Our system is not fit for purpose – independence will let us change that

Scottish independence embodies a new hope, prosperity and opportunity – and I want to see that for my family and myself.

The first time I heard about independence I didn’t understand what it meant, so I asked my mum to explain it to me. She said: “it means Scotland would be its own country, instead of us being the UK”.  It was simple, it was normal and it made perfect sense. My vision was living in a nation where the qualities that make me Scottish would finally coincide with my identity.

Imagine being able to identify fully as Scottish, saying you’re from Scotland instead of being British?

It was an astounding concept to me! I have travelled to many places in my life and I have often felt uneasy identifying as British whilst visiting East Africa, USA or Pakistan, as I didn’t feel I was being true to myself. I don’t know what life is like for people living in the Midlands or London any more than they know what it was like for me to grow up in the south side of Glasgow or Cumbernauld.

With the powers Scotland has been granted by Westminster, we have already been shown to prioritise different values than our neighbours. Free university tuition, free prescriptions, amongst the most ambitious climate change targets in the world, halting the bedroom tax and free sanitary products in public buildings are all Scottish policies that have been demanded by Scottish people who have prioritised these ambitions.

We live in one of the most affluent countries with amongst the strongest economies in the world – yet we still have food banks? There is much more in our society Scottish people want to tackle, and independence allows for Scottish people to prioritise and confront the social ills we see in our society which we cannot currently fully address as part of the UK.

Often the UK is described as a family of nations, but I think it’s time for Scotland to move out and go our own way. We need to stand tall on our own two feet and decide the direction in life we want to go in.

In 2014, we were told, again and again, that the UK is a “union of equals” in which Scotland should “lead, not leave”. It’s safe to say that this idea has been completely torn into shreds after Scotland has been repeatedly silenced and sidelined by increasingly arrogant, out-of-touch Westminster Tory governments. As we’re being dragged out of the EU against our will, let us remember: this is not Scotland’s Brexit.

Scottish independence is a new start at life and a chance to run our own affairs how we see fit. Scottish people should live in a democracy where when we vote for an outcome, we get that outcome.

The current system we live in is not fit for purpose; Scottish independence is our chance to change that. Independence is the gateway to declare our space in the world and decide the future we want to live in and the future we want to give to the generations after us.

That is why I have always been and will always be Yes.