We have fifteen hours.
The next fifteen hours mark the only ones in the entire history of time in which the fate of Scotland has rested democratically in the hands of its people. In 1707 the country was sold from under its people’s feet by a tiny handful of “nobles”. Before that it was won or lost in blood and sorrow. Today, the will of the people – every man and woman with one equal vote, regardless of wealth or property – shall decide.
Voting Yes won’t magically solve our problems overnight. But they’ll be ours to own and solve for ourselves. We need not do things in the way they’ve “always been done”. We can take Scotland – a nation at once both proudly ancient and reborn afresh – and shape it in whatever form we choose.
It will be a land not inherited from our predecessors – for they never owned it to give – but lent to us by our children, to build into a place they can prosper and flourish, not be forced to leave in search of opportunity. For those already driven away, a home worth returning to. And for those who’ve never been, a welcoming beacon of hope.
All those Scotlands, shared by all of us. Something old. Something new. Something borrowed. You know the rest.
Our enemies are not the good people of England. They, like us and much of the rest of the world, suffer the injustices and indignities imposed by a ruling class which has no nation but power and no language but money.
A new feudalism grips the planet, a reversal of much of the progress of the 20th century. Workers have seen their rights diminished, and ever-greater toil yields an ever-smaller share of the rewards, which are greedily hoarded by the wealthy on a scale not seen since medieval times. Our children are placed under a yoke of enormous debt before their working lives even begin, our elderly pushed ever closer to the grave before they can rest.
Independence alone is not the solution. But it is the vital first step that makes the solution possible. Many of those in the rest of the UK, and elsewhere across the world, look enviously on the chance we hold in our hands today, and urge us to use it, to show that another way is possible.
If we vote Yes we will remain allies, comrades-in-arms and friends with our brothers and sisters to the south, and this time it will be a friendship forged from respect, not subservience or subsidy. But if we hand back power meekly to the Bullingdon elite like a cowed serf whose courage deserted him at the last moment we will have earned only their contempt, and it will be richly deserved and pitilessly exercised.
Those who rule over us had forgotten fear, except as a tool. They buy governments. They laugh in the face of the law. They own the press. The real, unelected holders and wielders of power are immune to transient politicians reliant on patronage.
But they’re afraid now.
You know it’s true. Have you ever in your life seen such blind, hysterical panic on the normally-serene faces of the insatiable rich? Have you ever before this day witnessed the privileged and powerful – the captains of industry, the commanders of armies, the self-proclaimed “masters of the universe” – in such abject, frenzied terror, cajoling and pleading and warning and bullying, saying anything they can think of to stop us?
Why do you think that is? Is it because they’re scared FOR us – they who’ve never previously cared about anything except our votes and our money, they who despise the frail and torment the vulnerable? Or is it because they’re scared OF us?
They have not been this weak in three centuries, and they will never be this weak again in our lifetimes. For let there be no mistake: they will not allow this unexpected, unforeseen peril, this democracy no longer de-fanged but suddenly red in tooth and claw, to threaten them twice.
We have no need of guns or bombs. This revolution will have no martyrs, no widows, no orphans. For fifteen precious hours our land can be won for a cross in a box. For one fleeting moment, our foes’ flank is exposed, all their mighty weapons useless.
On them, readers. On them. They fail.
How I wish those words were mine. They are not, for they were penned by Rev Stuart Campbell. He has changed the debate over the last two years. And in his Wee Blue Book he has pulled off a masterstroke. I have a feeling in my bones that Scotland’s gratitude to one man will rarely have been higher. Head over to Wings Over Scotland and record your own thanks to him; catch up on how others see him. My very humble thanks Stu.