Scottish independence: Ewan Morrison’s No switch

Writer Ewan Morrison will now vote No after initially supporting the campaign for independence. Picture: Robert Perry
Writer Ewan Morrison will now vote No after initially supporting the campaign for independence. Picture: Robert Perry
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AN award-winning Scottish author and screenwriter has defected from the Yes campaign to Better Together, blaming the nationalists’ “Trotskyist” tactics.

Ewan Morrison, who won the Scottish Book of the Year Fiction Prize in 2013 for his novel ‘Close Your Eyes’, joined the Yes camp four months ago, but recently changed his mind after being “berated for not having decided sooner or for having questioned Yes at all”.

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Morrison argues on the ‘Wake Up Scotland’ blog that there is “zero debate” in the Yes camp.

The writer claims the “Yes camp had turned itself into a recruitment machine which had to silence dissent and differences between the many clashing interest groups under its banner”.

Morrison, from Caithness, writes that the one-word promise of “Yes” is comparable to the Trotskyist promise of “revolution”.

He wrote: “I noticed that whenever someone raised a pragmatic question about governance, economics or future projections for oil revenue... they were quickly silenced.”

Such questions, he said, were dealt with by comments such as: “We’ll sort that out after the referendum - this is not the place or time for those kinds of questions.”

He added: “Many people are voting Yes just to express their frustration at not being able to engage with politics as it is.

“They’re voting Yes because they want to be heard for the first time. Once the recruitment machine has served its purpose it will collapse and the repressed questions will return with a vengeance.”

He added: “After a Yes vote the fight for control of Scotland will begin.

“That unity that seemed like a dream will be shattered into the different groups who agreed to silence themselves to achieve an illusion of impossible unity.”

Reaction to his post has been largely positive.

‘Sanguinepar’ wrote on the blog: “Like you, I’m genuinely worried about what happens after the vote in terms of fallout and division. Friday will not be the end of this poisonous atmosphere.”

But a Yes supporter, ‘Twerkmenbashi’, responded: “People are positive because they feel control of their future and a stake in their nation’s development for the first time, not because they think everything’s going to be magically perfect.

“It’s like the difference between running your own household and living with your parents.”

Morrison, who graduated from Glasgow School of Art, worked as a television and film director from 1990-2004.

He has been nominated for three BAFTAS and is the winner of a Royal Television Society Best Drama Award. He became a full-time writer in 2005 and has since published six books, including ‘Tales from the Mall’ and ‘Swung’.


Interview: Ewan Morrison, author of Close Your Eyes