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By Jason Michael
What should frighten us more about independence than remaining in the United Kingdom is the thought of us all wandering aimlessly into our freedom. Now is the time to have visions and imagine a Scotland we want to free.
Let’s try something a little different. There are a few things percolating in my mind that I would like to write about today. BBC Scotland is reporting on discussions taking place in the House of Lords’ EU committee regarding a special Brexit deal Scotland might be able to get if the final UK deal does not reflect the needs of our country. We could discuss that, but – seriously – how often have we heard this sort of thing before; whiffs of promises and better days ahead from way up the British establishment tree? It always comes to nought. Another interesting nugget is the proposed high-speed rail link that won’t come to Scotland but which will, again, somehow magically benefit us.
It’s all rot. All we ever get from London is one stalling tactic after another while the tentacles of empire continue to bleed us dry of our human and material resources. We do not need to explain any of this anymore, and writing about it – again – is having a deteriorative effect on my soul. Every day I write about this same garbage. It’s not news to anyone anymore. I am wondering why I bother. So let’s just for today do something different. Let us imagine Scotland.
That the high-speed rail line does not reach Scotland is an admission that the UK govt no longer sees Scotland's fu… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…—
Butterfly Rebellion (@Butterfly_Reb) July 18, 2017
People in London have decided that Scotland will not be linked up to the high-speed rail line, and that – to me – is encouraging because it betrays something of how the British imagine the future. These people are speculators and the decisions they make are calculated with the bottom line and the accumulation of wealth over time always in mind. We are not getting hooked up to the speedy choo choo because the bean counters behind the project have little hope that Scotland will be part of the United Kingdom at the end of the coming decade. Independence is on the horizon and, as public opinion here shows, we are all aware of it.
According to a Jewish proverb – sometimes a Chinese proverb, depending on who you’re talking to – we become responsible for the lives we save. After 310 years of social and economic bondage it looks as though providence has seen fit to choose us to be the generation to save Scotland. At some point in the not-too-distant future we will be faced with making the transition from campaigning for our nation’s freedom to being responsible for a newly independent state. That is a prospect that both thrills and terrifies me, and I suspect I am not alone.
An uncle of mine – a dyed in the wool unionist – asked me during the last referendum campaign what this freedom meant; “What do we need freedom from?” It’s such an unimaginative and lazy question, no doubt asked by many a unionist on the assumption that we nationalists are all jacked up on Braveheart. We have been enslaved to an imperialistic British establishment that has and continues to erode the fabric of Scotland by its domination and theft. The colonisation of our minds has been so complete that we have acquiesced to the robbery of our oil, allowed ourselves – once a society renowned for thinkers – to be conditioned not to make political decisions, and allowed ourselves to believe that we are hopeless without the support of our London masters.
Slavery’s chains have many guises. Were we better off than the African stolen from her homeland to work and breed human livestock for the wealth of landowners in the Americas? She was fed. As grave as the monstrous crime committed against her was, she had value – if only to the white man who owned her. Had we the same value when we were evicted and left to starve and freeze to death on our own doorsteps during the Clearances? Have we any more value to Britain now when one in four of our nation’s children is born into and condemned to poverty, when thousands of families are forced to turn to charities for life’s basics, and when malnutrition is on the rise in our towns and cities? We have no value to London. We are the ballast of a dying empire.
All of this and more is the slavery from which we demand freedom. Yet winning our independence only to be ruled by Scots who in turn do the same to us is no freedom at all. We might as well save ourselves the trouble and let Westminster finish us off.
It is this that I am imagining; the responsibility that we ourselves must take for the nation we are on the threshold of saving. We will have the rare opportunity to take into our own hands our own country, our own destinies, and do with it what we want and shape it into the nation we want it to be. What will that nation look like? It can’t be a little Britain – a carbon copy or a replication of the system of abuse we have overcome. There can be no poacher come gamekeeper future for Scotland. We cannot allow this to happen. Rather we must understand the tools with which our former master kept us in chains in order to undo the damage and ensure that we are never reduced to this again.
Scotland’s children can’t go hungry. Scotland’s old folk can’t go cold in the winter. Scotland’s poorest and sickest can’t be left to wither as London has made them to do. This is the injustice we have a responsibility to undo. England built an empire on forging divisions, creating a reality in the United Kingdom where the majority vents its frustrations on minorities and where the poor are pitted against the poor so as to keep people’s attention away from the authors of the mayhem. Let’s imagine a Scotland where we can undo all of this and set about building a free and welcoming country that will make our great grandchildren proud of us and proud to be Scottish.