Scots, especially women, have long memories for promises and slights; famous for casting up, never forgetting vows or injuries, perceived or real. As men who foolishly laugh when the indignant wife insists that what’s wrong is ‘nothing,’ political leaders would be naive to ignore a growing dissatisfaction comprising disappointment, frustration and a demand for the action, moves, methods and mobilisation we thought we voted for on countless occasions since 2014.Whilst most can understand a reluctance to relaunch the Independence campaign until the Brexit vote which cawed our feet from under us, the mainly moribund approach from our elected leaders since is baffling at best. That lack of enthusiasm, apparent inability to harness and drive forwards a national imagination, to capture optimism, drive, verve and vitality – these are all issues requiring addressed immediately, for our battle to win hearts and minds is a precious one and time is not on our side.
2020 was a desperate year for most of Scotland, and the world. Death, despair and drudge in spades, so likely not a time to pursue a constitutional contest. 2021 should have been different, with vaccines, and slow progress out of lockdown. There can be no excuse for failure to promote Scottish Independence then or with vigour in 2022. Scotland has been presented just a few short weeks ago with one line of revision to a Referendum Bill which first saw the light of day in March 2021. That one line provides only a date which naturally is but provisional, dependent as this Scottish Government is, content and humbled to be reliant on permissions from the Supreme Court and from Westminster to hold that Referendum.
Meantime, in this country which is a net exporter of energy, we see gas and electricity prices, uniquely in Europe, rise 23 times faster than wages; those nurses we applauded two years ago are leaving their profession in droves, criticised for desiring a greater reward than a badge, a clap and a medal. Across Scotland single working adults queue at food banks, clothing banks, welfare fund offices and Citizens Advice Bureaux, sure in the knowledge that their insultingly low wages cannot cover their living costs even when those are pared to the bone.
All the whiles, our wind, wave and water are becoming our new oil. They’re all going to run out of course the nearer we get to a democratic event when we can seek to regain our country’s Independence. They might evaporate or they could be stolen and piped south of Hadrian’s Wall one again. Surely Scots are no longer that glaikit or compliant?
Why have we no national energy company?
Where is our oil fund?
Where is our wind fund?
Why do our schoolchildren not yet have free school meals throughout nursery, primary and secondary school?
When will the Scottish Child Payment be increased to at least £40 per child per week? Scotland can afford this today, were priorities rejigged and the best brains of this land set to promoting the needs of all of us.
Where is the alternative to the Council Tax? Why are our binmen about to strike?
People of Scotland, a land of plenty, are afraid, scared of the cold, of hunger and want. If we remain supine, there is no doubt that some of us will die prematurely and needlessly in an unforgiving winter. But there are times in life when the winter of the soul is more harsh than the seasons of time or life; the time is now for every politician elected on an Independence ticket to do the right thing – to say, thus far and not one solitary step further – to sit every Friday in the Royal High School in Edinburgh, as a Constitutional Convention, and to explain, proclaim to the world that Scotland shall regain her Independence forthwith peacefully and by a democratic majority process. For we contend not for glory, honours or riches, but for freedom, only and alone. Then and only then will Scotland and Scots survive, flourish and prosper.