In the ongoing debate between those who are for Scottish Independence and those who are vehemently opposed to it, much time, effort and useless words are written and said.
For those who frequent Social Media or who comment on newspaper articles such pointless and useless expressions of division are the common ground for those who are implacably opposed to the other.
I rarely waste my precious time arguing with someone who cannot or will not be persuaded.
If they make a post, tweet or comment which is palpably wrong with a view to persuading others to their opinion, I will engage up to a point, but no further.
Much of the reason for them to make such points is to draw the opposition into having a circular argument, an argument where no agreement can possibly be reached, and where they wish to have the final word.
Inevitably what you end up with is a very boring slagging festival which nobody is interested in.
I will generally engage to the point of rebuking whatever nonsense they have come up with, and then I will leave them to rant without recourse…Anybody with half a brain can see what their intent is, and write it off.
With a multitude of complaints these BritNats adherents will come armed, with none of these complaints ever looking at the reality of what they stand for.(A bit like pre scripted Jehovahs witnesses,with formula written down) Merely to have a go at Scotland, YES, the SNP which they paint as YES, and whatever perceived flaws they hope to find.
In effect, they are what are aptly described as Trolls. That is their job, and that is their sole intent. To be disruptive, to not actually engage in debate, but rather to be destructive of debate.
Attempting to debate or engage with such as those is an utterly destructive waste of any-ones time. The simple answer, provocative as they may attempt to be, is to ignore them. Do not give them the oxygen.
Others on both sides of the debate are equally guilty of divisive behaviour, clinging forever to preconceived Ideas and symbols which on the danger of Hells Damnation will they ever let go of.
These are the unthinking followers of a Cause or a Belief. They hold to their views that they have been taught like they were life rafts, and to let go for one moment of these imprinted views would destroy their very sense of self and who they believe themselves to be.
For such as those, the Belief, the Cause, however faulty that belief or cause may be is everything! There is no way of ever persuading them any different. There is no alteration, no improvement, and no departing from their Cause. For to do so would mean the loss of part of their identity, their sense of who they are.
You cannot debate in any worthwhile way, nor alter how they believe, it is pointless. Trying to convince Flat Earthers that the World is somewhat round is a waste of time.
Thus it is with some on both sides of the Independence divide…Yes we have them too!
Their minds are utterly made up, they will not be shifted, and they will not realistically debate. It is an utter waste of your time to do otherwise.
If those of us who do wish for Scottish Independence who want to persuade others to join us in that endeavour wish to do so, we must argue our case with those who will doubt, and be open to debate. We cannot win over those who cannot see in any circumstance how they could possibly give up on the symbolism of the the Union Flag, and who unthinkingly adhere to the We Are the People and God Save the Queen mentality.
No more than they could ever hope to persuade our Saltire, Saor Alba Brigade!
There is so called Blood and Soil Nationalism on both sides… It would be foolish to disregard it.
If we want to have an Independent Scotland, a fairer Scotland, a more autonomous Scotland, we have to argue for it, but we will not persuade others who have legitimate doubts but are open to persuasion, by engaging in a nationalistic turf war.
We have to come into the modern era, and we must dream, hope, and encourage our country to look forward to a Scotland which can be socially just, which can aspire to do better for all of us, which can be inclusive, which can encourage personal enhancement and achievement, and which has an International outlook.
Yes…by all means hold onto our symbols and our flag, but be aware that these are only a means of representation, not the totality of who we are, or what we can become.
Collectively, we can make Scotland be that Independent Scotland which we can become. We can be that better place, we can better ourselves, and we can work cooperatively with our neighbours the world over.
But first, we have to create that vision, we have to let go of insularity, in our politics and in ourselves.
The SNP may be our vehicle to help achieve that aim along with others like minded, be they Green or Socialist or even Tory.
But we cannot allow ourselves to be so limited that our aspirations are built upon the confines we currently find within the British State and its systems.
We cannot simply follow the model which the British State provides and simply copy it and call it Scotland. We have to go much further than that, and we have to dream far more extensively. and seek out new ways for our new Scotland.
Independence can only ever be a beginning…not an end.