Hurt. Resentment. At times anger; suppress that; no let it out. These have been difficult days. But at a gathering last night, an impromptu speakeasy if you like, people who have barely spoken to a soul shared their thoughts, shared their grief. Strangers brought together for a common cause. And they began to look forward. Others have still to emerge from their own personal darkness, but they will.
The reality is that the future of Scotland, the younger generations, has been sold out by the older ones who, in many cases, will not be here to witness the youngsters reaping what has been sown in their name. Today I am in exactly the same place as many friends would be had the result been reversed. Hurt, and terrified of what may lie ahead.
We have seen the demographics of the vote. All groups under age 55 voted Yes. Increasingly over that divide the vote was reversed. I cannot blame pensioners who bowed to the lie that their pensions would not be paid; I cannot lay blame at the door of our friends from Poland and beyond, who were lied to, told they would be deported. But I can lay blame at those who perpetrated those fears. They have no place in a modern Scotland, and they will face up to the people. And the business that fomented unrest, under pressure or otherwise, will answer to market forces.
Ahead, immediately, lies the vows and pledges that caused those swithering over their vote to err on the side of caution. Duped I fear, unravelling already. In a few short months votes will be sought for candidates to represent us at Westminster; a year later at Holyrood. Interesting times, through the hurt, through the tears.
I cannot believe that the parliamentarians representing Labour in Scotland would not have been better campaigning for a Yes vote in 2014, for Labour in 2016. Therein lay their route to power in Scotland; their chance to be their own masters, distanced from the London HQ that continues to increase the distance from the very principles of the party’s Scots founders, and from their core members and voters. They will suffer for that, heavily. But they have shown themselves, from leadership in Scotland down, to be spineless, devoid of directional thought, incapable, unelectable. And so it will be.
And that wonderful Yes movement; those people growing in stature, driven from feet on the ground, the complete anti-thesis to top-down politics. The people drove the campaign. And they do so yet.
Look around to our friends online and you will find the beginnings of a new Scotland. The old is gone, forever. The parties are recruiting as never before. The SNP have over 8,000 welcome packs to issue already – that’s a full one-third of what the membership was – and the Greens too are busy. People who have never been politically motivated are looking ahead. Lifelong Labour members are replacing the red cards in their wallets. The Labour For Indy group are on the cusp of a new future.
There will be new media, for we have been misled and failed by the old. The BBC in these parts could very quickly see their funding shaved by £10m per month. They will notice. The license (it’s registered with the EU as a tax) need not be paid if live TV is not watched. Our technology gives us many other options for viewing the same output, license free. It’s happening, now.
And so the 45 – those of us in the 1.6million group – look ahead. We have exposed the very slimy underbelly of Westminster and The Establishment. They liked that not one bit, shaken to the very core of their being, and responded, more fear. It got them what they wanted on Thursday. But it’s got them much more than that; you’ll see.
We have seen the result of nationalism. After two years of comparisons to every dictator the world has ever known we witnessed, on Friday night, Nazi salutes on the memorial to our fallen soldiers in George Square. Those salutes were wrapped in Union flags. Heaven help us if they had lost. And the BBC, with their cohorts in the written press, spun that into something it was not. They cannot stop.
On Friday Scotland was wrapped in a veil of utter sadness. Of the victors there was no sign, as invisible as they had been through the campaign. We are told now to remove the badges from our lapels, the stickers from our cars. As ever the failed Prime Minister is hopelessly out of touch. It’s not happening. The various groups from the movement will come together, will enter the political field as we look to the vows and pledges and the elections that lie ahead. And all those groups will go forward together, as one.
Keep your eye on the online resources, on Newsnet and Wings, Bateman and Riddoch, Bella and the National Collective, Business for Scotland too. The various Yes pages will not close. New resources will emerge. You will hear much more of robin McAlpine’s Common Weal, of that I am sure.
Finally a word for Alex Salmond, stepping down as leader of his party, as First Minister of our government, a couple of months hence. He has been the outstanding politician of the 21st century, bar none, across all parties, across the UK. Of that there is no doubt. Scotland will remember. 45% is a massive achievement. Let it sink in. Let us go forward.