Hopefully since the horror of results night you’ve now stopped greetin into your tea. For those of you that aren’t quite there – don’t worry. Chin up, champ, we’ll get there. Look at all the energy we had during the campaign! The number of people involved was spectacular and everyone and their da wanted to do something to help. Independence will come one day, whether it’s in five years or whether it’ll be when I’m surrounded by a herd of grandweans listening to me tell them that I was there the first time we fucked it up. Until that day though, here are some ideas of things you can do to help Scotland until then.
1. Stop Your TV Licence
What a beacon of impartial reporting the BBC were! Accurate to the death! If you don’t agree, hit them where it hurts – the cashmoneydollars. Realistically, TV is becoming more and more obsolete. You’ve got the internet and Netflix. Enjoy. Even if you fancy watching Doctor Who, you don’t need a TV licence to use iPlayer and other catch-up services. You can also use the radio channels without a TV licence. The best bit is that even if you decide to stop paying your TV licence while enjoying full BBC privileges (which I’m in no way advocating) it’s highly unlikely you’d get prosecuted. TV Licensing Officers have no right of access to your home, they are not the polis. Consider them like state-funded vampires who cannot enter unless invited across the threshold. They have no power to have you charged unless they catch you in the act of watching TV. Unless you invite them in or haven’t shut your curtains and they’re peeping through your windows, the game’s a bogey. See more about it here.
2. Change Your Bank
I wanted to move my money from any bank that had taken part in the baseless scaremongering offered up in the weeks leading up the referendum. After some furious Googling in the last few days, I can only conclude that all banks are run by retired Bond villains. I’m seriously struggling to find any bank that I want to give the coins from the back of my couch to, let alone my hard-earned cash. Credit unions are a great alternative for savings, but sadly most lack the facilities that we need for modern current accounts. It’s not practical for the vast majority of folk to have a current account without a debit card. However, any savings you have can be moved to a credit union. Not only is it a cathartic Fuck You to the banks, it helps your local community by lending money at low-interest rates to others. They’re actively trying to stamp out loan sharks and pay-day lenders, so it’s a win-win. The cynical amongst you will say that a multi-billion quid bank is not going to give one solitary fuck if a girl from Clydebank moves savings that are barely scraping 4-figures away from them, but the old cliché is true. Power in numbers. Or money talks. Have either of them, they both apply. Find your local credit union here.
3. Join a Political Party
Judging by news reports, the SNP and Green’s memberships have increased approximately 3-kajillion percent since The Yesmas That Never Was. I’ve always been interested in politics (as a child, I used to write to my MP demanding better swingparks for the area. I’m not sure why I wasn’t the most popular kid in school) but until now I’ve never considered joining a political party. Now, it seems like organisation is needed. Channel your energies and passions into something you can work on with like-minded people. Have a swatch and see what party interests you.
Join the SNP here
Join the Greens here
Join the SSP here
Join Labour here
Join the Tories here
Those food banks we heard so much about run on donations from folk like you. A lot of people voted for independence because they wanted social justice. They wanted to give the folk that have hee-haw a better life. Until we get independence you can continue to help people who need it by volunteering. You don’t need to work in a charity shop or ladle out the Chicken Broth in a soup kitchen. Organisations need volunteers for things like building websites, translating documents or coaching football. Use your talents and you’ll get a nice warm fuzzy feeling in return. Contact organisations you want to work with directly or check out Volunteer Scotland for opportunities in your area.
5.Think Of A New Name For ‘The 45’
The 45 has been set up so that those who support independence can move forward. We need this organisation but the name needs to go. The 45 makes it too much of an exclusive club. “WE voted for indepence the first time round, WE were right. You can join but you’ll never be with the cool kids of the original 45%”. It needs to be clear that it’s a progressive movement which more than welcomes new converts. We don’t want to set ourselves apart as The 45 and The 55, it’s divisive and for those of you who stuck out Standard Grade Maths, they’ve got the numbers on their side. We need more of them to come and be our pals. I’ve been racking my brains for a name but I’m stumped. Get thinking.
6. Be Nice To The No Voters
Calling them fearty cunts isn’t going to bring folk round to Yes. Scottish people are thrawn as fuck. You’re not going to win anyone round just telling them they’re wrong. You’ll put their backs up and they’ll dig their heels in. Show them what we could build together and make them want to be part of it.
As an Anglo-Scot living in England I have to say that there is an unappealing strand of chippiness in a certain small section of the Scottish population (fortunately not enough to cancel out the natural friendliness and community-mindedness of many Scots), and this morphed into downright nastiness on the part of some ‘Yes’ supporters in the run-up to the referendum.
It seems many people have turned to nationalism not because of any deeply held belief in Scottish identity or patriotism etc but because they see it as their only chance of advancing their left-wing agendas – which probably explains why Socialists and Greens wanted independence.
In the meantime, I hope that the silent majority and the saner members of the Yes camp will all contribute constructively to Scotland’s future.
Jasper, have you failed to grasp that a left wing agenda was the absolute, principal focus of the Yes campaign? That is the very sanity that will prevail in the end. As for the chippiness, well we can’t have that, whatever it is. People of multiple ethnic origins (including native Scots) live for most of the time, peacefully and harmoniously in Scotland, and that is the way it should be. The biggest danger to peace and stability is probably the sectarian element we saw helping old ladies across the road in George Square the other night – they, I am convinced, would have been No voters almost exclusively.
Donnie, you might only need to wait till May 2015 and you’ll have a left-wing UK government and Ed Miliband as PM, if that’s what you want. Especially if Labour’s conference in Manchester this week ticks all the right boxes with voters.
BTW, your talk of ‘the 45’ is new to me, and I must say it has a nice ring to it. History buffs talk about the ’45 Rising, by which they mean the Jacobite Rising of 1745. That wasn’t a straightforward Scot v English thing, of course, though it did lead to the dismantling of the Highlands way of life – the effects of which are still evident today.
Good thoughts, Luisaidh – hits the nails on the heads – but note spelling of “thrawn”.