A guest post by Lauren Reid
So I’m sat here right now at nine on a Friday night wondering how I put it into words, my journey from a ‘staunch’ No to an active yes. I’ve had to explain it to close family and friends numerous times now, but it’s different opening up your life to strangers. As the saying goes, probably best to start from the beginning, as this is exactly where my No vote was instilled.
I grew up in Bathgate in the 80s and 90s. Raised by a Dad in the Orange Order and a Mum who had mental health issues I spent the first few years of my childhood visiting her in old Bangour. Bathgate had been crippled but I never knew. People being skint was just the way it was.
I remember the sash as a nursery rhyme, I remember summer holidays as turning up at the Deans and District Rangers Supporters Club and heading off in the bus for a day out. I remember my Dad’s King Billy Tattoo on his forearm and I remember being a proud, wee lassie, singing ‘Hello Hello’ on a Saturday morning. I always spent New Years Day waiting for my Dad to come home reeking from the Old Firm game, it was what families did. Cringing now, I reflect that I joined Bathgate Rising Star flute band when I was 12!
The men in my family were either in a Union, Orange Lodge or army – and the women, well they worked in factories or stayed at home raising us bairns. I certainly didn’t want to be changing shitey nappies or cooking stovies or soup all day, nor did I fancy stuffing sausages at Halls or putting garlic onto naans at UCB (it must’ve been the rebel in me.) So I enlisted at 15 and 8 months. Don’t get me wrong, I had other opportunities open to me. I had done pretty well in my Standard Grades and could have stayed on at school, but what then? University wasn’t an option. Nobody in my family had ever been to uni that was never discussed, not once, not in our house.
Bathgate had lost Leyland, lost Menzies, and lost any scrap of mining industry. Silicon Glen was kicking off, but everyone knew Motorola and Shin Etsu weren’t ‘proper’ jobs. Not a trade nor a career. So I passed the BARB with flying colours and was offered Avionics Technician in the REME. I swore my allegiance to the Queen with my Mum and Dad watching. I packed my things and headed down to Berkshire to the Army Technical Foundation College.
Sitting on guard duty a couple of years later, we got a call to raise the alert status. We were at war. I had heard of and seen the demos in London, a bunch of greenies and hippies who wanted to save the world. I was prepared to lay down my life and go to war because it was what our Government had said was absolutely necessary to protect the world from WMDs. It never occurred to me that my own family were sat 66 miles away from a stockpile of them.
I never had to go to Iraq. During my medical it was discovered I was pregnant.
I came home to Bathgate. Nothing had changed and I didn’t notice. I raised my daughter and got on with my life – ‘heid doon’ as they say. I even had another a few years later.
Which brings us to the middle part of my story. My husband left and I was your typical stay at home mum. Still oblivious to the political discontent around me. Still voting Labour and living the life I’d left to avoid. I worked what I could in pubs and kitchens, anything to break even.
This part of my life didn’t change for a long time, there is no point boring you with the ins and outs. I was a ‘scummy mummy’, a ‘scrounger’, as far as I could see. Skip a few years the kids are at school. I am working for myself and I’m hearing of bloody Alex Salmond and his nationalist separatist party, wanting to dismantle my beloved union. The Union I was raised with, the Union I would have fought for. I was angry. Who the hell did he think he was?
I spent months listening to the people around me, saying how ridiculous it was and how we could never afford it. I’d spend evenings on the phone to my brother in England, talking about how it was never going to happen and how it was all about that bloody Salmond and his separatists.
I believed the UK to be one of the most formidable countries in the world. I considered myself Scottish and British. I believed the UK to be a world force against terror and that having Trident deterred.
When one of my good friends, who I’d admired and respected, told me he was voting Yes. I scoffed at him. He was a Rangers man, an ex squaddy and an Orangeman! How could he possibly vote yes? I argued the case as I knew it. I found myself with a vastly inferior knowledge of the debate. He spoke of things I’d never heard of. The McCrone report, the fact Scotland had already won a referendum and been cheated out of it. He even said Scotland subsidised the rest of the UK. I headed straight for the Better Together Facebook page to gather a rebuttal to his preposterous claims.
