So I’m on the train home after seeing The War On Drugs in Glasgow. Oh man. Brilliant. Sometimes – actually, always – it’s worth taking a moment to reflect.
It isn’t nearly enough to be just a wee bit better than Westminster. I mean, that particular bar could hardly be lower. I think to win that kind of independence would be the epitome of a Pyrrhic victory. On reflection, if you could summarise the 2014 campaign in one slogan it would be: “don’t scare the horses”. God Save The Queen. Keep the pound. And I sometimes think – did people look at this and think: Jesus, what’s the point? Where’s the vision? Is this as good as it gets? That’s it? Really? Incidentally, I also think this is the mistake Starmer is making by trying to out-flagshag the Tories. Why vote for incremental change? So I honestly believe the next independence campaign should be insanely radical. Abolish the monarchy. Become a republic. Adopt the euro. I mean, why not? What’s there to lose? It’s like Harold Wilson’s adage about socialism: “either it is a cause or it is nothing”. Today it feels like the latter.
Oh, and once we’re independent? Devolve power as much and as locally as possible. Here’s a stat. In Sweden, 1/81 people hold some sort of elected position. In Scotland? 1/2000. People aren’t politically apathetic by nature. They just do the maths. If you build it, they will come.
We need to trust and empower people. Be bold, proud, gallus. Actually become the people we tell the world we are. Be the man, not the myth. Remember that our culture and our language isn’t something to bring out on Burns Night and then put it away in a drawer, lest it offend the neighbours watching bake-off. After all, a generation of players that couldn’t give a damn about past failures have just pumped Spain, Norway and Georgia and we’re all googling flights to Dortmund next summer. Perhaps we, too, should recalibrate our ambitions.
What was that Bobby Kennedy line? “Some people see things as they are and ask ‘why’? I see things as they never were and ask “why not’? Or, as the closing line in the standout song from last night had it:
“Ain’t the sky just shades of grey
Until you seen it from the other side?
Oh, if loving you’s the same
It’s only some occasional rain”
Come rain or shine, let Scotland be Scotland.
Time to bring our democracy home.
Because it’s later than you think.