Referendum Day



In Los Angeles making a telephone call on the 4th of July, Independence Day created  to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, I got an African-American operator on the line. I asked, “How come you’re on duty? Should you not be celebrating Independence Day?” There was a long pause before the dry southern response arrived:

“Not all of us celebrate independence, sir.”

Afterwards I thought hard about his remark. Native Indians must feel the same way.

A dictator’s day

Were I a dictator I’d slice the United States three ways, top to bottom. The West coast, California, I’d hand back to Mexicans whose land it once was, and that run it now, from cleaners, to agricultural workers, to mayors. (They owned Texas too but I need that for the next carve up.) The central section I would hand back to the native Indian tribes, so callously and cruelly near exterminated, dissipated and cheated. And the east coast I would gift to African-Americans as a heartfelt apology for slavery and segregation. That leaves us, the White guys to figure where we go. Well, partner … tough!

As for Scotland, there’s quite a debate doing the current rounds of instant opinion on the internet and Twitter. (For some reason we say ‘on’ and not ‘in’.) Some think the SNP should have a Referendum on its election manifesto every election, there as a matter of honour until independence is regained once and for all.

Others think tactically, that we should test the water first and then decide if a second referendum has the backing of the people. The  SNP itself  say they will act if they feel a groundswell of demand exists.

And yet another group advise being a feardie is safest; if we have a second referendum and lose, independence will be lost for another 100 years. ‘Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous, beastie, O what a panic’s in thy breastie.’

Referendum Two

A second Referendum will occur when we demand one in sufficient numbers. Waiting for our elected representatives to make a move is too passive. It is up to us, and was always up to us, the electorate, to say when.

Democracy means agitating, and then testing our elected leaders to do the job they were elected to do, keeping them accountable, not allowing them freedom to implement the private agenda some had in their back pocket.

Shut up and shuffle along

We reject the spurious assertion that, having lost the first referendum, by a small enough margin to be significant, and a continuing threat to Unionists, Scotland should accept its own inflicted fate, shut up, and get on with paying its taxes to the UK Treasury.

That loss of sovereignty should be final is wholly unacceptable. It doesn’t square with the principles of democracy. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” No one expects Labour to announce a withdrawal from the next general election because they lost the last decisively and comprehensively. They are free to regroup and try again, but in this instance with fresh policies that are  opposed to Tories policies. For Scotland’s second referendum the governing party, the SNP, there is a hurdle to overcome. It must produce an alternative to the Bank of England as lender of last resort.

England’s political parties are certain to repeat their savagery and deny us the bank’s support, the same UK bank Scotland helped to great wealth over three hundred years. That said, we can still use the pound but we must bolster it by another method.

Students of capitalist economies can look to South American countries once held fast locked into the US dollar, and how they have shaken off that tyranny in order to develop their economies, and re-establish democratic rights.

Evo Morales

In 1997 Bolivian President Evo Morales helped form what we now know as the Cochabamba Declaration, in which the presidents and envoys of 12 countries agreed to study the idea of forming a continent-wide community similar to the European Union. Over the years greater co-operation than in the past has taken place issuing from that ideal. They have come a long way to achieve integration in South America, 500 years after the European conquests. Their new relationship has caused the USA to adjust its position and attitude. President Obama’s relaxation of aggression on Cuba is one indication change for the better can happen.

The subcontinent, from Venezuela to Argentina, is surely an example to the world on how to create an alternative future from a legacy of empire and terror. And their example is one reason I still support the European Union, despite the European Commission’s brutal handling of Greece’s financial woes. (Note: EU is different from EC.) And that is also why it is healthy for Scotland to team up with the Scandinavian countries, the Republic of Ireland, and damn it, Iceland too. They jail bankers in Iceland!

Those South American countries got together to help throw off the United States domination of the region by two major methods: planned military violence by support of internal or external insurgents, and economic suppression. Being half-Sicilian, I confirm the USA’s grip was like the mafia – they don’t like it when a ‘supplier’ steps out of line.

A lesson for Scotland.

You can achieve independence not by standing alone but by integration – hence my view we stay with the EU, and we negotiate a better trading treaty with England. Integration can not happen with a dominant nation that demands subservience, only when the two countries are equals and respect each other’s sovereignty.

