Sometimes you just know when you’re living through history.
Of course it is easy when you see an actual event and it is unmistakable, like the Berlin Wall coming down.
That night I felt history move under my feet like the shifting tectonic plates of Yalta and Potsdam.
Earthquakes can be the dénouement of millennia of gradual movement and then there are times when history is like an airborne particle that can be transmitted rapidly.
I recently spent ten days in my native city trying to pick up the vibe on the Yes Scotland side.
When I was there I focussed on the unofficial efforts and what role, if any, the Fifth Estate was playing.
My trip to Glasgow told me that I was in a very familiar place that I didn’t recognise.
The old apathy had gone.
Many had caught the self-respect virus.
Back home in Ireland I took stock, listened again to taped interviews and then I wrote a piece for Slugger O’Toole.
Win or lose there is, I believe, a movement being created that will ultimately deliver national sovereignty.
The Hanoverian Anschluss that extinguished Scotland as an autonomous entity on the world stage was central to Britain becoming the first trans global imperium.
Westminster owned the 19th century mainly because it owned Scotland.
Greater England became strong on the conquest , slavery and operated as a narco-state in the South China Sea.
The Scots operated the Empire with ruthless relish.
For many in Scotland the imperial game was the great escape from too small a country.
If I can borrow from Hugh MacDiarmid that Scotland was not Scotland.
However the new one can be.
It is clear that there is now panic in the Westminster elite.
What is wonderful about this –and it IS wonderful-is that the people of Scotland only have to vote to express the type of country that they want to live in.
There is no vision of the future that is certain, but to accept the “Better Together” sub-text that the Scots are not up to it is to amputate the spirt of a people.
Of course Alistair Darling et al will say nice things about the common folk, but central to the narrative is that Scotland is too poor, too small, and too incapable of being a nation again.
If NO triumphs next week it will because they have been able to frighten enough people into uncertainty.
The ‘Monarch of the Glen’ is an emotive symbol of a romantic type of imagined Scottishness loved by people who like to visit the highlands.
However, what the Better Together Campaign has tried to create a deer caught in the headlights effect among the Scottish electorate.
The guid folk of Scotland seem to have been warned that everything except an extinction level event will befall on them if they vote YES.
Thankfully many of them smell shite.
The last few days have seen the unedifying sight of metropolitan elite in full panic mode and some of them have scuttled north to try and fix the problem.
If Scotland remains a possession of Westminster then then UK will, finally, have some legitimacy apropos their ownership of the land mass above the Tweed because the people will have chosen.
In 1707 0.02% of the population decided to sell the country for English gold.
This Parcel of Rogues would then become the entrepreneurs and their impoverished tenants provided the shock troops of the British Empire.
The victims of the Clearances would become the tip of the bayonet in global slaughter that made London rich.
For the avoidance of doubt the Empire sf deid.
The Commonwealth is a sort of NewCo to make London feel that they’re still the centre of something.
In the Post War period the London imperium was allowed to ditch the debts of the colonies, but kept the dubious honours and shameful history of imperialism.
It allowed the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha clan to live in denial that their Empire had not been liquidated by Gandhi, the Mau Mau and Mick Collins.
What London is at the centre of is in 2014 is a rapacious acquisitive financial system that sucks the life blood out of the rest of this archipelago.
A fully sovereign Scottish state would be a counterweight to the Dark Star on the Thames.
Veteran political correspondent Robbie Dinwoodie of the Herald told that what this referendum showed was that “the United Kingdom has stopped functioning properly as a country”.
Even this chap in the Spectator thinks that the game might be up.
Robin McAlpine of the Commonweal is convinced that whatever the outcome of the referendum that there is now an independence movement that is bigger and broader than the SNP that will endure even in the event of a NO vote.
The recent YouGov poll, which put the YES side marginally in front, could be a watershed moment.
Since then the polls have shown a statistical dead heat within the margin of error.
The NO side are panicked as perhaps they cannot get the horrible thought out of their head that the day after the YES victory they will be have the indelible mark of a historic failure on their political CVs.
However this is far more important than the next stage in Jim Murphy’s career or whether or not George Galloway can still play to sell-out crowds in Coatbridge and Dundee.
Tom Devine, when he declared for YES, stated that it was London and the South East of England that had embarked on a different cultural direction in the 1980s.
The debate, this campaign has changed Scotland-and for the better.
People who had been socially excluded now realise that in a democratic politicians can be brought to heel.
That is the wonderful thing about democracy.
The London media has creamed one essential message:
Scottish nationalism bad.
British nationalism good.
Once more the many in the London media missed the central point of what is happening in Scotland.
This is a mass movement for YES is hardly nationalistic in any discernible blood and soil way.
It is the NO side that have invoked the symbols of British nationalism and that just isn’t working for many people in Scotland anymore.
It is a mobilization of working class people that Jimmy Maxton would have recognised.
I have no idea what happened to the Labour Party that I knew in Scotland as a child.
What I do know is that the organisation to which I refer no longer exists.
The creature created by Blair and Mandelson, fit for purpose in Middle England, seems in Scotland to have emerged from Middle Earth.
Now Miliband and Murphy stand comfortably beside the architects of the Bedroom Tax.
The optics are indelible.
The People’s Party have become enemies of the people.
However The People do not think much about the idea of Scottish independence.
This chap in the Telegraph wanted people to become “obnoxiously British”.
Well he got his wish today in Edinburgh as ‘Ulstur Scots’ and the local klan strutted their Herrenvolk stuff.
Here is the same fellow getting all emotional on Question Time.
There was a lot that was admirable about the Scotland I was born into.
The National Health Service was part of a promise to the people who had endured six years of war that-unlike after the Great War-that there would be a land fit for heroes.
Now that wonderful organisation is about to be dismembered and the body parts run for profit.
As Professor Tom Devine recently noted it was the South East of England that went on another cultural journey in the 1980s.
Now with the YES side in touching distance of victory these are dark days for the Etonian elite who control the British state.
What were are now witnessing is the London political class in full panic mode.
The social and cultural topography moved under their feet and they didn’t even notice.
The glue of political Britishness has become unstuck and devolution has established a basecamp to independence.
This is not what the architects of the devolved assembly intended.
Donald Dewar and his confidantes assured their Labour colleagues in Westminster that a legislature in Edinburgh would finish the SNP and their separatist project.
They were wrong.
This is now very close.
Very close indeed.
Writing this from the vantage point of the Republic of Ireland I am reminded of the cost that a previous generation of Irish people had to pay to extricate themselves from the control of Westminster.
All the Scots have to do is vote.
This truly is a blessed generation in a very lucky country.
For Scotland this is a chance to sing an auld sang.