51 days since the Scottish Independence Referendum and I am still wearing my Yes badge. Why you may ask? In fact a man I had never met before asked me that very question on the streets around Fountainbridge this morning.
Whit ye still wearing a Yes badge fir? It’s a bit late fir aw eh that noo. The referendum’s over mate. Yer no gonnae get independence. It wouldnae huv work anywi. Scotland’s too wee an no got enough money fir that kind ah thing. The oils no gonnae last forever ken.
So “operation fear” was clearly a remarkable success. Yet again the establishment managed to convince people to vote against their own best interests. So I explained all about Scotland actually being an extremely wealthy country even when you exclude oil. That countries smaller than us and with no oil wealth manage to self govern and prosper more than Scotland does currently. But this guy raises a valid point. Even if I don’t agree with the result the referendum has come and gone. Scotland voted No to independence. So whit am a still wearing a Yes badge fir?
The reason is that while the referendum may be over (and I accept the result like everyone else) the matter is far from settled for good. Persisting in wearing a Yes badge acts as a catalyst for exactly the kind of respectful debate in the street with fellow Scots who the Yes campaign clearly didn’t reach. Scots that we need to reach if we are to succeed next time round. It gives me the opportunity to re-articulate the arguments, refute the counter arguments and be ready for the next time. And yes I do believe there will be a next time. Back to my man in the street:
The union’s worked for o’er 300 year why fix something thats no broke?
Well here is the rub. The union is broke and there is no way of fixing it. Yet again Irvine Welsh makes this point brilliantly:
What Scots currently find themselves in, is from their perspective, a failed state that cannot deliver the economic and social goods. It just isn’t set up to do this, nor can it be reformed to do so, as its centrist, unitary structure of government is of benefit to the South-East of England, where most of the UK voters live.
And the facts show that Irvine is absolutely correct in his assertion that Scots cannot remedy the situation while remaining within the United Kingdom
The response from my fellow Scot is familiar and somewhat depressing:
Dinnae get me wrang I love ma country but. An aye well no matter who ye vote fir yer gonnae get a politician.
We have suffered at the hands of a feckless political elite who only have their careers in mind that I can almost sympathise with this point of view. Why try to change things when the next lot are the same as the last? Maybe I am naive but I think that so many people in Scotland have now had such a profound political awakening that there is no way we can be “put back in our box”. The level of public engagement in politics in Scotland is incredible and it is not about to change anytime soon as my encounter this morning goes to show. This level of awareness will simply not tolerate business as usual politics.
And next time around “operation fear” simply will not work as they have been exposed to be complete and utter lies – most importantly on the issue of currency. Another Scot in the form of former Creation Records boss Alan McGee steps up and shoots straight from the hip:
Better Together have already admitted the currency issue was a bluff on their part and there would have been a currency union. Indeed Mark Carney had the plans already set up
With the general election rapidly approaching in May 2015 who has any credibility left in this post-referendum landscape? Robin McAlpine (leader of think and do tank the Common Weal) tells us all we need to know about the unionist parties:
Scottish Labour is going forward; an establishment-endorsed mechanism for redirecting Scottish votes in a way that does not threaten the hegemony of City of London politics
With the unionist parties unable to deliver the goods for Scotland both economically and socially Irvine Welsh rightly concludes “all roads lead back to the Independence debate”. No surprise then that yet again the SNP meeting is packed to the rafters in Dundee tonight:
ZERO narrow nationalism here. It’s the unionists who want us out of the EU! They are the ones obsessed with borders. We just want democratic rule.
In the meantime there is plenty still to say YES to not least of which is Devo Max. More of which in my next post…