With less than a week left to the Scottish Independence referendum, the announcement that 97% of the Scottish people who are eligible to vote, have registered. That’s a record for any democratic vote in the UK, and those people registering aren’t doing to in order to try to maintain the status quo. Turn out was estimated a while back by Alex Salmond to be around 80% but that could end up being a conservative figure as it could easily pass 90% and if so, then forget about all the polls we’ve seen. Everything is now up for grabs in the last few days before the referendum and yet, the London based media are still playing this as a normal party political election and in focusing on the SNP, are missing what’s happening right now in Scotland. They’ve missed something extraordinary and in doing so, they’ve failed to do their job in telling the rest of the UK.
As readers of this blog know, I’m a Scot living in England and people are seriously unprepared for what might happen after next Thursday. They think that the debate is about currency, or where banks (the same banks we bailed out to the cost of a trillion pounds of our money) try to scare voters in what has mainly been, a lively democratic debate.
People don’t know about the Radical Independence Campaign, who have done wonders in getting those people disenfranchised by Westminster politics feeling like they’re part of society again. They don’t know about Women for Independence who have shown the sort of egalitarian feminism that involves bringing all women up as equals not only to men, but not just those middle class women writing for the broadsheets. They don’t know of the Jimmy Reid Foundation and of The Common Weal, whose motto is ”All Of Us First‘. Of course there’s the Green Party and many, many more so it’s not just the SNP supporting independence. It’s a distortion of the truth to assume it’s the SNP V Westminster. It’s more than that.
You expect the Labour Party to support these groups but they don’t and in fact, have attacked these groups even though they stand for the working people left behind by Westminster politics. The same people Labour used to represent, and this brings me to the pitiful sight of Labour MP’s trudging through the streets of Glasgow for a desperate attempt to save their jobs, or as the media would have you believe, save the Union. This was mercilessly disrupted by some genius on a bike playing the Imperial March from Star Wars.
Imagine had Donald Dewar lived? What would he have thought of seeing Labour MP’s mocked so openly by the people of Glasgow, a formerly strong Labour stronghold?
The problem with Labour is summed up in this advert which popped up on my Facebook today.
Labour now doesn’t really want to kick out the Tories for anything more than to regain power, and with this illusion of change, they want people to believe that maybe, just this time, they might be the ones to make a difference if only YOU vote for them.
See, this is the problem. The Tories are scum. They are however, Tories. This is what they do. The Lib Dems aren’t worth talking about as they’re dead men and women walking as far as the electorate is concerned, but Labour were supposed to change things but they didn’t. They failed, and now they appeal to tribalists preaching the faith that they will really do it this time!
Then Scotland comes around and after they’ve taken the people for granted, it all blows up in their faces. They side with the Tories and Lib Dems and in doing so, drop the mask not only for the electorate of Scotland to see, but across the UK, but still, the people of the UK outside of Scotland think it’s the SNP telling the Tories to fuck off. It isn’t, it’s those wanting an independent country to make their own decisions which involves scrapping everything and starting from scratch.
Things will be tough. Scotland needs skilled workers fast even if it doesn’t vote Yes, and it’s got to deal with an aging population, but the country seems like the only part of the British Isles which is alive. It’s woken up to the trap of Westminster politics that Labour have held them in, and by saying Yes, they lose all of that bollocks. They lose the Commons and the farce which is Prime Minister’s Questions, and they lose the Lords, and they lose the London based media, not to mention the likes of UKIP, Britain First and the EDL are either gone or so diminished that they can be easily ignored. New parties will emerge from the wreckage of the old, and new ideas will be better heard but people can’t let this massive move towards democracy die. Left, right and centre in Scotland have to combine to make it work, after they’ve ditched the rubbish who I imagine will leg it south in the hope of finding safe seats in England or Wales.
On September the 19th I hope Scotland wakes up independent. I also hope the rest of the UK sees what’s happened, and realises that they’ve been sold shite by the establishment, and like the people of Scotland they can fight for what they want through the ballot box. The very real fear in the eyes of David Cameron as he realises that people have power is glorious, so don’t waste a chance to make things happen as they have in Scotland. The old order is dead whatever the result may be next Thursday. The party is over for Cameron, Milliband and Clegg in Scotland. Time to start working for the future.