Monday, August 18, 2014

Interview with Lewis Whyte, Resident of Dundee

P.T.:  Today we’ll be speaking with Lewis Whyte, resident of Dundee. Good afternoon, Mr. Whyte.

L.W.:  And to you!

P.T.:  Could you tell me a little bit about your background?

L.W.:  Well, I’m 16 years old and am currently in my last year of high school. I live in Dundee, and I’m both Scottish and British, but British first and Scottish second.

P.T.:  So would you be in "Bonnie Dundee" territory then? As in, the Jacobite leader who was killed at Killiecrankie?

L.W.:  Yes, "Bonnie Dundee" territory, lol! Although I have to say I'm not all that clued up on the Jacobites.

P.T.:  Aw, considering your geographical location, you should make it a point to broaden your knowledge on it!

L.W.:  Ha! I should get clued up on my old, old history at that!

P.T.:  So are you connected with any political party, and do you consider yourself “European” in addition to your other identities?

L.W.:  I’m not a member of any political party, but I do support the Labour Party. I just consider myself to be a British Scot, and have no opinion on the European Union mainly as I'm unsure of a lot of things about it.

P.T.:  Will you be voting in the upcoming Scottish Independence Referendum?

L.W.:  Yes, I will be voting in the referendum, and I will be voting No as I don’t see the point of independence.

P.T.:  What are your main reasons for voting No?

L.W.:  I'm voting No so Scottish shipyards will stay open and to keep Scotland defended properly. I don't want any future prospects that may ruin me and my fellow Scots through independence.

P.T.:  What does being British mean to you, and what would be lost if Scotland were no longer part of Britain, on an emotional level?

L.W.:  Being British to me means being part of something bigger and better than just an individual country on its own. Being British also means we can achieve more and tackle problems a lot better together than separated. I think what would be lost if we weren't part of Britain is taking pride in being British, especially in things such as the Olympics or when it was the queen’s diamond jubilee, where it was a great British feeling.

P.T.:  In general, do you think a general lack of patriotism has a lot to do with the way the referendum was able to be launched with any hope of success at all?

L.W.:  I suppose that a lack of patriotism could be to do with the referendum, but the real reason is due to the rise of nationalism even though it is dying out elsewhere. But as to restoring British pride, I am unsure of how to go about doing that.

P.T.:  What do you think that Alex Salmond and the other high-ranking SNP members hope to gain for themselves in this push for independence?

L.W.:  I think Salmond and the other thigh ranking SNP members hope to gain the reputation as the people who freed Scotland from so-called English rule.

P.T.:  What’s your opinion on the contrasts in the way Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling are running their campaigns?

L.W.:  The Yes Campaign is more active than BT (better Together) which is a shame, but it is full of negatives. The yes voters constantly say it isn’t about Alex Salmond, and yet he is constantly seen leading on their behalf. Their campaign is another thing all together. As for Alistair Darling’s campaign, room for improvement, I would say.

P.T.:  What improvements would you suggest?

L.W.:  BT needs to get more active campaign wise, more people out on the streets canvassing, more people talking to the public to let them know the benefits of the UK. Sadly, I haven't seen BT at all where I live. If people got more motivated, that might get more people out there campaigning

P.T.:  What did you think of the recent debate between Salmond and Darling?

L.W.:  It was a complete shambles for Salmond's side; never doubted Darling for a minute on currency, the EU, healthcare and education and the like. Salmond was failing on each one, especially currency. I would say the nationalists are still licking their wounds after the TV debate, and the result has given us the perfect chance to promote the union and for people to become more vocal.

P.T.:  What do you think of Salmond giving 16 year olds such as yourself the right to take part in this referendum, even though you cannot vote in regular elections?

L.W.:  From the perspective of the Yes Camp, I think that it was a mistake for giving 16-17 year olds a vote. I believe most of them have not been take in by the yes/SNP lies, ifs, buts and maybes and have sided with Better Together. At the same time, the ability to participate in the referendum has encouraged more teenagers to take an interest in politics.

P.T.:  What do you think about the importance of history as portrayed by different camps, especially with regards to 700th anniversary of Bannockburn, etc? Do you think voters swayed by the nationalist perspective of history, such as portrayed in films like Braveheart?

L.W.:  In regards to Bannockburn, yes, it is important from a historical point of view, its part of Scottish legend and folklore, but it really shouldn’t be used as a case for independence from a political point of view as it has no relevance in this regard. False history in films such as Braveheart gives many people the wrong view of the past, but I think people are more likely to be swayed by the lies ifs, buts, and maybes that Salmond is promising than history, if I'm honest.

P.T.:  What level of influence do you think pop icons like R.K. Rowling and Sean Connery make when they take sides in the debate?

L.W.:  Hopefully celebrities won't sway many voters for either side, although they are allowed their opinions.

