Springingtiger's Blog

Steampunking for Scotland


This evening I sat down at my computer to find a message asking someone to take down from the GUESS page a photograph of myself taken at the All Under One Banner March earlier today. It came as a surprise to me as I haven’t seen the picture. I was just one of several people who were not dressed in the everyday attire of the common folk. Apart from things like shopping and visiting the Job Centre the last time I wore Steampunk (okay, lets be honest, I wear it more or less every day), the last event was the Glasgow Mela.

It’s funny, but in many ways the marches of the Scottish Independence Movement remind me more of the Mela or any cultural festival than a political movement. While YES campaigners are deadly serious about independence they don’t allow their earnest intentions to spoil their fun. A YES march is no a sombre affair. There’s music, lots of flags (today there was at least one English flag as well as an English Scots for Independence banner. The definition of Scottish is a lot broader that the xenophobic Brexiteers south of the border would like, if you live here and identify as Scots then you belong here be you, ScotsIrish, ScotsPakistani, ScotsItalian, ScotsIndian, ScotsWelsh, ScotsGhanaian….well you get the picture, we even have a ScotsFrench Member of the Scottish Parliament. There are bagpipes and bodhrans and lots of shouting, but it’s all fun, no sectarianism, no racism, no arguing with the Polis. Lots of cheering and waving as passing motorists tooted their horns and folk came out of their shops to wave and take photos.

Amongst the costumes of some of the marchers my moderate Steampunkery was hardly over the top and as ever it provided pleasure to a lot of people and allowed them another photographic memory of a happy event. I didn’t manage to get a selfie although several folk took selfies with me. I wasn’t even the only Top hat wearer although the tendency was towards tammies with cockades and all sorts of bunnets. Some had Saltire Guy Fawkes masks, many had painted faces, all had fun. Because let’s face it Scotland likes to party. I think that’s why Scots never actually liked the No campaigners with their sanctimony and dour faces, they never seemed to be enjoying themselves. Two days after the Referendum we were partying towards the General Election while the Unionists looked so glum you’d have thought it was they who’d lost. I suppose they realised they had, as the Vow that secured the Union (temporarily) began to be betrayed within hours of the polls closing, exposing those who’d campaigned with it to the derision of the neighbours they’d betrayed. Still Scots don’t stay angry long, well not about everything. I did hear a fellow marcher today quoting the Declaration of Arbroath, you could say we may forgive, we don’t forget.

By the time the marchers had all arrived in Freedom Square it was full. The guys with the wee clicky things counted over five and a half thousand, even the police agreed there were several thousand, HuffPo said seven thousand. I haven’t seen the BBC News, they will probably say it was one man and his dog. The square was hoaching One end was full of motorbikes and Bikers for independence. Three rows of stalls, It was alomost impossible to move it was so packed. There was music and there were speeches and people had fun. YES 2 is not just a political campaign, but a celebration of Scotland and all the peoples who make Scotland the country we love. Scotland is Scotland and Scotland is different and we like it that way. I loved the YES campaign and YES2 is shaping up to be just as much fun, the sad thing is that when we win we’ll no be able to have a YES3…we’ll think of something!


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