Posted by Alan Jones at 04:20
"The Nineteenth century saw a great Springtime of Nations as the revolutions of 1848 saw new countries created the length and breadth of Europe. In our world today we are now seeing our own Spring Awakening with people and cultures that have long been dormant and subdued asserting their right to exist, their right to dream." Adam Price MP
Posted by Alan Jones at 04:13
The difference is you.
At the turn of the year, support for an independent Scotland was 23% according to media reports. Since then most polls have shown the campaign securing over 30% support. With just under 500 days to go what do these polls tell us? Not a lot, in terms of what the result will be in September 2014, but a great deal in terms of the steps we know we must take to win.
If every person who supports independence today persuades just one other person, then victory will be ours.
We are focused on one thing, and one thing only: securing that Yes vote on 18 September, 2014. There are three key arguments you can make to your friends and family today and in the weeks ahead:
First: Westminster isn't working for Scotland and that changes to our welfare state, which will hit 1 million Scottish families, are part of an agenda that is taking our nation in the wrong direction. In 2014 we can choose a new and better path.
Second: the people who care most about Scotland, that is the people of Scotland, will do the best job of making our nation a fairer and more prosperous place. Scotland's future should be in Scotland's hands.
Third: Scotland's got what it takes to be a prosperous and flourishing independent nation. Given all the many strengths we have in our economy, there is no doubt families across Scotland should be better off than they are today.
The power of our campaign is that the conversations you have within your social circles are 5 times more effective at persuading people than any newspaper story, and 10 times more effective than the words of most politicians.
We have plenty of time to make Scotland's case. And plenty of time to give people the information they need to turn their No today into a Yes when it matters.
That is why the Yes campaign is about building the largest grassroots movement that Scotland has ever seen, and you are already part of it.
Yes Scotland has more than 100 local groups and tens of thousands of volunteers out there right now making the positive case in communities across Scotland: in living rooms, in cafes, on message boards.
Those volunteers are the difference. You are the difference. You are the reason Scotland can and will be an independent nation - a necessary step if we are to build the sort of country we all know Scotland can and should be.
Posted by Alan Jones at 00:57
15 years on from Agreement, there can be no going back —Adams
Commenting today on the 15thanniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams said:
“The Good Friday Agreement came after many years of hard work and culminated in long night negotiations in Castle Buildings at Stormont.
“Internationally regarded as a successful example of conflict resolution, the Agreement represents an historic compromise between conflicting political positions, following decades of conflict.
“With stable power-sharing and all-Ireland institutions enjoying the support of the community, the North in particular has been transformed in the intervening period.
“A key difference between the Agreement and previous government-sponsored initiatives, all of which failed, is that the principle of equality is at its core.
“The power sharing structures have ensured the checks and balances necessary to prevent the political abuses and discrimination of the past.
“The Agreement has secured remarkable progress in the areas of policing and justice, demilitarisation and arms, discrimination and sectarianism, equality and human rights, and the Irish language.
“It also provides for a Border Poll to address the issue of Partition.
“Of course, any agreement is just a piece of paper. It needs political will to implement it and make its promise a reality.
“Further negotiations since 1998 have seen unionist political leaders seeking to minimise the implementation of the Agreement. As a result, and because of the failure of both governments to fulfill their obligations, outstanding issues remain.
“These include a Bill of Rights for the North which would offer protections for the most vulnerable and respect the diversity of our community.
“Other outstanding issues include an all-island Charter of Rights, establishment of the North-South Consultative Forum, introduction of an Acht na Gaeilge (Irish Language Act) and resolution of the issue of those people still ‘On The Run’ as a result of the conflict.
“The British Government has failed to act on its Weston Park commitment to hold an independent inquiry into the killing of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane. It has allowed a securocrat agenda to continue to abuse human rights — most clearly in the continued detention of Marian Price and Martin Corey.
“The people of this island need a genuine process of national reconciliation. This includes a victim-centered truth and reconciliation process.
“Sinn Féin believes that the best way of doing this is through the establishment of an Independent International Truth Commission. The two governments, former combatants and those in leadership across Ireland and Britain need to be part of this. There can be no hierarchy of victims.
