Thursday, 18 September 2014
A New Dawn? Possibly
Well, it's all over bar the crossing of boxes and god knows what the result will be tomorrow. I only hope that whatever the outcome we can all come together again and get on with things . What is certain, and this has become something of a cliche over the past wee while, is that things up here will never be the same again. The last few months has seen engagement the likes of which I have never seen before and not just from the usual suspects, it seems that everybody has thought about it and has an opinion.
One night last week Leo and I were up at the swing park at the Loch and as I watched the boy on the zip wire I heard snippets of the discussion a couple in their mid fifties were having as they walked round the loch and you guessed it they were talking about the pros and cons of independence. Everywhere you go, in the shops, pubs, restaurants and even the play parks it has been the topic of conversation which can only be a good thing.
I just wish that the politicians could have conducted themselves as well as the general public have. Shame on you, Jim Murphy, for trying to instill fear in people with your talk of intimidation and threats of violence which Police Scotland have refuted several times. You got egged, get over it. There are heidbangers everywhere and always will be but there has been less violence and threatening behaviour over this than your average hate fest that masquerades as a local football derby in Glasgow. Granted there hasn't been one of those for a while but you get my point.
Up until a few months ago I was a pretty unswithering pro-union person. I always considered myself British first and Scottish a very close second. Growing up I believed that Westminster wasn't perfect but it was the best of the alternatives and if we could just get the Tories out of power then things would get better. My views began to alter after Blair came to power but his government did give us devolution. Since 2010 my faith in the parliamentary system has been eroded but I was still opposed to Nationalism and to misquote Samuel Johnson I thought that it was the last refuge of the scoundrel. But, recently things started to change. With the announcement that that "nasty piece of work" Johnson would be standing for parliament again in 2015 with a good chance of becoming the next Tory Leader and god forbid PM. Also Nigel Farage may well be on the green benches, soon. Christ! we have some tossers in Hollyrood but those two and Gideon take the biscuit and I'm not sure I want to be part of a country that elects the likes of them.
The No campaign by definition was always going to be negative, the "better together" title a bit of a misnomer from the start, however over the last weeks of the campaign they sunk to new lows in their negativity and misinformation. The tone became increasingly condescending and I began to be more than slightly annoyed that my fellow countrymen and women were being told that they just didn't understand what they were saying "yes" to, we didn't understand the consequences and the Westminster nest featherers knew what was best for us along with the bankers and big business none of whom are high up in the trustworthy charts. When you start inferring that people are stupid and threaten them it tends to get their backs up.
As you may have gathered from the previous couple of paragraphs I am now a "turncoat", an "insular", "parochial" , tartan wearing, haggis chomping, Flower of Scotland singing numpty. But I'm not though, well apart from being partial to a bit of offal wrapped in a sheep's stomach. I like to think of myself as a progressive outward looking social democrat who believes in equality for all, not just the ruling classes.
No I haven't had all of my questions answered from the "Yes" campaign but then again we can't really be sure of what will happen if we remain part of the UK. Prior to 2010 nobody would have contemplated the austerity that we have had to endure on this island and since 2008 can you really have faith in anything economic forecasters say. Over the last wee while I have come to the realisation that it is not all about money anyway. Yes we need to have a strong economy but I do believe that we have the people, skills base and industries to flourish.
It finally dawned on me that they just don't get it. We don't want to govern ourselves because we hate the English and we don't just want to give the Tories a good fucking kicking although messers Cameron and Osbourne could probably do with one (that was an attempt at humour not a directive). We want to be grown ups, we want to be taken seriously and we also want a better society for ourserlves, our children our neighbours and every one living in Scotland. Not to have to ask those that hold the purse strings "please can we have some more" of the revenue that we create while being told by the press and others that we are a nation of scroungers. Also we don't want to have that "first strike" weapon of mass destruction, Trident, thirty miles from our largest center of population.
What alternative have we been offered from Better Together? Frst it was the status quo. We were told "devomax" was a non starter from the beginning but with less than a fortnight to go we were promised by good old Gordy that we would get all we wanted, a promise neither he nor the party leaders in Westminster are in a position to give us anyway. As for a vision of the future, that is sadly lacking at the moment in these isles, if it does exist it seems to me to be "fortress Britian" cutting itself off from those benefit scrounging foreigners or greedy corrupt Europeans while swilling warm beer and singing "Rule Britannia". I for one do not wish to be part of that.
One last thing, if anybody has bothered to read this rubbish this far, I have been really disappointed in the biased coverage of the BBC. I argued with Billy Bragg and others on Twitter a few months ago that they were being a bit paranoid about the coverage and that it seemed to me to be quite fair but as the weeks have passed I have noticed with alarm just how one sided the coverage has become which has saddened me no end as when you can no longer believe the reporting of the BBC then you are left with absolutely no broadcaster you can trust
So today I will be putting my cross next to yes and hoping that I will wake up tomorrow in a brave new world full of possibilities and a new nation that I and the other five million residents of Scotland can help shape into something that will be no utopia but will be more inclusive and fair than the one we have left. Just don't ask me to sing "Flower of Scotland", please!
As for those we have left behind, it is for you to organise, lobby and vote to shape the country that you wish to live in.
Sae come aa ye at hame wi freedom,
Never heed whit the houdies crock fir doom
In yer hoos aa the barins o Adam
will find breid, barley-bree an paintit rooms
Hamish Henderson 1960
So come all ye who love freedom
Pay no attention to the prophets of doom
In your house all the children of Adam
Will be welcomed with food, drink and clean bright accomodation
Paul Williams - Give A Little Love
Disco Evangelists - A New Dawn (Back To The World)