Smoking Guns And Smoking Bans Lit The Flames Of Battle But Have We Fired Too Many Blanks In The Name Of Scotland’s Law

Hey everyone I have just read the Kevin McKenna article in the Guardian on the introduction of the new Police Scotland and as usual from a man who always has Scotland’s interests at heart I have to say it was an excellent and thought provoking read.

In the 2007 Scottish Election I supported the idea of the increase in police numbers and still do provided they are actually on the beat. I don’t agree that Scotland is as McKenna asserts reasonably well behaved I have had too much personal abuse mainly pre 2009 before going full time with my gender transition for which I always gave as I got, to believe that but neither do I think it is some den of immorality where everyone needs sorting out. The truth as always lies as it usually does, somewhere in-between.

At first I thought that the idea of a national police force was a good idea, however I have become more concerned the more I have heard on it. One of the key reasons why I have had a shift in my opinion is Precisely because I Do support more bobbies on the beat but I believe If policing is to be effective it must be local and delivered at community level rather than imposed from on high. It seems to me that my party has called this one wrong but time and history will prove if I or the Government are right on this matter, just as it will on other pieces of legislation on which at the moment I am decidedly lukewarm.

For example, I know the Offensive Behaviour Act was a well intentioned piece of legislation but It appears to me at least this legislation was rushed through and not as well thought out as it could or should have been. This has undoubtedly played out badly for the SNP in recent council by-elections in the West Of Scotland particularly Govan, which had this act not been introduced I am sure the party would have held probably with an increased share of the vote, and to a lesser extent Shettleston. Though Shettleston would have been more difficult and I don’t believe we would have won I think we would have run the Labour Party much closer than we did. This is especially true as Labour’s candidate was not a local man and had it not been for this distraction I believe we would have been able to play the local card much effectively than circumstances allowed us to.

The results of those by-elections have I believe something to teach politicians of all party colours. You see it seems to me that no matter how well intentioned any piece of legislation is, all parties have to learn is that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Just ask Jack McConnell about the impact of introducing the smoking ban, a law which is a life long non smoker I actually approved of and believe me if he were honest, I am sure he would admit it lost the Labour Party almost as many votes their decision to take Britain in to the illegal war in Iraq against the will of the people. Indeed it may have played a significant role in costing him his job as First Minister, the keys to Bute house and the eventually leadership of his party.

I know that some people will say and I am one of them that this law was short term pain for long term gain but that wasn’t the way it was perceived by voters who smoked. There are also some who and say it with sincerity that there was a good reason for identity cards. I thank god that this idea was defeated but it seems those who ignore the lessons of history are condemned to repeat it’s mistakes. I just hope the mistakes I have outlined here do not cost my party dearly or even worse cost my country the game changing possibility of a fairer and better nation by losing
the independence referendum.

This would I fear be the perfect Shakespearian tragedy as a journey started in hope could end in the worst of all possible nightmares for my country. I say this as l genuinely fear the consequences of a unionist victory will have a catastrophic impact on Scotland for years, decades, or perhaps even centuries to come.

This in my opinion will be an impact which will be felt long after we have regained our independence which will still come probably within a 15 to 20 year timescale. The problem however is when is does come should we fail to grasp the thistle in September, it will not be on Scotland’s terms. Believe me when I say that though I believe the moribund British state lies in its death throes it is still capable of one last song before its final exit and that will be that the timing and the terms of Scotland’s independence will be set by Westminster and that will be the ultimate tragedy.

There would be some delicious irony in this for some people. After all it was smoking guns and smoking bans which lit the flames for battle If we allow the flames to be defused will it be because we weren’t bold enough and when given the chance to shoot for victory we fired too many blanks?

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X


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