A Message We Can All Get Behind

I am continuing to catch up with the fantastic Referendum TV.

Referendum TV is webcast live from Hill Street Theatre throughout the Edinburgh Fringe, reporting on the developing stories of Scotland’s independence referendum. Hosts Lesley Riddoch, Iain MacWhirter, Pat Kane and Stephen Paton talk with the politicians and key players in the debate, and crucially with the voices of the grass roots; the people of Scotland who will have their say on the future of Scotland on September 18th.

In episode 2 (due to some kind of technical hitch there is about a minute of the ident card before the programme kicks in, it’s being put together by volunteers with next to no budget, so worth powering through) Neil Ascherson is one of the guests and during his interview segment he quoted a woman he had met recently.

Her words really struck me and I think represent a message we can all get behind,

‘I hope that whatever way we vote we could carry on with our uncertainties, and discussing them.’

I agree wholeheartedly with this moving statement. There is no end result which leads to the status quo remaining unchanged. We the people have spoken, we’ve sometimes mumbled and gone off on tangents but we have spoken and we are going to keep on speaking. A Yes vote entails uncertainty but so do does a No vote. Everything is up for grabs but don’t fall for the message that uncertainty is a bad thing. Uncertainty is a major fact of every single life. As the woman above said, the answer is not to resolve all uncertainties, but to carry them with us.

All the time we take powerful, unquantifiable actions that involve us holding a lot of uncertainty. Marrying someone, having children, going to a church, having operations, trying new ventures. Uncertainty is not something we can avoid in life and neither is it something we would want to.

I love the woman’s statement as it affirms and acknowledges doubt and belief, hope and skepticism, realism and imagination, and ultimately open ended conversation. This is an article of faith I adhere to.

To uncertainty – whenever it might or might not happen!


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