I spent weeks with Del Rashid, Damien Davies and others on the site, and I reaffirmed my decision to vote No. And I laughed when those daft yessers made wild allegations of bias in the media and how the page was censored. Then there was a post about the Weirs and how the Yes Camp were funded by a lucky rich couple. For a split second a name appeared on the comments: Ian Taylor. It was gone as soon as I’d read it. The person then complained of comments being removed, this time I didn’t laugh. I slowly typed the name and watched as Better Together removed my comment almost instantaneously. Who the bloody hell was Ian Taylor?
I typed the name and Better Together into my web browser and the first result that popped up was National Collective with ‘Dirty Money?’ The Tory Millionaire Bankrolling Better Together.
I read the article. Then another and another and another. I think I actually became a bit addicted. I started looking at many sites and even the dreaded Wings site. How could all this information be here and I’d not read any of it in my papers or seen it on the news? Were they right? Was the media biased?
The more I read, the more frustrated I became. I found myself mentioning bits and pieces to my brother whilst on the phone in the evenings. I put down the phone one night after yet another conversation, being told I was speaking rubbish and being mocked exactly as I had mocked before. I heard myself saying, well you’ve not got a vote anyway. I froze with the realisation I didn’t want him to vote No, I didn’t want a No vote. I was going to vote Yes because all those silly reasons I’d had for voting No were just not good enough. We were keeping our Queen, we were going to have a stable economy, we could do it without another drop of oil in the North Sea and we could get a Labour Government again. Independence wasn’t unusual or wrong. It was normal and just.
There was only 6 months to go! I started speaking to friends and family and explaining all that I’d seen and read. I printed articles and handed them each what I thought was relevant to their situations. I started campaigning on social media, and I joined my local active Yes group. I erected a 6ft by 6ft Yes sign in my garden because I knew it would shock the people that knew me. Knew my background. They’d question why I was voting Yes and why I was screaming it!
I have converted a few friends and I try to engage those around me who are voting No for the “Gers” or for “The Ludge”. These seem to be the ones who won’t engage at all. I feel sorry for them more than angry. It’s the way we were raised. As little orange sheep.
For the first time in my life I’ve not got the wool over my eyes. I can see what a mess we’ve been in and see that it never needed to happen. The debt we have wouldn’t be, if only we’d had that oil fund. Wars I watched friends die in never needed to happen if only our politicians had the balls to say no to Bush. The NHS that saved my babies life is being dismantled by rich benefactors who not only get to make the decision but know we can’t do anything about who gets to make it. I see now that not only can we never use Trident, but it doesn’t deter anyone it wastes billions.
We can’t change any of what has happened so far. But we can change what the future holds for us. I believe the best way to predict that future is to build it ourselves.
If you are about to vote No because you’re in the Lodge, I ask you this, is a 15 minute battle and a pub getting burned down on the 21st September 1795 more important to you than the future of Scotland on 18th September 2014?
Click here for an audio version of this article, courtesy of 1 of the 99%
[…] A guest post by Lauren Reid So I'm sat here right now at nine on a Friday night wondering how I put it into words, my journey from a 'staunch' No to an active yes. I've had to explain it to close f… […]
I was also a No but for different reasons. I believed a Yes vote would be ‘turning your back on your class, who were not Scottish’. I’m also not so keen on the SNP. It took me a while (50 years) to realise, the ‘class’ fight would never happen within the Union. It was also not about a political party or a MSP.
I have to say I am shocked that people I know who are staunch SNP supporters, are voting No. The only reason I can find for their change of heart, is the same as the ones Lauren describes.
I find it sad people would decide the destiny of their country, by which team they support.
Unfortunately I’m in the same position as Lauran Reid’s brother and I have no vote.
I hope the people who do have a chance to make history, choose Yes.
Lauren, you make me very proud of the country I come from. You make me very glad that someone can look beyond the walls that they grew up between, and you make me very confident that the Scots I grew up with, have the strength and attitude; to make Scotland one of the best wee countries in the world. I only wish somehow you could pass on that courage to every one that has been brain-washed into thinking ‘this is the way it has to be’. All the best to you and your children in the brave new future.
