A guest post by Samuel Miller (Macart)
Its been a rubbish week in the referendum and the press have gone into overdrive trying to beat us senseless with their usual melange of ever so helpful condescending commentaries on just how evil Alex Salmond is and just how hopeless and needless is the idea of Scottish independence. Yet for all that I’m sitting here with a small measure of good cheer in a glass and building a head of steam for an all’s right with the world kind of fuzzy feeling. I’ve just read some posts on WGD and as usual I’ve got a smile on my face that only well measured and insightful wit or a heartfelt message of hope can deliver and suddenly I’m thinking – Wow, what’s it going to be like? What do I want to see change in an independent Scotland?
It’s a conversation I’ve had on more than one occasion in the past couple of years with family, friends, workmates and the odd ambushed stranger. It didn’t feel quite real though, because the vote was always so far in the future and we had such a mountain to climb to overcome a wall of media and establishment orthodoxy. But now? Now we are weeks away from the vote and even the media can’t hide the fact that its too close to call.
Despite what Alistair Darling apparently believes, we are more than capable of producing an economically successful, fairer, more socially just country on our own. We have the wealth, the will, the resources and the brains. This is something all parties in a Westminster establishment system have singularly failed to do in the last hundred years, or in fact ever. Oh and unlike Mr. Darling I have absolutely zero hesitation in backing the Scottish electorate’s ability to deliver this if they really want it.
Oh sure, we’ve been promised powers granting us more ‘responsibility’ (BT/Con/Lab/Libdem ™), yet with no actual power attached. We’ve been assured our future is golden, yet with no vision, road map or timetable from either BT or unionist parties produced to back the claim up. The party leaders even signed a wee piece of paper which goes along the lines of saying, ‘trust us, we promise we’ll come up with something, something, something (inaudible mumble) significant’. Signed, luv n’ kisses etc. Dave, Ed, Nick, Ruth, Johann and thingy.
We already have plenty of evidence to hand to see just what the current establishment system is capable of in terms of democracy and general management of course. It’s called AUSTERITY. Which basically means they’ve taken your money and your trust, squandered both and proclaimed themselves blameless and cleared of any responsibility.
This self same system and the parties which support and rely upon it are effectively in the process of punishing the general public for the complete and utter cluster fuck which they themselves had a hand in creating. They have then set about asking us for more cash, more trust, criminalizing the most vulnerable in our society along the way and leaving a trail of misery, hopelessness, apathy and social division in their wake. All this in order to have a second tilt at the roulette wheel whilst creating a handy scapegoat in those who can’t fight back. Better yet, not content to sit back while they’re on a roll, they now have the brass neck to ask the Scottish electorate to support this farcical position and keep this appalling system entrenched for at least another generation. Their problem however is that on September 18th even the scapegoats will have their say on Westminster’s system of government.
Now as I understand it we also have to hand a *timetable and guarantees for root and branch social and constitutional changes which a vote for independence WILL deliver. Chief among these is of course a written *constitution which the electorate of Scotland will have a hand in drafting. The very rare and precious opportunity to have a say in creating the kind of country you want to live in. The chance to have the rights and responsibilities of the citizen and their government enshrined in law. The template of the future of Scotland starts right there and its been given to this generation to say YES we can do this. This gift won’t come again for a very long time, if ever, and the sooner people get their heads round the fact this may be a once in a lifetime chance to make a real difference in the world, the better. So here’s the special, not to be missed, offer – What kind of Scotland do you want?
I’m no politician and there’s no professorship on the other end of this keyboard, but then you don’t need to be to have an opinion. So I’ll set the ball rolling with something along the lines of…
In my Scotland the people are sovereign
In my Scotland service to the people comes before personal or party ambition for elected representatives
In my Scotland all are equal under law regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion and able to live without the fear of discrimination on any level
In my Scotland no child will be born into crippling poverty and want for food or shelter
You get the drift, it’s about imagining better. It’s about imagining what we can make of ourselves with a world of choice at our fingertips and the resources and will to back it up. But this is about the Scotland you want to see too, the one that we all have a say in. From the poorest in our society to the most fortunate, every single one of us in an independent Scotland will have a say in our governance. A popular sovereignty with directly accountable government and a constitution. Think about that.
Every creation, every progressive step forward in any field starts with a dream. So sit back for a moment, relax, let your imagination go and start with – ‘In my Scotland…’.
Other helpful sources for ideas: