Imagine walking into your workplace every day knowing that 92.62% of your colleagues didn’t like you.
Imagine every time you stood up to ask a question in a meeting you were booed and heckled and told to “go home”.
Imagine if no-one actually heard your question because of the noise.
Imagine you’d thought about the challenges, diligently brought sensible suggestions that were ignored, and imagine that the spirit of compromise you brought was met with contempt and derision.
Imagine being told by the chairman that your voice didn’t matter, and that the vote you had on the business’s constitutional arrangements seven and a bit years ago had to stand forever because someone who no longer works for the company once used a phrase – “once in a generation” – in a completely different context – which meant that the question could never be asked again. Ever.
Even if 80% of the colleagues of your department wanted it.
Even if larger departments were enacting bigger changes on a much lower support base. And imagine if all the time the powers and responsibilities you always believed were yours by right were being taken without your consent? And if your department couldn’t set a budget because the big house was so incompetent they couldn’t set theirs?
And imagine the big house – some of whose members actually live in your neighbourhood – tried to blame you because your conscientious stance had delayed a catastrophic outcome the people you represent never wanted?
Your self-respect would mean you’d leave the company and never go back. You’d think about calling the lawyer, but, ach, life’s too short, and why give them the satisfaction?
You’d set up your own company. You’d grow up. You’d move on.
Ok, I’ve laboured the point enough.
It isn’t working, people. Get us out of here, quick. This continuing participation in a demeaning charade has to end. It’s deeply embarrassing.
Every time we ask for what is already ours it weakens and demeans us and emboldens a majority government that hardly needs us to give it a confidence boost.
And while I’ve wanted to write an article about the red herring that is the kite flying exercise that is devo-max, I’ve resisted because plenty of folk better qualified than me have dealt with the issue and because the stooshie misses the point.
And the point isn’t the kite flying non-story of a ridiculously vague, non-mandated devo-max that is essentially a re-run of the panicked, purdah breaking “vow” of 2014 that led to a Smith Commission that delivered the square root of hee haw and ultimately paved the way for the post-Brexit power grab which is now happening in plain sight.
No. The point is this.
After everything that has happened. After being ignored over a Brexit that we rejected. After being continually dragged into austerity and illegal wars. After being huff’d and cuff’d and disrepeckit, to borrow from Burns, we still haven’t used the growing number of cast-iron democratic mandates that we’ve won to get ourselves the hell out. That is a disgrace.
In the end, the primary responsibility of any leader is the well-being of her people. Rule from Westminster presents an existential threat to Scotland and therefore the First Minister must with immediate effect remove us from this bouroch at the earliest possible opportunity by whatever means available. Not by the end of the decade. But now.
In the end, it’s always better to plough your own furrow. And the best and most honest thing is to be yourself.
This is about self-preservation. And, importantly self-respect. Because I’ll be damned if the Rees-Moggs of this world speak for me and mine.
Get it done folks. It’s later than you think.
Happy new year, people. I’ll meet you further on up the road.