Another letter from a wee sheared Orange lamb


a Guest Post by Lauren Reid

I am just an ordinary mum from Bathgate campaigning for Scotland to become an Independent Nation. I’m not a secret SNP activist nor have I ever voted for them in my life. I’m not genetically programmed to make political decisions according to the woman who had my vote. But I believe that says more about her than me.

I find it difficult to admit sometimes, but less than six months ago, I was very much determined we were Better Together. I had a love of the Union. I just didn’t know the Union I loved didn’t exist. The Union that did, was broken. Irreparably.

It has taken me 30 years to arrive at the conclusion that Scotland should be an Independent country. It did not come as easily for me as for some. I wrote a letter, in the hope that someone like me would read it and feel there may be a possibility of a better future for us.

The problem with writing a letter like this is that people in the same situation as I was are not looking for information and they don’t really care how I went from No to Yes. The letter I wrote explained how for some of us, it’s just not that straight forward and for that reason I am grateful to the dug for allowing me to post on his blog. For allowing me to show that some of us are just in need of shearing.

I don’t suggest that I know every last detail about the referendum and I don’t suppose my thoughts on the matter would interest most. But if I can reach one person sitting undecided or oblivious then this will be worth it. The fact I have 5 minutes peace from my four little darlings and a large glass of wine to my right is just another bonus on the independence journey.

The referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country has been the first time in my life I’ve been genuinely excited about our nations future, about politics and about our society. And it is a ‘nation’ not a region of the UK, please take note Laurence Robertson.

When you’re sitting watching the TV with your dinner on your lap and some eejit starts droning on about the referendum. Do you think, ‘not again?’ or ‘I can’t wait for September the 18th so they’ll shut up and stop talking about it!’ See that’s the problem for those of us that support it. That is the vision of Scotland after this campaign that we fear the most. We will be told sit down, shut up and get on with it.

There’s not a lot we can do about that. Most people who are not bothered about politics don’t realise Holyrood could be demolished tomorrow, and remembered as that place where Scotland got too big for its boots. Most people not bothered about politics don’t realise the prime minister has said: “It would be wrong to suggest that Scotland could not be another such successful, independent country.” They still believe the too wee and too poor rhetoric. They don’t realise we’ve generated £222 billion more in tax over the last 30 years than the UK average. And they don’t realise, when they hear of how strong the United Kingdom is in response to questions about defence, that since the formation of the Union Scotland has spent only 64 calendar years at peace and the last country to invade us was England! We could well afford our own defence just by scrapping a political weapon of mass destruction which can NEVER be used anyway.

This scares the absolute hell out of me. These are generally the people who will gain the most from independence. The reason they don’t realise all this is they have never been engaged by politicians. And the reason for that is a very simple one. The politicians don’t want them engaged. They probably don’t realise either that we’ve had a referendum before and all the promises of devolution were made back then. I know this because I was one of them.

They don’t realise that they are the most important people in the country today. Part of the one million voters who will decide our future.

So I beg, that you go out, switch off their tellies, wake them up and show them what we have planned for our Wee Country. Show them how we can, we should and we must. Don’t let them wake up on the 19th Sep, happy that they don’t have to listen to any more referendum pish. That’s a pretty bleak aspiration to be happy about. If you don’t want it, you’re going to have to get your own backside into gear and start doing more. I don’t mean just tweet or facebook a link. People who are not bothered at this point in the campaign are not going to look at it. Chap doors, speak to people, join your local Yes team.

This may be the one chance you have in your life time to change your fate.

From a Sheared Orange Lamb

If you haven’t already done so, please read Lauren’s previous guest post: Letter to a Wee Ginger Dug from a Wee Orange Lamb.

20 comments on “Another letter from a wee sheared Orange lamb

  1. Illy says:

    I’ve said this before, but the thing that scares the career politician the most is an informed, motivated and active electorate.

    Because that’s their only real chance of getting fired.

    The Scottish independence campaign has created that, and is in the process of destroying political apathy here.

    They *have* to crush our spirits, our drive to take control, because if they don’t, then they lose, regardless of the referendum result. Because Scotland will have woken up, and we’ll be watching for them to follow through on those promises made (or not, as will be more likely)

    If they can’t do that, then they’re probably better off with Scotland going independent, so that they can “other” us to the rest of the UK, rather than have the movement in Scotland collectively go “ok, then, we’re not going to get independence from westminster, so lets sort out westminster” and spread to the north of England, Wales, Northern Ireland, etc…

    I’ve said before that the SNP should run candidates outside Scotland. If we don’t get independence, then they *really* should. They have the credibility to get elected, and the attitude to drag westminster out of the hole they’ve gotten themselves into.

    Just imagine for a moment, the SNP as Westminster opposition, with no-one in the house of lords, and pushing for the traditional labour values of fair pay, employee protections, and strong safety nets. Now imagine them forming a majority coalition in opposition to the Tories and UKIP.

