By Jason Michael

Opening the backdoor to let out the auld year last night it struck me that we Scots spend way too much time dwelling on the past. Memory is no bad thing, but let’s not forget that resolutions are about looking ahead. Scotland’s future is upon us.

It is resolution time again. What will it be this year – a gym membership, packing in the fags? Whatever it is, I wish you the very best of luck. Allow us to get a little nerdy for a minute. “Resolution” is a word English pinched from Latin, and it has an interesting etymology. Don’t worry. There is a point to this, and we’ll get to that shortly. It comes from the two Latin roots Resolvere (to break down or loosen) and Resolutio (to simplify), and entered into late Middle English; meaning a determination to unravel or restore something – like a mathematical problem for example.

Here in Scotland no one needs to be told that there are a few things that need to be unravelled and restored. There are a few out standing problems that require resolutions. Speaking as an independentista to fellow independentistas I am sorely tempted to suggest that the union needs a swift unravelling and Scotland a social and political restoration. Of course this needs to happen and it will, but this is getting ahead of myself. Our ultimate resolve is Scottish independence, but our New Year’s resolutions are about the desired and necessary changes between where we are now and that bigger goal. Here we are thinking of the 2017 resolutions for Scotland.

Brexit poses some significant challenges and opportunities for our country. What we learned from the June referendum last year was that our attitudes to Europe and multiculturalism are profoundly different to those of our southern neighbours. In fact, on every social issue Scotland and England have been shown to be worlds apart. We simply don’t have as much in common as the architects of the British project have been telling us we have. Our differences in opinion, which have become more visible since devolution, certainly aren’t the product of us just being cantankerous – as many, no doubt, would like to suggest. We have always been a different people. Brexit and the rise of the right in England have merely strengthened our resolve on these things. There is no ideology without conflict of ideology.

Since the September 2014 referendum on independence Scotland’s resolution – the solution to our problem – has been growing and developing. As we have continued to reflect on the predicament of our country in union; a political reality completely at odds with our resolve, our resolution has become clearer to us and attractive to more as we have been awakening as a nation. It’s Ne’rday 2017 and up ahead of us lies stretched out a whole new year in which we are going to build up and nurture our national resolve. Our resolution is clear, but like the ciggies, 300 years of London rule is a hard habit to kick – but kick it we will. All that is required of us – as wee Scots and as One Scotland – is that we stay the course. Unravel the chains that bind and be restored.

Bliadhna mhath ùr dhuibh uile!
A Guid New Year to you all!

A choice of two futures: Scotland’s future is still in Scotland’s hands

Author: Jason Michael (@Jeggit)

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