There is a light that never goes out

It wasn't meant to be like this. We were meant to win, you see. It was meant to be us celebrating, not them. We had a party organised and all the plans were in place. We were all going to meet in George Square for dancing, singing, hugging, generally everything you do when you're absolutely euphoric. Hell, we were gonna rename it Independence Square!


It was meant to be us, not them. Instead, George Square was filled with thugs, who certainly were singing, except the air was thick with the sound of sectarianism and bile. They attacked Yessers. They intimidated bystanders. They burned Saltires. 


It wasn't meant to be them, it should have been us. But it wasn't.


Let's get one thing clear: these bigoted clowns are not representative of No voters. These are hate-filled, brainless morons who still harp on about a battle from 324 years ago and sing about being up to their knees in 'fenian blood' despite half of the team they support being Catholics. They belong in the Dark Ages. They don't represent anyone or anything other than hate, intolerance and stupidity.


It was them and not us. I was going to take the kids into town to let them feel and see and taste and touch what true freedom, democracy and joy was like. But we didn't get what we wanted. It was a No victory, and we fell silent, the wind in our sails gone. Were were tired and we were emotional. We fell, wounded, and it hurt.


Some anger was aimed at No voters. They were cowards, it was their fault, they let us all down, we should hate them and we should let them know that. Well, that doesn't sound like a fair and tolerant society to me. No voters aren't the enemy. They just didn't vote for independence, for a variety of reasons. Screaming "SHITEBAG!" at them makes you extremely petty and terribly, terribly small.


So what are we left with? Well, more lies from Westminster I'm afraid. We were told that we would have more powers, but there have been promises from the backbenches that they will be blocked. And let's be clear, we were promised a timetable for these further powers on the 19th. Where are they? Where is The Vow? Or have we been completely shafted as usual? Cameron, Clegg and Miliband, the weasels of mass deception.

Same old Westminster, same old problems. Except this time, we're not standing for it. There's something bubbling away under Scotland's surface and it is about to burst out. Just because there was a No vote, it doesn't mean we stop. We took one day to lick our wounds and now we are back, galvanised and ready to move forward again. We were defeated, but that doesn't mean we retreat and meekly accept our punishment. We rise up, continue with our agenda and don't stop until we succeed. We're a nation of tenacious little bastards. You won't beat us this easily. You will not grind us down this time and we will not lie down while you trample us into the dirt and turn your back on us. We are plenty and we are strong. We are coming for you and we will win. We've had enough and it's time for change. 


And it isn't just the Yes voters who are involved. A good friend said to me: 


"Something is building. There will be a common movement that is formed out of this, no question. It's not just the 45% that want Westminster to be held to account - we are all Team Scotland, now. We might come at it in a different way, but we all have the same purpose." 


There are some No voters who simply thought that independence wasn't right for us, but still want change. They thought, for what ever reason, that they couldn't put that cross next to Yes. But it doesn't mean they are happy with the way things are. Not all No voters think the same, the way that all Yessers have different levels of what they desire. There are also those who already feel let down, who regret their vote and wish they could change. We are more than just the 45%.


It doesn't have to feel like this. It can be different. Say it out loud. It doesn't have to feel like this. We are capable of change. You can't ignore the will of the people. It doesn't have to feel like this. Shout it out. As loud as you can. It feels good, doesn't it? Now let's go.


What can we do? It feels incredible to see almost the entire nation engaged so politically. The breakdown of the vote shows us that, not only was it the over 65s that killed independence in the end, but that the young 'uns were overwhelmingly in favour. The future is incredibly bright for this country.

My 18 year-old niece has been a revelation. There's a calm and measured wee napper on her shoulders, and it is so utterly fantastic to see this generation so involved. Here's what she had to say: 

"Please don't take this as a defeat. Use the momentum and the strength of our Yes campaign to continue the push for what we want as a country. Just because it was a No vote doesn't mean that we need to forget the people who fought for it, they still need us to use our voting right to make the correct decisions on their behalf. A stronger Scottish Parliament and a lot more opinionated Scots!" 


I don't know about you, but it sounds like the future of our country is going to work out just fine.


It's here that I need to make an apology. I didn't do enough. I wrote a couple of pieces, that's all. I didn't see it as my place to bang on about it. I didn't want to be another one of those folk, sharing the arse out of everything and anything, and clogging up your timelines. But now, I wish that I did. It's not that I would have made the outcome any different (well, duh), but at least I would have tried, you know?


But it's all-change now. The sleeves are rolled up and I am ready. I have spent a large portion of my adult life wanting to make a difference. I've always said that I wanted to do something that could improve the lives of other people. Well, the time is now, it's time to put my money where my mouth is. I can make a difference. I know I can, and I know that you can too.


The Common Weal (www.allofusfirst.org), for me, is the way forward. You can read more about the movement in Robin McAlpine's fantastic piece for Bella Caledonia here. 


It isn't his finest work, which he will admit, but you can just feel the raw emotion of the whole campaign. You can feel his hurt and sense his exhaustion. But there's no denying his passion. I completely and utterly sign up to The Common Weal's core principals and I strongly urge you to do so, too.


Join the Green Party. I have. Either that, join the Scottish Socialist Party. They are the only way we will get real change in this country. Labour in Scotland are dead. They have been given chance after chance in this country, and although we are a tolerant and fair nation, we don't suffer fools gladly. They don't connect with the electorate and I'm pretty sure the results of the next polling day will speak for themselves. But perhaps the only thing that could save the Labour Party, is Gordon Brown. He seems to have awoken from his cosy wee political nap, and is reminding us of why he was a success in the first place. Don't rule out Jim Murphy, either.


"What about the SNP?" I hear you cry. Well, Alex Salmond is going and that's something I am not sorry about. As I've said before, I am no fan of the man, but this piece is not for kicking a man when he's down. You have to credit the man for what he achieved in his career, whether you liked him or not. 


But they won't be rudderless, though. The party is more than simply just one man, and with the always excellent Nicola Sturgeon at the helm, they won't be going away anywhere fast. It's just that they are too mainstream for my liking, too many safe policies coupled with the do-anything-for-a-vote attitude is enough to turn myself and many others away from them. Still, with over 4000 people joining them post-referendum, it's a figure not to be sniffed at.


Whatever you do, or whoever you join or not, don't take this lying down. Out of the denial of independence could come something greater. This could work in our favour. Get out there. Rally support, be involved. The powers that be cannot ignore the will or the voice of the people if we all shout as one. And that's what we are. We are one nation. Not separated, not at war or divided but united. Feel the power of Scotland. Together as one, unified for a common goal - change. And it's gonna come.