Iron Sky

Iron Sky

The year before the Scottish independence referendum, I lived in London. I unexpectedly moved home a week before the vote and spent the last seven days feeling frustrated that I hadn't registered, and having long chats with my Granny Macdonald to try and convince her to take a leap of faith in the polling booth.

I still accompanied my mum to the town hall on the morning of the 18th September and we had a cry in the car after she voted 'Yes'. My sister had some last minute questions about the NHS before she finally voted 'Yes' too.

I had training for my new job in the morning, so couldn't stay up for the results. When I fell asleep at midnight, the polls still had it at 50/50. I woke up suddenly at 4am to see that the tide had turned. I phoned my best friend and we sat in teary silence for a long time, before she said quietly: "I don't know what happened..."

The next day, I walked my then-boyfriend to work at 6am. Wandering back down through Dundee as the sun was coming up, Paolo Nutini's "Iron Sky" came on my iPod. The "Yes" posters and Scotland flags still plastered dozens of windows and I found myself crying my eyes out the whole way back to the flat.

"Oh, that's life. Left dripping down the walls, of a dream that cannot breathe in this harsh reality. Mass confusion spoon fed to the blind, serves now to define a cold society. From which we'll rise over love, over hate, through this iron sky that's fast becoming our minds; over fear and into freedom."

Why am I writing this now? 

I'm very fussy with who I'm friends with on Facebook, which means I rarely deal with random 'Britain First' posts appearing or rants about 'scroungers' who live on benefits. But I know it's happening. I still see it on Twitter and I hear it down the pub. I love being Scottish, but as a liberal, I believe that my country and its borders are a social construct. As far as I'm concerned, the world is only divided into two camps: arseholes and decent folk.

Politics is scaring me. Fracking has been approved in Yorkshire despite thousands of letters from residents opposing it. Donald Trump might be in office this time next year. The financial cuts to benefits in the UK are, quite literally, killing people.

Thousands of people are sitting in refugee camps across the channel and we aren't letting them in because they're brown (if anyone seriously wants to say the situation would be the same if the families were Australian or Canadian, they are telling fibs). We balk at the idea of the holocaust and when the war was over, everyone said: "If we'd known, we would have done something!" Would we? I am sceptical.

I am trying to find the line between being informed about causes that are important to me, but still maintain some positivity towards the human race. The last time I felt hopeful was in the run up to the referendum and I hope to feel like that again one day. My Granny Macdonald voted against independence and regretted it afterwards. I hope this time, we show no fear, only hope. This time, that means voting to remain.