A guest post by Samuel Miller (Macart)
Well we’re eight weeks on from the vote and the world hasn’t come to a crashing halt. The sky isn’t raining blood. Sulphrous pits haven’t opened under our homes (though fracking will be coming to a locale near you, sooner than you’d like), and near as I can tell, the big red lad with cloven hooves isn’t wandering up and down Sauchiehall Street condemning innocent souls to hell for siding with the YES campaign. He’ll be voted in as Labour’s north British branch manager sometime soon though I imagine. Mind you as the political post voted most likely to have the same social impact as a fart in a lift by pundits throughout the meeja world, is north British branch manager a post anyone truly wants?
Granted, on the morning of the 19th September it did feel as though someone had cut out my heart, threw it on the ground at my feet and stomped it into the dirt in front of my eyes. I was devastated, bereft and frankly found it hard to work up the will to speak to anyone for several days. My wife and I stared at the television screen in disbelief and tears were running down both our faces. We couldn’t believe that people would have so little faith in themselves that they would throw away their right to complete self governance. To hand a patently and demonstrably broken system permission to keep robbing you blind of everything right down to your own identity.
This is what our unionist politicians wanted to hear from us y’know. This is the despair, the pain, the humiliation, the result they intended and I hold my hands up, I felt all of those emotions…
…and thankfully a few more besides.
They intended that we would be so demoralised and crushed as a movement, that they could simply shit on us from a great height, and that we’d be too grief stricken and beaten down to do anything about whatever agenda they set. They kinda hoped that those rowdy northern types would get their bolshie, democratic asses back in their box with the lid firmly welded shut for the next hundred years, if not permanently. Let’s face it, they’ve wasted absolutely no time in getting their stalled agendas up and running have they?
Lessee now: *Intent to slash Scotland’s block grant. Issue of both fracking and north sea licences for those volatile and rapidly diminishing resources that no one in their right mind would want. Oh and did you hear the one about the proposed sovereign wealth fund for the north of England (profits from fracking). Laugh? I nearly had to replace my lungs, I laughed sooooo hard. Pension reform, MOD surface fleet sourcing stooshie (nowhere to hide on that for either Labour or HMG). The ongoing fracturing of the UKs standing with the EU and looming in/out referendum. Then of course the biggie from a Scottish perspective, Scotland’s further devolution settlement via the Smith commission.
Timetable apparently already under threat, proposals from the various parties somewhat at odds with expectations created by the media and certain weel kent individuals (yeah, we’re lookin’ at you Messrs Broon and Darling). Not to mention the small matter of something like 14k(?) submissions to wade through discuss and deliberate upon in less than thirty days. We’re to take this process seriously? As for what our parliamentarians consider maximum devolution or what constitutes significant powers? Just see here for your handy dandy guide to who’s selling you what? http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-party-of-devolution/
That’s just a handful of examples which have hit the whole Scottish electorate right where it hurts in the past few weeks. There’s a lot that’s not been listed above, but we all know where to look to keep abreast of the latest stitch ups by this point. You’ll find the links at the side of this page.
Bottom line? The fix was in from the start. Our referendum was hijacked by big government, big business and big media. Them’s the ugly triplets who took our people’s referendum, our democratic process and turned it into a party political circus. We know what they did, how they did it and why they did it. This goes a long way to explaining what happened next in Scottish politics after September 19th and it also goes some way to explaining those other emotions I felt – frustration, indignant rage, disgust, contempt for them and what they’d done, but mainly a cold, cold anger.
Here’s something I said in a previous post.
“I believe that the Scottish Government and the YES campaign aren’t just asking us to have faith or trust in them though, but also in ourselves. They are asking that we put our cynicism to one side and have faith in a possible future and each other, in our families and communities to make that possible future a reality.
I now choose to put cynicism to one side. I choose to care and I choose to believe we can do better, both for ourselves and more importantly each other.”
I still choose to care. I still choose to believe we can do better and be better. I still choose to be an anorak.
Firstly, the defeat they intended wasn’t as massive or crushing as they’d have liked for all the power they brought to bear. This was followed by an enormous surge in memberships for pro indy parties. The continuance of sites like this and the plans afoot to create a new media presence in Scotland. The meetings of continuing YES groups at local level. The moves toward a YES alliance and the noise we continue to make on a daily basis on forums across the net and social media. The arguments we still have at work, in the pub, across a dinner table – HOPE – a new emotion to add to the list.
We didn’t get back in our box. We aren’t just lying down or giving up. We’re taking the situation we find ourselves in, making the best of it and moving forward. There’s not a politician in Scotland now who can or should take a motivated and politically aware Scottish electorate for granted for the foreseeable future. There are no safe seats for those who feel they are ‘entitled’ to our vote ‘just because’. There are no safe seats for those who set about demeaning, intimidating and misleading for personal or party political gain. The referendum process has opened our eyes, educated us, made us media savvy and with a GE round the corner we remember who said what and when.
Its time our friends in all three Westminster oriented parties were reminded that they serve us, we don’t serve them. We are not electoral currency, we are people and people who have been served and let down badly by our system of government and especially by our representation to that institution.
GE 2015 – Let’s send down a contingent to Westminster that represents and will fight for the Scottish electorate’s interests in this partnership for as long as it lasts. The current team’s performance and record has proven… unsatisfactory.