Val McDermid on Scotland 'Yes' vote

Val McDermid on Scotland 'Yes' vote

Crime writer Val McDermid, who is planning to vote in favour of Scottish independence, has said she hopes the country takes  “courage in our hands” and votes "yes" in the referendum on 18th September.

Writing in the Guardian, McDermid said she had no issue with people like J K Rowling, who were “voting no for cogently expressed reasons”.

“I disagree with them, but I respect their position,” she said. “What I don’t respect are the “fearties” – the ones whose reason for voting no is that they’re afraid we’ll turn out to be incapable of managing our own country. I don’t want us to stay in the union because we’re scared of what the future holds if we strike out on our own.”

The author said her decision to vote in favour of independence had “provoked a flurry of interest” from friends, in particular those in England and overseas. And she said those voting in favour had a “dream of a realignment in Scottish politics”.

“A change from the way things have been done before,” McDermid wrote. “No more corrupt machine politics. No more special interest. No more monocultural parties run by cookie-cutter clones. This referendum has galvanised people who haven’t engaged with politics in living memory.”

McDermid also said it was inspiring to see the “absence of jingoistic Braveheart nationalism”. She said: “This has been an overwhelmingly civil debate about a kind of civic nationalism. It’s been about an inclusive Scotland, not a narrow-minded, bigoted, hate-filled breakaway. We want our country to be better, not just more of the same.

“One thing that is crystal clear is that nothing on the far side of 18th September is crystal clear. You’d have to be the Scottish Doctor with his Tardis to make any confident predictions about what the future holds.”

She concluded: “Look at our history: we invented political economy; we led the world in the practical application of science and engineering; we organised and ran the British empire; we run towards, not away, from terrorists who try to blow up our airport. How can we not believe in ourselves?

“I hope we take our courage in our hands and vote yes. But whatever the outcome, I hope most of all that on 19th September we can shake hands with our opponents and still be friends.”

Earlier this week, some trade figures expressed concerns about the likely effect of independence on books and VAT while a Scottish government spokesperson disputed their case. Publishing Scotland said there was not "any clarity" on the issue.