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What is going on up here in Scotland now and what has been going on for a very long time and what will be decided today I cannot ignore and would be an absolute lie if I chose to pretend it did not affect me and chose to avoid it for “commercial” reasons.
I was born in Edinburgh, brought up in Dalkeith, spent my first 23 years in this country ( apart from 1 in Cumbria) and returned in 1988, age30, to spend the next 26 years living here after 7 years living in the South of England.
I have voted SNP all my life, was a card carrying member in the 90’s, have never disguised or hidden my Scottish nationalism and wrote a song called “Slainthe Mhath” on an album called “Clutching at Straws” that sold well over a million units about the lack of confidence we have and the sometimes under achieving nature and the dark psyche of the Scottish nature which can manifest itself in a resignatory characteristic voiced in that lyric. No one questioned my nationality then and I can remember crying as I played that song back to my father back in 87 knowing he had voted differently to me for years and had been shafted by banks and the early versions of corporates that had left him with the shreds of a dream that both he and my Grandfather had for the family garage business and which had taken him close to bankruptcy.
In recent weeks I have had passionate debates with my parents which have resulted in long bitter silences and early endings to visits. The subject is now unspoken. They are rooted in their beliefs and I respect them for that. Today my daughter, who is half German, and I will both go to the polling station with the same intent.
I am between a rock and a very hard place. I declared myself unavailable for general media interviews on the subject as it is with high probability I will move to Germany in 2 years to join my partner of 4 years and her young family and did not want to be seen to be hypocritical if the “Yes” vote is successful and I left in what will most inevitably be a difficult state of transition.
I have involved myself with Facebook interactions and have tried to maintain as much of a diplomatic stance as is possible given my feelings allowing debate and comment, moderating when it got out of hand and became abusive on both sides of the opinion, but letting the comments flow on what is the most exciting, vibrant and engaging political topic we have had in the United Kingdom for years! I cannot remember Scotland being so energised!
My dilemma? My youthful romantic dream , later replaced throughout the years by something a lot more substantial, and eventually incarnated as in what some may think is an unrealistic ambition of being part of an independent nation against current personal circumstances.
“Yes” means, in most probability, economic uncertainty for a while and personally being perhaps unable to sell a property and finance a move to Germany for intended retirement and more importantly a life with my partner of 4 years to write the books I have waited to write in self-financed relative solitude. My dream and hope of so many years for my country would come true but my personal circumstances would be compromised and my own plans for our life together will have to be rethought. My partner and I have both discussed this at length and she supports my decision as we both know we will be together somewhere no matter what. She totally understands my feelings and the subject of the referendum dominated our recent few days together in Karlsruhe.
A “ No” vote will have repercussions and inevitably lead to some changes but in the great scheme of things I believe that after the dust has settled we will return to carrying on as “normal” and although there will be some lingering resentment the establishment and Westminster will continue to dominate the United Kingdom and we will head down a road I for one don’t particularly want to travel as I personally don’t agree with it. It will in all probability hasten my considered move to Germany.
I am voting “yes” today because I can and I believe it is for the best for Scotland and a much needed shake up of a stagnant and corrupt political system in the UK. Others disagree and I respect them for that as the decisions all of us have had to make in recent weeks have been difficult.
I am not voting because of any anti English sentiment, having probably more English friends than from any other country including my own. I am not voting for commercial reasons or financial gain and I am not voting because of some romantic historical notion based in our history.
I am not going to hide my feelings or beliefs no matter how wrong some of you may think I am as they are a very important part of my character and make me what I am as a writer and a singer and an artist.
No matter what the result I will not be using the stage as a pulpit on the next tour as what is done today is done today and I will respect the outcome no matter what. I hope for the sake of my nation that my fellow countrymen and women do the same. After the votes are cast and the results are declared we need to carry on together and get on with our lives and do the best that we can to make our world a better place to live in for both us and our children.
This is a huge decision for many to make on so many different levels and I urge everyone to respect each other for that and remain dignified despite the disappointment that many will feel either way the vote falls.
Derek W Dick