I’d Have Voted Yes No Matter What

In a recent discussion with a unionist family member two things were put to me. The first was that he was dismayed to discover that there were people in Scotland who would have voted Yes in the referendum regardless of the arguments to the contrary put to them. The second was that he was frustrated that the National Party was not prepared to accept the democratic decision of the people. Considering this from the point of view of the unionist, both of these issues may indeed be annoying, but, and as I pointed out, they are not rational problems. Our discussion did however get me thinking about my own position on these points.

Without a doubt there were voters who voted for independence, and would have done no matter what the unionist Better Together campaign said to the favour of staying with the United Kingdom. He didn’t seem quite able to concede the possibility that there were unionists who we every bit as prepared to vote against Scotland according to the same principle. Such fanaticism is an element of the democratic make-up that we all simply have to accept. There will always be those who will vote one way on a given issue, those who will always vote the other way, and everyone else in between. What became a problem for me was considering, in light of this discussion, where exactly in this population spectrum I stood. We have been well conditioned to fear this word ‘fanatic,’ and no one – not even the fanatics – appreciate being thought one.

Is the fanaticism of opinion always wrong? Would you defend a loved one against a violent assault no matter what? Well, the obvious answer to this is an unequivocal yes. Yes, I would defend someone I love from a violent assault no matter what the situation, and no matter what the fine arguments to the contrary were. Do I place this conception of Scotland as a nation – my nation and my homeland – in the category of the things in life that I love? Yes, yes I do. Do I consider that this nation, my home, is subject to what amounts to a violent assault by another nation? A continual merry-go-round of wars, costing Scottish lives and tax money, which the international community have condemned as illegal; nuclear weapons; fracking; hungry children; the sale of our resources through foreign ports; the shifting of our territorial borders – abuse and theft. Without reservation or moral equivocation I believe that Scotland is the subject of Westminster violence. It stands to reason then that I too would be prepared to vote for independence no matter what – just as I would defend a loved one from violence. So, yes, I am a fanatic, and as a fanatic I have thought this one through.

It isn’t quite the case that the SNP refuse to accept the decision of the Scottish people. Actually, it seems as though they have accepted it hook, line and sinker. The SNP has accepted the validity and legality of the result of the referendum, and it has accepted the will of the Scottish people. In accord with this acceptance it has entered into negotiations to argue for as much of what Scotland has been promised as it can get. A completely absurd position to be in!

What he meant though, I suspect, is exactly what David Cameron means when he demands that we accept the result as an irrevocable and somehow eternal decision. Well it is this position that is the real lunacy. The same party that made him leader has largely changed its mind on him, the English public are switching their affections to UKIP, the Scottish people have forgotten even what the Labour Party is, and everything is still in a state of change. Nothing is certain but death and taxes. Where are the unionists getting this idea that any decision in politics is final?

Reality is change, and the sooner people realise this, the better. Yes, the people of Scotland did go to the polls and they did vote to remain with the union – or so we are led to believe. The SNP have accepted this, and therefore so must we. Time has moved on, and in the days and weeks and months after the referendum more and more of the people of Scotland came to see the true nature of the beast that threatened them and deceived them. At no point did the SNP, the Scottish Greens or the SSP force people to join their parties, and yet they did – in staggering numbers. Reality here is that the will of the people is being shown daily, and it is changing. Sixty percent of Scots want another referendum, and no one is making them want this. This is simply the will of Scotland.

– Mac’IlleRuaidh

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3 thoughts on “I’d Have Voted Yes No Matter What

  1. Eloquently written, well thought out and nicely put. I agree entirely. I too would have voted Yes no matter what. Never thought of myself in terms of “fanatic” before, but since I’ve admitted this online and been called “extremist” and worse, then I’m also quite happy to own the term. Because labels, in the end, don’t matter. If anyone is at all a politically minded creature, at some point they will meet opposition to their views and be told unequivocally that those views are invalid, wrong, dangerous even. But when you can explain, like Mac’IlleRuaidh, WHY you hold those views and why you as you do in a politcal arena, whether that is by campaigning or simply voting, then that should be enough. Should be but often isn’t. Sometimes, we just have to accept that people will never understand our point of view, or our mindset. But if you have the power of your convictions and the knowledge that what you are doing, what you believe in, is right for you and your nation, then we just need to stand firm and keep going. Cameron, well, he demands a lot from the Scottish people. None of it beneficial or healthy for us. There’s a very fine, old fashioned, two finger salute to send his way. Got to be better than kneeling before him, eh?

