Why saying No Thanks is the progressive option

Why saying No Thanks is the progressive option.

This is a golden time for democracy in Scotland. The media, the airwaves are full of political debate but more than that, the whole nation is debating what we should do next. Who wouldn’t want that new democratic passion to be spread wider than Scotland’s borders?

That’s a real question. It appears that many progressive people will be satisfied by a vote that would result in our turning our backs on much that is wrong in the UK and being thus unable to help put it right. How much more progressive to grasp the momentum and press for change in the whole of the UK.

It is good that we debate whether we are a caring society. It is good that there are people in Scotland interested in addressing the plight of the poor. However, progressive people don’t just exist on one side of this argument and those in need don’t just exist on one side of the border. There is a pressing case for staying together as a country and using the energies of this referendum debate to fuel new political movements to address all that is wrong in society. I care as much about the poor in Carlisle as I care about the poor in Carluke. I care as much about the NHS in Preston as I do about the NHS in Perth. I care as much about job creation in Sunderland as much as I care about job creation in Stirling. I want all to prosper and want my MP to fight not only for my interests but for the common good of all in the UK, forming alliances with other progressive politicians to bring about a fairer, better and more economically stable society.

But just because I’m going to vote No, that doesn’t mean I don’t want change. I long for change – real change for the whole of the UK and the only way to still be able to influence the change I hope for is to say No Thanks to separation.

I want a more federal UK. Lots of people do. The only way to be sure it will never ever happen is to say Yes to separation from the rest of the UK.

It isn’t simply more devolution that is needed for Scotland – we need something much more radical. If devolution has been good for Scotland then it will be good for England too. A federal system within a strong, united economy would bring not only the best for me but also the best for those most in need. Separation will not bring about devo-max – it is a rejection of that. Separation would bring about austerity-plus, damaging economic recovery not only in Scotland but throughout the other parts of the UK. And when austerity is the dominant theme of the economic cycle it seems to me that those who are poor and vulnerable tend to come out of things worse that those at the top of the pile, no matter who is in government.

I want a renewed democracy that is UK-wide. I want a new commitment to the vulnerable that is UK-wide. I want progressive people to be running a progressive economy that is UK-wide. And the greatest risk to what I hope for comes from those who believe it can never happen. As someone who was involved close to the beginning of the recent campaign to allow gay couples to get married, I know that the greatest trouble comes not from opponents but from those who say, “I’m on your side but it will never happen”. Real change in society is desirable and possible. The energy of the referendum campaign shows, like the energy surrounding the gay marriage campaigns, just how passionate people can become over things that they care about.

As a priest, I care about people and I care about society. For me, I can’t see those who are vulnerable anywhere in Scotland doing well in a society that has such an unstable economic beginning as that proposed by the Yes campaign who still can’t answer even the most basic questions about currency and long term debt.

Those who are arguing for a Yes vote sometimes speak as though it is the only option for political progressives. I want change in the UK and the changes I want can only be achieved by saying Thanks, but No Thanks – my ambition for reform is far greater than what is currently proposed.

Who wouldn’t want real progressive change in society to be for everyone in the UK? Who would want to turn their back on being able to bring positive influence to bear for the many and not just the Caledonian few.

For all these reasons – it is No Thanks from me.

Comments

  1. Spot on, Kelvin. Well said.

  2. Clifford piper says

    The Referendum Debate is a YES NO option and whilst I fully agree with your aspirations I totally disagree with you as to how we acheive them. I beleive that the best way to sort this country and make it a better place for everyone is for the people of Scotland to vote YES for independence. That dosent mean we turn our backs on the rUK rather it means we can lead by example, show that there is a better fairer way. Its a YES please for me.

  3. Joan H Craig says

    It’s a hard call. I’m voting YES. All our politicians will be nearer to get at. It also gives the work of the likes of commonweal, and other think tanks the opportunity to be put into practice. I want to support the many thoughtful and energetic young people, who are engaged in matters of social justice and political process, to put their vision into practice.

    When new pillar boxes appeared bearing EIIR, there was much scraping of the extra 1. Scraping cast iron pillar boxes was but a symbolic gesture, but at least now all pillar boxes have only ER inscribed on them.
    Here’s to a more just and creative future

    • My MSP and MP share an office 5 minutes from where I live. I don’t find either of then difficult to get hold off even if they are in far off Edinburgh or London.

  4. The NHS in Perth is already not the same NHS as that in Preston. I, for one, am quite glad that, should I need blood plasma, it would not to have to be bought back from a foreign private equity firm.

