Friday, September 12, 2014

Scottish Independence: The Empire Strikes Back

With one week to go in the Scottish referendum the YES side's surge to independence appears to have been at least temporarily halted, with a new poll suggesting the NO side is leading again. 

The YouGov survey for The Times and Sun newspapers put supporters of the union on 52 per cent, narrowly ahead of supporters of independence on 48 per cent, excluding those who said they did not know how they would vote.

But with 97% of those eligible registered to vote, either side could still win.

And the good news for the YES side is that most of its  support is still intact even after being battered by an all-out assault worthy of Darth Vader himself...

Big Business, the corporate media, and the Westminster political establishment have joined together into a massive Death Star, and are bombarding the Scots with threats of financial collapse, doom and disaster. 

The Royal Bank of Scotland announced has announced it would move its headquarters to London if the YES side won. The BBC's chief political editor was shown on camera heckling Scotland's First Minister. One hundred Labour MPs from England and Wales flooded into the country yesterday to join the NO side.

And be greeted appropriately enough, by some guy riding in a rickshaw playing Lord Vader's music.

And in their stately castles of which there are many in Scotland...

Even the lordy lords, or the lardy lairds as I call them, have been heard roaring with fear and loathing.

They might not be found on the campaign trail and they wouldn't be caught dead with a placard, but Scotland's reclusive aristocrats have expressed grave fears about the prospect of independence.

One nameless aristocrat, whose family was reputedly involved in the 1707 Act of Union, railed about the Scottish National Party supporters seeking to break away from the union: "The buggers are out to get us!"

Because they too realize that the quest for independence is a revolt against the established order and the neo-liberal agenda, and for the right to live in a proudly left-wing country, free from the brutish policies of the Con regime in London. 

Like the infamous bedroom tax, that until it was hastily abolished about a week ago, caused mass misery all over Britain.

It's a dream about about a kinder, gentler, more equal society, and that's why the Death Star is so determined to crush it...

But even though it's a frightening spectacle, and since I hate bullies you can imagine how I feel. I remember what Augustine once said:

Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.

And since the YES side now has plenty of both, I know that they can still do it.

Especially since women are playing such prominent a role in the YES campaign. 

Women for Independence has thousands of members and has organised more relaxed “women-friendly” events, at community centres near schools before pickup time, outside shopping malls and at weekend coffee mornings. There have been fewer “sages on the stage” and far more informal mass chats.

Female voters now sense optimism about the possibility of real change, where there was previously a sense of uncertainty and difficulty.

As reflected in this poster...

And so are Scotland's young people. 

So I know that the dream will never die, no matter what happens. 

And that a YES vote is, as this father writes, a gift from the present to the future...

You know, it isn't easy following the referendum from this side of the Atlantic. On Twitter sites like this one.

When I'd rather be in the highlands, or in this humble little place I know so well...

Most of my friends don't share my enthusiasm for what's happening in Scotland. So I feel quite alone. 

My support for the YES side has cost me some readers, and some of the few Twitter followers I had. As I knew it would.

And if the YES side loses I will be very disappointed, and heartbroken for a while. And even the Prince of the Saguenay will have his hands full trying to console me.

But I won't be discouraged. I know that if you have a dream you have to fight for it. I know that what is happening in Scotland will one day happen here. In my beautiful Canada.

It is a revolt against the cruel policies of bestial Con regimes that would turn our societies into jungles.

The Death Star will be defeated.

And it is the dawn of a better world...

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  1. Anonymous9:30 AM

    Stay your course Simon, you are in the right. Scotland's freedom is worth it.

    1. hi anon...don't worry I will. I only wish that I could magically transport all Canadians to Scotland so they could see what a great country it is. Beautiful, modern, and more than capable of running its own affairs...

  2. Anonymous10:59 AM

    I'm with you all the way!

    1. Hi anon...thank you. The Force is with us, we shall take on the Death Star, and blow it to smithereens !!! :)

  3. Anonymous1:02 PM

    You're not alone.
    Thank you for reminding me of the Augustine quote. The fight for a just, more fair world is ongoing and will not end Sept.18th. I'm keeping in mind that now half of Scotland knows what Westminster is and how far it's supporters will go to hold onto power and once you know you can never go back to complacency.

    1. hi anon...thank you, it is a great quote isn't it. Especially since it says daughters instead of sons for a change. And yes of course September 18th would just be the first step on a long march. But that's what I love about movements. There's nothing like them to keep politicians honest and force them to make REAL changes. Nothing would disappoint me more than for the YES to win, and become just another government. We demand better, and the whole world needs change...

  4. The Empire Strikes Back indeed.

    Here in an international press conference, the BBC's Political Editor asks Alex Salmond : "Why should a Scottish voter believe you, a politician, against men who are responsible for billions of pounds of profit?”

    Salmond gave a comprehensive six minute answer that was applauded by the other members of the international press.

    The BBC reported : "He didn't answer the question."

    Thank you, Simon, for your excellent ongoing coverage of this.

