Tag Archives: Scottish Independence

Some reflection and closing thoughts.

After a sleep and some reflection I think I’m more downhearted than I was at 6am. As a country we made our decision, I’ll accept that but it doesn’t mean that I think it’s the right decision.

Throughout this whole process I discovered one thing, and that is that no matter what side of the fence people fell on, whatever their beliefs, everyone had a strong passion for this country.

We can sit here and say that those who voted ‘No’ don’t deserve to call themselves Scottish but that’s not true. They voted no because they felt it was the best thing for our country, the same reason that we voted yes (obviously we were right but we’ll never find out)

Whatever your emotions are today, just remember that we are all Scottish together, no matter how bitter that may sit on some peoples tongues at the moment (mine included).

We rejected independence but we don’t have to stop the fight for change. To all those who voted for the first time, keep voting. Don’t just not vote because you think it won’t make a difference, if as many people turn out to vote as did yesterday then we have a higher chance of being heard. Don’t give up on trying to change things for the better. We’re all crushed, I understand that. I sat earlier and actually thought I was going to burst into tears because this was such an emotional roller-coaster for us all.

One day the Kingdom of Scotland will live again, this just wasn’t our time. We can now either wallow in our own self pity or we can make sure that Westminster follow through on their promises, we can make sure that we make our voices heard. We can stand together, as Scotland, maybe not independent but damn fucking loud.

Advertisements

I’m nervous, are you?

As we all take our places, on this the eve of what will be the most important day in Scottish history, I wish each and every one  of my fellow Scots all the best. Whatever you mark down on that ballot paper, I hope that you base it off of what you truly believe is right for this country.

Make not your decision based on having had a bad interaction with an overly aggressive campaigner. Don’t vote “No” simply because you don’t like Mr Salmond and don’t vote “Yes” simply because you don’t like the Tories. Vote for what you see as the best possible future for you, for your children and for your grandchildren.

If you vote “Yes” then fantastic, if you vote “No” then that’s entirely up to you, it’s your decision and nobody has the right to belittle you for it. The most important thing is that we all vote and that we all vote for what we believe is the best option based on our own views and what reliable information we can get. 

With such a short time to go until we make our final decision and cement it in history, I’m nervous. I’m more nervous than I’ve ever been regarding anything politically related. Whatever we do tomorrow, it can’t be undone.

“I am keiching ma scants.”

The most important question in all of history

We are nine days away from one of the biggest dates in Scottish history. The day when I, along with the millions of people in my country take ourselves along to the dingy little community centres scattered across the nation and choose one of two words “yes” or “no”

It wasn’t an easy choice to make, this doesn’t just make a small and subtle change to our country, this is huge. It’s not like voting for a contestant on one of those nonsensical reality television “shows”. For millions of people this is the chance to decide if we want change or if we want to stay the same.

I’m not going to bore you with my points of view on why you should vote one way or another because quite frankly there are thousands of blog posts scattered around the interwebs. There are valid arguments from both sides and then there are the people who just want to become mighty warriors for their chosen side.

The amount of aggression and threats of violence that I’ve seen directed towards both sides because of this referendum is insane. I get it, we’re Scottish, we like to show our warrior side but this isn’t a civil war. This is one country trying to make a decision that will stick with us forever.  When I read some of the comments it makes me wonder if I want to live in a country where “if you don’t vote no, I’ll f***ing slash you” or “vote yes or you’re not a real Scottish person you wee c*nt”

I want to live in a country where we can rationalise our future based on the pros and cons of both sides of the debate. I’m not going to be forced into voting one way or another through violence. Just because someone is voting differently from you doesn’t make them an idiot or whatever other name you wish to call them. This referendum is all about choice.

I’m Scottish and I’m damn proud to be Scottish, there’s no better country in the world as far as I’m concerned. Come the 18th of September, when all the votes are counted and the future of our country has been decided then I’ll accept it no matter what it is. I might not agree with the outcome but I’ll accept it, I’ll have no choice.

On a more colourful note, I saw this posted this morning on the back of the news that there’s a new “Royal  Baby” on the way and it made me laugh. Or to use some vernacular borrowed from the youth of today “I lol’d so hard at this”, you see I can still be down with the kids! I’m only in my late twenties, I’m still hip!

scottishpreg

 

On the 19th of September, Scotland will wake up knowingone of two things, either we remain the same or we move on and become our own independent country. The choice lies in the hands of the Scottish people. The excitement in Scotland is high, you can smell it and feel it as you walk down streets. Signs in all windows, flags flying in the wind, campaigners on the streets and everyone discussing the same subject.

