The likely possibility of a second independence referendum was announced only a matter of hours ago and I had to write something already. I didn’t think I’d see another referendum in my lifetime and the potential of a second one in over a year or so makes me both excited and sick. Excited because the prospect of an independent Scotland, consequently more just, equal and democratic is beyond appealing. Sick, because the thought of losing the battle for a wholly autonomous Scotland and having my heart broken all over again makes me really nervous!
It’s being argued by opposing parties and other people in Scotland that a second referendum shouldn’t even be being considered, it was a ‘once in a lifetime’ event and it should be left as the first one finished. Jeremy Corbyn even tweeted earlier that there is “no appetite” for an Independent Scotland. Firstly, I think it’s a bit insulting that an MP who practices in an English constituency thinks he has a grasp of the Scottish appetite for independence and secondly – he’s right. There’s no appetite for a second referendum – from the Labour party anyway, who lost their reputation in Scotland years ago. I can understand why some people are annoyed that theres going to be a potential second referendum after it was sold as a ‘once in a lifetime’ affair – but so much has changed since the last time.
Most notably, Brexit. Before the Independence referendum, we were told that if we remained part of the UK we would be guaranteed a continued relationship with the EU. We remained part of the UK. Fast forward two years, the referendum on EU membership is held. Scotland vote to remain – the rest of the UK vote to leave. We are leaving the EU, after being promised continued membership of the EU if we remained as part of the Union. The results of the EU referendum are reflective of how the voting system in the general election always works in Scotlands favour – yes we have our own devolved government but our autonomy is limited. We voted to remain in the EU, yet we’re outnumbered by England so we are being made to leave. We don’t get a say in things like defense and whether we’re going to go to war or not – our voices are lost in the big so-called ‘democratic’ void. It feels only right that we try n gain full autonomy for our country as our voices are continuously drowned out by the Torys ruling in Westminster, passing legislation that we don’t want.
Another thing that makes me want to get soooooooo far out the UK is the cosy dynamic between Theresa May and Donald Trump. The politics of both politicians are divisive and dangerous and the prospect of them creating an even cosier alliance between the UK and the US, sitting back and tolerating the hate and intolerance being peddled by Trump across America makes me really feart.
There’s a lot of work to do. I think it goes without saying there is people out there who voted No the first time, who were betrayed as Westminster went back on their pre-referendum promises about ‘more power for Scotland’ and ‘membership of the EU’ who would vote yes this time around – but that doesn’t mean we can sit back and assume everybody will vote yes by default. The Scottish Government will have to build a strong case for the economy to gain the trust of potential yes voters, particularly so in a time where the economy and trading agreements are under increasing pressure consequent to Brexit. Additionally to this, let it not be forgotten that a vote for Independence is not a vote for the SNP. Yes, we have the SNP to thank for putting the first and now the second referendum on the table – but its no secret that they’re not the progressive, inclusive party they make out to be. It’s understanding why people don’t want to vote Yes incase they’re seen to be supportive of the partys politics because they need some serious work** – but any chat about being pro independence must mean you’re pro SNP as well is nonsense. Parties aside, just put your country first and decide on a better life for yourself, the generations after you and the people who are worse off. This is it x
** Here is some other things I’ve written about the SNP and some of their legislation here: