The date when Scotland should have re-emerged from three hundred odd years of being wrapped in the loving embrace of it’s neighbour to the south to become once again a sovereign nation has passed. We move on.
We’ve watched with varying degrees of interest as another neighbour, just across the sea, commemorates a week, a hundred years ago, which helped trigger a sequence of events that set them on the road to self-government for the larger part of their landmass. A country dislodging itself from the same (if much more significant back then in terms of power) benevolent guardianship that many in Scotland seek to disencumber themselves from now.
Thankfully change in Scotland will never, in any circumstances, need to involve the use of force of arms or the spilling of blood. It wouldn’t be the Scottish way. The combination of the gradual incremental shift of political and civic tectonic plates, as the idea of self-government becoming a positive aspiration digs itself deeper into the psyche of the people and communities of Scotland, and the results of the continuing withering neo-liberal policies of incumbent Westminster governments will ensure that independence will come.
Looking in on the televised leadership debates in the lead up to May’s Scottish Government Elections (the results of which will be another significant milestone on the road to change) I cringe a wee bit at the contrived drama that unfolds. These occasions are definitely more about Hollywood than Holyrood. I’m not sure whether they serve any great purpose in informing the voters of Scotland about the issues of the day, or are they there just to offer politicians a platform to create media sound bytes?
The First Minister of Scotland, with her quick wit, intelligence and comfortable articulate style, consistently knocks the opposition over with consummate ease. She can’t be criticised for that. Kezia Dugdale as an opposition leader is embarrassing. As the old saying goes “You can only fight the opponent that is in front of you.” It’s not her fault that the lead branch representatives of the main London UK parties in Scotland are so poor (I exclude Patrick Harvie from that viewpoint as I think he and the Greens have a lot to offer a future Scotland where the mechanisms of government will surely be of a more collegiate and co-operative nature).
I can’t help thinking at the back of my mind that sometime, probably not for the next couple of years, and definitely not before May 5th, the former party of the working people of the British Isles, now the sold-out waiting for ermine cloaks brigade, are due a lightbulb moment when it comes to their policies and party structure north of the border, a moment which may involve significant changes to their party constitution.
They are currently so far off having any connection or empathy with their traditional voters in Scotland, many of whom who now feel bitterly betrayed, as well as sold out by them, that there is only one natural and logical road open to them to redeem themselves. However long it takes they will at some point reach that conclusion or become entirely irrelevant.
And when they do it will all be over bar the fireworks.