In the second of the No To Yes specials on Scotland’s Choice, Drew sits down with Ruaridh Hanna to discuss his journey from No to Yes. If you haven’t already listened to the first special, you can click here to do so or search for Episode 12.
Ruaridh was very much involved with the Better Together campaign in 2014 but has since changed his mind and now supports independence. In this episode, Drew chats to Ruaridh about why he voted No in 2014 and what made him change his mind.
It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that Brexit is mentioned time and time again in these sorts of conversations. Not only were Scotland’s votes ignored in the referendum itself, but Scotland’s voice has been ignored throughout the negotiations and as a result, we’re suffering. The Better Together campaign explicitly stated in 2014 that a vote for Yes would take us out of Europe. Now we know that a Yes vote would have been the only possible way to remain a part of the EU.
So, does Ruaridh regret voting No. He makes the point that, after moving from No to Yes and with the benefit of hindsight, he would vote differently. But realistically, no one has a crystal ball to tell what the future will bring and he says he doesn’t regret feeling the way he did.
Going forward, it’s vital that the Yes movement is welcoming to folk like Ruaridh. People making the journey from No to Yes are vital to the numbers game of winning the next vote and online abuse risks putting them off. Indeed, we must be careful not to stray into infighting between ourselves as Ruaridh makes the point that this too will put people off engaging with the campaign.
Ruaridh featured in a recent PPB by the SNP titled Change Must Come. In that piece, he said the line “an independent Scotland could be whatever the people of Scotland want it to be.” The point he was making is that a vote for independence should not be considered as a vote for the SNP. The Scottish electorate could vote in any government they like post-independence – the point is, it will be a government directly and wholly elected to govern for Scotland, by Scotland.
For more of Ruaridh, click here.
Listen to other Scotland’s Choice episodes here.