Well done Lauren, very proud of you, please continue with your drive and determination to make the people of Scotland understand what’s at stake here. I will continue to support you and the kids in whatever it takes to make not only our families future but every families future in Scotland a more stable, fairer and happier journey for our kids. We have had 2 nails in our car tyres, dog poop thrown in the garden and I got called a ‘word’ at the supermarket tonight. like you, the more these individuals threaten us, the stronger we get you will soon see our house from space! You rock, get blogging girl!!!! Oh, I don’t think we can fit any more YES stickers on the car ; ) love you and kids Paul xxx
I was exactly the same as you, only in different circumstances.
I don’t live too far from you and actually passed by yesterday.
A No voter until about 12 months ago when, as you did, I started to think for myself.
Raising kids and working hard tends to stifle the social awareness.
Being suppressed is part of the plan. I’m convinced of it.
That way you don’t have time to think.
Anyhow….Thanks for the effort. It couldn’t have been eezy.
this idea of yours to open up the log is brilliant.
I’m also going to reblog this.
Two in successive days!
I’ve only reblogged once before this weekend.
Thanks again man.
Apparently you now have a log!
Aye, aye Captain….
Reblogged this on EezyPeezyLemonSqeezy and commented:
Lauren’s Story, as told to The Wee Ginger Dug….
well your passion comes right out of the screen hits you between the eyes if only we could get through this bloody great wall a lot of people hide behind i bet most of them are hearing things from the dark side that even to them sounds more than a bit fishy i just hope there is enough time to waken them up sometimes its like talking to someone when they are doing the hands over the ears going lala lala lala lala like a child who doesn’t want to hear its bloody annoying and frustrating i think a lot of people don’t really want to find out how stupid they have been lets face it it’s embarrassing so its avoided and wished it would go away so you get the usual oh i don’t have enough information aagghh god you can’t avoid it its everywhere just see if the stuff you hear makes sense then decide not before you have heard it god if that was the case we would never have advanced beyond gas lighting
All Margo asked was that we convert one other person.
Outstanding Lauren and a perfect example of the more people seek, the more they find. 🙂
Well done, Lauren!
Well done Lauren and welcome to the right side. We need more like you.
I can honestly say that this is the best conversion story I have read. More to the point, Lauren represents exactly the sort of person that Better Together are trying to keep in the dark so that they vote No. BT only have to keep them in ignorance for another few weeks and it’s job done.
The UK establishment maintains their privileges by feeding myths to the population that maintains them in their luxurious existence.
I once worked beside a woman who got up at 6:00 every morning, fed her husband and children, got them ready for work and school and then commuted for 90 minutes to do a full 8 hour day. After work there was the 90 minute home commute followed by cooking the dinner, doing washing and ironing, getting the kids to bed and watching the telly for an hour before doing it all again the next day.
One day she was looking at the paper in the canteen and said to me,
“Doesn’t Princess Diana have a hard life always being in the public eye?”
I thought she was kidding, but no, she was deadly serious. I told her she was nuts and that Princess Diana was living a life of luxury with nine holidays a year (I knew the father of Fergie’s nanny and so I had an insight into the lives of the Royals).
“Well she needs them after all the hard work she does.”
Some people just cannot see the reality around them, they’re fed a diet of propaganda by the media to keep them asleep.
So, good for you Lauren, you’re doing a great job. We should be crowdfunding you to do it full time!
Absolutely right! I have likened the uk construct to a parasite. It is not in it’s interest to totally kill Scotland; but it tries to make it feel like it is dependent and hides the truth of a healthy and free Scotland without the inferiority complex created by the uk parasite. I am certainly not Orange or from a lodge- just the opposite…but I can see My fellow Scots and We are divided on the issue of Nation. I am calling a truce on what else divides Us just now and ask that We be united behind Our Nation: Scotland is number one or should be number one to Scots. There should be no other agenda from anything in this world that claims to be higher to Scots than Our Own Nation and it’s ability to be itself. Our People have been divided for too long: Let’s Unite and vote “YES”!
Reblogged this on pictishbeastie.
[…] A letter to a wee ginger dug from a wee orange lamb. […]
Good on you Lauren!
Sorry if this comes over a wee bit negative but I have been wanting to get this off my chest for a whole day now.
