‘We have achieved a great duty in these critical times…we have been the first to revive the spirit of our country and give it a national existence’ (Thomas Muir, 1798
It’s become something of a family traditional, attending the Thomas Muir Lecture, so I was delighted to be in the audience , listening to Tommy Sheppard’s giving the Thomas Muir Lecture 2017 Lecture (St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh August). http://tommysheppardmp.scot/
If you missed it, tough. No seriously, but I would urge anyone interested to get a back copy or link into The National which provided a full write up two days later, 26th August . http://www.thenational.scot/
The range, scope and observations from the MP enthused my partner to remark that
it was quite some time since he’d heard a politicians speak with such passion, vision and strategy!
With so much to mull over, there were a few particular points for me as ‘take aways’, not least the knowledge that that in the region of 14 million UK voters didn’t vote in the 2017 UK general election. Why? Apathy? Disinterest?
Here in Scotland there is a realisation that no matter how we vote in a UK election, the UK government of the day is determined by votes cast out with Scotland. But if you set that against the knowledge that the SNP got 37 % of votes cast and won 60% of seats in Scotland, doesn’t that demonstrate the desire for independence hasn’t dimmed.
But where did those previous, now missing, SNP voters go in June?
Did they stay at home?
Were they caught in the push-me-pull-me of the actual EU question?
Was it the exclusion of the younger age range?
The reasons will be multiple, but it is obvious we require to win back those missing voters. For me, that means focusing on the continuing need to bring about social-economic change, and the demonstration that such changes will be achieved through independence and not from Westminster governments formed by voters from rUK.
The changes will have to be more than aspirational, but demonstrable, practical and tangible. Not set up for the advantage of organisations, institutions, ‘businesses’, conglomerates, but for the people of Scotland.
To achieve this, I believe we need to see we social change, brought about by social engagement advocating for
a Prosperous Scotland one of the four areas defined in the lecture by the MP, followed by a Democratic Scotland, a Caring Scotland and an Open Scotland.
We know that the powerful don’t give up power, willingly, and if we are to achieve political change we need to win back those voters!
The continuing fracturing of the Tory party openly disagreeing over Brexit, almost rudderless due to its weak leadership, is a sight to behold.
That ‘with immediate effect’ announcement from Kezia Dugdale as out-going leader of Labour in Scotland has opened the door for further warfare: pro and anti Corbyn factors, or ashe put it…’I want to give the next person space…’ http://www.independent.co.uk/
Call me a political simpleton if you will, but we can’t wait for others to sort themselves out whilst pretending to have our best interests at heart. After all, this last visit by Corbyn showed he didn’t understand the difference between Scottish and rUK legal systems. What else doesn’t he know? Their (latest, how long will it last) stance on Brexit?
But, you know, I could work around those four broad, encompassing ‘headlines’ as defined by Tommy Sheppard.
I can see where discussion and debate would flourish again, since we’d not be bogged down in the likes of policies, statistics, the manipulation GERS figures that scream doom and gloom instead of ‘get me out of here’.
But we’d be back to discussing the bread and butter issues that sparked a multitude of interests across the multitudes in the lead up to Sept 2014. We’d be back to designing our Scotland, fashioning our future. We’d be back to transforming every day dialogue into every day politics, and from there to the ballot box.
So what’s not to like, what’s stopping us, when you think of A. Sarwar, MSP hoping to be next Labour leader, telling John Beattie, today, 4th Sept ,’indeyref2 is off the table’? www.bbc.co.uk/radioscotland
This isn’t the way to go, no way, so I think my partner was right: we heard passion, vision and the outline of a strategy, another step towards indeyref2 and indeyscotland!
Sorry, Sarwar, .it ain’t off the table, no way
http://bellacaledonia.org.uk Interview with Tommy Sheppherd, Thomas Muir 2017 Lecture.