Why I came out for Yes
Buchanan Street - 13 September

Today, I came out for yes. 

Why? It's actually simple. 

I know, all other things being equal, that there are scale and convenience benefits of the UK's highly integrated single market - the same stores, mobile providers and financial products in Inverness as in London. 

I agree, there is something special about sharing a citizenship and culture with people from Belfast, Cardiff and Manchester (though I don't buy the argument that a separate Scottish citizenship would turn people from the rest of the UK into "foreigners", any more than Irish people feel like foreigners in the UK today).

I understand, there may be short-term uncertainty and perhaps even pain associated with the transition to independence - but that has never been a good enough basis for me on which to make a long-term decision about Scotland's future. 

The overwhelming reason for voting yes is a democratic one. The Westminster system is broken, some aspects of it are abhorrent (the royal prerogative, the absolute sovereignty of Parliament, and the unelected House of Lords to name but three), Scotland is represented in the UK parliament just like any other British 'region', and the English aren't properly represented either, other than by dint of their sheer number. 

While I respect the view of those who say we should make the case for change from within the UK, I don't believe all the changes I want to see will happen in my lifetime. In an independent Scotland, they will likely be in place from day 1. 

As it happens, I also believe that a reinvigorated Scottish democracy would have spillover effects on the rest of the UK, as it became clear that the constitutional status quo can be radically altered without the sky falling in.

But this week is about Scotland. 

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz wrote today in Scotland's two quality newspapers that there is little basis for the fear-mongering that has been advanced by no supporters (and, while we're at it, that the downside risks of Scotland staying in the UK and the UK subsequently leaving the EU are "by almost any account, greater [than Scotland going it alone]"). David Cameron himself said some time ago that it would be wrong to suggest Scotland could not be another small, independent, thriving country. 

The yes campaign doesn't have all the answers. Nor the current Scottish government or the SNP. That is not the point. This is nothing less than a democratic revolution, and it will be for future Scottish electorates to decide, fairly and democratically, the best way forward for their country. 

That is how democracy is supposed to work. 

Scotland will be subject to the constraints of our globalized and interdependent world of course, just like every other country, but democracy it will be all the same. Scottish people deciding for Scottish people. With the checks and balances you would expect of a 21st century democracy. 

Today's historic editorial in the Sunday Herald concludes with these words: 

"Should Scotland be an independent country? Of course it should, and it must." 

It's time.