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Monday, 14 July 2014

A Socialist Utopia

A socialist utopia.

Let the words hang there for a second.

Let them bubble up one at a time and fill your mouth.
There it is. Now push it out there.
You got it. Keep going.

They are three little words that seem to be gathering pace in the Scottish independence debate.

Yes voters all think a socialist utopia is on the horizon say the no voters.
Yes voters are deluded if they think a socialist utopia will be delivered say the no voters.
Only the deranged think that Scotland could ever be a utopian state with socialist values say the no voters.

There is one problem with this though.

No one is actually using those words apart from no campaigners, or no one I know on the yes side of the debate.

So I can appreciate that if you support independence that when I asked you to shape your mouth to deliver them that they may have felt a bit strange hanging about there on your lip.

It’s really like one of those situations where someone shoves the words so often into your mouth that after a while you think you just might have actually said them, but deep down you know you didn’t

For the record, I am a socialist and I want independence, and yet I have still to hear anyone at all on the yes side of the fence say that this socialist utopian future is on the table.

In my experience the only time the words are used by an independence supporter is when they ask someone in the no camp who it was that actually said this as their main reason for voting for independence.

There is never a solid reply either.

Of course people like me do want to see a rise in socialist values in a post independent Scotland, but no one is bandying about the idea that a utopian paradise will be created.
We live on a planet where capitalism runs rampant and our future will be framed in the context of working within that system.
Everyone I speak to who is looking to vote yes is aware of this.

We speak about improved taxation laws that will close loopholes and have major international companies pay what they are required with their contributions then being a cash injection that can be inwardly invested.
We discuss the introduction of a living wage leading to people being more prosperous and once again investing locally through how they spend.
We consider that more money spent means more opportunities for businesses and more employment and then instead of keying into what seems to be a race to the bottom we start building from a solid foundation.

If businesses consider the long view rather than the short one then they can see that this offers them a degree of longevity that they may not have if they keep looking for maximum returns on a minimum investment.

We want our country to push that message.

Basically we are all intelligent enough to know that independence is not going to be emulating that moment in the Wizard of Oz when everything goes from black and white to Technicolor.

We fundamentally understand that.

We are also not shy in discussing issues surrounding nationalism.
Will there be a future sectarian problem?
Is immigration something that we should be concerned about?
Will the minor instances of racism that we have flourish in an independent Scotland?

These are just the tip of the iceberg discussed, but we do debate them.
What is heartening for me is that whenever an issue is raised people look for solutions.
They aren’t ducked or swept under the carpet.
We talk, and we talk, and we argue and then we talk some more.

Everyone is aware that it is a very large decision that we are being asked to make and it has many angles to be considered, and in general I think that those who I converse with consider their views in the context of the magnitude of what is being asked.

And while I am on the subject of misconceptions being promoted, similar to how the Better Together campaigners use language like “a socialist utopia” to give the impression that many of us are head in the clouds dreamers they also cast out the Braveheart freeeeedom memes that may as well have see you jimmy bunnets stitched to the head of a Mel Gibson who is waiving a shortbread tin at his Sassenach enemies.

I mean really?

The anti English sentiment is a fanciful slur on the people of Scotland.
Are there idiots who hate the English?
Of course there are.
We haven’t cornered the market on idiots though and those who do spout that sort of rubbish are not representative at all.

I know what I am voting for.
I could say that I am open to be swayed, but the quality of the Better Together supporter’s level of debate doesn’t make that look very likely as many still seem at the stage of spreading misinformation and chucking their toys out the pram when anyone disagree with them.

Bring on the rational debate please and raise the game a bit as like others I am now bored with it.

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