Where the independence debate will mainly be about the day to day concerns such as will we be better off and what will happen to our pensions, independence will also be about what it will mean to be a Scot. Where we will debate the intricacies of our EU membership and the size of our armed forces, we will also consider what independence will mean to our national sense of self.
Because what independence will do is absolutely transform the way we see ourselves and how we assess our worth as a nation and a community. Moving from a status of semi-autonomous dependency, independence will immediately restore a sense of national self worth and national pride. It will in a stroke give a massive boost to our self belief that will brush away any notion that we aren’t good enough to look after our own affairs or take responsibility for ourselves.
We will demonstrate that we are no better, no worse, but equal to anyone in the world and more than capable of taking our place in the community of nations. Independence will give us that self respect and dignity that will allow us to walk tall in the world. Just by being normal as a nation we will show ourselves that we are something special and extraordinary.
Regardless of what side you are on in the independence debate we are all proud Scots and as a nation we are culturally secure. We know who we are and we have a profound sense of what being Scottish is, but there is always this something that constrains, a something there that holds us back, that stops us from truly realising that full potential of being all we can be. That can only be down to our constitutional status, the anomalous status of Scotland as a nation. That while we are in so many ways almost complete we are not quite there. It is in the reality that we are still dependent on someone else to make important decisions on our behalf.
Those who oppose our independence make much play of their belief that we are uniquely incapable of successfully running issues such as defence or foreign affairs and that as an independent nation we would somehow fail. Such is the sense of our national confidence that this message is sometimes accepted and taken for granted. The traction that the unionist ‘separation’ agenda has and the way they are able to play into perceived fears and uncertainties only instead demonstrates why we actually need our independence.
Independence will relieve us of those national insecurities. It will allow us to realise exactly who we are and who we want to be. Scotland is the half complete country, half way through our national journey. We are able to look back and see what we’ve been. We just need to look over the horizon and see what we can become. Independence is that summit. It is the ultimate transformative event that will unshackle our national spirit and end our collective self doubts.
Yes, the debate about independence will be about all those day to day concerns but it will also be about what it means to be Scottish.
This is Pete’s article for the Scots Independent.