On the 18th of September we’re faced with one question and one question alone, “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

I’m voting Yes.

One Less Gruff Billy Goat

The idea of fairy tales is one full of intrigue and mystique, almost all of us will have read a fairy tale at some point in our lives and without question every one of us knows of a fairy tale character. With the smallest amount of legerdemain the entire premise of a story can change, heroes can be either unlikely children or charming princes, villains can be witches or trolls. The possibilities within fairy tales are endless and the message is always one of hope.

The very first fairy tale that I can remember from my childhood was ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’. The premise is that three goats, discovering that where they live no longer has any grass for them to eat, set out to find new pastures so that they can become fat. However, their journey must take them across the river, where dwells a troll under a bridge. The first goat passes over the bridge but gets stopped by the troll who threatens to “gobble him up” (gobble him up is one of those lines that makes me laugh for no apparent reason) however the goat persuades the troll to wait for the second goat because he’s bigger and more of a meal so the troll lets him pass. The second goat comes along and the same thing happens as before and so then the third goat enters. I’ll stop it there, because I think that most people know how ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’ ends, if you don’t then go and Google it.

Of course all fairy tales end with the standard “happily ever after” although recently I read “Arabian Nights” which is a collection of Asian fairy tales and they end with “they all lived happily until there came to them the One Who Destroys All Happiness” which I found odd yet poetic. ‘The One Who Destroys All Happiness’ meaning Death, the Grim Reaper as he’s also known. I was slightly taken aback at first, here were some fairy tales full of hope and suddenly they were cementing the fact that nobody lives “happily ever after” because death catches up to everyone.

The very first fairy tales are attributed to Aesop who lived in Ancient Greece around 620–564 BCE (slightly before our time I imagine). The power of fairy tales is so strong and so resilient that over two thousand years later some of Aesop’s’ tales are still being told to this day. I’m sure you will have heard of at least one of them, the main one that I can think of right now is ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’. That story became so popular that two hundred years after it was written it became one of Zeno’s paradoxes (Google them, extremely interesting and thought provoking, the Arrow paradox is my personal favourite)

The Brothers Grimm famously wrote some of the most celebrated fairy tales in our history. Two German brothers, who were academics and even lexicographers, crafted some of the worlds greatest imaginary and magical characters. Although The Brothers Grimm did centralise their fairy tales on more darker hues they still resonated through the years with so many different people, even psychologist who felt the need to analyse them.

The fairy tale is an escape from reality, like most forms of entertainment. I do believe however that fairy tales give more power to the reader and open the imagination slightly more than any other form of literature and I’m saying that as an avid science-fiction fanatic. Whether it’s something written by Alexander Afanasyev or Hans Christian Andersen, fairy tales have the power to take you to a place where good almost always wins. The fairy tale is a door to the unknown world of endless possibilities where life feels good, Walt Disney realised that and that’s why he cashed in on so many popular fairy tales.

Nowadays people don’t write fairy tales, it’s somewhat a thing of the past which saddens me. My Dad used to make up fairy tales for me each night and they always made me so happy. They were tales of a young boy called Billy who lived in a house with a green roof. Billy went swimming with sharks and had magic powers, he loved ice cream and was my hero. My Dad doesn’t remember how any of those stories went and I was too young to retain the proper memories of them which is a crying shame because I would love to remember them in full.

The power of fairy tales will live on because they should live on. Albert Einstein once famously said “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” Can anyone really disprove that? Fairy tales are more than just true and not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten. Every fairy tale has meaning and every single one is based on the same idea, the idea that peace and happiness can exist no matter what stands in your way.

“In a utilitarian age, of all other times, it is a matter of grave importance that fairy tales should be respected.”Charles Dickens

The pondering coffee cup…

As I dropped the ground coffee beans from the silver spoon into the bottom of my “With all due respect, fuck off” mug this morning I stared out in to the ocean of passing children making their way to school. I saw a plethora of things walking past but the main thing I noticed were the smiles.

Was I ever that happy to go to school? Especially on a Monday morning?

It then occurred to me that those were just childrens natural smiles. A child hasn’t yet been corrupted by the wickedness and ungodly nature of the world. While they may be unhappy to go to school, they’re not unhappy with life.

That coffee was to try and awaken me from both a mental and physical slumber. For it was one of those mornings where I just couldn’t shake off  the fatigue, even after a lengthy sleep. I then discovered that I was not alone in this, so I refer you to my post from a few weeks ago where I described a Science Fiction plot which lulled the country into a fatigued state before aliens invaded. It is the imagination of one who is currently writing a novel that devised this theory. In my normal “reality” I simply put it down to either the moon cycle or the late night for the Superbowl.

