Reflecting on my heritage and “the” referendum

Tom_Fi_24Nov2013Both Tom and I have Scottish heritage, and both our fathers were Scottish Nationalists.  My mother was a Sassenach;  his mother was born of a Scottish father and of an English woman (a Sassenach), in Scotland.  So, as we listen to the debates around the referendum, we find ourselves conflicted.  I found this posted on OM’s blog, and what Anne-Marie (scottishmomus) says, had huge resonance for me.  Not just because of my Scottish heritage, but because of South Africa’s journey to democracy and the challenges we still face today.

People talk about the African diaspora.  There is also a Scottish diaspora:  one does not have to go far to find a Scot, or someone with Scottish roots.   Both Douglas Brown and Jim Cameron attributed their having to depart the UK, to Harold Wilson, one after the war, and the other in the 1960’s.

The outcome of today’s referendum will make some people rejoice, and others not;  I’m not sure there is a clear winner, here.  I cannot vote, but am keenly aware of how deep and intense are the emotions that the Scots feel.

Scotland’s Eve

I feel physically sick tonight.

My stomach is doing somersaults and my heart is racing.

I can’t eat.

It’s the eve of the Scottish Referendum.

Tomorrow I will go to the polls along with my fellow countrymen to cast a vote that will determine whether Scotland stays within the 307 year union of the United Kingdom or declares its wish for independence.

For me there is no doubt in my mind that a vote for independence is the right thing for Scotland.

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