The Union cannot stand still - only change can preserve it

The Union cannot stand still - only change can preserve it

by Jonathan Stanley
article from Monday 28, January, 2019

NOTHING ENDURES but change. “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” because each time the person and the river changes. It may be an old quote by Heraclitus but the truth is while not two moments can ever by quite the same there is little new under the Sun.

Scotland in Union now claims Brexit has deterred people from a second indyref. I find this somewhat passive aggressive and overly hopeful. 

Attaching remaining in the EU to unionism didn't work last time and it's hard to see it doing so again. It assumes wrongly that Brexit will not be worth the trouble, that people prefer not to change in any case and that it is more fruitful fighting against the process of change than robustly promoting the Union.

When in the last 5 years since the independence referendum did that strategy work? Failing to learn is as close as you can get to ensuring you stand in the same river twice. The idea that the best way of opposing change is to oppose its process shrieks establishment and from politicians this is not a good look.

I believe in UK independence. I've spent years campaigning for it and it will be worth it. Without this awful deal it will be better. The idea that the man or women on the street would or should give up their struggle or cause because it's too hard runs against the spirit I recognise as British. Having fought two referenda now Scots must know that narrative matters.  Conversely, I oppose independence for many reasons, but I don't oppose it for the idea the transition involved in leaving the UK would be too hard. Life is hard. Life is struggle and it is uncomfortable. 

This is not beating cancer, kicking a habit, losing a parent. It is hard and means that we must weigh up both the ugliness of the status quo and of the alternative. I think challenging the ugly parts of the status quo is healthy. Proposing solutions even more so.  Unionism through the lowest common denominator has no future. Better to propose solutions that work best within the Union and asking how we can take ownership of the narrative of this Union instead of running to victimhood or vainglory.

David Bowie had a good insight into this with his blockbuster hit, Changes:

I watch the ripples change their size but not their stream of warm impermanence. 
And so the days float through my eyes but still the days seem the same.
And these children that you spit on as they try to change their worlds are immune to your consultations.
They're quite aware of what they're going through.

You can't even sell the dead the past. The young and those settled with families of their own need something more substantial. 

Polling resistance to change won't reel them in. It never has. 

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