I often wonder what my normal reality is. Is it the world that I’m currently living in, with my flat and my newly shaven head or is it the world that I create with magical trees and passages created by temporal physics? The truth is, I know that it’s the shaven head reality but that doesn’t prevent me from wishing that occasionally I could cross through the void and into the fictional reality that started in my head. If, like so many others, you subscribe to the “many worlds theory” then you may agree that my fictional reality does in fact exist in another dimension.

Of course I realise that everything I have just written makes me seem a little bit  unhinged. I however would argue that point, owing to the fact that I am perfectly aware of what exists and what doesn’t exist.

I know that at this moment and for most of this year, there exists a battle of wits for Scottish independence. In this battle, for many months, I refused to take a side. However as I posted previously I have now woken up and smelled the coffee in my “With all due respect, fuck off” mug. I will be voting ‘Yes’ and I will be doing so for a number of reasons.

If we become independent then we would officially be one of the world’s richest countries – ranked 6th in the OECD compared to the UK’s 16th place. There are  twenty four billion barrels of oil remaining in the North Sea, according to industry body Oil and Gas UK. That’s roughly around £1.5trillion in today’s prices – half as much in value as has been taken out.

The truth is that an independent Scotland would prosper. We would become a self sufficient nation. The above reason is but one of many reasons why we should be independent.

For me, this has nothing to do with the Scotland/England divide. Anyone who looks at this as a battle of the nations, should have their right to vote revoked. This is about the future of our country and not about past relationships.

As I stood there this morning staring at the waves of children making their way to school, I wondered what they’re being taught about the referendum. I realise that they are too young to vote but this concerns their future just as much, if not more, than ourselves.

On 6 May 1999 there was an election to decide on a Scottish Parliament. When I was at school, we were taught nothing about that. It was mentioned very briefly but we were never really taught about what it meant. I just hope that with something as huge as the referendum, the schools are educating their pupils accordingly.

On another, semi related note. While I was doing my research, I discovered that there are approximately 1036800 cans of Irn-Bru sold per day. I find that extremely impressive. Irn-Bru is a wonderful drink and even though I have refrained from drinking any carbonated juices for the last 7 weeks, it still holds a place in my heart.

Before I take my leave for today, I urge any of you who haven’t yet watched it to sit down and watch The Musketeers on BBC One. It is so refreshing to see a portrayal of The Three Musketeers which isn’t overly camp and high on comedy. The original novel by Dumas was never written that way and so I’ve never understood why that’s how it was portrayed in film. However BBC have nailed it in my opinion. While it may not be Doctor Who, it is most definitely worth a watch.

The Monday Rant…

I was born in Scotland and raised here and excluding a few months spent living abroad in Switzerland I’ve lived here my entire life. I’ve moved from place to place over the years and encountered many different regional accents.

There is one thing however that is a source of constant annoyance to me.

Why do people in Scotland constantly feel the need to type in Scottish slang?

I understand that over time our verbal dialects have become stronger and we’ve manipulated the English language to suit our own tongue and I’m proud of that.

The is however no logical or sane reasoning behind typing with that tongue. It’s idiotic and crass. At points it’s even incomprehensible and totally unintelligible. Be proud of dialects, they’re ours but a written language is not something that should be obscure beyond any sense of understanding.

There are times, when it’s acceptable to be used, and that’s to use it to punctuate a sense of humour. However, using it as a first written language is horrible. There are very few people who can have a written command of the Scots tongue and one of them is Robert Burns………if you’re not Robert Burns then shut the fuck up and learn to spell.

“Av git tae git hame tae ma maw fur ma dinur” – this is in no way a real sentence.

Scottish has always been a great verbal dialect, but somewhere along the line it’s went from beautiful to crass. There’s a difference between the dialect of our forefathers and the dialect of today and the main one is that the Scots tongue of today is illiterate and nonsensical.

I’ll be surprised if anyone will be able to read the words on the ballot papers unless it’s written in regurgitated mangled shite.

Ballot – “Vote for one option only”

The nation – “eh wit?”

Ballot Translator – “Gonnae jist pick wan”

The nation – “aw right a get ye noo pal”

This situation is getting worse by the day, I constantly see people talking like this through texts and social media and not even to other Scottish people. I see it on worldwide pages and on these same pages I see the exact same Scottish people telling French speakers or Italian speakers to “speak English” the irony seems lost on them.

I worry for our future as a literate nation. I worry about the consequences that it will have for the education of younger people in the coming decades.

IF we do become an independent nation as a result of the voting later this year then I sincerely hope that the first thing on the agenda is to issue each household with a dictionary.