    I’ve been called a dreamer before, but quite frankly, if you’re talking politics and *not* _aiming_ for utopia, then you’re doing it wrong:

    • weegingerdug says:

      I’ve always felt that in politics you need to keep your feet on the ground but aim for the stars.

    • First paragraph says it all.

      They are keichin themselves, and the stench is growing.

    • Rookiescot says:

      “I’ve said this before, but the thing that scares the career politician the most is an informed, motivated and active electorate.”

      Nail on head. The problem Better NO OK and Westminster has is they are running a campaign the same way as they run their general election campaigns.

      The (mostly right wing) main stream media tells the electorate how they should vote. Its always worked before. Just look at how Labour had to turn itself into “Tory lite” in order to court the media and get itself into power. You have to kiss uncle Ruperts ring to get into number 10. This worked because the electorate were pretty much offered no choice and really didnt care because it didnt matter who you voted for anyway.

      Independance is different though. Times have moved on. People know the importance of this. In the past people would read something in the paper and think “Is that right? Must be, its in the paper.”

      Now though, because people are engaged and because they want to know the truth they say “Is that right? I’m gonna Google that.”.

      Suddenly its a different game. The tactics which have served Westminster and the elites for so long are failing.

      People are finding the facts out for themselves. People have sources of information and opinion outside of the main stream medias control.

  2. macart763 says:

    Couldn’t agree more Lauren and another cracking post. Any and every chance you get to even raise the subject when out and about should be taken whether you’re part of a YES group or not. If you want a YES in September spread the good word.

    So, what kind of Scotland do you want? I find that to be a real show stopper of a question which gets people talking. There tends to be a big pause while they have a think, then the gates open on ideas.

    A real show stopper not because it’s hard to answer, but because of the size and scope of the answer, what it actually implies. We’ll have a clean slate and as a popular sovereignty with a written constitution the people will be driving the agenda. Scotland can be anything we want it to be, the bounds only set by the limits of our imaginations and aspirations.

  3. […] Another letter from a wee sheared Orange lamb […]

  4. Capella says:

    And one of the most encouraging aspects of the debate is this blog and others like it. Who would have thought that so much interest could be generated by a wee ginger dug? I would never post on a newspaper site because the level of debate BTL is so dire. The Indy blogs by contrast are intelligent, witty, engaging and informative. Imagine if the MSM ever became like that!
    Thanks for another cracking post Lauren.

  5. […] a Guest Post by Lauren Reid I am just an ordinary mum from Bathgate campaigning for Scotland to become an Independent Nation. I'm not a secret SNP activist nor have I ever voted for them in …  […]

  6. Deedee says:

    Respect Lauren. I was swithering about going out to do some canvassing this weekend (20 years since I’ve done anything like that!) but your letter has made me sign up. I don’t want to wake up on the 19th and wish I’d done more. Lauren is right, let’s do it!

  7. clashcityrocker says:

    This is the stuff! this is what we want! I have never felt such a sense of “something in the air” since 1976/77, when the advent of punk rock produced a tangible excitement related to a belief that proper and true societal change might actually possible. Sadly, that feeling of promise was crushed by the worship of money ushered in by the actual , hellish, awful societal change ushered in by an apparent devotee of St. Francis of Assissi. BUT, now – at long last – Revolution’s in the air again. This is our chance. We are going to take it!

  8. Donna B-S says:


  9. Eilean says:

    Lauren you are of course correct. We have to get out there and convince people face to face the media sure as hell wont. “No” folk dont want to hear about what we have to say they prefer the daily propaganda as it suits their viewpoint. All the scare stories, all the “uncertainties”, all the insults all the bare faced lies are just to hold on to what they have got. Lets hope that once Yes starts to look like winning then we can watch the unionist dominos tumble.

  10. Thing is, when we get our Yes vote that’s just the start. For those who hope for political silence, Yes means there’s much to discuss to sort out our country. Mind you, a No vote won’t silence discussion either. As has been said, we’ll just move the debate to Westminster and refuse to be put back in our places and our boxes.

  11. yerkitbreeks says:

    The trouble with getting your eyes opened, you then see things that constantly irritate – for me it’s when daily we get the BBC ” and now the news where you are “.

    At least this was sent up a couple of months ago !

  12. Scottishdragon says:

    I’ve really enjoyed your two pieces Lauren, very interesting and inspirational. Was very pleased to see your first piece in the Sunday Herald today!

    O/T ish did anyone read the Women Together article (also in the SH) bringing up suffrage as a reason for voting no? I’d always thought of the suffrage campaign being similar to the independence campaign, both being campaigns for more democracy, but each to their own I suppose!

  13. xsticks says:

    Great piece of writing Lauren. I’ve enjoyed your posts.

    “you’re going to have to get your own backside into gear and start doing more. I don’t mean just tweet or facebook a link.”

    My backside is already in gear, but we do need more activists on the ground to ensure that we win this. Even if you can’t chap doors or deliver leaflets then sign up for telephone canvassing or even just fold papers ready for delivery. Every little counts.

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