Referendums, or at least talk about them, seems to be the rage just now, what with the SNP conference and the European debacle bubbling up again in the Tory party. For once I actually find myself in agreement with Tory cabinet ministers around calls for a European referendum as being as waste of time (not to mention money) right now. Like the rest of my fellow Aunties, it’s the talk around the Scottish independence referendum that is of most interest to me.
The results of the May election awoke something within me that had lain dormant for far too long. For the first time in over a decade I was actually excited about politics, the future and a realistic chance of a proper debate over Scottish independence. I still have a bit of a post election tingle, however as the nights draw in, I’m starting to feel bogged down and more than a bit pissed off by the lack of engagement from the other political parties. Why do they continue to ignore us, the electorate who categorically rejected their mandates? Why do they resort to the same old scare stories about the doomsday scenario of the break up of the Union, questioning the “right” of the evil SNP to actually ask the people what they think?
Honestly when we look South at the state of the things that matter to most of us such as the NHS and education, then is it not screamingly obvious why we have rejected UK based policies and gone with the viable, SNP alternative? So waken up other Scottish political parties, give the nation the debate we deserve. I don’t know all the ins and outs /pros and cons for independence or “devomax”, but I do want to be properly engaged and informed – from all sides. Don’t rely on scare tactics, patronising quips about Scotland not being able to survive without England. And it’s not just the politicians who are increasingly irritating me over this issue, our “national” media (and yes, I mean you BBC Scotland) are just as guilty. Thanks to the Aunties, I’ve now become aware of alternative, independent media sources such as Newsnet Scotland and Bella Caledonia, not to mention a whole host of bloggers, and thank goodness for that. At least I now have access to reporting about quite important things like the SNP conference, and not have to endure petty reports trying to criticise every move the Scottish Government make.
So Scottish politicians and media, take a leaf out of the SNP’s book and be proud to be Scottish and to offer an alternative to UK, London centric based politics and reporting. We the electorate have moved on – it’s time all our political parties and “national” media did too.