Bjorn Sandberg: There Is A Confidence In The Air

Bjorn Scratching

My Father was a staunch Tory. A supporter of Thatcherism in the 1980s. We spent many a Sunday afternoon discussing politics; he argued the social and economic changes of the 1980s were inevitable, not a consequence of misguided ideology. I respected his opinion. Recognising a similar change in the socio-economic climate, he applied a similar thought process to our many discussions on Scottish independence. ‘Are the Scots going to vote for independence?’ He would ask me. ‘Yes, they are Dad’ I would reply. At that point in the campaign, you could have accused me of arrogance, I saw it as confidence. A life long news junkie, through the thick pile of Sunday newspapers that I would haul up with me every week, he could sense there was another shift coming. This time, it wasn’t the deindustrialisation of a country that he believed was a necessary evil; it was the end of the union between Scotland and England – regardless of what way Scotland votes next week. Let me be clear, this is where the synergies between Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government and Scottish Independence end.

There is a confidence in the air in Glasgow at the moment, it’s unmistakable and it grows by the day. What’s more, the momentum has been with the Yes campaign for quite sometime now. While some see Scotland as a Panama in making, the people I’m speaking to, that I meet in the pub, at work or in the street, see Scotland as a Norway or a Sweden. Now tell me this, which of these two groups of people visions and aspirations would you like to share for the future? I certainly know whom I would choose.

Alistair Darling’s moronic ” it’s a test of judgement over patriotism” quote on the launch of those ridiculous family values Better Together banners last week really drove home how out of touch these people are with me and the people I speak to. Mr Darling, I’m going to let you in to a little secret: it’s got nothing to do with ‘Patriotism’ It’s about Social equality and Democracy. Something your government and the following administration have failed to do.
My vote for Yes has got absolutely nothing to do with Nationalism, Alex Salmond or Scotland (for the record, I’ve always felt more Swedish than Scottish) it’s about a modern contemporary way people see things now, not blighted by gutter press mainstream media. The people I speak to want an end to the failures of the left centre in politics. But what I absolutely do not want to be a part of is a government who condones the persecution of innocent women and children in Palestine.

Better Together have done little to help themselves, when I’ve been either evaluating their communications strategy or speaking to them in person (more on that later). Their team have presided over the worst communications strategy of all time. I’d even go on the record as saying they may have made me consider my politics and motives on voting Yes had they put forward a more engaging and honest strategy. As it transpired, their entire campaign was overshadowed by lies, paranoia and negligence. None more so than when I was programming a Referendum debate earlier this year, a member of the Better Together team accused me of conspiring with Yes Scotland officials on the panel before approaching Better Together officials. Delusional. Let’s not even go there with their sexist party political broadcasts and racist, catholic bashing supporters.
Let’s put paid to those scare tactics of barbed wire borders at Berwick upon Tweed where scary border control officials will quiz you on your business on ‘crossing the border’. There will be no border – this will not be passport control at JFK Airport. This will be three co-operative countries that share an island. In Scandinavia, people commute between countries – I’ve done the School run from Malmo to Copenhagen and back a number of times. This is the kind of progressive society and contemporary living we will aspire to. To try and dupe the less discerning that in the 21st Century England will batten down the hatches on it’s second largest export market is like Alex Salmond telling Scots in an Independent Scotland, our Football team will win the World Cup.

I didn’t want to make this blog long, but I felt like it was time I went on the record with this, as opposed to my regular social media postings, which will disappear off your timeline as quickly as another Better Together scare story bites the dust.

One final point, in case you’re wondering whom my Dad was planning to vote for, he would’ve voted for an independent Scotland.

Bjorn Sandberg
National Collective