So, the wounds are still sore and a large number of those who supported the “Yes” campaign feel cheated, betrayed and hurt. Throughout the campaign a collection of fairly big companies (Standard Life, the John Lewis group, RBS, Lloyd’s Bank, etc.) said that, in the event of a Yes vote, they’d move their business down to England. Some of these, such as RBS, were simply moving their registered address to the country that they do most business in without the moving of operations or, more crucially, jobs. Others, such as Standard Life said that they would move jobs away from Scotland whilst John Lewis threatened price hikes in an Independent Scotland.
This kind of thing did annoy a number of Scots who felt like the large corporations were effectively trying to buy off an entire country. To the ordinary Scot, seeing billionaires throwing jobs around so flippantly and threatening the livelihoods of so many working class people was utterly abhorrent and sparked a lot of anger up and down the country.
However, now we are seeing a flip-side to this story; Yes supporters now calling for a boycott of the companies that made these threats in the first place. This is not the answer, folks! These companies employ a fair few Scots and the only people a boycott is going to hurt will be them.
As we’ve seen, the people who own and run these companies are quite well off and know how to make sure that they are getting the most cash they can. They will still make their millions and, if sales drop, they will simply cut back on staff and wages. That means that ordinary working class people are going to be thrown out of a job while the guys at the top roll around in cash.
Yes, a lot of you are pissed off with the people who run these companies, and rightly so, but to boycott them will be to take your anger out on the thousands of normal people just trying to make a living. That is something that I find utterly abhorrent.
So, what do we do then?
Many of us want to continue the fight for a better Scotland; this may be through the pushing for continued devolution, continuing the campaign for independence, etc. The best thing you can do is keep talking to people. For the first time in a long time Scotland has become incredibly politically involved, people are talking and thinking politics – so keep that going. With so many people now debating the various issues and thinking for themselves, it will become impossible for the Westminster élite to silence us. Our minds and voices are our most powerful weapons.
If you want to go further, join a political party. The SNP, Scottish Greens and the SSP have seen a monumental surge in membership over the past five days with the SNP on track to overtake the Liberal Democrats as the third largest party in terms of membership in the UK. These three parties stand in favour of increased powers and independence for Scotland and are working together to provide a strong “pro-indy” front at the next General Election and the next Holyrood election.
This debate has opened our minds and given us our voices back. Let us not feel the need to resort to so crude measures as boycotting of companies and endangering jobs. Let us use our voice and take the fight directly to the élite in London!