A better way

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.

Something I wrote at the end of last year. Something I believe to be fairly important.

“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.

 

33 comments on “A better way

  1. Douglas says:

    Very well put Sam.

    It is ESSENTIAL that we welcome former No voters in a positive way. Both to win and to then build the sort of Scotland that we need. This includes those who remain sceptical even after independence.

    Taking Jimmy Reid’s 1971 Clyde Shipbuilders speech as a starting point:
    ‘There will be no hooliganism. There will be no vandalism. There will be no bevvying, because the world is watching us’

    Adapt to:

    ‘There will be no smugness. There will be no bitterness. There might be a bit of friendly bevvying, because the world (particularly those considering changing their minds) is watching us’

    The way I see it, many of the No voters last time are better and more forgiving people than me. They were prepared to give the U.K. one last chance because they were promised that ‘this time it will be different, the U.K. can change and respect Scotland’. They were not stupid but they were cautious and wistfully wanted to believe that ‘British Fair Play’ is a real thing (rather than an Oxymoron).

    Their eyes are being opened but we must not make it harder for them to change -and to join in building for the future.

    There are some who will never surrender their core British view but they are a small minority.

    A hearty welcome to all who have changed their minds.

    • Anne Martin says:

      👏👏👏👏👏

    • Illy says:

      Couple of things:

      What’s “bevvying”? I’ve never heard that term before.

      I encourage everyone to go read some of the literature on how to recover from being abused by a narcissist. Specifically the term “love bombing”, and the cycle of abuse.

      • Alasdair Macdonald says:

        A ‘bevvy’ is a beverage, alcoholic in this context, and it is also used as a verb, which means to partake of prodigious amounts of alcoholic liquor.

    • Alasdair Macdonald says:

      Although we did not get much Scottish history when I was at school in the 1950s/60s, we were taught about Wallace and Bruce and the legend of Bruce and the spider and how it inspired him to keep fighting for Scotland to be freed from the suzerainty of England.

      So, we know we have to keep trying.

      Some of us have supported Patrick Thistle and we know how to face adversity and turn up again the following week. If you have ever weeded a garden you know how persistent and resilient thistles are!

  2. […] Wee Ginger Dug A better way A guest post by Samuel Miller Been quite the autumn so far. Seems everything is going […]

  3. The Cringe is a powerful thing. The pro-Union propaganda is all-pervasive and highly effective. However – one or two shocking realization of the falseness of the propaganda, of the tissue of lies and misrepresentation that the Great British Meeja Machine spins, opens people’s eyes, and once seen for what it is, the Cringe-making propaganda can’t be unseen.

  4. dickybeau says:

    This piece resonates with the piece on Wings yesterday. I wonder if we might also start to think about how we engage positively with our current opponents if we are successful in winning the next referendum? on issues like the Monarchy, the EU, the Constitution and much much more there is an opportunity to move away from the current tribalism (though it wont be easy). The lessons from the power games played at the Smith Commission, Cameron’s EVEL announcement and the current (mis)handling of a bitterly divided country following the Brexit decision highlight how much the UK has lacked any kind of leadership at Westminster. Its not just about being positive now but its have a plan to engage positively in the future. particularly important since the Tories have anchored themselves in the DUP lite position having gingered up the old Rule Britannia, Empire 2.0 brigade. failure to consider how we deal with this will lead us in to trouble quickly

  5. wm says:

    I can see how some people find it hard to admit they got it wrong and voted no in 2014 if they are a bit like me and are stubourn. I argued with myself for twenty years that the liebour party no longer represented my form of socialism, and it was not until Tony Blairs new liebour party finally conviced me, that I realised that the only chance we have of being a succesfully run country is if we do it ourselves, so I welcome everybody who takes the journey from no to YES and when you do take that step, you get more sure by the day that you have made the correct decision.

  6. grumpydubai says:

    Thank you for the article and also thanks to those comments above.

    Macart – have you ever thought about your last year’s deliberations recorded above, being put out to the wider public?

    • Macart says:

      Kind of you grumpy, but I’m no writer and have no need to see my ramblings in the mainstream. Cut above my level tbh and I only fill in here as a favour and to help out if I can. I reach plenty of people here and the best bit is they’re here by choice. 🙂

  7. Patience is a Virtue says:

    and if your view on the prospect Independence has ever been swayed adversely by hearing there is ‘no Oil left anyway’, or ‘the price is too low to bankroll Independence’ well (prices go down as well as up) and on a rainy day, like today (if only you could harness the kinetic energy of rain!), simply ‘Google’ Lancaster Oil and Gas Field west of Shetland and (24th Sep 2018 (source Daily Record!) £3 Billion Gas field discovered,

    there is of course enough wind, wave and tidal energy already in and around Scotland for all and more … but we all know that anyway…. ungrateful subsidy junkies all!

  8. Gavin C Barrie says:

    My response to the No result in Indy1 on 19th Sept 2014 was, ‘It’s just half-time. regroup, agree the second half strategy, and go out there and get stuck in, and remember, the UK ref in the game is a homer”. Or, if you prefer, carry your own referee – in boxing parlance, a knockout punch”.

