Are we there yet?

A guest post by Samuel Miller

2017… It’s a bit of a badly written disaster movie, isn’t it? What is it they call them? Mockbusters? Politics and its institutions falling apart and brought into disrepute near daily. Economy teetering on the brink of brexitmageddon. A society constantly having their frustrations, anger, fears and uncertainties stoked by the next horror headline. Headlines mainly supplied by policy wonks looking to snag a vote for their agenda du jour, or a motivated meeja themselves looking to make a quid and support their party sociopath of choice. Oh, and after two referendums, the winning slim majorities and campaigns of both tainting the whole of UK society with the nasty stank of intolerance, exclusion and isolationism. Just to add a degree of difficulty we really, REALLY, needed in our lives about now. As for trust? In any major institution of central government? Do NOT get me started. It’s more than taken a kicking in the recent past. Welcome to Brexit/Austerity UK. The inevitable destination of the politics of me, masel’ and I.

No, I’m not seeing many laugh out loud moments in this particular mockbuster script either.

People aren’t born to hate or fear you know? No, that gets taught. It’s what you experience. It’s driven by outside forces in your life. It is also what I find most unforgivable about politics as it is practised UK style. Democracy cynically managed. Democracy undermined. Democracy and identity defined by the powerful, managed to favour a parliament and political class, then re-branded and marketed for public consumption. Politics and government for the population made worthless. The tail wagging the dog as it were.

Establishment parties in our own system made it ‘OK’ to hate someone. They ensured that the politics of greed, envy and self was the norm. The messages they sent out through their media chums made it acceptable to demonise and disenfranchise whole demographics for political gain, that the ends justified the means. The normalisation of the worst in our natures. Parties with decades of Westminster entitlement, preaching loyalty and unity, paying lip service to tolerance, whilst telling people who to exclude, hate and punish. Dehumanising your intended victims is where it starts. Where it ends? Historically… rarely any place good.

This past year in politics has been one long Q.E.D. moment. Lot’s of folk, especially in the media, telling us who to include on their exclusion list. Well, big whoop! They’ve succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. So, how is Brexit working out for everyone? Everybody just peachy in Better Together’s pooling and sharing union of equals? Is this the vision of the UK going forward you thought it would be?

Put it another way. If you’re poor, disabled, a supporter of Scottish self government, a person of furren origin living in the UK, furren in general, a remainer, or any number of other ‘minority’ groups*, are you all feeling the lurve of one nation unity about now? Do you feel wanted, included, significant? Do feel as if your views are valued, respected… heard even? (*Yes, I know. Not really insignificant minorities. Pretty much fairly major demographics)

If you don’t. If you feel that the language and practice of our political class has been less than honest or caring. If you feel the rhetoric and publicity generated by the mainstream media has been less than conducive toward the creation of a cohesive and tolerant society,  then where does the buck stop? The source of the message? The ever so willing messenger, or those the message is aimed at?

Back in August 2016 I posted the piece Who needs a sword (fades to wavy lines);

“The written word is powerful. People can be moved to acts of great kindness and humanitarian aid, or they can be moved to acts of intolerance and great inhumanity. They can be motivated to feel true empathy, humour, regret, hope, aspiration even. Or they can be made to feel doubt, uncertainty, anger, fear and hatred. In the hands of a true wordsmith it is a tool or a weapon that can influence the emotions and opinions of individuals and populations alike for good or ill.”

As I said, the whole year seems to have been one long Q.E.D. moment. Right wing politicians and media have gone to town on major demographics of the UK in pursuit of Brexitmageddon. The reborn ‘kinder, more honest’ Labour party have gone to war with seemingly everyone else in politics whilst searching for political relevance and a long lost soul. The Libdems have sat on the sidelines and learning from their betters, now speak fluent hypocrite demanding a referendum ‘do over’. BUT NOT FOR YOU SCOTLAND! Seems you’re either not far right enough for some, or you’re not left leaning enough for the other, and both extremes would still sell their granny for a sniff of the big chair. Their hypocrisy on tolerance and inclusion, loyalty and unity is basically a complete insult to any reasonable human being’s intelligence. In reality their idea of ‘unity’ is to seemingly shout at you a lot through their respective meeja channels, demand your loyalty, your compliance and a blind acceptance of their respective narratives. Apparently speaking to you like a human being and earning those things through actions are for lesser mortals.

Maybe just me, but given their respective narratives, strategies and ideologies, I’d say they’re going about this whole reaching out and unity thing in the wrong way.

