‘Another Scotland is possible’

With the welcome news, much to the howling and wailing of our unionist opponents, that Nicola Sturgeon is set to sit down with the folk at the Scottish Independence Convention,and others, in the next couple of weeks, to talk about moving forward the case for independence in the current political climate, a wee change of pace for the itisintruthnotforglory blog today.

We all individually have our views and our own personal vision of how we see Scotland’s future. Mine’s is about establishing and growing an outgoing social democratic republic, which first and foremost places the welfare of it’s people, all of them, as a priority, not a country tied to past glories, self-serving greed or exceptionalism. We are as good as everybody else, not better than them.

This clip of David Hayman reading the Radical Independence Declaration in 2013 sums up my view and reaffirms my commitment every time I watch it.

‘Another Scotland is possible.’

Parallel worlds

I know, I know, we all know what to expect from any Hootsmon article about politics in Scotland, but I just had to read it. When I saw the title of Brian Monteith’s piece the other day entitled ‘Nationalism has become greatest enemy of devolution’ I couldn’t stop myself. We’ve all done it.

Having read the assertions of the self-confessed ‘diehard unionist’ I can only conclude that yes, indeed, there is a parallel universe, and yes, there are a number of people living in a very small, so small that you can hardly see it on a weather map, insignificant, reverent region of a mighty parallel glorious world leader country, and that small worthless region is called North Britain.

Monteith suggests that devolution is in danger. This danger comes 20 years after Donald Dewar, a fine man apart from his decision to accede to Westminster pressure to redraw Scotland’s sea boundaries prior to devolution, who was Secretary of State for Scotland at the time, a time when a Secretary of State for Scotland actually had things to do other than spend huge sums of taxpayers money producing British nationalist propaganda to be fed constantly to the people of Scotland, and licking the expensive shoes of London’s Prime Minister, published the White Paper which set the wheels in motion for a referendum resulting in devolution.

This ‘serious attack’ Monteith asserts comes not from unionism but from the current Scottish Government, who he feels are either deliberately sabotaging Scotland’s devolved powers arrangement to strengthen their case for grievance, or because they have simply mismanaged their powers and are incompetent.

In Monteith’s North Britain, you see, we should all be deferential to the broad shouldered mother state that nurtures and watches over us with benevolence. In his world there is no Scotland as a country with a larger neighboring country ruling over it ,using its people, land and resources to further its own aims, under the guise of a partnership. No, in his world the Scottish Government, and by association those who support them, are being disrespectful, and biting the hand that feeds them.

Use the powers that our leaders have kindly given you to make the lives of Scots better, instead of complaining, is Brian’s view. Monteith suggests that from a unionist point of view when devolution was granted those with the same view as him did not complain or further oppose Scotland gaining it’s limited powers devolved status, no, they accepted it, and committed themselves to making it work. Unionist politicians , he writes, made proposals to improve devolution, proposals which have been accepted that make the Holyrood parliament more accountable. Curiously though he doesn’t mention at any point why it is that several of them have publicly stated since then that they do not recognise the authority of the parliament of Scotland, or the sovereignty of its people. The money is no’ bad though.

Clearly Mr Monteith was off work with a wee sniffle on the days when the Scottish government implemented it’s many beneficial changes for the people of Scotland to move it away from what the UK government consider to be social democracy. Free tertiary education, free prescriptions, free personal care for the aged, enhanced child care access, are just a few we could name . The soon to be introduced new social security system for Scotland based on dignity and respect, not stigmatism and resentment, will be a further use of the powers that our masters have deigned to honour us with.

Yes the Scottish government can tinker around the edges, and they are, of tax and revenue systems within the boundaries that they can , but if they are denied the financial levers and information to make significant changes it would be a fool’s errand to do otherwise. How can a devolved government make meaningful strategic financial decisions, or take steps designed to grow the economy, without knowing how much VAT is collected in Scotland, how much Income Tax is collected in Scotland, how much National Insurance contributions are made in Scotland, how much Corporation Tax is collected?