    As an amateur sportsman I saw no point in cheating to win. in professional sport I can understand cheating as there are money prizes at stake, principles negotiable. And so in politics, there are money prizes to be secured, and so lying, misguiding the public are in the mix.

    And has the general public wised up to such professional practicalities? No. Today in Glasgow Slab and the unions organised a strike for equal pay.Why oh why did the female employees involved participate? Slab and the unions blocked a solution to equal pay for them for ten years. And Westminster placeman Richard Leonard, wasn’t he a GMB official all thro’ these ten years?

  9. Welsh Sion says:

    “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.”

    Adapted from another place – but knowing that your battles are our battles, as our ultimate victory will be yours, too.

    Here’s looking at you, Scotland (and Cymru.)

  10. grizebard says:

    In the immediate aftermath of the 2014 result we all felt we had had a wonderful dream snatched away from us. But do you know what? – an awful lot of “no” voters felt the same in themselves. Which is why the vote for the SNP a year later was so stupendously high. Many people felt they had let themselves down by their own insecurity, played upon so relentlessly as it was by Better Together.

    But we knew we were in the right, and we knew our dream was too precious to just let it be stolen from us so treacherously. So here we are still. And every day that passes proves that everything we said and predicted was dead right.

    Next time we’ll take many of the former doubters with us, and win through.

  11. Andy Anderson says:

    Good uplifting summary of where we are Sam.

    Still does not reduce the slog to convert people which in some ways is,I feel, harder now as we already have the ‘easy’ Yessers. Getting over 55% before the formal campaign starts is not easy.

    Having said that some No people I know are definitely asking questions which is encouraging.

    Media reporting on the Glasgow strike has been poor at accurately explaining the facts as you would expect from the numpties in the media. This gives you us an opportunity to explain truth and get people to doubt the story as reported.

    Freedom, we will get there as long as we all convert a couple of people soon.

  12. diabloandco says:

    Thanks Sam , I needed that!

  13. heartsupwards says:

    Once independence achieved is Scotland ready to address the great global issues of rising sea levels and overpopulation? I’ll be looking for a party in government to take a lead on these issues. It is hard to believe that Europe has not addressed the disaster at the door. Surely deep draconian measures are necessary.

    • Illy says:

      I wouldn’t even think about these things until they’re actually within our power to effect, but to set your mind at ease:

      Scotland is on a part of the plate that’s rising, so may actually not be personally effected by rising sea levels. And we’re one of the closest to being completely “carbon neutral” as a nation. (Personally, I don’t think the global weather change is primarily our fault – according to the Greenland ice cores (our best view of historic global temperature) and taking a geological timescale view, what’s happened recently is still within normal fluctuations)

      And as we’re currently *underpopulated* a simple call of “immigrants welcome” is a start.

      • Andy Anderson says:

        Agreed

      • heartsupwards says:

        There are already counter flooding construction projects in place to begin in Grangemouth in 2022. Infrastructure (ineos)protection as well as residence. This is to counter the 500cm rise in sea level expected no later than 2050 but could be as early as 2030. As regards overpopulation, England is so overpopulated that they will naturally spill over our current open border whether we are independent or not.

        • … complicated by the effect that the melting of the Greenland ice is expected to be neutral as far as Scotland is concerned: “Gravitational Attraction of Ice Sheets on the Sea”, https://is.gd/7nFLOb.

        • Illy says:

          In the last 30 years, the sea level in the Forth has shifted *maybe* a centimetre on average (it being a tidal area of the coast makes any other measurement ridiculous). It’s certainly been so small a change that it’s not noticeable to the naked eye.

          And you’re claiming that it’ll rise 5 metres in the next 30?

          Sorry, but I think I’ll need to see some evidence for that claim.

          “As regards overpopulation, England is so overpopulated that they will naturally spill over our current open border whether we are independent or not.”

          And that’s a bad thing why? We need the people.

  14. 6000 elderly infirm poor Glasgow citizens were abandoned, left on their own to cope as best possible because Rhea Wolfson, that Dick Leonard,, the six figure salaried ‘leaders of GMB and Unison yelled ‘everybody out’, and plunged Glasgow back into the dark Marxist Commie Militant Days of the 1960’s.
    Fuck society, fuck the poor, the vulnerable, fuck the Bad EssEnnPee.

    The Herald and the Record buried the Walk out on the Weak in tepid reports hidden below Cancer Waiting Times and Russian hooligans invading Ibrox.

    The Record’s headline, you know that wee Police Bulletin Sellick/Ranjurs Fanzone where David Clegg lurks, shouts ‘Our voices will be heard around the world’, and is a fake news quote from Rhea Wolfson, Momentum Rabble Rouser:-
    ‘Their voices will be heard’ was this Labour Party Corbyn Commie’s quote, not that of any of the 8000 women who lost two days wages for nothing; worse than nothing.
    People will suffer for nothing.

    They are being used as political dupes by the massed Brit Nat Better Together WATP/ OO/Trotskyist/ Maoist/Stalinist/ Lib Dem/ Blue Austerity Tory Laissez Faire Market Forces Brexit means Brexit/ Fuck Johnny Foreigner sent them packing back where they belong UKIP/ EDL/NF combined Forces, and their compliant pals in the Dead Tree Scrolls and broadcasters, to attack the Bad SNP.
    All Brit Nat guns must be trained on Independence supporters at all times.

