How does it feel? How do you feel about yourself, as a Scot, now that we know what we are, now that we have been categorised? Now that we are labelled?
How do you feel as a Scot born elsewhere who has chosen to live, work and nurture your children in Scotland, as many of us are, finding out this dire news about yourself, about your character?
How do you feel as an English-born Scot, again of which we are many, knowing now, deep down, what we really are?
The party conference of the Scottish branch of what once was the Labour Party would, under other circumstances, have been pretty good for comedy value (they are simply becoming farcical) if it hadn’t been for a bombshell, that dire statement, casting a huge shadow, a comparison made against all that is conflicting about the human condition, a link tenuously established to the horrors of a previous century, labelling the movement for Scottish independence with a blunt connection to the present day worrying rise of extremist right-wing nationalism in advanced western countries.
We must be naive indeed. Who would have thought that striving for as good a future as you can for your children and grandchildren was a bad thing?
Who would have thought, after examining the economic, cultural and social history, and the facts about the past and current governance of your country, that believing that our people, the people of our own small corner of the planet, whatever colour, creed, gender, orientation they are, or place of origin they came from, prior to making their home in Scotland, could do a far better job of ensuring that future than a government who doesn’t see us as a priority, but as a resource, was such a dire evil ambition?
Who knew that the frustration we feel when we consider that more than one in five children in Scotland live in poverty in a resource rich first world country is ‘negative and divisive’?
Who would have twigged that the tears we shed, when we see on the television news our fellow human beings, escaping from the burnt out rubble of what used to be their homes, floating precariously in rubber dinghy’s on wild seas, many to lose their lives, are actually crocodile tears?
Who would have ever fathomed that wishing to be hospitable and welcoming in the spirit of fellowship to those who need us, to our neighbours, and to maintain the long held esprit de corps we have established in trading and cultural relationships with our European friends, and other nations of the world, is in fact ‘narrow nationalism?’
We never knew this, all of us. We never knew that all of this time, being committed to what we feel is truly right from a moral, humanitarian, democratic and social justice perspective, was totally wrong. According to those who should know better we are the opposite of what we think we are.
Back in the actual real world (not in the one where politicians make wildly false and inaccurate allegations about the views of at least 50% of voters of a country he obviously knows very little about, or he does know about but chooses to make false allegations about anyway, which is even worse, in the hope of striking some sort of chord with what’s left of the support for his political party in Scotland) I am not going to mention the word that we are accused of being. It is despicable. It is wrong. It is grossly insulting.
Back pedal, back track, re-spin, clarify. Have Kezia Dugdale go on telly and say you never actually said what you did say, or mean what you did mean, in her usual crystal clear rabbit-caught-in-the-headlights vagueness. Have a completely off the pace Jeremy Corbyn ramble on about eating flags, getting his acronyms all wrong, and being as cringe-worthy as Neil Kinnock of yesteryear acting like he was geeing up the faithful at a civil rights gathering addressed by Martin Luther King, have Anas Sarwar try to take the heat off you by despicably trying to make an argument about race and colour.
It’s too late, but thank you for your kind words anyway Mayor Khan. We get the message. We get what you were trying to convey, and you are wrong. We are not perfect, nobody is, but up with this we will not put.
Thank you too for ensuring, without any doubt, that more of our fellow Scots, some perhaps up until now still swithering over their choice in the as yet un-announced campaign to come, will be with us. This time the outcome will ensure that Scotland takes its place in the world as an inclusive, respectful, progressive, internationalist, thriving independent nation. We are the Bairns of Tamson, all of us.