Voting Dilemmas: General Election 2015

Fracking.

Tearing apart the Human Rights Act.

Privatisation of the NHS.

More austerity.

After the no vote in Scotland on 18 September I felt scared. There will be a backlash, I thought. Scotland has risen up and tweaked the whiskers on the imperial British lion. We’re going to get a kicking.

Maybe that’s paranoid but I don’t think it’s entirely unjustified. Already there are murmurs about scrapping the Barnett Formula because it “robs Wales” (divde and rule, anyone?).

And let’s not forget our very own local councils trying to penalise people who signed up to the electoral register by hunting them down for ancient poll tax claims in what must the single most cynical and undemocratic move I’ve seen for many a year. Nicely done.

Now  that sense of dread is only increasing, only now it’s not because of a fear of some sort of scorched earth policy making. It’s because of the realisation that far from being Better Together, we’re still living in the shadow of Westminster decision making.

And what does that mean? 

Continue reading Voting Dilemmas: General Election 2015

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Where do we go from here?

indyref, Scottish Referendum, Yes Campaign, Portobello, Edinburgh“All the flowers are dying! Mummy, look! All the yes posters are gone and the flowers are dying. Do you think they’re dying because they were voting yes and no won? Will they go alive again?”

For a minute it wasn’t clear to me whether my six year old was talking about the yes voters or the flowers.  She’s still asking questions about the referendum and she’s asking questions because she, like the rest of Scotland, was electrified by it.

On the day of the referendum she got up at 6am with her dad to put out A boards at polling stations. All day she handed out leaflets, skipping up to voters with a big grin that made them impossible to refuse. She steadfastly refused to believe it could be a no vote, despite being told it likely would and despite her playground being evenly decided between yes and no.

That’s right, her playground. Because even in P3 the vote was all they could talk about.  When I asked her about what she said about it to her mates she said, “That it’s not right that England should tell Scotland what to do.” When I asked what her no voting mates said to her, she said: “That things are fine the way they are, so why change?” or “Because their mums and dads might lose their jobs.” Continue reading Where do we go from here?