Wednesday, 17 September 2014
David v Goliath
Recently I’ve been commenting on Facebook saying the referendum battle looks more like a David and Goliath situation. The invasion of our masters from London, the dishonest ‘promises’ which will fade into the long grass if a No vote, watching the sickening spectacle of the three Westminster leaders agreeing with each other’s words - I could go on and on.
Unfortunately there has been some incidents locally which cause me to feel ashamed of the odd independence supporter. One happened to me last week in Dundee. I was walking through the city centre with a friend, who is a businessman. He employs people. He was undecided and we’d been talking about that while walking along the Murraygate.
When we were passing a small group of Yes campaigners one youth leapt out of the group straight into our path. He roared in our faces, “Ye’ve goat tae vote Yes, Yes, Yes.” Now I’m not someone who gets easily offended but I don’t like anyone yelling at me two inches from my nose. My friend attempted a conversation. “Why should I vote Yes?” he asked. “‘Cause them in London are cutting oor benefits,” was the reply. The conversation continued and I discovered this young man was 27 years of age, left school at 17 “because I didnae like it” and has never had a job. When asked what kind of job he fancied the reply was, “Ah’m not wantin’ a job. Ah manage fine oan ma benefits and helpin’ ma pal oot wi’ his wee cash jobs now and again”.
When we finally managed to move on, my friend turned to me and said, “It’s a definite No from me now.” Embarrassed, I couldn’t think of an appropriate reply.
I want a fairer country - one in which people are paid a wage equal to the level of their skills and achievements. A country which acknowledges those who take massive risks creating jobs and doesn’t pillory them for making profits. Also, I want to see a country which is fair when spending our taxes on helping those in need. Some would describe the young man we met as ‘vulnerable’ but he certainly was not. He wore quality clothing (I noticed his trainers which cost upwards of £100) and he knew the lifestyle he wanted - one courtesy of the taxpayer.
In an independent Scotland I would hope for a more comprehensive system which stops young people wasting their lives in this way. One suggestion is the return of vocational schools and colleges. All of us have the potential to be good at something and if young people are given the opportunity to learn a trade at a younger age (rather than the one-size-fits-all academic system we have at present), then this young man may have had a different outlook on life. He may have been in work rather than standing on a street on a Thursday afternoon accosting passersby with his silly ‘speech’.
What will tomorrow bring? I’ve become pessimistic in the past few days and can’t quite put my finger on the reason. Maybe its because not one newspaper supports the independence cause and that disappoints me. Maybe it’s the bribery and corruption behind closed doors that sickens me.
Alex Salmond has played his part admirably, along with Patrick Harvie and Denis Canavan to name a few. It’s reported in the press that many people dislike Alex Salmond and that’s why they’re voting No. A rather pathetic reason really because surely Alex Salmond deserves respect for his political skill in handling the aggression of the Westminster army if not his policies.
Often this week I’ve been asked about the result. The polls suggest neck and neck but I’ll stick my neck out and suggest it will be 48-52 against. That is a gut feeling and nothing else. Let’s hope I’m wrong because this is the first and last time I will have a vote on the future of my own country. If it does happen to be a Yes vote, we need to grow up quickly and shake off the entitlement attitude some possess. The old adage ‘a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work’ would be a good motto for starters.
A few days ago I read an article in which the author stated ‘it was brave to stick together’. I disagreed. Bravery is taking responsibility for your own actions and not depending upon others to make your decisions for you.
There is no doubt in my mind that one day Scotland will return to being an independent nation again. It may not be tomorrow and I won’t be around to see it, but it will happen. Let’s think positive.