    It’s all very well wanting the best for everyone on the island but the evidence is that Westminster does not reciprocate (“desolate wasteland”), is not the way to achieve it (ignorance in parliamentary debate and increasing bias toward the already-rich) and is getting worse by the quarter (fracking); further, significant political change proceeds slower when it takes the form of a UK-wide choice (proportional representation).

    It’s a game of pin the appropriate government form on the scale and position of the entity. It’s also a chance to vote now for an opportunity. It is not the case that England will be left out, but rather, the nature of crossing the border changes from an issue of sovereignty to one of trade – which seems to me an improvement.

  5. Couln’t agree more, Kelvin.

  6. Dharma Nicodemus Cuthbert says

    I have been vacillating between, obviously, YES/NO. I lived in London for 30 years, returning to Inverness initially, in 2009, I have moved to Dingwall, as I was doing an access course in theology. The one thing that gets me is that everyone is convinced by the “free” education. However in England I did pay a bit, and I could enrol on as many courses as I wanted to. This is just one of the confusing aspects of the different ways the two countries do something. Adult Education is a very important part of people’s lives.
    God’s blessings to everyone

  7. Rosemary Hannah says

    Totally right, Kelvin, totally right.

  8. Nothing’s going to change for people in England or Scotland if we just sit on our hands and wait for milliband to save us.
    Our UK is in a terrible state, poverty and hatred are on the rise, and we have a chance to cause the biggest disruption to the British State since the empire disintegrated in the twentieth century.
    And the people you are aligning yourself with on this one Kevin? The tories, the orange lodge, the plutocrats, the BNP, the UKIP, the so-called “Scottish” Labour Party, John Barrowman…
    Are you sure you’re on the right side here?

    • Markus Duenzkofer says

      So, are you saying Kelvin should rather align himself with Brian Souter and Rupert Murdoch? Are you sure you are on the right side?
      It really is not on to generalise yes and no voters. Yes, there are porpgressives who will vote yes. But there are progressives who will vote no, just like Kelvin and I. And I for one believe we are on the right side.

  9. Scotland’s twin problems of alcoholism and class-based language politics are enabled by a national low self-esteem caused in turn by the very paternalist colonial mindset (and accompanying material culture) which this blog post does nothing to challenge and everything to promote. Colonialism is structural sin and should be repented of, not encouraged. Ironically, one of the roots of the English conflation of England/Britain is the successful Welsh propaganda which served to establish the royal House of Tudor and another the Union of Crowns. So I am asked by my English cousins whether Scotland will join the Commonwealth, forgetting the historical fact that the UK monarchy is firstly Scottish. Unionist parties have ever shown their twisted crummochs North of the border around election time to demonstrate their commitment to the status quo, supported by Scottish votes, then it’s British (English) big business as usual when they’re elected. We want Trident out, we want our children proud of all three official languages of this nation and we want them to know why we resisted being compared to another English county by forces of reaction in need of consciencization. Saor Alba a nis! I’m voting AYE.

  10. I agree with Cliff Piper. This is a good post, but I believe it lacks the attainable vision I have voted for. And you don’t mention Trident, and the subs that sail past my window and against which I have campaigned for over 30 years.

    • OK. I don’t think that Trident would be any different morally if it were in Portsmouth than in the Clyde. Is that any help?

      • But all the signs are that the good people of Portsmouth and Devonport don’t want the subs in their backyards ‘cos they’re too dangerous. There’s a fighting chance (sorry!) that we’d get rid of the things altogether. I have to hope that, and that’s what my vote is in hope of.

  11. Adrian Cruden says

    Kelvin your aspirations are admirable = but precisely who is it that you think is going to take care of the NHS in Preston? Labour hobbled the English NHS with literally billions of pounds of PFI debt, while the Tories and Lib Dems are busy selling it off. I’d hope people will vote Green and more are doing so, but how can you ask Scots, who clearly reject this neoliberal rightwing consensus that is gripping English politics (which arithmetically dominate the UK)?

  12. Adrian Cruden says

    to continue to endure something they don’t want? How is that democratic? And how many decades will it take to create this federal system you want? It’s not on the table.

