The newest addition to our 'Tell Us Your Story' campaign.
Brian Ross: Scotland should be part of the UK
Another contribution to our 'Tell Us Your Story' campaign.
Donald Thomson: Why Bring Disunity Where None Exists?
Continuing with our 'Tell Us Your Story' campaign, today we have a short piece from Tom Hinde.
Tom Hinde: I am a Scot
Today's contribution to our 'Tell Us Your Story' campaign is from Fiona Annesley: Thought of Indyref2 is Deeply Depressing.
Here is a longer than normal contribution to our 'Tell Us Your Story' campaign.
For the last few years, we have seen more and more City Region Deals being planned and put in place. What’s striking about these deals is they show how the UK can work when our politicians get on with the job.
The latest contribution to our 'Tell Us Your Story' campaign is an anonymous one.
Anonymous Supporter: I cannot put my head above the parapet
Here is a contribution from Pauline Eggermont to our 'Tell Us Your Story' campaign.
Pauline Eggermont: I am a Child of the UK
Today's short story contribution to our 'Tell Us Your Story' campaign comes from Scotland in Union supporter David Curliss.
David Curliss: Why I believe Scotland is better off in the UK.
In the latest update from our 'Tell Us Your Story' campaign Keith Howell explains what Scotland in Union means to him.
Keith Howell: What Scotland in Union means to me
Our latest contribution to our 'Tell Us Your Story' camapign comes from Scotland in Union supporter Gordon Bannerman: Scotland in the UK.
This is the latest contribution from our 'Tell Us Your Story' campaign.
This story is from Scotland in Union supporter Andrew Mounstephen: Scotland and Me
The new Type 26 frigate will be the ninth Royal Navy warship to bear the name 'HMS Glasgow', with one of the service's senior officers saying that the construction of the new Type 26 frigate was "symbolic of a Royal Navy on the rise once again".
Tell Us Your Story
Here is another of our short stories from one of our supporters, this time Alan McGregor: The Most Successful Union of All
We recently asked our supporters to send us their thoughts for our 'Tell us Your Story' campaign. The response has been fantastic and this week we have started sharing these stories with everyone.
Here is Scotland in Union supporter Robbie MacNiven with his short story: Drive for 'Yes2' has collapsed
Last September, Scotland In Union hosted an event at which Canadian journalist Peter Scowen spoke about the damage caused to Quebec’s economy by the threat of independence, and the ‘neverendum’ which persisted until the nationalists lost power there.
Here in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has recently revised her plan to try to call ‘indyref2’ by 2019, but still says she will attempt to bring one forward at the time of her choosing, telling the BBC that she thinks it will be before 2021. Welcome to Scotland’s own neverendum.
The neverendum effect harms Scotland. It distracts elected representatives from the effective use of devolved powers; it perpetuates the divisions of the 2014 campaign and it has a chilling effect on business confidence.
I have recently spoken with a small business which is closing in Edinburgh and focusing on the North of England; a senior executive in a Scottish-based bank saying his company would move south if there was independence; and an investment professional who can point to deals which were going ahead despite Brexit, but are now on hold following Ms Sturgeon’s referendum announcement in March.
Of course these are anecdotes; of course they are anonymous; and of course I am more likely to be speaking with pro-UK businesses. But the doubts are there.
The cases I cite are unattributed because many businesses are reluctant to speak out. This is a mystery: when it is in the long-term interests of owners, customers and shareholders to support stability and free trade, why don’t more businesses speak up?
One response is that “they don’t want to lose a third of their customers”, but businesses with strong brands and sound models need not worry. A few extremists might get upset, but speaking up for the UK has done Tunnock’s and Barrhead Travel no discernible harm; and nor has manufactured outrage at union flag labelling dealt a mortal blow to Hovis, or forced Tesco to discontinue raspberries as a product line.
Another explanation is that businesses worry they will lose custom from the Scottish Government, or that they might be treated less fairly if they take a stance. While direct evidence of this may be hard to find, I’ve spoken with business owners who express that concern, and say it keeps them quiet. The good news on this front is that the SNP’s dominance of Scottish politics is waning, which should encourage greater frankness.
So, what can businesses do? First of all, they can speak out directly – as Ross McEwan, CEO of RBS, did at their 2016 AGM, saying RBS would relocate its HQ if Scotland left the UK. Others should follow this lead.