Yesterday Blantyre hosted a “Big” Orange walk. I believe that there were 10,000 orange men in attendance. Now I live directly across the Clyde from Blantyre. In fact only a couple of hundred yards from the Dr. David Livingston birthplace and museum. (A favourite destination for Sunday School trips so you might know it!) There were definitely drums along the river yesterday. Indeed it sounded more like the finals of The World Championship Synchronized Shed Building Contest. This went on from about 10am till 4pm.
They did interrupt the shed building for speeches around midday. It was quite windy so I didn’t hear all of it (I would have prefered to hear none of it) but some words did stand out. The highest wordcount definitely went to “Republicanism” closely followed by “Great Britain and Northern Ireland” close behind that was “Scottish Nationalism” Anyway the speeches ended with a rousing chorus of God save the Queen. Before they got back to the shed building.
Now I was raised Church of Scotland. I got over that quite soon nowadays my gospels are according to Dawkins, Darwin, Hutton and Hume. My late Dad was born in 1910 in Brigton Glasgow and as he put it he survived despite the Brigton Billy Boys. He used to take me along to the occasional Orange day parade not to take part but to rip the pish out of some of our neighbours who were staunch OO.
Now I don’t want us to go around banning anything post indi but I certainly hope that the OO dies a natural and overdue death.
PS. In a previous life I was known as 24144194 Sgt. Logan R.E.M.E. (“B” Mech) and Lauren I beat you I enlisted at 15 years and two weeks! What was I thinking? In fact I wasn’t thinking I was suffering from wicked stepmother syndrome! But thats another story.
Lauren, welcome and here’s to a free and fair Scotland, for all.
A fantastic story Lauren and I admire your courage. It can’t be easy being independent minded in a tight knit unionist community. Hopefully your honesty will encourage others around you to do the same and have something worth celebrating on the 18th September.
That’s a great description of how you came to be a Yes voter. It takes courage to follow a different path from those around you.
Very heartening to read this Lauren. For those not familiar with West Lothian this is pretty courageous stuff.
Keep fighting the lies and fear mongering.
Reblogged this on Are We Really Better Together? and commented:
Wow Lauren, just wow. That is one powerful piece of writing and I have a severe lump in my throat. You shame me by having done more for the independence cause than I, a life long believer in independence, has done so far. As one ex-squaddie to another, thank you.
Your story hit me right in the face, loved it. There are a lot of people too engrossed in their own lives to even consider there is a better life for them with one single X on the ballot paper.
We live in a Great wee country, hopefully we’ll have enough people who realise that on Sep 18th.
Thanks again for the brilliant article.
Terrific Lauren and so well said, thank you. I’m from Aberdeen so cannot understand all this bigotry down there. I take people as I find them and you sound a smashing lass. Here’s hoping we can build a better future all of us together.
Fantastic piece of writing, no words wasted and such a clear description of your journey. More power to your elbow.
Thank You all for such a warm response. I wrote this letter in the hope that if one person is voting No because the Lodge says so and I can make them stop and see that it’s not really a good enough reason, then it will have been worth it.
I can live in hope eh? 😉
I have been sending this round my friends and family Lauren. My granddad was Orange and went on all the walks. We even have photies to prove it 🙂 (and he never wore a bowler hat!) We all loved him to wee bits. We have a sash from Ireland dating back around 150 years. But Granddad wasn’t bitter. He married a Catholic, took on her Catholic children and loved her and her relatives. He adored all his grandchildren, whether they were Catholic, protestant, atheist (and, yup, Buddhist!). But at the same time he wouldn’t allow anything green in the house. OK, the first thing you saw when you walked in the house was “Kung Bully”, but none of us bothered our *rse. He was great fun. And he loved us all to wee totty bits. Some folks just take it too far 😦
Thanks for your insights, Lauren, that was a very illuminating article. I have to admit that my journey to being a supporter of Yes was an easy transition from my background and I didn’t have to confront the hard choices that you had to make on your way to recognition of a different reality from the one in which you had been reared.
