Still a reluctant anorak

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?

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.


32 comments on “Still a reluctant anorak

  1. aitchbee says:

    Well said! I’ve been watching the SNP conference on live streaming, and a more confident, buoyant party you’d be hard-pressed to find. This time maybe we will snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. We may be down, but we’re not out and the fight isn’t over by a long chalk.

  2. jimnarlene says:

    They’ll never put Scotland back in the box.

  3. Hugh Bryce says:

    The way to show we are not back in the box is to send as many SNP members to West Minster as possible at the next GE 2015.Hold them to account as we rise from the ashes of the referendum.No more scare story’s Rise Scotland and be a Nation again.

  4. Alistair McGregor says:

    Love your column every week…’s like a blood transfusion and keeps me going!!!!

  5. Steve Bowers says:

    Great post, kinda sums every thing /feeling up. Thanks

  6. jdman says:

    Im right with you on that Macart,
    posts like this are the reason they keep demanding the yes leadership cry uncle,
    they’re no more than playground bullies and they are terrified to stop holding our arms up our back because they know

  7. rabthecab says:

    Very, very well said Samuel! As the results came in I felt all those emotions and more, even more so from my self-imposed exile in Engerland if that makes sense.

    But you know what? I hadn’t been so politically engaged in all my life than in the run-up to the IndyRef (even if my location meant that this consisted mainly of joining in debates & discussions on line, and tweeting the hell out of everything to help spread the word!)

    I spent the ensuing weekend wandering round in a daze (especially after witnessing 2nd hand the disgraceful behaviour of certain Unionists in George Square on the Friday night,), unable to comprehend the lack of faith you mention above, cursing the No voters for what they had done to their childrens’ future, to their country’s future, to the worst-off in society who would & will be even more so until things change (and we all know the only way to bring about that change.)

    Then I saw a tweet & photos about the foodbank collection in George Square, and started to feel a wee bit better, followed by the continuing momentum in the wider Yes movement, the surge in SNP membership, the Hope Over Fear rally and all the rest, and I thought “You know what, not only can Independence happen, it’s inevitable!”

    And I truly believe it is.

    Saor Alba!

  8. Aye macart, that’ll dae fir me.

  9. yesguy says:

    Superb Sam.

    Your getting a big fan base and i always make time for your efforts.

    You speak for us all Sam. We lost the battle not the war and we are mobile and itching for more. Putting SNP into WM in large numbers is the way ahead. Labour cannot be trusted and i doubt many of their own supporters believe they are capable anymore.

    Having watched the SNP conference and a wee read through the usual haunts, there is a momentum that cannot be stopped. The place is buzzing .

    It’s funny how MSM commentators say forget Independence , you lost , get on and do something else. Aye right.

    All the liberties we have ,were won through persistent effort and not going away. Refusing to give up and press for more each time. It’ starts with a crack in the dam and then a flood.

    Great pick me up Sam.

    The fight goes on.

  10. Play it again Sam!
    That hits the spot on lots of post-ref feelings.
    It’s not over till it’s over and we will get there, the sooner the better.

  11. hektorsmum says:

    Agree with all who are commenting on your piece Sam. We were really downhearted, I started looking for a home outside of Scotland, then when we realised what was the point and in that went North to the Moray Coast to look at houses. We realised up there, the fight was still continuing and I broke the rules of the house and went back on line. I am so glad we are not beaten, I know now that the tide has turned and the people are not going to be like they were after the first Devolution Referendum which saw the SNP put firmly down. The Tide is coming in stronger than it ever has and Westminster can enjoy the fruits of their lying and cheating for a wee while, hence race for Fracking. I am sure they know they are done for it is only a matter of when.
    Great Post, you hold the fort well.

  12. George Elliott says:

    I guess we’re a bit like Rocky! We keep on getting knocked down…. But Hey,they are getting so demoralised as WE keep getting up and saying ” Is that it? Is that all you’ve got!” WE the people will have a independant Scotland sooner than later, because they don’t know what else they can do to stop us! It’s a bit like Trying to stop the tide coming in, their Castle is being washed down, wave by wave!
    Each time I read the articles on these sites, with the comments from our brothers and sisters, I feel the hairs rise with the goosebumps knowing I will be able to tell my Grand children about the time when we were enslaved and how we broke the beasts back by just getting up, getting up and finally they had to let us be free!
    The fight is going on and they are backing up, wondering why they don’t or can’t have the passion we do!
    They have run out of ammunition to scare us and they know it……..

  13. Nana says:

    Macart, my family went through the same emotions. Tearful disbelief and feeling hollow inside. I will admit to still having moments like that but they are fewer with each passing day.

    Posts like yours helps me find my mojo so you keep on being an ‘anorak’

  14. johnmcgurk66 says:

    I think there is a new found spirit in Scotland a faith in ourselves of pulling together a belief in the old saying (WE ARE ALL JOCK TAMSONS BAIRNS) of again putting all of us first . And I do not think the people of Scotland will be thwarted in their ambitions for the country and its people

  15. mogabee says:

    Great post Sam. In my little area of Kintyre, the SNP increased from 85 to over 300! People are energised and we have 2 new groups setting up to make change happen and better for all. It’s so exciting but I have an unbelievable full diary again…no rest for the wicked!

