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Personal opinions used as "barriers to reasoned debate" & "brutality" of modern political discourse!

Updated: Feb 17, 2023

Wednesday 15th February 2023

[mild trigger warning]

Today I got up to the news that Nicola Sturgeon was resigning.

Like probably thousands, I watched her resignation speech from Bute house at 11am.

It was an emotional speech!

I have always said I'm not into politics & not political. However I have been an avid follower of Scottish politics since 2014, and as a result other influential politics.

I've known since I was a teenager the corruption that Westminster is built upon.

A teenager living on the outskirts of London & English born!

A teenager battling abuse in her own home. Intimately familiar with gendered & child abuse. Intimately familiar with people who are misogynistic, racist, entitled & white supremacists; My biological father Michael was all that!

[Bare with me, if you don't already see it, this is politically relevant]

The feelings you get from being surrounded by that oppressive environment never leaves you!

As an empath, I feel - strongly - the vibes of a person, the emotions - the everything unsaid in a person - the deep pitted forboding instinct you get from people who oppress!

This is why I struggle with politics!

Politics is full of these types of oppressors - this type of oppressive system - what goodness there may be is sapped and twisted into this oppressive system.

As a teenager - I avoided politics like the plague, in the same way, I avoided religion; That deep pitted forboding instinct!

[Keep baring with me, this is politically relevant]

When I escaped to Scotland, my life was far from rainbows & sunshine. Family life - felt hopeful - but there was still that deep pitted forboding - things didn't feel right, the more I fought those around me driven by this instinct, the crazier I looked.

However, Scotland became my heart & my Home!

An English-born Scottish Sassanach - a word I utterly love despite its original connotations. If you watch Outlander you will understand! I have four Scottish children to the most Glaswegian Scottish man.

I did not join the Scottish Independence "bandwagon" until the last minute in 2014.

In the time running up to 2014, neither the SNP nor Alex Salmond felt safe to me.

So I stayed clear as I always have.

It wasn't until "Scottish Independence" was explained outside of the political connections to Alex Salmond and the SNP did I finally understand.

I understood what it could mean for Scotland & my children, the chance to be self-determined, separate from Westminster.

[I was one of those avid researchers, I acquired the detailed book that was published]

For the first time I felt like us the 'people', us 'unheard', us 'silenced', us suppressed, had hope of a voice, a say in our future.

The people revolting!

That is why I joined this New Hope!

I was however, too late to vote; I had kept myself off the electoral roll - that's how little faith I had in the system, a system that could locate me; could pass on where I am, and that I had kids to my very own oppressor, incarcerated or not!

So I didn't get to vote! [Nor did my teenage kids and their peers]

However, like the activist I am, I became vocal about the things I believe in, and believe are worth fighting for.

I took to photography & social media to express my support, and to attempt to counteract the oppressive fear-mongering that held back people in my tiny corner of the world.

I wasn't a massive campaigner like some. I never could afford that level of energy. But I was vocal to those in my life that listened.

ONLY when Nicola Sturgeon took over as leader of the SNP party, did my gut instinct about this political movement match my heart and mind.

As a political party, the SNP didn't feel like the party I wanted to support.

When I had decided to put my name down to vote, I decided I needed to find a party that resonated. After a lot of grueling research, I came to the conclusion that the only party that remotely resembled my own ethos was the Scottish Greens.

However, I knew they were a minority group, so I pledged my [precious] votes to the SNP & Nicola Sturgeon until Scotland gained independence.

It continues to be interesting to watch the mass media, Westminster & the population of the UK be so judgemental and prejudiced toward Nicola Sturgeon. [The moral panic that was created about Scottish Independence and the European Union, with the ulterior motive of disconnecting the British people from the protections these would afford them.]

It is of increasing sociological interest, as I can see the powers at play in shaping such a strongly opinionated divide to keep us busy fighting among ourselves.

Hate Sturgeon - Love Sturgeon

Yes to independence - Remain in the UK

Brexit - stay in the EU

Trans rights - Women's rights

Hate JK Rowling - Love JK Rowling


[Ploys to keep us fighting each other, then balk in utter shock at the state of the country!]

I've followed Nicola Sturgeon's political career as First minister [not always agreeing with every opinion or view, but always wanting to know about the person and party I had put my precious vote into] she is a very real authentic person in an ocean of deceit and corruption.

It's refreshing!

Not Perfect. No. Authentic!

... I had the misfortune of being drawn into a political conversation with a young maybe 20 or 30-something person on my journey home from Kent to say goodbye to my Nana. [December 2023] Needless to say my mind was not at its best... because normally I avoid political & religious conversations like the damn plague! However, on this particular train journey from London to Edinburgh, I was asked my thoughts on Scottish independence.

It was quite a wake-up call to hear this person's view!

[to finally get a feel of one of the driving vibes across the border that were not my friends and families]

In an illuminating thought, I wondered, is this what the majority of English youths see the Scottish Independence campaign as?

