A Chàirdean – Some of the greatest movements in human history have sprung from the stools and snugs of the tavern, the beerhall and the public house. So too have some of the worst. We had better tread carefully. Putting aside the awful shadow and consequences of the Beer Hall Putsch, however, one thinks of the Green Dragon and the Raleigh taverns, in Boston and Virginia respectively, where the Sons of Liberty gathered for news of the Continental Congress in their struggle against the British. Why then should the pub or the tea room not be a place in Scotland from where a movement grows? In Kilmarnock town, not a stone’s throw from the monument to Robert Burns, such a place exists. The Tackety Bit put its efforts behind a Yes vote for Scottish independence and rallied great support for the campaign right throughout Ayrshire. Even in the wake of electoral defeat it posted to its Facebook page that it was still proud of that decision. More than this, it continually made the connection between a political idea and social practice. There can be no Scotland without all Scots. As part of its efforts for the Yes Scotland campaign, and, even post September 19, it has tirelessly raised money for its neighbours who are falling through the cracks due to Westminster’s cuts and increasing social inequality. Patrons and management have come together in a community effort to create the perfect image of the new Scotland that we have now dreamt.
As we have dreamed the new Scotland, from the grassroots, through the limbs and branches all the way to Holyrood, independence has been a spark in the mind of the sovereign people of Scotland that everywhere has been brought to life in our actions. We can all remember a darker Scotland, a nation plagued by despondency and political apathy. We felt a sense of hopelessness and powerlessness that fractured our sense of ourselves and our communities. Not too long ago the BBC, Westminster’s cultural weapon against Scotland and Wales, attempted to impress this depressive reality upon the psyché of Scots when it aired its poverty porn extravaganza The Scheme, set also in the town of Kilmarnock. It attempted to entertain ‘Britain’ with scenes of a people devoid of aspirations and hope. Of course, there were images of poverty and snapshots of criminal behaviour. The BBC knew where to find them because it, together with a foreign British political establishment, created the culture of poverty and hopelessness. Unemployed people did not instigate the de-industrialisation of Scotland and the high levels of unemployment. No, that was made for them by economic practices of greed that have favoured the city of London and the ruling élite of the establishment.
What the BBC failed to show was that ten, twenty, thirty years previous it was worse. It deliberately avoided the truth that things have been getting better and that the housing estate it was victimising was a community in the process of pulling itself up. Overcoming oppression does not satisfy the bloodlust of the British viewing public in the arena of television and propaganda. Over the past two years crime – an all too common product of poverty – has been falling across the whole of Scotland. We can thank the police and the improving behaviour of criminals only so such for this trend. Something else, something within the inner working of the national dynamism, has been changing. As our hope for a better future has taken wings we have come to see ourselves in a clearer light, and in so doing have more fully realised that we are sovereign, that we own not only ourselves but a share in the national community. People do not care for the things they do not own. A sense of our ownership of Scotland has reinvigorated our sense of pride and ambition. We have shown ourselves to be anything but a people without aspiration. From the very roots of our society, in every home, in every workplace, and in every gathering space, hope has given flight to the better angels of our natures. Scotland is a nation that is rising – in every sense of that word.
Already Westminster has taken steps to reverse this rebirth. By cutting central funds to Scotland David Cameron is forcing taxes to rise here and strangle us to the point that our re-born communities will break. In coming together as a single people we have rescued our communities, and in turn dispelled isolation, alienation, apathy and crime. In this regard it is interesting that it was in crime that the Unionists chose to celebrate victory after the election. The Neo-Nazi Unionists never rampaged in Glasgow because they are evil. They were violent because they are still a people in thrall to the mental conditions and memory of servitude. We were like them too, and our efforts to build Scotland must never tire of reaching out to them and bringing them home. We must bring them home because they are still living as strangers in a foreign land, the land of Britain which exists now only in their imaginations. Britain is a thing of the past now, and we must work to bring all those in the exile of poverty, isolation and hopelessness back home. Only in our common return to Scotland, casting off the nightmare of colonialism, will we become truly who we are called to be.
– Butterfly Rebellion