Smaller firms can also lobby their trade bodies and industry groups. And these bodies can be bolder in representing the majority of Scotland’s employers, who contribute most to the economy, rather than lapsing into silence because of a few vocal nationalist members.
We have seen signs of this at the UK level, with business groups taking clear positions on the kind of Brexit their members want. It’s now time for the main businesses and business groups in Scotland to speak up about the neverendum.
Alastair Cameron is Executive Director of Scotland In Union.
This article first appeared in The Scotsman on July 2017.
One of Scotland in Union's most prominent supporters, Conrad Ritchie, has made this video for us to share.
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At Scotland in Union we want to hear your thoughts on why you believe Scotland is better off as part of the UK.
There are many different perspectives that we are looking for, such as political, cultural, rational or even emotional reasons, either way it’s totally up to you.
We are looking for this to be in the form of a short essay or perhaps even a short video clip, again it’s totally up to you.
At Scotland in Union we want to allow our supporters the chance to use our platform to air their views and feelings about how they see the current political climate.
All we ask is that all responses are sent to us directly and that they are not from a party-political standpoint, and no derogatory language either, of course. Let’s keep it clean and to the point.
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Responding to the First Minister’s statement, Graeme Pearson, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said:
“This was an opportunity for the First Minister to show real leadership and put the interests of the Scottish people ahead of her party’s.
“Instead, she has shown outright contempt for public opinion, cranked up the government’s grievance machine and signalled she will be putting all her efforts into exploiting Brexit to achieve independence.
“The General Election confirmed what poll after poll has shown – the people of Scotland do not want another referendum on Scottish independence. The First Minister’s failure to accept this shows how desperate and out of touch she has become.
“In the face of this endless drive to break up the UK, Scotland in Union will continue to make the positive case for Scotland remaining in partnership with our friends and neighbours.”
There can be no doubt she intends to keep spoiling for another referendum. Her failure to remove these threats today is a sign she is prepared to risk our country’s future on her party’s obsession.
In the face of this endless drive to break up the UK, Scotland in Union will continue to make the positive case for Scotland remaining in partnership with our friends and neighbours.
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As part of the United Kingdom Scotland enjoys relatively low levels of taxation, but high levels of public spending. It is because we are part of the United Kingdom that we can enjoy these elevated levels of public spending. If Scotland was to separate from the United Kingdom, it would have one of the highest deficits in the world. This is mainly due to some very costly social policies under devolution, such as free tuition fees, free care for the elderly and of course no prescription charges. Obviously, none of those mentioned are “free’” as the money comes from taxation.
The Scottish National party likes to use the above social policies to show how “progressive” Scotland is, and how different it can be from the rest of the United Kingdom. Though these policies are only viable under a devolved budget, as part of the United Kingdom. The Scottish government’s own figures have stated that Scotland has a large deficit, in fact it is the largest in Europe – proportionally bigger than Greece’s. Therefore, if Scotland was to be separate and establish itself as a new state, deep cuts to social spending would have to be implemented to balance its budget. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that John Sweeney of the SNP warned us about these dangers in a leaked document.
It is quite clear that when the SNP boast about their popular social policies under devolution, they are making the case for staying part of the United Kingdom, because the social policies the SNP boast about would not be possible under a new Scottish state.
The SNP talk about “social justice”, yet all the evidence suggests that breaking away from the United Kingdom would entail far more austerity – this would cause more social inequality. It is progressive to talk about Scotland staying part of a successful United Kingdom; it is progressive to say that we should work together to overcome the social issues that we currently face; It is not progressive to suggest that we should break away from the United Kingdom, and enter an unknown situation which has far more risks than it does benefits.
The SNP’s argument from splitting away from the United Kingdom, is that we would be better off. The SNP doesn’t realise that many Scots know that we are economically more secure as part of United Kingdom. The SNP can attempt to skew the reality; that we are better as part of United Kingdom, though it will not work. The reason that it will not work is because most Scots know the facts. Though it isn’t just about facts and figures, we are a family – the emotional case for staying together is also quite apparent and it isn’t something that we should underplay.
I will always say to my family and friends that we are more secure as part of the United Kingdom, we shouldn’t allow party politics to verge us away from the significant issues at play here, such as education and health. The SNP need to start getting on with their day job of running Scotland, not splitting up the United Kingdom.
By William Nisbett, Glasgow