What has the independence referendum ever done for us?

In the spirit of Monty Python, what has the independence referendum ever done for us?

Except giving more people than ever a vote on Scotland’s future. (4.3 million)

Except giving 100,000 16 and 17 year olds a vote for the first time.

Except launching a huge democratic wave of public meetings across the country.

Except bringing people together in over 200 local campaign groups across Scotland.

Except launching Women for Independence to campaign for a more equal society.

Except forcing offers of further devolution over income tax and housing support.

Except establishing National Collective as a creative movement for political change.

Except putting Scotland on the world stage like never before.

Except leading to Radical Independence as a vehicle to re-engage abandoned communities with political opportunities.

Except reinforcing Scotland’s diversity and the political rights of all communities.

Except bringing over 3,000 businesspeople from Small and Medium Sized Enterprises into Business for Scotland.

Except guaranteeing devolution to the Shetlands, Orkney and the Western Islands; and thereby revitalising discussion of local democracy.

Except launching Common Weal as a serious program to improve Scotland’s economic and social model with some of the best Scottish public policy research in decades.

Except creating a generation of media and digitally literate citizens through Bella Caledonia and Newsnet Scotland.

Except inspiring Generation Yes to give young people a voice in determining their future.

Except encouraging demands for further devolution in the North of England and the rest of the UK.

Except starting Mair Nor a Roch Wind and Labour for Independence for new independent thinking within the Scottish Labour Party.

Except committing the Scottish Government to expanding childcare, a fairer asylum system, a rising minimum wage and a written constitution.

Except prompting the Scottish Global Forum to analyse Scotland’s place, role and future in global affairs.

Except broadening the belief in political change.

Except forming N56 as a leading economic think-tank to consider Scotland’s economic challenges and opportunities.

Except making the long held ambition of nuclear disarmament a real possibility.

Except causing a revival of cultural thinking from the architectural collaborations of Lateral North; to the feature length film Scotland Yet; to the satire of Lady Alba, Greg Moodie and Dateline Scotland; to the cultural critiques of Northern Renewal; to the lyrics of Loki, Stanley Odd, Lou Hickey, Karine Polwart, Paolo Nutini, and Amy MacDonald; to the upsurge in creative design; to the photography saga of ‘Documenting Yes’;to a Yestival tour of the entire country.

Except creating a new library of towards 100 books and publications – as a new world needs new books.

Except bringing all of these beautiful, diverse, empowered people together in a movement to change where we live and create a better world.

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