I often get told by NO voters that I need to get over it; I need to move on, accept that I lost the referendum and stop being a bitter nationalist.
This cheers me up no end as it demonstrates that we are as correct now as we were correct then. No matter how many times I explain to NO voters that I am not a nationalist, that even though many vote SNP they are not nationalists either, that many non nationalists have joined the party. That it is not about nationalism for many of us, it is about change and the SNP is a means to that change they still don’t get it.
I suspect that the reasons many of the NO voters desire to move on has something to do with the regret, shame, and guilt that many of them are experiencing and probably will continue to experience, either for the rest of their lives, or until they get a chance to put it right in another referendum.
I have moved on from the referendum, my anger and bitterness at most of the NO voters is gone, more often replaced by pity now. There are certain unionist politicians, media and businesses that will never get any sympathy from me because they lied and deceived their way to the result they wanted with little regard to what was in the best interests of Scotland and its people. A few of them have fallen on their swords or have announced impending retirement, their dirty deed done and the pot of gold guaranteed.
However, the need for change is even more vital now than it was seven weeks ago or has ever been. 820,000 people were deemed to be living in poverty in Scotland in July of this year according to official figures, 180,000 were children and 150,000 older people. The NO vote ensures that this continues and more than likely gets worse.
CAB Scotland have reported that 898,000 sanctions were levied against those receiving benefits this year, the UK continues to provide the lowest benefits in the EU but the UK are happy to remove even this poverty subsistence, subsistence that people receive so they don’t starve to death, however many might be doing just that.
We still live in a union that benefits the few at an unacceptable and horrible cost to the many. While most people have seen their living standards fall to the extent that they are now in poverty or just getting by, bankers and the top 1% have seen their incomes rise massively, MPs have given themselves a 9% pay rise next year while continuing to pay themselves expenses in the hundreds of thousands each year while denying public sector workers a 1% pay rise, their first in 4 years.
So my message to the NO voters is this, I am in no mood, have no desire or inclination to move on. You might find the truth of this horrid union uncomfortable to accept, you might regret your decision on the day and if I can continue to make you aware of that uncomfortable truth then I will because this fight is for change and for social justice.
For most of the YES voters I know it was never about nationalism, it was about all of the above, it was about being better than we are and better than we receive. No, moving on is not an option, we are only just getting started.