March 2016 should have seen Scotland become an independent nation. The people of Scotland should now all be working together to build a better Scotland, one where more people have access to opportunity and can share in our growing prosperity. One where we are investing in the future and in future generations rather than watching austerity slow our economy and drive cuts to front line services.
We should be a new nation where our internationalism views diverse race, colour and religion as an asset rather than the racist anti-European, anti-immigrant British nationalism dominating the Westminster agenda. We should be living in a fairer Scotland where the security of our pensions and the social protections for those in real need of welfare are not damaged by unnecessary and ill-advised cuts, where we could be investing to make Scotland a world leader in renewable energy and sustainable technologies, not recoiling from Westminster cuts to wind-power grants that damage Scotland’s renewable future. We should be asking what can we do today to build a better nation with all the powers we have, not wondering what the fiscal downside of using our new limited powers will be.
Unionists talk of healing the divisions of the referendum, ignoring the fact that they were offered a velvet divorce with a currency union and shared regulation, open borders and friendship, but they threw that in our faces. The real separatists are those who may soon pull Scotland out of the EU against our will. They don’t realise the divisions are of their own making from the style of their campaigning, the continuing disparaging of Scotland and the broken promises they made to keep the Union for a few more years.
The No vote didn’t end the debate, it simply bought the Union a few more years, years that Unionists seem intent to spend deploying more scaremongering, fear and negativity, driving people, with every day that passes, to understand that political parties that can’t paint a positive vision for Scotland don’t deserve to be elected to run Scotland. The unbridled glee Unionists such as the Conservative Party display at the worsening of Scotland’s fiscal position (under Westminster management) demonstrates they are blindly unaware and simply not economically educated enough to see the emerging double trouble that will soon hit England’s finances.
Osborne’s asset sales and brought-forward revenues will blight England’s future fiscal position; and the potential for the London property bubble to burst and the resultant financial meltdown means the gloating Unionists have built a rod for their own backs. But how could the Tories’ British Nationalist amateur economics team see the financial big picture when they are blinded by hatred of people whose only crime is that they believe a better Scotland is possible?
Independence would have been a unifying force, the people of Scotland would have left negative tribal politics behind and we would all now be working to positively build a vision of the sort of nation we want to live in. I don’t mean that the Union flag-waving, Nazi-saluting British Nationalists who caused trouble in George Square after the referendum would be happy with independence but they are not Scotland and they don’t represent the 55 percent who voted No. Many people who voted No out of “fear and worry” will have done so with a heavy heart and following a Yes vote would have realised that our approach is not an unhealthy Ukip-style nationalism but a modern internationalism, an expansive, enlightened, multicultural and multinational approach to improving our nation.
The ideals of localism, equality, sustainability and co-operation that defined the Yes movement and the emerging consensus that old-style capitalism has mutated into a negative unsustainable consumerism are fast becoming the Zeitgeist of our time. Our shared vision of independence is not disruptive but simply the natural next stage in the evolution of society and economics. That is why the missed Independence Day was not a day of mourning for Yes campaigners: we know it’s just another day on the road to a better Scotland.
We cannot be downcast, we all know deep down that Devolution, the Calman Commission, the referendum, the Smith Commission, and the passing of the new Scotland Bill are all steps on an unstoppable journey toward self-determination. We are the transitional generation, who have to work hard and sacrifice to make it happen and we will win and then look back at these years with pride, not regret.
I don’t believe that Scots are better than any other nation but I refuse to believe that we are less capable than any other, but that negative belief defines the champions of Unionism. To them Scotland is not a country, to them Scotland is just a word, so they double down on their ridiculous negativity to justify the role they played to alleviate their guilt. They claim that they are proud to be Scottish, and though it is possible to be a proud Scot and have voted No because you were misled or lacked courage, you can’t define yourself as a patriot and then be a champion of talking Scotland down and gloating at economic problems and job losses.
That is the very definition of unpatriotic: you are not Scottish but British if your Scotland is just a word to you. Those political parties that feel it’s simply their role to gloat rather than create positive credible policies aimed at bettering Scotland will be wiped out in May.
The countless broken promises of the No Campaign, the crude failed Westminster economic policy of austerity, driven by ideological right wing dogma rather than economic wisdom – and the incompetence, lies and negativity of the Scottish Unionist parties, have undermined the very foundations of the Union from within. Instead of pointing this out, so many of the former Yes campaigners need to renew their positive vision of self determination and campaign as if the referendum was still to happen – if support for independence reaches 60% there will be a referendum soon enough.
The only thing really holding the Union together now is the economic worry caused by a low oil price. The Union that once conquered the world has declined into nothing more than an empire of glass and the hammer we can use to smash it is also the hammer we will use to build our future prosperity. We need to create and sell a vision of a better, more prosperous Scotland, one that is different from that offered by tribalistic politicians or trickle-down, neoclassical economic policy worshippers. Business for Scotland is working on that and so are many others.
The best way to win is to inform yourself, talk to people, engage, keep calm, listen and educate with your answers, break out of the social media echo-chambers and take the campaign message to real people.
There will be another referendum when the people of Scotland want one and when they also want independence, so let’s stop wasting time arguing online with the Unionist trolls and share our positive vision with those willing to be led into a better Scotland. For it’s coming yet and a’ that.