Back To The Future If Only!

Liz Lowrey writes. As Election Day passes in the United States and yet another country stands on the abyss one has to wonder if we had possessed a time machine in 2014 and 2016 and looked ahead six years how different things might have been.

Much has already been written about the pros and cons of an Independent Scotland. However as we have seen in recent years and more starkly as the coronavirus crisis unfolds, there are as far as I can see absolutely no benefits of being shackled to the Dis United Kingdom.

Granted much was made of several key areas by the pro union side. There were a number of stumbling blocks but for someone like me and many others who voted Yes, these were far outweighed by the benefits of independence. Crucial decisions affecting our country would be taken by the people living in Scotland and not by a Parliament that has one purpose only to protect its own interests. ( For those not paying attention I mean little England )

Project Fear as it was aptly named played on the insecurity of a nation struggling to decide the way forward not just for themselves but for their children and all generations to come. From currency issues, of course Scotland couldn’t use the Pound, they said. And we ask what’s the pound worth now, next to nothing. An independent Scotland like many other small independent nations would have made a decision on currency and more crucially been able to manage its own finances. The current furlough fiasco demonstrates the folly of having our finances managed by a state that has no consideration for the majority of people, their well-being or their livelihoods. But what about the oil they screeched it’s running out. Who knew? Off course oil resources don’t last forever but as oil resources ran out and oil prices depreciated at least what was left would have been for the financial benefit of the Scottish people and not stuffing the coffers of the U.K.

Additionally despite all the fake words to the contrary the U.K. is only paying lip service to Green issues and technology whilst Scotland is literally awash with natural green resources and I genuinely believe the Scottish government has a desire to follow a greener path for energy consumption. The final nail that the Bitter Together side planted in the coffin of our independence was in my opinion the most despicable. Many older voters were literally terrified into voting no as they were falsely told they would lose their pensions. I myself who wasn’t anywhere near state retirement age was told by a senior manager at work that if I wanted to get my pension I’d better vote no to independence.

And so it has come to pass that all the lies, the infamous Vow and all the other misinformation that was foisted on the Scottish electorate have been proven false whilst many of the arguments presented by the Yes side have also sadly come to pass. At this point in time Scotland is literally at the mercy of the worst U.K. government in living memory for most of us. Bearing in mind many of us lived through the Thatcher years.

Now imagine if you can if on 19 September 2014 we had woken up as a free and independent country. How fresh the air would have smelt and how much bluer would the sky have been. Of course nothing would in fact have changed. There would have been tense negotiations and I’m certain the path to independence would not have been an easy one. However it would be our path and on each step of the way we would have had a measured and rational government as compared to the current fiasco of Brexit negotiating carried out by Westminster.

But wait something else came to pass. Having lost the independence referendum David Cameron was no longer emboldened to proceed with the Brexit referendum fiasco. Having seen the abysmal failure of Project fear a decision was taken to leave the anti EU sentiments festering within the Tory party and not subject the U.K. to any further upheaval. The rest of the U.K. remained within the EU and following a series of negotiations an independent Scotland was admitted to the EU and there was no border impeding trade between Scotland and the rest of the U.K. Scotland began to flourish as the chains of the bonds that had held us back for centuries were released. A new sense of optimism was apparent in Scotland and unsurprisingly folks in England saw what a proper government was capable of. The snap election in December 2015 in the rest of the U.K. saw the toxic Tories relegated to carping from the sidelines. A new and invigorated Labour Party cleaned up their act and formed a friendly coalition with the Green Party. The Liberal Democrats fractured into several splinter groups but never reached the point of changing their name to Tiggers.

And as for America when the populism of Brexit was squashed back into the internal mechanisms of the Tory party and left to fester undisturbed there was less demand for a populist movement in America. Trump unsurprisingly lost the 2016 US presidential race and retired to his secret golf hotel somewhere in the former Soviet Republic .

Of course as we all know we cannot live in this parallel universe and must look to the future .We cannot change the past but each and everyone of us committed to independence can work constructively to shape the future we desire for ourselves and our country. May 2021 will be the most important Scottish Parliament election to date and we must be cautious of over reliance on favourable polls . As my little fantasy piece evidences at the end of the day it’s hard facts and actual votes that matter. Dreams and aspirations are well and good but in order to make them a reality we must all work together, forget internal arguments and proceed as one strong United Party.

No one can predict the future otherwise I’d be writing this from my luxury home in the Maldives having successfully scooped several Euro Million jackpots.

One thing is certain so the future ahead is an unwritten book and I hope that Scotland and it’s people write each chapter well.

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Brexit, Boris, Independence.

Liz LowreyLiz 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 GE 2019 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 GE2019 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 a First Minister and 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 dis United 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 U.K. 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 U.K. 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

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