I’ve reached that stage in life which fluctuates between hope, rage and fear several times a day. It’s not purely down to women’s issues and age so given my fixation with politics and an overwhelming belief that Scotland can flourish only with self-determination, there’s cause for optimism when I see  Independence for Scotland as the daily talk of the steamie, followed by temper with the divisions in our movement and I’m scared we blow it again. But I think we might have some answers.

Firstly, a goodly number of those with most to gain from Independence don’t vote because they aren’t registered so to do, in part from the legacy of pursuit of unpaid poll tax and council tax but also because many in Scotland are guilty of double dunting – let’s not kid ourselves. Every local authority of this land has multiple examples of couples doubling up, subletting tenancies and claiming UC for individual households without declaring cohabitation. That’s in large part due to a punitive unfair system of welfare, failure to redistribute wealth and a lack of political will to address the poverty trap. An amnesty enabling honest electoral registration would pay dividends, as would educating those impaled upon this dilemma that independence with enhanced employment and education opportunities, universal basic income, peace loving and promoting bairns over bombs  is a society worth registering and voting for.

Secondly, there is far too much emphasis on personality as opposed to principled politics; we in the Independence movement have to concentrate on the promotion of our country, her people, her history, potential and worldwide popularity. Less of the chat about wargames between Salmond and Sturgeon and more of what Scotland and Scots have done and will do when our State  has economic autonomy and the opportunities that brings. In other words, a united drive towards Independence as that is what our country and people demand, deserve, expect and will benefit from.

Thirdly, and all politicians make this mistake, the women’s vote is not valued as it should be. It tends to be ridiculed with party political broadcasts involving cups of tea, baby boxes and paternalistic advice from men, platitudes delivered by middle class women who pretend to know best. Independenistas need to speak with, listen to and represent the women’s vote – it comprises the majority; it’s women who suffer the most from austerity, Tory cuts, food prices increasing, inflation, stagflation, gas and electricity prices soaring.  And women also comprise some of the brightest, sparkiest, most able of our entrepreneurs, professionals, students, the future of our country. The teachers, midwives and nurses –  predominantly women. Politicians who cannot define, support, protect and encourage those women will not secure their confidence or futures. There’s a lesson there and today that includes the ability to define and safeguard all rights of all women. Once that hurdle is cleared, Independence is all but guaranteed. Let us ensure a united movement attuned, reactive and successful.

When women move, Scotland moves. When Scotland’s women speak, we will be heard.