It’s been hard trying to explain that what’s going on in Scotland is a bigger story than many progressives in this country can imagine.
And that they should rejoice at the last-minute surge of the YES side, because they are fighting for our kind of values, and we can use some of the lessons of their campaign to defeat the Harper regime in the next election.
Because as soon as I mention the word “referendum” some people start muttering incoherently, and when I mention the word YES they think Quebec separatists. And either start screaming, or moaning, or mumbling stuff like:
No. No. Not again. Not the NEVERENDUM !#@!!!!
Which is a pity, because even though its happening in a small country it really is a huge story.
It has nothing to do with Quebec.
And it is as James Laxer says, nothing less than the world’s first vote against the growing threat of political and economic inequality.
When the Scots vote in their historic independence referendum next Thursday, Canadians, especially the Québécois, will be watching closely. Having held two sovereignty referenda, the Québécois may feel that they are the masters in such enterprises and that the Scots are their apprentices.
In fact, the Scots are not replicating the earlier exercises in Quebec. Dressed in national garb, the people of Scotland are voting in the world’s first referendum on economic and political inequality.
It is a peaceful revolt against the brutish policies of the neo-liberal agenda, the cruelty of David Cameron’s callous Con regime, and the contempt of the wealthy establishment in London.
Effectively, London is now a City State, whose wealthier residents often have very little to do with the rest of Britain. They work in the City, educate their children in London and the Home Counties, and play in the south of England or abroad. When I spent a month there in the spring, Londoners to whom I spoke wrote off the Scottish referendum with a yawn.
“Most of my friends don’t give a toss,” one man who works in the City told me. The Scots ought to consider themselves fortunate to be linked to the great economic engine of London, according to many who dwell in the metropolis.
The big business barons who once dismissed the YES side are now in full panic mode. Hauling out our own Mark Carney to warn of economic disaster.
Sending in the three party leaders and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown to blitz Scotland …
Trying to get the Queen to intervene and failing.
And in another desperate move trying to hoist the Scottish flag over 10 Downing Street with disastrous results..For as I said on Twitter, like the people the flag resisted.
And as I’ve tried to explain after seeing it with my own eyes in Scotland this summer, the best thing of all is that it really is a triumph of hope over fear.
If Scotland becomes independent, it will be despite the efforts of almost the entire UK establishment. It will be because social media has defeated the corporate media. It will be a victory for citizens over the Westminster machine, for shoes over helicopters. It will show that a sufficiently inspiring idea can cut through bribes and blackmail, through threats and fear-mongering. That hope, marginalised at first, can spread across a nation, defying all attempts to suppress it.
And that hope, along with their organizational genius and their ability to motivate the young, is the best gift they can give us. For Stephen Harper and his ghastly Con regime will use fear against us to try to intimidate and divide us. We too will have to be strong and full of hope to defeat him.
And the best way we can do that is to create a movement and turn the next election into a referendum on the future of Canada…
But in the meantime the YES side in Scotland is fighting for all of us.
Marching towards their date with destiny which is now only a few days away.
They are reaching for a dream which is also our dream.
And all progressives should cheer them on…