We Live to Fight Another Day. It is not over. The world is changing and it’s changing fast. A fire has been lit and it’s spreading across the border to England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Who knows what opportunities will present themselves? At least now we are aware enough, politically engaged enough, to see the opportunities when they arise and exploit them to their fullest.
Previous to the Scottish referendum I was clueless about politics and government. Now I’m all fired up, fully engaged and ravenous for change. I stayed up all night watching every declaration with an ever sinking heart. If this article is somewhat incoherent then I blame it entirely on the fact that I haven’t slept yet. There is no way that I’m the only one who has been gripped by the political process like this. It’s a movement with no allegiance to parties or personalities. The people are waking up, some more slowly than others, but eyes are opening.
I voted Yes. I am disappointed but I see no reason why I should be ashamed to sing Flower of Scotland or disown the people of Scotland. For us to be independent we have to be ready en masse. Not enough of us were ready this time. That’s democracy. You live by it or you create your own little kingdom and disengage (not necessarily a bad idea).
So we find other ways to make the constitutional changes that so many of us crave. We research, we learn, we engage. If we want social justice and a more democratic form of government then we need to come up with the framework that allows others to see the way forward. Not everybody can let go of the immediate concerns of their individual financial worries, not everybody can see that social change ultimately brings greater rewards. We have to find a way to make people feel safer on our path than they do on the old, overgrown but well trodden one. We just have to be think outside the box, there is more than one way to govern a nation, many ways to affect change and there are enough of us with the resourcefulness to figure it out.
A record number of Scots voted in last night’s referendum. People who had never voted before registered for the first time and made their voice heard. Almost half of us declared for independence. 1,617,989 Scots marked a cross in a box and said, Yes. We were never meant to get even that close, but we did. Granted, we were not quite bold enough this time but, even with the weight of our media and our elected UK representatives against us, we almost crossed the finish line. That is not something to be ashamed of and it is not something to walk away from. Democracy and social justice matter, we keep the momentum going and we grasp the opportunities when they arise. We are savvy enough now to know them when we see them.
For Scotland and for the rest of the United Kingdom, who we have democratically chosen to share our fate with, we march forward.