I sit here, at 6.30am, unable to sleep thanks to copious amounts of coffee, energy drink, Tunnock’s Teacakes and for once, political intrigue. My country, the land that I love, held an Independence Referendum yesterday.
A nation went to the polls. An average turnout of 84% of registered voters used their pencil to mark an X for Yes or No – a huge number. 16 and 17 year olds, not old enough to vote in a UK wide general election, dipped their toes in political waters and voted too.
At 6.08am, The Kingdom Of Fife’s resounding No vote meant that Scotland had officially voted no, and will remain as part of the United Kingdom.
I voted Yes. In all honestly, I’m not totally despondent at remaining in the UK. I wanted change for Scotland, not to stick one up our neighbours, but for US. I’m not anti English, Welsh or Northern Irish. I’m pro Scotland. I’m a little bit heart broken that this chance, this glorious chance that our generation had to make a difference for our kids, for MY son, has gone.
I respect democracy and the right to vote. I don’t begrudge anyone using their vote as they see fit. What remains to be seen is what happens with the fallout from the 45% that DID vote for change. Surely, it’s too big a number to be ignored.
I’m not buying into the line I’ve heard from a few people, that they’re “embarrassed to be Scottish” because of this. I’m not embarrassed. I’m proud. I’m proud that we, as a nation, took to the polling stations like never before. I’m proud that we broke new ground with younger voters. I’m proud that so many people (including me) engaged and became active.
The sun is just about rising now where I am. I would have liked it to rise on an Independent Scotland, but that wasn’t to be. Let’s focus on what IS important. Scotland now needs to come together and pull in one direction. We now have a voice that has been heard. Let’s not be scared to use it.
Scotland, we had the eyes of the world upon us this week. We embraced it, and we shone. And we can shine brighter still in the future.
Alba gu bràth.