  16. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Good stuff Sir.
    The really weird thing for me is that outside the Westminster/MSM bubble it’s almost impossible to find anyone who thinks Westminster ain’t broke.
    Even folks I know who voted No think Westminster is a busted flush (yet were/are naive enough to believe it can be fixed with evolution).

  17. scunneredwiwm says:

    Thanks Macart. You sum up my feelings exactly, and eloquently.

  18. diabloandco says:

    Thanks Macart – I need to know that we are all still alert and aware and fighting on.
    I sometimes forget and become a downhearted despairer and then somebody gives me reasons to be cheerful .
    What with Wings ,WGD ,Bella ,Scot goes Pop and all those below the line ,add to that the SNP conference ,these last few days I’ve felt optimistic and raring to go!

  19. kat hamilton says:

    wonderful to watch the snp conference today, the emotion was intense saying goodbye to alex..or should that be au revoir when he return to waste monger.what a man, hero isnt strong enough…momentous times ahead

  20. macart763 says:

    Many thanks for the comments folks. Always appreciated.

    To keep on theme set by all of you, no we’re not done, not by any measure. In fact we’re just getting started in my opinion.

    The referendum has changed something fundamental not just within politics, but in our society. We’re switched on, engaged, aware of each other and our communities as well as our politics and governance. People are beginning to gather together to help each other whether it be community projects or food bank drives, we can see the need all around us and people are beginning to act where our politicians and big government have failed.

    They let us down big time. We gave them power and responsibility. We gave them permission and trust. They’ve misused and wasted all that we left in their care. We CAN put it right and we CAN have the form of governance we want. WE MAKE IT HAPPEN.

    On September 18th a majority chose to give Westminster and a political union one last chance. Those who made this choice had many and varied reasons, whether it was a case of independence not yet, caution/fear, self interest or that some were ideologically opposed to the concept of an independent Scotland, it matters not. This is the choice they made and for the moment we are part of that choice.

    For me, day one of the next campaign starts now and continues till we convince, in democratic fashion, a majority to support full self governance. In the meantime I reckon top of the to do list has to be holding Westminster parties and the media to account for their campaign statements and pledges. We put pro Scotland parties, a YES alliance of MPs into that parliament next May. In my opinion, only such a contingent will push Westminster to fulfil every last pledge made during that campaign. We know for an absolute certainty that the entrenched Westminster parties will not. They’ve proven beyond a shadow of a doubt they’re not the solution, they’re the problem.

  21. A Meringue says:

    Wise words Sam, wise words!

    I can’t add much to what you said.

    I guess we just keep on keepin on.

  22. Clootie says:

    …it is just starting!

    I did not realise that in the days after the 18th. However I should have known better given the passion built in the YES campaign.

    Keep up the good work.

  23. Mike Hamilton says:

    Well said Macart. The referendum wasn’t the end, that was just a practice run. We know exactly how to do it next time. For real.

  24. Was listening to Nicolas’s speech on the computer, feeling the Labour party is going to have a hard time coming anywhere near the vision she set out. And more than that, she gave a detailed roadmap of how we need to get there and why growing businesses and the economy, as well as childcare provision, are instrumental in enabling us to tackle inequality and poverty. No empty spin and rhetoric, but solid promises, which working together we can bring to fruition.

    So different from the aftermath of 1979. After the numbing, the anger and frustration, we now have hope rising like a glorious sun on the horizon, a bright new dawn heralding a bright new day.

  25. davidmccann24 says:

    Great post Sam. Just back from Perth and all fired up for the task ahead.
    The air there was crackling like a firework.membership is now over 85800!
    You will be pleased to hear that in your old stamping ground of Oban, it has soared from 110 to nearly 600.
    Onwards and upwards!

  26. davidmccann24 says:

    And btw membership of the SNPs Trade union group is now bigger than the entire Scottish Labour Party!!

  27. Ann says:

    Felt like many people on here on the 19th.

    Told my lass who is studying for her Degree, thanks to free tuition fees and go where her talents would be of more use and appreciated. A bet a lot of mums and dads said exactly the same thing.

    Went away for the weekend up to Dornoch and saw the yes flags and banners dotted round the towns, villages, hamlets and in InverYESs itself and thought “This isn’t over. It has just begun”.

    Returned home and first thing I did was join the SNP.

    We may have lost step 1, but I’m now ready for step 2 – Helping to oust as many of the Better Together protagonists at the GE2015 and beyond until Independence is ours.

    • hektorsmum says:

      Strangely Ann, it was a trip up to Nairn and Buckie to look at houses which did for me, I had taken off the badge thrown them away in disgust and stopped coming onto the internet and as for the news, well the TV was under wraps. When I saw all the YES signs up on hills and in peoples windows I knew the fight was still on.
      Well I have my new badges, and I am gearing up for the fight. You and I need to wear name tags at meetings so we may recognise each other, yesterday was wonderful so many people, so passionate.

  28. xsticks says:

    Man, Macart that fair lifted my aching heart.

    On we go together.

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