Monteith cites the recent “unnamed source’ leak about the status of the position of First Minister of Scotland being downgraded, in terms of access to Theresa May, as an example of how the SNP government has brought devolution into disrepute, and how their actions have resulted in the authority of Holyrood becoming diminished. The seeds were sown, he reckons, way back when the newly elected Prime Minister, after hosing down Gove and Boris, kindly visited Edinburgh as one of her first acts as Premier, only to suffer the ‘public ridicule’ of having her phoaites taken in front of two saltires instead of one saltire and a union flag. Wait a minute, is it not supposed to be us that are obsessed with flags? He suggests that this was a cheap shot. I would suggest that more of a cheap shot is his assertion, following the various terrorist incidents that took place recently in England, that the SNP Scottish government was not respectful or keen to show a mark of support for the victims because Scotland didn’t project large Union flags onto public buildings, like some other European countries did. That one is below the belt Brian, it really is.

The article then degenerates into comic farce where Monteith basically accuses the First Minister of an over-inflated sense of her own importance, and makes a case that if she had played nice, in the face of a robotic intransigent Prime Minister and a sycophantic Scottish Secretary, she could, by this stage, have been front and centre with the Westminster Ant Hill mob influencing the negotiations, having vital input on fishing, farming and other EU powers coming back as part of the UK’s xenophobic divorce.

What nonsense. I’m not going to list every instance here, but we all know that from day one, from the day and hour the whole Brexit decision was reached, and initially, and commendably, her instinctive act was to try and reassure EU citizens resident in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has bent over backwards, forwards and sideways, like a Red Bull fueled break dancer playing Twister, to be reasonable and respectful to the UK government’s position, but you can only be ignored and belittled for so long in these situations. 62% of Scotland’s electorate voted to remain Europeans.

There are indeed two Scotlands, and in the view of those who live in one of them,it isn’t a country at all.

It really is time for that to change.

False hope

Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it’s just Jeremy Corbyn.

Boosted by losing a General Election in significantly a more narrower manner than expected due to the sheer incompetence and monotony of the incumbent government of England, and all of the surrounding countries England still rules, Corbyn is being hailed as some form of socialist saviour, sent to heal the contrite, To bring the party back home.

Following a three year period where the former back bencher couldn’t lie down straight in bed without having to pull a couple of parliamentary canteen knives out from between his shoulder blades, we now find former New Labourites prostrating themselves on cold stone floors at his feet, dressed in sack cloth and ashes, flagellating each other with satchels of receipts and expenses claims for second homes, gardeners, and all of the best restaurants in the south east, whilst inhaling the sweet poisonous incense coming from a pyre of burning books, copies of Blair’s self-indulgent autobiography “A journey”. ‘ Save us Jezza, save us, we didn’t want to be neo-Liberals, we didn’t want cushy careers in politics with loads of perks and a seat in the House of Lords, we wanted to carry on singing the Red Flag,’ they chant in their repentant agony.

I’ve got news for them. Don’t even dare to suggest that suddenly your New/Old/Mixed Doubles Labour Party is all about Keir Hardie, Nye Bevan and Clem Attlee, social contracts and to hell with the bosses, again, because Corbyn certainly isn’t on the same plain as these distinguished principled leaders who were determined to use every fibre of their being to improve the lot of ordinary working people.

Corbyn doesn’t even talk the talk. It is clear that any real socialist thinking that he has is being shunted away to the one side, when necessary, in the pursuit of power, in order to appeal to the wider swing voters of the south. Take, for example, his weekend pronouncements on the Marr show. Any Labour leader who can possibly say that immigration from the EU has destroyed the conditions of workers in the UK should be ashamed of himself. Decades of under-regulated free market greed under both the Tories and his party might just have had a wee bit to do with that perhaps. He’s scapegoating, on the bandwagon, and a real Labour man wouldn’t blame immigrants for problems caused by the selfishness of others.

