A guest post by Samuel Miller
Been quite the autumn so far. Seems everything is going off all at once and it’s coming at you from every direction. That can be frightening. And to be fair, it is. The politics of intolerance, exclusion and isolation seems to be rearing its ugly kisser whichever part of the globe you look at and the UK is no exception. Brexit is proving to be every bit as shambolic and catastrophic as many feared it would be. UK politics has rarely been so chaotic, inept or disorganised, as it is now. It’s shortcomings and the skittery things which hide in its dark corners have never been so exposed to the light either and that’s going to leave a mark on everyone.
Elements of society driven to hate at the drop of a hat. People being led to believe that such politics, such attitudes, would solve all their problems. As ever, egged on by those who don’t really give a shit about the demographics they encourage to these acts. Their priorities are probably a bit different. Their greed. Their ideology. Their indifference to others. It’s going to leave raw wounds on anyone who’s been on the receiving end. So yes. Scary.
A little over four years ago, the YES movement suffered what felt like the world crumbling and falling away from beneath your feet. If you didn’t live it, then there is no describing how that felt. Such a seismic occurrence should have and would have put most individuals and movements beyond recovery. Having your world view, your values and beliefs suffer that kind of assault can do that. Certainly many who supported the Better Together campaign hoped so and I’d be stunned if those who orchestrated that campaign didn’t share those hopes.
That’s not what happened though. You determined to rebuild that world one stone at a time. Simply a blind refusal to accept? Some would say so I’m sure and I’m sure there’s even an element of truth to their claims. Sometimes a blind and stubborn refusal to bow down before what you believe to be wrong can be a good thing. (For policy gonks’ future reference? It really does matter how you win a thing and it really does matter how you conduct yourself in the aftermath. Just sayin’.)
What you did in the aftermath of that 2014 result took courage. I choose to believe you began that process because you knew it needed to be done. That there IS a better way and that we need to be working toward it for all our sakes. I choose to believe you knew there was a very bad day coming and that giving up, or fading away, was NOT an option.
After four years of appalling treatment and misrepresentation at the hands of elements within the mainstream media. After four years of indifference, ignorance and arrogance doled out by Westminster government and political practice. You didn’t stop. You didn’t get back in your box. You’re still here and… you’ve grown.
It makes what you continue to do and what you’ve done, all the more impressive really, and all the more important. You’ve organised and marched. You’ve argued, debated, mocked and persuaded in equal measure.
“I’d say it’s not simply winning it which matters, but how you win it. The foundations for the society you want must be solid. The establishment parties and their practice of politics really should be a heads up as to the shit storm you build up over time when winning by any means necessary. When you divide and rule. When you win without care or consideration for others.
Seems to me that Brexit, austerity, fractured society, political elitism, bigotry, intolerance, exceptionalism and isolationism might be seen as reason enough NOT to repeat their mistakes? You govern for ALL in your care, or maybe you shouldn’t be governing? Just a thought.
What we see in the UK today is a direct result of the politics of societal division. Me? I’m more of a hugger. I’ll hold my hand out and welcome folk from any point of origin or walk of life who want to work for a more socially just Scotland.
In the season of good will and given all that 2018 may bring our electorate, it’s maybe worth remembering that a little good will and understanding can go a long way.”
Well? 2018 hasn’t disappointed so far. It’s delivering exactly the kind of political, economic and societal upheaval no one should wish for, but many feared would happen. The politics of poverty or slash and burn economics, hatred, misplaced anger, alienation don’t solve problems. They create them.
Most people learn fairly quickly when someone’s actions intend harm. When someone has misrepresented their intentions or lied to you, that would kinda stand out too. It’s about acquiring experience I suppose. It’s really not rocket science and it’s happened to ALL of us.
I’m guessing more folk by the day are becoming very clear on what it means to have placed their trust in Westminster’s system and practice of politics. Personally, I don’t think folk can take much more of the kind of care and management style they dole out.
Probably also worth mentioning something else you’ve achieved at this point. The journey from NO to YES isn’t nearly so scary these days. You helped do that. You made sure that when things are looking a bit on the dark and scary side? There was someone out there who would hold out that hand. You made sure there was still something to hope for. It doesn’t take much if truth be told. Just a little care and understanding can work wonders you know.
Now more than ever, the hand and welcome offered needs to be genuine and it needs to be heard.