The polling booths are open

The day has arrived. The polling booths are open,the polls are indicating what polls will indicate, or not. The only poll I trust is the one that closes at 10pm tonight, especially following the spectacular prediction balls up of pollsters on such events as the Brexit referendum and the rise of the Trumpet administration.

Somewhat predictably, if also disappointingly in terms of democratic engagement, the two long term UK mainstream establishment parties North British branch offices have signally failed to talk to the the electorate, at all, about their policies to make life easier, harder or just intolerable for the citizens who they purport to represent, instead focusing on the single pledge to stop a second independence referendum.(We won’t mention Wullie Rennie, why would we have to?)

Growing up in the central belt I do, to a certain extent, understand the blinkered traditional unionist vote, the Queen, Rule Britannia etc. That is a belief system that for some will be very hard to penetrate.

However It absolutely staggers me, after all the Tories, and latterly New Labour, have done to Scotland. to hear statements like “I can’t stand that Sturgeon, I know Labour and the Tories have destroyed the country but I couldn’t vote for her. We are too wee, the industry is all away, and it’s not coming back”.

I don’t see it myself but what is it about Nicola Sturgeon that causes such angst?

To my way of thinking she is far less polarising in her outlook and the way she presents herself than Alex Salmond, whom I also admire, but I can understand those who perceive his confidence and articulation as arrogance.

Today’s vote is not about independence. It is about protecting Scotland from what very well might be one of the darkest periods in the modern history of the UK. A time when self-inflicted economic vandalism, with regards to trashing trading relationships with long term partners, is very likely to trigger a recession which will decimate employment, and take many years to get out of.

Look at the architects of this folly. Those, if re-elected, who are supposed to get the UK out of the deal without compounding their error and causing a crisis. After Theresa May’s real and worrying weaknesses being exposed starkly over the last few weeks would you even trust her to run tae the bakers for a loaf? She’d come back with a pair of socks.

Are there really so many Scots around that are comfortably off with an I’m alright Jack, it’s not my problem, attitude? Are they resentful about the likes of free prescriptions for all, and free tertiary education? Do they believe the media negativity about the Scottish NHS, when clearly over the last few years it is head and shoulders better in many of the key indicators than it’s southern version?

Are there enough of them that aren’t touched by austerity measures in some way? Or their extended family members?

Many of us lived through the worst excesses of the Thatcher years. Some would say things are starting to look worse now than even then. Ruth Davidson likes to tell us all we should forget what happened during the time of Margaret Thatcher because heck she can’t even remember her!

I say today before you go into that polling booth think back to what Thatcher was, what she did, who she did it to, and then consider her modern day equivalent Theresa May. If you are young enough to have missed the Thatcher years ask someone who was there.

The Trussell Trust which operates Foodbank services across the country, including a network of 52 Foodbanks in Scotland, have just released their report for 2016/17.

That report tells us that the number of Scots receiving emergency three day supplies of food for that period was around 145,000, including 47,995 children, a rise of 9% on the previous year. Just think about that for a minute.

You live in a country rich in natural resources, with a world class food and drink sector, with innovative new technology in energy renewal with the potential to boom, creating a new and lucrative source of revenue from exports. These are advantages other countries can only dream about. Yet nearly 150,000 times in a single financial year citizens of your country were at the extreme stage of desperation where they had to attend a Foodbank to fill their, and their children’s bellies.

I can’t believe , in fact I refuse to believe, that the people of Scotland would vote in large numbers for the party that wants women who have been raped to prove it in order to receive benefits to feed a child born as a result. I refuse also to believe the people of Scotland will vote in large numbers for a party that uses the excuse of perpetual ‘austerity measures’ to slash disability payments to the sick and vulnerable, whilst giving corporations huge tax incentives to protect profits.

Don’t let three hundred years of Scottish cringe and negative propaganda influence you. See beyond that.

Vote to protect the people of Scotland. Vote to have a say in your own future. Vote SNP.

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