When writing a script for a film, comic, or drama generally you’ll often see the cliche of the hero or heroine getting to the end of the second act, failing (or if it’s a 1980’s action film, being tortured by Viet Cong, evil drug lords, or robots from the future) to succeed just when you think they’re going to win. At the end of this act the hero/heroine is at their lowest and you cannot think they will come back to win but yes, they do in the third and final act and the myth of the hero prevails.
Of course this is a hopeless over-romanticisation of what’s happened in relation to the Scottish Referendum and the No side winning. As pointed out in previous blogs, there’s a lot of pain and anger that already, only a few hours and days later, the ‘iron timetable’ unraveled so that what was supposed to be a debate about constitutional reform in not only Scotland, has turned into a debate about Home Rule in England, extra powers for the city of London and Ed Milliband’s pledge to raise the minimum wage to a whopping £8 an hour by 2020, which at that time, will be actually a paycut for most people.
Sadly, the No vote was built on a lie as is pointed out here at Wings of Scotland from Eric Joyce MP who feels distraught about the lies spun, and being spun by David Cameron, Ed Milliband and Gordon Brown. This however is a Labour MP suddenly realising that his job is under threat in May as is every single Labour MP in Scotland who must be looking at the enormous increases in membership (as I write this SNP membership has increased by 9000 since Friday morning) with the SNP, SSP and Greens in just a few short days since the result . They must be looking online at groups like We Are The 45% which is keeping some momentum going, though personally I feel they need to be more inclusive of No voters feeling buyers remorse and wishing they’d voted Yes.
Right now things are fluid and moving quickly, but it’s clear that a tactical alliance will be formed between all the parties supporting independence so that these parties send a large amount of MP’s to Westminster in May, and whittle down Labour MSP’s in 2016. In whatever form this campaign takes when it settles, it needs to be positive with no recriminations which is what this splendid statement from the National Collective says. It cannot use the negative tactics of Better Together, who are now tearing apart their union and throwing blame at all within their ranks because they know they won this battle, but they were the bad guy. They were the ones leering over a people telling lies about pensions, oil (which would be such a burden if Scotland had it, but an asset if Westminster did), business, food prices, train times, postal services, and even whether Doctor Who would be shown in Scotland if it gained independence.
Then there’s the fact Better Together stirred up some dark forces. It’s true at the start of this campaign they disowned the Orange Lodge and the far right who were campaigning to keep the Union, but in the last few weeks, they seemed less interested in putting them at a distance. This led directly to Loyalists not only rioting in Glasgow last Friday, but far-right groups being empowered so Britain First now have more than a toehold in Scotland. Of course I know there were Yes campaigners arrested on Friday, but the majority of the media has ignored the large amounts of violence which has come from a tiny, but vocal part of the No campaign. Though an honourable mention has to go to Channel 4 News with Alex Thompson and Paul Mason being exceptional in their impartiality, Thompson is also the only national UK journalist to so far report on the arson attack on the Sunday Herald building, a paper which was the only one in the UK to support independence.
As for the media bias and those who may suggest sour grapes, I can only post this film and ask people to make their own minds up.
Right now we have no idea what is going to happen. People are grieving for what could have been and it feels like there’s no way back from this, but the sense of loss and anger will be replaced by a sense that come May in the general election, the people of Scotland can speak to send Westminster a message. Don’t vote Tory. Don’t vote UKIP. Don’t vote Lib Dem. Don’t vote Labour. All are anti-democratic Unionist parties more interested in their own vested interests. I know people supposedly of the left and allegedly democrats south of the border are going to be angered at the thought of Scotland rejecting Labour, but tough. Labour are not of the left.
Of course had Scotland voted Yes on Thursday, on Friday morning we’d have seen constitutional change not just for an independent Scotland, but across the UK as everything would have had to be rewritten. We didn’t get that. We got a grey, dank morning which summed up a dark mood, but now put that behind us all and close the second act. The third act is where we win!