Posts Tagged ‘independence’

It’s a rainy day, heavy showers punctuated with dry spells…people running to get from A to B, while those with umbrellas saunter on as normal.  The scene is entirely normal, which is the strikingly different thing about it.

Why is it different?  Because in less than two weeks, Scotland will make the most important decision it has had in 300 years.  We vote to decide the future of the nation – do we stay in the union with the rest of the United Kingdom, or do we forge our own path and go it alone?

When it was first announced there would be a referendum, the No camp had a head start, and through political bungling of the highest degree and unmitigated PR disasters, that lead is now next to nothing.  The dirty tactics used by the unionists have been exposed, with misquoted figures being corrected and scare stories debunked.

A key part of this debate has been through social media – mostly Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, but elsewhere on the net too.  It is these links through the virtual ethernet that have helped to educate, inform and expose these fallacies.  Westminster hasn’t figured out that what worked in 1979, the last time we had a referendum, won’t work in this day and age.

People won’t just blindly believe what they’re told anymore (most people, anyway) and the political spin coming from London is picked through, researched and debated by the very people that have this decision to make.  This is an involvement in politics on a countrywide basis that hasn’t been seen for generations.  People are taking an interest in how they can possibly help to shape the country, making it better for themselves and others.

We finally have a chance to cut off the real ‘subsidy junkies’, that sit on green & red benches, absorbing all the expenses they’re entitled to, without doing what they’re elected & employed to do, which is to represent the people who live and work in the UK.  Every week we hear more political waffle, regarding what they’re doing, what they propose, so on and so forth.  But it has become apparent through the years that that is all it is – waffle, and no action. 

The Tories do what they do best, bulldozing bills through parliament which erode our liberties, and privatising henceforth nationalised services, then awarding the private contracts to their mates, or companies they have a vested interest in.  And yet some people still think this is a democratic society? 

Pray tell, when was the last time the government listened to the people, and reversed a policy or bill?  When was the last time the government listened to the people, when they were pushing for war?  No, we didn’t go to war in Syria, but it was not through the will of the people – David Cameron put it before parliament regardless, in the face of fierce opposition from a large proportion of the country…the only reason it didn’t happen was because it was refused by the House of Lords.

Compare that to Scotland, where, with a Yes vote, we will get rid of Trident – a multi-billion pound set of cylinders sat rusting in the Clyde, near Glasgow.  Lots of countries have nuclear capabilities, yes – but we’ve finally recognised that the money could be spent better elsewhere.  That we don’t want, nor need, nuclear weapons on our doorstep – it should tell you a lot that Westminster and Whitehall parked these weapons up in the Clyde…30 miles from a major Scottish city, and not anywhere near London.  The effects of an accident at Faslane would be catastrophic.

On assertation by the No bods was that we’re too wee, too poor and too stupid – I believe we’re far from it.  We have a thriving population that are happy to live here.  The fees to receive a prescription if you’re disabled or unwell has been abolished.  Universities are still free – an education at most English universities will set you back an eye-watering £9,000.  There are no tolls on our bridges.  The NHS has been kept nationalised, and people are seeing a huge difference to the services down South after chunks have been privatised & contracts awarded to the lowest bidder.  Knock-on effects are poor quality of service, longer waiting times and lower quality care.  These things are not down to the NHS staff themselves however – they try their best with what they have, but with budgets and staff numbers continually being slashed of course standards are going to slip!

Westminster tells us they’re increasing spending on the NHS, which is true, to a point.  What they don’t tell us however, is that they’re increasing spending levels to compensate for the outrageous figures charged by the private companies contracted to do certain jobs within the NHS.  Do some looking into it after reading this…then you’ll understand where I’m coming from and realise that what the government hails as being an achievement is actually a trumped-up piece of fluff, which is intended to keep the masses happy and docile.

From my point of view, one thing that’s put me off becoming involved in politics is the ‘politik speak’ – the unintelligible language used by those in parliament which discourage most regular folk from having any involement.  We are discouraged because we don’t have the confidence to involve ourselves, we fear we wouldn’t know what we were doing.

So because of this, the Eton boys can run free in the Houses of Parliament, making disgraceful policies and creating bills we don’t need to be a successful & prosperous country.  Those who work hard and those who are afflicted with a disability are equally treated like rubbish by this government.  The population are gradually, slowly but surely, waking up to this fact – and rightfully so aren’t happy at the way they’re being treated.

We have this one chance to have an involvement in how our country is run – with independence there is nothing to stop any one of us becoming involved in politics and having our say about various subjects.  And if you don’t like Alex Salmond or the SNP, that’s fine too – THIS IS NOT A VOTE FOR EITHER THE SNP OR ALEX SALMOND – this is a vote for the very future of this country, and everyone in it.  This is a vote for the possibility of political self determination…something we’ll never have under the Tory, or future, governments.  Westminster, politics and being represented in a fair and impartial way is broken under the current system.

Let’s fix it.

Let’s have a country where you don’t have to feel ashamed to have a disability which prevents you from working.
Let’s have a country where you can be involved in the political process.
Let’s have a country where society is also a community that cares.
Let’s have a country where profit hungry corporations are held to account.

How can we achieve this?

By voting Yes on an extraordinary day, the 18th of September 2014.

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This, my friends, is a tale of two countries.  One country wishing to break away from a 300 year union, and forge its’ own way on the world stage using positive tactics – the other country at the helm of the union, desperately trying to prevent the split, using smear campaigns and fearmongering.

 

Scotland will decide for herself on the 18th of September 2014 whether she will go her own way and no longer be a part of the United Kingdom, or whether she’ll remain a part of the UK & continue to be ruled from London.

