A guest post by Samuel Miller
Back in May of this year I wrote the post Survival of the fittest. In that post I outlined what I considered to be my own personal summary of the challenges faced by UK society and the nature of the forces ranged against the YES movement, or indeed any movement seeking a fairer, more just system of government. Basically my thoughts on why we are where we are.
I pointed out what I felt were a couple of reasons for that and as a refresher, here’s the second one: “The second reason we are where we are? That would be the fault of the electorate. You get who you vote for. You get the society you contribute to – or don’t, as the case may be. For generations the populations of the UK bought into the big lie of our governance, that it gave a shit, could be trusted, was just the way it was meant to be. We allowed ourselves to be reduced to ‘ists’, ‘isms’ and labels (Makes that whole dividing thing so much easier). We allowed our system of government to take our best and brightest, make over their idealism and turn them into ‘weel kent’ faces we would vote for, perpetuating the cycle of legislative abuse. Worse, we allowed them to tell us who to trust, who to vote for, who to alienate and who to hate.”
For the removal of any doubt. What people are up against today hasn’t become any less frightening:
That wee list could be endless. You could literally cut and paste linked examples all day and I haven’t even touched on the usual subjects of ‘politics as it is practised’, the meeja, or a host of individual policies and scandals over recent years. If people are looking for something that needs to be opposed. If they’re looking for baddies under the bed, or something to get outraged about, then there are plenty examples to be found. There are people and causes who need help in the here and now. Entire populations of these islands, fractured demographics, oppressed minorities. Y’know, human beings.
Me? I’m easily offended and outraged really. A big softie with the accent on the soft bit, which spookily gets softer and wider the older I get (cough). I get offended when those we literally pay to care for our wants and needs abuse the trust we place in them. I am also somewhat miffed when those we empower put their own population in harms way for the sake of party political advantage or pure greed driven self interest (see under any campaign ever, but more recently both the EU and Scottish independence referendums). When they steal from us, abuse their positions, sign our names on the dotted line for illegal wars, or selling arms to others for their wars and abuses of human rights.
I am particularly offended when I see families in 21st century Scotland go without. When they have to make a choice between feeding the weans or paying the bills. I get offended when those least able to defend themselves are preyed upon by empathy free bastards in government who won’t know a day of hardship in their pampered, besuited, public expense fiddling, thieving, entitled lives. Those … people…, who know full well what they do and why they do it, are a special peeve in my book.
Basically, I get offended by people who harm others because they can, or because it benefits themselves. There’s a name for them. No, don’t tell me. It’s on the tip my tongue. It’ll come back in a moment. To be fair though, you could probably use several descriptors forming extended sentences, so fill in your own preference (though not in comments, m’kay? There may be young impressionable folk under fifty reading).
The buck still stops in the very same two places though. It stops with your system of central government and with YOU. The one we have currently feeds off the other’s compliance, acceptance and division. It needs that mix to continue doing all of the above examples and keeping itself and its patrons in the style to which they’ve become accustomed. That and being nearly totally unaccountable to those in it’s care.
Now you can have a system of government, practice of politics and an establishment which demands your compliance, your loyalty and your obedience. Yes you can. You can have a system that uses intimidation, fear and uncertainty as political strategy and practice against its own population. You can live on a media diet of celebrity get me tae f*** out of here and vote this way because the other team’s ‘the wrong sort’ too. You can continue to be told who and what you are by folk you’ve never met, nor walked a mile in your shoes. You can stay on your knees and get kicked repeatedly for daring to think you’re as good as.
Or you can stand up and TELL them you’re as good as. You can have a system that earns your vote, your loyalty, your appreciation and is obedient to the mandate you give it. You can have a government which offers care and aid to all of your population without favour, where and when it is needed. You can have a system of politics that rejects the tools of intimidation and fear because that’s how you want it. You can have a government that’s within the reach of the toe of your boot when it steps out of line, or when it’s politicians feel like dipping their sticky digits into the public kitty.
That choice is entirely up to you.
In the run up to Scotland’s 2014 indyref, many pro indy writers and bloggers wrote of what they feared was the future of a Scotland which still remained a UK partner. Throughout the YES movement we all had some pretty dark thoughts on the potential of that no vote given the nature of UK politics tbf. Back then it was on the horizon, something waiting to happen, but which we hoped would not. Personally, even in the aftermath of the vote, I hoped we were wrong, that the worst wouldn’t, couldn’t happen. Well, it’s here now and happening all around us. I also very much doubt it’s even close to the worst of the hardships and challenges our electorates have to face.
It’s not rocket science. We do this together. We work together to fix this, or we lose more than you can possibly imagine. We dump the rosettes, the petty grievances, the chips on shooders. We win by celebrating our differences and knowing that we are accepted by each other as a whole package. That’s kinda what it means to be a community, a population. We come from every walk of life imaginable and these days a fair few points of origin, but we ARE Scottish citizens. We are Scots. Think about that for a second. Really think about what it means and what it could mean.
You either govern for ALL, or you’re not fit to govern. Equally you either want a system of government capable of that, or you don’t deserve one.
I’ll leave it to readers to make their own minds up of course, but I know what I’d rather have.