They came out in their many thousands, grans, papas, weans in their strollers, teenagers, the able, the disabled. the Sikhs, the Muslims, the Buddhists, the Christians, the non-religious, the gay, the straight, the transgender, the new Scots, the born Scots, the English, Welsh and Irish-born Scots, the artists, the musicians.
They all came. Real people, human beings, with love in their hearts, humanity in their souls, and a sense of belonging, of caring for each other, of community, of leaving nobody behind, of compassion, of determination to achieve a better life for themselves and their children, of hope and of vision, vision of the opportunities which the future holds. A future we can achieve if only we can break through the dank smelly fog of falsehood, hate, negativity and deception which bars the way, a haar, which never lifts, of propaganda, unrelentingly reinforced, by those, a small number of an obscenely wealthy elite class, who stand to lose their control and power.
A vote takes place on Thursday which will be crucial to the future of Scotland.
I’ve had conversations with Scots recently which frankly staggered me, still, after all that’s happened over the last few years, along the following lines. “ I cannae stand that Nicola Sturgeon” Why? “ She never shuts up about independence. We couldnae survive independence. The oil is about gone, we’ve no industry and there’s nothing here. We need the rest of the UK, look at the debt we’ve got?”
The frustration that we many advocates of self-determination have is that if you read the Daily Mail, the Express, the Telegraph, the Record, the Sun, the Scotsman, the Herald and most other newspapers owned by those with vested interests, or listen to the likes of the British Broadcasting Corporation, wholly committed to the State, that is the opinion you are most likely to form. Somehow uniquely, and in reality we have advantages that most other countries in the world would give their right arm for, we are led to believe that Scotland just could not possibly cope without Westminster. A nonsense, a nonsense that must be overcome. A nonsense that will be overcome.
This week in the last days of the General Election Campaign the party of devolved government in Scotland is again, predictably, coming under concerted attack. Listening to Nicola Sturgeon on the BBC’s Woman’s Hour (a programme her robotic opponent in London body swerved in case she was asked any awkward questions) I marvel that she manages to avoid laughing at the sheer level of inaccuracy of Scottish politics and public services portrayed by London based questioners. As her predecessor was before her, the First Minister is adept at putting the broadcaster right on subjects like Scottish NHS performance and free prescription charges.
I would say to those of us that believe what they read in the papers about Scottish politics do you believe a distant Prime Minister has the best interests of the people of Scotland in mind?
A Prime Minister who, as a figurehead for Unionism, is so incompetent that her election campaign must be stage-managed as much as is possible, with the public barred?
A Prime Minister whose media events involve a band of rent-a crowd campaign workers being deployed to cheer and clap enthusiastically as she utters the same speech littered with repetitive statements over and over again?
A Prime Minister, who, when she comes up against a real question from a real person, doesn’t have the wit to be able to deviate from her dogmatic message?
A leader of a political party which systematically decimated the heart of Scotland’s industrial and manufacturing base, and who are now punishing the poor, the disabled, the vulnerable and the neglected through a programme of planned austerity measures, persecuting and demonising the disadvantaged, and immigrants, whilst at the same time providing massive tax cuts for their wealthy benefactors?
A leader of a party, which if it wins the election, is set to enter into negotiations to leave the world’s largest trading bloc, where it currently enjoys a free trading arrangement with 27 countries, a divorce which will result in hefty tariffs being placed on goods and services exported from the UK, putting an estimated 80,000 Scottish jobs at risk, shooting themselves in both feet, all over the fact that they don’t want to continue to allow the free movement of EU citizens (including vital professionals for Scotland’s health and public services) to Britain?
Last Saturday’s huge turnout does not mean that next week, next month, or next year, we will see an independent Scotland. But what it did show is that more and more Scots are consistently seeing past the bias and propaganda which is so obviously holding us back.
More and more of us are looking forward to a future where all Scots will be able to flourish and have opportunities that frankly under Unionism we will never ever see.
Thursday’s vote is an opportunity to ensure that Scotland has a say in its own future rather than having a future not the choice of it’s people forced upon it.
Don’t waste that opportunity. Vote SNP.