Mina and Ascherson: referendum 'has changed Scotland'

Mina and Ascherson: referendum 'has changed Scotland'

“Politics will never be the same again”, whatever the outcome of the Scottish independence referendum, crime writer Denise Mina (pictured) has said.

In an essay read on Radio 4’s "Today" programme this morning (16th September) on why she will be voting "No", Mina said an independent Scotland would not be “autonomous, we would be disadvantaged”.

“Factionalising can only benefit stateless corporations as we vie to give them the best deal,” she said. “An in a rapidly warming world forming a small country reliant on continued oil protection is in no one’s interests, not even our own. Instead of breaking away into small self-interested groups, only decision making can resolve present conflicts and secure the future of the planet.”

Mina said the debate about independence had resulted in a “civic revolution in Scotland”.

“Intense political discussions have taken place in families, town halls, social media and pubs and clubs,” she said. “97% of the population are registered to vote. We have an almost fully engaged body politic.”

But Mina criticised the Yes campaign’s “belief system”, which included not answering questions about EU membership or a currency union with the UK. “Belief is a refusal to discuss,” she said.

However writer Neal Ascherson, who read a counter essay on why he has already voted in favour of independence via postal vote, said it was time for Scotland to rule itself. “It’s simply time that this nation was allowed to break out of the dependency and govern itself as other countries do,” he said. “There is a democracy deficit in Scotland and it is not just about getting governments almost nobody voted for. It’s about ordinary people’s experiences of being bossed about at every level, local government, housing, health, the law.

“It’s time because the amazing referendum campaign has already changed Scotland.”

He said other reasons for voting yes included common sense, “common sense because the prospect for a small country with a highly educated people and huge natural resources are very bright”.

Ascherson also said Scotland needed full powers to “with the ugly legacy like awful health, post industrial dereliction, grotesque inequalities and a general sense of disempowerment”.

Both writers said the campaign had already changed Scotland, with Mina concluded her essay by saying: “The civil revolution means that whatever the outcome of the referendum, politics will never be the same again.”