Wednesday, 2 March 2016

We're wide awake

Yesterday Wee Ginger Dug published a blog that captures superbly how it feels to be an independista in present-day Scotland.  The sense of possibility and yes, of our own power to effect change has never been stronger.

It's an unintended side-effect of the referendum in 2014.  We learned to question, to cast a critical eye over what we were told, whether by politicians or by the media, to stop taking things at face-value and to look for the hidden motives.  These skills have served us well since September 2014. A sleeping giant is awake, and one that is not inclined to simply turn over and go back to sleep. 

Jim Sillars told us that
 Between 7am and 10pm on the 18th September we are totally sovereign.  We have power in our hands for the first time in our history.  Whether at one minute past ten we remain sovereign and powerful or at one minute past ten we've given it all away and we're powerless.
A very large number of us watched as the small majority elected to give it all away and become powerless.  And instead of accepting defeat, those of us who voted Yes decided that it was worth fighting to get that sovereign power back again.  Initially we were sad and we mourned, but that sadness very quickly turned to rage, a rage that continues to burn within us.

The Unionist parties fully expected that things would go back to normal, where they could play their political games without troubling much about the electorate except when it came time for voting, and even then it was expected that votes were an entitlement that could be taken for granted.  Aghast, they realised the folly of this belief too late and watched powerless as safe seat after safe seat fell to the SNP in the General Election.  It was one of the best nights in my life.

Even now, they don't understand the enormity of what the referendum created.  They don't understand that a large proportion of the electorate finally realised what power we have and we are not inclined to give that power up.  They don't understand that a major part of the appeal of the SNP is the possibility of effecting change, of getting rid of the tired old political system and replacing it with something different.  It won't be perfect, but it would better serve our needs than the current system.

History may well come to the conclusion that David Cameron's primary error was to allow the referendum in the first place.  The law of unintended consequences was never better illustrated.

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