Today, an an article in the Times produced a poll that shows support for independence among 18-24-year-olds has more than doubled. The Ipsos Mori Poll of over 1000 Scots showed that support for an Independent Scotland is growing.
'Glasgow University for Yes' has begun its campaign on campus under the "Great things start with Yes" banner. The campaigners have volunteers leafleting every debate in the university's referendum series, staffing street stalls, canvassing students, getting posters up and making their presence felt.
Glasgow University students have unveiled plans to hold a campus referendum on Scottish independence. A broad coalition of student societies will invite more than 1,000 students to the ballot boxes on 21 February, 2013. It will be the first large-scale poll of Glasgow University students on Scotland’s future.
Independence offers Scotland's young people a unique opportunity to help shape the future of their country, the youngest member of Yes Scotland's executive has declared.
Gail Lythgoe, 24, told the English Speaking Union that the agreement to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in the 2014 referendum represented a major and exciting extension of democracy. But it was up to younger people to seize the chance to become more actively involved in political and civic life, she said.
Yes Scotland is looking for a 16 or 17-year-old to join our advisory board. Our board already includes respected figures from the worlds of business, media, the arts, and politics in Scotland.
The independence referendum will be the first time 16 and 17-year-olds can vote in Scotland and we want a young person on our board to advise us on engaging and enthusing potential Yes supporters. The voices of young people are important in this debate: they are the leaders of tomorrow and Yes values their vision for Scotland.
My name is Fraser Dick. I’m 20 years old and I’m a nationalist. I believe in the principles of internationalism and co-operation across borders. If poverty, inequality and unfairness can work across borders, then so should we to fight them at every turn. However, the truth is that Scotland can do that much better as an independent state in the community of nations.
Independence for Scotland can set free our potential to achieve greater ends, with better standards of social justice and fairness for people all over the world; not just here in Scotland.
Independence is the natural way for a nation like Scotland to be.
We've been told that legislation to tackle sectarianism will put people off voting Yes to an independent Scotland. We've heard that the Olympics would do the same. (I thought Team GB did brilliantly, by the way.) We've heard it about gay marriage. We've even heard it about the Queen's diamond jubilee. And now we're hearing it about the SNP and NATO.
This is missing the point and lowering the standard of what should undoubtedly be the greatest opportunity to debate Scotland's future.
For young people, becoming independent is normal. Just last month I bought my first flat and moved out of my parents house and into my own place. Growing up, moving out and moving on gives me new opportunities and it's exciting.
Yes Scotland marks its first anniversary today with the announcement that more than 372,000 people have signed the Independence Declaration.
A total of 372,103 people have declared for Yes almost 16 months ahead of the referendum.
Yes Scotland’s chief executive, Blair Jenkins, said: "This is a remarkable achievement in just 12 months. It was announced at the launch of the campaign on May 25 last year that the goal was to have one million signatories by Referendum Day, and today’s figure is a significant milestone. At this stage of the campaign, these figures show that we are on course to reach our target.
"We know there is a long way to go before the vote and there's a lot of hard work to do and hours to put in, streets to pound and doors to knock before we are satisfied that we have reached our aim – which is to contact every voter in Scotland."
Leading business figures and experts today welcomed a Scottish Government paper highlighting the key economic strengths of Scotland and the opportunities for growth under independence.
The jobs creators and entrepreneurs represent a broad spectrum of business throughout the country, from property development to the fitness industry, a restaurateur to the IT and digital sector, a care homes provider to a producer of Hollywood blockbusters.
Today the Scottish Government has published a new economic analysis showing the depth and breadth of Scotland’s economy, which confirms that Scotland’s got what it takes to be a successful, independent country. And, as the paper points out, despite this wealth and potential, “despite our significant array of human, financial and natural resources we are not as prosperous a country as we should be”.
Scotland’s long term growth rate has lagged behind the UK as a whole and our economic performance has also trailed other countries of a similar size to Scotland. This is despite the fact that these other similar nations have no greater pool of talent and no more resources. The advantage they have is that they are independent and able to take decisions suited to the needs of their own economy – delivering better results over the short, medium and long term.
Some of Scotland's many economic strengths are listed below. And they tell us two important things. First, they confirm that we've got what it takes to prosper as an independent country. And, second, they raise the crucial question: given all this wealth, why aren't families across Scotland better off?
Scotland’s Global Reputation
Scotland has an international reputation for producing quality goods and services. Our food and drink sector has a turnover of more than £12 billion.
We have a tourism industry which employs almost 200,000 people and our country is famed across the world for its beauty and hospitality.
We are world-class at attracting inward investment and have a growing network of business ambassadors.
But, there is little doubt we could be making even more of our international reputation to create jobs and generate new economic opportunities.
The UK government's paper on financial services has been described by Jim Spowart, one of the leading figures in the Scottish financial sector, as not being “a credible analysis of how financial organisations work”. Mr Spowart's direct experience in the financial sector includes being former managing director of Direct Line Financial Services and founder of Intelligent Finance (IF). He said:
“The Treasury paper is not an accurate reflection of Scotland's financial services industry now, or of how financial regulation would work for an independent Scotland in a sterling area. It is clearly not a credible analysis of how financial organisations work.”
Further evidence that the Westminster Government's austerity programme is widening the gulf between rich and poor emerges today in an authoritative report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The internationally-respected think tank says UK Government policies are feeding rising levels of inequality.
In a report examining the developed world's response to the global slowdown, the OECD says the 'financial crisis is squeezing income and putting pressure on inequality and poverty' across the board.