by Rab Bruce’s Spider

Mastodon: @RabBrucesSpider1@Mastodon.Scot

Twitter: @RabBrucesSpider

It is notoriously difficult to make accurate predictions. In any given situation, you can usually find people who hold diametrically opposing views on what will happen next. This is why I have an issue with Unionists and their media who constantly demand predictions from the Yes movement on what will happen in an independent Scotland. We can have ideas about what we want to achieve, and proposals for how we want to achieve those goals, but it is impossible to predict everything to the level demanded by the unionists.

Of course, Unionists are not so great at predictions either. Look at all the benefits we were promised in the sunlit uplands of Brexit. I don’t think I’ve seen a single prediction come true except that we would get blue passports again. Come to think of it, even that wasn’t strictly accurate as the old passports in the pre-Eu days were black, not blue, and I’m told the new ones are similar.

But as I look around at the utter mess the UK is in at the moment, I could not help recalling two people who did give predictions about what the result of the 2014 IndyRef would bring. By coincidence, both were writers. First, J K rowling, these days more famous for her stance in the gRR debate, was an ardent supporter of Labour, and willingly sat beside Alistair Darling at media events promoting Better Together. She went so far as to assure us that if we voted No, Scotland would find it had more influence within the UK than ever. As usual with such pro-UK announcements, she received a lot of media coverage over this. And her prediction lasted right up until the morning after the vote, when David Cameron announced English Votes for English Laws. Since then, things have developed pretty much as Scots writer Alan Bissett predicted. He insisted that a No vote would give Westminster free rein to do as it liked with Scotland and that, far from having greater influence, we would see ourselves seriously weakened.

Naturally, Alan Bissett’s predictions were not as highly publicised at the time because he was on the Yes side, but you can still find them on Youtube if you can bear to listen to just how cannily accurate he was.

As we now know, pretty much everything Better Together told us was a lie. I’m sure some of them actually believed it at the time, but they have all been proven disastrously wrong. We now find ourselves out of the EU, and shackled to a UK whose Government has veered so far towards the right that it now, by my count, meets at least 10 of the 14 traits of fascism listed by Umberto Eco. Google that list and make your own count. You could argue the UK’s score is even higher.

We’ve seen the sewell Convention broken, we’ve seen the Supreme Court rule against our right to hold another referendum, we’ve got an ongoing Power Grab, and we’ve got a Tory Government who are intent on keeping Scotland subservient to its own rule. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m getting heartily sick of this.

As to how we escape and become a normal, self-governing country, I honestly don’t know what the best route is. This is another situation where you can drop in on social media and find a wide range of views and predictions. For my part, the only prediction I will make is that, whichever route the Scottish Government does decide to follow, the whole Yes movement needs to be united. Arguing among ourselves will only result in us remaining trapped in the Union. That may well require some pro-Yes Parties to stand aside in some constituencies, but if that is what it takes, then egos and arguments over policies need to be forgotten. The time to bring those out is once we are independent. After all, the whole point of being a normal country is that you can elect a Government which represents the people, preferably in a PR voting system which will hopefully bring us into line with other modern democracies. We have seen only too vividly the mess that First Past The Post creates. Some may claim it produces a strong Government, but it should be clear to everyone that it actually results in an authoritarian Government. We need an electoral system where the resulting Parliament is dominated by the need for compromise and discussion.

Will we ever reach that goal? You can make as many predictions as you like, but the only way we’ll ever achieve it is if everyone campaigns hard and makes sure as many Yessers as possible get out and vote when given the opportunity. If we win, then I think I can confidently predict it will not be a land of sunshine, milk and honey. There will be problems and difficulties; mistakes and successes. But that’s what being a normal country is all about, and I’d like to think that most people can now see that we could do an awful lot better than the posh elite in Westminster who have been running our nation for over three centuries and still insist we are an economic basket case.