The Freedom Our Forefathers Fought For

“On November 11th each year, we remember fallen heroes and the weight of the sacrifice they carried for a future they could not see from the trenches.”

This article appeared in the print edition of the Evening Telegraph: 11/11/2019 Available:  [Accessed: 2019, Nov 12]

Last week was a peculiar one; a melting pot of bipolar conversations with people I either do not know calling me a Tory or people I do know laughing at me. The reason for this uproar was a column I wrote for the Evening Telegraph predicting a Conservative majority in December. What followed was a verbal annihilation on social media – the graveyard of nuance. Apparently, if you predict a Conservative majority, it makes you a Tory. To those who know me, however, it led to several explosive bursts of laughter.

It was an absurd notion given my two previous columns eviscerated the flagship welfare policy of the Conservative Party inciting a letter to the Tele’ which read: “Mr Gurr’s extreme liberal views continue to blight this newspaper and irritate like a nasty rash.” If I am an extreme liberal one week and a Tory the next, I might be in the right place.

Monday marked 101 years since the allied forces signed the armistice agreeing to end all war on land, sea and air and we owe a debt of gratitude to all of our forefathers who fought for the democracy and freedom we now have, not only in the First World War but in all subsequent conflicts. While there are many, including myself on occasion, who recoil at the negativity pervasive on social media, it is still one of the platforms for the kind of democratic debate our forefathers fought for our right to engage in.

At 11am on November 11th each year, we remember them and the weight of the sacrifice they carried for a future they could not see from the trenches. And next month we will all have an opportunity to exercise our democratic muscle to determine how our nation should be governed. I must admit though, as one who supports Scottish independence and leaving the European Union, I am currently not sure how to vote.

So, here is my political dilemma, in order of projected electoral success in Scotland:

  • Do I vote for the SNP, whose position on Scottish independence and domestic agenda I broadly support but with whom I do not align on Brexit?
  • Do I vote for the Conservatives, whose position on independence and domestic agenda I do not align with but whose Brexit position I broadly support?
  • Do I vote for the Liberal Democrats, who I agree with on absolutely nothing and who have the most liberal definition of democracy I have ever come across?
  • Do I vote for Labour, whose domestic agenda I broadly support but with whom I disagree on independence and whose position on Brexit I do not understand?

I feel a lot like SNP stalwarts, Jim Sillars and Jim Fairlie, who are in such a quandary over the current offering that spoiling their ballots seems like the best option but, that too, is our democratic right.