The Morning After

by Charlie_East_West on September 18, 2014

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Scotland, 19th September 2014

Let none wake despondent: one way
or another we have talked plainly,
tested ourselves, weighed up the sum
of our knowing, ta’en tent o scholars,
checked the balance sheet of risk and
fearlessness, of wisdom and of folly.

Was it about the powers we gain or how
we use them? We aim for more equality;
and for tomorrow to be more peaceful
than today; for fairness, opportunity,
the common weal; a hand stretched out
in ready hospitality.

It’s those unseen things that bind us,
not flag or battle-weary turf or tartan.
There are dragons to slay whatever happens:
poverty, false pride, snobbery, sectarian
schisms still hovering. But there’s
nothing broken that’s not repairable.

We’re a citizenry of bonnie fighters,
a gathered folk; a culture that imparts,
inspires, demands a rare devotion,
no back-tracking; that each should work
and play our several parts to bring about
the best in Scotland, an open heart.

By Christine De Luca

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Fionauk512 September 18, 2014 at 8:19 am

Aye.

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Geoff Elliott September 18, 2014 at 12:12 pm

Nice to have you back Charlie, glad you’ve been able to find the time to contribute your thoughts on what is clearly a massively important issue for you.

Last polls look like a No vote is going to win out. A chance missed? Maybe, but I’ve been impressed with the Yes campaign overall (though I have grave misgivings over any political party with the word Nationalist in its name) and Salmond and Sturgeon have been credible and consistent in the face of considerable scare/fear tactics from the other side.

The future starts tomorrow. The debate on the future of other regions in the UK, including England, is only just beginning.

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Charlie_East_West September 18, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Geoff – thanks.

I remain to be convinced by the polls. If turnout is over 90% (which looks increasingly likely) – it means that the poorer communities / new voters have come out in huge numbers to vote – this begs the question – why would they come out to vote? Register to vote for the first time to keep the status quo? I doubt it.

This could still go either way…

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Fionauk512 September 18, 2014 at 10:26 pm

As a Scot living in England, and staying up for the vote, I find I am terrified and exhilarated in equal measure. More than anything though I am incredibly proud of the way in which Scots have taken the power away from politicians and had the debate amongst themselves on the much wider question. Despite, it would seem, by some media outlets to portray the referendum as anti English or mired in some narrow nationalist fantasia bound for failure, I think for the most part Scots have sensibly, democratically, legitimately questioned where the power should lie.

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Mike Killingworth September 19, 2014 at 8:43 am

A clear result. Now starteth the haggling over what “Devo Max” actually means. To say nothing of a lawyers’ beanfight & bunfeast over what an “English law” is…

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Geoff Elliott September 19, 2014 at 8:58 am

Clear indeed. Mrs E. predicted months ago it would be around 54:46 and has been proved to be right.

It will be very interesting to see the next steps are. There is clear unrest among Tory ranks about further powers for Scotland at the expense of the English.

Much of me is disappointed that the Scots have not opted to take on the challenge of becoming independent. We’re a risk averse species I suppose and the constant drip of potential downsides coming from the establishment, the media and big business has played a big part.

The people have spoken though, and in huge numbers, which is fantastic. Will this galvanise our truly apathetic nation ahead of the GE next Spring? A turnout of that size in May would be something to behold and would make for a fascinating campaign. People’s apathy seems to lie in the simple line that their vote changes nothing. Maybe the debate, hijacked for the most part from the politicians, can continue on social media.

And we quickly need a bill to allow 16 year olds to vote in England and Wales and NI. The youth of Scotland has proved it deserved the opportunity. Not in the Tories interest of course, but it needs to happen.

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Eddie Kaye September 19, 2014 at 9:16 am

It is interesting to look back to the previous 2 referendi on devolution – in 1979 and 1997. Both of those had vastly lower turnouts, so the plaudits of this triumph of grassroots democracy are well placed. It would have been interesting had independence been on the cards in pre-Thatcher era ’79 or in the heady early days of the Blair administration what turnout and/or result would have been. I suspect not as high turnout, or as close as it really was.

As I predicted (for want of a better word) a few weeks ago, the right result won, but via the wrong arguement. The toxic ‘Better Together’ campaign, coupled with the scare tactics of big business and the media was quite frankly embarrasing. The fact that 1.6m British Citizens waved a two fingered salute in the dirction of the Westminster cabal should tell them it was a massive own goal.

This should tell them something – alas it will not. The Tories have saved a massive egg/ face interface scenario of losing the Union on their watch. Labour have an increased chance of future power with the Scottish seats preserved. God alone knows what the Lib Dems are playing at, but I am sure they are chuffed. Even UKIP has the model of the referendum to press home the In/Out of Europe one.

They should not be so pleased. As I said before 1.6m British Citizens have rejected their rule. And if they think those who voted ‘Yes’ trust them any more, and have voted that way in their support they have another thing coming. There is a terminal distrust of Westminster, not just in Scotland, but around the UK. Yet still, we are offered no real chance of change.

What MUST happen moving forward is a press for that change – not just for ordinary people on the streets of Glasgow, Edinburgh or Aberdeen, but of all people on the streets of London, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea, Belfast…need I go on. Make this vote a springboard to press for that change, and don’t lose the opportunity.

Thanks for staying Scotland, we would have missed you!

