Friday, 19 September 2014


Yes, Scotland.

1,617,989 of your people voted for the most radical change that you can have without a war. Voted to create a new country, with a constitution, with a socially inclusive programme that would at last include the poor, with a decent free education system and without the awful nuclear weapons that are the Sword of Damocles over Glasgow.

These brave but too few voted Yes against the will of the three main Westminster parties. These brave few voted Yes against the will and the might of all bar one of the printed media and all of the broadcast media. They did so against the interests and the statements of major employers such as Standard Life.

Why? There will be months of analyses by people far more expert than me. But I heard a clue yesterday, on a run down housing estate in NW Edinburgh. I had joined a rally of about 100 people, most women and children, led by a piper. We walked through streets lined with broken fencing, past houses that needed repair, with children whom, I knew from the statistics, would live seven and a half years less than people from my wealthy middle class background ( The woman walking next to me said, simply, "This is our time."

She is why I have worked for a Yes for the last year. She, and the 742,200 others ( who live in Scotland's poorest areas, is the fuel beneath the fire that burned so brightly for Yes. And now she, her children and their children must swallow yet another defeat in a society in which all the cards are stacked against them.

This is not anger at the 2 million who said No. This is a democracy - the least worst form of government - and I knew the risks before I started to dedicate time and energy to this debate. I, and the 1,617,989 who voted Yes, knew we were taking the risky road to major change. The fall from the heights of yesterday afternoon, when we were whooping around Edinburgh in a Landrover decked in Chinese lanterns and Scottish and Catalan flags, was always going to be a long one. But by goodness it was worth it, to reawaken Scotland to its possibilities.

And although I don't believe a word of politicians' promises, just maybe we have tripped a change in the UK. Enough of a shout of pain and disillusion from Scotland that Britain will alter course, one degree to the left. Just enough to drag some of the goodies from the shopping bags of London's wealth. Just enough to give Scotland power to look after all of the people who live in this beautiful country.

If the efforts of all of us in Yes have been enough to save one life from the gaol of deprivation then they have been worth every sweated, tearful, joyful hour. To paraphrase Lesley Riddoch ( we have shown that there is love for people you never knew you knew, and that is the seed that will blossom in Scotland.

1 comment:

  1. The cause will NEVER die, keep fighting the good fight, true Scots.