I have been having a wee think about the reconciliation service being proposed by the Church of Scotland three days after the vote irrespective of the result. The service, they hope, will promote healing in what might be a divided country politically and within families and communities.
Now I am not sure what to make of it really, should it maybe be a year after the vote, should it even happen at all. I know they had this in South Africa and something similar in Northern Ireland and I believe a lot less successful in Northern Ireland. My own opinion is if the vote is a NO vote I will find it very difficult to forgive the NO voters, I will get on with my life, I will certainly never abuse a NO voter but there will always be a sense of betrayal even though I suspect we will do it all again in 10 years time once the Tories win the general election, which they will make no doubt about it, and people realise they made the biggest mistake of their lives.
The people who I certainly will never give the time of day to and will struggle forever to forgive will be the media and the politicians from Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrats. If they get their NO they will have achieved it on the basis of lies, of threats and of fear. Their guilt(although they probably never feel guilt and shame, probably don’t understand the concepts) will go with them to their graves because what they will have done has never been about the best interests of Scotland and it’s people, no, their actions have been about what is in the best interests of themselves and of an establishment that refuses to change, a political system based around an elite and on entitlement. Johann Lamont, Margaret Curran, Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, Willie Rennie, Ruth Davidson to name a few will forever be remembered for the loathsome people they are. In the event of a NO vote children will possibly learn in future history classes that like their forebears in 1705 they were bought and sold for English gold.
Reconciliation is about bringing people back together again after terrible events etc and people have an amazing capacity to forgive and to change. You can look at South Africa, at Northern Ireland; you can even look at Europe and Germany after both World Wars. The difference, and the difficulty I have with these type of comparisons being put forward is that everyone lost in those conflicts irrespective of the reasoning behind them. They were also about subjugation of people for narrow-minded personal ambition and profit in many cases. Exactly the same as the feelings I have for the NO campaign but somehow it also feels different.
I feel let down by the very people who supposedly got into public service to do what was right for the people, for Scotland. They wanted to be elected because they were willing to give it their all to make Scotland a better place, a fairer place, to make things easier and to create an equal and opportunistic society for all. Their lies and their selfishness, greed and personal ambition are the greater tragedy for me. When I think about war I think about good and bad, I think about a greater cause, I think about liberation but I never think that the very people we trusted with the power to make change that would benefit everyone would be the ones complicit in the attacks on the poor and vulnerable and what I regard to be treason against their country.
These are strong words and you can judge me on whether they are fair or not, balanced or emotively wrong or not, but they are how I feel. Is the reconciliation service a good thing or a bad thing, I don’t know. I am 45 years old and I have only known my country to be a country of poverty, of poor health, of unemployment, of educational failure for the many while it is a land of milk and honey for the very very few.
Should there be a NO vote on September 18 then reconciliation will be a very hard pill to swallow for myself.