As young people, our future should be not be decided for us, but by us. We believe that independence is not the end goal, but rather the means by which to achieve the goal. The goal being a fairer, more equal country that stands up for the most vulnerable and where anyone who wants, can call Scotland their home.
In the youth movement for independence, we are already working as if we are in the early days of a better nation, so that we are fully prepared for when we get there. We are working to defend our free education, the Erasmus grant, free healthcare, and access to equal opportunity- no matter our background. The independence generation has grown, with people who were too young to vote in 2014 now at the forefront of our movement.
At nineteen years old, I have campaigned in six elections / referendums in the space of four years. There should have been one election in this time. Evidently, UK politics is imploding. Something needs to change.
Scotland being denied a choice over its future has again demonstrated the utter contempt that Westminster has for us. Scotland’s young people voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence and will do so again, as we welcome more and more supporters every day.
It is our young people who are being forgotten about within the union; denied the right to vote for our Members of Parliament and denied the right to express our desire to remain within the EU. However, in Scotland, our country is like-minded, as young people too would have voted to Remain and for pro- independence MPs. Scotland, as a nation, is continuing to be ignored, but it is our futures at risk.
Young people, more than anyone, are fed up of the same old politics, that works for no one but the ‘old men’s club’ down the road. Our politics and this union are in gridlock. For young people today, this is all we have known. The one thing that gives us hope is the belief that a positive, fresh future is possible, with a new politics, fit for a new country.
Today’s young people have grown up with no security, environmental destruction imminent and inequality soaring. We are the ones who must spend the longest facing the repercussions of austerity and Brexit. In the face of this, we choose to care, and we choose to campaign because we know that it is for the young people who come after us that we fight. So that the young women, young immigrants, young disabled people, young LGBT+ people, young BAME people, never have to grow up in a world of phobia and discrimination. Scottish independence is the only way to even give us a chance.
Scotland must have a choice about its future, for the future of its young people.
The UK is turning its back on its young people and its future generations. Scotland is on a different path, towards internationalism and inclusivity, away from the insular politics of Westminster. And it will be our young people that take us there.