One positive that’s come out of last week’s vote for more robbery, poverty and rape is that we almost won despite the combined weight of the country’s media. Every paper in the country – bar one – and the BBC, spewed propaganda. If you wanted news, you went abroad or you got it from Facebook and Twitter. The mass media showed their true colours and will find it increasingly difficult to get that credibility back. If George Osborne discovers a cure for cancer next week, only Nazis, imbeciles and people in terminal fear will actually believe this.
With over fifty thousand members, The SNP are now the third biggest political party in the UK. Only labour and the Conservatives have more members. There’s been a flood of new recruits to not just the SNP, but the Scottish green party, too. We, the forty-five percent who can still sing ‘Flower of Scotland’ with a straight face are going to keep fighting.
Tommy Sheridan joining the SNP was a surprise, but it’s against a backdrop of people I remember joining the Labour party at the time of the Falklands, when Labour were ‘the only party in the UK where the rank and file could make conference-level decisions’. How long ago and far away all that seems now!
The Labour party are finished. They’ve shown Scotland they’re no different to the other Tories and Cameron, showing an intelligence I hadn’t hitherto imagined, has effectively removed forty Labour MPs from voting on ‘English’ issues. In less than a century since the first Labour government, the alternative to the Whigs and the Tories have cosied up to them so much, they’ve sacrificed all credibility.
So where next? At the moment, the plan seems to be, vote SNP in the UK in 2015 – and in Scotland in 2016 – and push for another referendum in 2020. And remember, you can’t have a democracy without an independent media. We’re going to have to create – and be – that for ourselves.
If you’re a resident of Scotland, You’ll have voted by now. Finished your cereal and cast your X where you will, determined to either attain freedom and a science fiction future made of prosperity, universal happiness, silver foil suits and holidays on the moon, or in favour of more and better foodbanks for everyone and a tory/ukip coalition led by Boris Johnson and a particularly repellent smirking glove puppet. With a fag in its mouth.
The count will be kicking off at ten, with the first results due in around two. On my birthday. So, I’ll be up all night, wondering if the coming year consists of girls, farms, drugs and new blood every six months or whether it’ll be back to wanking off grumpy businessmen for soup.
In the tradition of Hunter S Thompson, trapped in a decompression chamber as Watergate unfolded and his dreams of Nixon roasted alive on a spit came true but outside where he couldn’t touch it, I’ll be in Liverpool when you read this. Either relaxing in a cosy L30 parlour with a nice malt or out in front of the house screaming at the drug dealers over the road to come out and fight – comma – space – you English bastards. We’ll know by daylight, anyway.
Several months ago, I booked this holiday, convinced that there was about as much chance of home rule for Scotland as one of our pandas giving birth to the baby Jesus. And it going on to win the X factor. With a medley of GG Allin songs. This was my ‘naw’ insurance. In the event of the foodbanks winning, anyone I could’ve been drinking with will probably suggest demolishing a public building. Or Jim Murphy, whichever was the closest. (Your own team might gently toss the occasional egg at you so that you can play the martyr in the union press. Ours might be travelling a bit faster and look a bit more like paving stones, bumface.)
So I figured I’d at least keep my job and avoid being smeared with pitch and set alight to brighten up the nawbags’ arrogant celebration.
The media have been pissing me off mightily throughout this campaign, spewing Better Together’s pathetic propaganda and alarming the very people most likely to benefit from Scotland’s oil by not freezing to death in the winter ahead. Nick Robinson’s blatant fib that Alex Salmond hadn’t replied to his question last week was the final straw. Or was it covering the Orange Order’s march to Easter Road when Hibernian FC were playing at home, but missing out the spitting on children in hibs tops? Or claiming only thirty-five people surrounded the BBC’s building in Glasgow on Sunday? Difficult to say. As Raymond Chandler almost said, above a certain point, all bullshit is equal.
Win or lose, who fancies boycotting the media for a bit? With the mainstream media content to lie to us (in clear contravention of the BBC’s charter – and your license fee) the real news in this campaign has come from social media. Why should I pay a quid for a newspaper when there’s more hard information floating around Facebook and Twitter? Mind you, the Herald on Sunday did actually support independence, so we can still do their crossword at the weekend.
So how about it? Let’s stop buying their papers, let’s stop watching their appalling programmes and punch them right in the money hole. Even if we do win, everybody will be falling over themselves to stress how much they wanted this, like all those South Africans who were ‘always’ in the ANC all along. And I for one, tend to respond to being patronised with a Vegas throat-stomp.
One thing about finishing another novel is, instead of just having a dip, lying in a drug-induced stupor, bemoaning the overwhelming sense of purposelessness, this year I have the Scottish independence referendum. As regular face-huggers of this blog will know, I’m an ‘AYE’ voter. Always have been, for reasons I’ve already detailed in previous posts. This morning, it struck me.
Am I being selfish, wanting a future for my offspring and grand-offspring? Wanting a nuclear free Scotland, where I can live longer and remain healthier while I’m about it?
I began ruminating on what a ‘naw’ vote would do for me. The most obvious benefit would be, as a writer of dystopian fables, the worse it gets, the closer my writing gets to real life. So maybe I should be voting ‘naw’. Out of respect for my writing.
Adverts featuring the patronising BT lady, last weekend’s sudden upsurge in violence by BT thugs, all these are the air I breathe. Surely it would make a lot more sense for me to embrace the forces of reaction. After all, their message is the message I put into the mouths of all my negative characters.
I spend a lot of time brooding about horrible things – selfishness, stupidity, greed, short-sightedness. All the things, when bundled together, add up to what those of a spiritual bent would call evil.
Surely it’s hypocritical of me, when I have the chance to help create greater inequality, greater injustice in the world, to instead act to maximise al the positive things that independence would bring. After all, I couldn’t see me ever using Alex Salmond as a character in anything I wrote (or if I did, he’d probably perish, screaming in front of his wailing loved ones after a few pages.) Alistair Darling, Jim Murphy and the nazi thug who kicked a (possibly pregnant) woman in the stomach at the weekend? Welcome, fools! Make your funny-looking selves at home. My biggest problem, when I’m writing these characters, would be trying to impose some characteristics that made them likeable – even if only for a few pages.
So, maybe I should be voting ‘naw’. Maybe I should be arguing more strongly against entering the future responsibly. After all, if an alliance of fascists, xenophobes, conservatives and nut-jobs manage to convince the easily-terrified segments of our populace that poverty and foodbanks bring people closer together, that continuing to blindly follow corrupt politicians – even after they’ve been caught lying with their hands in the till, the closer the world gets to the worlds I imagine. Surely this is how one capitalises on a gift. And that nice Mrs Thatcher always said that was the way, the truth and the life. Selling out every principle I have for cold hard cash.
Only kidding! I’m voting ‘AYE’. There was never any question.