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ELECTION 2021: 'Neither independence or status quo' is the answer


By Kyle Ritchie

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SCOTTISH independence has been the banging drum of Scottish politics for my entire adult life, says Labour candidate for Banffshire and Buchan Coast Georgia Strachan.

Scottish Labour's candidate for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Georgia Strachan.
Scottish Labour's candidate for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Georgia Strachan.

For some, it has become the default answer to almost every political question; the SNP claim they can’t act until Scotland is independent and the Tories want to protect the status quo.

I respect everyone that has an opinion on independence. They are entitled to that opinion, and crucially, in what daily becomes a more toxic debate, holding that opinion does not make them a “bad person”, even if we disagree.

For me, there are extremes in this debate and neither the SNP’s independence nor the Conservative’s status quo is the answer.

I was 21 when I voted Yes in 2014. What I wanted wasn’t really independence though, it was change. Some parties want me to vote again on that same, life-altering issue before I’m 30.

I did not want the UK to leave the EU, so much so that I took the Megabus overnight to march from Hyde Park to Parliament Square. The reality, however, is that we left.

I understand the impact of Brexit, but what’s clear to me is that impact is not as one-sided as often presented.

Any prospective independence now puts Scotland both outside the UK and the EU with no answer to when, if ever, the new barriers this creates will come down.

Since 2014 I’ve graduated from university and spent a lot of time working on and around minimum wage, paying high rents and the unfair council tax.

I’ve watched friends go into teaching to find no job security. Drugs deaths have climbed and the outcomes of the richest students further outstrip those of poorer students.

We do not need independence to change this. We need a Scottish Government concentrated on improving people’s day-to-day lives.

I’m tired of the old arguments, and independence is the most tiring of them all.


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