tide of change

breaking waves

waves

This image is from a set I took on holiday recently on the Kintyre peninsula, Scotland. Tomorrow is the day that the people of Scotland vote on whether or not Scotland should be an independent country. As I am a Scot living in England I have no vote but I have carefully watched the unfolding debate over several months. Although I knew that the real debate was taking place in all kinds of halls across the country I was unprepared for the magnitude of the effect of that until I actually visited.

I detected a very strong smell of change in the air and on that matter, I think both sides are right: people want change. The issue now is what kind of change that will be. I’ve chosen this image to illustrate the fact that I sense a tide of change is going to sweep the country irrespective of tomorrow’s vote. If the vote is yes, then negotiations will begin to disengage the parliaments that united in 1707. If the vote is no, then we will wait to see if Westminster delivers on its promise to devolve more powers to Holyrood. If that happens, there will be an almost inevitable clamour for increased devolution to English regions, Northern Ireland and Wales. There’s been much hyperbole in the debate but I really do think the Westminster establishment has not covered itself in glory. The one victory of the referendum is the political engagement of the people of Scotland with record numbers registered to vote. If that is converted into actual turnout then it will be a major success of democracy and we have to celebrate that.

Whatever the result, I sense that this popular movement may be in the vanguard of political change that will sweep the entire British Isles. I hope so. I detect a popular feeling that people are mostly fed up with the political system we have now which seems, irrespective of party, to be more answerable to corporate business than the electorate. It’s my hope that engagement of the people of Scotland in taking ownership of their politics will be an inspiration to others and that the tide of change will indeed sweep us all to better things.

How the tide will come in will be determined in large tomorrow, but I am sure the tide is turning.

The photo was shot at 1/80 sec, f25 at ISO 200 on a focal length of 40mm.

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