On ‘the 45%’

I get it.  I really do.  We’re gutted, stunned and upset. And angry.

And deflated.

And down.

… but not out.  We are, after all, still here, and in the immediate aftermath of defeat, we needed to feel like we still belonged, we were still solid and united, and what united us was that we were all part of the 45% – that is to say, the 1.6 MILLION people in Scotland – who voted for change.  We have been awakened politically in a way that is unprecedented. Westminster and the No campaign *want* us to be down and out, to be deflated, to quietly get back in our box and let ‘the dream’ die.  Well, we’re not going back to sleep.

So how to rally?  How do we harness the momentum built to date and keep it alive?  How do we identify and regroup?  I’ve seen umpteen hashtags along the lines of ‘#the45’, ‘#the45plus’, ‘#45plus’ etc.

With the greatest of respect, I think this is absolutely the wrong way to go.

I *love* the fact that I was one of those who stood up and voted Yes without fear.  I love being one of the 45%, I’m proud of being part of a huge positive movement for change which fell short mainly because our opponents fought dirty, and brought all the power of the Establishment to bear on our small, hopeful cause.

But ‘the 45’ is regressive. Its backward-looking when we should all be focused on moving forward. Its exclusionary – even simple maths dictates that as soon as we convert one of the 55% to our cause, we are by definition no longer the 45%.  Its self-limiting.

It also has unfortunate connotations of the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, making us look like overly-romantic, deluded, backward-looking idiots.

So, if not ‘the 45’, then what?  Well, Gordon Brown wants us to put our Yes badges and our Yes posters in the bin.  He wants us to forget about our movement.  But the Yes ‘brand’ is already well-established, its message is known, and has been the rallying cry of our positive, hopeful message for the future.  So why should it end now?  Why should we bin our Yes badges at the behest of Gordon Brown?

A group of SNP MSPs have already suggested fighting the next Scottish Government Elections as a coalition with the Greens and SSP under the ‘Yes Scotland’ banner.  Such a coalition winning a landslide majority in Holyrood would send a powerful message to Westminster.

For these reasons, I have put the Yes back on my Facebook and Twitter avatars, and my Yes stickers back in the windows, to send a message:

I’m still here, and i’m still Yes, and I urge those in ‘the 45’ to join me.

 

 

FOOTNOTE:

I have huge respect for Wings Over Scotland, and I understand they’re in favour of ‘#the45’.   I do understand and agree with the sentiments, but I still think Yes Scotland is the battlecry under which to rally.

Random brainwrongs, updated very occasionally.