Friday, 19 September 2014


Well, the voting is over, and the result is in. Obviously I'm disappointed with how it's gone, frustrated that we're now essentially stuck with a lot of what's not working in politics just now, and a little concerned that we've missed both a great opportunity and chance to protect ourselves from the direction that Westminster seems to be travelling in. However, we have to respect how the majority of people voted and move on. A similar number would have been disappointed had it gone the other way. Thanks to those of you who already expressed sympathy or commiserations to me. I'll be fine, really! God's in control.

A couple of thoughts as I wind down on all this. I really hope that this morning's offers of real change ahead do actually come to something, particularly for the thousands of people who voted for the first time in their lives to make a real difference. The noises of backbench conservative MPs and the appointment of an unelected Lord to oversee the changes aren't all that promising. I'm also not all that keen on the various statements about "what a no vote means" this morning: I reckon lots of no voters will have had lots of different reasons! (as with Yes voters too) However, I'm happy to give them a chance - maybe they will surprise us and to be fair, at the moment there does seem to be a real move for change. After all, we still all need to live together and work out the best way to make our country work.

I mentioned yesterday that I was quite taken by the huge numbers of new voters - equally inspiring is that such a large number of people then turned out to vote: 84.6% of all the people on the register. It was over 90% in some places, and nowhere was it below 75%. Remembering that the register is usually a bit out of date (it includes people who have moved away, died or or become ineligible to vote in the past few months) and that it includes the over 300 000 people who registered since 2010, this reflects unprecedented participation levels for this country. I hope that this level of engagement can continue, because the country works much better when everyone has a hand in saying how it should work.

Of course, life goes on. We were quite amused yesterday that Naomi dug out a book that's been unread on the shelf for months:

Our girls continue to have perfect timing!

Yesterday was an interesting one. I ended up doing two things. Quite amusingly, I was assigned to help in Bannockburn, and our base there was Wallace Street! As someone who is (in the main) a Yes supporter for pragmatic rather than patriotic reasons, I felt a little irony in that. For the first couple of hours I was at a polling station. Mostly this is just so that Yes had a presence to allow for last-minute questions and to serve as a human face to that side of the vote. There is also a need to keep count of how many people are turning out to vote, so we can target areas for door knocking. There were a couple of other Yes people there as well as a couple of no's - and although there was some debate at points it was really very friendly and there was some great banter there. We all knew we weren't going to convince the other side, and we're all humans with in interest in what's going on, so we got on well. My experience of those in politics at other times has been similar: while there are a few in it for the wrong reasons, I'd say that most of them do it because they want to make a positive difference and are genuinely nice people. Remember too of course, God loves us all equally! The other thing I was doing was door knocking, which is just visiting houses and reminding people that the vote is on and checking if they need help to get to the polling station. This is quite pleasant because the list we have is all people who said they'd be voting Yes: consequently there was a lot of hand shaking, offers of drinks (none taken - must remain compos mentis), people asking how it was going and general encouragement. This was great fun, but very tiring! I also have a lovely blue hi-vis YES jacket to show for my efforts. No, I don't have a picture. :)    I was also interviewed by that bastion of local record, the Stirling Observer, on why I was helping Yes. I'm sure they asked lots of people so I might not appear, but I said it was simply that I thought Yes was the best way to achieve the kind of country I want my daughters to grow up in. While I still think that's true, I suspect that they'll do just fine with things as they are, because they are amazing.

On that note, I think that's all that needs said (probably more). Since this has all been a bit heavy (great Scott!), I conclude with a Llama saying "yeah".

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