I had another first on Monday evening. This right time, it had been part of a -panel of four in a BBC Referendum controversy. It was on the air, not the time, and it was my neighbor and friend Willie Johnston in the chair rather than David Dimbleby. I was cast in a job that has been familiar to me having watched Question Time over a long time – I was woken the non-politician. To become reasonable to Willie, he tried long and hard to dig out a non-politician to signify the Union but as per usual, none of them were found.
Regardless of the results on September 18th, I’ll always feel both honored and proud to experienced the chance to play a role in what has been this inspiring grassroots marketing campaign. ‘Yes’ has been all about a hope for something better. From where I stand every day at First Base to hand out twenty or thirty emergency food parcels, it couldn’t be any clearer that we are in eager need of something better. THE UK 2014 has become an unpleasant place for too many of our fellow residents truly. It has become a place without hope, where life opportunities are all but nonexistent for the vast majority of our people.
The abject bleakness of the lives so many in the bottom of the ladder are living has been something we have been describing for a decade from our small front-line office in Dumfries. During the last few months, we’ve felt significantly less like we are a tone of voice in the wilderness.
From all corners of Scotland, hundreds upon thousands of ordinary people have stepped out of their front side doors and took the opportunity to make themselves noticed. And regardless of the frantic initiatives of the Establishment and their compliant mass media, these voices have been getting ever louder. I’ve yet to hear anybody from the ‘No’ side making any kind of believable case that the Union is working right now.
The Union has given us one of the very most unequal and disappointed places to live in the developed world. It is an accepted place where anyone earning under £63,000 after tax will have gained less within the last 12 months than a person who happens to possess the average house in London. Those without work earn £63, a year 000.
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They earn about £3000 a year. That is our Union in a nutshell. A London home owner is getting the same money in a 12 months as 20 unemployed people. By doing absolutely nothing. With a few deeds under lock and key in the working office of their lawyer. Westminster will solve this miserable status quo never. Instead it has become abundantly clear that Westminster is hell bent on perpetuating the current dismal state of affairs.
Travelers waiting to panel the Eurostar at the Gare du Nord in Paris have 25 huge photographs of Britain to check out before they attempt their journey. Here’s Westminster’s chance to give a flavor of the land these tourists from throughout the world are about to visit. Surely they will provide a sneak preview of the magnificence of Glencoe.
The Giant’s Causeway. The Albert Dock in Liverpool. The Snowdon mountain railway. The dazzling waters of Lake Windermere. Cheddar Gorge. Holy Island. So are those the images a visitor is directed at look at? Around the wall structure of the terminal of the Gare De Nord there are 24 photos of London and one token photo of a village pub with a thatched roof in the Cotswolds. As being a Lancastrian with 53 years on the time clock, I see no hope whatsoever that things will ever get much better so long as the Establishment in London continues to call the pictures.
The 1% will continue to show off their obscene prosperity at Henley and Ascot and Wimbledon and the Royal Opera whilst the 99% see their standard of life gradually eroded. September 18th offers us a once in an eternity chance to find something better. It really is something well worth venturing out and fighting for certainly.
Sometimes the fight can be considered a genuine pleasure: they are ‘Yes’ events where all sorts of diverse people come together to share a common feeling of wish. But on other events being involved in the fight can be incredibly dispiriting. Every one of the debates I have been involved with fall into the second category. Quite frankly, I have been disgusted by the antics of those representing the Union. Imagine somebody who is paid £65,000 and given an enormous expense account and a free of charge house in London to symbolize the interests of a sizable company like Coca Cola or Nike or Embassy.