Dear undecided voter
I’ve a long history of being engaged in politics and was a candidate for Labour in the Scottish Parliament elections of 1999, 2003 and 2007. But last year, I resigned my membership from the party after 30 years. Let me explain why.
I have spent my entire adult life fighting against Tory policies as a social worker, trade union official and an equality lawyer. I was uncomfortable, therefore, to see Scottish Labour working alongside the Tories in Better Together in such a negative campaign.
For me, one of the most important things in a free society is equal pay for men and women. Sadly, Westminster currently controls this crucial area of policy and has failed to deliver even after 40 years of the Equal Pay Act. It became impossible for me to ignore the role of elected Labour politicians, locally and nationally, who failed to speak out or stand up for the interests of ordinary working women. I could not in good conscience remain in a political party which demonstrated such disrespect to many thousands of low paid women.
I want to see some real imagination for the future of Scotland. I believe that imagination can only be found in the positive, exciting vision being offered by the Yes campaign.
With a Yes vote, we will have the power to change things and to make life better for hundreds of thousands of people.
I want to vote Yes to build a better Scotland. A country where equality can become a reality – not only for the women I represent as a lawyer, but for my family and my daughter. My parents are now in their late 70s and they too will be voting Yes. After a lifetime of hard work they want to provide a better future for their children and grandchildren.
I truly believe that we can build a more progressive, democratic and fairer Scotland with greater opportunities for future generations – a country where equality is a founding principle.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. We all need to take our courage in our hands to help to build a country where women do not die waiting for equal pay to become a reality. I’m voting Yes on 18 September to achieve this and I hope you will too.
Carol is a former Labour party member, parliamentary candidate and is an equality lawyer.