Today is the anniversary of the most iconic battle in Scottish history – the second day of the Battle of Bannockburn. I’ve written about it at length.
The 24th of June 2016 may prove to be just as historic as that fateful day in 1314.
I remember the 2011 SNP landslide. All the Westminster parties conspired to prevent an independence referendum, time and time and time again, during the SNP minority administration. They said that nothing short of an SNP majority would suffice to prove the people of Scotland’s desire for a referendum. In 2011, the people of Scotland delivered.
I remember the speculation about the Edinburgh Agreement. Unionist hacks derided the decision to hold the referendum in 2014, claiming that Alex Salmond (for it was always about him, not the people he represented as First Minister) was aiming to hijack nationalist sentiment about the anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn.
I remember the Yes Campaign. All the people filled with excitement and joy and love and hope for a better future, fighting against the united might of the British Establishment, the media, the press, the UK government, and the crippling self-doubt of our own people.
I remember the 18th of September.
I remember the 19th of September.
I remember campaigning to elect Stuart McMillan to Holyrood as the first SNP constituency MSP for Greenock & Inverclyde, and seeing his 8 years’ hard work bear fruit: a historic third term for a Scottish Government.
I remember how deeply, ruefully ironic it was that David Cameron, he who “won” the Scottish Independence Referendum, chose that very anniversary for what Nigel Farage is calling “the United Kingdom’s Independence Day” – a referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union.
I remember all the citizens of the EU who campaigned with us for our independence, who voted with us to return Scotland’s sovereignty… who were denied a vote in this referendum. I voted because they could not. I am so sorry it was not enough.
I remember Jo Cox as Nigel Farage aggrandised a campaign that was won “without a single bullet being fired.”
I remember all the media spreading its lies about migrant hordes and rampant EU bureaucracy, as I see tears in Andrew Neil’s eyes, sweat dripping from Brian Taylor’s brow, the shudder in Lauren Kuennsberg’s lips: a Broadcasting Corporation that knows it is reporting its own terminal diagnosis. Reap the whirlwind.
I remember the “opposition” party campaign on controls on immigration, perpetuating the xenophobic fiction of that media, as I watch politicians of that party all but break down in tears. How did this happen, they think, forgetting what they did to foster those phantoms which frightened so many millions into voting Leave.
I remember all my friends and allies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and my heart breaks for them – but urge them to wipe their eyes and dry their feet. We know how it feels to have our hearts utterly broken. But our Scottish Government will not rest in their desire to protect the democratic decision of the people of Scotland – and always know that our brothers and sisters throughout the British Isles are always welcome to join us.
I remember London Swenglish. Christian. Tanja. Liz. Kris’ wife. Nina. Ellen. Ilona. Pablo. Rick. Ben. Sol. Eva. Ntina. Borghert. Nerea. Alex. Milena. Anne-Grethe. Charlotte. Orjan. Carla. Jennie. Sjoerd. Liesbeth. Samuele. Yanis. Claudia. Fabrizio. David. Miguel. Ann-Marie. Dariusz. Rita. Elin. Heidi. Samuele. Frank. Josefine. Gosia. Thomas.
I remember: “if you’re here, you’re ours.”
I remember: “another Scotland is possible.”
I remember: “as long as a hundred of us remain alive.”
I remember: “freedom, come a’ ye.”
I remember: “the dream shall never die.”