Yes lost, No didn’t win
Last Friday was horrible. The anger, disappointment and heavy, desperate sadness I felt on the result of the Scottish Referendum was overwhelming.
Since its inception in January, my friends and I at Autonomy Scotland have eaten, drank and slept Independence. We have read everything we could find, spent hours on Youtube, debated, argued, converted, some of us toured round Scandinavia and Europe in the search for ideas for a better set-up for when Scotland gained Independence, then toured round Scotland promoting the Yes cause, we wrote, social media-ed, read some more and debated some more. On the Tuesday before the referendum we met and did some canvassing in the West End of Glasgow.
The whole evening we only found one person who was voting No. Not only that, everyone we spoke to were “rabid” Yeses. Everybody in the street was happy, smiling, excited. The atmosphere was expectant and positive and this lasted throughout Wednesday and during the voting day. We were all affected by this, for the first time really we weren’t just hoping we would win, we actually dared to think we could do this. And then on Thursday night we all gathered together with hope in our collective hearts to watch in horror as those hearts were collectively broken.
I felt tearful for several days and my immediate reaction on hearing that we had lost this chance at Independence was to wash my hands of it all and walk away. I kept telling myself that I was being melodramatic, that people have terrible tragedies in their lives and that the loss of a referendum is nothing in comparison, that I should respect the majority vote, that I have become too involved and need to get some perspective.
And then I woke up.
There were Loyalists tearing up George Square, which barely got a mention on the BBC.
Almost immediately Cameron announced funding cuts to Scotland and changes to legislation giving more powers to England.
Details emerged of how, when the fateful Yougov poll showing a Yes lead for the first time came out, the government finally took us seriously and leant on Big Business to increase fear by implying that people would lose their jobs and prices would rise in an Independent Scotland.
Cameron got caught big-manning himself to Michael Bloomberg regarding his victory over Scotland.
The leader of Better Together admitted that scaremongering was a central tactic in their campaign.
After insisting that the NHS was safe, Labour have done a U-turn and now admit that it is at risk under Westminster.
The lifespan of oil extraction in the North Sea was miraculously going to expand.
Jack Straw now wants to outlaw the possibility of any future referendums.
Westminster has overruled our right to object to fracking, allowing companies to drill beneath our land and homes without our permission.
We are set to bomb Iraq and Syria.
And now I am furious. My heart has not just been broken but ripped out, trampled on and pissed all over. Repeatedly. And all this within only one week. I am furious at the politicians but I am sorry to say that I am also furious at the 55.
I have heard of many people regretting their decision to vote No, but I have also read much telling us they have “won” and the rest of us now need to accept that and shut up. Well I am not going to shut up. I am disgusted at what has occurred in the last week and I expected it. I feel bad for the people who voted No because they genuinely believed in “The Vow” or who were misled by the mainstream media but how can anyone watch the events of the last week unfold and go all “business as usual”, especially if they voted to allow Westminster to retain powers? Why are the people that voted to make us complicit in this not also disgusted? When exactly are the 55 going to rise up and take action? This is in their name.
In the couple of weeks in the run up to the referendum I heard the term “silent majority” being used a lot. I also saw people boasting on social media that they were a “silent” or “quiet” voter as if this in some way made them more noble or righteous than people who were, in their words, “shoving their opinions down my throat”. Nobody likes a bully but if you believe in something, and something as important as the direction you want your country and society to take, then why would you be silent about your opinions? Why would you not want to discuss issues, talk to your friends, ask questions, dissect what is on offer and what we need to do? Why would you not want to learn as much as you could about the situation? Nothing bad ever came from talking to other people. And now that the silent majority have won and only in the past week all these things have happened which were contrary to what everyone in Scotland wanted, whether they voted Yes or No, I am wondering what exactly it will take to shake the majority out of its silence?
We all need to take action, stand up and make our voices heard. We need to carry on with the amazing social media links that we have all forged, ignore the mainstream media and promote truly independent and free thinking sources of information, boycott companies that acted against us in the referendum, vote tactically, keep talking to every person we can, whether they voted Yes or No, we need to be continually asking ourselves what we can do next and we need to oust silence.
Yes lost. I understand that, but I do not accept it. It might sound like sour grapes. But I am sour. I am sour to the core. Bitter, angry and seething with rage each time a new revelation such as the ones listed above are revealed. But every time the rage starts to consume me I return to the Tuesday before the referendum when my friends and I truly believed Independence was going to happen and I know that it is worth it because this is not over. This time Yes lost, but No didn’t win either. I am not going to lie down and give up and nobody who cares about Independence should because then nobody in Scotland wins, ever.
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