It’s that time of year again when we say goodbye to the old year. I have to admit it will be difficult to raise a toast to 2016. Politically speaking it has been a roller-coaster ride with more downs than ups!
The highlight of course, was the SNP winning our third term in Government at Holyrood. The team played a blinder and the electorate rewarded us yet again.
The low points however, vastly outweigh the highs. Brexit – you all know what that means – it means Brexit? Don’t worry – no one, least of all the Tory Government, knows what it means either! What started as a “ Jolly Jape” by the Eton boys has ended in disaster for the UK (not least for Scotland). Theresa though, kept the “heid doon” throughout the Referendum campaign and got her reward – trouble is, she doesn’t have a scoobie what to do now! Scotland’s interests are of no concern to Tessie and her merry men . What a difficult situation we are in thanks to the Tories, but we are lucky that the SNP are in power at Holyrood and will fight Scotland’s corner every inch of the way – with no help from the Unionist parties in Scotland I may add! The Labour Party at Westminster are also proving to be as useful as a chocolate tea-pot – so afraid are they of the voters in what they thought was their “heartlands” they have given the Brexiteers a blank cheque. The SNP Group at Westminster is all that stands between a good deal and a complete meltdown.
One thing that has now become abundantly clear is that in Scotland’s political climate the game is now Unionist versus Nationalist. We have evidenced this in some recent Council By-elections. Make no mistake, the Unionist electorate is interchangeable –Tory, Labour, Lib will rank Unionists regardless of Party. We must ensure that our voters understand the importance of voting only for Independence candidates on the list. That is the challenge ahead as we go into the Council elections in May.
Then just when we thought the worst was over along came “the Donald!” Here comes my mea culpa – did I ever call it wrong! In spite of the time over decades that I have spent visiting family in the fly-over States I just didn’t see this coming. Mind you, I should have guessed, as by the last week of the Presidential campaign, I had managed to fall out with most of my Husband’s relatives on Facebook. This was no mean feat on my part, as my Husband is one of 9 children, all of whom married and had many children and grandchildren! My problem was, that I thought common decency would prevail, particularly among the Evangelicals. How wrong I was. No matter who Trump insulted, no matter how far he was straying from “Christian Values” the more they seemed to think he was “God’s Choice”. If Trump was God’s choice for President then I can only assume that he/she was having a “larf” at our expense! It is fair to say that I will not be visiting Oklahoma or Arkansas anytime within the next four years. I must mention that our other set of relatives in Chicago somewhat restored my belief that not all Americans are easily deluded.
While the UK and the US have to sort out the consequences of our self-indulgent votes, the Middle East is a cauldron of misery and despair. Nightly we watch the bombing of Aleppo on our TV screens, we see the suffering of the children caught up in the carnage, the bombing of schools and hospitals and our emotions run the gauntlet of sorrow, anger and helplessness. As Aleppo fell, the United Nations issued a statement which said “ there is a complete meltdown of humanity in Aleppo” – a sad understatement underlining the World’s inaction!
Meanwhile in the Yemen, another outrage is being played out. The so-called “proxy war” instigated and carried out by Saudi Arabia with, to our eternal shame, weapons bought from the UK. (I never thought I would agree with Boris!) The truth is that the situation across the Middle East is in part a result of the meddling, the manipulation and indeed,the unlawful wars imposed on that Region by none other that the UK and the US! In fact, our great imperial feet have been all over the Middle East for nigh on a century.
So folks, I will not be unhappy to see the back of 2016, but 51 years in this wee Party of ours has made me into an eternal optimist! I will raise my glass to the activists we have lost this year – the stalwarts who haven’t lived to see the “promised land”. Their’s are the shoulders on which we stand – we owe it to them, to our children and grandchildren to keep campaigning for our Nation’s Independence – “it’s coming yet for a’ that”.
Have a lovely time over the Festive Season – and back to the fray in January!
Lang may your lums reek!