By Jason Michael
A couple of months ago I really thought that the 30 November would be different this year. I certainly wasn’t alone in thinking this. One million, six-hundred and seventeen thousand, nine-hundred and eighty nine other Scottish people were pretty well convinced that this Saint Andrew’s Day would mark a whole new era in our nation’s history. We were supposed to be negotiating the terms of our independence, and not getting used to the fact that our parliament in Edinburgh would have sweeping new powers on where to put road signs. Forty-four-point-seven percent of Scotland was thinking about nation building; sort of like Israel making the desert bloom, except we were going to make the dreary bearable. It never happened, and now the dreich just seems bloody well unbearable.
Sailing away from the Mull of Kintyre last month I realised, possibly for the first time, that that was all a dream. Weans in Scotland are suffering from malnutrition, people with jobs are having to queue at foodbanks (don’t even ask about the condition of the unemployed), and pensioners are about to start dying like flies in another tough winter that Thatcher assumed we were all used to. Instead of feeding the people of Scotland and keeping them warm the English government spends our money on our behalf on tactical nuclear weapons and invests it in schemes that will guarantee the riches of less than a single percentile of England’s population.
We were dreaming if we were thinking that Westminster would let us walk away so easily. At least Madrid had the minerals to come straight out and tell the Catalans that they wouldn’t be allowed a legal referendum. Westminster let us fire ahead and then played every dirty trick in the book to scupper it for us. More than half of Scots now want another referendum. They have realised that things were hidden and lies were told. We’re going to do it all again. Only, the next time that we take Westminster on we are going to have to make sure that we have won before they even get started. I’ve reset my clock to this day next year.
Feile Naomh Aindrea sona dhuibh gach h-uile, agus Saor Alba!