P.T.:  What would you say to an American audience, which, I'm sorry to say, is often under the assumption that the Scots are somehow oppressed by the English and yearning to "breath free", or otherwise connect American independence with Scottish independence?

L.W.:  I would say: "Don’t just look at what is being said to you, look into to it to see for yourself that Scotland is in no way oppressed by our English neighbors". For the so-called Scottish independence movement to be linked to America’s movement in the 18th century is just ridiculous. America was a colony then, while Scotland was a willing partner of the Union and British Empire.

P.T.:  What is a good example showing Scotland as a willing partner in the British Union/Empire historically?

L.W.:  Many to the British Empire’s ships were built in Scotland, mainly on the Clyde, so this shows we were quite willing.

P.T.:  What do you think about the issue of nuclear waste and "the rape of Scottish land" that some nationalists blame on Westminster and use as a reason to advance independence?

L.W.:  If there is nuclear waste, like at Dalgety Bay, then everything should be done to deal with it. But I don't see it as a need to separate from the United Kingdom. As for the so called "rape of the land", I would like to see some solid FACTS from the Yes side about the misuse of Scottish land.

P.T.:  What do you think might be the result if an independent Scotland is unable to use the pound?

L.W.:  I have no clue what the result would be, but I'm guessing it would be for the worst as we need a strong currency.

P.T.:  What’s your opinion on “Scotland’s Oil” that is often advanced as a monetary security for a newly independent nation?

L.W.:  As for our oil, the yes voters claim that the largest oil field has been discovered off of Shetland. Now if this is even remotely true, they will be snookered as Shetland doesn't want anything to do with an Indy Scotland but would want to remain with the UK. Therefore Scotland would be short of oil.

P.T.:  What’s your opinion on the monarchy, and what is your reaction to some Scottish Nationalists who claim current Scottish monarchy has been “illegitimate” since the time of the Stuarts?

L.W.:  We have always had a monarch. I have no problem with the monarchy, unlike most nationalists. I wouldn’t say our current monarch is illegitimate as the Queen of Scotland since she can trace her ancestors back to Robert the Bruce.

P.T.:  What do you think about security and the armed forces, and the future of Scotland without the British army?

L.W.:  The issue of defense is another one of the main reason I'm voting No! The SNP have no proper defense plans, other than we would have a £2.5 billion defense budget which is pathetically small and would be of no use to us. Salmond also maintains that The UK would give us defense assets, but I really can see this at all. In a word, The SNP plans are laughable.

P.T.:  What are your thoughts on Yes supporters insisting that Scotland would be more of a force in the world “going in alone”?

L.W.:  I think it is complete nonsense to say we will not be better off in the union. I have not seen any convincing evidence that we would be stronger, but only the nationalist victim card.

P.T.:  What do you think about the way that the referendum question is phrased, putting “Yes” for independence and “No” for the Union?

L.W.:  I think the question is fine, straightforward and to the point: yes for "independence" and no for unity.

P.T.:  What’s your opinion on David Cameron and his encouraging English people to call their Scottish friends and relatives to urge them to stay in the Union?

L.W.:  I think David Cameron is right to rally support from the rest of The UK. After all, it is a United Kingdom versus a separate Scotland, so it’s only right that The UK as a whole speaks up. I think many throughout this country would be saddened by the loss of the union, as it has worked so well for the past 300+ years.

P.T.:  What was the latest public opinion poll ratio with regards to pro-union and pro-independence factions, and when all is said and done, which side do you think will be the victor?

L.W.:  I think the last poll was Yes 37% and No 55%, if I remember correctly, but apparently the No lead has stalled according the STV and that may allow the yes side to gain ground. I never read the article just seen the headline, but I don't see any reason for our side to have stalled. I have a feeling it may be a close race, but I hope it won't be too close. It’s a bit nerve racking, but I have full confidence we will win. Scotland will not be stupid enough to vote for separation.

P.T.:  "Keep calm and vote no", what?

L.W.:  Ha-ha, yeh, lol!

P.T.:  What will you be doing as the referendum heats up?

L.W.:  As the referendum heats up in the next few weeks, I will be trying to get my friends to vote and will continue to debate with the nationalists online.

P.T.:  To wrap things up, could you talk a little about your personal plans for the future, interests, hobbies, and goals in life? What type of career might you be aiming for?

L.W.:  Personal plans for the future are hopefully to go to university and take politics and geography, then try and seek a career in politics and have a family. I don't have many hobbies, but I like to go out with friends, play video games, and build models. And that's all, really!

P.T.:  Thank you for doing this interview with me, Mr. Whyte. I know crack-down time is approaching soon for this referendum, and the fact that people like you are still active is of great comfort.

L.W.:  Thanks very much.


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