Hey everyone Over the course of my life I have heard many poor excuses as to why Scotland should not be an independent country but today during what had initially started as a civilised chat I heard one of the oldest and most bigoted in the book namely the fact that Scotland was a protestant country and therefore should not even consider independence from the United Kingdom.
Honestly, I kid you not it seems that bigotry is alive well and living in the hearts of the darkest pro union forces. These people are what Americans would call trailer trash the uncouth and uneducated unionists, the ones that better together tried so hard to keep out of their campaign at least until their tainted victory had been won.
I met one of these characters whilst waiting for a bus in to town. He was with someone whom I assumed to be his carer and initially thinking they may be civilised we struck up a conversation as he said he thought he knew me but couldn’t place where from. Initially he seemed friendly enough and we chatted about wages before it descended in to the politics of the gutter.
When I said that all my work had been salaried I was told I must be posh. I refuted this comment by saying that I was in no way posh just a well educated working class girl from the schemes who had managed to get myself an honours degree in Geography and Politics and because of my education I was politically active in the yes campaign in the recent independence referendum.
This did not go down well with my inquisitors who said they had voted no. When I asked them why they made that choice I was hoping that they would say something like they believed that Scotland was better as part of the UK because it would give us a stronger voice in Europe or that they wanted more powers for the parliament but would prefer to stay within a federal UK. These are the kind of answers I usually get from my unionist friends, not that I agree with them but I do find their answers to be acceptable as they would be made by genuine people for the right reasons.
Unfortunately however, this was not to be the case as they quite blatantly played the sectarian card by claiming to be protestants not papists and feeding me the oldest line in every redneck’s handbook. You know home rule is Rome rule.
Speaking as a protestant who is at ease with myself and with my culture I told them this was nonsense. Then the less intellectually able of this dynamic duo said I was right as the Pope you know head of the church they loathe supported the union, adding no surrender at the end of his bigoted if somewhat confused sentence.
I countered this ridiculous statement by saying I knew people who were much better Spanish speakers than they or I and that they explained to me that was not what Pope actually said. What he did say that there were many national causes seeking to establish new or re-establish old states and some causes were more just than others. At the end of my explanation they just shook their heads and said oh F him anyway.
After condemning the head of another branch of the christian family they turned on outgoing First Minister Alex Salmond and his soon to be successor Nicola Sturgeon. In a tirade of abuse they claimed that Mr Salmond was an embarrassment to Scotland and that Ms Sturgeon would be even worse. To say this angered me would be somewhat of an understatement but fortunately I know how to behave with dignity in these situations and with a reply which contained no profanity I said that Mr Salmond had easily been the best First Minister our country has had and Ms Sturgeon would be even better. Not able to resist a dig I said that the only embarrassments to Scotland were those vandals who trashed George Square or as I prefer to call it Freedom Square on the night of the unionists victory. I asked if they were proud of them and their reply which totally avoided the question was that they were proud to be Scottish and British. That I said was not an answer I asked if they were proud of the vandals and there lack of even one coherent sentence condemning them told me all I needed to know.
Suitably stunned by my comment the less able of the two revealed they were both Freemasons and Tory’s. When I said that Freemasons were never supposed to reveal their membership of the craft. I was told I knew nothing about it as I wasn’t a member and women couldn’t join anyway. Now correct me if I’m wrong but is this not the very image that today’s more forward thinking Conservative Party want to get away from? I for one suspect it might be but you can’t face the future if your living in the past and this pair undoubtedly were. There allegiance to the idea of the monarchy as head of state is my view an outdated concept with no place in today’s world
I was to put it politely extremely disturbed at the false allegations they made against the SNP with regards to this issue as they claimed that the SNP winning independence would lead to the overthrow of the monarchy and the established order to be replaced by a republic like Ireland. Well when I say disturbed I mean only that I was disturbed at the lies they would tell to influence the gullible.
On closer examination the arguments had more holes than a golf course and I dismantled it by saying that it wasn’t the just SNP who were campaigning for independence but the Green Party, the Scottish Socialists, and many other groups and individuals who were proud to work together under the banner of Yes Scotland and who will continue to fight for our right to nationhood until our victory is won.
On the question of the monarchy I said that the yes campaign had never suggested that Scotland become a republic and though I personally would have embraced the idea we stated that we would keep the queen as head of state. On hearing my personal opinion they said and I’ll bet you support the IRA to which my reply was that I did not though I did support the reunification of Ireland through peaceful means. This led to the less intelligent member of the unionist version of Dumb and Dumber pointing to his lapel badge and telling me he got it from the King Billy shop. This to me showed him up for exactly what he was. In other words not the most intelligent member of society with a mind that was narrower than most country roads.
However no matter how bigoted there behaviour at least they showed they had a sense of humour by saving their most ludicrous comment to last when they claimed that had Robert The Bruce been alive today he would have voted no. They claimed they had been told this by Lord Elgin who is a direct descendant of the man who won Scotland it’s freedom. This to me smacks of both drivel and desperation. I informed them that since Elgin was a Lord and therefore one of the parcel of rogues and that Burns had in mind when writing his song on the union, he was in no fit position to say or even know what a real patriot would have done and to slander the name of the Bruce in this way was in my view the ramblings of those who have clearly lost the plot and believe me I told them as much. I taunted them by reminding them since Bruce was a devout Catholic (as everyone in Europe was at the time) then surely by their logic he would have wanted a yes vote. To say they were raging would be an understatement but I know how to wind bigots up I’ve had years of practice at it and I seldom miss my targets. At this the bus came in to view and I was mercifully spared anymore of their poisonous bile.
As my journey reached its end I saw them coming down from the back of the bus and I couldn’t help but paraphrase the title of a Jeanette Winterson novel as I asked myself a question are bitter oranges the union’s only fruit? and I couldn’t help but answer yes.
Love And Best Wishes