  13. Kelvin you’re deploying your considerable charisma and well-earned respect to presume to preach on politics, specifically to challenge the long-held aspirations for self-determination of a people in whose country your ethnicity and accent accord you an elite status. And you’re coming across as naive and uninformed. Some discernment may be in order and the humility to take the time to get better informed. Read http://radicalindependence.org/ and http://www.womenforindependence.org/ and http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/ and think again. Non Angeli sed Angli. Are you really on the side of the Angels?

    • Ah, Scottishness is an ethnicity. And I don’t possess it. Is that what the referendum and its associated questions is actually about?

      • Robin says

        No it isn’t, and well you know it! Politically, Scottishness is a civic concept, not an ethnic one. Anyone who wants to live here is a Scot. That’s why you have a vote in the Referendum.

  14. i have lived,studied and worked in Scotland (became a born again Christian)
    so admire many things about Scotland (apart from deep fried mars Bar).
    As an Englishman i think I should have some say in the matter as should the Welsh,
    and Northern Irish.I agree with what you are saying about the forthcoming vote.
    I remember my coach trip to Stirling from London twenty years ago and the coach driver Shuggie, saying:”I hope you all have your passports!”which did nae fool me.I don’t think everything has been fully thought through and emotions are taking over the proud Scots.Anyway God bless Scotland whatever happens.

    • Dharma Nicodemus Cuthbert says

      The joking remark about passports reminded me that I did have to show my passport as I was flying, from London to Inverness. I can only pray that all goes well on the 18th. I have been back in Scotland for about 5 years. The one thing that really annoys me is the attitude of many, who work for the NHS. The comments are mainly put across as if I am an ignorant cretin, I was left untreated whilst I was having a silent M. I. When I collapsed then but only then did I get treatment which should have been started immediately. There are many other’s, but I am not going to bore people to death.
      . May the Lord! God bless you and keep in his love. Amen

  15. Derek says

    At the moment the SNP has a big advantage in the Scottish Parliament because it can consider social and economic problems for Scotland and propose solutions to them, whether you think they are good or bad solutions is another matter. Labour and Lib Dems can consider problems and propose solutions only if they fit with their UK party’s agenda. This is a big limiting factor ends up with poorly designed and unfocused policy in comparison, and under resourced, low-morale and sidelined Scottish parties. Also Labour and Lib Dems have their Westminster bosses doing and saying things that massively put off their Scottish grass roots members (tuition fees, bedroom tax abstention, trident) – SNP doesn’t have this problem. The rise in the SNP vote in 07, 11 and high popularity and job rating maybe comes simply from the simplicity of their focus.

    Maybe Scottish folk aren’t drawn to independence so much because they want SNP/Salmond but because they want better Scottish parties and processes. Labour and Lib Dems have lost so many members and votes in the last 10 years, and it’s clear from evidence of Johann Lamont, Wendy Alexander, Nicol Stephen, Willie Rennie, how no difficult it is to discuss Scottish issues filtered through Westminster HQs. Devo Max won’t solve this. It is not a question of power, it is a question of procedure and representation. The Scots might get a lot of new problems after a yes vote but they might also get back independence for their parties and a reinvigorated parliament instead of a one party state. It is possible that more Lab and Lib Dem sympathisers will vote Yes on Thursday than voted Lab or LD in2011. That suggests that people think the current Scottish Parliament system is stifling good politics.

    In the absence of any other alternative options in the ballot, and any realistic prospect of reform after a no (which no Better Together parties have shown interest in until this week’s hurried planning) we should maybe understand if people vote yes in the hope of a better democracy in the longer term, but also aware of the risk of shorter term difficulties.

    I hope if it is a no that some people who’ve made these arguments will commit themselves to involvement in reform campaigning. I have a feeling that Lib, Lab and Con will quickly move on to planning how to capture the voters of Middle England in May 2016.

    • Well, I’d start with Lords reform and a federal solution to the West Lothian question. But then I’ve stood for parliament on such a ticket so can hardly be said not to have been doing my bit.

      • Derek says

        Then I’d just add that it is a shame the parties haven’t proposed the reforms you’ve previously supported in this referendum debate. There is no other proposed route to discussion or reform, no enthusiasm for it in any of the main WM parties. There’s a relatively small core of loyal Nats, not enough to win it. If it is a yes it will be fed-up past LDs and Labour folk who will swing it – voting yes in the hope of something, rather than no in the almost certain inevitability of nothing.

