Wednesday, 3 September 2014
Me, Myself and I
When I first had the notion of documenting a 100 reasons for voting YES over the final 100 days prior to the independence referendum, I thought it would be a way of articulating my own personal reasons as to why I had decided to support independence. As I have mentioned previously, I am basically rubbish at defining my reasoning in a succinct coherent manner on the spot, and end up stumbling, getting tongue tied and blushing in a very unbecoming fashion, whilst coming across as really defensive.
As the days started rolling by, I found that there were more reasons to vote YES, over and above my own personal circumstances/beliefs/criteria for the better future. I mean, I have no connection to ship building for instance, but found out so much about that industry and the impact this referendum may have. There was a moment of awakening that this referendum was bigger than me, my family and our life - it was going to affect everybody, now and in the future. Reading the Common Weal cemented this realisation with its view that the very fabric of our current political structure was ultimately built on a "Me-First" ethos. What does that mean, Me-First? From the 1st chapter of The Common Weal :
"Home, work, security, community, recreation, public service and respect; a politics which cares about us would be built on these foundations. Profiteering, competition, elitism, greed, anger, blame and mistrust are not words that represent our hopes. So why are they the foundations of the politics that we have?
Me-First politics... argue that through conflict we sort out the 'winners' and 'losers' and that this is good for all of us has no credibility left; be it tax-dodging billionaires, profiteering energy companies or criminal banks, it was a blank cheque for cheats an bullies.
The Me-First politics have set us all against each other. Worker, small business owner, pensioner, student, mother, immigrant, the disabled, the poor - whomever we are meant to blame all our problems on someone else who is like us but a bit different. This is no future for Scotland. We don't need blame, resentment, anger. We need change...A different kind of politics, a politics that puts All Of Us First...and begins from what we say we want for our lives, not from what an elite tells us we are allowed or not allowed.
In Scotland we have more than enough vision and skill to change our nation. We have all the resources we need to make that change. We have a clear explanation of how it can be done. And we have a large democratic demand for change.
[We are] a society with the tools, the wealth, the knowledge and the will to become a nation that puts all of its people first. It is our generation which will pick up those tools, invest that wealth, use that knowledge and harness that will. Or it is our generation which will squander it.
Whatever happens this is our choice."
This made so much sense and stirred up the growing passion in me for politics and the indyref, and the potential for a better future.
With passion comes emotion, and with emotions running high, my posts of late have been a bit more of a 'ranty' nature; losing sight of the reason that I started this series in the first place. Less why 'I am voting YES', more 'Why the hell are you voting NO?'. My passion and desire to see this referendum through to an independent win is almost fever pitch. I can't wait for the 20th September so I can get some quality shut eye and a much needed break from social media!
I appreciate that everyone has their own Me, Myself and I agenda, where by some may understand that this is a once-in-my-lifetime-opportunity, while at the same time rationalising that NOW is their lifetime and that is more important than the future. Or believing that because they are not working class, they may end up worse off with taxation/mortgage increase etc, therefore not keen to rock that financial boat. Or genuinely not give a toss and think, I'm not getting anything out of it, so what does it matter? Or not trusting any of the political parties so boycotting the vote. Or just plain sick to the back teeth of seeing and hearing little but indyref, because their own minds are already made up with a decision made.
From now and over the coming fortnight, I will complete this 100 days with reasons that are pertinent to me. They may or may not reflect your view, and that's cool either way. They are MY reasons. I respect that every other person holds their own opinion on the indyref, whether it is an informed decision, an uninformed decision, an un-interested and couldnay care less and not voting decision, because this is YOUR decision.
All I need to know, is that on 18th September, by the time I put my cross in the YES box, I have done everything I can to ensure that I fully understand why I am choosing this option, whilst along the way, have shared my thoughts, opinions and findings with people who may have found them useful in assisting their own decision making.
So for today, my reason for voting Yes, is not just for me in the here and now, its for me and all of us, together now and in the future too.