Long may it continue.
The YSI is currently celebrating the fact that, yesterday, a majority of MSPs voted in favour of The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) bill! This legislation will ensure that all couples in Scotland who are in love with one another will be able to express that love through the act of marriage.
We believe in a fair, socially just and equal Scotland. This bill will both help to further that cause and bring a great deal of happiness to LGBT Scots all across the country. We are incredibly proud of the support our members have given to this wonderful campaign, we are incredibly proud of the Scottish Parliament for voting this bill through overwhelmingly at the first time of asking and we are incredibly proud of Scotland for showing once again that it can be a land which places equality and love on the highest pedestal.
Long may it continue.
Conference, Campaigning and Karaoke!
October was a busy month for the YSI!
Not only did we have an active presence across the country at our branch meetings, but we also managed to tear the house down for hundreds of people at our annual Conference Karaoke! Rumour has it that even our National Convenor David Linden was caught giving it Gangnam Style on the dancefloor, although a YouTube video has yet to be forthcoming.
Besides this, YSI members were out in force across Scotland delivering a positive message about our future. With just over 10 months to go until Scots both young and old are asked to make the most important decision that our country has ever been asked to make, it is clear that the case for independence resonates with young people. Just last month, Abertay University held a debate which showed that young people swing overwhelmingly in favour of a YES vote once they have heard both sides of the argument.
This, combined with recent trends in polling which show that more and more people are beginning to engage with the debate, highlights the importance of our efforts over the course of the next ten months. We must do everything we can to make sure that in eleven months time we can say that we helped to accomplish something wonderful for our nation. We must help to make sure that every Young Scot has the chance to make an informed decision. We must be the Independence Generation!
Yours for Scotland,
The YSI Team.
Remember, remember! We're now in November!
Next month promises to be another busy few weeks for the YSI. With one of our members (Laura Docherty!) standing in the Glasgow Shettleston by-election, YES campaigning and regional branch meetings galore, there will be a lot of ways for new and old members to help us in the final leg of our journey. Stay tuned in the upcoming days as we announce the dates of our next branch meetings!
If you are curious about how you can get involved, send an email to Contact@SNPYouth.com and we'll get back to you as soon as we can!
Besides all of this, we are always interested in receiving pictures from your own campaigning efforts! If you would like to contribute a photograph to our #YSI365 project, then send in your photos to KieranGlyn@SNPYouth.com!
16 year old Jules Connelly is a passionate supporter of Scottish Independence. At the 2013 March and Rally for Independence, he and his friend Niamh had an opportunity to meet and chat with Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon about the event, the referendum and why Young Scots should vote YES in next year's big vote. After the rally, Jules sent us his thoughts on the matter;
"We have always been involved with the independence campaign and we know lots of people in our age category who are attracted the prospect of a YES vote next year. We're constantly talking to people about the ideals which underpins the movement such as fairness and equality. We also feel that any young Scot of our age should consider voting YES because an independent Scotland would solidify our right to vote in elections, which is something the No campaign tried so vigorously to block.
"Me, Niamh Kane and another other friend (Caireen Stuart) had a great time at the rally and we were very pleased with the number of people who turned up to support the campaign. We thoroughly enjoyed the range of speeches at the rally, especially those of Nicola Sturgeon and Elaine C. Smith, as well as the wide range of other entertainment involved at the event!
"We're looking forward to the year ahead and can't wait for our chance to vote YES in September of next year!
- Jules Connelly."
Here is a selection of wonderful pictures from this year's March and Rally for Independence, which seen over 20,000 Scots turn out in support of a fairer future;
Kick starting off our #YSI365 year of photographs is our very own national convenor David Linden, showing us that even in the office you always have time for a little Gangnam Style in the name of Independence!
This marks the start of a very exciting year for the YSI and we ask that all YSI-ers get involved and get your picture into the #YSI365 hall of fame. We have had some great snaps and mini collages already sent in and we can't wait to share them all with you over the next 365 days as we help make history in Scotland!
We are fast approaching the final year of the #indyref and the launch of #YSI365 !
What is #YSI365? Well, we at the YSI want to help mark this exciting time in Scotland's history and document as much of it as possible so that we will have something to look back on and remember the run up to the referendum for years to come!
In order to do this we've decided to launch #YSI365, which will involve us posting a picture every day from the 18th of September 2013 until the 18th of September 2014. These pictures will be of you, our members and friends, showing and highlighting your journey towards an independent Scotland. At the end of the year will have a great picture covered wall telling the story of the YSI and its members during the #indyref, and we want you to be a part of it!
Your pictures can be a single image or a mini collage as shown above. You can be as creative as you like with the contents and design of the photo, although you must stick to the following two rules;
1) You must be a Young Scot for Independence (you sign up on through this website for free!)
2) You must include "#YSI365" somewhere within the picture!
We look forward to seeing all of your pictures! You can keep an eye out on twitter, facebook and www.snpyouth.com to see when your picture gets uploaded. HAPPY SNAPPING!