  16. Kelvin don’t patronise me and don’t reduce the complexity of my argument to a straw man soundbite. Hegemony conceals its power. This is NOT about England or the English. It’s about Scotland. That’s the point. Your basic argument is that we’re selfish to demand self-determination. The male-dominated Left said that about women, the het-dominated women’s movement said that about lesbians and every centralist party says that about autonomous movements. Don’t you dare accuse me of anti-English sentiment. You know better than that. I understand that some twit on Twitter got nasty. There are unbalanced people on both sides. We may disagree but we do respect each other and if I was to reject the English I’d have to split myself in two so no more of that nonsense. Now, perhaps you’d care to examine the issues carefully raised by the thoughtful contributors to this blogpost, giving due respect to the gravity of issues involved. Or you could carry on enjoying your unexamined elite status here while we enjoy Pax Americana.

    • You introduced ethnicity into your argument Alan and I’m struggling to hear anything other than that comment. I’m sure that’s my fault, but that’s all I can hear right now.

  17. Robin says

    We DO have the power to change Scotland. We DON’T have the power to change the UK as a whole. That’s why, if you want change, voting YES is a no-brainer.

  18. I take the point about the worst opponents being allies who say that what you want is impossible, but I would say that the converse of that is allowing perfect to be the enemy of good. A Yes vote allows us to work on building a better country here and now, not trying to exert leverage over an adjacent nation 10 times our size. Our only hope of influencing England is to by example – if we build a prosperous, socially just Scotland then it will inspire the forces of reform in England. A No vote means business as usual, and may well mean the right double down on austerity and tax cuts for the wealthy, knowing that there is nothing we can do to stop it.

  19. Actually Kelvin you seem to be struggling to hear the majority of points raised as you don’t appear to be listening. Have you gone into belligerent campaign mode? I’m struggling to see you taking part in a dialogue here. Are you hurt? I think my English relatives are. They feel unloved and rejected. There has always been love both sides the Tweed and may there always be. But let it be freely given. Not all ties that bind are good. This 300 Union doesn’t feel like a wedding, so this isn’t a divorce. It feels like shackles, so this is liberation. I know you don’t feel that. That’s because in the colonialist economy of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, you and I are on different sides. It is in your interest, to continue your privilege, to mask that hegemony. That is why you attempt to silence my critique of colonialism with your charge of racism. In classic liberation theology Kelvin what you need to experience is not a cleverly convincing argument but an authentic experience of conversion. Liberation is also for the colonisers who are in an inauthentic relationship with those they paternally oppress. Challenging that inauthentic relationship is not rejection Kelvin. It is an invitation to freedom and to authentic love.

  20. Rosemary Hannah says

    The trouble is that somehow we all have to live together afterwards – and I am not wholly sure how I am going to manage to recover quite the warmth of feeling towards some people after some of the things said – a warmth which came naturally before, but which, in the light of encounters in street and shop, a warmth which has now chilled to the lowest point of a January night.

    • As a child in Glasgow’s east end in the early 1960s I remember the threat behind the all too frequent question “Are you a Proddy or a Tim?”…… now it’s “Are you a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’?” and if ‘No’, there is at best incredulity and at worst abuse, but almost always accusation, disappointment, and some level of derision. Somewhere in the atmosphere the word ‘traitor’ hovers……

      • Richard says

        Yes, Ruth, I have heard similar reports from a friend who has worked in Inverness for nearly 30 years, having moved from childhood home in the south side of Glasgow and after studying in Edinburgh. I’ve also heard similar stories from my sisters, both of whom live in Edinburgh. For a number of people, reason and respect do not come into it. That word definitely hovers, and it is both menacing and threatening.

    • Well said, Rosemary. Whatever ensues, there will be a great need for healing.

  21. Richard says

    Fascinated by the ethnicity/cultural comments so I’ll leave the economics alone for the time being. I’m a mongrel with a bit of Irish, English, Scottish thrown into the mix. I was parachuted into the Highlands from darkest Englandshire as an infant. My initial experiences at primary school were- well, an experience. I was ridiculed. Snowballs contained sharp objects. Someone setting light to ones’s jumper is an unpleasant experience, all the more so when one happens to be wearing it at the time.

    Physical attacks- being pinned to the ground and punched in the face until it turns purple while a healthy crowd gathers round chanting “put the boot in!” Which they did. Freely and liberally.

    High school would be different. Except on day one each child had to recite- in the music lesson- the poem “It’s a braw, bricht moon licht nicht the nicht”. At the end of the lesson I was thrown fully clothed from a bridge into the River Lossie.

    The reason- accent.

