Liz Lowrey writes. I remember as the clocks chimed midnight at the start of this year looking at trending Twitter trends.
#Roaring Twenties was a popular one and this was mix of optimism from Brexiteer types along the lines of Britain will rise again and be a great and mighty force in the world. The flip side of this trend on which I firmly fell was that there was a lot of negativity and parallels being drawn with the previous roaring twenties which started so well yet ended in misery and chaos for much of the world.
Whilst most in Scotland could see positivity with the great results for the SNP at the 2019 General Election and in particular our area ousting the unwelcome Tory MP, there was also much to feel anxious and concerned about.
The morning following the landslide victory of Boris in the GE 2019 filled me with dread. I couldn’t believe that the previous Red North who had suffered and endured the Thatcher years could vote for a charlatan best known for the amount of lies he openly told. How I asked myself could they have elected this man and his government and the simple explanation was they believed his bluster that he would level up the North and of course get Brexit done. I believed that those who had loaned their vote to the Tories to get Brexit done would live to regret this.
Who knew on 1 January 2020 that the trials and tribulations of Brexit would pale into insignificance as the world was slowly engulfed in the coronavirus pandemic. At times of national crisis strong and trustworthy leadership is what people crave and we in Scotland have been blessed with Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister leading a government that is working tirelessly to protect life, wellbeing and the economy, no mean feat especially as we are constantly hampered by being shackled to the disUnited Kingdom.
I watched and listened in horror and disgust as Boris and his coterie of yes men stalled, blundered and out did themselves with ever increasing incompetence. It will be many years before the lackadaisical approach to tackling the pandemic reaches the enquiry stage if it ever does. It seems however that the majority of thinking is that action was taken too slowly and many lives were lost needlessly.
Currently more and more people in England are no doubt living to regret where they put their cross on the ballot paper only a few short months ago. Brexit and all its horrendous consequences is an ever looming threat not just for us in Scotland who did not vote for this, but for the whole of the UK. When prices rise and there are food and medicine shortages who will Boris blame? Unless you dear reader have not been paying attention, it will be anyone but himself and his shoddy government.
Who knew as 2020 dawned that the UK would be a pariah state that openly states it will break international law. This coupled with the prospect of the devolution power grab and not to mention the toxic food that will be arriving shortly in our shops must surely be the tipping point for many in Scotland.
I personally am happy to see that polling for independence is consistently rising and also an increasing number of our fellow citizens who voted No in 2014 have now come to see that the arguments presented by the No side had no substance. The Scottish Tories may have a new leader but a leopard doesn’t change its spots. A Scottish Tory is a Tory however much they try and disguise this, as was evidenced when 5 out of the 6 Scottish Tory MPs voted to prevent hungry children in England receiving a hot meal during four weeks of school holidays in what remains of 2020. What ever way they try and justify their actions there is no excuse for this cruel heartless decision. Prior to retiring I worked with vulnerable people and families and the hardships that people have to endure just wouldn’t feature on a Tory radar.
As the clocks go back on Saturday night and the days shorten we must look at some of the reasons for optimism although it can be very hard in these trying times. We have recently planted our spring bulbs and this is a reminder that even in the darkest and most desperate times there will always be new life and new beginnings.
The Holyrood Election in May 2021 is a perfect starting point for Scotland to seize a chance for a new and fresh beginning. We want to live in an independent country where decisions made are made for and by the people of Scotland. A country where no child goes to bed hungry and where all people are welcomed regardless of their origin and certainly where a person’s worth is not measured in how much they earn. An independent Scotland that my daughter and step sons and their families will be able to live in and enjoy.
There will be many challenging times until the year end. As the clock yet again ticks down to midnight on 31 December 2020 my hope is that 2020 will soon be a distant memory. It will not be known as #Roaring Twenties but the year when most of society pulled together and endeavoured to make the best of very challenging circumstances.
And then my fellow readers there was Boris!
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