I grew up in working class Lanarkshire which has communities just like the one you grew up in and yet I never personally knew anyone in the Orange Order and only twice in my life witnessed a Loyalist march and one was from a great distance, actually heard rather than seen. My family were vaguely Presbyterian and Labour- voting, practically from the inception of Labour as a parliamentary party. They were ordinary voters not party members, not doctrinal in their beliefs and yet I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t republican and anti-authoritarian. I told my mother when I was twelve that I was an atheist and she accepted it without a qualm. She thought that it was for me to decide.
I gave up on the Labour party, probably when you were still at school, realizing that the best chance of achieving the kind of society I wanted was to vote for the SNP and win independence. A lot of other people I know made the same transition.
It is salutary for me to read your story and recognize a real struggle which was wholly personal, an achievement of the will and intelligent perception to find your own way. You had difficulties to surmount which I didn’t have. It must take a particular kind of courage to give up on beliefs which were important to your family and community since these are the bonds which hold these communities together and breaking them must cause hurt and antagonism. You have my admiration for keeping doggedly on seeking the truth and helping others to see how they have been duped. Thanks again.
With heart like that? That you see in every post?
We can so do this. 🙂
A brilliant piece and what an incredible and difficult journey to yes. It’s easy enough to make minor changes to your world view but to completely reverse your perspective the way you have takes guts.
Whatever happens in September I hope you’ll keep up the campaigning – there are plenty of issues in Scotland that could do with someone with your passion and commitment.
I grew up in Bathgate myself, and in fact the vast majority of people I know who are ‘definite’ No voters are from there too. Your story gives me hope that the positive message of hope for the future is getting through, even through years of ‘knowing our place’ and not thinking ‘above our station’.
Your journey to Yes has inspired me, personally, to continue confronting their Better Together ‘facts’ that they post on facebook, to debate with even the most determined No-er, and renewed my faith to never give up hope that independence, and a better life for all, will happen! Thank you for sharing your story with all of us, and I wish you very well with your future efforts!
Thankyou – just thankyou – more power to your elbow. There must be some biblical parallel to someone who keeps on trying, but thank you. Every single vote counts.3
I was reading this on a friends post from back home and something about it was very familiar, I too am ex army and I too have so many friends from the better together camp as I am from the very conservative d&g region. I also think I served with the lovely Lauren and am very impressed by both her story and writing abilities, if it’s the same Lauren, well done girl, your doing your country proud. I can’t for the life of me see how so many educated people from such a free spirited country can be taken in by the better together lies. Some of my English colleagues have actually started saying that we cannot be very good at maths in Scotland if we vote no. And that’s all it is, simple maths, or should I say arithmetic and most of Scotland’s older generation have “o” grades in both maths and arithmetic. We have a chance to remove the ball and chain and make our country better ourselves, after all as a nation we do pride ourselves in being creative, let’s create a better future for our offspring. Research the Barnett formula, Scottish taxation, and figures for an Independant economy as opposed to the British, you don’t even have to be an nationalist or like Alex salmond, it’s not a vote about who will govern Scotland, but a vote to choose who does. Don’t waste it please, when will we see your liked again? Be brave Scotland , make the right choice. Paul
It is me Paul 😉 I hope you are keeping well and enjoying yourself out there, working hard? Get in touch next time you are home and we can get the rods out and put the world to rights 🙂 Reading your last sentence “Don’t waste it please, when will we see your liked again? Be brave Scotland , make the right choice.” It does make me wonder if Scotland does vote No then would we ever be able to sing “But we can still rise now and be the nation again” without resounding mockery? Will we have to Change that verse 😉 x
I think if we vote No, then Flower of Scotland could never be sung again without the contempt of every other independent country in the world. We would have finally confirmed that we are the wee Glasgow nyaff who hits from behind and never has the courage to stand up and maybe take the beating.
A great story Lauren of how you have changed your mind, it’s easy to join the Yes side but what takes real courage is to stand in a strong Unionist place like Bathgate and fight your position and try to convince others that they are being lied to and that Scotland deserves better and I applaud you for that.
I like your self have served in the armed forces, 16 year RAF but unlike your self I have been Yes from the start just never thought we would ever get this chance and your story is one I have seen more than once, some of my friends ex forces have gone from strong No’s to voting Yes when they have started to read the facts and dig deeper than the MSM headlines and I have seen no one go the other way.
