Done. Voted. -Im also done with using paragraphs. There are things I like and things I don’t on both sides. The argument can go on forever, and as we’ll only get to live out one reality, we’re never going to know which one was the ‘better’ choice. Trying to imagine our way into the future like we’re plotting our next move in a game of chess is helpful to some extent, but there are so many variables and unseen circumstances that past a certain point, its gets pretty absurd, and probably about as reliable as using a crystal ball. All the economic experts in the world were collectively unable, or unwilling to see, and do anything about our 2008 crash, I don’t believe anyone can accurately predict the economic future of the UK, never mind a new independent Scotland. There are things that drew me to voting no. I want a world with fewer borders. I love England, like really, really love it, the wonder that is London means as much to me as Glasgow does. I like that I’m from the same country that the beatles and the smiths. The BBC (even if it needs weeded of some bias made clear throughout this referendum, is still something to cherish) Those big fat working class women from Manchester who call you ‘Love’ when they’re handing you your change for a bap. I have rich, royalist, Tory voting friends who are the kindest, most thoughtful, brilliant people you could hope to meet (not to mention, their parties are fucking excellent) The Cornish coast. Stephen fry. Russel Brand. As much as I try to stick to purely rational argument, - all these things will continue - I’m an emotional beast, it does feel like I’m breaking up with someone. I have this weird desire to get drunk on red wine, phone my English friends late at night and say “I fucking love you, and I’m sorry…. there will never be anyone like you.” If I’m honest, I’m not all that bothered about being Scottish. Radiohead’s shittest songs move me more than all the bagpipes in Scotland. When folk shove wee bits o Scot’s chat n that jist te show how Scottish they really are n that into their otherwise perfect English, I kind of cringe. If I had to use ten words to describe myself, I don’t think ‘Scottish’ would be among them, nor would ‘British’ I’m much less interested in thinking of myself as a member of a nation and much more interested in thinking of myself as a member of the human race. I often like to imagine us all hanging in space, on a little rock, isolated, not really understanding the reality that surrounds us at all, and then I imagine me, living for a fleeting moment on earth, getting to add my energy, my will, to influence things, in a tiny, but ultimately huge way, and make my decisions from there, from that context. I don’t believe that things are the way they are because of ‘human nature’ and I think that we’ve barely touched on our potential as human beings. The real magic of being alive is that we get to imagine and feel our way towards what we’re evolving into. We are creating ourselves. That’s why life can feel so cripplingly daunting, the potential, and the responsibility we have is huge. It’s no wonder that we like to hand over responsibility to experts, and leaders to show us the way. A psychologist called Milgram or something did these experiments in the 60’s where he proved that most people, if alleviated of responsibility by a well-educated man from a prestigious university in a white coat, would push a button to electrocute someone. I kind of feel like this experiment says something about our government, our economy, the ecology of our planet, how easily we can be tricked out of noticing what’s important, and how we can be manipulated to behave when we feel impotent and without responsibility.
When I look at the political parties of Britain what I can see is a devotion to the religion of our time, the economy. What was it Darling said in his closing speech? “the foundation of a society is its currency” did nobody else flinch at that? Currency? Not people, or land or values, money. He actually sat down and thought to himself, “hmmmm, I really need to get people on my side, I need a killer line that will reach into their heads and hearts and bring them round” that’s what he plumped for. It probably worked too, we’re so caught up in this illusion, and surrounded by others caught in it, it feels like there is no other option, that money, and the economy are absolutes that we must work around, like gravity, or needing air to breathe. Money is just a social contract, one that we are free to redesign if it doesn’t work for us. Sadly, it is a contract, and a system that encourages fear, possessiveness and greed. There has been a sliding to the right for so long that what was once left now seems absurd, and the far right UKIP are starting to seem reasonable. Thatcher said “her greatest achievement was new Labour” Every party in Westminster is seeking the same thing- to get into power and make people money. I think it’s worth remembering that once you have somewhere safe, dry and warm to sleep, enough good food to eat, and medicine when necessary, then that’s as much happiness as material possessions is going to bring, beyond that, you better start looking to human relationships, individuation, creating beauty, community and growing love and understanding for your happiness. I know I’m not saying anything that everyone doesn’t already know, but I am saying that we can change it. Currency is not the foundation of our society. Growing the economy is not going to solve our problems. Serving the economy is creating them. We have more than enough money, we’re just spending it badly. I would sooner live in ‘poorer’ country with ground water unpolluted by fracking, a functioning NHS, no nuclear arms than a ‘rich’, fracked one, with people profiting from sickness and gathering nuclear weapons. I don’t trust Alex Salmond and I don’t believe an independent Scotland is going to necessarily fix anything, but I do think that the more powers are devolved, government’s brought closer to the people they represent, and each of us given more responsibility to choose how we live, we’re much more likely to take notice, and choose well. In the end, after the second guesses, my nostalgic love for Britain, fear, idealistic dreaming, I imagined the question of independence like this: “I’m about to ask you some profoundly important questions about the way you live your life, the first one is, do you want the opportunity to answer the rest of the questions? ”