And so to the core of this essay, frivolous as it might sound.

Personally, I want to see an annual Referendum day, a celebration of Scotland’s awakened confidence in itself, and its ability to govern itself once more. We keep it uppermost in everybody’s mind – a good ‘existential’ ploy, a word now very fashionable.

We should organise street parties, bunting, raffles, dancing, open discussions, lots of hugging and kissing, more dancing, concerts, pop and classic, jazz parades, even more dancing, acrobats, clowns, carnivals with extravagant floats, military men marching because they are alive and not for the dead, fireworks – happiness should abound. And when the day comes and we win back our rights, and that day will come, Referendum Day will be ‘Independence Day’, a national holiday. We might as well enjoy it now.

It should be as my wee grandson said, ‘a flag party.”

What have we to lose? We have everything to gain.


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20 Responses to Referendum Day

  1. ‘Referendum Day’.
    Yeah, I like that; let’s do it! 🙂

  2. Grouse Beater says:

    I’m impressed, Max. Your account is always first to spot a new essay.
    It’s as if you live next door!
    The trouble is, I develop the essay within hours of publishing – so do have a second read.

  3. Hah! I know that feeling from my own blog; later, I spot something so I dive in to put it right or flesh something out. I don’t know if it’s “great minds think alike” or “fools seldom differ” in my case! 🙂

    An enjoyable and thought provoking piece as we’ve come to expect.

    Thanks for pointing out the fact that the EU and EC are individual entities; that hadn’t occurred to me and I’ll go do some more investigation of this.

    It’s clear that a re-defined relationship with our neighbours is necessary and indeed desirable so I agree with your thoughts on the EU even though I too am troubled by recent events. I dare say it’s no coincidence that the changing geopolitical situation in South America hasn’t been widely promoted here in the Anglosphere. It makes me wonder if this is perhaps a factor in why rapprochement between Cuba and the U.S. is taking place.

    Meanwhile, I retain growing enthusiasm for the Referendum Day concept for the very practical reasons you suggest.

    Keep them coming, GB, my intellect enjoys the wee stretch your posts provide!

  4. Grouse Beater says:

    You’re right about the USA’s volte face on Cuba – I overlooked that. Have included a line!
    South America’s integration is barely reported by the western press (only the odd riot) because it’s all too much like bloody democracy at work!
    Many thanks. 🙂

  5. jimnarlene says:

    A great idea, we will have to dislodge the red Tory menace, from local government, as they would try and ban the parades and celebratory marches.
    I do think “referendum day” is a better name than “flag day”, as unionists would link that to Germany in the 30’s and 40’s, as is their tired old clichéd mantra.

  6. Grouse Beater says:

    “Will have to dislodge the red Tory menace from local government – they would try and ban the parades and celebratory marches.”

    That’s true. As far as they’re concerned, red good, orange better, blue and white sucks.

  7. jimnarlene says:

    Unless the blue and white, has a red cross obscuring it.

  8. davy1600 says:

    Just checked my roster and 18th Sep is one of my days off, so I’m up for a Referendum day celebration. So lets party till “Independence Day” takes the spot.
    Let the FLAGS SOAR.

  9. Grouse Beater says:

    Yaaay! 🙂

  10. YESGUY says:

    I am with you there GB
    Nothing like a party to get us all together. I tend to go to more funerals these days. recognising Scotland once a year sounds great. Why has’nt it been done before. blink and you will miss ST. Andrews day.

    As for the referendum. YES have one now and ANY time we want as is our right.

    WE have never been stronger and better prepared and we know the tactics the BT creeps will deploy. And they are a shrinking lot too.

    Thanks for the read GB. It seems i am not alone in my thinking.


  11. donald says:

    Studying the language of law has taught me a lot about how govts and big business enslave people. You don’t necessarily need treaties/unions or any kind of international ‘legal’ agreements . You just need mutual respect . Treaties did nothing for the Native Americans , indeed ,signing them was their down fall. Because they did not understand the small print.
    Having an open transparent mutual defense agreement is entirely sensible and has worked for South America despite the CIA’s dirty fingers . While certainly Russia and China have had a hand in offsetting the worst effects of US imperialism they are by no means innocent themselves .
    The Bond film Quantum of Solace was remarkably candid/realistic about the situation in South America. The Value of water will rise exponentially when Hydrogen can be economically harvested from it. That’s the subtext of Q of S. The technology already exists and is used by the military but until its declassified…… The navy long ago developed Fuel cells because sitting on water it made sense to use what you’ve got.

