In the 1970s, following the discovery of oil in Scottish waters the UK government tasked Professor Gavin McCrone with compiling a report on the effect the discovery would have on Scotland’s finances should they choose to become an independent nation.

Professor McCrone concluded that oil “would transform Scotland into a country with a substantial and chronic surplus to quite an embarrassing degree and its currency would become the hardest in Europe.”

It was the catalyst for the UK Government – at that time under a Labour administration – to mark the report ‘Top Secret’ and bury the findings for 30 years.

During those 30 years Thatcher came to power and the Tories set about destroying Scotland’s industries and economy, not to mention the devastation inflicted on our communities throughout Scotland as a result of Tory policies.

Once proud men and women were thrown on the scrap heap of unemployment, our communities flooded with drugs and youngsters who wanted to escape the desolation were forced to leave their home in order to make a life elsewhere.

Growing up believing Scotland was “too wee, too poor and too stupid” to manage its own affairs was a commonly held belief among my peers. After all, it was what we were told, and the evidence was there to see, with many households plunged into poverty, so off I went.

What we weren’t told was the fact that Scotland is a strong country with an abundance of natural resources, a population of innovative and talented people who are educated to a high standard – and that the desolation was down to a government who held nothing but contempt for the average Scot.

Later in life, following my repatriation to Scotland and the SNP securing the administration of the Scottish Parliament, I discovered so many other beliefs I held on Scotland were utter nonsense and the flame of desire for self determination –getting the government the majority in Scotland vote for –was ignited.

I write this not to ask you to take my word on our abundance of resources and talented people, but to ask you, in the event of another independence referendum, to seek your own information and reach your own informed conclusion.

The truth is out there!