As I continue to follow the debate leading up to September 2014 and the release of the Scottish Governments white paper on independence I am becoming increasingly more focussed, in many ways, on how I feel about things so far. I have flirted between being over excited and optimistic and downright depressed on the prospects of a no vote. The reasons for this I can squarely lay at the door of the politicians, the bbc and the media in general. It has been a long run so far, but as we can all safely say, it was a masterstroke to make the campaign a long one given the amount of fear and lies that have been told and continue to be told, esp. on the side of the union as they become more and more desperate to continue the fear factor.
My main reason for voting YES is democracy; this debate has never been about oil, money in my pocket, pensions, Europe, defence or even the building of warships on the Clyde. All of my life I have lived within a political system that just does not count my vote at the UK level. I learned in my early 20’s that it really didn’t matter what I wanted to believe in as it all depended on the votes of the larger country, England, as to the way that I would be governed and the decisions that were made. I learned very quickly that the decisions that were made were rarely in the best interests of Dundee or Scotland and appeared to be all about the south of England and London. Even at the local level the national politics of Labour dominated what I feel was the mismanagement of Dundee over decades that the SNP are only starting to now , in some ways, correct.
My second main reason for voting YES is that old chestnut social justice. I am far from perfect, ask my family and my teenage kids who have declared a mini war in asserting their independence, but I do like to think that I try to make the fair decision as best I can within my understanding of the argument. Currently we live in a united kingdom that is moving to the right, a country and a political system that when it should be protecting the poor and most vulnerable it is attacking them and has pulled off the master stroke of turning the poor against the poorest. We have seen austerity being used as the method to get public finances in line but we are borrowing more and more while giving large tax cuts to the wealthiest, no, austerity is about the shrinking of the state and the privatisation of vital public lifelines in the name of profit.
Now, all my politically aware life it has been easy to blame the Tories and to especially blame Labour, have a laugh at the Liberals and hope that the SNP, while not perfect, would win as they represented Scotland. Now of course we should blame the politicians for a lot of what’s wrong in Scotland at the moment and over the last 50 years. The mismanagement of natural resources that should have created a comfort blanket in times of need have been spent on wars, on unemployment, used to pay for the destruction of our industry and to make London the financial centre of the world. This has created a world of wealth that 99.9% of us will never share and one that politicians in the main parties have been happy to support as the power in the land has shifted back to the olden days of the wealthy landowner, but now you can add in banker and businessman or woman. Scotland must be the only country in the world to discover oil and actually get poorer and more unhealthy.
But blaming them doesn’t actually make things better because they don’t care. We have seen that in the propaganda of the better together campaign and movement, with all the might of the bbc and media behind it. They ask questions that there are no answers to, they create fear and they talk Scotland down at every opportunity which is a subtle way of getting us to blame ourselves for situations that we did not create. We blame them for our ills and they blame us, although the fact that we have little or no power in our own minds plays into their hands.
The simple fact is that it is now time to stop blaming them, blaming them keeps the focus on them and on their arguments. We have all laughed at the better together claims of the end of the world if Scotland votes for independence, we will be cast out on our own and no one will work with us, we will become a country headed back to the stone age as we are too small, too poor and too stupid to manage our own vast resources. If we are so crap why are they so afraid of our leaving, maybe that is the questions you now need to ask. Ask them about their fear, their fear of losing their influence on the world stage and being seen to be something they are not. Ask them to show you how they will pay pensions in future, what the price of oil will be in the future, will the NHS still be privatised, will the UK leave Europe, will the attacks on the safety net of social security be continued and will they call us foreigners. Are they afraid of a shift in the balance of power to the people away from what is still an aristocratic political system that intends to keep the poor out and the wealthy in.
The simple fact is that I just don’t care what they have to say anymore, if I ever really was, I don’t blame them anymore because I have come to understand that they are afraid of us. Labour politicians are afraid of losing their financial security, their luxury lifestyles in London and their chance to get it badly wrong every 20 years. The Tories are afraid that they will lose their status, that the world will wake up and realise that actually it was all a fake illusion, that Britain is a notion that died a long time ago when countries like India and Ghana asserted their independence. They are afraid that the last part of the empire, Scotland, will decide enough is enough ,it’s time to say bye and go out into the world and make our own mistakes and stop blaming others for our ills.
Don’t blame them anymore, don’t fear them anymore. We have everything to gain as we assert our independence and they are afraid of it, they are afraid of losing power and they are afraid of their own people. Once we start on the social democratic path then the change it will bring in these islands will benefit the majority and not the ones who lead better together, the ones who have the most to lose, the ones we blame. No, now is the time for hope, I don’t care what they have to say anymore because I no longer blame them, I am no longer afraid of them, my faith is in you.