“Fifteen years on there can be no going back. The tiny minorities who want to cling to the past must be rejected. Sectarianism must be tackled and ended.
“The promise of the Good Friday Agreement for a new society in which all citizens are respected, and where fairness and justice and equality are the guiding principles, has to be advanced.” CRÍOCH/END
Posted by Alan Jones at 09:53
Tomorrow, we will learn the date of Scotland’s independence referendum. It will be an important and historic day for all of us.
If you are speaking to people tomorrow about an independent Scotland, you might find the following conversation points useful.
Also, please spread these messages on Twitter, Facebook, Kiltr and any other social media. Remember: if we are to win we must persuade our fellow Scots with our positive message.
Why not print out or share this card which sets out just three of the reasons why Scotland should vote Yes for a better future in 2014. Click the picture on the right and choose the version you need.
We are happy to answer people’s questions about independence - and we have FAQ on our website.
Scotland’s got what it takes to be an independent country:
Scotland is a wealthy country – when the No campaign talk about Scotland’s economy and finances they often exclude our offshore resources. However, taking all our national wealth, Scotland is the 8th richest country in the world in terms of wealth per head of population. With independence the benefits of this wealth would be felt more directly.
In 2011/12 we generated 9.9% of UK taxes but received only 9.3% of UK spending. This means Scotland’s financial position is stronger than the UK’s as a whole – to the tune of £4.4 billion, or £824 per person.
We have to be independent because Westminster isn’t working for Scotland:
The Westminster system has created the 4th most unequal country in the developed world, with the wealthiest few seeing a massive increase in their income and assets. This leaves the vast majority of people getting less reward than they should for their work and many of us struggling to make ends meet every month.
In just a few weeks changes are being introduced which will see theincome tax rate for a handful of very high earners reduced while financial support for 1 million Scottish families will be cut.
Scotland is wealthy enough to be a fairer nation:
Scotland is the EU’s largest oil producer, with more than half the value of North Sea Oil and Gas still to extract. Oil and gas reserves are expected to contribute over £48 billion in tax revenues over the next 6 years alone. Even without oil and gas our national wealth is currently 99% of the UK average.
We are also blessed with extraordinary renewable energy resources: building for the future, we have 25% of the EU’s potential for offshore wind and tidal energy, and 10% of wave power, altogether worth up to £14 billion each year by 2050.
Our whisky industry exports £4.2 billion worth of produce - 23% of the UK’s food and drink exports; our own food and drink industry is worth £10 billion; tourism generates over £5 billion and sustains 200,000 jobs, the Scottish construction industry is worth around £21.4 billion annually and agricultural output of £2.7 billion is 11.4% of UK total agricultural output.
As you can see, it all adds up to a successful, independent Scotland. The question we should be asking is not whether we can afford to be independent, but rather, why aren’t we doing better economically?
With Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands, we can use our wealth of resources, our own tax base, our talents and ingenuity and great strengths like our excellent international reputation to build a more successful country and a fairer society.
Scotland’s got what it takes to be more prosperous and with a Yes in 2014 we can choose a different path for our nation: instead of the damaging changes to Scottish society being delivered by Westminster, we can choose another way.
Other things you can do to help
Posted by Alan Jones at 09:53
SCOTLAND SAYS "NO" TO TRIDENT
This week the Scottish Parliament was presented with legislation to give 16 and 17-year-olds the right to vote in the independence referendum. That is a very important development. One of the main reasons many of us want our country to make its own decisions is that we want a better, fairer, more prosperous nation for Scotland’s children and young people.
You should know...At Yes Scotland we pride ourselves on openly answering questions from people unsure about independence. It is only by engaging in positive debate with those who do not yet agree with us that we will win. This week we published answers to questions on health and an independent Scotland. Also, this week a poll came out showing that an overwhelming majority of Scots oppose upgrading the Trident nuclear weapons system.
Thepoll in the Herald found:
Posted by Alan Jones at 10:22
Posted by Alan Jones at 09:47
The Welsh language has declined so rapidly because the English placed a pillow over its face and smothered it.Germany emerged as the dominant player and German became the common language. It started being used in the legal, government and business worlds, so more English began to learn German as a way to improve their job prospects.
Posted by Alan Jones at 08:41