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  2. I dunno. I Haven’t lived in my homeland for more than 30 years. But I have followed the Independence debate actively, on a daily basis since June this year. Why? When it doesn’t affect me on a basic level.

    Have I gone beyond fanatical? Has my partner who is also Scottish? His brother? We all live in in Australia having left Scotland independently of each other in the early Thatcher years. We all went to the same school in Glasgow.

    I have pondered why we felt YES without a minute’s hesitation. Was it just patriotism? Blind allegiance
    to our country of birth? Family politics?

    I dont think so

    I think it’s a bit more scientific actually. Well not science maybe, but certainly basic psychology.

    Thinking of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of psychological depednecy needs of a person. (google it to be reminded of the levels required to reach self determination/actualization) You can never be a truly independent if psychologically you are stuck in a lower level of safety and security)

    The two most base level needs physiological and safety needs are: food, water, warmth, security, employment, family, health, property. When these needs are threatened in early years – then it can sow the seeds for adult codependency traits (union???)

    These needs correspond exactly to the main targets of Project Fear. No wonder it was so successful in its focus on supermarkets,(food) resources, (Warmth, fuel) currency/ banking,(security) ‘family of nations’ Family/parent “better together”); the NHS, (Health) business (employment) , house values (property)

    Personality elements of these base fear relate to people who would be psychologically resistant to change or would be too anxious to cope with uncertainty, or who desperately need to control their environment from risks, or those in the direst of circumstances which forces them to dependency. They wouldn’t easily tolerate the discomfort of changes required to go it alone. Or they might seem quite independent types – but are Control freaks – themselves and others. (Think rigid politicians with formulaic answers and manipulative ‘facts’ bent to suit their argument, Conservatives and business high flyers who will resist anything that threatens their quest for financial power or bigots who don’t trust anyone outside of their own rigid view.
    They are psychologically underdeveloped. Dependent on external factors for their sense of wellbeing.

    Conversely – Maslow’s descriptors for a self actualized person – creative, spontaneous, lack of prejudice, achieving full potential, acceptance of facts (education/information) describes pretty much the positivity, aspirational aspects of the Yes movement which made it so exciting and inspirational.
    Uncertainty isn’t a demotivating factor – quite the opposite – its just a challenge.Visionary. Full of potential.

    Both of these are extremes in the spectrum between dependence/co dependence and independence/interdependence. Could that be why those minds are made up no matter what.
    At the base – they can’t/wont change, whilst at the other end of the spectrum they MUST change.

    My guess is those whose minds can be changed from NO to YES are psychologically in the middle of Maslow’s dependency hierarchy. It is therefore heart warmingly wise for Nicola Sturgeon to focus on pragmatism, respect, consensual ideas, inclusiveness and recognition of their choices. Those are the individuals who can and will change the status quo. They’ll eventually go with their heart…it is actually our natural healthy drive to be independent.

    It seems to me that leaving Scotland is a way many people actually become reconciled to the reality of their early life in Scotland and the effects of living within an oppressed nation with social injustice an everyday reality. It motivates to rail against subjugation on a personal, professional and political level. It become a part of who you are – driven to strive for self determination, autonomy and independence. Taking risks. Challenging authority. Tolerating uncertainty, Leaving beloved family. A bit of discomfort and risk and sadness is much more acceptable than staying in the same rut of hopelessness.

    Not all expats Scots wanted Yes. Several that I know live in comfortable wealth, in cloistered communities in Asian countries. With servants! They’ve left their humble beginning behind, hidden even, but stay socially within the expat community and rarely mix it with the much poorer locals. They consider themselves “British” when they are sober and “successful” – Scots when they are drunk and maudlin!. They do good deeds and they like Britain to be just the way they left it. It is colonial in outlook.

    The problem with any mode of Independence though is that once you have a taste for it – it overrides all other considerations and it is very compelling.

    But you already know that!.

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  3. I would have voted yes regardless as I expect some folk would have voted no. But It was easier for me to vote yes after reading up on the economy which was slightly in Scotland’s favour without oil revenues and that an Independent Scotland solved a lot of sectarian issues which blight parts of our country. Further I do not believe in having a nuclear detterent but I have friends who do and I told them quite straight forwardly that they should therefore vote no. Because Scotland should not be allowed to have a nuclear detterent and the rest of the U K has no place to keep nuclear submarines.
    The thing that interested me most was that the perception a lot of people had that they would be worse off in an Independent Scotland. This I believe was wrong I believe people will be better off but this perception really influenced people.

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