Notion of a New Caledonian Dawn

Referendum-FlagsIn less than 10 hours’ time the polls will open for the historic referendum, in which the Scottish nation has the opportunity to change the course of the country´s future. The question posed on the ballot paper is a simple one: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” The answer to that question is more straightforward to some than it is to others. According to several polls the ´Better Together Campaign´, the main campaign in favour of the status quo, had been in the lead for consecutive months with comfortable margins, although a quarter to a third of the electorate was- and might still be- undecided. Prime Minister Cameron didn´t get involved in the campaign, probably assuming it would be a done deal. Ironically- or rather pathetically- enough the ´Better Together Campaign´ mainly focused on the things that would go horrible wrong if Scotland would decide to go for it alone, rather than emphasising why Scotland and the rest of the Union would be better off together.

A week and a bit ago some polling agency published a poll that put the pro-independence slightly ahead in the race sending shockwaves through the establishment. The leaders of the two- and-a-half party that make up the political establishment went into total panic mode. They hastily set up a plan, that is rather vague and nothing more than a promise, in which Scotland would be given more devolved powers, including setting its own tax rules, in case the no-vote would be dominant. In other words a Devo max package that PM Cameron refused to include as a third option on the ballot paper in the Edinburgh Agreement. While most if not all of the national mainstream media seem to run a rather unionist agenda, the Scottish electorate have registered in record numbers to cast their vote and the exercise of politics has become a lively and engaging affair, in which everyone seems to be involved.

The Union some Scots wish to leave, was born in 1707 when the kingdoms of Scotland and England united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. The call for Scottish home rule entered mainstream politics in the 1920s as the Labour party was an advocate of greater independence, but did little campaigning in later years as it found other issues more important. The Scottish Nationalist Party, who currently runs the main campaign for Scottish independence, was established in 1934 and only started to make significant electoral gain in later decades. It is only from the late 1970s that Scottish devolution became a considerable issue on the Westminster agenda as the idea of a devolved Scottish Assembly was proposed in a 1979 referendum. Despite a greater amount of voters being in favour of greater devolution, the referendum did not lead to constitutional reform as the required 40%  of the vote was not met. A second referendum on Scottish devolution was held in 1997, which did lead to greater devolution and the establishment of the Scottish parliament in 1998. In the course of recent Scottish political history, the Scottish Nationalist Party became a dominant force and pushed for even greater devolution. This lead to the Edinburgh Agreement of 2012 in which it was agreed that Scotland would hold a referendum on Scottish independence in the autumn of 2014.

And that time is now.

In the course of the 20 months or so since the Edinburgh agreement until the beginning of last summer, it seemed the prevalence of the no-vote´ would be a no brainer. Many a poll showed the no-campaign in a comfortable lead for months on end and the yes campaign seemed a very vocal, yet minority bunch. Most people don´t like change and often out of fear for the unknown they prefer the status quo. I am of the opinion that the no campaign could still have been in a comfortable lead if they weren´t so transparent in their ivory-tower mentality and their disregard for the people.

First, if I were an undecided voter or leaning to voting “no” I wouldn´t be at all impressed with the scaremongering the political establishment and the mainstream media has thrown at the British people. If I were in a partnership, which I was considering to leave, would the argument that I would never make in on my own and that terrible stuff would happen if I decided to leave my partner, make me stay? Hell no. It might work on someone with a lot of self-doubt and low self-esteem, but as Scotland is a proud nation that knows her worth, this might well have the opposite effect. What would entice me to stay is when my partner would say how great we are together. How my fabulous personality, character and actions are such a contribution to the partnership, and how much we can both benefit from our parternership. But the unionist establishment decided on a different and rather patronising strategy. The question is why. Most likely because they can´t come up with strong enough reasons for Scotland to be indeed better off within the union. PM Cameron held a speech North of the border a few days ago in a desperate attempt to keep Scotland within the Union.  The few ´benefits´ he could come up with for a Scotland within the union are:
* shared borders
How exactly is that a strong benefit and who the fuck cares about borders in times of internationalisation?
* a shared armed forces
who wants to be fodder for the British war machine, especially since they engage in illegal warfare and cause mass devastation and structural instability?
* Protected pensions- says who? Are those who have been saying for quite a few years that the current system is unsustainable, that (future) pensions are at risk and that kids today have to wait until they are 80 until they will receive a state pension just talking a load of bollocks then?
* protected mortgages-  due to artificially low interest rates and the housing bubble will burst whether Scotland is independent or part of the Union

This is the best Cameron can come up with, which is not just terribly meagre, it is absolutely pathetic.

Second, the reason a considerably amount of Scottish voters are in favour of independence is that they feel that Westminster politicians are out of touch with the wishes of the Scottish people. Many Scots want a more socially kind society. Exactly the kind of society the Westminster establishment is turning away from. The welfare state is being dismantled slowly, but surely, with the many cuts in social spending and the selling off of the National Health Service. The gap between the wealthy and the more financially challenged has increased dramatically in the last 15 years. If the UK minimum wage had kept up with the wage increase of senior executives it would be at more than £18 rather than the current £6.31 for the over 21s. It´s most likely that this situation is only getting worse. An independent Scotland might suffer too, but at least she will have the opportunity to make things better.

Third, Westminster´s disengagement gives the Scottish people reasons to use the referendum as a protest vote. With 97% of the electorate having registered to vote an expected high-turn out will include many previously disenfranchised voters, who are most likely to vote against the status quo. Cameron´s plea asking the Scots to stay within the partnership could be encouragement enough for some to vote against the Union as not to give über twat Cameron what he wants.

I understand that many people on both sides of the border want Scotland to stay within the Union. You don´t want the other side, where your heritage might lie, where you have relatives and friends, where you might have lived, gone to school, uni or on holiday, where they speak the same language and with, which you have a shared history, to become a foreign country. However, for Scotland this is an unique opportunity. Most people don´t care about politics because they feel it is not about them and they are right. The run-up to the referendum has seen the registration of a record number of voters. Those who never voted before or might not have voted in a long time, took the effort to make their vote count. The referendum has created debate and engagement at and across all levels of Scottish society. This referendum gives the Scottish people the exciting opportunity to determine their own future (far more) independent from Westminster, that clearly doesn´t give a shit. An opportunity that is the envy of the British Isles and several regions in Continental Europe. By all means, make an informed decision. No one claims independence will be painless, but that doesn´t mean one should buy the claptrap, lies and scaremongering of the unionist establishment. All they fear is Britain´s loss of standing in the world and therefor a loss of their own power. Cameron is terrified of going down in history as the PM who ´forced´ Scotland to independence. The British establishment is not a charity case and Scotland shouldn´t treat it as one. If my current country of residence, which voted for independence from the Great Britain in 1964, is a lot smaller than Scotland and has no natural resources or sizable manufacturing sector, could be an example; tough times might be ahead, but 50 years on both Malta’s present and future look very bright indeed.

Aye Scotland, make this one count. The Dark Fairy is terribly excited for you.

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