The casualties, as per usual, are a general public who simply want a meal on their table at the end of the day and a roof over their heads. A public who want their servants to do the jobs for which they are amply paid, ensure that they are cared for and just as importantly… be respected and listened to. Doesn’t seem much of an ask, now does it? Seein’ as how we kinda do pay the wages and all. Most folk don’t want to hate anyone. They don’t want war or strife, or argument with their neighbours. Life’s hard enough thanks. They just want to cut along with their lives in relative peace and security. What they have though, is a system of government, political parties and a practice of politics which drives their opinions and emotions through fear, uncertainty and doubt on a daily basis. Who does that to the people in their care? (answers on a postcard etc.)

This ‘practice’ has done incalculable damage to the constituent parts of the United Kingdom. It has fractured society, outraged partners, alienated friends, dragged an economy to the brink and generally scared people shitless. When people are scared, they get angry, frustrated. They look for targets to unload their fears and frustrations upon. Cue the never ending cycle of spin, misdirection and scapegoating. Something the current Scottish government and the wider YES movement are all too familiar with.

So, are we there yet? Have we hit rock bottom with no way out? Well, no. No we haven’t hit bottom yet (hard to believe, I know), but there is a way out before we do.

Politically, all the electorate of Scotland have ever needed to do is empower and mandate a willing Scottish government to seek a dissolution of a treaty. Take their powers back from those currently misusing them and start doing what all normal countries do. Live. Make choices. Screw up sometimes and be a credit to the world at others. Do what grown ups do. That example stands a chance of starting something better throughout these islands. No more than that, but a chance nonetheless. Aspire to be better than we are and as good as everyone else.

On a personal level? I’d say that so long as you remember what caring and tolerance is really all about. So long as you refuse to be defined or pigeonholed by some political sociopath, or an out of control media, then you retain the power to choose. You can choose to not walk on by those in need. You can choose not to hate on demand. You can choose how you live. You can choose to think for yourself. You choose.

Sounds a bit like self determination really.

 

Normal sarcasm will be resumed after the artisanal baps, filled with (organically reared) turkey, have been consumed. All the very best of the festive season readers.

 

35 comments on “Are we there yet?

  1. Kenzie says:

    Beautiful, Sam. Just beautiful.

  2. wm says:

    Thanks Sam nothing to add to this, all the best for 2018.

  3. […] Wee Ginger Dug Are we there yet? A guest post by Samuel Miller 2017… It’s a bit of a badly written disaster movie, […]

  4. 2p3rf3ct says:

    Not far now. Downhill with Motherwell and Wishaw on the right and East Kilbride on the left.

    Leave the UK at your leisure or stay for the civil war?

    #ScotRef

  5. john 58 says:

    Another excellent piece Sam ,thank you for all your thoughts and knowledge.

  6. Beautiful piece, Sam. Written with your usual care and more meaningful than ever in the current “Season of Goodwill”. A Merry Yule to you.

  7. Sheryl Hepworth says:

    Brilliant Sam. I wish wecould get these blogs out in to the whole country it might make a few more folks think!! Ah well onwards and upwards! All the best of the season to you and yours and here’s to 2018 hope springs eternal and all that!!

  8. Toni says:

    A great post, Sam. I’ll be sharing it in my usual places, a few emails here, facebook there, tumblr for the youngsters. A good Yule to you.

  9. Andy Anderson says:

    Yes, as others say above, a well thought out piece of script. I get a feeling that the people I know are all starting to realise and notice what you refer to in your article. Those No voters from 2014.

    One exception to this of course, he, a good friend, will be happy to sink in economic suicide to escape “those dictators in the EU” and as for Indy, no chance. Still he is entitled to his opinion. Hopefully the many soft ‘No’s’ out there will see the light soon and raise the polls.

    A merry Christmas to you Sam, Paul and Ginger plus all the other readers of this blog. Fingers crossed for a good 2018 regarding increased awareness in our citizens,

  10. xsticks says:

    Fine words Sam, damn fine words. Self determination. That’s the dream I aspire to. A chance to choose a better future, a better society. A caring country. Scotland.

    Wishin’ ye’s a’ orrabest fir the solstice ‘n’ a’ that.

  11. Dan Huil says:

    2017 has been a surprising year for supporters of Scotland’s independence. 2018 will be a pleasantly surprising one for these same supporters..