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Fionauk512 September 19, 2014 at 9:29 am

I really hope the example of participation and passion does galvanise others in the UK, it really is too important to leave to the politicians.

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Eddie Kaye September 19, 2014 at 9:59 am

I just hope it is galvanised in the right direction. Those who want to push for progress need to get moving on winning hearts and minds. Unfortunately we have the rabble rousing of UKIP et al to contend with. When asked a straight forward question about their futures, the Scottish electorate responded with measured consideration and a model of democracy. If (or more like when) we are asked about our future in Europe, it will be decided on the front page of The Sun unless we can find a way of injecting the same decorum into the UK electorate as a whole.

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Charlie_East_West September 19, 2014 at 10:49 am

Interesting breakdown of votes by age group.
16-17 yr olds 71-29 Yes.
65+ 73-27 No.
All other age groups pro Yes, except rather bizarrely 18-24 who were 52-48 No.

The older groups swung it for No.

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Eddie Kaye September 19, 2014 at 10:57 am

Interesting that 16-17 yr olds could vote for their nation’s permanent state, but not for the next 5 years.

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Geoff Elliott September 19, 2014 at 11:39 am

You could make a case for removing the right to vote from people over 65 on that basis!

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Fionauk512 September 19, 2014 at 10:58 am

You are right there Eddie. Labour have got to reclaim some credibility with voters, I found it quite disconcerting when listening to Ed Miliband’s post referendum speech to find it left me feeling as though he was rehearsing what a speech should sound like, to the voters, without there being any genuine passion behind it. Like an empty cream puff, all air no cream. I also found Scottish Labour sorely lacking and repeatedly failing to see beyond petty point scoring which left many voters cold.

UKIP are making the most of the situation, and as an aside if you watched all the coverage on BBC overnight, what a joke the UKIP Scottish representative was who was given airtime to comment. A ludicrous construct of pomposity , bile and blatant false bleatings. He was swiftly kicked into the long grass by Ricky Ross.

Another interesting aside, is the lack of airtime given to The Green Party to comment throughout proceedings and in the referendum analysis immediately after the vote was in. Aren’t they representing at least as many as UKIP these days? Or was it because they didn’t really join in the hectoring?

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Fionauk512 September 19, 2014 at 11:11 am

Green Party compared to UKIP……I meant Lib Dems. Forgive me, tired have had no sleep.

Good to have your input in the last few days Charlie.

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nino September 19, 2014 at 12:06 pm

I’m surprised at what an easy time you are all prepared to give some of the main protagonists in this campaign. Let’s start with the positives – Nicola Sturgeon delivered a resounding yes vote in the very tough political battle ground that is the Glasgow conurbation. Great personality and great communicator and should probably be leader of the SNP.
Alex Salmond is the MSP for Aberdeenshire – an area which delivered one of the worst reults for the Yes camp with over 60% voting no. Aberdeen itself also had a substantial no vote. So who does he represent in his own backyard? If it were any other campaign it wouldn’t matter so much but the whole point of the SNP is independence and he was hammered on this issue right in his own backyard. So what lost it for him and the Yes campaign? Talk of two fingers etc and some of the more dubious heavy-handed campaigning style of some Yes campaigners made a small contribution and the “scare” tactics of the Westminster elite also had an effect. But I also wonder how many votes his extravagant helicopter trip cost him. Throughout the campaign he desperately tried to look and sound statesmanlike and he must have clearly failed to impress his electorate. Was it also anything to do with his past dealings with rich investors like Donald Trump I wonder? The turnout was extrtemely high and the votes cast speak volumes.
On the Labour side Gordon Brown emerged with merit and clearly looked the veteran statesman part,albeit rather late in the day,but the same can’t be said for Ed Milliband. The ignominious way he and his staff allowed themselves to be bundled out of Edinburgh was embarassing. And its no use blaming the Yes camp because it was obvious that this would be par for the course. I can’t imagine past Labour leaders allowing this to happen.
I can’t really get my head round the figures. Under 4 million people voted in this referendum and this was a huge turnout in percentage terms. Can somebody remind me of what the total population of the UK or England or London or Birmingham is? Clearly in terms of land and sea area it becomes more significant. And yes culture, art etc..undeniably great.
Sorry if I’ve offended anyone but I think post vote analyses need to be ruthless and above all honest and those who failed to deliver should pay the political consequences.

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Mike Killingworth September 19, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Roughly, the population of England is ten times that of Scotland which in turn is twice that of Wales. Roughly.

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Charlie_East_West September 19, 2014 at 7:32 pm

In my entire life I have never been so angry about an issue.

- corporate scaremongering
- all three major parties adopting a right wing stance of fear
- media bias for No
- the con trick of the Vow
…and sadly…so many people in Scotland not having the guts to do something about it.

I am embarrassed by the decision of my country right now.

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John Stone September 19, 2014 at 9:26 pm

At least the result was decisive.

But my head is now in my hands at Ed Miliband’s apparent failure to appreciate that this is a game changer. Labour has to realise that the West Lothian Question is now going to be resolved, and in the short term for us perhaps not happily. But as a democrat I can see the status quo is untenable. Now is the time for Labour to stop equivocating and pussyfooting and make a strong case for an alternative future for England. One that we as progressives can get behind.

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