My own grandmother voted No to independence in the last referendum. She voted No because she still had a landline phone on the wall and her trusted Labour Party knew she would listen to them. They abused her trust and bullied her.
Earlier this year my grandmother passed away. She was approaching her ninetieth birthday, and, although she had grown terribly frail, she had spoken with her daughters about having a little outing for tea to celebrate. She had hoped that all of her family would have made an extra special effort to come and spend the day with her. She loved to hold court as all grannies do. On 18 September 2014 she went out to her local polling station and said No to Scottish independence. All of her children and grandchildren voted Yes, and not a few in the family were upset that gran turned out to be a Naw.
My gran was the matriarch of a big Scottish family, and the most important thing in the world to her was her family – her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She truly believed that by voting No she was looking out for us, and for our future. She was convinced of this by the lovely girl from the Labour Party call centre in London who kept calling her on the phone in the weeks before the referendum telling her that Scotland would be financially ruined if it left the United Kingdom. Why wouldn’t she trust the lass from the Labour Party? It was Labour that stuck with her during the strikes and the pit closures. Labour were “on our side.”
This is a story that is now being echoed the length and breadth of Scotland. Knowing that the older Scots still had landline telephones in their homes, the Labour Party – in cahoots with the Tories – invested huge sums of money waging a psychological war against our grandparents. My own gran, and so many others, have now gone to their rest in fear that their wain’s wains would go hungry if we carried on with this independence caper. Elderly people were terrorised by the British regime into compliance with the wishes of the rich and powerful London élite. Scotland was bullied and harassed into submission, and this was achieved by targeting the old.
I love and miss my gran. For the rest of my days I will miss her shortbread and her pearls of wisdom. I’ll miss her good nature and her warmth. That’s the way we should all feel about our grandparents. Had I known she was being treated this way by some part-time, halfwit intern in London I would have torn the phone off the wall, walked south and stuck that handset so far up your one’s arse I would have broken all her teeth (figuratively of course). We can’t change any of that now. We have to move on. Now that we can be sure that another referendum is on the way, we can make sure that we cover all our bases and ensure that all of our families are safe from the predatory behaviour of Westminster and its minions.