 

With London becoming increasingly desperate, they’re pulling out all the stops to convince the Scots that the Big Bad World is too nasty for them to prosper, and that they’d be much safer cuddled into the warm nest that Westminster provides.  

One recent stunt BitterTogether pulled involved misrepresenting a statement made by US President Obama…they have skewed the meaning of his speech to make it look like he supports Scotland remaining in the UK.  What Obama did say, was “There is a referendum process in place and it is up to the people of Scotland”.

Scotland however, have not reached out to world superpowers to ask them to take sides on the matter.  Neither have the Scottish government enjoyed biased media coverage from the BBC like BetterTogether.  There was no report from the BBC regarding the protest that took place against IndyRef bias outside BBC Scotland in Glasgow at the start of June.

 

But who says we need the media, or world leaders?  We don’t necessarily need any of that…what we do have is the support of ordinary people all over the world, and we also have social media – something BT didn’t factor in when they started utilising #ProjectFear to try and scare us into voting No…now, within mere hours of a press release attempting to further reinforce the fear, the article can be debunked, legitimately discredited and shared all over Twitter and Facebook, amongst other social media sites like independent media and blog sites like;

Wee Ginger Dug, an excellent commentator and dismantler of BetterTogether’s fear tactics, posted a wonderful letter from Galiza (Galicia) – a community in North West Spain – in support of the campaign for Scottish Independence.  Not just supporting our independent right to decide, but providing some empathy, some humanity to the situation by showing they understand the underhand tactics Westminster is using.  They’ve started a site called Solidarity With Scotland – a place for people of all nationalities to show their encouragement and that they stand with Scotland on her right to decide democratically.

 

Wings Over Scotland is another brilliant site for the truth – with An Actual Letter From America discrediting claims that an independent Scotland would have problems within NATO due to becoming a nuclear-free nation…not only that, but also making a statement about our economy & military budget – more than well worth a read if all the scare stories have you thinking we’ll be punted out into the cold by lots of other countries.

 

You just have to compare tactics by both countries to see who is the desperate party here – people of Scotland, this is ~your~ choice, and BetterTogether will do anything they can to instill fear and distort your view of how an independent Scotland may progress in the world.  

Remember though, we still have an NHS that’s not massively privatised, we still have a Royal Mail that’s national, and we want rid of Trident – do you follow the positives that may mean a better life for us all, or do you allow the mostly fabricated scare stories to beat you down and extort a No vote from you?  

 

Think, research, read blogs & impartial articles…and don’t allow unfounded fear to hold you hostage.

With just under 6 months to go, the Scottish Independence Referendum is hotting up.  There’s arguments & counter arguments being thrown back and forth over the table, and debates have been turned to various topics.

A prominent situation to me however, is that with independence, we – the ordinary people – have a chance to stand up for our communities and get involved in politics…why not?  Because we’ve been indoctrined to believe that we’re not good enough, not intelligent enough to have a say in what happens in our local areas?  Possibly – the head heidyuns in Westminster rely on us thinking there is no way we could become involved, so they can maintain their way of life, stripping the economy through the expenses system & pushing society to the brink of revolt.

But, there is another way – there is the society that deeply cares what happens to those around them, that are prepared to stand up and speak about what they feel is wrong with the system.  Never has that been more apparent than the past year with the public becoming involved in the debate for independence.  Society is once again getting stuck in with public forums stimulating discussion, bringing forth ideas for our country.

A strong theme I have noticed is the inequality & lack of empathy for the general public, politicians giving not a thought for the consequences as they merrily claim expenses while their constituents live in mould-ridden homes & suffer in poverty.  Voting for independence is NOT a vote for Alex Salmond and the SNP – regardless of personal feelings towards the First Minister and his party, the vote on September the 18th 2014 is a vote on whether we are prepared to take a leap into the unknown & create our own destinies.

I was thoroughly impressed to see a 15 year old stating during a Q&A session on the subject that ‘nobody knows where we’re going to be in 4 years, nobody knows where we’re going to be at the next election, nobody knows when the next financial crash will be, nobody knows anything.  How can we ever base anything on not knowing?’ – a balanced, well thought out view if ever I heard one…the truth is that we don’t know, but you can never succeed if you never try in the first place!

No, we don’t know what will happen if we vote for independence, however I would hate to have to tell future generations in my family that yes, we had the chance to try, we had the chance to do things differently but we voted no because we didn’t know what would happen.  If we don’t take that leap, we have no idea what could have been and many of us would regret that choice in the decades to come.  We live in a society where the rift between haves & have nots is deepening, discontent is growing and our ‘elected representatives’ in Westminster have not a care for the squalid and unsuitable living conditions many of us find ourselves accomodated in.

Now is the time not for mud slinging & political tit-for-tat, seeing who can shout the loudest that it’s all the opposition’s fault.  Now is the time to unite as a country, to get together, put the problems on the table & try to come up with solutions.  Not temporary repairs to keep the water out, real solutions that make us happier as a whole.  Now is the time to believe that we, the ordinary people can become involved in the political system and have a say.

Having Trident banished from our shores is a very good start, it would inject a lot of money into the economy to be used for other purposes, instead of being spent on rusting metal in the Clyde that serves only as an attack magnet if things kick off globally.  We have the chance to lead the way in disarming our country as a threat to other nations, to do something more productive with the money it takes to maintain these monstrosities.

Now is the time to stand up and make your voice heard.  We’re not too wee, not too stupid and not too insignificant to change the system here, something our previous generations could only wish for.

Now is the time to have a serious think about what you want to happen in your lifetime, how you want your quality of life to be.  I’m not so naive to think it will all change overnight, and that the problems dogging our society will be solved the day after the referendum…but do you surely not want the chance to try?