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“Ambition and talent shine through any political plan”

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Marcus Buit

“Ambition and talent shine through any political plan”


Marcus Buist, a 19-year-old man from Scotland, shares his opinion about the upcoming independence referendum with our intern Nimet Karavelioglu. The young man will be studying Ancient History, International Relations and Philosophy at St.Andrews. He completed a year out as a parliamentary aide, care assistant and teacher. He writes on Public Policy and Politics for the Adam Smith Institute and ThinkScotland. This is the first of a series of interviews ahead of the Scottish independence referendum. 

Democracy International: Do you already know how you are going to vote?

Marcus: Yes, I’m going to vote “No”.

What are the reasons for your decision?

The primary reason is sentiment. I am proudly Scottish, but no less British. Each compliments the other. Scotland was not conquered. Instead, Scotland is a founding member of a new state, which she formed in her image. Scots have as much cause to rejoice in British nationality as the English. Fundamentally, the English, Welsh and Northern Irish are not foreigners but a family. It is bad enough that the larger part of Ireland has been split from us. The end of the political union means the erosion of a highly successful social union.

Are you interested in the issues? Which issue bothers you the most?

Certainly, I am interested in issues, and have written on them. To fight the nationalist arguments of democracy, we must counter with localism, devolution and the hard fact that membership of a state that is not wholly representative is not the same as living in an undemocratic state. By this I mean that we can have federalism and local democracy instead of independence. Also, we must understand that living under a government you did not vote for is a fact of democracy. On the issues of currency, jobs, security and the single market the separatists have no answer.

Are you afraid of the consequences?

Aside from the crucial question of identity, I am concerned that erecting borders and barriers to trade with our closest partners is a retrograde step that will harm Scotland's place as the UK's third richest region after London and the South East. Whatever happens politically, Scotland will flourish. This is because ambition and talent shine through any political plan. A YES vote would be divesting, however, as it means the destruction of my other country and my primary identity. It may well do, I think I would stay in Scotland, but I would be hurt if my fellow Scots had, in a single vote, agreed to strip us of so much. Thankfully, I am confident of a big NO vote. Unionism has always been in the spirit of aspirational Scots.

Will the outcome of the referendum have any affect on your life?

Moving on from the referendum after NO, means inspiring separatists to believe in Scottish success within the Union. This is very much about confidence and message. If they have a point about the constitution then lets listen, not to make concessions but to get things right. Unionism is not a narrow creed and federalism is not a surrender. After 18 September, Scotland must have the strength to move beyond YES or NO.

Interview by Nimet Karavelioglu

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