There has been a lot of talk on Twitter, on the net, on blogs, and even Wee Ginger Dug about that banner and that sentiment.
I wasn’t at the march at the weekend, and there is some speculation as to whether the banner was there or not, but both have certainly opened up a debate about what is and is not acceptable within the YES movement.
Now I don’t have any sympathy for Sìol nan Gaidheal at all or their views and I think all of us can agree have little place in a modern Scotland. However, and maybe I’m an example of my life experiences, the sentiment on the banner in relations to the Tories doesn’t bother me all that much if it does.
Now I appreciate many don’t like the word, and many more feel that the use of the word ‘scum’ will turn some people away from the yes movement, and potentially voting yes in a future referendum, but it really just doesn’t upset me.
When I think back to the economic and social devastation of communities all over Scotland, and the U.K., by Thatcher I feel anger. When I think about the rape clause, the bedroom tax, welfare cuts, waspi women, grenfell, the red bus, immigration speeches, the power grab, the deportations of hundreds if not thousands of commonwealth citizens, the lies of better together I feel anger. The list is actually endless and I just can’t get upset about the use of the word ‘scum’ to describe Tories in Government, and many who knowingly vote for them.
I don’t care if Tories, or red and yellow Tories, get upset at the use of the word ‘scum’ to describe them and their policies. I get upset about food banks, and people feeling their only recourse is to kill themselves rather than live lives of misery after benefits being removed by a heartless and morally bankrupt government, elected by people who either don’t care or are ignorant, and ignorance is no excuse for the misery caused by their parties either red, blue or yellow.
I appreciate the word ‘scum’ is not a nice word, it is a word that alienates, but when I reflect on my life experiences and how the Tories of all colours have impacted on it then it is difficult to feel any sympathy for those who knowingly vote for them, and certainly not for the politicians who know exactly what they are doing and the harm it causes while looking after their own and calling me a separatist and a nationalist for wanting something better.
They might not like to be referred to as ‘scum’ but does that say more about their guilt as they know that they have been associated with the word for nearly 40 or 50 years and their policies and actions deserve it. Is the concern of the yes movement, and many of its leaders,of the use of the word ‘scum’ more about fear of being portrayed as anything other than perfect or of being part of an intolerant movement in some minute way. All Under One Banner is an amazing idea, the YES movement is an inspiration and I understand that the Scotland they want to build is an inclusive and tolerant one, I also accept that the Tories of all colours are not going away in an independent Scotland and will play a role in the future direction of the country for good or bad.
So, while I understand the concern of the use of the word, of how it can be perceived to fall into the personalised politics that many of us don’t like, that it can alienate, there is a part of me that just can’t get upset at the term in relation to politicians and movements that have done so much harm to this country. I also accept that my view will not be shared by many, or any, and will potentially be viewed as offensive, you can’t get much lower than that word but there is also the part of me that understands that the reason I am no longer a member of a political party or any movement is that once political correctness sets in, when quotas and positive discrimination sets in, when you say that certain words cannot be used or are not welcome then that in itself becomes intolerant. I know that the word ‘scum’ can be viewed as the other words that have no place in the modern world, words that discriminate on the basis of gender, colour, race, sexuality or religion. I understand that I am more than likely wrong on this one but you can’t help but feel the way you feel and I am not going to apologise for that to be honest. I am my experiences, I don’t care what colour Tories are, what country they come from, what faith they follow or who they love but I do care about their actions and policies and for me those are something I don’t know that I will ever be able to forgive, maybe I will tone down the use of the word in this blog but the feelings will still be there, the anger will still be there.