Thinking “Yes”?

MCDONALD family c 1890I was born in Aberdeen. My father was born in Edinburgh to parents who were also both born in Edinburgh…  My mother’s family was from Glasgow, though she was actually born in Birmingham. This family photograph is of her grandmother, my great grandmother, as a young woman (top row, 2nd from left – fabulous lace collar). Elizabeth Nisbet McDonald was one of David and Mary McDonald’s seven children. They lived in New Cumnock and were tailors. Family legend says the family had drifted down there following Culloden. Two of the boys in sailor suits (Hugh and George) were killed in the First War – Hugh was in the Black Watch and George in the Cameron Highlanders. Over the generations my family have travelled. Janet McMurray (daughter of Elizabeth) studied French in Grenoble; her husband William Bruce worked in Java and served in the RAF in Egypt. My Edinburgh relations include a branch that emigrated to South Africa. More recent generations have also travelled extensively. My point is that, not only are my family Scottish – but that we have managed to be educated, be rich, be poor, be happy, be sad, have children and have pride while also being British.

None of us have choice in the circumstances of our births – location, economic situation, religion, ethnicity, date, family are all issues we arrive to and then spend our lives embracing, modifying or rejecting.  How very extraordinary, then, for the voters in Scotland to have an opportunity to change part of that, not just for the people in Scotland, but for the rest of the United Kingdom too. A baby born today in Britain to parents from England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland is entitled to be a citizen of the United Kingdom. A baby born after Scottish independence will not be.

It is not clear to me why there is a need for such seismic change. Of course the relationship is sometimes fraught and iniquitous – but the debate and discussion around the differences is one of our sources of strength and surely not a reason to pull apart. The United Kingdom is perceived as a stable, prosperous, autonomous nation state – made up of components that together are greater than the sum of their parts. The Hands Across the Border project illustrates this so well. Stones have been joining the cairn from all round the world, sent or brought by people who have a desire to see our country stay together. (

I don’t have a vote in Scotland’s future – because I don’t live there at the moment. In so far as I have a voice I want to shout loudly, and with conviction, “PLEASE VOTE NO – I BELIEVE WE ARE ALL BETTER TOGETHER”.

4 thoughts on “Thinking “Yes”?

  1. I find it sad that people who have been mixing through marriage, moving around the country for work and pleasure and gone across the sea and come back, fought wars together now seem unable to find a way to live together. This will split friends and families for the stupid political vanity of a few individuals because really, if one thinks of it with honesty, there is not other reason why this is happening.

  2. Understanding your points fully, I would like to show my disagreement. Firstly, the Royal family has killed countless Scots in the past to gain total control and surpress any scottish opinons. A true scottish son namend William Wallace has not given his life for no reason. They have been taking advantage over all the years since then, from everything than Scotland had to offer. Today principally this is Oil and other ressources. It is my true believe that the UK Gov. currently is under the total control of the USA, similar to other Eu countries. And it is very questionable if this is the right way for them in future. Besides that, a Queen or a King nowdays is a rare luxury which consumes tons of cash. For what? Disputable tourist traffic income? If I was a Scot (well, I am of celtic origin), I would vote for my country as William Wallace would have done – for Scotland – for Freedom! There will be difficulties to overcome after a split, but if there is any country on this planet who is able to overcome those difficulties, it will be Scotland and its strong, stubborn but most sympathic people!

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