The referendum could give us a chance to ask some really important questions. Alternatively, we could spend most of it answering some really stupid ones. There is a deliberate tactic amongst Better Together trolls of repeating these inane “questions” in a bid to make us chase our tails. Sadly, it seems to have rubbed off on some ordinary punters as well. So for their benefit, here are the answers.
Q. Can you please explain how x will work in an independent Scotland?
A. Probably not.
I have no idea how stamps are made, I’m clueless as to how they get those big ships into those wee bottles, I’m not even that sure where babies come from (and I need never know).
The notion seems to be that if we don’t all know how everything works, we’re clearly not fit to govern ourselves. At one recent meeting when a Better Together plant was failing to disrupt proceedings by talking shit, she resorted to just shouting “PASSPORTS” really loudly at those on the platform. There‘s a passport office beside the bus garage in town, I suspect we could use that. Failing that, I suspect we can put our pictures on bits of paper somewhere else.
The sole intention of this question is to waste our time by making us describe complex processes in laborious detail. If Better Together want answers to how stuff works, direct them to Google.
Q. But what if I don’t like Alex Salmond?
A. Don’t vote for him.
We’re not mad keen on Big Eck either to be honest. We’ll give him credit as a trolling fleg/photobomber but we’d far rather not vote for him if we can help it. So we generally don’t. Not that hard. Nothing to do with independence though really is it? Having the freedom to actually elect who governs you, as opposed to watching England do it for you, would be nice. Assuming one person will automatically be elected kind of defeats the purpose of being a democracy. Then again, democracy isn’t something the unionists are very familiar with.
Q. Can you GUARANTEE me x will happen?
A. No we can’t.
Not to sound like a complete arsehole but as a former philosophy student/complete arsehole, I know there’s no guarantee the sun will rise tomorrow. There’s the old tale of the Christmas turkey who wakes up 364 days of the year and gets fed. One day, the farmer comes in an chops its head off. If we don’t want to end up running around like headless chickens/turkeys, we need to be pretty clear how politics works. You get exactly what you fight for – no more, no less. I was asked to guarantee that independence would definitely mean an evidence-based drugs policy in an online discussion the other night. I’m an administrator in an office – my power to influence such things is pretty limited. Nonetheless, having failed to provide a blood promise that I personally could deliver this assurance, the entire concept of independence was dismissed out of hand.
Sadly, it’s not just Better Together who love this question. I saw a Yes supporter asking Elaine C Smith to guarantee an 80% Yes Vote. Asking Mary Doll to give you stuff and a belief in independence are not the same thing.
Q. So why should we choose UNCERTAINTY over what we’ve got?
A. Because it’s almost certainly rubbish.
We have the certainty of knowing we’ll rarely get governments we voted for under the current system, the certainty that whichever party runs Westminster they’ll continue with the austerity agenda, the certainty that none of the rights we used to have are likely to exist for much longer.
You can keep your certainty. Independence isn’t some radical new path, it’s a continuation of what we‘ve already started doing. It’s not things staying the same vs. something else. Things will change whether we’re in Britain or not. The fact those who love Britain so much always think everything will continue to be as it is/once was, only shows they aren’t paying attention.
Q. You said things change… so what if we change our minds?
A. Then we change our minds.
We’ve had no fewer than 34 new countries in the world since 1990. None of these newly independent states are clamouring to return to unions with their colonial masters/now friendly neighbours. That said, there is again a false concept of permanence here which doesn‘t actually exist in the real world. We could hook up with Iceland or South Sudan if we want, have a Glasgow assembly or an independent republic of South-West Maryhill. We could be in Europe, out of Europe or shaking all about Europe. Chances are though, we won’t be desperate to throw away our independence by heading back to Austerity Britain.
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