    Alison Creekside,

  5. hi Alison...thanks a lot. I have to say that the BBC's blatant bias during this campaign has shocked me, since it's one of the few media orgaizations that I still admired. But then today the Guardian also endorsed the NO side, so even they lack the courage of their convictions. However, tomorrow the Orange Lodge will march to show their support for the NO side. So the BBC and the Guardian and all the others will find themselves in good company. As for the Weegies, I was in Glasgow during the Commonwealth Games, and although I've always been a bit of an Edinburgh snob, I was so impressed by the spirit and pride of the people of the Clyde.
    No wonder they are such strong YES side supporters, while the toffs in Edinburgh are leaning NO. !!#@!!!!
    That'll teach me... ;)


    1. Anonymous10:39 AM

      I was actually surprised that a majority of Edinburgher's are leaning to the "No" side ( what with so many university students there). Then I realized that the majority of corporate Head Offices are there. The same ones threatening to leave......
      Glasgows economy has been hurting for years, shipbuilding was its mainstay for a hundred years or more . So , economically they wont have as much to lose in a successful "yes" vote. ( Although, ironically enough, Glasgows shipyards are building the newest British figate for the Navy! :) )

      Time will tell, less than a week to go.

    2. hi anon...yes I was surprised too, although I know that Edinburgh has always been more conservative, within Scottish standards than Glasgow on the other side of the country. And I think the main reason is that the people who live there are wealthier. There is this row of houses in downtown Edinburgh that has it's own private park, that can be accessed only by a tunnel that runs under the street to the park which is surrounded by high walls. So while Edinburgh is a gorgeous city, one of the most beautiful in the world, it does have that against it. And when I spent some time in Glasgow recently during the Commonwealth Games I was extremely impressed by the city and its people. And I'm not surprised that the confidence and the pride that city got from staging such a successful games is fuelling support for the YES side. And yes time will tell, and it should be a very dramatic week....

  6. Anonymous6:50 PM

    At the risk of being "deleted"
    I would like to weigh in on this very emotional referendum decision.
    I agree that the parliamentary system in England, Canada and most other democracies needs an enema.
    The seesaw "take no enemy's" style of political partisanship where the opposition party will never agree with any proposal that the party in power puts forward ( and vice versa).
    Has created political parties that run roughshod over the electorate in their self centered push for power, control and their selfish desire to hold on to that power. ( 2 terms maximum for a Prime Minister sounds about right. Harper would be gone)
    The entire democratic process has been highjacked by lobbyists and or billionaire oligarchs that control the media or advertising revenue. The only thing I find even more repulsive than rich peoples' money highjacking the media is when the govt uses millions to pay for advertising to essentially "sell themselves" to the voters. YOUR taxpayers dollars wasted on their self promotion.
    But I digress.
    The Scottish people seem to be about 50/50 on seperation and it seems mostly because they way they percieve their treatment by a remote Parliament that is out of touch with their wants, needs and views. A somewhat similar view held by Quebec seperatists.
    Scotland doesnt have the population to elect enough seats to "get what they want". So seperation is the only answer.
    But is it?
    The final week of the debates before the vote have shown the economic turmoil that is and could occur.
    The Bank of Scotland, Standard Life and up to 10 % of Scottish companies would relocate their headquarters to England...... That is no way to start a new country.
    Business doesnt like unpredictable change so they will go where they can feel comfortable in predicting the next years' , 5 years, 10 years budgets.
    A successful seperation vote will be viewed in Scotland by slighty less than half the population with dread.
    Again, not a great start to a new country with slightly less than 50% of the population not happy with the "new" country. Where that could lead is anyones' guess.
    Dealing with England on the endless points of negotiation of "who gets what and when and for how much" will drag on for years. March 2016 for seperation? Try March 2024.
    But a successful No vote is not a total loss.
    The squeeky wheel gets the grease and I think that British Parliarment have sat up and taken notice to this particular "wheel" thats squeeking over the past few weeks.
    Scotland will be able to demand a larger say in its domestic affairs all while enjoying the status quo that British citizenship entails.
    No a bad deal in the long run

    1. hi anon...nobody is deleted here unless they are aggressively Con or racists or homophobes etc. You sum up the situation well, but I think you overstate Scotland's weaknesses. Because nothing says that a small country can't be successful. It has large sources of income, and a small educated population so it should be able to thrive on its own. And although devolution would probably satisfy many Scots, the three parties in Westminster can't agree on what those new powers should be, so that too is a risk. My family in Scotland is divided like many others, my Mum is English so it's not a tribal thing for me. But I truly believe that Scotland is standing up for the right of people to create a better society than the Cons are creating with their harsh policies, so I support the YES. One thing everybody seems to agree on is that whatever the result the place will never be the same again, and in this world where more not less change is needed that can only be good...

  7. e.a.f.1:13 AM

    well Simon, people in Canada may change their minds, once the China/Canada free trade agreement is singed, because harper and his herd announced late Friday, they'd ratified it. it might be a good time for some of the provinces to leave confederation. I'd be moving to what ever province left. At least I wouldn't be living in a part of Canada which was under Chinese control.

    1. hi you know I have long believed that the destructive policies of the Cons are leading to the fragmentation of this country, which as you know would not bother Harper one bit. He has always favoured a radically decentralized federation, where rich provinces like Alberta would prosper and others would be left on their own to grow weaker and poorer. Which is of course not my idea of Canada. And unless we can remove that thoroughly un-Canadian regime we shall all be diminished, and you will have to brush up on your Chinese... ;)