the Scottish Referendum, some (quiet) thoughts.

Thursday, September 18

There's been a lot of talk the past few days about how crossing this or that box on the ballot paper will make Scotland a better, kinder, fairer, brighter, more creative, more peaceful, more just, [insert other ideal here] place.

But I think one thing that's clear is that change is definitely possible whatever the outcome of today's vote. Because Scottish people have shown themselves capable of 'being' that change. Whether we stay in the UK or break off to become something separate. 

Walking through the buzzing streets of Glasgow this past week and overhearing the conversations that are happening in the 'ordinary' places - on the train, in the queues at traffic lights, in the cafes while customers wait for their coffees - it's been quite moving to see the level of enthusiasm and passion and engagement and creativity that this referendum has stirred up in the people living here. We're a country of pretty talented individuals - with more to us than the same old kitsch that's often broadcast to the world (tartan and Nessie and bagpipes-galore!).

My 'wish for Scotland' is that people remember their desire for 'kindness' and 'fairness' and 'peace' etc on Friday morning when - inevitably - about half the voting population will wake up disappointed. (It's so close. So, so close). I hope that, rather than becoming apathetic, or angry, or antagonistic, the dissapointed group (whoever they are) will channel the energy they've shown these past few months into something positive. Because 'kindness' and 'fairness' and 'peace' etc aren't really top-down principles. Kindness can be a grassroots movement.

I hope that whatever happens, Scotland won't become a country divided against itself. Let it remain a force for good in the world. (Good luck to everyone who's voting today! I'm both nervous and excited to see what tomorrow will bring.)

(Picture snapped while walking through George Square yesterday evening. I've never seen so many Scottish flags.)

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