And it started with the woodpecker, drumming his morning greetings from the woods on the hillside as the sun rose. A smile on the face, so soon? You bet.
Then The Ghamellawallah and The Mistress wanted to talk too. Eddie Izzard and that brilliant DNA study, we started with. Those blue eyes of mine, only from Turkey’s Baltic Sea coast they are, those and every other blue eye on the planet it seems. Brilliant stuff. Aren’t you glad those two women walked out of Africa? How many tens of thousands of years ago?
And so discussions evolved, and we were on to Gaza and the West Bank. Now my thoughts are very much a gathering process, both sides, but theirs are firmly entrenched on one side of the divide, understandably. He has his father’s tattoo numbers embedded in his mind; she knows her roots deeply and is concerned over rising anti-semitism and the fears that it could all happen again if too much power was placed in the wrong hands.
From that The Referendum got a thrashing. There’s no way I’m voting to make Alex Salmond Our Dear Leader for evermore. Sighs. It’s not about that, it’s about getting the powers to make our own decisions. Then, when we have those powers, electing a solid and democratic government to take Scotland forward, to shape the country we want for our childen and grandhildren. And if you think that Johann Lamont’s the leader we need, then vote for her party, but we need the powers first.
Johann Lamont, three pairs of eyes roll to the skies, and the room convulses in laughter. The 4th most unequal society in the developed world – they didn’t know that one either. We have the chance to right those wrongs.
For the talking didn’t end in the jeweller’s workshop, and went on late into the night at the launch of the Yes campaign in my local constituency. Allan Grogan gave a superb speech and what a role he is going to play in the next year or two. And Robin McAlpine, from The Reid Foundation, who I hadn’t heard before but had read some artciles. Well for campaigns and strategy, and a vision for the future, my hopes were raised, soaring even
We had a passionate speech too, from my own MSP, Aileen Campbell, the voice of the young, with her son toddling around in the background. But this was not about party politics and we were guided forward by our host Elaine C Smith, of no party at all but on a lifelong campaign for independence. And there was Isobel Lindsay of Scottish CND, another lifelong goal tantalisingly close to being acheived; nuclear free, I’m all for that. And the Greens, an essential role to play.
We heard of David Mundell, Scotland’s only Tory MP, and his astonishing boast of being proud that Scotland as a nation was extinguished in 1707, subsumed into Greater England ever since, echoed by Darling and Moore, Better Together. You could almost hear the ker-ching of donations and pledges of votes in the Yes camp as the No strategy gathers pace. The Mistress hadn’t heard that one, didn’t believe it possible, but it is. Sad.
Labour’s Anas Sarwar was at it too. Why spend money on care for the elderly when too few lived long enough to enjoy it, quoth he. As you stagger under that one just reflect on the fact that the worst cases of child poverty and life expectancy in the country are mainly in Sarwar’s Glasgow, a legacy of a 70 year Labour fiefdom; keeping the people just where they want them. Better Together; Aye Right, as they say in these parts.
Boss Milliband has been on the road too, a wee tour to get some fresh ideas. Off he went, to Scandinavia, to those small independent countries leading all the world’s indices of success. And back he’ll come, and tell 5 million of us with the same natural resources and even better people that we’re too wee, too poor – ach you know the rest. We cannae dae that, Better Together.
So if you want more bedroom tax and austerity cuts, Vote No; If you’re happy with Trident’s billions Vote No; and if you want nothing, Vote No. The credit rating’s down, as they promised it would never be – Vote No.
But I loved the tale of the son coming back to the family dinner table, filled with hope for the future, plans for his country. Father folds the paper and lays it down, joins in the discussion. Whit’s it to you Dad, you never vote? Ah’ve never had anything to vote for son, but I do now.
I’d better stop there, for it’s been a long one, but no apologies. It’s a Big Yes from me. Now Scotland’s DNA Project, The Genealogist’s birthday. There’s an idea.