I got a later start this morning than I would have liked, after yesterdays epic 20 hours of pounding pavement my feet and legs refused to cooperate with my 6am alarm. When i finally make it to the bus I get on on the wrong direction and ride all the way to the wrong end of the line – the British refusal to drive on the right side of the road like the rest of the world is as confusing to me as the American refusal to adopt the metric system is to them. No matter, it’s a lovely foggy day and my misadventure provides a chance to see a bit more of the city. When I finally arrive at the train station I grab a large Cornish steak pie. Cornwall, another Celtic region in the south of Britain, retains a fiercely distinct ethnic identity but is struggling to survive as their region has become a popular destination for English retirees and the largely working-class Cornish can no longer afford to live in their own country. The line between gentrification and ethnic cleansing gets very thin in places like this. On the plus side, their meat pies are delicious.
My platform is way off in the back and by the time I reach it the train is about to depart – the conductor hollers at me to hurry up or they’ll leave without me – there’s laughter in his voice but the door still closes on me as I enter. No matter. I grab one of the last vacant seats.
It’s now just before 11 and I am finally on my way, riding Scotrail from Edinburgh out toward Glasgow and watching the scenery roll by with the occasional Yes poster or Scottish flag in a window – curiously I have not seen a single Better Together sign up in windows since arriving in Scotland sunday evening; only the large billboards threatening people’s pensions if they should vote Yes. It’s a vicious lie that has been thoroughly debunked by the UK government itself and one of the reasons I find myself increasingly unsympathetic to the Unionist argument. It’s strange that with the huge leads Better Together has enjoyed through most of the campaign there should be so little genuine enthusiasm on the ground. I post a note to twitter asking any of the BT people why this is, no one responds.
A quick glance through the morning’s headlines reveals a flurry of speculation from the English papers that the Queen must surely oppose Scottish independence since she remarked two days ago that Scots should “think carefully” before deciding. As an american, I find it mystifying that anyone should give a damn about the thoughts of some shriveled up old crone whose inherited billions are the direct result of her ancestors brutality. The fact that Monarchy is still a real thing that exists in 2014 is baffling. Curiously, the SNP made the continuation of the monarchy part of the Yes platform – though they won’t be instituting a Scottish House of Lords, thank goodness. I can’t imagine that any of the activists I’ve talked to would support keeping it post independence, but I suppose that’s another issue for Scotland as a whole to sort out later. No point making it harder for people to vote Yes. I make a note to add it to future interviews.
We emerge from the suburbs around the city, out into the green country side and the clouds part revealing a powder-blue sky. It is beautiful.