Independence

Later today, we the Scotch people all vote whether we want to continue as part of the United Kingdom. As something of a committed anti-Nationalist, you might be surprised to learn which way I’m voting (Yes). But what’s really important in all this is that until about a week ago, I was seeing rational debate and discussion, with isolated pockets of ludicrous propaganda from both sides. Then I woke up one day and my Yes friends are posting images of support from the likes of David Icke. Yes, David “the world is run by Reptilian Aliens, also I used to be a footballer” Icke. Then just outright lies and propaganda.

Thus began a spiral of hysterical shit-flinging desperation from both sides that I think just about everyone should be ashamed of. For the many of us who tried to be as rational and civil as possible, for those who stood firm while the shit hit them in the face. Shouldn’t we be proud? Maybe, but we all still stink of the same shit now.

And good work Nick Robinson and the BBC, you gave those rabid “unmistakable BBC bias!” people one good solid piece of unmistakable bias. Way to self-fulfil a conspiracy guys. Now we all have to put up with people calling for inquiries and ultimately your defunding if the No campaign wins.

Ah look, it’ll all be basically fine. I know it’s important and I know people are just passionate about their futures, and far be it from me to suggest that it’s all inconsequential. I’m just tired of the whole thing to be honest. But not so tired that I won’t hop on that train tomorrow night and take a 2.5 hour round trip just to put my X on a dumb piece of paper, that on some existential level doesn’t really matter to me.

I am voting Yes because I believe in a better future. That future doesn’t come tomorrow, or even in 5 years or 10 years. It’s an unending journey. Things will never be the way they should be, but every day we should try to get closer to that. When the status quo is untenable, when it drags our political centre further and further to the right, what choice do we have but to throw it out and start fresh? “But Paul, what about the cuuuuurrrrrrreeeenccccccy uuuuuuuuuniooooooon?” BLAH BLAH BLAH. Yeah, I’ve had those discussions and there’s all sorts of questions, but here, the night before, I just don’t care any more. The worst case scenario is still more interesting to me than whatever this boring-ass business-as-usual bullshit we’re living now is supposed to be. Here’s the big secret: ultimately, nobody really knows how anything works. Everyone is just making it up as they go along. The future is made up by people who are guessing. Some people are better at guessing.

In that part of my brain I call my heart, once I push that one other thing that’s in there to the side for a moment, all I really want is for the future to be better than the past. I don’t believe in utopias, or dystopias, I believe in the trying and failing and trying again, and I believe for the first time in my entire life that I could be a part of a nation that takes ownership of its future. I look forward to a future where I can say I am Scottish and feel pride, instead of just nothing.

That all sounds disgustingly romantic when I put it like that. Kind of weird considering the first chance I get to move to another country I might just take it, independent or not.

Vote Yes, vote No, Vote however you want, just please, vote for reasons that you’ll be proud of. And then, when this is all over, can we please stop flinging shit at each other?

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