Scotland.
  • Indignation at non-reporting of Scottish successes on BBC news and in other media.
  • Indignation at misreporting of Scottish services’ successes comparative to elsewhere in the UK with these successes often wrongly inverted for apparent propaganda purposes.

This summer activists across Ayrshire will be participating in Days of Action, hosting street stalls, participating in community activities, leafleting to homes, running and participating in marches and rallies, hosting public gatherings with speakers and conducting “business” meetings in person and online.

We’ll also be continuing to further enhance network communications.