He’s got a serious issue with the EU, that is clear, but his statement that he wants the UK to achieve a tariff free arrangement with the European Union once the divorce goes through sounds like a parrot fashion Tory response , and shows a clear lack of personal courage on his part, in fear of harming any chance he might have of government when the Brexit catastrophe happens. If he is his own man he should come right out and admit that unless the UK accepts that it should comply with the fundamental four freedoms of the EU, which includes the continued free movement to live and work of EU citizens, then the chances of a tariff free arrangement happening are nil, the middle of a doughnut, zero.

How many times do the EU have to tell British politicians this? Should they perhaps hire an aeroplane with a sign attached to its tail saying “No free movement, no deal” to buzz around Whitehall for the next eighteen months? Arrogance and ignorance are a dangerous combination.

There are many of us sick to the back teeth of hearing his stock standard answer on his thoughts on self-government for Scotland “ it would lead to turbo-charged austerity”. No thought, no context, no explanation, just a soundbite, over and over again, in many forums. During the last year he’s said it almost as often as Theresa May has mentioned ‘strength’ and ‘stability’.

A real Labour leader, with a backbone, would have looked at the results of the Brexit vote, where 62% of Scots voted to remain in the EU, and being committed to democracy, backed calls for Scotland to be involved in the negotiations, or support the proposition that Scotland should be able to seek their own arrangements with the EU, or be able to carry out a further referendum on self-government based on a material change to circumstances as they existed in 2014.

No, he just follows the union at all costs mantra. To do anything else might harm his chances of power, a personal strategy which has also resulted in his now watered down views on weapons of mass murder, the storage of which paints a huge target over the Central Belt of Scotland, the most densely populated area of the country.

Don’t let Corbyn fool you. He may have been considered the last of a dying breed in the Labour Party, but he’s just another career minded politician willing to sell his soul to the devil for power.

Let them get on with it. Scotland will be so much better off in so many ways when it returns to its rightful independent state.

Banging the drum

A politician most definitely pushing herself forward for stardom. Known for flip-flopping, sometimes spectacularly, on any given subject to suit whatever her personal career agenda happens to be at the time, she is now fishing for a centre line, like a 21st century answer to Tony ‘The Hague’ Blair.

The British State broadcaster reported yesterday that Field Marshall Ruthie Queen of Scots Davison, in an article for an allegedly centre right online site, has warned her supreme leaders that they must get the finger oot and show greater leadership if they want to survive.

Preparing herself for her one woman show in Edinburgh for the festival month of August, Unlike Alex Salmond not in the festival itself, but at the Tattoo, where nightly as a finale to the spectacular martial event she will march up and down the castle esplanade alone under a roving spotlight wearing her Colonel’s uniform proudly to the resounding chorus of “The British Grenadiers” coming from the band of the Royal Marines accompanied by the clapping of a couple of thousand North American tourists, who all might be distantly related to Rob Roy McGregor, Ruthie implores her divine leaders to be “bold” in making the case for selfish greed.

Ruthie feels that people are losing faith in capitalism amid rising anger over social injustice. Well said Ruth. You are indeed worthy of iconic worship by vast numbers of voters, but putting that another way what you are actually saying is that your party leaders need to get a bit smarter in applying the snake oil as more people are starting to cotton on. A new generation of voters are cottoning on to that great British tradition, blatant exploitation, which redistributes the wealth of many to only a small number of notable worthies (decided by themselves) worthies who can handle the dire responsibilities of extreme wealth, those with the prerequisite personal quality of not having a conscience. Smarten up Theresa, says Ruthie, they are on to us!

The recently anointed, by the BBC, Scottish Head of State also suggests that instability is a bad thing. Zero hours contracts, the feeling that the last time you had a pay rise was the year that St Johnstone won the cup, and sleeping in your Mam and Dads’ living room when you are 28 because you can’t afford to pay rent anywhere, are all apparently signs of a system that really disnae work for Britain’s young adults. and she implores the band of bumbling public school educated society identities and millionaires who run the party she represents to start making the case for personal greed using twice as much effort as they currently are.

