Sunday, September 07, 2014
Scottish Independence: The Triumph of Hope Over Fear
With less than two weeks to go before the Scottish independence referendum a new poll has shown the YES side ahead for the first time.
Some 51% of those who have made up their mind and intend to vote back an independent Scotland while 49% plan to vote no, the YouGov poll suggests.
The poll of 1,084 people, carried out between 2 and 5 September, is the first and only serious study to put the Yes campaign ahead, and suggests the pro-Union camp has lost its lead - once regularly in the double-digits.
Sending a shockwave rolling across Britain, and sending David Cameron's ghastly Con government, and almost the entire British establishment, into a state of almost total panic.
Amid signs of panic and recrimination among unionist ranks about the prospects of a yes vote on 18 September, the Observer has learned that a devolution announcement designed to halt the nationalist bandwagon is due to be made within days by the anti-independence camp.
With some on the NO side trying to appease the Scots, others threatening to crank up the Fear Machine. Or just acting like they had been hit by a bolt from the blue.
Even though the trend has been obvious for weeks...
And offering a last minute package of powers won't easily make up for having spent the last few months trying to frighten the Scottish people, with the greatest fear campaign I have ever witnessed.
One that makes the one the NO side deployed during the last Quebec referendum look tame by comparison.
For after months of hammering away trying to convince the Scots that they're too small or too poor or too stupid to have their own country, in the last few days alone David Cameron has tried to scare them with a terrorist threat.
Goldman Sachs has warned that a YES vote could cause the entire Eurozone to collapse.
And Ed Miliband, the hapless Labour Party leader, has threatened to put up armed border crossings between the two countries...
Like the Roman Emperor Hadrian once put up a wall, to keep my fearsome ancestors out of conquered England.
Without appearing to understand that the Scottish people aren't easily intimidated. Not with that history eh?
Or even understanding that the debate isn't about narrow nationalism. It's about the desire to break free from a Con government whose brutish values most Scots don't share.
And it has sparked an explosion of democratic engagement.
The debate has intoxicated Scotland. Feeling involved in something BIG has intoxicated Scotland. People have seen the opportunity to seize power. It has become worthwhile to take an interest in political issues, achieve an understanding of them, discuss your own understanding with others, start formulating your own ideas.
Which the NO side has been unable or unwilling to counter...
The Better Together campaign says: “Leave it to the big boys. It’s all too complicated for you lot to understand. Get on with your work. Look after your kids. We know best.” The Yes Scotland campaign says: “Think about how government impacts on your own life. Understand it. Reflect it back. Don’t be intimidated. Get involved. Get your workmates involved. Get your kids involved. We can work out what’s best together.”
One campaign says: “Be quiet.” The other campaign says: “Speak.” Is it any wonder that yes has gained converts, while no has not?
So in the face of all of that, today's poll result is not that surprising, but it is a triumph of hope over fear.
And it's another reason why I support the YES side and believe all Canadian progressives should.
Because they are fighting for the kind of country I want Canada to be.
A country where medicare is strengthened not privatized, where pensions are improved not slashed, a country that doesn't get involved in useless foreign wars, and believes that money spent on weapons is better spent on poor people and children.
A country where the government pays to send its kids to university, as the Scots have done for years. Where doctors and nurses visit seniors where they live, so they can stay in their own homes as long as possible.
And yes, a country whose government was quick to offer its hospitals to treat wounded children from Gaza...
Instead of refusing to let them enter the country, as Stephen Harper's cruel Con regime has done.
And one of the things that pleases me the most, is that the polls started to narrow when pollsters started including the opinions of 16 and 17-year-olds.
Who for the first time have been given the right to vote...
Have become engaged in the political process in numbers never seen before.
Are letting people know what kind of country THEY want to live in. What kind of future THEY want for themselves and their children
And I love the many creative ways they are getting their generation's message across...
Because I want young Canadians to feel the same way about themselves, and their power to change this country.
So they can help destroy the Harper regime. And we too can start dreaming about a building a better Con free Canada.
Of course, the YES side's struggle for a better Scotland is not won. It's just one poll, and there are still eleven days to go.
And I'm glad this is the poster that won the competition I told you about the other day...
Because it captures the gentle creative spirit of this peaceful revolt against the neo-liberal agenda and its brutish values.
And because those who support independence will have to be very brave to resist the campaign of fear which the Cameron Cons and Big Business are sure to unleash upon them in the next few days.
But as I said, the Scots are not easily intimidated, they have a dream.
Many have chosen hope over fear.
And I'm always dreaming of a better world. And I couldn't live without hope.
So I'm with them all the way...
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