Yesterday I finally weighed in on the Independence debate. What do you mean, last minute? There is a WHOLE DAY to go yet!
Anyway, I wrote about it on Facebook, and then on tumblr. Then, for good measure I copied it onto a site I’d not seen before, WriteHere.comwhich is easy to join and format free for those who can’t be bothered with the fiddlearseing you have to do on WordPress and have to do a…
I’m an expat living in London UK.
Here’s what I think.
Since the 1999 parliament was established in Scotland the quality of debate in the Scottish parliament has been enviable when you compare it to the braying that goes on in Westminster - for comparison, I watched the debate on No More Page Three, the Scottish parliamentarians were thoughtful and respectful of each other, and the Westminster benchers brayed and scoffed.
The devolution debate has politicised a lot of people. As a life time Labour voter, I think Labour is now Tory lite and I think Westminster is one foot in the dark ages and one foot in the thrall of the corporates, with a constant eye to aping the US. Any vote from me, now, is entirely tactical, which I think is a shame.
Scotland has a chance, now, to step away from the neo liberalist nightmare and in doing so make the UK weaker and less attractive as a warmongering partner for the US, I think that’s worth it for one thing. I think it could mean that England (and Wales etc - or rUK as they are calling us) would have a lot to recover from, politically, but in the current form the Labour party are no longer leftist, so we’d need a rethink from the ground up - assuming anyone on the ground cares any more after being let down by successive govts for such a long time, and by the past year’s debates in Scotland I think that is indeed possible.
It’s interesting that the debate has woken up the North of England, and I think the strength of feeling for a better transport network (HS3 - though HS2 is slated to take 18 years, so hey, lets not hold our breath) between Liverpool, Manchester, and Leeds has been inspired by the groundswell of people power in Scotland.
Even if a No vote is returned, I hope that the consciousness raising that appears to have happened can be turned toward parliamentary reform and political awakening. In 1979 I think independence would have been a small minded England hating move, 1998 paved the way for an enviable Scottish parliament which, if you watch on youtube you can see how much more civilised it is than Westminster, and this time round I think it’s a lot about how Westminster fails to represent ordinary people anywhere in a way in which the Scottish parliament already does, and I’m guessing the Welsh one does too, though I’ve not seen footage.
I’ve been following the discussion for over a year. I’ve heard no radio and seen no tv. Everything I know has been from following discussions on facebook and the links to blogs and articles. I do know some No voters, but I’ve mainly heard what Yes campaigners have said. From what I have heard the press and TV have been mostly biased towards No, but the No campaign itself has been very weak, and the TV advert that I’ve seen here was a waste of money from the No campaign since it makes Scots look stupid and that’s no way to make a sale, buddy.
I look at it from my own point of view here in London and I think the state of politics here is stale, right wing, and entirely in thrall to the US and corporations. For me, entirely as someone resident in London, this debate has all been about that, but I know it’s central to a lot of Scottish thinking, too. At first I thought we’d be screwed if Scotland left, they contribute 41 Labour MPs out of a total of 59 Scottish MP’s (currently also 6 SNP and 1 tory).
Then I started seeing an advantage in being weakened on the world stage, and then the other day I saw an article about the groundswell of grassroots campaigners pushing for HS3 (the Northern Hub). Best idea I’ve heard in decades! The BBC have invested in Salford, the North is crying out for such investment, far better than a sporting event or city of culture, a high speed rail link could change this country forever. Even as a Londoner, I think this country is way too London centric.
Also, Westminster needs to be turned into a museum, with it’s shouting enabled confrontational benches, and we need a physically different set up as well as a re-think of politics overall if the people are to actually be represented in what has become a fake democracy. Scotland can, in fact, show us the way, whether in gaining independence, or as part of the UK, having worked so hard and articulated issues that affect ordinary people everywhere.
Best ever animated gifs?
Friday was ridiculously hot. It was Zone 1 London in the summer hot, with that intimation of hosepipe bans and the feel that it could be one of those summers where fans sell out and people start whining about it being TOO HOT.
I don’t like to be a curmudgeon, and while my mind is of a cloudy turn, my body certainly behaves better in the warm, but now that we’ve moved house a fair few things…
Sign the petition here
In a previous iteration I was pretty active for a non sporty type. Like, I started swimming regularly because there was a laundry at my local pool at St George’s. A large load bought me a 40 minute swim. I don’t hate laundrettes, in fact, when I was a kid my mum was friends with the lady who worked at the laundrette and I got to see backstage, which I found entrancing. I pretty much love the back…
Engineering Science, Oxford University