Being an avid record collector and musician, the number 45 has always been there in my life. Forty-five rpm (rotations per minute), the speed at which a 7" vinyl record spins on a record player. Other prominent numbers for me are 33 (and 1/3), the rotation speed of a 12" vinyl record (an LP) and 57 - varieties of Heinz foods - my favourite being their baked beans - on toast.
The number 45, means more to me now than it has done since those hazy days of million selling vinyl records, for I am one of the 45% who voted yes in the recent referendum on Scottish Independence.
In so many ways, politics is a numbers game. In 2014, 71% of young people under 30 in Scotland, voted yes for independence, 73% of old people, over 55, voted no. In the end, 55% of the current population decided to hold the other 45% back from realising our ambitions of what I believe, is an achievable, fairer society.
Politicians from all the opposing major UK parties sold out their principles and joined forces with each other and the media, in a war of fear waged on the Scottish people. Proud Scots, previously referred to by some of those same politicians as state supported, booze bingeing , heroin injecting, benefit scrounging spongers were now being serenaded and wooed with flowers and promises of more power.
The morning of 19 September was a dismal day for those of us who voted yes. I can honestly say, it felt like a death in the family. That kind of despair you feel deep in your soul... will we forever be the tail attached to the arse of the dog that is called Westminster? The bit that waggles around trying to avoid the shit that's squeezed out and aimed at us at regular intervals? Forever begging, "can I have some more please" of my own money... cap in hand?
The future under the Tories or Labour (the Red Tories), looks bleak enough. Add the possibility of an alliance with UKIP and it gets very scary indeed. The rise of the SNP (Scotland's real socialist party) has marginalised Labour in Scotland rendering them toothless tigers and their support of the union (remember them high fiving their Tory pals after the no result) has backfired on them in spectacular fashion.
...and UKIP. Every time I hear Nigel Farage speak on TV, I imagine I'm watching a scene from the next Steven Spielberg movie, a belated follow up to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (doesn't he bear an uncanny resemblance to the little alien?), or maybe Jurassic Park 7 dinosaurs brought back to life by some mad, cone headed, scientist, DNA sourced from the fossilised bones or teeth of a dead fascist dino...
One of the saddest phrases uttered by a politician during the referendum campaign, tumbled from the mouth of Johann Lamont, when she insulted her own people who have given so much to the world, with immortal words that will haunt her forever. "Scots are not programmed to make political decisions by themselves" !!! Johann Lamont's own constituency, Pollok, in Glasgow, voted yes. She is on her way out. Goodbye Johann, you will not be missed...watch the door doesn't hit you on the arse on your way out.
So, what next for the 45%? Well that 45% is swelling in numbers as many of those who voted no are now realising they've been scammed/duped with false promises of extra powers and are jumping ship...joining the yes side.
This is not anti English or anti British. It's about Scotland, a small country, disillusioned by the policies of Westminster elites, sick of being governed by those we didn't vote for.
Scotland will eventually win its independence. Many of the 73% of over 55's who voted no, will soon be extinct. Dead as a dodo. They will be replaced by vibrant, young people who have the self belief and courage their elders lacked. It will be the will of the people. As my young son pointed out, the old generation (people like you, dad), those over 55 (I'm almost 56), have had decades to change things and they have failed.
The future belongs to the young. Hope over fear... forever.