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.