I was born and grew up in a village called Elderslie near Paisley and apart from a few years living in London and Paris, I have called Glasgow home for most of my adult life. I move back to Scotland in 1999 and fifteen years later I am still here. I find it a culturally rich and diverse city in which to live.
Despite studying physics, it is music which has become a career of sorts. I’m still reticent to call it work. I started out in bands and now compose primarily for film and theatre.
I have just finished working on the play Catch-22, Joseph Heller’s stage adaption of the cult novel. In the play there is a dialogue between a young American airman and an old Italian man in which the old man says, “Imagine a man my age risking what little life he has left for something so absurd as a country; Rome was destroyed, Greece was destroyed, Persia was destroyed, why not America?”
I find the notion of nationality rather absurd too, so the referendum has thrown up an interesting set of questions for me. My overriding philosophy is one of people coming together and I have always seen myself as Scottish, British and European within the wider global partnerships of organisations like the UN and NATO.
I find the tactics of both sides enervating, particularly the promise of the magical £500 by which we are supposed to be better off. Whether we gain financially is of no consequence to me; if we are richer, does that mean our neighbours in England, Wales and Northern Ireland would be poorer? I wouldn’t want that.
There are multiple reasons I will be voting Yes, but to sum up briefly the major factors are those of self-determinism, the nuclear deterrent, the desire to stay in the EU and the chance of greater social solidarity.
Scotland would no longer be able to blame Westminster and the removal of nuclear weapons in favour of being a non-nuclear member of NATO is a major factor for me.
I am about to become a father for the first time and I see the referendum as an opportunity for change, an opportunity to build a more equal society, and an opportunity to change the emphasis from the profit of big business to social justice. An opportunity to shrink the gap between rich and poor. The political landscape would also become vibrant and vital again.
I still have an issue with the Union of the Crowns but that is a different matter. Scotland, or indeed the UK may not exist in a hundred or a thousand years, but for the present I see an Independent Scotland as a member of the EU and the UN as a thoroughly good thing.