    You’d have thought that a Momentum/ Militant Commie led strike endangering the health and well being of the infirm, elderly, preschool infants of Glasgow would be manna from heaven for the likes of Professor Two Jobs WATP Adam Tomkins, and The Queen’s Eleven Murdo the serial political failure .
    Jackson Carhire should be using this to announce his new position as Branch Manager of the Blue Tories.
    Wullie Yellow Streak Rennie should be using this to divert attention from his erstwhile boss Clegg getting the usual post political Job with the Man at Facebook.
    Neil Findlay should be screaming blue murder as the poor and the weak are betrayed by the Unions who promised emergency cover, but relented.
    This farce of a two day stoppage serves to prove that the Brit Nat Forces have joined together to destroy Scotland for their blessed Mother England.
    They are worried.
    They know that their Union is gone.
    In Independent Scotland, there won’t be big fat salaries for wasters who are rewarded for betraying their country, and nothing else.
    WE are about to enter the End of Unionist Days.
    Shame on them all.

    • Robert Graham says:

      Aye Jack a return to Red Ken remember him the scourge of British Leyland , I remember John Carty standing outside Linwood proclaiming Ah they are bluffing they won’t shut this place , aye well played John ,

      Corbyn is being duped as usual by Labour in Scotland you would have thought after the last time he would have learned , nope no chance tunnel vision ,

      It has been pointed out by a well known supporter of Independence Ian Smart that the Shop Steward leading Labour in Scotland was personally responsible for instigating the terms that led to this total balls up , Yep Mr Richard Leonard , it’s all yours Pal you own it .

      • They rely on the symbiosis of Them and Us, Graham, to perpetuate the almighty con on the people of Scotland.
        All these champions of the Poor and ‘the Many’ hoover up footballers’ wages, live in big fancy hooses, have never had to pay for their own lunch for decades, and are complicit in keeping the poor, poor, so that they can champion their lost cause for ever more.

        Davidson and the Blue Tory ‘Scum’ sit at the other end of the see saw, and they both play out this macabre zero sum game, where the politicians get rich, the poor stay poor, and the filthy rich, royalty, the belted earls and the bankers keep amassing all the money in offshore accounts, while a quarter of a million of our children starve because of unrelenting English parliament edicts.

        Willie Rennie and The Four Mumbles describe themselves as some sort of Middle Ground between the two extremes. Clegg’s sell out in Coalition with Cameron put paid to that.

        He sold his soul and now reaps the £400,000 a year Payback dressed up as ‘Head of Communications’ at Face book, one of the New World Order’s version of the brown envelope kickback.
        Off to Maerikai for him before Brexit bites.

        Sturgeon described Corbyn’s Marxist Labour Conference as a ‘bad SNP Tribute Act’.

        Aye, there’s the rub.

        The SNP Party, and the Greens, and the mass Yes Movement,have displaced these hoary old pretend enemies in Scotland politics.

        Hence Better Together.

        Leonard never turn on Davidson; Rennie has NEVER had a bad word to say about the Red and Blue Tory Branch Offices.

        Their combined efforts centre on destroying the Movement for Self Determination.

        For Quisling Blood Money they bow down to their Imperial English Masters’ wishes, and in the process wilfully attack Scotland, its institutions, and gleefully collude (check out the raucous laughter and giggling at FMQ) in impoverishing their fellow citizens, and in collaboration with the Hacks and TV puppets who are also blood money mercenaries, attempt to blame the SNP and the growing throng on our irresistible march to Scottish Independence, to cover up their crimes against humanity.

        Our NHS, Police, and Education are torn to shreds on a daily basis by this bunch of paid anarchists.
        The Walkout On The Weak yesterday was a disgrace.
        It was a Momentum Commie stunt.

        I’m sure Leonard had a belt tightener of a dinner last night.

        Not so much the thousands of Home Helps, who are losing two days’ wages, or those elderly in need of daily care.
        I am fucking outraged by this throwback to the middle of the last Century.

        Any word from Prof Two Jobs condemning this and supporting GCC?

        Thought not.

        How any young person in Scotland could consider membership of the Red Tories beats me.
        It really does.

        This modern Momentum Branch Office is an insult to the memory of my father, uncles, and grandparents.

  15. Robert Graham says:

    A good thoughtful post Sam .

    Now here is the BUT , how do you convince folk they might want to reconsider their previous stance on Independence if you cant find them , i have yet to meet anyone who openly admits to voting NO , during 2014 before the vote i lost count of the meetings organised that ended up one sided , the NO side simply didn’t turn up they couldn’t defend their union and simply stayed away .

    On an entirely different subject , Labour & the Unions involved in yesterday’s bit of political Terrorism might want to reflect on what ushered in Thatcher and a three term tory government , they have presented this faltering tory government with a priceless opportunity , The tory press will present this as ” A glimpse of what will happen if Labour return to power ” , well done chaps you are playing a blinder .

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