Today I feel quite sick. Not sure if it’s anxiety, worry, or genuine concern. I can’t help it. I care about my country Scotland and especially the people of Scotland, most especially our vulnerable folks. Always will. After nearly three years of Tory Brexit faffing, where are we now, is it a thing yet? Brexit is bad, there is no positive outcome, there are no business benefits. Brexit means no freedom of movement, less protective regulations, lower food, drink, medical and procurement standards, poorer intelligence sharing at international levels, and a complete lack of trust and confidence in the British establishment, here, there and everywhere. Staggering levels of national self-harm, sic a parcel of erses in a nation. This is mainly why no business case or impact assessments were published prior to the vote. All Brexit flavours are sour, with adverse consequences for most people in the UK, and especially in Scotland, where we will face a disproportionately bad Brexit, regardless. We did not vote for this. We do not deserve this. We have been ignored at each stage.
I reckon Brexit will facilitate social, political and economic step changes. Politically, over the past five years, Scotland has awakened. Brexit, at some point soon, will similarly awaken England. The very Tory Brexit is a meandering journey of bad decisions, ignorance, arrogance, and hubris. Britain is eclipsed by the year circa 1951, consumed by darkness, a small group of the very British hard of thinking, these bringers of hate and harm emerge. Regardless, Brexit, in whatever form, is a key enabler to Scottish independence, and it didn’t have to be that way. I don’t want anyone in the rUK being harmed by the witting behaviour of the UK Tory Government and their puggled red Tory collaborators. Daily, we are witnessing the Tories and Labour imploding in a putrid haze of deceit, untruths, u-turns, and distraction.
Brexit is a thoroughly Tory and yes predominantly English-focused construct. In England, there is astonishingly still significant support for the Tories. In England, there is probably a similar significant number of dissenters and folks feeling as sick as me. In reality, Brexit conflict is more a deliberate struggle between a self-declared ‘elite’ 5% of the UK and everyone else from all corners of the British Isles and Ireland. The haves versus the nots. Unfortunately, Westminster is stappit fu tae the gunnels wi hapless haves.
Despite the impending consequences and high-potential for adversity, the Tories and Labour Branches in Scotland, especially at MSP / Scottish Parliament level, still appear unquestionably loyal to the UK and Westminster establishment. Is their support unreserved? Are any of their members having second thoughts? Putting the likes of British unionist extremists like Jackson Carlaw and Richard Leonard aside, there may well be. This got me thinking. People who are not yet supporters of independence, are not a single entity, they are individuals with varied ideas, opinions, interests and gripes. It’s a mistake and disrespectful to lump any group together as a single, connected body. Their differences might be pronounced.
This needs further consideration. What percentage of the total number of people who currently intend to vote against Scottish independence, are open to discussing their personal concerns, their reasons, and are now beginning to reflect on the past five years since the last Indy campaign? Perhaps, we can all agree that it has been a period of significant change, uncertainty and division. Personally, part of my current unease and stomach ache – like a million lost butterflies inside me, worsens every-single-time I see SNP MPs being ignored, sidelined, or ridiculed in the House of Commons, in print, or on mainstream media TV. This is magnified when the British National MPs based in Scotland join in the imbalance and unfairness. That being said, their voters are watching them very carefully and often objectively. It is, however, a stark fact that whatever England votes for, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland gets too: regardless and by a multiplier of nine times. This democratic deficit is more obvious than ever before. Did we even notice it was there from the get-go, from 1707 to David Mundell, the UK Tory Government’s Sheriff of Dumfries, little has changed.
Brexit is about tax evasion or avoidance. It’s a Brexit for the 5% (or less) theirs, not ours. Brexit has proved to many folks that Westminster politics is broken beyond any reasonable repair. I am also tired of people saying ‘Brexit I wished they would just get it done.’ I think the complete opposite, I think Brexit, do the right thing, withdraw Article 50, all Brexit variables are harmful. It is not a democracy where by design and wittingly, our politicians are now just arguing over subjective, albeit worrying levels of imminent harm to most people. There is little progressive thinking that would support root and branch change. As many people have said, especially in recent months, Scotland can do so much better, fairer and happier, than we currently suffer, as a minor periphery, or at best afterthought in this outdated union of unequals.
My point is that it is possible that a number of Tory, Labour and Liberal Democrat voters are questioning whether an independent Scotland would be better than continuing in the union. This is a particularly interesting point. In an independent Scotland, whatever your voting preferences, there will be a party for you. This is a situation that needs more publication. ‘The government we vote for is the government we get’ (Kevin Gore, Independence Day). The people of Scotland decide. We might get more consensus politics, more progressive, and with more localized control. I was particularly pleased to read that Joanna Cherry, QC MP has tabled a motion for the imminent SNP Spring Conference, calling on the party to convene a series of ‘Citizens’ Assemblies,’ across Scotland to help define and develop the approach to independence. Writing in iNews, Ms Cherry states: ‘Citizens’ Assemblies could be used to great effect as Scotland moves towards its second independence referendum. The strength of this approach is the intention to garner the involvement of a wide spectrum of people, especially non-independence supporters. The wider the group, the more potential emerges for transformation. Cross-interest, grass roots problem solving and ideas formulation, appears to be a good model to support. This is important, as I reckon a new Scotland can be different from the current unionised version.
Scotland is the right size for success. Are you ready to stand up, to rise, and to work together as one Scotland? I hope so, as we are now just weeks away from starting, regardless of any emerging shoogly Brexit timescales. Emerging as a renewed nation, Scots have the chance to listen, lead and impress, without the negativity, cynicism and lack of self-belief that has thwarted or stymied us for hundreds of years. Bringing decision making down to small manageable regional levels, may well be seen as a welcome benefit to more focused local spending, where local problems are solved locally. The options are there for us to choose. As a small independent country, rich with resources, assets and potential, the shape of Scotland will change and a much improved nation can emerge. Let’s focus much more on what we can do, what we can achieve, and what we can imagine.
So, non-Indy folks, are you theirs yet, or are you ours? Indy is not our destination, it is merely the start of a journey, a wonderful meandering path of hard work, difficult decisions, potential, and excitement. Our mistakes and our successes await us. We are Scotland. Now. Together. Come and join us, perhaps even Jackson Carlaw and Richard Leonard; David Mundell… not so much.
My next blog will examine why effective leadership at all levels of the Indy Movement can result in Indy success.Back to Blog