Dear No voter in 2014, you were right to vote that way then, but do you think things have changed enough now for you to change your mind next time?

I’ll keep this short. I’m sure you have other things to do.

I voted Yes in 2014. I had no doubts and, for a while, was angry with friends who had voted No. Then, as time passed, and we talked, I came to see things from their perspective and to understand that they had perfectly reasonable fears about independence. In some cases, I even thought that, if I had the same job, relatives in England or had grown up in a family with strong reasons to value the Union, I too would have voted No. It was just that my circumstances were different.

Six years later, my convictions are even stronger, some of my friends have changed their minds, several are still unsure, and some seem unlikely to change. I said at the beginning, things have changed and that these changes might change your mind. Here are few:

  1. Scotland’s economy will be seriously damaged and our services, especially in health and care, will be starved of workers as we leave the EU.
  2. We were told then that voting No was the only way to guarantee staying in the EU. EU leaders have recently said some very positive things about Scotland being strongly welcomed back.
  3. Although the Scottish Government does have some devolved powers, the Johnson Government is set to drag our economy and our wider society back to the harsh and unequal days of earlier times. The UK is already the best place in Europe for the tax-avoiding super-rich and the worst place to be poor, elderly or disabled.
  4. The Scottish economy is robust with far more natural resources and a more educated population than most EU countries such as Ireland or Denmark, yet they thrive. We were told the oil would run out soon but now we know it has 50 years or more to go.
  5. The Scottish Government, regardless of one or two stupid individuals, is not perfect, but it is by far the most focused, caring and effective government Scotland has ever seen. Don’t believe what some in the media say. Look at the record of the Tories in Westminster. You don’t need me to tell you what they have done.
  6. There is nothing to fear in a border. Do not believe the scare stories. Even after a bloody war, 100 years ago, the people of Ireland immediately had freedom of movement with the UK to visit their relatives here and to work here, and trade was unaffected. Your friends and relatives will just be able to have inexpensive and easily accessed ‘foreign holidays’, they can brag about and which will be less-damaging to the environment than flights to over-crowded, water-starved, tower-blocks in summer temperatures than can kill.

I could go on but, if you want to talk about this more, comment below and I or one of my good friends here, will try to offer the truth you won’t get in some of the other media you are bombarded with.

I haven’t given sources of evidence to back up my claims, but I have them and can give you them quick as you like.

Best wishes,

John Robertson, retired prof but now blogging and tweeting like a young ‘un.

14 thoughts on “Dear No voter in 2014, you were right to vote that way then, but do you think things have changed enough now for you to change your mind next time?

  1. Hello John, I’ve told “No” and “not sure” friends about, which answers the question ‘would Scotland prosper as an independent nation?’ The answer is ‘Yes’! YES!

    There are two “Scotland the Brief” books, available from the site. The full version (£7.50) sets out illustrated Scottish economic facts, with SOURCES. The mini version (pocket-size, £3.50) is the abridged version. I’ve given the mini version as a present to No/not sure friends, and had a good response.

    The author, Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp of “Business for Scotland”, says ‘regardless of how you feel about independence, Scotland the Brief will open your eyes, engage and educate you by supplying you with the facts you need to truly inform your opinion on Scotland’s future. ‘ That’s true – and it’s true also of ‘’.

    So, thanks again to you John for your brilliant work, and thanks to you Gordon, if you’re reading this, for your brillant work – and for the “Believe in Scotland” badge, which I wear as a marketing tool.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Danish police praise football fans from Scotland after last night’s exciting match in Copenhagen – Carried on STV news site but not seeing any mention on beeb Scotland – Couldn’t be because the evidence doesn’t fit the daily ‘narrative’, could it? Link and snippet below:

    Danish police have thanked Celtic fans who made the journey to Copenhagen to watch their team in Europa League action after “no registered problems” on Thursday.

    The Scottish champions came away from Denmark with a credible 1-1 draw to set them up for a crunch second leg in Glasgow next week.

    And the thousands of fans who travelled to back Neil Lennon’s men have now been praised by the city’s police force.

    After the game Københavns Politi wrote on Twitter: “We want to thank the fans of @Celticfc it’s been great having you guys in town – no registered problems during the night. We wish you a safe journey back to Scotland.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello. I am exactly the person in your headline – a reluctant No in 2014 but now a committed Yesser. Just wanted to say thank you for all the work people on this and other blogs do to help people like me find information to pass on to other soft No voters who might also now lean towards Yes. Also, thank you for the forgiveness over our mistake in 2014. I really appreciate that!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Welcome aboard peregrinehiker – the more the merrier – This time Scotland will get it done – no mistake. We’re a naturally cautious bunch – it’s not a bad trait to have – but once we take our time to think things through we usually get it about right – then we get it done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like your way of thinking here Ludo, and believe you are right too, cautiousness is a good trait to have. Someone going on a journey from not having an opinion on the matter – instead of having a core belief either way and just finding reasons to justify that belief – to forming an opinion on independence just based on the political discourse was not an easy one. That’s why continually highlighting that you can’t trust media services to be unbiased is still very important now, people must question everything they hear, and analyse the assumptions made in the past and now. I think we have all matured somewhat since 2014, whichever way we voted then, and can all make a far more learned informed decision – every single subject I learn more about; economics, politics, law, constitutional matters; only reinforces the common sense, the ability, the need, for Scotland to be an independent country. The more you learn, the more you realise there is nothing to fear. Hard work? Yes, difficult? No. The difficulties all come from staying in this union.


  5. I reject the premise that No voters’ fears were “perfectly reasonable”. Those fears were, in fact, totally irrational. There has indeed been major material change since 2014. But, just as rationality and readily accessible information would have eliminated those fears, so nothing has happened that wasn’t entirely predictable and comprehensively foretold. The only exception being Brexit. And that is but a particularly egregious example of Scotland suffering because of the Union. Another reason to want to dissolve that Union.

    No voters got it wrong in 2014. Brexit only proves that they got it wrong more badly than anyone thought at the time. But regardless of Brexit or EVEL or any of the abuse that Scotland is required to endure on account of the Union, it was clear that voting No was the wrong choice other than for those intent on preserving the Union at any cost. Because voting No was a choice to relinquish the total political power the Scottish people held in their hands that day. Voting No was a choice to hand that political power back to the British political elite along with a licence to do with Scotland whatever they found expedient.

    Scotland is being dragged out of the EU against the democratic will of the people using the power over our nation that No voters handed to the British political elite on Thursday18 September 2014. They may reasonably claim they could not have anticipated Brexit. But they could and should have realised what kind of power they were entrusting to a British government there was absolutely no reason to trust.

    Other than perhaps Brexit, everything that has happened since 2014 was known or knowable. No voters got it wrong. They allowed themselves to be deceived despite the deceit having been exposed. They should be embarrassed by their error. But no amount of embarrassment constitutes a good reason for refusing to acknowledge that error. Many have done so already. A few of their own volition having made the calculations that they could have made in time to avoid that error. Many more because of the urging of the Yes movement. This urging takes diverse forms, as it should given that No voters are no more homogenous than any other group of human beings.

    As part of that urging, we should not be afraid of telling No voters that they got it wrong. Doing so is no more than being honest. We may choose not to be quite so forthright. It would be improper to seek to embarrass them further. What we must not do is tell them they were right to vote that way. They really, really weren’t.

    Liked by 1 person

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