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By Eva Comrie
THE PAST YEAR and more has been dark and painful for most where the dreadful but normal experiences of life have been so difficult to endure; illness, death and funerals devoid of touch, the ability to console, hug and comfort surrendered as we feared infection and our own mortality. Those days when we feel the greatest need to come together we were obliged to stand aloof with chests and chins stuck out, bravely pretending we could conquer all.
And so as several of my dearest relatives were breathing their last a shock came upon me – the knowledge that my own deathbed might have me narrating tales of regret for all those things I’d never done, all those times I’d criticised others, thought I might know better, but was too cowardly, embarrassed or maybe too Scottish to try. You can’t in all conscience shout at the telly and complain about perceived failure to prepare, failure to test, trace and isolate, the refusal to close borders, airports and ports, if you’re going to be an armchair keyboard warrior not willing to step into a little of the fire which public service and notoriety bring.
Individual midges are a mere and minor irritation; when the little people get together though and rise as one that flock becomes unforgettable, revolutionary and effective.
My lifelong desire for Scottish Independence was bursting out of my throat daily as I roared at inane broadcasts from Westminster as we watched the death toll grow and Brexit descend. And all the whiles pleas to Boris to consider Scottish papers, plans, proposals and prayers were swatted off like the midges at the door of his Scottish holiday tent.
I applied to be an SNP candidate and their new policy to promote the disabled shot me to the top of the list for Mid-Scotland and Fife. I did not deserve to be there. I got there by dint of a rule I don’t believe in. I don’t see why me having the one leg makes me a better MSP candidate than I might have been when I’d the two I was born with. Worse was to come though, with the realisation that the SNP are so high in the polls that I could be elected only if one of the SNP constituency seats was lost. What a dilemma. I’d be voting SNP in the constituency, always have. But if I voted SNP on the list, hoping to get myself a seat, in all reality what I would be doing was helping elect a Green or a Unionist.
Gnashing of teeth ensued.
Followed by an understanding that a truly democratic outcome of a Scottish Parliamentary election, if it is to reflect the 20-odd opinion polls supporting Independence in the last two years, will be an overwhelming slate of Independence minded MSPs.
Nobody ever said your votes were valid only if both were cast for the same party.
That cannot happen by a mantra of ‘BothVotesSNP.’ The more you have on the constituency, the less you have on the list, and vice versa. Common sense, logic and political acumen dictate that the way you manage the system is you vote for a pro-Indy party in the constituencies and for a different pro-Indy party on the list – that way, they are not competing with each other and you max the votes for Yes, for independence. And, whyever not? There’s nothing underhand, illegal or unlawful about that position. Nobody ever said your votes were valid only if both were cast for the same party. Indeed, time was the SNP favoured a Green List vote. That said, an ALBA List vote should in 2021 be worth its weight in Tyndrum’s gold, for it will convert a modest SNP majority into an Independence orientated supermajority, with superpowers, including the right to demand talks on our country’s independence and if desired a plebiscite.
Individual midges are a mere and minor irritation; when the little people get together though and rise as one that flock becomes unforgettable, revolutionary and effective. I’m a midge, so are you, but together we will change this world.
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