  12. Whitburnsfinest says:

    Well said, Sam. Ok, it feels weird calling you Sam. Well said, Macart 🙂

    Honestly, they remind me of those Christians who want everyone to come to know Jesus but who go about it by YELLING FIRE AND BRIMSTONE AT YOU AND TELL YOU YOURE GOING TO HELL BECAUSE YOU HAVE SEX OUTSIDE MARRIAGE. Good message (in my opinion), just horrible delivery,

    Yes, we should be more united, show more empathy, care more, judge less. We would make the world a better place if we all did this. But like you say, bullying and threatening people isn’t the way to do it.

    My hope and prayer is that somehow, some way, 2018 will be a more tolerant year in which humanity as a ehole can begin to lift each other up, not tear each other down, and that the good deeds done by many will drown out the bad stuff done by the few.

  13. Thanks, Samuel. This is exactly the living strategy I have adopted personally. Whilst we might not yet live in independent Scotland, we can be independent Scotland in the way we live as individual human beings. Be to our fellow human beings (and animals) what we wish our new nation to be to humanity and the world.
    Best Yuletide wishes to all of you. I’m not going to tempt fate for 2018 but I hope it exceeds expectations for you all! 😉

  14. Marconatrix says:

    Well folks, I believe today has been the shortest day of the year, so tonight will probably be the longest night. I wish you all a pleasant journey through the holiday and on into the coming year. Onward and upward to the light 🙂

  15. Mark Russell says:

    “Are We There Yet?”

    Si. Bravo Catalunya.

  16. Peace on earth and good will to all, Sam. Well, for a few days anyway.
    I have observed before that I do not possess Paul’s or your level-headedness, and ability to consider the other person’s point of view, no matter how mad, hurtful, or dangerous their opinions may be.
    From Roget’s Thesaurus, just a few associated words generated by ‘hate’.

    1. animosity
    2 . antagonism
    3. enmity

    4. hatred

    5. horror
    6. hostility
    7. loathing
    8. pain
    9. rancour
    10. resentment
    11. revenge
    12. venom
    13. abhorrence
    14. abomination
    15. anathema
    16. animus
    17. antipathy
    18. aversion
    19. bother
    20. bugbear
    21. detestation
    22. disgust
    23. execration
    24. frost
    25. grievance
    26. gripe
    27. irritant
    28. malevolence
    29. malignity
    30. nuisance
    31. objection
    32. odium
    33. rankling
    34. repugnance
    35. repulsion
    36. revulsion
    37. scorn
    38. spite
    39. trouble
    40. black beast
    41. bête noire
    42. ill will
    43. mislike
    44. nasty look
    45. no love lost

    When I heard Willie Rennie on FMQ lambasting NS over treatment of the mental health of youngsters, the little pipsqueak of a man whose party in Coalition with the Blue Tories murder 130,00 of our citizens every year because of Rob the Poor Reward the Rich Government edict, the man who is content with the Two Child UCS policy, the man who is ok with Housing Benefit being taken away from 18-21 year olds, who has kept quiet about the Rape Clause, the Bedroom Tax, 260,000 Scots youngsters living in poverty because of his policies, 500,000 of our citizens this Christmas eating tinned goods from Food banks, old folk, sitting down to eat on Christmas Day with their heating off and winter coats on, the man who boasts that the UK Government is an economic success because they took £29 billion out of the mouths of our poorest, ill, and elderly, while giving Lord Darling a 5% cashback on his tax….I didn’t ‘hate him.
    But 5,6,7,14,18,21,22,36,and 37, from the above Aide Memoir apply.
    I could go on.
    Peace to all on here.
    Cuddle a Yoon, if ye may.
    Forgive them, even although they know what they do.

  17. Macart says:

    I’m just going to leave this here with a smiley thingy. 🙂

    Catalan pro-independence parties keep their majority in snap poll

    Mr Rajoy should maybe be aware that despite his best efforts, the world will be watching what happens next.

    • “the world will be watching what happens next.”
      Not if the BBC has anything to do with it, Sam.
      2018 is going to be a doozy.
      And so to bed.
      The longest night, the days get longer and brighter from tomorrow.
      In no time the green shoots of daffodils will sprout up in my back yard, and my spirits and temperatures will rise as we move closer to the sun and Free Scotland.

  18. mogabee says:

    The British state has to have an enemy, it’s usually some furreners who maist folk hivnae heard of. Now it’s the turn of the Scottish state-in-waiting to find itself ridiculed, laughed at and now it seems ignored!

    Not quite sure what amuses me the most to be honest.

