We are on day four, precisely half way through guest week where we get a new perspective each day on the Referendum. Today it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Scott Findlater, a charming and wise friend who only minutes after meeting him I knew was a kindred spirit. Scott is bright, hilarious and genuine. I look forward to catching up with this old friend soon but in the meantime I can enjoy reading his thoughts on the referendum and so can you!
“Whit’s fur ye’ll no go past ye”…
I had to type that topless. That’s not even a joke. I sat down to write this post, and randomly, and I mean it, it wasn’t planned, I realized that this morning I put on a t-shirt that has these words on it. I took it off to make sure I was spelling it all properly. The t-shirt is a mosaic of different pictures, so it’s a bloody nightmare to read it the right way up, let alone upside down. By definition of the words though, maybe I was meant to wear that t-shirt today as I write this, or maybe it was just chance. Interesting place to start though, don’t you think? Or do you?
“Whit’s fur ye’ll no go past ye”… so basically, if it is meant to be, it’ll happen, right? Fate. Who decides though? What decides? I mean, I decided to put that t-shirt on today, but only because it was clean and close at hand. But who actually decides things? Who or what makes things actually happen? Is it some higher force? Is it God? I don’t mind if it is, it kind of takes the responsibility away from me. I can give him the credit if it all goes right, (I’ll save a wee bit for myself) and I should be allowed to have some words with him when it all goes wrong. He has broad shoulders, he can take it. (Broad shoulders, I think I’ve heard that somewhere before.) Anyway, as long as he doesn’t treat me like a puppet on strings though. I say ‘he’, could be a ‘she’ or an ‘it’, but who decides?
I would love it if Scotland voted to become an independent country. But if it votes ‘No’, then fuck it. “Whit’s fur ye’ll no go past ye”, remember. Wasn’t meant to be. I could think that if it’s a ‘No’. I could think that. On September 19th, in fact, I know I’d say it, but what would I believe? Actually, the question we are asked in the ballot paper on September 18th defies the laws of reality, as far as the t-shirt is concerned. It goes against the grain to use another cliché. We are being given the opportunity to decide, meaning that the decision we make for the referendum will be made by us, not by someone else on our behalf. If we all voted ‘No’, we would still have decided, but only the once. It would end there, in my opinion. We would then go back to blissful existence in the realm of the “Whit’s fur ye’ll no go past ye…” If we all voted ‘Yes’, then we decided, but the difference in this instance, is that we decided to decide. We would decide to decide every time, on everything. I am going to vote ‘Yes’ because I have decided to decide.
Now, I say that we would decide on everything. Of course that’s not true. There are things we as people wouldn’t be allowed to decide in an independent Scotland. However, if we decided to be an independent country and write our own constitution, as part of the sovereignty of the people of that country, we would be deciding on a framework, providing a structure by which decisions that can’t be made by us will be made. Does that make sense? I’m not even sure I follow it, but I’ll keep going.
Fundamentally, I think we should decide for ourselves. We should make decisions about how we live our lives in a parliament by Scotland, in Scotland, for Scotland. We’re not going to get everything right, of course we won’t. We’re humans, and that won’t change in an Independent Scotland, despite what the Telegraph or Daily Record might want to conjure up. If we vote ‘Yes’, then we have to accept the risks that come with that decision and if we vote ‘No’, we have to accept that we have given eternal permission to the puppet master that is Westminster to do whatever it wants forever and we don’t have much of a right to complain. If we vote ‘No’, let’s not complain about the widening canyon between the rich and poor in this country. Let’s not complain about people who work themselves to the bone not being able to feed their children, while politicians in Whitehall send for another crate of champagne. Let’s not complain about renewing weapons of mass destruction, close to our largest city, at the cost of public services, that people’s lives rely on. Let’s not complain about engaging in illegal wars in the Middle East and devastating generations of lives in other countries. Let’s not complain when we get a government we didn’t vote for. There’s too many ‘let’s not complains’ to talk about, but fundamentally, let’s not complain if we are obliged to follow the same road as Westminster, and we’re told to ‘heel’. “Whit’s fur ye’ll no go past ye”… imagine telling that to people queuing at a food bank.
Voting ‘Yes’ is a chance for us to take responsibility for what we have done and for what we will do. Let’s not go into it blind, we know we will always face difficulties whether we’re part of the UK or not. It’s more than that though. It’s about grasping the opportunity to be more than we are, to be better than we are. Which is also why if it’s a ‘No’ vote and I’m a ‘Yes’ voter, or a ‘No’ voter and it’s a ‘Yes’, let’s try and be better, regardless. Let’s do it for each other as well as ourselves.
Despite everything I have just written here, regardless of the outcome, on the 19th September, let’s believe in each other and ourselves and live by that belief… “Whit’s fur ye’ll no go past ye”.