    Being stubborn, I became a Scots lawyer and devoted most of my spare time working for charities for the hardest pressed in Scottish society. I made lifelong friends with many Scots and am proud to be their friends. Together we climbed all the Munros, enjoyed the history and freedom of open bothies and howffs, and I had the privilege of fishing some of the finest rivers in the world.

    The current referendum is a matter for each individual in the voting booth. I am clear and certain that many are motivated by a cultural love of their land and people, justifiably and rightly so. However, I am equally certain that many will be motivated by racism (look no further than the recent visceral response to the BBCs poor journalism, namely where to deposit one’s TV licence). The ballot box isn’t concerned with motives but in the totting up of yeses and nos, but I have lived the experience of racist bullying and I know it’s still there. I still tense up when I hear the “joking banter” of the rugby terraces variety.

    It is right and proper that there is a referendum. We are all being asked to face up to a new reality and that is good, whichever way the vote goes. It is, however, important to recognise that there is an underbelly and that it is ugly. Polite society will deny its existence. I can tell you it is very real, and it is very painful.

    • Yes it’s sad how even the nicest of people are turning spiteful, petty and vindictive, as fear of the promised utopia being snatched from their grasp swells to obliterate their rational minds. Their desire for a more just society in Scotland has been manipulated and exploited ruthlessly and as the feverish excitement rises it’ll be ugly whatever way the vote goes.

      • It’s a natural matter of psychology that, once people make their minds up, they get more entrenched in their view and only seek evidence to support the adopted position. That some will lack the self-control to keep strength of feeling in check is certainly unfortunate but to a large degree inevitable, sadly.

  22. Paul Hutchinson says

    I’m a Northern Englishman with exclusively Northern English ancestry for at least two centuries, living in Northern England. Whilst I can appreciate so much of the motivation for voting yes, I stand with Kelvin on this. Those of us who live north of the Humber need Scotland to be with us, and not across the border. We well understand that Scottish life (I think of church, law, and education, the three areas with which I have most contact) is distinctive, and we certainly can see all the frustration that arises out of government policy over the last 35 years; but Scotland is part of the solutions to the problems of Britain, and without it, the progressive case for the rest of us seems almost impossible to make. No, of course, I don’t have a vote on this, but I feel that the English elites have not made the case that Scotland’s nearest neighbours would want them to hear. Bravo Kelvin – of course I agree.

  23. Colin Souter says

    http://t.co/AoNHm1g6JL

    I hope you read these comments, that you read this link and that you understand you are buying into the propaganda machine that is Westminster. We can help people through a more socially just and equitable society but that means starting to “eat the elephant” in bite sized chunks. What we can achieve in an iScotland can be a catalyst for change elsewhere in the UK. It’s not about turning our backs, it’s about giving people the confidence to see what can be accomplished successfully…..

  24. I was about 7 when I learned the word ‘lemman’, when another little boy asked me in the playground in Scots if I had a girlfriend. He went to work in a soap factory as he couldn’t anglicise as easily as I could. I went on to gain more degrees than sense and encountered that word again when my sister was studying the Middle English. 300 years of aggressive anglicisation meant that when Scots children used our rich linguistic legacy from sources as diverse as Norman French and the Hanseatic League we were ridiculed not affirmed. That obsessive educational mindset has hardly changed today. The bland ubiquity of the White English middle class discourse exerts a normalising power of erasure of the cultural diversity of the UK. Racism is evil as is all oppression. We are not nasty bairns in some narrowminded kailyard masquerading as a school. We are a people striving to free ourselves from cultural domination. We are sick of charges of racism and tire of repeating ourselves that independence has NOTHING TO DO WITH BEING ANTI-ENGLISH!

    • My word you have a huge inconsistency error there. Objecting to a `bland ubiquity of the White English middle class’ and yet it’s not anti-English?

      You should supplement your identity-based argument with some other reasons, lest your path lead to the dark side.

