As many people did, I signed up to join the SNP the day after the independence referendum in 2014. It wasn’t that I was never political before that moment, but I had never felt the need to join a movement as strongly as I did that morning.
I had volunteered my time to the Yes movement in 2014 but hadn’t quite pinned my party-political colours to the mast, so to speak.
Yet I have always been a part of a political family – my parents were outspoken on many topics and were very much involved with the SNP since the late 1960s.
My mother’s daily rants about Margaret Thatcher were something I had been accustomed to over the years, particularly during my childhood in the 1980s.
I was always a voter, and I was always paying attention, but I just didn’t have the time to be fully politically active while raising my children. There’s a time and season for everything, and for politics, my season kicked off in 2014.
— The SNP (@theSNP) November 23, 2022
I’m sure we all remember the “eat your cereal” advert. It absolutely boiled my blood. I had been raising children since 1991, and if there was something I knew it was the need for women’s voices in education, healthcare, infrastructure and housing, among many other issues in which I had become a wee bit of an expert in during my “household managerial” years.
The patronising attempt to exclude women from the debate when many of us ran households unpaid, taking more hours than a full-time job and organisational skills to get right, filled me with utter rage.
I was a carer and had lived experience of many challenges which I wanted to use to help improve services.
I felt I just had to take to the streets as an activist to combat that patronising messaging. I knew that independence meant building a future I could help shape, and I knew that politics was for me and my children as much as it was for anyone else.
The message on the doors at that time was very much about Scotland having a role to play as its own voice in the world, one that wasn’t advocated for, but one that could advocate for itself and its own citizens.
I suppose I had the benefit of not being aligned with any political party at that time as I could make the case from a politically neutral standpoint when challenged with debate on SNP policy.
This was a tactic I saw time and again by opponents to independence, the tearing down of anything SNP, the undermining of the party’s voice and the attempts to smear the credibility of anything it would promote, independence being one of those things.
I have always argued the case for this being about democracy and fairness.
Believe it or not, as the Facebook rants intensified, I found an ally in a Conservative for Yes, as he too saw the possibilities of independence for his political beliefs. I believe many others cross-party did too.
I wonder what happened to them and what their thoughts are on last week’s decision by the Supreme Court.
— Aberdeen Independence Movement (@AIMAberdeen) November 23, 2022
As the decision was revealed, I found myself incredibly frustrated at the messaging once again coming from pro-Union parties.
To ask for the decision to be respected is indeed a false narrative. How could we not respect it? We are bound to it, and we must abide by it – that’s exactly what the problem is.
They are counting on the public assuming the ruling was against the Scottish Government having a referendum when it was interpreting the law as to whether we can legally initiate a referendum without the consent of Westminster.
The pro-Union parties seemed to be in a bit of a fluster about this, as they know fine well their undemocratic Union was laid bare for all to see. We are certainly not in a consensual or equal union.
I found it intriguing that, once again, the pro-independence side saw this as an opportunity to galvanise and gather, while the pro-Union side didn’t have much to say – very subdued and unprepared, I thought.
For us, there’s nothing more motivational than being told no when it’s a matter of justice.
As I watched the reactions to the ruling unfold, I thought my head was going to shake off my shoulders, I was in utter disbelief at some of the takes.
One was especially face-palm inducing: I watched as somebody spoke on local TV in Aberdeen, citing that the ruling was to be celebrated as they didn’t like what the SNP had to offer.
I just couldn’t believe that anyone would take from this a party narrative. If the parties they were supportive of had had the roles reversed, would they be as keen on the ruling?
🔥 "Let me be clear – no establishment, Westminster or otherwise, will ever silence the voice of the Scottish people."
🏴 Watch @NicolaSturgeon's speech at the Holyrood rally for democracy.
— Yes (@YesScot) November 25, 2022
As ultimately, this has uncovered a clear statement: that there is no straight path to a referendum, regardless of who or what we vote for.
That should shake any democrat to the core. We must have the right to self-determination and to govern how we choose, economically, socially, and culturally.
This is recognised by international law for individuals, so why not for the individuals of Scotland? The question is not who we want to run Scotland but rather who should run Scotland.
Time and again since 2014, we have voted consistently for the SNP pledge of holding a referendum, we know we have been given a mandate by the people, and to deny the obvious is shameful for anyone.
To be satisfied with a court ruling stating we need the permission of another country to pursue a referendum is to deny true democracy. This kind of political subjugation has no place in any modern society.
There are, of course, other paths to independence that we can take, and although they may be rough, nothing worthwhile ever came easy.
There’s a time and a season, and our time is now.
🎙️ We asked people on the streets of Edinburgh who they think should decide Scotland's future.
📣 It's time Westminster listens to the people and stops denying democracy. pic.twitter.com/ejnfQu1AIQ
— Scotland's Voices Show (@scotvoicesshow) November 23, 2022