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.