What has truely shocked me during this referendum is the media while I have always been a Yes I never realised how much our media is controlled, I used to see the BBC as a reliable source but these days if they told me it was raining I would open the window to check. This is the key if the media gave fair coverage Scotland would vote Yes tomorrow.
Keep up the fight, every gain for Yes is a loss for No.
Lauren, I come from what might be described as a dfferent tradition from you,but I have learned that there is a place for different traditions provided that there is a shared vision for the future.
A fascinating read. Often we underestimate the courage and determination necessary for people to change from No to Yes, unaware what forces constrain fellow citizens within backgrounds, the beliefs of which until now they have had little need to seriously challenge. So well done, and hopefully this step will be the start of a new life for you.
I’ve shared this to Facebook .. it’s the most powerful article I’ve read to convince anyone who is swithering to vote *YES* on 18th Sept 2014 .
Reblogged this on A Yes Voter in Nairn and commented:
When the facts and the true facts about an independent Scotland are properly researched and set against the fear tactics of the Unionist campaign, a Yes vote seems the only logical and responsible way forward for the future of our country. This superb article by Lauren Reid sums it up beautifully – how some simple research beyond the obvious can reveal a different and more compelling side to the debate.
It’s women like you Lauren who will be the making of Scotland
A brilliant post Lauren it shows how even the strongest barriers can be broken by using the right tool. That tool is called research.
There are three posts of mine I think you may enjoy. Two poems Tights Before Trident, and The Voice Of Number 10, and a far more personal post to say why as a transwoman I am voting Yes. The post is entitled A Very Personal Journey To Destination Yes. You can find me at http://www.tartantights.wordpress.com/
Best Wishes for a great future
Yours For Yes
Amazing reading this article both for its power and because we are looking at doing an event with x-service people…
We are looking to setup an event in Glasgow with x-service people on the panel who are voting Yes. Each panelist will give their reasons for voting Yes followed by a Q&A session that we will live stream and allow people watching to send in their own questions. In addition we will also film the event for YouTube. If you are interested in this or know people who would participate please get in contact: email@example.com see http://www.independencelive.net
well done lauren….you speak from the heart….and that is the strongest message you can get from anyone…your letter has certainly proved that…i wish you well and hope like you that the scottish people are brave enough to vote yes come sept….i live in clydebank its similar to bathgate in that all our factories and shipyards have gone…its an industrial wasteland we feel forgot about and abandoned by successive labour and tory goverments in westminster…we were all strong labour people…someone once said if you put up a dog with a labour rosette in clydebank the people would vote for it …and they were not far wrong….that attitude is now thankfully changing..people are seeing that westminster no longer works for scotland and also does not work for large sectors of england..cities like liverpool and manchester and leeds newcastle are similar to glasgow in unemployment and they are sick of watching all the major investment being spent in london and the south….we are looking at a goverment full of city slickers and millionaires totally out of touch with the people…they have shown nothing but contempt for the working classes….what they are doing to the sick and disabled is horrifying ..i could on but i wont….i think your letter sums it up better….so i will leave it at that…and just want end by saying thanks to you for your honesty and courage….wishing you all the best…joe…
The thing is, that when people’s eyes are opened, they never go back to sleep. Nobody ever moves from Yes to No, because the facts support Yes.
I don’t know if we will win in September. I do know that we won’t lose by much if we do lose. Not enough to stop us. I know that thousands of people have had their eyes opened to the lies that the media tell.
And I know that, in the event of No, I will take a week off to recuperate. And start again.
Brilliant article about your conversion Lauren. I’ve always been a supporter of independence so I’ve never had to go through what you have.
I’m particularly impressed by your bravery in having that Yes sign in your garden as it sounds like the kind of area that might invite physical objections (no insult intended), which I really hope it doesn’t.