    But worry not, blue passports are returning so ‘everything is gonna be alright, as the song goes.

    2018 will be an eventful year as the EU negotiations( or is it capitulations) : ) reach a critical conclusion, or not as the case seems to be. Still so many issues to resolve and so little time or expertise on the uk side!

    Here’s to next year’s challenges and how we overcome them…

    Merry Christmas, peaceful and ice-free New Year to all. ;-D

  19. Sam, I don’t think we’re there yet, but we’re getting there. We’re well doon the road!

    Complements of the season to you and yours.

  20. Andy Anderson says:

    Did you hear the BBC this morning? Apparently the MOD is considering upping the pay of members of the forces that live in Scotland to compensate them for there tax burden!! Why? What utter rubbish. Most people in the forces will not earn over £33,000 and if any do then why should they get a refund in anyway as they have the benefits of living in Scotland.

  21. Distorting Scotland tonight.
    The Main Headline? Rangers Chairman given 30 days to stump up millions or he ‘s oot.
    Really? This is the top story in Scotland today? Is it fuck!
    Perhaps this is edge of the seat stuff for a few thousand knuckledraggers; for the rest of us? who gives a feck?
    Then the Police Gazette/Daily Record murders past present and Cold Case for three items, and any visitors over the holidays must have been regretting coming here if they watch Distorting Scotland tonight.
    Then the correct Top Story, a ‘Government’ scheme, they miss out the ‘Scottish’ bit, whereby the parents of premature babies, there are apparently 4000 premature births per year will now automatically get financial help, £1 million and a half set aside per annum, while their babies are kept in hospital for days, weeks, sometimes months.

    It is reported that visiting newborns retained in hospital can cost couples £200 per week in travelling, meals, and so on.
    Now in a week end when we celebrate a newborn king, you’d have thought that this piece of excellent peace and goodwill news would have been the main headline. But of course that would have been a SNP GOOD story, and wee Sally’s face would have cracked.
    It was buried, deliberately, beneath murders and the Glasgow Billy Boys fate.
    What a shitty wee organisation BBC PQ is.
    It has a public duty to inform expectant parents of this brilliant initiative up front; instead they hide it among the murders and violence and the fate of the Famine Song Choir’s Rallying Post.
    Fucking wasters the lot of them.
    Oh how I look forward to Independence.

  22. Clootie says:

    :- ( too accurate a summary

  23. Thepnr says:

    Nicely said Macart. Have a good un.

  24. Macart says:

    Many thanks folks. 🙂

  25. benmadigan says:

    merry christmas to Paul and Sam and all the commentators on the blog. Hope Santa brings you all what you want and need

    https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/christmas-greetings-2017/

  26. diabloandco says:

    Great piece Macart.

    Merry Christmas to you , to Paul , to Ginger and all who hold Scotland dear.

  27. Good Morning, my dearest friends.
    I sincerely hope that Burn’s wee grace before meals applied to most, if not all, of us.

    ‘Some ha’e meat, but cannae eat, some ha’e nane, but wantit.
    We ha’e meat, an’ we can eat, so let the Lord be thankit.’

    We are about to enter the Year Of Decision.
    The EU 27 Timetable dictates that Brexit terms must be resolved by October 2019, and EngWaland’s Transition Period to last no longer than 20 months.
    An impossible timetable I know.
    By December 2020 we can look forward to Yankee chicken boiled in bleach?
    Perhaps today’s ominous story from Tesco’s is a taste of Christmas Yet To Come.
    It is reported that complaints are flooding in from all airts and pairts of allegedly rotten turkeys from Tesco’s ruining Christmas dinners.
    Some were found to taste of bleach.
    Accounts of gravy and sauce made from the juices of rotten turkey juice make for sad reading.
    Needless to say, Tesco are looking into the affair.

    I doubt that even my Southern Fry highly spiced turkey left overs and deep fried shallots recipe would hide a bird washed in bleach.

    Our steak pie is on order at our local butcher.
    The beef is from a local farm.
    Decades of delicious grub.
    Will he be forced to sell Texas steroids pie in the next couple of years.
    Indyref 2, September 2018: it’s going to be an angry and nakedly rebellious year as the Yoon realise all is lost, and the Usual Knuckleheads resort to civil disobedience, like 19th September 2014.
    I got a SAD lamp and jazzy socks.
    Brill.
    God bless us, one and all.

  28. Edit: 6th line:- Delete ‘2019’; Insert ‘2018’.

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