Scottish Independence is a subject that is very close to my heart. In a previous incarnation of the blog, I wrote extensively during the last campaign to share some facts and hopefully bust some myths that were being spread about what an independent Scotland would look like.
Before I moved to Japan, I spent evenings knocking on doors, giving out flyers, and talking with anyone who would listen about why Scotland could and should be an independent country.
My desire for my homeland to become a normally functioning country with an elected government accountable to its people has not changed. I still keep an eye on the news and I’ll still speak with people on Facebook / Twitter / IRC / whatever about independence. I can’t knock on doors any more, but I can blog.
One thing that I greatly admired about “Yes” the last time around was how it brought together so many people of different political, social and ethnic backgrounds. It gave everyone a banner and goal we could aim for: Independence.
The consensus (to me) seemed to be that that destination is what matters and we will campaign and work together to convince as many people as we can that Scotland should be independent. After independence was won, we could go back to our tribal ways and elect a (proportionately representative, naturally) Government that actually reflected the wishes of the electorate and give proper voice to our various political differences.
For me, I was a member of the Liberal Democrats and a strong believer in Federalism. Through the course of the campaign I moved from a “soft no” to a “hard yes". That journey also took me from the Lib Dems to the Scottish Green party, which I felt best fit with my political views.
Yes meetings had people from every shade in Scotland’s political spectrum and I attended marches and events with my campaign buddy and good friend who was a member of the SSP. It was a source of good natured banter between us, but not an issue for the independence campaign.
Where has that sense of camaraderie gone?
These days, Twitter seems to be full of parts of “The Movement” clawing all over each other for what? Personal advancement and virtue signaling? Wanting to make sure everyone adheres to an “approved” ideology and “further-left” political ideals? Outright attempts at chilling censorship?
I don’t get it.
It’s true, that as Willie from The Simpsons once said, A Scot's natural enemy is Another Scot. We’re certainly not lacking for things to argue about or take offense to.
But, are we loosing sight of the goal?
Scotland still isn’t independent. Falling upon each other like we're members of the Parliamentary Labour Party isn’t going to help us.
Divide and Rule is how The Empire kept its grip on the world and how it tried to keep a hold of its colonial possessions as the prestige fell. It’s how Brexit happened. It’s how the Independence Movement in Scotland will fail.
We should be better than this. Save the arguments about party or personal until after we’re independent. That’s when it matters, when we're forming a truly representative Government.
Right now, when Brexit is set to throw us back into an economic downturn that will hurt for 30 years we should be more determined than ever to make sure that an Independent Scotland happens.
Let’s get our eye back on the goal. We have a real battle to win.