All posts tagged: scottish independence

Manufactured Chaos

It’s official. UK manufacturing is in recession. If the UK leaves the EU with anything less than single market and customs union membership, it’s game over for manufacturing in Britain. And the knock-on consequences* for the British economy are catastrophic. Brexit will impact every person in the UK who depends on manufactured goods as a component, as part of a supply chain, or as a finished product. My business relies on all three of these, and a no-deal/hard Brexit means the prospects for its survival, as for many others, are not good. Using my business and one of the more popular products we sell as an example, we might be able to illustrate the scale of the wider problem. Obviously, I don’t want to cause problems for any of my suppliers, so I’ll simply refer to this product as Product X (PX for brevity). PX is a component used in many cosmetic formulations. My supplier is based in England, and they manufacture the product there using many other components – components not available in the UK, which …

Rambling

I used to write every day, usually in the morning and always after a pot of strong coffee and a cigarette or two. Nothing quite fired up my brain as well, and since I’ve given up smoking and limit my coffee to one cup a day, my melty grey matter doesn’t work as well as I’d like. So I rarely write. In fact, I don’t do a lot of stuff. I don’t read books, I don’t play guitar, I don’t make soap. I don’t do many things I used to enjoy because for over two years, my sodden headspace has been occupied with the worry that Brexit will cost me and my family everything. My attention span is short. It’s hard knowing our current way of life will soon be over. It distracts from everything. For awhile I comforted myself with the thought that someone would see sense and stop this madness, but now we’re actually talking about stockpiling food and medicine – all because a slim majority voted for self harm in a rigged …

Lifeboats for All

As a new recruit to Yes, I’m flabbergasted by the number of people on the other side who accuse all indy supporters of ‘hating the English’. This is ludicrous. I don’t hate the English and I don’t hate England. What I hate is Westminster’s callous incompetence, and I think that Scotland would be better off governing itself. That’s all there is to it. For me, the independence campaign has nothing to do with hate, or nationalism, or some kind of ‘Braveheart mentality’. It comes down to the firm belief that the UK is a sinking ship unwilling to save itself, while Scotland tries its hardest to provide lifeboats for everyone. Yes, a lifeboat might not be as stable as a large ship, but that large ship is useless if it’s under water with no prospect of sailing again. I don’t think independence will be easy, but I know sticking with a failed state is a bad idea. We are in for a difficult road no matter what happens. Having watched the UK government flail while …

Grow Your Own Country

The recently released Growth Commission report hasn’t had a universally positive welcome, with some critics arguing it isn’t radical enough. Fair enough – it isn’t possible for a document like this to be all things to all people. But the document, and the response to it, got me thinking. Whose responsibility is it to bring about an independent Scotland, and whose responsibility is it to make it work when it happens? For me, the simple answer is: All of us. We all have a stake in this. It isn’t up to the government to do the heavy lifting while we snipe from the sidelines. They can provide a framework, but it’s up to the rest of us to put the meat onto the bones. Business, citizens, and the government each have a role. We must become the change we want to see and there is no reason to wait. If you want a more socialist country, then start behaving like a socialist. Don’t sit back and wait for someone else to do it for you. …

Liberal and Progressive

I was surprised last night to come across a tweet from a prominent historian insinuating that the independence movement in Scotland was neither progressive nor liberal. It seems extraordinary to me that any educated person can’t – or won’t – recognise parallels between 2018 Britain and the darker forces on the rise in the 1930s. My own history degree may come from a university in the American south and not a fancy British one, but it seems to me that the academic in question is tweeting up the wrong tree: Scotland’s clear and growing desire to reject these ‘values’ is definitely progressive and explicitly liberal. To put Scotland’s position in context, let’s take a look at what the UK government has been up to lately. Do any of these policies sound liberal or progressive to you? Ditching friends and partners and running into the arms of DJT in the hope of a trade deal. Bowing and scraping to the crown prince of Saudi Arabia in order to sell more weapons so more innocent civilians can be murdered in Yemen. State …

The Currency of Outrage

Back in the early days of Live Journal, one of my friends stated that attention is the currency of the internet. It didn’t sound nice, but she was right. How many times have we thrown our virtual net with the hope of catching comments, likes, and retweets? I’ve done it. I still do it. That little hit of dopamine we get when we get approval is hard to resist, and some of us have managed to turn it into an actual brand. When I think of the attention the Kardashians receive daily, I figure they must be high all the time. But sometimes, the hits don’t come and a certain personality type finds itself reduced to trawling for any attention at all – even if it’s negative. The idea is to post something questionable, controversial, or outright horrible in the hope of provoking a backlash. Then people are talking about them. They matter. They’re important. They get to revel in being ‘the person you love to hate’ – it becomes a brand, a stock in …