      • Tim if you’re going to quote me (inevitably someone was going to play this victim card) then do so correctly. The last four words in your truncated quote are adjectival. The noun is ‘discourse’. Dominant discourse need not be bland but in its attempted erasure of the diversity of all other discourse, it becomes bland. Why? Because it relies on phatic communication: what is said is not important. What matters is that always and everywhere that voice is on the air.
        Critical theorists have identified the same phenomenon with Anglo-American discourses. Why is this news to the thinking people who read and contribute to this blog? Perhaps because naming the historical and continuing English colonial attitude to Scotland is such an inconvenient truth that people prefer to divert this discussion down the rabbithole of utter nonsense.
        An example of which is ‘our’ PM pleading ‘heart, mind and soul’ for Scotland not to leave the UK. Thus confusing 1707 with 1603. He doesn’t care about the difference because he doesn’t care about history. What he does care about is power. You’re uncomfortable because I dare to state clearly that there is an abuse of power in the UK and it’s based on class, race, accent, nationality (and all sorts of other categories). The White English middle class, at least those who are complacent in their performance of niceness, are surprised to find that others find their assumptions patronising. And by the way can we all stop using ‘dark’ and ‘black’ as synonyms for evil?
        This strategy of excursion from the unanswered issues brought up by Jo, Robin, Derek, Adrian, Christine and Cliff is a bore. Can we stop now? If you’re not going to address them, or even consider them, then read this written by a good friend of mine from Bristol living in Scotland (no it’s not JKR!): http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2014/09/13/drumchapel-conversations/

  25. Richard says

    I agree with Kelvin’s suggested model of a more Federal union, and yes, Ruth, it is sad.

  26. Rosemary Hannah says

    Of course most Scots are not anti-English. Of course a significant minority are. Of course this campaign has made more Scots anti-English and some already anti-English and Scotland, especially in rural areas, a harder place to live with an English accent.

    But Kelvin’s arguments are not about this, and it would be good to get back to substance. I am an internationalist and do not see how voting for separatist nationalism can possibly be squared with that. We are not a colony. We have direct representation in the national parliament.

  27. Steven McQuitty says

    While perhaps not decisive on this debate, one factor that should at least be taken into account is the impact this will have on Northern Ireland. What is left of the Union after a “Yes” vote will be unstable. I can’t imagine a de facto English Parliament in Westminster wishing to retain the union with Northern Ireland given the expense and trouble this has caused in the past. Those who may wish to de-stabilise things further in NI might well resort to the tried and tested [and successful, it turns out] means of politically motivated violence. A well placed dissident Republican bomb in England would no doubt encourage the English to say, right enough is enough – you are on your own. There is, in my view, a significant chance that Scottish independence might well lead to the collapse of the Northern Irish political settlement giving rise to a return to violence. Unionists in Northern Ireland will be feeling particularly vulnerable [which rarely leads to good things] and there will some Irish Republicans who will not be able to resist stirring that particular pot to see how things end…

    I suspect most Scots won’t consider this their problem but it will be if they have to deal with an influx of Ulster-Scots “refugees” returning home after a 400 year sojourn in Ulster [with tongue only half in cheek].

    I visit Scotland regularly, love the country, and see it as the most confident, progressive and beautiful part of the United Kingdom. I would love to live in Scotland. I wish the best for Scotland, whatever the outcome, it will always have a place in my heart. My children will continue to be subjected to Munro-bagging, beaches on Mull and Harris, the National Museum of Scotland and Blackwell’s bookshop on Chambers street!

  28. Kelvin,
    You once tweeted at me that [paraphrase] waiting to get everyone to get on-board was the opposite of progressive leadership.

    Here, you’re advocating letting a massive opportunity pass by in a desire to improve the lot of a greater majority (with no mechanism for such on the table) – and yet you’re calling this progressive. I’m afraid this does not compute.

    Wikipedia: “Progressivism is a broad political philosophy based on the Idea of Progress, which asserts that advances in science, technology, economic development, and social organization can improve the human condition.”

    I guess it’s up to each to decide whether the current choice constitutes an advance, but that simply degenerates to affirming your position regardless of whether it’s progressive or not.

  29. Elizabeth says

    I’m still undecided, but I appreciate the postitive, progressive vision for being better together presented here, after growing rather weary of negativity and fear-mongering.

  30. Outside Tesco, across Maryhill Road from McDonalds, along from the Police Station and the JobCentre, about half a mile from St Mary’s and half a world away, a group of YES campaigners and a smaller group of NOs, side by side, shout slogans and laugh and wave banners and flags and cheer passing car drivers honking in support of one or the other. North Kelvinside, the posh part, is content to display some YES and a very few NO stickers – it’s not done here to make a fuss. The scene outside Tesco only sounds raucous to ears unaccustomed to emotional display. What I hear and what I see is that the people of a place often considered a problem are alive to the possibility of making a difference. Their agency is sought after, Prime and First Minister appeal to them. Their vote counts. Whatever the result of tomorrow’s vote, whatever their continuing problems, this experience of agency is part of the solution.

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