Voices | VIEWS FROM THE STREET

Tokyo and Saitama: How would you vote on the issue of independence for Scotland?

The people of Scotland go to the polls Thursday to decide on whether to break away from the rest of the U.K. Mark Buckton asked four Scottish and two English residents of Kanto whether they back a “yes” in the referendum for independence or a “no” for the status quo.

Collette Booth
IT company director, 37 (English)

Initially I thought things wouldn’t bother me either way, but now it’s definitely a “no.” I think it’s too much of a risk for the Scottish people and, to be honest, the people in the cities (in Scotland) don’t want it. I think it’s a badly thought-out power trip relying on rural votes and the England-haters. The “no” voters realize they have a lot to lose, and I agree with them.

Iain Monteith
Building services engineer, 50 (British)

I’d vote “no.” Unfortunately, Scots living abroad are illegible to vote, which I think is a ploy by the SNP (Scottish National Party) to rule out a majority of “no” votes from expat Scots — 800,000 live in the rest of the U.K. I believe we’re stronger in the U.K. and have a bigger influence in world affairs. I don’t believe in many of the SNP’s policies, and in claims that we would be better off as independent.

Amanda Black
English teacher (British)

I’d vote “no thanks.” Ultimately, I believe in the U.K. and its position on the world stage. For me, this has always been about (SNP leader) Alex Salmond’s ego, and he appears to have manipulated the patriotism of many Scots to the point of near blindness. The future of Scotland, and the rest of the U.K., is far too important to “cross your fingers and hope for the best,” which is essentially what the “yes “camp is asking for.

Arthur Hawtin
Quantity surveyor, 67 (British)

Having been born in England to a Scottish mother and a Welsh father, I foresee only problems, whatever the outcome of the Scottish referendum. The whole of the United Kingdom is frustrated by the antics of Westminster politicians, but we don’t do referendums (to secede). Because I’ll miss our iconic union flag, Scotland should say “no.”

Colin Buchan Liddell
Various jobs, 44 (Scottish)

“Yes.” I am one of Thatcher’s children and have a memory of Scottish industry being gutted by lack of investment and the apathy of a government 400 miles away that was only interested in their friends in the City (London’s financial district). After what we have contributed to the world, Scotland doesn’t deserve to be any country’s backwater — especially not a messy multicultural experiment like the U.K.

Stewart Fulton
Language professor, 38 (British)

Scots are educated and highly skilled. They are also fed up of control by Westminster, and of being drawn into illegal wars. A “yes” vote, while being a risk, will bring decision-making closer to home and let the public more closely scrutinize what politicians are doing, but it shouldn’t be based on a blind, nationalist head-in-the-clouds hope that things’ll get better. It’s our chance to build a truly great country with foresight and ambition.

Interested in collecting vox pops in your local area? Email community@japantimes.co.jp.

 

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