THE 6th o Februar 2018 will mark ae hunner year on fae whan wimmen were first gien the richt tae vote in the UK. Less weel kent or taen tent o, hooiver, is that thon year seen the vote extendit tae warkin-cless men fur the first time tae. Aforesyne excludit fae the franchise due tae property restrictions, this includit millions o sodjers returnin hame fae the war. Forby it wisnae er 1928 that the vote wis extendit tae aw wimmen, no jist the weel educatit or the weel aff anes (as wis the case in 1918) – an that universal suffrage wis finally achievit.

A wunner whit thaim whae focht fur the richt o aw tae vote would mak o the UK’s vote tae leave the EU? Aiblins the mucklest act o political an economic self-hairm in history, it’s set tae destroy oor economy an turn the kintra intae a politically isolatit back-watter. It’s a decision that’ll caa us backwart, nae forrit, an clauch awa fae young fowk aw the opportunities an freedoms that we’ve come tae tak fur grantit.

An whit’s brocht us here? The anti-immigrant heidlines o tabloid newspapers an unco haiverins on the side o a bus. Fowk taen in by the joukerie-poukerie o thon sleek-gabbit twasome, Farage an Johnson, whae promised fowk the warld gin we could jist brak free o Brussels. “A dangerous populist an nationalist thratch wirthy o Donald Trump,” as Brexit his been cried by Labour’s Lord Adonis.

The mucklest factor ahint the Brexit vote wis education – or lack o it. The vast majority o thaim whae votit Leave were educatit tae anely GSCE level or ablow; maist fowk wi a degree, on the ither haun, votit tae stey in the EU. Research unnertaen at the University o Leicester fund that had jist 3 per cent mair o the population gaed tae university, the UK dootless wouldnae be leavin the EU.

It wis the left-ahint, the scunnert, an the disempooert whae turnt oot tae vote agin thair ain interests, thair forfashen at thair uncarin hamelt governments misdirectit taewart the fremmit: immigrants an Brussels high heid yins. As the Guardian’s Polly Toynbee pit it, we’ve taen this gate thanks tae the “fury amang thaim athoot education an opportunity” an the “false howps” raisit fur “puirly paid, insecure, badly hoosed Brexit voters”. Fur thair ain sake, as well as awbody else’s, the sooner this hale Brexit stramash can be owerturnit, the better.

Haud on jist a minute. Keikit at mair closely, is this nae gey sib tae the flyttings aince trottit oot agin universal suffrage – whan the rich an the pooerfu, the lords an lairds, o the day threapit that the poor an the uneducatit would be gey susceptible tae manipulation an nae capable o makkin weel-learned decisions. Extendin the richt tae vote would lead tae the end o civilisation as they kent it an wis tae be avoidit at aw costs.

In 1842, Whig parliamentarian Lord Macaulay thunnert that “Universal suffrage would be fatal tae aw purposes that the government exists fur” an “utterly incompatible wi the verra existence o civilisation”, gangin on tae speir hoo could it be “possible tae doot that famine an pestilence would come afore lang tae wind up the effects o sic a state of things?” The wey some fowk speak aboot Brexit, it can whiles feel like Macaulay’s warnins hae come tae pass an then some.

In thair breeshlin rush tae condemn or tae pity the puirly learnit sowels whae votit Leave, tae explain hoo they were manipulatit by sleekit politicians tae vote fur an economic an political bourach, the rhetoric o mony ower the past year an a hauf his been barelins indiscernible fae thon employit tae oppose universal suffrage mair nor a century syne.

It’s threapit that Brexit will tak us back tae the 1950s; but the repone o some fowk tae the mucklest vote in UK history seems set tae drag us back tae the 19th century.

Forby in Scotland we aye mak a muckle virtue o the fack that the Aye movement engagit the taen-fur-grantit, the disempooert, an the disillusiont, persuadin thaim that though Britain wis fur the rich, Scotland could be oors. We’re richtly prood that we fordert thoosans o fowk whae had nivver votit afore tae heid oot tae pollin stations across the kintra fur tae pit their cross aside “Aye” in the howp that anither Scotland wis possible. They, tae, were gien the opportunity tae “tak back control” an they taen it wi baith hauns.

Noo imagine gin on the 19th September 2014 we’d woke up tae an Aye vote. Imagine the first thing we seen wis Tory MPs explainin on the telly hoo aw these fowk were swickit an misled by false promises. They didnae really ken whit they were votin fur. Forby whan they votit fur Scotland tae be a free-staunin kintra, they obviously didnae mean that they wantit Scotland tae become a free-staunin kintra – fur thon would be economic an political suicide. Aw they really wantit tae dae, as David Cameron warnit they would, wis gie “the effin Tories” a kick.

Opposin Brexit in Scotland on the basis that a muckle majority o Scots, educatit or itherwise, votit tae stey in the EU is ae thing, ettlet at uphaudin Scottish democracy. But dingin doun Brexit on the basis o the fowk whae votit fur it is somethin different awthegither – an anti-democratic tae the core.

We either celebrate aw fowk engagin in the democratic process or we dinnae. Forby we cannae assume the richt tae tell onybody else whit they “really” meant wi thair vote.

Tae paraphrase the Bard: a vote’s a vote for a’ that. We’d dae weel tae mind on thon this year.