You’ve also been more successful than I have in coverting No supporters to Yes ones and that’s exactly how we’ll win this, only with each and every one of us convincing a No supporter we know to vote Yes.
https://audioboo.fm/boos/2309219-a-letter-to-a-wee-ginger-dug-from-a-wee-orange-lamb 🙂 x
Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2014 13:13:25 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
That is one of the best personal accounts of change I have ever read in 32 years. Well done for seeking the truth and changing your life Lauren. YES sounds much better than No, doesn’t it? And it’s much better not just for you and me, but for all Scotland’s bairns.
your a brave woman to change your ‘mind’ and stand up to be counted and declare YES. I salute you as a truly independent woman, prepared to write and fight for freedom and fairness, for your community and country. Great blog, Lauren!
Fair play to you, Lauren, for having the courage to change your mind in spite of all the “already-made-up” minds around you. It’s funny how that “Ian Taylor” moment on the BT website made you realise that things were maybe not what they seem: congratulations on recognising a crucial wake-up call, and following up on it.
Great blog, and welcome to “the other side”!
The parallels I can see between your experience and my own are stagering. Well not the getting pregnant bit. I would be a rich man if I had managed that.
I grew up in a working class home with a strong protestant environment. I joined the army at 16 as a boy soldier because there were no jobs available. I signed up for 6 years only to discover that the 6 years didnt start until I was 18. So that was 18 months the army had off me extra.
After leaving I started work in a chemical factory, alongside my father, brother and uncle. When I joined my shift the first thing asked of me was “What school did you go too?” It was that kind of a place.
Now that I was home and had some money, I would frequent my local. It was a staunch protestant pub. There I was “recruited” into the Orange Lodge which I was a member of for about 4 years before I realised how stupid this was.
You would have struggled to find someone more anti independence than I.
For me, the change to pro independence started with the “banking collapse”. I started to wonder how this shambles could have come about. After a few weeks I came to realise that Westminster is not there to serve our needs. It is there to serve the City of London. If you had to invent an organisation to service the wants and needs of the elite then Westminster is what you would come up with. When it comes to a general election you have the illusion of choice.
That and a compliant main stream media, which the independence debate has exposed to a degree that I never thought was possible in a western “democracy”. They should just change their title to main stream propoganda.
I want a fairer Scotland.
It is easy to be angry at the “Loyalist/Orange” following – how can they be loyal to an eatablishment that so obviously holds them in contempt?
How can they be loyal to an establishment that moves heaven and earth (probably including killing people) to protect the likes of Leon Brittan?
How can they be loyal to an establishment that views their children as disposable IED fodder?
How can they be loyal to an establishment that has done it’s best to destroy their chance to work in dignity and to earn enough to support their families?
So this is an eye-opener for me. You’re right Lauren they are more to be pitied than despised, even more important more to be INFORMED than despised – even if it feels like battering you’re head against a brick wall. Keep trying.
Brilliant. Will need to get this distributed somehow.
A heartfelt thank you for sharing your journey to freedom against the backdrop of the complicit MSM silence/abuse.
No matter which way the vote turns out our lives will never be the same again.
Used to take my YES badge off when going back home to Bathgate (being civilised, just in case it may cause a fuss). Not any more. As a ex forces person and a Bathgate bairn, thank you Lauren.
I am now out everywhere and proud (except on the 12th, for obvious reasons. I’m a knackered auld wumman ferchrssakes!)
What a very honest and personal letter. Thanks for sharing, Lauren.
I am writing a series of Indy articles as the moment ( #100days100reasonsforyes), and working on a piece with regards the Orange Order and where/how it fits in, in an Independent Scotland and wonder whether I may post the link to this letter, please?
Yes of course you can
Thank you 🙂
Inspirational insightful informative and liberating in fact everything that’s great about YES!well done
[…] to be persuaded; those moving along from sceptics to convinced Yes voters. I read just this week an incredibly brave and powerful article by Lauren Reid, who has travelled a long way to become a Yes voter. There are so many hooks out there, facts and […]
Just like you Lauren I was brought up in a very working class family with a confusing mixture of Orange Order and the Masonic Lodge, ,I left home at 16 for the Airforce and never again lived in Scotland except for a brief tour in the islands. on discharge I stayed in the south and raised my family here, I was always a yes even though I did not have a vote. I had the big advantage of seeing the anti scots propaganda from this side which just made me more determined to put forward my side of the debate down here among my friends and co workers who tended to just go by what they were told by BT and the media