Two years ago today, before I started writing this blog, I posted the following on social media in the hours after 56 members of the Scottish National Party were chosen by their peers to represent them at Westminster, leaving the mainstream unionist UK parties represented by only 3 MP’s , one each.
With a month to go before another General Election,this time of the panicked hastily arranged variety, I post it again today to emphasise a point….
“The people of Scotland have spoken, Along with the citizens of the rest of the UK they have exercised their democratic right to choose who represents them and best serves their interests in government.
By an overwhelming majority, and importantly not just those who voted Yes in September, they have selected a social democratic progressive political party whose policies most reflect the traditional values held dear by them. Values which have over generations helped build the NHS, protect the old and the vulnerable, and paid due consideration to the needs of others in society.
Scotland has radically gone it alone against the tide of hypocrisy and self serving greed which has pervaded politics in the UK for at least the last thirty years and looks like it may continue for another five years.This divergence ultimately may lead to only one conclusion.
In the last three years there has been a period of civil engagement and enlightenment on a scale never seen before. Apathy and resignation regarding politics has well and truly been banished. Facts about Scotland’s ability to flourish and be self reliant, it’s resources, its innovation and its expertise have been examined and substantiated. Negativity and myths, often propagated by the state and unionist broadcasting and print media regarding the nature of our relationship with our partners in the United Kingdom, have been debunked. The people of Scotland are not now going to unlearn what they have come to know and better understand.
Scots during the referendum were invited to stay as part of a partnership of nations. They have done so and have called Westminster’s bluff.Whatever the mechanics of the deals and discussions of the next few days the outcome is clear. The people of Scotland’s views must be accommodated. If they are not the days of union will indeed be numbered.
Politicians of all parties, no matter who they are, will let the electorate down at some point or other, that is the nature of the beast. The Scottish National Party are no different. However they have earned the significant kudos of being the key which has unlocked the door to the possibilities of progressive government, a cliche perhaps, but ‘real’ government for the people by the people.
With a bit of luck and a fair wind this radical left turn in politics will eventually spread throughout the rest of the UK as like minded voters elsewhere take up the call and others become more deeply engaged in issues which affect them. For now though it seems withering austerity measures for ordinary people, and not those of privilege and wealth, coupled with the fallacy of Thatcherite trickle-down economics, will continue.
The oft used but much misused word “awesome” comes to mind. As a Scot who passionately believes in the abilities of the people of his country to take control of their own destiny, I almost always see the positive side of any progress that takes place. I generally, therefore, do not need much convincing on all things Scottish, but today in particular I am completely in awe of the courage of the people/s of Scotland as never before.
Not in any way trying to overstate the magnitude and significance of today’s events in Scotland (the progress towards change achieved not having needed to be on the scale of the struggle for representation and self determination which generated the following quote), but as a man diminutive in stature,but a giant in terms of world leadership and progressive politics once said:
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
……. Now,two years later, with reference to the paragraph in bold, is there anyone, unionist or otherwise, able to demonstrate or put up a plausible argument, that during the period since then the people of Scotland’s views have in any way, any way at all, been accommodated?
If you can I’m sure we’d all love to hear it.
P.S…. Duplicitous, one arm tied behind your back, tax varying ‘powers’ don’t count.