Smiling About Politics: Common Weal And The New Grassroots

Posted: November 2, 2014 in posts by other people

This is a typically eloquent and marvellous piece by my dear friend Mark. Read and enjoy!


One of the pleasures of the independence referendum in Scotland has been the conviviality with which total strangers have bonded over a political idea. Before and after the vote, I have met people in meetings, rallies, campaign events, pubs and cafes, or just walking down the street, who have engaged with me for no reason other than they want to share what we obviously have in common – a desire to reform Scotland’s democracy. This has led to a very unusual form of social exchange – smiling about politics.

Now that the 2014 referendum is over there is no sign that smiling about politics is declining. Those shared smiles have been produced by emotions which are seldom experienced in Scotland in such brimming quantities. There was, and still is, a sense of participation, activism, and energy which is not promoted by partisan policy objectives, but by a common interest…

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