WHEN the dialogue about an independence referendum began around 2012, I remember having a conversation with my sisters and reflecting that I was a floating voter and could jump either way. I was completely open to being convinced about what was right for Scotland and her people.
I am a proud socialist – a bolshie Govan hippy to be more accurate. I come from a traditional Labour-voting family, but had more often voted SNP as the local candidate just resonated more with what was important to me.
If I’m honest, I think the first inclination to vote Yes came from the multitude of people saying we wouldn’t win. It was the way opponents almost smirked when speaking about it on TV. They spoke about it as a “notion”, almost dismissing the opportunity. It was as if the right to a referendum to determine our future was seen as a pat on the head.
I don’t like being told what I can’t achieve, so standing up against the prevailing commentary and looking for evidence to prove Scotland could stand on its own became a bit of a mission.
I was the first one among my family and friends to set my intention to vote Yes in stone. I admired the zeal and intensity of the politicians who spoke so passionately and optimistically about what they believed an independent Scotland could look like. They excited me where their opponents just agitated me due to their vague indifference to the will of a nation. By the time the announcement came in March 2013 that the referendum was 18 months away, I was already challenging everyone I knew on why they were assuming No was the right decision.
As the campaign heated up, I was off work on maternity leave with my third child. I used to get so frustrated watching the news during late-night feeds. Eventually my son and the buggy and I would get to know our local campaign office as I began collecting leaflets and speaking to everyone I met about the possibilities that lay on the horizon.
I remember how excited my wee family was about what lay ahead as we walked to the polling station on the day of the referendum. I really believed we would win and convincingly so. I decided I would go to bed early as I would be up to feed the baby at 3am and would stay up and watch from then until I knew for sure. My husband woke me early on in proceedings to tell me it wasn’t going to happen. I cried myself back to sleep in disbelief.
In the days that followed, I decided I had to do more next time to ensure we would get the result I had dreamed of.
I was proud to be part of the 45%, and continue to dream of the day when we get the result that I know for sure is the best one for the people of Scotland.
Anne Hughes, 45, motivational speaker from Govan, www.facebook.com/annehughesignite