Today is a big day. Not just for us Scots but for the rest of the UK as well. From that last sentence you're probably assuming that I will be voting no in today's independence referendum and you would be right. In fact I've already gone and cast my vote this morning after dropping my oldest off at school.
I haven't been convinced by the yes campaign's argument that Scotland will be richer on its own. No one can foretell what will happen if Scotland becomes independent. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. What I do know however is that I've lived in a country that's been part of a union for my whole life and for over 250 years before that.
Ever since I was old enough to know about politics and the prime minister, I've seen the effects that the government's decision can have on the countries they serve. Growing up in Scotland during Margaret Thatcher's time as prime minister brings back lots of bad memories from headlines in newspapers and the televised news. The backlash against the Conservative government at the time was evident everywhere. Newspapers and conversations were the main source of information and criticism. For a while it seemed that no one in Scotland liked the Conservative government that was in power at the time.
It was during this time that many Scots started to hold a contempt for politicians, especially Conservative politicians. That contempt for Conservative politicians is still around today. A lasting scar from the days of Margaret Thatcher. It's something that many people today are clinging too as their main reason for voting. They want to secure a future for Scotland that won't have Conservative government again. That's not a reason to vote. A reason to vote yes is that you firmly believe that Scotland can make it as an independent nation. You believe that a yes vote for Scotland is the best way forward. The yes campaign for me has become a campaign against the current government rather than a campaign about what an independent Scotland could achieve. And that's not the message that I would want to hear if I was considering voting yes.
So why am I voting no then?
Today I count myself very lucky. I have a flourishing career as a freelance web developer, my family have a home to live in that we can call our own and my kids have untold opportunities ahead of them. We're doing good. I've had my fair share of bumps in the road of life including three job redundancies but each time I've managed to find a new job. Some might call it luck, others determination. Whatever you want to call it I think we're doing well under the current government and the previous governments that we have had before.
Maybe I'm being cautious about the independence vote by voting no and I know that in my heart I would love to see Scotland flourish on it's own. That's when my head clicks in with a reminder that there are so many unanswered questions about being independent. I don't have all the answers and neither do the politicians. What I do know is what I know now, what I've always known. And it's working for me and my family.
I'm proud to be Scottish, but I'm also proud to be British. And that's why I voted no.