Do we always have to be right to be left?

The campaign trail has been a little quiet of late. At least as far as the Independence movement is concerned. I am using this as the excuse for us looking to tear lumps out of each other. We’re just a bit bored and need something to do? Right?

So, I look at the right wing media and the right wing blogs and social media sites and nowhere do I see the same replicated. Twitter is full of avatars, with few followers but a whole lot to say. Most spout the vitriol that has been compiled for them in the press or by the likes of Brian Spanner (add any variation of McScottishness for the full effect of the disdain for the northern region of his beloved British Empire), History Woman, Agent P, Roger White et al. They all follow one another and each has hoards of union protecting avatars to call on.

The same twitter handles appear whenever you dare to question one of them. Most do not have a name or a face, they are just a being. Perhaps supreme being as far as they are concerned, who knows.

The common goal of their British Nationalism holds them flawlessly together as though they were cast members playing out J R R Tolkien’s famous words, adapted here to suit their agenda – One Flag to rule them all, One Flag to find them, One Flag to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

I do not believe for a moment that each of these people, I am presuming they are actual people and not bots, agree with one another at all times. It just simply cannot be the case. When you consider that Labour stalwarts stood side by side with Tories for the same fight. Some of those Labour people are good people, they believe in fairness, solidarity and progressive politics. Their party tied them to a different agenda at that time. They would never agree with a single solitary Tory agenda but for them, the prize of staying part of the UK was bigger and was worthy.

And herein lies the issue……do we always have to be right on the left?

Cat Boyd has come under a barrage of criticism lately. As has Robin McAlpine, Wings Over Scotland and various others. My question is not whether these criticisms are deserved or not, my question is………is it necessary?

I attended with thousands of others the March For independence in Glasgow, 3 June. It was positive, progressive and sent a fabulous message to others that we are still here, we still care and we are many. It was organised by All Under One Banner. That name itself is quite descriptive and should have been apt. However, a few high profile names pulled out and one man was cited as the cause of this.

Why? Why was this allowed to happen? Do we not need to be “All Under One Banner”? I don’t care much for the man in question. His past, his future, irrelevant to me. So I will not give another word to him. Done.

Many who did speak at that event had similar feelings and yet still felt the cause was bigger. Some made their feelings known, others just ignored and rallied the crowd with words and sentiments of inspiration. Is this not what we should all be doing wherever possible?

Should we really care who Cat voted for? She has her reasons, I’m sure. Should we really be jumping all over Wings about a previous comment when he feels he has been defamed? Should we be scrutinising every aspect of every organisation looking for things to pull them up for? By this, I do not and never would mean that we close our eyes and cover up wrong doing. I don’t mean that we should be afraid of open and honest discussions. Our opinions cannot be wrong, they are our opinions. But that doesn’t make them right either.

Can we not choose to support without dismantling another group’s position just because we disagree. Can we not take the really good stuff and ignore the not so good, if we so choose. Do we have to be right all the time just to be on the left?

Can we not see that the positive case for Independence and self-governance needs to be grown. We need to nurture this. We need to nurture all the different ideas that go towards this. We need positivity and creativity and we need to pull it all together into a great sellable package for the rest of Scotland to want it too.

We have been politically awakened in Scotland. We are lucky in that respect. This awakening does not make us all politicians though. We can leave the politicking for those who choose that. We don’t have to spout the party lines and be constrained by the political barriers. We should be pulling this all together, not pulling each other limb from independence seeking limb.

I am guilty of this too, I suspect we all are at some level. Would it not be good for us all to take a look to the right. Just a look, not a step. Look at the bile being spouted. Look at the abuse being slung. It is being aimed at those who are marginalised and under represented. Those that we want to include and help to flourish. Keep the eyes on the prize people, eyes on the prize.

The prize and the cause are bigger than the sum of us all. It is for generations to come. So with this, let us be mindful, let us be respectful. Sometimes, it is ok to be wrong and we can forgive those that are and if we can’t forgive, we can ignore. For the future we dream about, it is ok to not to be right if it keeps the left together. As one.

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