We write to you as members of the Power to the People Group, a group of community activists from North Edinburgh who are interested in Scottish history, politics, arts and current affairs.
Over the last two years we have been learning about Scotland’s history and the struggles of ordinary people in the long journey towards democracy. We have also been trying to get to grips with many of the important issues facing the nation as we approach the Scottish Referendum.
We believe the referendum campaign has provided an opportunity for ordinary people – especially the young and those disillusioned by traditional politics – to get involved. It has also highlighted that there is a consensus in Scotland to achieve a fairer more socially just society.
We know from our research, that at certain times in our history the actions of ordinary people have brought about change. We would therefore urge the Scottish people to use their vote.
Hopefully, we will see record numbers at the polling stations today but regardless of the outcome of the referendum, it is essential that we all continue talking about the future direction of our country and taking forward the ideas generated by this process.
We have been inspired as a group to imagine a different kind of Scotland. We want a Scotland:
Where everyone has a decent standard of living
Where high quality childcare and comprehensive education is available to all our children
Where there are a range of opportunities for young people which prepares them for life and where they have a greater say in the decisions that affect them
Where everyone has the right to work
Where people are treated equally regardless of race, gender, religion or sexual orientation
Where we have a publicly funded NHS which is free at the point of need and where all privatisation has been abolished
Where we have fully funded, high quality public services
Where our politicians are more representative of the general population.
With regard to our place in the world, we want a Scotland which is peaceful and which contributes to the benefit of humanity.
North Edinburgh Power to the People Group
Vote Yes for justice and a fairer society
Under Mr Cameron’s government we have had the House of Lords with more than 80 lords and ladies receiving £300 a day whether they attend or not – signing their name is enough. There are many people in the country who would like to earn £300 a week!
On the other side of the coin there are working class people who have to pay bedroom tax, as if they were not paying enough for their rents.
Then we have our young men who fought a war in Afghanistan and an illegal war in Iraq. Some came home minus their limbs and worse, many were killed.
I think these lovely people in the Lords should donate one month’s allowance as compensation to the war wounded who got very little for their trouble. It’s just as well Tony Blair’s sons were not in the military. That must be why he wears that grin all the time and looks so pleased with himself – a huge donation from him would be most acceptable.
I feel very strongly about this as I have sons myself. Fortunately they were too old for the military.
I am 82 years of age and this is why I am voting Yes.
S Mckintosh, Edinburgh
Important everyday issues being ignored
Pathetic is the only word that describes the No campaign’s efforts to convince the undecided to vote for them.
They have talked about the fluctuation in the price of a barrel of oil, they have talked about the gross domestic product and the National Debt. All very important, but not as important to the man in the street as food prices shoot up because of newly imposed carriage charges and currency differences.
Not as important as the massive job losses when companies fail through lack of orders or other job losses from companies moving south.
The emphasis placed on all debates should be what affects the people most. My wife and I are too old to move south but our little bit of savings will be moved if the answer is Yes.
Jim Mitchell, Edinburgh
Proud Scots will vote to stay within Union
As a proud Scot I believe we are better off staying part of a strong and admired United Kingdom. And I hope with all my heart that we Scots will go to the ballot box on September 18 remembering the risks and vague promises that Alex Salmond and his separatist party have been pushing the Scots to believe.
We must open our eyes to the truth on polling day and wake up on the 19th settled in the knowledge that we are still a united nation and NOT a divided one.
Christina Notman, Corstorphine, Edinburgh
Be careful – we’ll have to live with outcome
The most important thing we must remember during this referendum is that we are not voting for a politician who has or hasn’t kept their promises, but instead we are voting for the future of Scotland and whether or not we can stand up as a country.
So whilst this is a political vote like no other, it doesn’t involve party politics, but a question of national identity.
It must be given serious consideration because once we vote – whether it be Yes or No – there is no turning back and for the rest of our lives we have to live with the outcome of the vote.
Simple as that.
Alan Lough, Boroughdales, Dunbar, East Lothian