Noun: The process by which a person controls their own life.
The power or ability to make a decision for oneself without influence from outside.
Freedom to live as one chooses, or to act or decide without consulting others.
Essentially, it’s how a person behaves, decides, how to live.
Or a nation.
Self-determination. It sounds so much grander, so much more, hell, romantic, than independence. It is, of course the very embodiment, the very DNA of independence, and it nurtures a positive philosophy.
Adventure rather than escape.
Whereas “Independence” suggests conflict, separatism, divorce. All bad. It riles many of the undecided. It doesn’t bring them with us.
Yet, independence, in Scotland’s current constitutional debate, is the given word for self-determination.
And it’s easy to see why.
It’s jingoistic, it’s a short cut to a rational end game, but self-determination is actually what this is all about.
Self-determination doesn’t shriek “Fuck you, English rulers and bastards.” It says instead “With due respect, we’d like to go our own way, make our own mistakes, take care of our own laundry, find new friends, keep old ones.”
But it’s a bloody mouthful.
All the same I say this.
“Vote Yes for Scottish self-determination.”
And, as for my patronising headline?
Well, I can’t let an opportunity for a wonderful English band to explain it. (Not that it does it just makes me think of the lyric of Blind Youth every time I hear the word).