Christmas CactusLiz Lowrey writes. They say the darkest hour is just before the dawn and as we approach the Winter Solstice and the shortest day of the year at first glance there is very little to be of good cheer about. Even in the worst of times if we look hard enough it’s possible to find a glimmer of hope.

In subsequent decades long after Scotland has gained Independence from the Dis United Kingdom historians will surely look back on 2020 as one of the worst years in living history.

However 2020 will also be known as the year of the great conjunction. As Jupiter and Saturn align for the first time in over 800 years and stargazers look in awe at this spectacle, we in Scotland of a more political nature will look ahead to 2021 not upwards to the stars. We will look to the day when Scotland becomes an Independent nation.

This years events have bought the many advantageous of being a small self sustained nation to the eyes of a large part of our population. New Zealand is a shining example of how well things can be done. There will always be a small percentage of Unionists who would rather allow their house to burn to a stick because they don’t like the idea of the fire service. For these individuals and their attitude there is nothing we can do. They are a lost cause as sure as the Toxic Tory Government is.

Our Scottish Government and our First Minister have led our country and managed the crisis engulfing us all with fortitude sensitivity and a sense of openness and honesty which has been sadly lacking from politicians elsewhere. Surprisingly the branch office of the Scots Tories have been very quiet recently. How they wish they had a competent leader and I’m sure that they are well aware that for every day The Buffoon in Downing Street remains in power, support for our Independence grows.

Poll after poll evidences this and the media in the rest of Europe and the wider world are taking notice. The message of Scotland being too poor too small too everything but the kitchen sink will no longer wash. And talking of washing, no amount of spin can cleanse the Tory lies and mismanagement of this pandemic. We all know that this is just the latest example of their catalogue of failures in recent years.

As we enter a festive season that is anything but festive, we must take heart from some of the benefits we already have in Scotland thanks to our SNP government. Our country is already a kinder place, but there is much that can still be done. We have free prescriptions and personal care. Our young folks benefit from a University education without the burden of tuition fees. Our welfare and support system treats people with dignity and respect. Imagine how much more could be done when we have full control of all our fiscal policy. There’s an old saying that springs to mind relating to the Unionist argument for why Scotland couldn’t manage without the bad old UK supporting us. “He who pays the Piper calls the tune”. The UK and Unionists omit from their argument the part where Scotland contributes to the UK economy what we actually get back in return is a piper with a broken set of bagpipes.

Change must surely come. For some change can’t come quickly enough. This is a time when we must put our trust in our SNP Government. It is no fallacy to say that May 2021 will be the most important election in our lifetime. Scotland has turned the corner and I’m certain that with hard work we can secure the much needed massive majority of SNP MSPs. All of us have a part to play in this historic election.

Whilst conventional campaigning seems highly unlikely at this stage, there are many ways of promoting our cause. Let’s encourage everyone we know to complete postal vote applications. Always best to get ahead of the field. It’s something the Tories have been doing for years. We can all as individual talk to friends, families, neighbours, in fact anyone we feel comfortable having these conversations with. In some ways our task has already been made easier as the evidence builds daily of UK and Unionist failure.

We have an excellent strong candidate, Jim Fairlie, in our area. He will not shy away from the question of Independence and this fills me with hope. Following the May election, we want Holyrood to be filled with independence hungry SNP politicians. It’s time for Scotland’s voice to be heard and not silenced or ignored. Drew Hendry MP made a brilliant start in Wastemonster last week. Scotland’s voice and disgust at the way our country is being treated was heard by all loudly and clearly. The sooner our MPs are back in Scotland and not part of this archaic farce of a Parliament the better.

Finally Scotland is emerging from the dark shadow of the UK and from this we can all have reason for optimism for the future.

I moved house just over two years’ ago. Prior to the move I had for many years a Christmas cactus that without fail produced the most beautiful blooms every year. It was a magnificent plant and got bigger and better with every passing year. For the last two Christmases the poor plant was bare. No amount of feeding or watering made a bit of difference. As the house was prepared for Christmas, I moved it into the living room where it got more warmth and light. Miraculously blooms have began to appear.

Scotland is finally coming out of its dark place and heading to a future where all will have the opportunity to blossom and reach their full potential. Only with Independence can this be achieved and we must all strive collectively to achieve this prize.

I wish all readers a safe and peaceful festive time and a Guid New Year when it comes .