That was the sound of a Lost-style flashback there. We’re cutting back to a key moment in my retirement, one that will initially seem unrelated to present events but will gradually connect to my A story to a point where you go, “Huh. Okay”.
As you’d no doubt imagined, even in my official downtime I was righting many a wrong, kicking many an arse, changing many a world. Chief among my efforts was my campaign to liberate the simple people of Scotland from the foul tyranny of the wretched English. I voted yes, is what I’m saying. In the referendum that happened.
I was way above that shit when the campaign kicked off, banging on about the narrowness of nationalism, the folly of artificial borders, our future of togetherness and oneness and world government. Yer classic self-righteous blue-sky bullshit that turns people off quicker than the Trump/Hitler slash fiction I’m selling from the boot of my Prius for 2.99 ono.
As the campaign rumbled on I shifted my thinking a little, downgrading from superiority to almost total indifference. I wasn’t full on sitting on the fence but I was checking the fence out a bit, wondering if it could take my weight. I shifted a little more. I started figuring even if borders are artificial and nations are balls and generalisations about whole peoples are lazy, in general it seemed like the people on this side of the artificial border were less right-wing than the people on that side of the artificial border, keener on free prescriptions than melting humans with pricey nuclear warheads. It felt like maybe independence could be yer one step backward before yer two steps forward kind of thing, the ends of lefty utopian oneness justifying the means of divvying up the world a bit more, temporarily. Then I saw a poster about how we could boot the Tories out forever, and I kicked the fence square in the balls and ran, leaping giddily into the arms of the Yes mob.
For the first time in my surprisingly inactive activist career I got full-on properly stuck in, knocking every door I came across, stickering every lamppost I peed against, leafleting enough of the country to undo 38 years of committed recycling, and warning everyone I’d ever met about the possibly impending Tory re-election and the maybe possibly impending threat of UKIP MPs. It was amazing, the feeling of actually participating in actual issue-politics that actually had an actual chance of actually changing something. We could do our bit for nuclear disarmament! We could scrap the bedroom tax, and all Tory cruelties forever! We could separate ourselves from the coming right-wing apocalypse and model progressiveness for the dickheads down south. It was one of the most exciting, hopeful, positive, optimistic, realistic, meaningful, actually achievable things I’ve ever been involved with.
On the final day of the campaign I and my do-gooding bitch did a 12-hour stint, getting people out to vote, leafleting train stations and bus stops and haranguing last minute undecided voters as they made their way to the booths. And as the polls closed we retired, tired and excited, to Zero Towers, the floor a sea of blue and yellow balloons, and collapsed in front of the telly to see what a couple of Dimblebys had to say about our certain, glorious, history-making victory…
Whoosh! That was us cutting back to the present, Lost-style. Cutting back to me, post-Brexit, with little Englanders fashioning a statue of Farage from their dried up bile, back to me brooding over what might have been, over 27 harder borders and what chance we have at independence now and whether Lost is already too old a pop-culture reference. It could be, I think. My God, I think it could be.
That was a Lost-style punchy finish there. Hard to get across in type.
Photo credit: The Zero