I have tears in my eyes. Tomorrow I’ll make one of the biggest and most important choices I’ll ever make. With this choice, this vote, I have the chance to change the country that I live in. To change it for the better. I have the chance to help make it a safer, fairer, and more prosperous place for generations to come. For my children, if I’m ever lucky enough to have some. When I cast my vote I’ll be doing so in the hope that I can wake up in a world where I feel optimistic about the future – instead of one where a sense of defeat or even dread is the norm; afraid of what another government I didn’t vote for is going to do to its people. People it clearly doesn’t understand. My vote for Yes is a vote for hope. For change. For a chance at a better world because whatever happens, wouldn’t we be fools not to take a shot at making things better? It’s a huge decision. The world is watching us to see if we’re about to make history.
But that’s not why I’m greetin’. I’m not overwhelmed at the enormity of the situation or the power that we have (real power, by the way, for the first time in a long time). It’s because this journey has been one of the greatest things that I’ll ever be a part of and it’s nearly over. I’m honoured to have worked with people like National Collective, Yes Scotland, and Radical Independence. These are hard-working, dedicated, tireless, and inspirational people. I’m so, so grateful for the chance to have been a part of this amazing Journey to Yes.
Because that’s what the past two years have been to me. See, I’ve been Yes since before the question was there. Since I was a wee boy and I referred to Margaret Thatcher as “the bad lady”. Since I heard the explanation that Tories were a party dedicated to looking after the rich and have never seen a damn thing to refute it. Since I learned about the UCS work-in and realised that incredible things are possible. Since I first read the words of Jimmy Reid. Since I realised that we are trapped in a system where we either help deliver a Labour government (something they rely on, which has allowed them to move further away from the left) or we get a Tory government we didn’t vote for.
So my journey to yes isn’t a metaphor for how I arrived at the decision. I’m living my journey to yes. At every rally, every gig, every debate with friends, strangers, colleagues. Every tweet that I tag #indyref. Every time I’m inspired by the amazing people around me. For me it’s the journey to the day that we vote to achieve our independence. The journey as I’ve known it is about to end. A new one is about to begin. We’re so close. Vote Yes.
Photo courtesy of Clair Donachie / Documenting Yes
It’s not long now until the Independence Referendum and it’s no secret that I’m a Yes voter. Aside from banging on about it fairly regularly (not too much, I hope) on my Twitter (and down the pub) I’ve played a good few events now in support of the Yes campaign. Most recently I appeared at the Festival of the Common Weal, as part of the National Collective showcase and I’m performing at the opening of the Yes Pollok base this Friday the 11th of July. It was an absolute honour to be involved in the Festival of the Common Weal, and inspiring to see so many people positively engaging with the independence debate.
I know a lot of people are scared about what independence would mean for Scotland but I honestly believe it will allow our country to become a better, safer, and fairer place to live. In fact, I have trouble writing about it sometimes because it feels so obvious to me that independence is the next step for us. Talking about why we should be an independent country feels like talking about why we should be nice to each other or why people should be able to marry who they want. I imagine writing down the reasons and people saying, “well, aye, obviously”. At a basic level I believe that as a nation we should be shaping our own future and making our own choices. We have a rare chance to create a better future for our country and I believe that we have to take it.
I know that isn’t the case for everyone though. I know not everyone feels that way. If you feel differently to me, feel free to talk to me about it, and ask me why I’m voting Yes. I promise I won’t just direct you to a list of my #indyref tweets. I’ve got Twitter, Facebook, and of course you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I even have one of those daft anonymous Tumblr things. You can also just get in touch to tell me that I suck, or to ask me if my hair is really as thick and lustrous as it looks, or to ask for free stuff. I promise I’ll (almost) always reply. Bob Hoskins, may he rest in peace, was right: it’s good to talk.
In other news, I’ve got some gigs coming up. As well as my performance at the opening of the Yes Pollok base on Friday, I’ll be playing a wee gig at the Roxy 171 on the 29th of July. Keep your eyes peeled for news about my headline show at the 13th Note on the 17th of August though. I’ve got some special plans for that one. Hope to see you guys at some of these shows, and keep your ear to the ground (or the Internet) for more news!
So to recap: I’m voting Yes, feel free to give me your chat, I’m playing some gigs, keep your eyes peeled, and keep your ear to the ground. But most importantly, you have a nice day. You deserve it.
I’m away up a tree to see if I’m there.
Til next time,