Email all pictures to our Director of Campaigns Kieran Glyn at firstname.lastname@example.org
Guest writer and YSI member Kirsty MacAlpine has written an article on Project Fear! You can check out Kirsty's last piece, on the Common Weal, here. You can keep up with Kirsty's thoughts on Twitter at: @Kirst_McAlps
If you'd like to write an article for the YSI, you can get in touch with us by sending me an email at: GregHepburn@SNPYouth.com
A Sunday Herald scoop a few weeks ago revealed that insiders in the Better Together campaign colloquially refer to their campaign against independence as “Project Fear.” No less than former Labour First Minister Henry McLeish has said of the unionists campaign that it is “treating Scots like idiots” and Kevin McKenna commented in the Observer that “At this rate, the No campaigners will be claiming that the deaths of our first born will occur in an independent Scotland. Not long after the plagues of frogs, boils and locusts.”
But being diligent and wanting the full facts in front of Young Scots for Independence, I've put together a just a taste of what Better Together think we should be terrified of when we vote YES next year.
Welfare of our citizens.
Firstly Better Together appear to want Scots to be afraid of living in a country that doesn’t need the bedroom tax - the housing benefit bill in Scotland in the last decade has increased by 6%, in London it’s 122%. Despite this, Scotland is far more affected by the Bedroom Tax than the UK average. In written evidence to the Westminster government for titled the impact of the bedroom tax Margaret Burgess notes;
“Scotland's share of claimants affected by the bedroom tax is around 16% compared with a GB population share of 8.6%. Furthermore, 79% of households in Scotland affected contain an adult who has a Disability Discrimination Act recognised disability. This compares with 63% for GB.
The SNP have committed to withdrawing the bedroom tax if they had to powers of an independent state. Does the thought of assisting our most vulnerable citizens to continue to live in their homes, rather than making them the bear the brunt of an economic crash they had no hand in creating sound as terrifying to you as it does to Better Together?
Moreover over 90% of Scotland’s MPs voted against the implementation of the bedroom tax but it was forced upon us anyway. And that is one example in a long long list of issues Scottish MPs have voted against that has been implemented anyway. If you think like #ProjectFear want you to, it'll terrify you to know that you could have the government that you and your fellow Scots vote for 100% of the time, instead of half the time.
And Scots should be happy living in one of the most unequal countries in the developed world. A country in which, according the Oxfam’s recent Our Economy report, the richest people in Scotland are 273 times richer than the poorest. Scots should be feart of having the powers over taxation and the economy that would ensure that everyone, including multi-millionaires and big business allowed to dodge their tax under the Westminster system, would pay their fair share. Are you afraid of being able to fix this growing inequty?
If having the power to make Scotland a fairer country appears to terrify our opponents, living in a country without Trident nuclear weapons of mass destruction appears to positively horrify them. Better Together think we should be afraid of having the constitutional power to get rid of Trident, a weapons system former UN Weapons inspector Hans Blix has said is totally useless in dealing with 21st century security complaints.
The Lib Dems recently reported on the alternatives to Trident, and concluded that 3 nuclear submarines instead of 4 would suffice but not once do they consider the alternative consistently favoured by the majority of Scots which is nae nuclear weapons at all.
And becoming non nuclear would see an independent Scotland follow international law and the principles of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty which at its heart champions a move towards nuclear disarmament as a way to bring lasting peace to the world – I like the sound of Scotland being a beacon to nuclear and non nuclear states alike and Scotland standing up and saying that we don’t need to have weapons that assure mutual destruction and that we are taking a stand to make the world safer not only for us but for people all over the world. This vision of an independent, international law abiding, internationalist, cosmopolitan Scotland doesn’t frighten me. Does it frighten you?
#ProjectFear appear to fear most of all Scotland having control over oil revenues which the First Minister has said would, if we were in power, be put in to an oil fund akin to Norway. The reaction to oil shows #projectfear at their most duplicitous. This is what the leaders of the Better Together campaign really think about oil;
Although we cannot be sure that Scottish Conservative Finance Spokesman Gavin Brown MSP got the memo as he said on STV news;
“The Scottish Government is more or less out there on its own when being overly optimistic of the role oil can play”
Their hysterical reaction to the First Minister saying that revenues equated to £300,000 each per man women and child in Scotland depressingly predictably became a Chinese whispers esq game to the point where the leader of the Better Together campaign started tweeting about what he would buy with the £300,000 pounds Alex Salmond has personally promised to give him (of course being frightened of making our country fairer, the thought of investing the money into schools, hospitals, international aid or infrastructure to use our oil money to make our country better for all, and the world better for others, appears not to have occurred to Mr McDougall.)
But this #projectfear has a shelf life, there is only so long you can welcome the EU dropping roaming charges across Europe one day and then the next day say that Scots would have to pay a gajillion billion pounds to call their (according to Margaret Curran MP now foreign) family in England.
It is madness. And it won’t win as long as we ensure we get our positive message of what independence can mean for us all out there.
So come along and get involved in campaigning for the YSI. We need you to help us ensure every single young person in Scotland knows that #projectfear is a fallacy and that if anything we have more to fear remaining part of the UK than we do in an independent Scotland standing up for our citizens and taking our place in the world.