An unnamed senior Scottish Tory source (there seem to be a lot more unnamed sources than usual floating about at the moment) told the Times that Ruth is “appalled at the defensive crouch” that the UK government has gotten into. Would that be the crouch that David Davis goes into every time an EU representative says good morning to him, or perhaps the defensive crouch the soon to be yodeling mountain goat frightener, Theresa May, takes at the very mention of the words Nicola Sturgeon?

I would definitely take issue with Davidson’s concluding comments though, when she says that the Tories should “stop fighting among themselves and start banging the drum for Conservatism because if we don’t, we lose”. I think we are all pretty clear that since they lost their majority at the last General Election they have worked pretty hard at banging the drum, by bribing a political party with the values, prejudices and narrowmindedness of the 19th century to keep them in power. That drum is well and truly being banged.

Destined for big things is Ruthie, and further afield than Holyrood.

And then we will win

I don’t usually reblog other Indy bloggers articles but Paul’s comments here highlight how crucial it is, if we are to ever have any possibility of Scotland becoming an independent country once more, that the concept of self government also appeals to Scots of other political views and none.

There are several views on how independence for Scotland can be achieved, and these are best expressed without belittling, dismissing or attacking others. Most definitely we can agree that the SNP are the key to the door. Without their sterling efforts independence will never happen. That is not a matter for dispute. However It is our job, as a wide diverse Yes movement to convince as many of our fellow Scots, many of whom who are currently not the slightest bit interested in politics or whether London or Edinburgh makes the decisions which impact their futures that independence is the best route forward for Scotland, and for their’s and their families futures. We cannot make people who are not politically minded become so. We can however work towards making them feel comfortable and confident about the idea that Scotland does not need to be governed by a neighbouring country.

On all sides of the pro Indy debate we can all agree on one thing, we are passionately committed to Scotland returning to its rightful state of independence.

Wee Ginger Dug

I have a long standing policy of refraining from attacking other people in the Yes movement. If we are to win Scotland’s independence, we can only do that with a broad based movement which encompasses a wide range of opinions, and a diversity of viewpoints. We need to attract those who disagree with us, and we can only do that if we contain within our ranks people whom those wavering No voter can identify with. That means that, by definition, our movement will contain voices which I individually don’t agree with. After all, if the Yes movement only contained people who agreed with me, it wouldn’t be a very broad based mass grass roots movement, it would be a fan club.

In this blog post I’m about to do something I never do – criticise certain parts of the Yes movement. I love this movement. I am committed to the…

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Make a movie

Whilst remembering the wartime events at Dunkirk, depicted in the big budget movie out at the moment, starring Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hardy, where 300,000 odd members of the British Expeditionary Force were evacuated off the beaches in France by a ragtag armada of sea faring craft in the face of an advancing enemy breathing down their necks, it’s worth remembering too the men of the 51st Highland Division, including the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, who were left behind in France.

On the day immediately after the Dunkirk evacuations were complete the Highlanders launched an attack on the enemy in Normandy, initially knocking hell out of them, but then were forced to steadily succumb to an oncoming enemy force of massively overwhelming numbers.

On the second day of the fighting the Argylls suffered the highest number of casualties ever in their distinguished history.

Facing withering fire the Division of highland battalions retreated and regrouped. Their leader, General Fortune, recommended immediate evacuation, from the port of Le Havre. However Prime Minister Churchill refused, it didn’t suit his political agenda, and ordered the Highlanders to continue to fight. In essence these men were abandoned to their fate.

Fortune continued to plead the case for evacuation but by the time a begrudging consent was given by London it was too late.

Cut off by Rommel’s forces, the Scottish Division was forced to surrender, and over 10,000 men endured forced marches with very little food or water across Europe to POW camps in Poland and East Germany, many succumbing to exhaustion and hunger on these so called Death Marches.

To remind us of the horrors that war brings, and without glorification, let them make a movie about that.

