Dear First Minister,
I am Carolina Vila Nova, a youngish German-Brazilian girl. Recently I had the opportunity to watch one more of your videos during the latest UK Election Campaign, which intrigued me so much. First, you walked the city streets on your own! No security guards? Second, you state that girls can be who and what they dream to be, and you are such an example of that. And last but not least, how welcoming you are to people born in other parts of the world who want to make Scotland their home, or call Scotland their home already. A friend of mine is one of these people, and it is so touching to see how much he loves his country, how proud he is of being part of Scotland.
I know your party had a landslide victory, but it is not this that we notice abroad — after all, the UK Prime Minister fared well too! — it is how much people respect and like you in your country. Even your political opponents might not stand for what you stand for, but they respect you. For a modern politician, in this crazy world it is such an achievement. Maybe many people have congratulated you on this, but I want to add my ‘well-done, First Minister’ to that.
A while ago, I came across on YouTube to one of your speeches, I have to say I almost cried when you warmly mentioned the fact that everyone is welcome to Scotland! Nowadays we fear setting foot in England, for example. Many Europeans I leaving to never return because thy feel unwelcome, as if England is not and will never be their home. Then you clearly state that in Scotland it is and will be different. As a citizen of the world, I just have to say thank-you. I am sure that most Scots somehow think like you.
I live in Brazil, I am Brazilian, but I am also a German citizen, with six years’ experience in Europe. And I have never seen any politician of your caliber in my entire life, anywhere. They might be others, But I only speak Portuguese, German and English. If they exist, they may come from countries whose languages I have no access to.
My home country has over 210 million inhabitants, unlike the little over 5 million in Scotland. My country is also known not only for its ‘grandeur’ and natural beauty, but also for the corruption that plagues our politics and public life in general. Then I read that Scotland’s corruption rate is next to none!
How can you do that?
We have seven social classes: Super rich, rich, upper middle class, middle middle class, lower middle class, poor and the miserable!
People who live on the streets, have nothing to eat, do not have a job, health insurance, no human dignity, whilst I know that in Scotland cases of homeless would scandalize the country. I know it’s cold there and most Scots, like you, would want everyone to have a bed to sleep on. How can you be so generous in such a callous world?
The other day, I saw on TV you were driving down a street when you saw a beggar and immediately stopped the car to offer help. You were photographed at the top of your scarpin, making some notes. Is this what you’d normally do, First Minister? Get out of the car to talk to beggars? What an example to us all!
In my country, we are currently experiencing a time of war between Brazilian political parties, with the left and the right fighting fiercely with each other in every way possible: on social media, on the streets, between friends and even between families. There is no respect for the opinions of others. While in your country, you seem to treat your opponents as opponents, not as enemies. Somehow, within Scotland, seeing from abroad, you have a sense of what being Scots is all about! How can Scotland have achieved that?
Much is said about Scotland here: prostitution and sexual exploitation of women is a crime, and crime, compared to my country, is next to nothing. And a funny thing I heard the other day, I was told that the divorce rates due to betrayal is fairly low. Hypocrisy doesn’t seem to be the ‘thing’ is your country! If a couple decides for an open relationship, it is open. If they want to close it is closed, and the Government has nothing to do with it. I wonder how proud you are to have the most LGBTI-friendly Parliament in the world. There are politicians around here who use sexuality as a weapon or demerit, while in Scotland, the two leaders of the parties opposing one were gay and this has never been considered, never an issue. I am sure you must have opposed many of their ideas, but never used their sexuality as a weapon. This is an example to the world.
Nowadays, world over, we hear that the Scots are one of the most generous and kind people in the world! Is that a clan-culture? If someone makes a cake, they share with the neighbors. And many spaces are considered communal: the parks, the gardens, the fields, the rivers, the corridors inside the buildings you call ‘close’ and the space in the middle of the buildings, you call the ‘back yard’. I heard that most of your people would not sleep peacefully knowing that a neighbor is without food, sick and alone, wanting to study and without access to education, afraid to go out and be mugged.
I also know that the Scots are mostly atheists, or not religious any longer. In my country, on the other hand, some even use religiosity to excel in politics and manipulate the most ignorant. Yes, we have over 11 million illiterate people in the country, who are ironically obliged to vote. Can you imagine that?
Scotland now has just won an election which, as you say, gives you a mandate to call for an independence referendum. While the obstacles are still many, I imagine you will not give up fighting. I know you Scots are not given to praising, but we cannot help to look at you and think: ‘she’s good, she’s strong, she will get it done’.
You know, First Minister, someday soon I want to visit Scotland. Once we get to know you and learn more about your people, there is no way we cannot admire, actually, love your country, your people, your culture and — I for one — become a big fan of yours — you and your people — from the other side of the planet!
From this corner of the world I see you in the news and on social media and I know you must be busy running Scotland, but if you one day read this, I want you to know that you deserve to become independent! The world now knows why! You have our support.
My friend taught me two words in Gaelic: Saor Alba.
‘Saor’ to us all, First Minister.
All the best.
A big kiss from your admirer in Brazil!