Tuesday, September 23, 2014

And this is what I mean...

Only a few days after the referendum, and it looks like Britain is creeping towards a war with ISIS in Syria. Now 'we', in Scotland, will be joining in, by default.

The three things I had wanted most from the Yes vote were

1) No nuclear weapons and a movement towards being a pacifist country. The day Tony Blair bombed Iraq without a second UN resolution was the day I lost all faith. I wanted Scotland to have no part of this kind of war-mongering. When will they understand that modern wars are never won? Peace only follows dialogue, not bombs.

2) I wanted the NHS to be free from the threat of the new TTIP bill. No chance now. Most people haven't even heard of TTIP. Here's a short but important explanation.

3) Green, green, and more green. I want Scotland to invest in renewables and take the lead in Green policies. The least I can do now is join the Green party.

Anyway, it feels like 'business as usual' with a deep frustration that 'we' may be headed to war again, dropping bombs in the middle east, encouraging generations of radicals to join up and try to bomb us back.

Am I the only one who thinks this is near insanity?


Monday, September 08, 2014

Yes and No and thoughts of bitter-sweetness

When I told you of my journey from No to Yes, I wanted to add that I am still a Nervous, Hopeful Yes, and nowhere near being a Triumphal, Tribal Yes.

Already, I am feeling for the losers. If this is as close as the polls suggest, then somebody's going to walk off the pitch, feeling like they just lost the World Cup on a penalty shoot out; times a million, for the rest of their life.
 
An old  friend got in touch on Facebook and told me she'd be so sad at 'breaking up with England' that her family would move away from Scotland, 'eventually.' It's sad to think that either side can feel so bereft.
 
I know Yes-ers who would react with self-righteous mockery to that, but I can really imagine the No's will indeed feel such isolated, lonely frustration if Yes wins; ironically, just the feeling that led Yes to fight for independence in the first place.
 
Ah, well, life is a series of see-saws and roundabouts; snakes and ladders and whatever other clich├ęs you wish to dig out. The best we can do is to keep true to wer'sels and civil to each other. Golly, it's hotting up.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Yes, then.


Yes, I have been coy; lurking without mentioning the big debate, the huge debate. Our wee country working itself into a frenzy. In a good way.
 
The reasons for my silence on the topic were many. I did not want to tell others what they should vote. I was unsure myself. I did not want to offend the English or England. (I love the BBC!) I did not want to get into spats and fights.
 
Two years ago, I started out as a  NO. I thought Scottish independence would be claustrophobic and parochial, like watching wall-to-wall Reporting Scotland (sorry Jackie Bird). I didn't want to 'divorce' England. I was afraid of making a mistake.
 
But the YES campaign have buoyed me, swept me along, made me feel like maybe I could go white-water rafting after all.
 
This is not about 'divorce.' It's about localising government and making it more accountable. It's about the Scots rejecting a UK economy where big business has started to rule everything and profit is the only measure of success. All-out capitalism is so uncaring.
 
We want a different kind of society that is more community-led. We don't want Trident or more eco-vandalism. We want renewables and thinking differently. Free education. We want to define ourselves. Even if we make mistakes, even if it costs us in the short term, even if you don't like Alex Salmond, we'll find a way in the long term. Our way.
 
If you are swithering, read this blog from the Guardian from George Monbiot. It's a belter.
 
"Independence, as more Scots are beginning to see, offers people an opportunity to rewrite the political rules. To create a written constitution, the very process of which is engaging and transformative. To build an economy of benefit to everyone. To promote cohesion, social justice, the defence of the living planet and an end to wars of choice."

People of Scotland, may the force be with us.