i have a dream
When big upsets come, politicians of all stripes are getting caught out. Numerous political hot potatoes have been fumbled as they scratch their collective heads and try their best to apply cost/benefit-style rationale to the voters in question. As Michael Gove now famously declared in 2016, the voters behind these turbulent times have ‘had enough of experts’. Whether or not you agree with their agendas, it is impossible to disagree that the most successful politicians of the previous decade recognised and exploited that as humans we are fallible and flawed, impetuous and self-defeating but also irrationally kind and altruistic.
In short, we often defy logic. Whether it’s poor Americans voting for Trump despite his repealing of healthcare and raising commodity prices through trade wars; West Wales voting leave in the face of wheelbarrows of EU investment on a par with Romania and why, if this trend continues, Scotland will demand another referendum and the SNP could well succeed.
In an age where freedom seems as important as money and our futures appear bleaker with every passing bushfire and mass-shooting, politicians need to give something for voters to hope for, something to cling to in the dappled shades of life. Feed them ideas, identity, purpose and self-respect, not the same old chastisements and cold, hard logic: a reason to grow, not a disincentive to act.
When Indy Ref 2 (3? – ed) takes place as it surely will, then as day turns to night, the doom-mongers and naysayers will fire their rational broadsides into a nation simmering with injustice and a desire to change. The ideological battle lines will be drawn and just as the ‘Brexiteer’ harked back to the passionate but ultimately doomed forces of the English Civil War, so the spirit of Banockburn will be invoked. Keep your poxy currency then, they will say, bring it on Spain, block us if you dare: we’ll follow our dream despite the cost. We are all suckers for a heartbreaker full of promise – it’s not logical, but it is human.