Undecided Voter is Convinced to Vote Yes on Radio 5 Live


Tony Kenny, the Radical Independence activist who spoke above for the Yes side, told National Collective about his experience at today’s BBC Radio 5 Live debate:

I’d previously received two phone calls in vetting for the 5 Live debate audience, a different BBC researcher phoned me to ask on a scale of 1-10 how strong a Yes voter I was. “Was it based on Braveheart and Brigadoon?” he asked. I stopped him right there. I let him know that I found that insulting. I understood it was for a London-centric audience but we owed them more than to live up to mythical stereotypes.


I found on the day that they had successfully recruited to the Yes side of the audience a few people who would be happy to live up to those stereotypes. As the debate wore on I was beginning to lose the will to live. The facile obfuscation from those advocating a No vote and some people thinking we were in a campaign for an English Parliament, and the flawed argument (much repeated) that there is poverty in Wales so why shouldn’t we in Scotland also have it, left me ever more depressed.

A woman in the undecided area was begging Anas Sarwar to give her reasons to vote No. She was a mother of three, a loyal labour and union activist. Even the host Victoria Derbyshire tired of Sarwar’s puerile responses. This woman was talking about issues that I as a father of four felt strongly about. Shortly afterwords, when the girl was speaking about child poverty, I stood up and almost demanded an opportunity to speak. I was bursting to speak about the real issues about why we need independence.

You see I am not in the SNP, I was a candidate in the 2012 elections but left because of the NATO decision and criminalisation of football fans under the pretence of eradicating ‘sectarianism’. There are several other important reasons I disagree with them on. I want real change next year and not just a change of flag with Scottish bosses exchanged for British ones. I am happy to work with anyone to achieve that goal.

I believe that we will win independence in the housing schemes and former mining villages of Scotland.

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There are 9 comments

  1. Juteman

    I’ll agree with you on your last point, Tony. As a former schemie, but still a schemie at heart, that’s where we will win this.
    This is about more than a discussion at dinner parties.

  2. Derick Tulloch

    Well Tony, in the light of your comments on facebook about fitba whatever it is I had formed the view that you are a bit of a nutter. But you spoke very well there. Respect

  3. LisaR

    I’m a Yes voter and a Labour supporter….No Camp need to get it away from Yes = SNP,it angers those of us who are proud Scots but don’t fit into the No Camp’s stereotype of “Bravehearts”. The ignorance of No Camp is increasing by the day and I think they will realise too late that by insulting many in Yes Camp they are insulting the ordinary Scot because folk may not share the Yes vote with folk in SNP/YESCamp but they share many things they are proud to be Scottish about. No Camp insulting those parts of Scottishness/Scotland is what will have some No and most definitely many unsure voters to the Yes Camp. All the unsures need to do is gain the facts like I did. I went from very much a unionist to Yes Camp but did pass through unsure for a bit……read, read and better read. I know more and more Labour folk who want return of social values Leftwing Labour in an Independent Scotland……..one that will be more than a match for the SNP….two main parties of Scotland doing the best by the Scots to deserve the right to sit in power in Scotland…….thats what I want.

  4. Bill Cruickshank

    As a socialist and SNP member for over 40 years, I applaud your contribution and would agree that a YES vote can be achieved if people in the poorer areas of Scotland know the facts on how independence can change their lives. I am not a fan of Nato, but did not think it was a resigning issue, independence is too important, issues like Nato and the football problem can be resolved after we achieve self determination and a socially just Scotland. All the best.

  5. Kye

    Well put and said Tony. It is madness to assume we would change if we continued in the current political union, it’s utter madness to assume that suddenly after the eve of victory, the big-wigs in West Minster wiill suddenly have a change of heart for the betterment of the poor.

    On each side of the political ring in London, they are against the lowest of the poor. We’re merely a means to an ugly end. They’ll promise you heaven, if you’ll just grant them the vote to make hell all around.

    It’s with these undeniable truths we will win this campaign and see our country with some justice.

  6. nick jardine

    Don’t worry Tony, your frustrations over this event were shared by many of us watching it on tv. It’s utterly depressing.

    However, we need to get some hard facts out there. If we are to convince undecideds to the yes camp. I longed for the person to stand up and just list in a matter of fact manner the figures we know, ie –

    Scotland’s GDP is 99% that of the rUK, therefore, by current standards, oil revenues are a bonus, but those ‘volatile’ oil revenues add another 10-15% a year taking Scotland’s GDP higher than the rUK’s.

    If Scotland’s so called 10-15% ‘reliance’ on oil taxes is so volatile, then how would you describe the UK’s 10-12% reliance on the banking industry which has triggered the biggest economic catastrophe in living memory ?

    If we Scot’s are ‘subsidy junkies’, then why is Scotland’s public spending lower than that of England’s ? And what does that make the Norwegians, Danish, Swedes, French and many others who have higher rates of public spending than we do ?

    Scotland produces 9.9% of the UK’s taxes from 8.4% of the population and receives back only 9.3%.

    The Scottish Government survives a fixed budget, once the money has gone, thats it. Osbourne however can borrow as much as he likes, and at current rates it’s an extra £9bn a month, of which Scots taxpayers will have to pay 10% of that. Yet with our fixed pocket money, we can still manage free prescriptions, elderly care, university tuition etc – why can’t Westminster ?

    Alastair Darling claims that Scotland couldn’t afford to bail out the banks as cross border, international rescue packages don’t exist somehow, yet that’s exactly what happened to the UK. The US Federal reserve bailed out the UK banks to the tune of £600bn, roughly ten times what the UK taxpayers put in. The Americans have now been repaid those loans, with interest. The UK taxpayers are still waiting to be repaid. Without the intervention from the US our banks would most likely have gone under. Why does darling never reference the US bail out of UK banks ?

    So far the Scottish Government has spent £209m on renewable energy. Last year it has been reported that the clean up alone from Nuclear Power has so far cost the UK £83bn, of which Scotland’s share is just under £8bn. That’s not including the cost of new nuclear power stations being heralded by unionist parties which would cost in the region of £14bn per station (Hinckley in Somerset). The subsidies provided by the SNP for renewables are paltry when compared to UK nuclear plans, and once you take a windmill down you can safely walk on that land knowing that all that lies beneath you is a rather huge pile of concrete rather than radiated land that could be toxic for tens of thousands of years.

    For me this is the kind of thing I’d like to see getting out there. All those people claiming that they want ‘more information’ are most likely people that never look beyond a front page or Reporting Scotland – and if it’s the case that they need to be spoon-fed, then let’s do it.

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