Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Say Yes to change within yourself


And so the day approaches.

A day when we have that rarest of opportunities to make a decisive mark in active pursuit of the better, fairer, democratic and, above all, more compassionate society.

After all the words, all the debate, one simple question is now before us: do you want the basic right to run your own affairs?

From that proposition, and from an affirmative answer, all else can be addressed, politically, economically, socially and on myriad other levels.

From currency options to fiscal arrangements, pensions to passports, none of this, despite every fear-fuelled warning thrown at us, is beyond our collective capability to negotiate, organise and resolve. The only real obstacle is fear itself.

This great moment is like a small team making it against all the odds to the World Cup Final, with the shining prize right there for the taking, the immense chance, for once, to be heroic winners rather than valiant losers, using our elevation to help build the just society.

This can be a newly-inspired community of people, one that rejects austerity, banishes poverty, secures our NHS and truly cares for others. It can be a community that earnestly cherishes our environment, and allows us to rid our beautiful landscape of those appalling nuclear weapons.

But the change we want cannot just be centred around issues like taxes or oil. It's about self-respect.

Real change has to be about the alteration of our mindset, from one of conformist acceptance to that of assertive intent, the deeper belief that, if we win this historic contest in the face of every form of establishment chicanery, it really is possible to advance in the confident, exciting knowledge that we most assuredly can take meaningful control over our own lives.

What a stimulus that would be, not just for us in this newly-forming collective, but for those we care about beyond this little piece of earth, who will find similar, progressive inspiration in seeing such a resilient people prevail.

The last, desperate round of intimidation and bribery tells us so much about the establishment and its motives. But it's not just that these 'promises' are cynical and illusory.

Independence of any kind cannot be promised, sold or given, it's something we aspire to and realise as our fundamental right.

I don't want Westminster's 'new powers', or to be sold Better Together's baubles or, in the final analysis, to be handed my/our independence. It's not anyone else's to promise, sell or give. It's ours to take by right.

Independence from an abusive partner doesn't depend on the abuser granting the abused release from that relationship. It involves the abused finding their own conscious liberation, determining their own right to realise a non-abusive life.

And just as we rightfully seek emotional independence, so we can strive to escape other dominating forces: the sovereignty of corporate power, the nightmare of neoliberalism, the degradation of our planet, the mind-twisting propaganda of our elite-serving media.

That same assertion of rights comes before us on September 18. If we take it, the outcome must ultimately be for the inclusive benefit of all people. Let there be no hatred or recriminations, whatever happens. Let's hope we carry not just the vote, but the integrity of the vote. And to those now-reflecting Labour friends in particular, just think what a rejuvenated force you could be with your new independence.

It's also about the process: the getting there, the ballot-box moment, and the ongoing struggle for real change. All of that involves a sense of independent mindfulness, the act of truly being the change you want to see. Again, none of that has been given, granted or permitted. It's been fought for, crafted and made possible by an evolvingly energised people.

It's a community of concern, inhabited by you-and-me folks, on the streets, chapping doors, talking to our neighbours, having this wonderful, civilised 'rammy', the desire for a true participatory democracy driven by our own passion and positivity.

It's the assurance of being part of an outward, inclusive and open-hearted political-cultural community, taking sustenance from the joyful, independent creativity of those like National CollectiveBella Caledonia and Common Weal.

It's about our down-among-the-people writers, musicians, actors and poets, like Liz Lochhead, James Kelman, Irvine Welsh and Alasdair Gray, Peter Mullan, Ricky Ross, Loki, Eddi Reader and many more.

It's having other great, strong women for people and independence, like Elaine C Smith and Lesley Riddoch - in the spirit of Margo - 'sticking up for us' like our 'big sisters'.

It's about the likes of Kevin Bridges, Greg Hemphill, Limmy and Frankie Boyle keeping it all irreverently humoured and pressing us tae see ourselves.

That spirit of honest scrutiny, that enlightened voice, hasn't the slightest taint of nationalism, dark or cringing. As Billy Bragg, epitomising our enduring comradeship and solidarity, so brilliantly articulates, it's a mature, self-examining and giving civic identity.

It's about radicalising all of our minds. It's about using our politics for generous ends. It's about ending the despair of foodbanks rather than succumbing to the blackmail of corporate banks. It's an organic movement that's intent on taking that which already belongs to us from those who have wilfully denied it. It's about pointing our sails and showing the way.

Beyond all the debating points, this is an intellectual, moral and humanitarian case for independence that's never been remotely grasped by a sterile No campaign. In disseminating so many fear-laden, negative messages, it has no real comprehension of why, deep-down, people reject Westminster's patronising second-hand 'powers' for actual powers.

The real difference lies with a Yes movement that's not fighting against something but aspiring to create something of our own making, something qualitative, better and new, the most empowering act of hope overcoming fear.

As the inspiring character speech from David Hayman expresses it:
"So yes, welcome to my great wee Scotland, wae its thistles and ragged edges and uncertainties - we don't even know what the weather's gonnae be like in hauf-an-hoor, let alone what our nation will be like in a decade. But at least it will be oors, shaped by us with our values and our humanity. And we're no mad. We're just tryin' tae do the best we can, cause we've given ourselves a chance, a once in a lifetime chance, an empire of the hearth and the heart. And the world's no gonnae fall apart. We're just takin' responsibility for who we were, who we are and who we can be."
And, in the end, that's what it comes down to: a small act of beautiful, responsible and confident faith in your own good, inner self, one that can have great, caring and lasting effect for others.

With your passionate hearts and with your independent minds, say Yes.


Anonymous said...

Excellent post. Thank you.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Good luck again. I suppose you may have seen this, it made me chuckle.

(Who is the smarmiest smuggest git ever? Apart from Tony Blair?)