Like many in the yes movement, today is a mixture of sadness and hope. On this day five years ago, I was stood outside my local polling station. My yes rosette proudly displayed, a huge smile on my face. It was a day full of hope.
Prompt at seven in the morning I arrived at the little hall across from Scotmid, the lights from within told me there were people inside. I placed my hand on the old worn handle of the door and pulled it open. The place was dark and dingy, but it was well known and well used, and near the local swing-park. I checked inside the boxes, empty of votes. Well you never know, especially by the way the campaign against Scotland taking its future in its own hands, had been run. The way everything, including the kitchen sink had been thrown at the people. Satisfied that nothing untoward had happened, such as the boxes being stuffed full of votes. I watched them being sealed and then I sat and chatted to the caretaker, least I think it was the caretaker. Anyway, I had a chat, not about the referendum, that wouldn’t be fitting. We chatted about the weather, which was dull and overcast, it wasn’t cold, there was no chill in the air.
Prompt at seven I ventured outside to stand, people having arrived already, huge smiles from those who intended to vote yes. Heads bowed by those who intended to vote no. They just weren’t quite convinced that Scotland could run its own affairs, and no wonder. The bombardment of an out of control media and the absolute disgusting practices of Labour which were to emerge post referendum were enough to scare anyone.
I stood just in front to the park watching my little village come to life, cars arriving, people jumping out, men and women in business suits, others in uniform, painters and decorators, going to the shop, coming over to cast their vote. I held onto a variety of dogs, to let their owners go inside. It is something very rarely witnessed. A thriving village coming to life. The factory, best known for making tea-cakes just along the street, it’s lights shone brightly, as workers strolled along the pavement ready for another day. Parents, the little ones in their arms, as they rung the buzzer to be let into an nearby nursery. Just after eight, children from the two local primary schools, smiles on their faces, a wee shot of the swings before they rushed off to their lessons, no doubt dreaming of a bright future.
We chatted and laughed, me, the only agent there, no one from the no side. I was on duty until eleven, when my stint would be over. My councillor friend dropped by to give me a lift round to the local church, well one of them, we have that many in the village. There was a polling agent for no campaign, therefore it was felt I should go and represent the yes side. I felt a little apprehensive, however I needn’t have concerned myself. Another friend was there, and we stood chatting. The church, with it’s cast iron gates with its inscription marking the Second World War, always looks magnificent, no matter the weather and it did so that day. Situated at the bottom of the road leading to a bright red sandstone beautiful ruined castle with many millionaire houses along the way, I had a feeling those going inside were not voting yes. And I didn’t have to wait long until I was being screamed at. An irate old man, upon seeing my yes Rosette told me I was going to ruin Scotland. I wondered at the time how I could singlehandedly ruin Scotland, but known me, that is a possibility. He marched into the polling station to secure his no vote – well he was hardly going to vote yes; granted, he did return and apologies. And by this time both of us no and yes, were together, having a laugh as we talked about anything but politics.
I must say, looking back, I enjoyed myself as polling agent on the day, a day in history where I can write about the part I played. The smiles, the laughter, the sharing of sugar doughnuts, the conversation with the no polling agent who have voted no in the belief the vow would be delivered. I told her on the day, it was a trap and I was right.
I have often returned to that day and wondered, if only. Sadly, it wasn’t to be. Scotland had voted no, convinced by the lies, the propaganda and sadly not convinced by the positive message from the yes camp. What can you expect when the people have been bombarded with ‘Scotland is a basket case, you can’t do anything for yourselves’? All their lives.
I woke up, ventured downstairs and turned on the television – yes, I had one back then? I was bombarded with the gloating flabby faces of the media, of that big galoot Cameron coming out of number 10 and making it all about English votes for English laws. Scotland had had our say, now the people of England were to get theirs. It was a case of ‘Scotland, we’ve had quite enough out of you’ now it’s England’s turn.
Five years ago, the people of Scotland voted to hand power back to the psychotic elite, five years ago we had power in the palm of our hand, hope in our heart and a vision of a better future. Five years since, we have hope in our hearts, a vision for the future, and very soon we will have power in the palm of our hands. Independence is coming, whether that be as a member state within the European Union, or as an independent country, that is yet to be decided. What won’t happen however, is Scottish unionist politicians telling the people of Scotland what we should do. What will not happen is the same politicians dictating the terms of a referendum, or the question. They held power in the palm of their hands, and they threw that one last chance the people gave them back in our faces.
How dare Scottish unionist politicians decide the question, how dare they tell us we are not getting another referendum, how dare they talk down our country and our people, how dare they insult our children by telling them they cannot read, how dare they rubbish our public services. They are the parties of austerity, they are the parties unwilling to lift a finger to help, if anything they are only too keen to see the most vulnerable suffer. Time for them to shut the hell up, we are not listening to them anymore. They are finished in Scotland. The union is dead! The monarchy is dead!
Scotland it is time to take our place on the world stage and woe betide anyone who gets in our way. Independence is coming, the people will demand it.