In the end we didn’t lose by a huge margin, but it was enough, and it has felt crushing. Already, within 24 hours of the vote, the Labour party has reneged on its promises to the Scottish electorate of more powers in the event of a No vote in order to win more support amongst right-wing southern voters, and David Cameron, a man for whom morality and honesty are foreign concepts when it comes to wooing the rich, has told the SNP leader that any timescale for change is ‘Meaningless’.
I don’t know how shocked people are. Certainly the idea that the leaders of the three big parties would say whatever they needed to in order to continue to line their own pockets is no surprise what so ever. Politically, it will have an impact on the Labour Party who have traditionally seen Scotland as part of their home ground. We already knew that the Tories exist only to tear the soul out of Britain in order to feed it to their oligarchic buddies, their tax evading pals and their slum landlord mates, but many people still believed Labour represented something different, despite all the evidence that said otherwise. No longer. They are a party of liars; as corrupt as the Tories but worse in the way they have brutally betrayed their own heritage. The party of Nye Bevan, the party that helped birth the National Health Service, is now a party where their Scottish leader, the wretched Johann Lamont smiles and poses for a photo-shoot at the opening of a food bank in Aberdeen. Some of us will never forget that. It is therefore not surprising that their first instinct is to put the boot into Scotland in order to try to win votes back from the Tories and the foul, smirking, low rent fascist UKIP party. They know they will never win anything here ever again.
The media too, are culpable. I keep hearing people saying this was democracy in action, but how democratic is it when every single newspaper (barring, heroically the Sunday Herald,) and every TV station slavishly broadcast Westminster’s version of the news? How democratic is it when the press barons, seeking to line their own pockets, screw the truth? At a BBC organised event last week, for example, they tried to get people to pretend to be No supporters because their were ‘too many Yessers’ in the audience. They have tried time and time again to reframe the conversation into simplistic nationalist terms of Scots versus the English, that we hate the English. I don’t, WE don’t. It has been about governing ourselves and following our own destiny, not hating our closest neighbours who are living under the same second-rate, disconnected, privileged ‘elite’ that we are. This is the same media that, whilst claiming the indy movement was little more than Blood and Soil nationalism, turned a blind eye to the vile politics of hate and fear practised by UKIP. All it has revealed is the depth of their own collusion in making Britain, the whole island, a less tolerant and inclusive place, where whispers of ‘They get more than you. That’s not fair, you should hate them for it’ have gone from the unspeakable mutterings of the far right into standard vote winning political discourse. I have as much love and time for people from Yorkshire, or Northumberland, or Merseyside or anywhere else as I did before and always will. It’s the gang of elite, rich, selfish and aristocratic liars and cheats I hate, and I detest their belief that it is their god-given right to rule us.
As for the people of Scotland who voted No. Well, that is on their conscience. You lined up with the Tories, the banks, the BNP, UKIP, the National Front and the Orange Lodge. You lined up with people who loath you and think you are unfit to govern yourself. And you agreed with them. Whether you voted out of self-interest, self loathing or spite, it’s done with now. Good on you. How many people voted No because they refused to be robbed of the excuse of blaming other people for their misery and failings?
And in spite of it all….there are good things. That the media, the whole media and the powers that Westminster assembled failed to convince almost half the population of Scotland of their lies says so much. That the turnout, nationwide, was over 80% is unheralded. That the percentage of people under the age of 21 who voted Yes was around 71% is incredible. The fight is not over. In fact, the battle is only really beginning. Change is coming, change will come. The more Westminster attacks anyone that disagrees with them, the more people will stand against them. Best of all has been the sense of hope; all those people running stalls in the street and smiling with the belief that things can change. All the stickers and badges covering the country. None of that is going to go away and although we hurt now, we will feel better in time. Never forget, despite the lies, how close we came. Never let Cameron, Milliband and their cronies forget that either. Ever.
Sometimes the music is simply not enough. I know many of you have no horse in this race. But I speak because it needs to be said. This was the most important political event of my 40 years on earth. I couldn’t let it go without comment. Tonight’s tune is Riot by Underground Resistance, perhaps the most politically astute band in the history of Electronic music, perhaps any genre. Listen to the music and hold those feelings close. To steal the title of one of their albums, there will be, must be, a Revolution For Change. Now is not the time to give up. Now, more than ever, we need to stand up and be counted. Let’s get going: there is work to be done.
One last thing. I’ve said this several times now but I’ll say it again. I would much rather stand with the people I admire, trust, respect and love, and lose than stand with those who side with a failed and corrupt political system and win. To all those who spent their days and evenings trying to make people believe and foster hope that things could be different my love and respect for you is all encompassing. Thank you all for caring. It might not feel like it now, but you have made a difference. It has been an honour and it’s been a blast. Never forget that change begins with you. Take care and be ready for when it comes.