A guest post by Samuel Miller
Dead water is the nautical term for a phenomenon which can occur when a layer of fresh or brackish water rests on top of denser salt water, without the two layers mixing. A ship powered by direct thrust under the waterline (such as a propeller), traveling in such conditions may be hard to maneuver or can even slow down almost to a standstill. Much of the energy from the ship’s propeller only results in waves and turbulence between the two layers of water, leaving a ship capable of traveling at perhaps as little as 20% of its normal speed. (Source Wiki)
Scary, isn’t it? The waiting.
It can certainly play bloody hell on the nerves with folk who are just getting their groove on again with politics after a few decades, or even for the first time ever. So much happening to us in the form of Brexit, austerity ideology, unashamedly reneged pledges from indyref 1, the collapse of political institutions, the rise of intolerance, isolationism and such. Worse. It can appear that no one is listening to our concerns, or cries for action, fairness or explanation. Most reasonable sane people just want stuff to happen now (if not sooner) and our government should get it fixed and WHY THE HELL ISN’T IT? Didn’t we just green light another majority? What are they waiting on? Somebody say sumthin’!
Also seems there are plenty of people telling us what to think with their ‘hot take’ du jour t’boot. So many talking ‘at’ us and not enough talking ‘to’ us. So, yes. Plenty to be concerned about if truth be told. It’s also a perfectly understandable and perfectly human reaction to all of the above.
Fear, uncertainty, doubts and confusion creep in about friends, political allies, their motivations and commitments to this that or the next thing. People who put a great deal of their personal agendas and time aside to work together with others and tackle a greater issue, begin to remember their differences of opinion on whatever and question why they should have placed faith or trust in another to begin with. Frustrations and differences buried in time of immediate action surfacing because, well mainly because there’s seemingly no forward motion, no momentum or impetus to direct those energies. Focus on direction and purpose drifts, or is made to drift. Sound familiar? A time of ‘Dead Water’, wasted energy, deflected effort, enforced inactivity.
‘Course it doesn’t help when some twisted bastirts from the true source of the problem feed those doubts on a daily basis. When you are bombarded 24/7 and 365 days a year with said FEAR, UNCERTAINTY and DOUBT. It doesn’t help when they actively sow doubts between friends, undermine trust (in just about everything), foment frustration, seemingly deny you redress and a platform to clear the air or inform accurately and in context. It doesn’t help when our public guardians of the fourth estate are apparently guardians of THE state and orthodoxy. Makes it hard for those they don’t approve of to get that fair hearing don’t you think? Yes, they’ve been making good use of this period of enforced inactivity, because they know it won’t last forever and you better believe they are more than acutely aware it does have an end.
Regardless, at such a time as this it’s easy to forget why we all came together. Why we’re here at this place and at this point in time and why we put all that other stuff to one side to work together.
As I recall, it’s the belief that the peoples of Scotland are best placed to make decisions affecting the peoples of Scotland (And no. The plural isn’t accidental). Self determination. You don’t need to come from any particular part of the political or societal spectrum. You just need to believe in that simple principle. All parties and no parties. All levels of society. All creeds. All points of origin. All of us together. Natural born and new Scot. It’s the very thing that will provide you with a representative government willing to govern for all and not simply a demographic. It’s kinda what makes you a population and will make you a country.
Personally, I’ve never worried over whether you voted SNP, Green, SSP, Conservative, Labour, Libdem, independent or didn’t vote at all in the past. It never mattered to me where you were born, how much you earn, (or don’t), what colour your skin is or whether you wear Buchanan plaid troosers with a Paisley pattern shirt combo on dance night at the local Pally (though…. DANG!).
YOU are a Scottish citizen and you need only remember what makes you, and what made you, a YES voter. So cutting through all the stuff people are throwing at us from every direction, about now I’d say we’re beyond the party politics stage. That patch of dead water we’ve found ourselves in won’t last forever. It does have an end and it’s very much in sight. Pointless arguments, twatter spats, snark and other hi jinks need to be put in their proper place and perspective. They mean nothing, NOTHING, compared to the societal and economic hardships we can help avert if we all pull in the same direction. We can do it. We’ve done it before and gave those and such as those a challenge they never thought they’d face from ‘ordinary’ Jock and Jeannie public.
The establishment had and still have so many advantages on their side and yet we let them know where the true heart of a nation lies. We let them know what makes a country, a country and it’s not borders or landmass. Its not the trappings of state. It’s not military might or pomp. It’s not patronage or how much of the corporate world and media you can call on when you’re in a bit of a bind either.
It’s the people.
Only the people have the power and the right to decide their own future and form of governance. No single party can deliver that. No party EVER could. The ONLY thing a party of government could ever do is be willing to offer you the choice and facilitate YOUR decision.
We are, I believe, going to be given that choice again in the not too distant future and it’s worth remembering that a referendum doesn’t belong to any party. It belongs to you and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. So right now, if you don’t do politics, or don’t normally support the SNP, then fine. I think we can all get behind why most of us wouldn’t vote for one party or another in ‘normal’ circumstances. It’s a deeply personal choice. What’s happening to the politics and society of the UK right now though, aren’t normal circumstances. What is happening to Scotland, because of that political and parliamentary union we’re currently enjoying, is nowhere near normal, or right, or just. This is no longer about voting for the SNP or any other party, it is about supporting the Scottish Government in their efforts to avert economic and constitutional calamity for the population of Scotland. That would be all of us mainly.
If it helps folk who normally place their support and their trust elsewhere, don’t look at them as a political party, but as a means to an end. You do not need to be an SNP member or supporter to recognise that right now, at this particular period in time, they are the best chance, the ONLY chance the people of Scotland have of being given a constitutional choice. Safe to say we won’t be seeing an orderly queue forming to offer Scotland’s electorate any choice from the other mainstream parties. You’d think though, since their politicking dumped this epic galactostooshie in our laps, they’d at least say sorry. (shrugs)
You know, it’s often said that running your own country is for grown ups. I fully agree. I think it’s time for all of us to grow up now. If we want a system of government where our voice will be heard, with a written and codified constitution, a progressive, inclusive and outward reaching internationalist aspect, and an accountable legislature, then it’s only going to happen one way.
ALL of us together.
The SNP are the key to a locked door. All folk need to agree upon is turning that key and stepping through the door. What folk do on the other side is the grown up bit.