More support to Yes Campaign

Author Val McDermid
Author Val McDermid

More well-known Scottish figures have come forward and shown their support in backing a Yes vote in September’s independence referendum.

Crime writer Val McDermid and theologian Richard Holloway have revealed their support for a vote for independence.

Val McDermid from Kirkcaldy, best known for the Wire in the Blood series, sees a marked difference in policies flowing from Holyrood compared to Westminster and she criticises the negativity of the No side, calling it a ‘major plank’ of the campaign.

Ms McDermid said: “The only basis I could find for making a choice is to look at the track record of what the Scottish Parliament has done differently from Westminster since we’ve had some power restored to us. And, overwhelmingly, I prefer what we’ve done north of the border – free prescriptions, no student tuition fees, social care for elderly people. So, with a degree of trepidation, I’m going to nail my colours to the mast of aspiration and vote “Yes”.

“When you realise you’re in a relationship in which the two of you want different things, where your hopes and dreams are taking you in different directions, you don’t hesitate because you’re not sure what you’re going to get in the divorce settlement; you make the decision and then you sort things out afterwards. We shouldn’t be held back because of the fear that seems to be the major plank of the Better Together campaign.”

Richard Holloway, former Bishop of Edinburgh and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, and BBC broadcaster, is also critical of the No campaign’s negativity, and cites the ‘broken’ UK political system that led to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as one of his reasons for backing Yes.

He said: “Rather than making a positive case for the union, the Better Together campaign has wasted its energy on attacking the idea that Scotland could go it alone, a tactic guaranteed to anger those of us for whom the question was never whether we could but whether we should.

“And there has been little recognition on the unionist side that the British political system is broken. The major factor in my own mistrust is outrage at the wars we have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan for no valid moral purpose. I am ready to forgive politicians for getting economics wrong, but never for taking us into costly and unnecessary wars. Over-centralised Britain concentrates power in ways that are hard to challenge.”

Scotland’s national poet, Liz Lochhead, celebrated journalist and author Neal Ascherson, playwright, author and artist Alasdair Gray, and poets Kathleen Jamie, Robert Crawford and John Glenday are some of Yes Scotland’s many other literary supporters.