Making salt

I thought at first that maybe it was a wind up. Surely yesterday’s Scottish edition of the obsessionally xenophobic and hateful Daily Mail was just up to its usual trick of stirring up the shyte when it comes to rubbishing the undeniable right of Scotland’s citizens to return to having a government of their own peers, and stop being controlled by a neighbouring country.

If the Mail’s report that henceforth the democratically elected First Minister of Scotland will no longer have access to the Prime Minister of the UK, the UK which apparently is supposed to be a partnership of nations (I decline to include the word equal in that sentence as equality has never at any stage been demonstrated in this partnership) in any way turns out to be true, then this is a step too far for London to take.

An unnamed Tory minister apparently advised the paper that from now on the status of the First Minister will be downgraded, in the London government’s view, to the level where any contact she has with the ruling power will require her to go through David Mundell, the Secretary of State for nowhere, whose remit simply requires him to spend considerable amounts of taxpayers money to promote British unionism in Scotland, and some other guy who was rapidly promoted undemocratically to the undemocratic pension supplementing home of retired Tory and Labour politicians, and party fund contributors, the House of Lords, because the citizens of the constituency where he was a candidate in the recent General Election did not consider him worthy enough to become their Member of Parliament.

Apparently the First Minister of Scotland meeting with the Prime Minister of England and the surrounding countries which England still rules gives false credence to the notion that a leader of a devolved democratic parliament in a country which has had an organised form of constitutional governance in place since before England became established as a country, is a leader of international status, and falsely misrepresents that prime Scottish government role as of an equal status to the Prime Minister of England and the remaining surrounding countries it still rules.

Looking at the current politicians who occupy both of these posts it is clear that in terms of ability alone the opposite is correct. In comparison to the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, the Prime Minister of England and the surrounding neighbours it still rules, Theresa May’s abilities to communicate well, to empathise, to form strategic solutions to complex problems, and simply, to lead, are very poor, which may well suggest that the Mail’s report is correct. Denying Nicola Sturgeon contact saves May from one reminder of her many shortcomings and weaknesses, one of several.

Again, if it’s true, this decision is not just an insult to the government of Scotland, it is a slight on all of the people of Scotland. One more example of English rule over what it considers a region, not a country. Westminster is flexing its muscles.

It doesn’t do to knee jerk into a reaction on these things but as Gandhi made his salt I think the time is approaching when not eating Teacakes isn’t quite going to cut it, but always, always in the form of peaceful non violent protest. In 2014 all that was needed was make a mark on a slip of paper. We do like to make it hard for ourselves, us Scots.

The UK’s negotiating position? It’s all a bit J Arthur

An article in The Economist entitled ‘Facing up to Brexit’ highlights the farce that is playing out as a result of a narrowly won referendum last summer which will put an end to the UK’s membership of the European Union. The crux of the article being that the UK government are in denial about the consequences of such action, and are facing disaster unless they wake up and smell the croissants as they disappear back over the Channel.

Before every TV news item on the subject of Brexit I’m half expecting the old J Arthur Rank opening sequence (a big burly guy in a state of partial undress clattering a gong) to appear on the screen heralding a ‘Carry On Downing Street’ knockabout comedy.

There seriously must be an argument to be made somewhere that the robotic premier, now so unpopular that polls are showing that she is the least popular Prime Minister in the immediate months after a General Election that there has ever been, and her band of assorted right wing and far right wing millionaire careerists, are trying to deliberately throw the fight, because surely they really can’t be as incompetent as they appear to be, can they?

EU negotiators, bemused by the clear lack of preparation of the British side, have made it known that they are ready to get down to the hard discussions. Discussions on the issues that were set out as key fundamentals requiring decisions, prior to any discussion on any arrangements for what might happen after Brexit. Issues that were agreed the last time Michel Barnier took easy advantage of David Davis’s poor negotiating skills. Issues like the treatment of EU and UK citizens resident in the respective countries involved, and what it’s going to cost Britain to step away from its financial commitments to the EU.