That the Scottish people have been charmed and groomed by a charismatic convincing woman who has captivated their wild hearts and that these poor gullible Scottish people have no idea the damage this one-woman crusade to Independence will have for the Sottish people and the rest of Britain must rescue these poor delusional souls!? [It conjures images of Nicola Sturgeon as the Pied Piper. The current dialect on mass media calling Sturgeon's independence "a circus" support this myth that is believed]

Wow! Fecking hell! That is some serious gaslighting shit, Ive seen way too often for my liking!

Yes, I followed the SNP because they had a leader that finally felt, real and safe to follow.

This person on the train suggested that Scottish people are passionate people led by their hearts.

Like that is a bad thing!

Yes, I said, they are!

She saw this as an admission of the problem!

Now hang on a minute, my mind reels!

I know my heart says - do what is right for my children, for my children's future. I elaborated as much to this person.

I got the feeling this person did not like their political opinion on Scottish Independence challenged. They were Rigid. It felt like we were having this conversation with the aim of her educating my heart led passionate foolishness.

I was not in the mental capacity to fight with my usual arsenal of honest level headed research.

I did talk about Westminster's corruption and failure, their fear-mongering. I mentioned that there is a whole damn book explaining Scottish resources and its ability to be independent, should she be interested in the counter perspective to her political stance. I got the feeling she was not interested.

I explained - Scottish independence and self-determination - that as a country we did not want to leave the EU.

Their counterargument was that, neither did they nor many others, not quite grasping the concept that the Scottish people voted to remain in the EU and were undemocratically dragged out of it against their will. I tried to explain that the Scottish people are not Nationalist extremists for wanting independence.

Scottish people are in fact progressive internationalists, with some of the most progressive views and policies about migration, oppressed minorities, austerity, LGBTQ+ rights, irradicating racism, and environmental change [all spearheaded by Nicola Sturgeon, her party, and the Scottish Greens]. A progressive momentum at the forefront of a global movement, still a long way to go, and being held back by Westminster.

Admittedly, I did not say all that quite as thoughtfully put as I have today, but it was implied in my 'passion'.

I was, however, prepared to hear their view, and their argument, I wanted a different perspective, it's how we learn and evolve, right?

This person on the train lost me when they lost their composure and started ranting about how difficult it would be to see friends in Edinburgh if Scotland became independent. They lost me when they ranted about Nicola Sturgeon being greedy, that she already has devolution and should be doing better with the devolved powers instead of looking for more power! They lost me when they exclaimed 'it doesn't even matter what I think because I won't get a say on Scottish independence"

I kept my confused, shocked responses safely tucked in my very kaotic mind! - Isn't the independence of a country the choice of the people who live in it? Did I miss something?

My very long point...

When Nicola Sturgeon talked about why she is resigning. Explaining the debates on rights and policy are more hostile than they should be simply because she is the politician spearheading these policies, rather than debating with reason whether these policies are the right thing to do.

I FELT THAT! I felt that with a very heavy heart for her.

Her honest integrity in deciding someone without these steadfast opinions attached to them is better suited to achieve these important policies and political movements - I understood this!

Her heartfelt desire to do what is best for Scotland, to know when the right time to stand down is, I admire that!

Her pledge to continue fighting for women's rights, and equality for everyone, and her reminder that these go hand in hand, is the reason I admire her work and her as a person, it echoes my own activism.

A feminist, an activist, a strong advocate of human rights, equality, and fighting oppression.

The continued message, that fighting for these things, being a feminist, is inclusive!

You just need to browse Nicola Sturgeons Twitter comment feeds for two minutes to see her points made for her - there is a lot of prejudice, misogyny, and hate dividing society.

Understanding aside, it impacted me more than I expected, her resignation.

[A teary lump in my chest refuses to shift]

The uncertainty,

The fear of another deep pitted forboding instinctive reaction-

- there have already been too many in the world;

Alex Salmond

Donald Trump

Boris Johnson


Prince Andrew

(just to name a few)

It was quite an emotional hour, hearing Nicola Sturgeon's resignation speech. Worrying for Scotland, as if this whole hating, racist, transphobic, anything-straying-the-norm-phobic vibe Britain has veered full steam ahead into over the past few years is not petrifying enough.

It was a relief to have such a vocal feminist activist voice breaking through that terrifying oppression!

Will that hope still continue?

[Nicola Sturgeon emphasized two pungent points in her statement;

Personal opinions used as "barriers to reasoned debate"

& "brutality" of modern political discourse.

Both these points resonate on a personal level -

The knowledge that opinions about you are so extreme to the point of "caricature", those opinions are impacting reasonable logical thought processes and understanding of vitally important life-changing realities.

The brutality of modern political discourse is terrifying, so personally terrifying, because it enables the continuous hatred, misogyny, and oppression that is making our world increasingly unsafe for anyone that doesn't conform, unsafe for the lgbtq+ community, ethnic minorities, and for women and girls. The violence in all areas is increasing and fighting among ourselves is making it worse]

[Will people start understanding, that this extreme hate towards those of polarising perspectives is playing into the hands of our oppressors, we are too busy fighting each other and witch-hunting their designated scapegoats to focus on the real cause of oppression - the oppressor wins.]

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