I don’t know about you, but I have had it. Enough already!
This constant moaning by the staunch unionist supporters that this current EU referendum is bad and divisive, but nothing like as dire as the vile Scottish independence referendum, where some nasty nationalist threw an actual egg (and it was raw) at Jim Murphy. Gasp! I know, how did he carry on? I mean what if he didn’t have a clean shirt with him. And that raw egg can leave a nasty stain if not washed off immediately. Where were the police? Why were there no arrests? Oh the horror.
Now let’s for a moment contrast that with the unthinkable tragedy of last week, where a young MP was shot, stabbed and killed. Ok, perhaps we can’t be 100% sure her murderer was motivated by the EU referendum. But he did give his name in court as “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain”. We can make a fair assumption what may have been his motivation.
A young woman was killed. She had a husband and two young children, who will now grow up without their mother. It’s so unspeakably sad, and it touched an entire nation. Oh the horror.
So you’d think at every level there would be such disgust at the hatred and anger stirred up by this EU referendum that there would be mass condemnation throughout these Isles. But not in Scotland. Oh no. Up here we have a press which have been determined to make the point that while the EU referendum has gotten ugly, it pales in comparison to our 2 year independence referendum. At first I was mildly annoyed by the analogy. But as the days wore on and another and another article was published, my mild annoyance turned into quite strong anger. Enough!
Unionists may not like what the Scottish independence referendum instilled in so many. A sense of pride and excitement. As someone who worked passionately for the YES side, it was like watching a young bud bloom into a beautiful rose. It was quite an extraordinary time, and I was privileged to be a part of it. In fact the only anger I ever experienced was near the end of the campaign, a young gentleman approached our YES stall and was incensed that I as an American could vote in the referendum. I pointed out I had dual nationality, but I’m not sure he heard me through all the shouting just 2 inches from face. It’s not a story I share often, because it was one incident in my 2 years of campaigning. I was shaken up, but I wasn’t hurt.
So yes, those of us who worked tirelessly in the Scottish independence referendum over 2 years may have had an unpleasant experience, or two. But overall, it was a professional campaign, which stirred up passions on all sides. That’s what happens during campaigns. It’s called democracy.
It did not stir up any sense of racism or xenophobia. Immigration was never used as a tool to incite fear and loathing. And more importantly, no one was killed, and two young children never had to grow up without their mother…