This post might be even less well edited than usual. I’ve been away, and have got to go away again tomorrow, so here’s a quick fire view of my thoughts. In which I will still be speaking as though Independence is a real thing.
I became quite downcast during the last week. As a fervent supporter of the Yes campaign for Scottish Independence, for which the vote will be happening on Thursday, it came as a shock to witness just how much the establishment media in the UK were against the idea of little Scotland breaking up the last remnants of the British Empire. My opinion of one famous and lauded example of this media, the BBC, has been going downhill for quite a while. But I was never-the-less horrified to witness how they have managed to fiddle with some basic journalistic concepts with which they are supposedly famous, such as objectivity and unbiased coverage. But despite that frightening revelation, which could tip your whole world upon it’s flattened edge, and for which I will be giving you no evidence right now, I have ended the week feeling uplifted and optimistic. Though not particularly in regard to the outcome of the vote which is still, it seems, in the balance.
No, the reason I am feeling upbeat is because I have come to realise the privilege it is to be part of this grassroots democratic movement for change. One that could have a big effect, not just upon Scotland, but upon the whole of the present United Kingdom over the years to come. We have been having our own little revolution. I thought that revolutions only happened (so it has always seemed) in places where death, real poverty and hand to mouth survival were the order of the day for the majority of the population. Places where there was “nothing to lose but our chains”.
The Scottish revolution is not of that magnitude, although there is a lot of genuine concern for the way in which, as part of the UK, we seem to be heading down a path of a growing rich and poor divide, of petty hatred, prejudice and inequality. A path from which some of the British welfare services that are almost as famous as the Beeb ( like our free at point of use National Health Service) are being gradually torn. A path upon which our governments, of whatever stance, seem to be increasingly inclined to worship at the steps of financial institutions. Institutions who have been getting a free hand to fritter away everyone’s money but their own. Personally, I’m glad that our revolution is happening at this point of “genuine concern” rather than at the crossroads of desolation.
This democratic, peaceful revolution has been very much a do-it-yourself affair. Only one national newspaper in the UK (with only a small Scottish readership) has come out in support of Independence. The Sunday Herald is that brave spirit, and in yesterday’s edition Iain Macwhirter commented that “this may be the first election in which the mainstream media ceased to be the mainstream”. There-in lies my reasons for optimism. Miraculously, despite the fact that this mainstream media has been pretty much “in the pocket” of our Westminster governments No campaign, we still have a shout of making the change we are looking to achieve. People power is surfing the net, chatting to it’s neighbours and is, generally, blissfully ignoring the finger of Fear being pointed at every pro-independence notion. We are the Media, and it is beautiful to behold.
I can’t give this campaign any kind of justice in such a few words, and I must add that there are people of principle on both sides of the Scottish Referendum argument. No doubt the issues that Scotland and the UK face are relatively minor in comparison to other world wide examples that some of our own Small Word bloggers have experienced. But right now I’m feeling very much appreciative that I live in a democracy. And so very thankful that new life is being breathed into that same democracy. And also into my own faith in the possibility of progressive change among communities of people who choose to put their collective minds to the task.