We’re five years on from the outcome of the greatest exercise in political engagement ever seen in Scotland. A lot has happened.
We had the initial stunned moments following David Cameron’s English Votes for English Laws announcement immediately after the result, the Vow, numerous broken promises, diluted Commissions, and countless examples of disrespect, and disregard, shown to your chosen representatives at Westminster, which is now a place on a slippery-sloped descent into dangerous right-wing nationalism fuelled by Farage and his immigrant baiting Brexit Party (the 21st century’s National Front),
We’ve seen the chaos and the potential economic, social and cultural disaster unfold during the preparation, or lack of preparation, for isolationist Brexit itself, the unbelievable occurrence of Boris Johnson being made Premier, (a Prime Minister who cannot even command a majority in a single vote in the Commons) and now Scotland’s distinctly different laws to England, laws dating back hundred of years before the Union of 1707, are very likely to be overruled yet again, as they have been several times in the last five years, following the shutting down of democratic debate in the House of Commons.
We’ve seen all of this and more.
In the end though it all still comes down to some clear choices for you, sometime again soon.
Are you still happy to continue with most of the important decisions which affect you and your family being made mainly by politicians that the vast majority of the people of Scotland never vote for, in a parliament, one chamber of which is unelected,and there simply on patronage, based in the south of England?
Are you still content to see all of the revenue produced and collected through your income tax, business taxes and the tax generated from Scotland’s abundant resources continuing to go south to benefit the UK Treasury and London, with a significant percentage of this money being spent on priorities elsewhere, which have no benefit for the people of Scotland?
Are you also content to continue to see only a fraction of this tax money, less than you contribute, coming back north of the border in the form of a grant (granted your own money) with limits and stipulations set from London on how it is spent on your services?
Or, have you now reached a tipping point, a point where you want a say in the future of Scotland, and a say in how the money generated by the resources of Scotland, and by you, is spent to best benefit your community, your country?
Do you want to choose all future governments of Scotland? Governments who will have the same aspirations for you and your children as you have, and know that they better have, as they are accountable to you if they fail you?
Do you want a say in the shaping of the values, aims, social and health agendas of all future governments of Scotland? Do you want the National Health Service to continue to be free at the point of care in Scotland and in future have enough investment available to it to make it a world class health service that you can be proud of?
Do you want your children to continue to have the opportunity of a free university education in Scotland?
Do you want to ensure that sufficient investment is available to allow your children to grow up having received the best education, access to skills and opportunities that they possibly can, to let them be able to make positive choices about their futures in Scotland, to have options?
When you look past all of the bluster, scaremongering, propaganda masquerading as news ,and political spin that has been spouted over the last seven years or so at you, and all of the desperately weak promises that you are made by a distant government whose priorities are at odds with yours, these choices for you are what this whole debate about sovereignty boils down to.
In brass tax terms are you satisfied that you, your family and your community are considered as being important to the aims of your current government in London?
We were told that the referendum in 2014 may end up being a one off, a once in a lifetime opportunity, before the door slammed shut again. One chance only, for you, as an individual, to be able to make a significant and measurable contribution to the improvement of the future welfare and prosperity of Scotland, for all Scots.
That is not the case. One way or the other your chance to have your say is coming again, perhaps sooner than you think.
The question of self-government for Scotland is not about party politics, it’s not about nationalism in Scotland, although,worryingly, since 2014 actual nationalism in England is on the rise.
No, what more and more Scots are committed to is clearly not nationalism. It is about a fair society, social justice and the opportunity for you and your children to have a better life, to have governments elected by you, and accountable to you.
On this the 5th anniversary of the first canvassing of your thoughts about how you wish to see your country governed in the future please bear these points in mind.