Thank you to everyone who took time to read my post about my learning to appreciate the indy movement and SNP. I was quite nervous admitting that I’d been blinkered and silly, and didn’t expect the outpouring of genuine compassion and understanding I undeservedly received. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised, though, as this has been my experience with independence supporters since I switched sides.
In 2014, I wasn’t an active no campaigner, and I stayed away from online discussions about the vote. I’d been warned that I’d be attacked by ‘cybernats’ if I mentioned my voting intentions, so outside of a few friends-only Facebook posts, I kept my thoughts to myself as I am not a fan of conflict or drama. But to become a more active campaigner this time, I had to reach out to other Yes supporters for and bit of help and guidance, and I must admit I was a bit scared. As I’ve said before, voting No wasn’t pleasant, and I worried the animosity I’d carried against the SNP and the last indy vote might be reflected back at me by the people whose hopes and dreams I’d help ruin in 2014. I decided to test the waters with a little tweet saying that I’d changed my mind – I braced myself for sighs, eye-rolling, and I-told-you-so’s.
I shouldn’t have worried. Of the hundreds of interactions I’ve had with Yes supporters since expressing my views, not one has been anything other than overtly positive. I have been welcomed, supported, congratulated, and treated with kindness, respect, and gratitude. I’ve been gently guided toward information supporting the case for independence, and never in a preachy or pushy way, and while it’s helped to reinforce my belief that independence is the right way to go, it’s also helped me to ‘get’ the indy movement in a way I hadn’t before.
And that’s the thing. You either get this or you don’t – and no amount of arguing will change anyone’s mind unless they have the capacity and/or willingness to understand it. I didn’t and now I do, and I came to it on my own when the time was right for me. When the switch flipped, I could see that it’s a straight up case of progressive liberalism vs regressive conservatism, and while others might choose different words to describe their own passion for independence, I do think the sentiment is the same – we can choose to move forward or be dragged backward politically, morally, and economically.
As Brexit begins to take on its horrible, xenophobic form, there will be a lot of people hurried along to their realisation that they want something better. And they’re going to need all of the help and encouragement I received when I reached this point. Of course, I’m new to all of this. I appreciate I have a lot to learn. But having been on the other side, I hope I’ve something to offer.
6 replies on “Acceptance”
Welcome Elizabeth. Everyone has the right to vote for what they think is right its called democracy. I remember after the referendum I was devastated, as a nurse I wanted to look after and care for people. I knew that they were privatising the NHS down in England and although people would say this is a devolved power to Holyrood the money isn’t the more they privatise down England the more our pocket money is cut to the Barnett formula; how I cried when the vote came in. The next day David Cameron came out with EVEL and months later they all marched through Westminster to vote against every amendment to the Scotland bill. The main one being to make the Scottish parliament permanent what! so now its English votes for English laws and Scotland, how can they get away with that am so angry not at you but them. How they have lied to the people. with every breath in my body I will stand by the poor, disabled, disenfranchised and our hungry children. They are now trying to put the young against the old conquer and divide that’s what the Tories do well. But as I said to another yes supporter who was angry after the no vote do not get angry just watch and see what they do as stated above and eventually people will see them for what they are; which I have a few choice words in my vocabulary. I told my friend put your hand out in friendship and say come with us next time. I can hold a lot of hands in friendship; So don’t feel embarrassed my friend we didn’t get Hollywood the first time but with enough like you by our side we can only hope we will second time around. We can then put our hands out in friendship to the Newcastle and the Manchesters who have also suffered at Westminster hands. It was never about the English and the Scots it was about standing together as equals; that will never happen with Westminster they don’t care about their own; why would they care about Scotland; they only care for the rich and elite.
I didn’t see it then, but I do now. The scales fell from my eyes in the wake of the Brexit vote. For a long time I maintained that we were all on this island together and need to work together for the sake of everyone, and I’m sad it isn’t working out that way. That said, I was terribly sad after the Indy vote in 2014. I remember seeing all of those devastated young people in George Square, and knowing I was responsible. These same people have now welcomed me. I can’t tell you how much that means to me after feeling so abandoned last June.
When people are set in their positions it can generate more heat than light & make it hard to ‘get’ the other side. I’m thankful you made the journey & that it’s been a positive reaffirming experience.
This is again very thoughtfully written and hopefully as helpful to those still to make the transition as to those who already have or indeed who were always for Indy. Thank you for sharing your experience.
Thanks, Andy! I do hope I can be a good advocate. So many people I know have changed their minds.
As Andy says above, people fixed in their views won’t change by argument. It’s always a case of coming to understand in yourself how things are and how they could be. That’s a matter of self confidence in developing views that are clearly ‘anti-state’as things stand, well as self-education, and those are hard things to spend time pondering when life is about running frantically to keep ahead! I can’t yet get my wife or my closest work colleague to ‘get it’ but they continue to be my target voters to convince!
Hi Donald, just out of curiosity, were you always pro-independence? Or have you changed your mind, too?
I sat with a much-loved work colleague at lunch today and told her I’d changed my mind. She was surprised and I think a bit saddened that our views were no longer the same. I told her not to worry, that I completely understand her view because I used to share it – and the oddest thing struck me: I didn’t mind at all how she felt which is not true when I was on the other side. During 2014, I was suspicious and a bit unsettled by indy supporters, but the fact my colleague and I don’t share the same views doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I’m not here to fight with anyone or try to convince someone who doesn’t want it. But if someone has a question or wants to know how I came to want independence, I’m happy to share.