I Marched

A couple of weeks ago, I did something the me of 2014 could never have imagined I’d do: I marched for Scottish independence. Followers of my blog will know I was a no voter in 2014, but you might not know I suffer from social anxiety and the thought of walking with a huge crowd of people is pretty high on my list of Terrifying Things To Do. But I packed up my husband and my dog (not necessarily in that order) and hopped a train for Glasgow. We waited to join the march as it made its way from the west end to the city centre, and our first sight of it, as flags and banners crested the brow of a steep road, was astounding. I couldn’t believe how many people there were. Nervously, we joined the crowd and began to walk. My sense of calm was immediate, and I was surprised to find myself welling up. I didn’t expect I’d feel tearful, but I knew what we were doing was important, and I was …

Winning Minds

This won’t be a particularly wordy or thoughtful post, because I’m tired and not full of enthusiasm at the moment. I’m sensing a general fatigue has come over many of us, so I’ll keep this short and pointy. I voted No in 2014 for a couple of reasons – the main one being that I feared Scotland would be out of the EU. Now that we really are on our way out and I can see the damage up close, my eyes are fully open to the possibilities for Scotland taking its place as an independent country within the European Union (or least EFTA). Not only can we become independent, we can become spectacular, and I truly believe we can succeed, which is why I want to see independence in my lifetime. And I believe I will. To help fulfil this wish, I want to share some insight into my experience as a No voter. I hope these points are received in the spirit in which they are given – with a resounding Yes vote …

Tired

I badly need a holiday. I’m tired in way I’ve never experienced – and I do have a bit of experience with being tired. I’ve been newborn-baby tired (twice), grief-stricken-at-the-loss-of-a-loved-one tired, and gutted-at-the-end-of-a-relationship tired. I’ve been tired after being sliced open and having bits of me removed. I’ve been tired after relocating over an ocean (several times). I’ve been tired after leaving a life and completely starting again. I know what tired feels like, but this tired is different. No amount of rest, therapy, or antidepressants helps with this sort of tired. I’m tired of pervasive, wilful ignorance. I’m tired of incompetence. I’m tired of being lied to by charlatans. I’m tired of worrying that my life is about to be irrevocably changed because of racism and xenophobia. I’m tired of going to bed at night knowing I’m one day closer to having everything I’ve worked for snatched away by politicians who have no clue what they’re doing. I’m tired of feeling embarrassed and heartbroken every time I see an EU national in knots because …

Acceptance

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 …

Ben Folds & the Visceral Response

My husband doesn’t like Ben Folds. It isn’t the music he doesn’t like as my husband would be hard-pressed to name a Ben Folds song. He doesn’t know why, but he knows he really doesn’t like Ben Folds. He thinks he might have read something years ago that gave him the impression that Ben Folds was shifty and unreliable, but he doesn’t remember any of the details. What he does remember, quite clearly and strongly, is how that forgotten information about Ben Folds made him feel. It’s a funny thing – people can forget your face, your words, your ethos – pretty much everything about you, but they never forget how you made them feel. In 2014, the independence movement made some people feel scared and out of sorts.  I know because I was one of them.  Even being asked the question played havoc with my sense of security and identity. As an immigrant with British citizenship and no other nationality, would I become a foreigner in my own home? Would I lose my EU citizenship? Would I still …

Blisters and Landmines

It’s an unfashionable view in the wake of the Brexit campaign, but I tend to trust experts. I like to hear from people who know more than I do about complex issues, because it helps me make an informed decision about my family’s future. I listened to experts during the Scottish independence referendum of 2014, and I voted No. There were questions that were not properly addressed by the Yes side, and those to do with currency, pensions, the economy and – most importantly for me – the EU swayed my decision. I can now see that experts on both sides of the debate could have done a bit better with their accuracy. Through the Spring of 2016, I listened to numerous experts on the subject of the UK’s leaving the EU. Questions about the value of our currency, the impact on business and trade, and the loss of the UK’s influence in the wider world were conclusively answered – there would be serious damage if the UK left the EU.  EU leaders also told us exactly what would happened if …