I Have a Dream: Scotland after the Referendum 2014

When I was young I had two dreams one was going with the nationalistic view of a free and independent Scotland, the other, was of a world living and working together for the greater good of all. How can this be, you might ask, one is a dream of separation the other is of unity? Well one is borne from years of West of Scotland protestant and nationalistic indoctrination (father side of the family) the other is from, in part, a mother who’s family (Roman Catholic) had just migrated from an Ireland that was split through sectarianism looking for a life where people worked, lived and tolerated one another’s differences.

I have found the time of the Scottish Referendum an extremely difficult time, torn between the two dreams, the nationalist and the union, but in the end a decision had to be made. One dream has been put on a back burner, so to speak, due to the majority making a democratic decision and staying with the United Kingdom. So, it is time to move on and see if there is a way of at least partially realising the other.

It is now time for the Scots to put aside their differences and look forward to what I hope could be a promising future. If we really want to move on and create a Scotland where everyone matters, then we have to stop looking backwards and start looking forwards. What do we have and how can we improve on that? Stop looking to the glories of past centuries and start thinking and making future glories, we started with having a democratic referendum (unfortunately some of that has lost it’s greatness because of the recent troubles, hopefully we can rise above this) and a choice was made, not to everyone’s liking but that is how it works in a democracy, deal with it and move on, the quicker we do this the better it will be for all concerned.

Do not let the momentum slow, we need to get in there and fight for proportional equality in all things.

At this point I am going to let the words of a great man who had an amazing dream, Martin Luther King Jr. do the talking, I have amended to be more relevant to Scotland and the UK, although this could be equally relevant to any of the 4 countries as individuals within this nation.

(Martin Luther King Jr. I Have a Dream speech, given 28th August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.) 1

“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.”

We  remind Westminster and the Scottish Government of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off, or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.
Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.
Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of justice.
Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand to the solid rock of brotherhood.
Now is the time to make justice a reality for all.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. September 2014 is not an end for Scotland or the UK but a beginning. And those who hope that the Scottish needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquillity in the UK until the governments of the United Kingdom settle their differences and work towards a brighter future for all. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to all, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for equality by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvellous new militancy which has engulfed the Scottish community must not lead us to a distrust of all politicians, for many have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.
We cannot turn back.

We cannot be satisfied as long as any given country within the UK is as a smaller town to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by poorer conditions than in other areas.

I am not unmindful that some of you read this out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from food banks, and some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for a life rather than mere survival has left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by cruel reforms. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to your homes in the poorer and not so poor areas of our cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the fact that we all want a good life, a life where our children and their children can live without suffering.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of what the United Kingdom should stand for, equality and safety for all.

I have a dream that one day in Scotland, our sons and daughters will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day our United Kingdom will be transformed into an oasis of justice.

I have a dream that our children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

That we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood, we will be able to work together, to struggle together, and to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will succeed one day.”

1. http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm

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