ALBA FUR INDY By Eva Comrie Mid Scotland and Fife.
Independence for Scotland has driven me, and many thousands of others, since time immemorial. It is not simply a dream comprising patriotism, painted faces or tartan bellbottoms. It’s about eradicating the vision the oil rig worker has as he sits alone in his cabin gazing ashore to a landscape peppered with foodbanks. It’s about the care worker whose hands you notice are hacked and wrinkled as you watch with embarrassment while she counts out the pennies for the cheapest items in the supersaver shops. It’s the mother who pretends that a trip to Macdonalds is a treat for she’s too skint to fill the meter with enough to cover the cost of heating and cooking. It’s the young man not long out of ‘care’, in a bedsit, staring into space, wondering when he’ll hear another human voice. It’s the old guy shuffling down the street with his trousers wrinkled and torn,and his heart breaking on the anniversary of his son’s death at his own hand, his shame at failing to see as a father the depths to which his boy had sunk. It’s the young teacher just completed her first full year in school reading the text from the council telling her in the most brutal of terms that next year she, along with most of her friends, will be doomed to the status of ‘supply’ with no pay over the summer and a wage come August only if she’s required to work. All the while children remain desperate to learn and teachers are on the dole.
This is not the Scotland I can regard for one moment longer – neither can you.
The pandemic, coupled with the rule of the buffoon, have proven that our lives are at stake, indeed lives have been lost unnecessarily in Scotland, because the Union is in fact and deed a murderous beast. The want, the need and the misery seen daily in Scotland are entirely unnecessary and mainly manmade. To recover and rebuild the country we want and we deserve, Independence must be restored to the forefront of Scotland’s political ambitions.
Scotland’s answer to a lack of democratic respect, to the failure of Westminster to consult and co-operate, to the Brexit for which Scotland neither yearned nor voted, should be, in logic and at heart, four square solidarity with a concentrated, powerful surge leading our country, this nation, into our independence era.
Scotland, and the world, are fighting multiple battles on innumerable fronts and that can’t continue. Decisions about what happens in Scotland have to be made in, by and for the people of Scotland; we can’t forge a life in a changed world with one hand tied behind our back, without the complete skill set available to all others. And instead of cherishing the begrudged largesse of Westminster, why can’t we just decide that we already own the lot? What’s made in Scotland stays in Scotland. There’s a thought.
It might have been right and proper, a year ago and more , to say that political campaigning should be suspended, out of respect in an unfolding crisis, but the emergency now is that as the pandemic eases, furlough wages stop being paid and the true impact of Brexit hits home, Scotland faces the imminent loss of the transformative powers devolved to Holyrood – those which allowed us to ban smoking, make prescriptions free, provide free personal care, nursery hours, school meals, proscribe the sale of council houses and begin the long, slow rehabilitation and recuperation of a country neglected and brutalised for decades if not centuries. The invasion by thousands of civil servants appointed by Westminster into Scotland, the creation of new satellites of Whitehall in Scotland, that tells us all we need to know about our continued status as a colony and of Westminster’s desire to keep Scotland within its grasping greedy hands.
Now is not the time to be meek, the scolded child in the corner with a bowl begging to be replete with section 30s when it’s already overflowing with mandates. Neither is it the time to be jostling and jockeying in poor temper and with jaded heart for the chance to win seats in a legislature which might become that in name only all too soon. All and every effort should be directed to achieving our Independence because from that all else flows – we will have a Parliament furnished with a toolbox brimming over with the tools from which we will rebuild this country. And we will, when we drive Scotland forwards with a supermajority comprising ALBA MSPs who will seek to persuade all Independence supporting representatives to negotiate the terms of our country’s exit from the Union, its return to the status of self-determination with the unmistakeable ambition of fulfilling the potential of every citizen of this country.