    The cheap oil has been harvested for the most part . Solar generation of Hydrogen for fuel cells etc will if it is no longer suppressed , force the hand of the existing energy cartels like freedom of expression on the internet. I ‘vote’ with their money against their interests . No guns or violence necessary . Politics is a casino where sheep get Shawn. Democracy is community not ‘Political unity’. Politics is the art of lying convincingly.

    My vote goes to off grid,micro grid and anything else that boycotts the energy driven agenda’s of the elite . Solar has taken off here because people are sick of energy cartels dictating to them.
    I want to see a Europe united by mutual respect of sovereignty and culture , not Brussels ,the IMF and world bank. We can have our cake and eat it. We cant undo the crimes of our forefathers but we can make amends and we must while there is a planet left to save .
    Love knows no boundaries of race ,religion and nationality . My wife is Eurasian , im a mongrel mix of norse ,celt, Scot(same thing) ,French Huguenot and god knows what else . If anyone tells me they are ‘pure Scot’ and they have , I just laugh. There is no such thing. Just love the land that raised you and show it respect. Unity is good but it must have deep roots as well as a flag. I prefer to salute a Scots pine myself . Flag waving is all to often the preamble to territorial disputes and war . Politicians always rally the people with flag waving when they are caught with their pants down and the economy is in the toilet . Worked for maggie in the Falklands ,got the bitch reelected too.

    We all occupy the same planet , that’s our common bond , not the Political unions that enslave us for profit. Not sure if that makes sense but that’s my opinion . Celebrate Scotland ? fantastic Idea . Make mine a Micro Distillery single malt . Now there’s a boundary softener I can raise a glass to.

  12. Grouse Beater says:

    Sorry, Donald, that post, like some others you’ve posted is grossly self-indulgent to be comprehensible, a stream of consciousness, often way off topic. Can you discipline what you have to say related to topic?

  13. Brian Powell says:

    While those South American countries got together to throw off US domination, the EU, especially the UK, is running helper skelter to increase US domination in Europe through TTIP!

  14. Grouse Beater says:

    Unfortunately true – the business class enriching the business class.

  15. DW says:

    It’s a pity the referendum day wasn’t in the summer months.
    All of Scotland’s cultural holidays are in colder months.
    St Andrews day, Hogmanay, Burns night
    An annual summery Independence and BBQ day would have been a nice selling point 🙂

    We should just borrow the 4th July date for the next one, and share our independence day with the Yanks. The spirit might rub off on folks!

  16. Grouse Beater says:

    Sorry GB , but you need to see that and if you cannot respect the righteous pessimism of many of your country men and women you will NEVER get across the line. “

    I have no idea what that means, other than you don’t perceive the issues and problems we shoulder here in Scotland beyond an empathy.

    The SNP delivered a plebiscite – won, we can elect any political party, not only the SNP. Hence, it is not about the SNP. And the instruction for a plebiscite came from the grass roots. It’s been a people movement for over seventy years.

  17. Robert Peffers says:

    I might also point out, GB, that there is also a big difference between an EU Parliamentarian and an EU Commissioner.

    Looking at the UK propaganda it would seem the later are the decision makers but it is in fact the former who make the decisions. The term, “Commissioner”, indicates these are the paid for employees of the EU parliament. They are in fact the EU Parliament’s Civil Servants.

  18. Grouse Beater says:

    Good reminder, Robert. 🙂

  19. Andy MacGregor says:

    Midsummer Day, the 21st of June, should become Referendum Day until it becomes Independence Day, which would completely confound WasteMonsters taste for using the weather to reduce turnout in their interest.

    It’s also been a traditional holiday for thousands of years, and would fit well with the rest of a years activities.

    The Christian churches might have a collective heart attack at the revival of a “pagan” festival, but would soon try and adopt or take it over as they did with the midwinter festival they now call Christmas to celebrate the birth of a September born prophet, so they’ll get over it!

  20. Grouse Beater says:

    Sounds fine to me. 🙂

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