THE world has changed in the last two-and-a-half years.
Nobody could have predicted quite how different the Scotland of March 2017 would be compared to the country that voted No in September 2014. Then, the Yes campaigners were asking Scots to take a risk, to take a step into the unknown. It was, to some, a hard sell. The No side told Scots to vote for the status quo: for the certainty, the security and the safety of the UK.
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That the result ended as close as 55-45 is a sign of how well we fought, how remarkable that campaign was, and how much it inspired ordinary people to properly think about independence and to consider that risk. Over the last two years the UK’s certainty has been thrown away.
“Politics isn’t a game,” David Mundell insisted on Channel 4 News last night, seemingly forgetting that we got here because of some ridiculous wager between the old Etonians in the last Tory Cabinet. Meanwhile, all Labour have talked about for the last two years is Labour. They are obsessed with talking about themselves. And they are breathtakingly incompetent.
Last night, as Parliament debated the Brexit Bill, Jeremy Corbyn was outside at a protest he organised. As he waved his placard and called for the government to protect the right of EU nationals, the rest of us could only stare on in disbelief. If Corbyn really wanted to protect the rights of EU nationals he could actually have done something about it. Instead he has consigned his party to decades of irrelevance.
UK politics is broken. For those of us on this side of the constitutional debate, independence is simply a way of fixing it.
Yesterday, Nicola Sturgeon took the biggest gamble of her life. “Will you resign if you lose?” a hack asked at the press conference. “I don’t plan on losing,” she replied. Neither do we.
March of 2017 and September of 2014 are worlds apart. One other fundamental change is this paper you’re holding in your hands or reading on your screen. We were born a month after the referendum. Born from a frustration at the one-sided nature of Scotland’s media.
With that launch, we took a huge gamble. We’re still here today – but many of those who bought us in our first months have since stopped. Many you reading this might have picked up your first copy in a long time. While you’ve been away, we’ve fought to keep independence on the news stands, to provide a counterpoint to Scotland’s overwhelmingly Unionist media. We’ve battled hard for this moment – and now it’s time to back us. We need you to stick with us, and to convert other people, help us find new readers.
We don’t have the resources of other papers. We’ve had to do this the hard way, not unlike the independence movement itself.
We are unashamedly Yes. We will be your paper of record. If you back us, we’ll help you deliver independence. It’s what we’re here for.