This is my first blog.
As a Scot, I have followed the Indy referendum campaign with huge interest. Let me be clear on this: I have not always been in favour of independence. Until the mid-2000’s I was against it. However, I think reason, maturity and the evidence of my own eyes and ears persuaded me that Westminster has no interest in Scotland other than as a source of cash and power via the natural resources and as a testing ground for unpopular policies, taxes and punishments on the most vulnerable people in our society.
I have been moved to write by recent proclamations from leading lights in the BetterTogether anti-independence campaign which have seemed to portray Scotland on the one hand as ‘too wee, too poor and too stupid’ to govern itself, and on the other hand as so important to the security of the world that if it were to vote for independence, the result would be ‘cataclysmic’, that ‘the forces of darkness’ would rejoice because it would lead to chaos in the west and the rest of the world. Finally, the frankly laughable ‘there is no such thing as Scottish culture’.
What is shocking about these claims is that the people making them are the leader of the Scottish Labour Party (Johann Lamont) and a former labour MP and government minister, the former General Secretary of NATO (Lord George Robinson). Also in the mix of this low grade buffoonery is George Galloway, former Labour MP, now leader of the party of one ego (Respect).
While I have not spent much time in Scotland or the UK in recent years (5 or 6 weeks since 2010), I do keep in touch daily with family and friends and observe the goings on from a distance via news and media sites, facebook and twitter among other methods. As a born and bred Scot, I am entitled to hold a vested interest and an opinion, if not a vote (a situation I agree with – only people living in Scotland are entitled to that in my opinion).
Going back to the outlandish claims, the over-riding sense I get is that the cataclysmic chaos is already here – led by those in Westminster and subscribed to by the media and the press with an overpowering bias that beggars belief. However, I am also delighted that they have chosen to take the path of negativity, nonsense and ignorance in their campaign – it’s a sure fire way to ensure Scotland will vote Yes in September
Given the preceding paragraphs, I know there is yet work to be done by the pro-independence campaign. A lot of work!
The encouraging thing for me is that while the anti-independence parties in both Scotland and Westminster engage in fire, brimstone, cataclysm and fear, the people of Scotland show every indication of voting for hope over that fear; they want a fairer society where the vulnerable are taken care of by those more able; a peaceful society where the eternal threat of weapons of mass destruction is removed from our territory; a society where rewards are gained on merit and not on power over finance and political sway; a society where politicians are accountable for their fraudulent use of expenses, information and knowledge; where bankers cannot pay themselves life-changing bonuses while everyone else suffers because of their incompetence; a society where the country is run for the betterment of the people and infrastructure of the country and where the unemployed are genuinely helped to find work rather than being herded like cattle into the dole queues, the housing queues and funnelled down the drain of the despicable poverty and hunger traps that have befallen them under every Westminster regime in living memory. The very idea of soup kitchens and foodbanks in Scotland in the 21st century makes me sick to my stomach. It is indeed time for change.
There are many people who have fought for this kind of society for generations. That fight is coming to a point where Scotland will be master of its own destiny or will forever be consigned to the midden that Westminster forgets.
If Scotland is successful in its bid for independence, perhaps those left in the UK outside of the SouthEast will be motivated to stand and fight for a better share of the gravy train? I hope so!
There are stalwarts putting their heart and soul into the fight, there are others who fought until they died – I’m thinking of the likes of the late, great Margo McDonald. A model politician – honest, straight-talking, heartfelt and empathic – she knew the suffering of the people she stood for.
Others – among them, Margo’s husband Jim Sillars – a bastion of Scottish Socialism at its best in recent times. Others like Tommy Sheridan – constantly available to spread the word and argue the point in the best interests of those unable or unwilling to argue for themselves. With all his passion and the fire of his desire for a fair deal for the most vulnerable as well as the slightly better off – and aye, even the comfortably off and wealthy in an independent Scotland. I say “Aye” to that kind of society.
It is not about envy or revolution, it is about fairness and aspiration and dreams of ordinary people. Dreams like food on the table, roofs over their heads that don’t leak and walls that keep the cold of winter at bay.
These are the people who I believe. Not the maniacal ramblings of the hateful Johann Lamont who is evidently ‘astonished’ that people do not want her subservient vision of Scotland with no power to do anything they can’t do already; or the insane ramblings of the doomsayer George Robertson – a man who made his wealth on the backs of the poor and the working class while pretending to be a socialist. Nor do I believe the mind-numbingly incompetent Alisdair Darling – another Labour politician lining up with the old Etonian elite of Westminster to keep HIS gravy train on track and the people of Scotland forever footing the bill. (Are you seeing a pattern here? It is very disappointing to me, formerly a longstanding member of the Labour party in the UK seeing the nonsense generated from the Better Together alliance, but particularly the embarrassing nonsense being uttered by these senior labour and former labour party members).
I don’t ever listen to the Tory-Libs. I hear what they say, but to listen would give them a legitimacy they do not deserve. They have betrayed every vestige of the duty of care they may ever have had for the people of Britain as a whole and showed an ongoing contempt in particular for the people of Scotland.
My advice to anyone with a vote is this: Consider the evidence. Forget the slogans. Vote with your head and what you know in your heart of hearts: Scotland’s future does not belong in the hands of Westminster. It belongs in your own hands. Vote YES in September!