However we cut it, the people of Scotland narrowly voted against independence because of fear, and it was the daunting prospect of the breakup of the union that drove Labour voters into the arms of the Tories less than a week ago. Scots need more than hope over fear, we need solutions to it.
Scotland’s bravest Yessers were sixteen and seventeen years old; voting 71 percent in favour of ‘going it alone,’ followed by those twenty-five to fifty four who voted between 52 to 59 percent to leave the United Kingdom. The working-age population overwhelmingly chose a free and independent country in 2014. What this tells us is that those under 65 were not swayed by Project Fear. Older people, especially our senior citizens – who are economically more vulnerable and often more isolated – were relentlessly threatened over their security and pensions, and were therefore more likely to vote No as a result of a completely invented ‘uncertainty.’
Yvette Cooper told pensioners in Inverness they would be inundated with immigrants if they voted YES to Independence #YvetteLiesToGrannies—
Mr Malky (@MrMalky) May 14, 2015
Uncertainty and the fear it produces is the absolute antithesis of freedom, and that these were successfully weaponised against our parents and grandparents proves the point beyond doubt that our place is that of a controlled and colonised subject. Our movement forward to independence is not, and must never be, a strategy of patience – waiting for these No voters to simply die off. Such a betrayal would only confirm our enslaved mentality and produce a nation not in the least worthy of freedom. Independence in Scotland can only and must be born of a movement that is truly liberative for everyone in Scotland; the old as well as the young, setting us free not only politically, but mentally, culturally, and spiritually from the oppression of fear.
Hope, as fine as that word sounds on Gerry Cinnamon’s lips, is not enough. Never was it known that hope paid the rent, put food on the table, or heated the house in the middle of December. Despite the best efforts of David Cameron and Thatcher before him there is no shortage of older people in Scotland, and many of them live with the terror that they won’t be able to cover the heating bill, eat every day, or afford a roof over their heads. That is real terrorism, and it is being used by Ruth Davidson and her élitist London friends every day against someone on your street – against your mother, and until we can come up with effective anti-terrorism measures we can’t tell Westminster’s Tories that Scotland’s no longer their slave.
Here’s a plan: Let’s start investing in our future by investing in our neighbours who are most vulnerable and afraid. Show them that Scotland is brave by making your home their home, your dinner table their dinner table. Let’s open our doors and make some new friends. They might not be on Facebook or Twitter, but they can like and share too. Rather than offering a vague hope and platitudes, give more Scottish voters a reason to trust that Independence Day is something they can look forward to with excitement and a newfound hope in the future. Trust me. I’ve been cold and hungry, and what I’ve learned is that hope is easier when we have brave folk showing us they are on our side.
The wish that came true: Audrey’s journey from lonely to happy