Two years ago from right now (00.01am on the 19th) I still had hope.
I was exhausted, because I’d been outside a polling station in the drizzle all day, smiling my heart out, infused with the knowledge that these few hours on a single day was the chance people had been fighting for for so long.
I’m going to repost below what I posted last year, because it’s still true. I just wanted to update that sentence in the middle (you’ll know it when you get to it).
It’s so much worse than we thought it would be on our worst days, the ones where we were told we were hysterical and fearmongering and conspiracy theorists.
Imagine if we’d told them back then that Boris Johnson would be our Foreign Secretary, that Theresa May, fresh from building a piece of legislation so invasive and dangerous that China sees it as a defence of their own surveillance, would be crowned Prime Minister after Labour detonated itself with an internecine war on socialism. Imagine if we’d told them that, not only had all those disabled people died in the years of the Tory government, but that people would decide that they wanted more of that and give them unfettered control. That Farage would see all his dreams fulfilled, and the new UKIP leader would point out that Theresa May, in her first months as PM, put into action almost the entire UKIP manifesto. That the Tories were successfully gerrymandering constituencies to ensure that only people on the electoral roll were counted as people, meaning that students, foreign nationals, children, and various other marginalised populations would no longer be properly represented.
Imagine if we’d told them we were leaving the EU, and that the aftermath of the vote had caused skyrocketing racist abuse, that an MP would be gunned down in the streets by a British nationalist in the weeks before.
I don’t know what kind of Scotland we would have been living in by now. It would have been difficult. We would have been angry at each other a lot of the time as we negotiated the construction of a nation. We would have been blamed for all kinds of ills. But it wouldn’t have been this living nightmare.
Tonight, I’m drinking to the dead. To the disabled people who haven’t made it this far because independence was their last hope. To the disabled people south of the border with even less.
Hope still exists, in little pockets here and there. I was at the Depute Leader’s Hustings yesterday, and there was hope. We see our politicians fighting every day that Westminster’s in session for human rights and fairness and support, so at least someone is opposing the dystopia. We are surviving. We’re holding on, because the fight goes on. And I hope. Still. Most of the time, anyway.