Looking both ways

Warning: Another “me” post, less politics than usual in it. Still some, I can’t get out of the habit.

This post has been lurking in my drafts for most of the month while I swithered over it. The last one was slightly personal so I may as well splurge and get it over with for the year.

I’m aware this is not a good time of year for me; it feels like bad things happen more in Januarys and I vary between maudlin and bitchy especially if I’ve been stuck inside.

The blog been a good safety valve over the last two years allowing me to work through whatever is churning around in my head; that anyone else reads it is still a surprise. I see it as the equivalent of standing in a field shouting.

So I suppose this is the closest I’m going to get to a retrospective.

Despite my apparent frustrations at the political scene, 2017 was in the main a good year for my close family, for starters we moved out of a cold, draughty flat with electric & gas meters that could have doubled as slot machines (except they never paid out) to somewhere warm.

I wish everyone could be in the same position because doing better when others aren’t means worry is replaced by guilt.

It’s not all been plain sailing, there have been low points which have led to a couple of posts being written then deleted. Some things are too personal to tell but having this site enabled me to work through how I felt without ending up a screaming harpy on Twitter. (No comments required from you Jum)

For some reason I find it easier writing it on a screen than paper, not sure if it feels less permanent (yeah I know) or whether it’s just an internal judgement on my horrendous handwriting.

The lows  showed me that I have support from people I didn’t necessarily expect and that some who I thought might help were primarily selfish. Lessons have been learnt.

I don’t do resolutions as such, but since 2015 I have tried to push myself out of my comfort zone. Saying Yes was a habit I didn’t want to lose. I may not have achieved anything earth-shattering but I have tried new things and I’m going to continue that.

Last year I learnt I can only juggle so much and that it’s essential to put yourself first. I can’t help others if I’m not okay.

So my non-resolution for 2018 is to take less shit from others (I know I can’t stop all of it)

I’m not going put up with drama for the sake of it. Especially on Twitter; using the mute and block buttons is not a sign of weakness it’s a shield from the negativity.

In a time of centrally imposed austerity when we have Brexit hurtling towards us with the promise of further chaos I’d like to see the Indy movement work together. Supporting each other on areas of agreement.  Rather than bitching I want to see positivity and workable solutions. If you don’t agree with something don’t just complain, suggest a viable alternative.

I want a country where no one goes hungry, where everyone has a warm home, where disabled people don’t fear brown envelopes, where the unemployed aren’t punished for not working but are supported and treated with respect. To me those are the basic requirements of a civilised society.

I want a better Scotland.

My own preference is for an independent socialist Scotland but I know damn well we won’t get a socialist Scotland without independence first. There will be no further devolution under either Tory or Labour governments. We will have a fight to keep what we’ve got already.

We need a majority to get this and that requires people from all walks of life. All deserve a say in our future no matter their political leanings. You don’t makes changes by telling people to shut up, we have to persuade, reassure and calm people’s fears.

In 2014 the status quo was with the union, in the next referendum it will be with an independent Scotland. England has changed and not for the better.

Our countries are heading in different directions. Scotland talks of baby boxes, universal basic income, increased migration, England of Empire 2.0, WMDs, fracking and more and more cuts.

When we first moved up in 2012 I said to my parents it was like moving back to the 1970s – this was not a criticism. The sense of community was palpable, something I hadn’t experienced it for a long time.

The options facing us is a choice between Thatcherism on steroids and something kinder. How much kinder will be up to us as a nation.

I see this every morning, if I were to have a motto I can’t think of any better.

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Image by Stewart Bremner – you should visit his site

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