These are areas that the EU suggests that they would have expected that the UK by now would have established a firm position about.The problem seems to be that the UK doesn’t appear to have a firm position on anything, apart from immigration, and that’s not that clear. Instead they are winging it. What is not clear is whether this strategy deliberate or is it simply that there are so many factions infighting within the Tory party that they can’t come to a consensus?

Safe in the knowledge that nobody really wants her job just at the moment, although there are plenty forming alliances and quietly signalling allegiance over brandy and cigars, or during conversations in shady corners of the Palace of Westminster (the Gove’s, Boris and Rudd’s of the world) for when a leader is required to save the party when the real damage of Brexit starts to emerge, and it all hits the fan, it’s holiday time. Theresa and Mr Theresa have left their respective governments and hedge funds behind, it being the summer and everybody is entitled to a holiday, apart from those that they keep in abject poverty, and gone walkies. The hiking boot are on, and the lesser Alps of Switzerland will be alive with the sound of the clanging bells of scattered lonely mountain goats as they trek their merry way from peak to peak.(Just keep walking east Theresa and we’ll meet you back here in about a year, your lot are always talking about patriotism, that would be the most patriotic thing you could do for your country right now).

The Economist article makes the point that the civil service who are going to be left to sort all of this mess out have reduced in size by about a quarter in the last decade, and hasn’t negotiated a trade deal in a generation. Hark, I hear the private sector calling. It won’t be long until vast amounts of your money will be going into the pockets, yet again, of the big players in the world of financial consulting and accounting, the KPMG’s and Ernst & Young’s, all very cosy, once more transferring the wealth of the many to a small privileged few, and making the best of a bad situation, for them only. Watch out for that one.

Bear in mind too that currently the UK has the dubious honour of having the slowest growing economy in the whole of the EU.

The other week Theresa May was publicly asking for cross-party assistance with all of this, at least letting on that she was anyway. I think it’s time she started listening to what the likes of Nicola Sturgeon has been trying to tell her for the last 12 months, before it’s too late.

Wrong priorities

The BBC is throwing cash at TV presenters like it’s going out of fashion, and their pals in the media are happily trying to divert the attention this obscenity receives, about the vast sums this lot get for jam, by making it a story about inequality, which admittedly is bad enough in itself, where their leading female presenters, who are still getting vast sums of licence payers cash chucked at them, are getting a fair bit less than the menfolk. It could be worse, they could all be making more working for Murdoch. Theresa May is said to be outraged at this news because some of them are getting far more than her for being equally as wooden.

Dearie me, and in the real world of planned Tory austerity the National is appealing to us all the other day to sponsor a child back to school, with uniforms and all of the associated kit, not the top notch designer kind mind, but just the basics that 21st century kids need to get them through a school year, as if living in poverty, exams and dealing with hormones wisnae enough for them to have to worry about. In a country with an abundance of resources, the envy of some, the Back to School Bank network, initially started by some of those fine ladies of Women for Independence, is running desperately short of everything from shoes to school ties.

Then we’ve got two pensioners, who have a strong commitment and passion in their hearts to protest against vile and horrifying weapons of mass murder, put in jail for non-violently impeding the progress of convoys of these monstrous instruments of death, weapons leased to the UK, and housed in Scotland, but ultimately under the control of whoever has their hand up the back of Donald Trump’s suit jacket. It cannae be Rod Hull, because I think he’s passed on a while ago.

But hey never mind, there’s a far more important story to focus on, a breach in royal protocol. Apparently there have been tears and gnashing of teeth down the end of the Mall, and it’s nothing to do with the major plumbing refit that you are paying for. The Canadian Governor General has committed the heinous crime of touching the auld dear. He claims it was to stop her taking a heeder down a flight of stairs, she’s 91 mind, but that doesn’t matter, he touched her arm. Will this provoke a diplomatic incident, the dissolution of the Canadian parliament perhaps, or the dismissal of the Prime Minister, like the British state interference to dismiss Australia’s Whitlam government in the 1970’s, and the first part of the Empire 2 Project map coloured pink once more?

