The ballot bomb

Today the people of the United Kingdom will go to polls.

Looking over my hedge into the Six Counties I have a dog in that particular fight.

I hope that the Sinn Féin candidates do well and I’m sure they will.

Gerry Kelly has a real chance in North Belfast.

Other than that I do not see any change in the other constituencies in the North.

However, on the largest island of this archipelago there has only been one story in this election, Scotland.

Since ‘IndyRef’ all has been changed in Alba, changed utterly.

If anyone in the Westminster elite had thought last September that the Scottish question had been put to bed, then they were very wrong indeed.

I am told that the Scottish National Party suffered two server meltdowns in a ten-day period as online membership applications poured in after the referendum.

The SNP is now, in every sense, the biggest party in Scotland.

Within the next 24 hours I think they will take that dominance to Westminster.

The Labour Party that was part of my childhood in the West of Scotland is dead, gone, a thing of the past.

The New-Labour project, itself a play for Middle England, took the Scottish bloc of MPs as a given in their Parliamentary calculations.

However, to make Labour palatable to the swing voters in the South of England the soul of Keir Hardie’s party had to be hollowed out and thrown in the bin.

Genuine passion for social change was replaced by sound bites and spin.

By the time Ed Miliband took the stage, he was selling a husk to working class people who he clearly doesn’t understand.

The sight of Labour activists embracing Tories last September in their ‘Better Together,’ tee shirts was burned into the collective consciousness of working class Scotland.

Today looks like settling day in Alba.

It is a century since a voting bloc from the ‘Celtic Fringe’ held any sway at Westminster.

Charles Stuart Parnell and then John Redmond were powerbrokers in the Edwardian Era and they pushed the British state to grant ‘Home Rule’ to Ireland.

Ultimately, of course, the British political elite did not play straight with the Irish Parliamentary Party and they then had to deal with Sinn Féin and the IRA.

The same process happened with the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in the Six Counties.

Now the British have to deal with Sinn Fein in the North.

Now the possibility is that a minority Labour government under the accident prone Miliband will have to rely on the SNP to govern.

From this vantage point, I have been mildly amused to see how the good folk of Middle England suddenly see the Scots as different, as other.

These must be difficult times for the people in Scotland who are culturally thirled to notions of ‘Britishness’.

I think we might be living through a historical period whereby the Westminster elite now consider Scotland, in some way, to be semi-detached from the rest of Britain.

Of course, since the Northern statelet was established in 1922 the chaps in Westminster never did consider Northern Ireland to be “as British as Finchley”.

However, the loyal Scots were central to the notion of Britishness.

I recently met up with a Twitter buddy in the Scottish capital for a very agreeable breakfast that turned into lunch.

An ex-professional footballer who now works in the media he railed at being characterised as ‘British’.

There is, of course, the fascist underclass that still clings to the threadbare symbols of Empire.

These unfortunates can be found in Rathcoole and Rutherglen, but it is a sub culture that stinks of educational and social failure.

The future will not belong to them either in the Six Counties or Scotland.

If you are in the United Kingdom and you are registered to vote then, please use the franchise and vote for your candidate of choice.

It is a gift that previous generations won for you through centuries of struggling against monarchs and feudal overlords.

The last century on this island is a sad testament to what happens when politics does not work.

The turnout at IndyRef was energising and I hope that Scotland’s risen people realise that their vote can actually make a difference.

Unlike the citizens of this Republic, you cannot yet vote for your head of state.

I am deeply proud that our current Uachtarán na hÉireann came from such humble beginnings.

Mícheál D. Ó hUiginn is from good people and he is an excellent first citizen.

His father, like my own grandfather, was an IRA volunteer and fought the British in the Tan war.

They did so because the British elite would not listen to the expressed democratic wishes of the Irish people.

The British head of state honoured the Irish Republican Army with a bowed head in the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin in 2011.

That is a sight that my Cumman na mBan grandmother would not have thought possible.

This is what history feels like.

In time, all is changed, changed utterly.

In the United Kingdom feudalism, sadly, is not completely dead and the Windsor family still possess inherited political power and you cannot vote them out.

However, the reason that chaps who went to Eton have been pretending to care about you these last few weeks is that they fear your power at the ballot box.

In particular, they are terrified of a political explosion in Scotland.

Today in the United Kingdom you are sovereign until 22.00 hours.

Please vote.

Leave a Reply