I truly believed that Scotland would vote for independence.
For the past few weeks, we had dared to dream about what sort of country Scotland should be. It felt like we had found the beginnings of a new identity based on our shared values. The atmosphere was electric; the hope intoxicating.
Today, I feel lost.
We had the chance to do something brave, and amazing. We had the chance to rid our country of nuclear weapons; to declare our commitment to human rights; to challenge the political establishment, and to finally have a real say in our future. Instead, Scotland voted to remain part of the UK.
Watching the results come in, I found tears streaming down my face.
That hope. Those dreams. The ones that my fellow Scots had articulated so passionately, along with the common bond that we had felt… all of it was crushed.
I fear that the Scotland that I have always believed in, might really be nothing more than a fantasy. Rather than the fiercely proud, open minded, and liberal nation, we have shown that we are actually the far more conservative version that rarely gets talked about. The one that we desperately don’t want to believe in. The one that chooses the safe option. The one that breeds Sectarianism.
Tonight I sit and watch the scenes that are unfolding in Glasgow. The sea of blue flags replaced by Union Jacks emblazoned with ‘No Surrender’. The nazi salutes. The gangs of thugs violently attacking people who have Saltires and Scotland tops.
Rightly or wrongly, I feel like I’ve lost my country.
I wish I could take comfort in the good that was expressed during this whole debate; vowing to double efforts to fight for a better future, against inequality… but I can’t. I feel defeated.
The spirit of the people around me made me feel intensely proud to be Scottish. Now, I’m not sure what that even means.