Naaaa, the way they are going about the Brexit negotiations (can we be far away from a storm out in the huff staged for the BBC cameras?) I don’t think that lot that sit at the Downing Street Cabinet table are capable of actually finding Canada on a map, not even good Queen Ruthie, the darling of the Scottish media, with all of her regimental weekend warrior martial skills.

Scotland will be so much better once it returns to its rightful independent status. It really will.

Diversity is a strength

The SNP have done a grand job. Since a devolution settlement, that London’s political elite thought would kill off any possibility of Scotland ever returning to its rightful state as a fully functioning independent nation, the SNP have worked tirelessly and effectively both out, and mainly in, government for the people who matter to them, the people of Scotland.

Like many Scots I am proud of their achievements in social justice, health and welfare, free prescriptions, free tertiary education, free personal care for the elderly, increased access to childcare, school meals, the baby boxes, their work on a new citizen focused welfare benefits system, working towards making Scotland a beacon of a 21st century society with social justice at its heart. Great stuff, to be highly commended.

However, solely focusing an entire progressive movement for self-government on one political party, perceiving any criticism of that party, or deviation from the party line as worthy of pillory will not result in Scotland becoming an independent country.

I repeat that. The independence movement in Scotland does not start and end with the SNP. The SNP alone will not deliver independence. It is highly unlikely that there will ever be a point in time where the majority of the people of Scotland will vote for independence simply because they support the SNP.

The vast majority of Scots, unlike us who read or write about a future independent Scotland that we are deeply committed to, have not the slightest interest in politics. They glaze over at the very mention of the word. Politics is something other people are interested in.

They receive their knowledge of the world around them mainly via the news editors of the likes of Ms Bird and others, who on a daily basis pump out and spin whatever it is the British state wants to tell you about, oh and by the way aren’t the SNP crap and here’s a picture of a royal at a charity event. Politics is something the average Scot endures. It doesn’t interest them. Yet these are the folk we need to convince.

In order for Scotland to become an independent nation the majority of its people need to agree that continuing to have a distant government in London with priorities not compatible with the people of Scotland is untenable. The majority of Scots need to feel confident and comfortable that self government will ultimately be better for them and their children’s futures than the status quo. The cringe needs to be expunged. The negative propaganda exposed as shyte.

To do this party politics must be left behind and detached as much as is possible from the independence question, as it was to an extent in 2014. To do otherwise invites the opposition to just carry on with the dismissive SNP bad, Project Fear, too wee, too poor…. marginalisation, and the personalisation of independence being all about Nicola Sturgeon or Alex Salmond.

By sticking all our eggs rigidly in the SNP basket (if you can stick eggs rigidly) we make it easy for Davidson, Mundell and others, to continue to feed the general population a line that it’s only the big bad SNP who want to take them, (and their cash and resources) away from the loving embrace of the precious union. We’ll continue to be portrayed as Braveheart bagpipe playing, sword waving blood and soil nationalists. We can’t say their tactics don’t work, look what just happened in the general election, where they campaigned with no policies other than portraying us as being obsessed with independence? There’s no getting away from it, some of our country folk believe them. Demonising them for believing it won’t help us either, that just makes the job harder.

The independence movement needs to be promoted widely as it should be, for everyone, no matter what political party you voted for in the last general election, or whether you are not the slightest bit interested or aligned to any political party. This is about something else, something bigger, and that is the only way we will win.

Using emotive terms like traitors, saboteurs, quislings and turncoats about fellow Scots is not in any way helpful to the cause of Scottish Independence.

If Scottish independence is seen as being much wider than about the SNP the case is so much stronger, the propaganda and marginalisation arguments are harder to make against it, and the ability for all of us to make our pitch to our fellow Scots in a more persuasive way gets easier.

To say that Scottish independence relies solely on the SNP is not true. It is true to say that without the SNP independence will not happen but to advocate that everybody who is passionately committed to Scottish independence must support the SNP without deviation, and there will be time to return to other politics once independence has been achieved is flawed, because by following that path independence will never happen.

Diversity is a strength, not a weakness.