Planet Elizabeth

I don’t understand the continuing cap doffing fascination,generation after generation,with the British royal family, or any royal family of any country for that matter.

Right off, I’ll confess here and now that I am a republican, although I’ve nothing against the Windsor family who inhabit the modest wee single end at the bottom of the Mall in the city state which the rest of the UK is supposed to revolve around.

These people are simply human beings like the rest of us who due to a fortuitous birth are born into a highly privileged and extremely fortunate existence. An existence created originally by dodgy ancestors of theirs in less civilised times killing or imprisoning other competing tyrants whilst seeking to gain advantage and possessions from those weaker than themselves, then seizing and controlling power, and treating everyone else as slaves, or commodities to be traded.

I have no problem with them individually as fellow humans, I’m not a hateful, jealous or spiteful person. I’m sure several of them are probably quite nice once you get behind the pomp, Pimms and parades. If they live to ripe old ages good luck to them. Expert health care on tap, and boundless wealth will do that for you, and as my much loved and long departed grandmother used to say “Aye but they’ve never had tae scrub a front step.”

However they have very little relevance in the twenty first century, particularly in such times where the gap between the haves and the have nots is widening even further, as the headline from the last State Opening of Parliament demonstrated. “Woman in million pound hat lectures on austerity.”

One of the more cringeworthy aspects of the bowing and scraping cult is the continuing preoccupation of those in search of gongs with naming everything new and shiny that appears after Queen Elizabeth. It appears that there are local worthies all over the UK and its previous colonies falling over themselves still to call a building, a bridge, a hospital, a goldfish,anything at all, after her or one of her family. This fawning has been going on for hundreds of years and it ain’t showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon.

They are even at it here, 9000 miles away from the UK. Recently Perth has had a new riverside leisure development opened on the CBD side of the Swan River called “Elizabeth Quay.”The locals,with their customary easy humour, have already unofficially renamed it Betty’s Jetty, however there was surely an opportunity missed to name the new complex after an eminent Australian, an outstanding medical specialist perhaps, someone who deserves to be honoured.

I’m shaking my head reading this morning the news,via a social media post from Stirling SNP (they are bad by the way) Councillor Alycia Hayes, that the Labour/Tory coalition in control of Stirling Council are considering renaming one of its most historic streets, Corn Exchange Road, as “Queen Elizabeth Road” as a 90th Birthday present for HRH. A building I worked in for a few years, the Municipal Building, with its fine ‘B’ listed architecture, sits impressively on the hill of that street. Leave it alone please, It’s perfectly fine the way it is thanks.

This follows on from the farce which surrounded the naming of the recently built super-hospital in Glasgow which was ratified by the region’s NHS board as being named the South Glasgow University Hospital until up pops the woman in the sparkly hat and quick as a flash and with very little prior warning or explanation it’s now the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital! This sudden burst of patriotic forelock tugging cost the tax payers of Glasgow around a hundred thousand pounds to change the signage and put up plaques, well worth it though say the career local politicians and heads of services who see the letters O. B. and E. cropping up in their future, they hope!

This campaign in the UK ‘Clean For the Queen” geared at gathering volunteers to clean up rubbish for the Queen’s birthday weekend is an embarrassment too, and is so far out of touch with reality that it is akin to the Hans Christian Andersen fable the Emperor’s New Clothes.

I’m sure there are many hundreds of thousands of people on either side of the Tweed who are only too willing to do their bit to help their local environment but linking good works to this cause is surely a PR faux pas.

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English gold? Really?

I missed producing a rant yesterday online for a very good reason, the birth of my grandson,and a smashing wee sowel he is too. However I had to seriously have one of those coffee spluttering EH? moments whilst catching up with the news headlines. This occurred when I read that former Secretary for Scotland under that giant of modern politics John Major, and also former Thatcher poster boy, Michael, now Lord, Forsyth had paraphrased Rabbie Burns in describing First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as having been “bought and sold with English gold” to secure further powers for Scotland.

Really? You could not paint a red neck on the man! Lord Forsyth of Drumlean,or wherever, away and have a wee word wae yerself!

There he is sitting on his red leather bench inside a chamber of self important worthies with made up titles, like Lord Scroat of Greenbogie,resting comfortably amongst the snoozing expense gatherers and directorship collectors of London financial institutions, popping in for their three hundred quid between corporate banquets and shooting weekends, suggesting that the First Minister of Scotland and leader of the SNP (Yes, they are still bad) has sold out for a pay off and riches (additional powers). He’ll be very familiar with the word rich I would think, him being knee deep in moolah!

This is a career politician, now financier in the small controlling ‘powerhouse’ of London (Tories of both varieties love the word powerhouse, they use it all the time) which runs the rest of the British Isles, who in his role as Secretary of Scotland must surely have been aware of the real facts about Scotland’s finances and its relationship with the Treasury, must have been aware of the the McCrone Report, must have been aware of levels of tax revenue collected and grant funding provided over the last forty odd years, yet he still peddles propaganda that Scotland, his country, is subsidised by the United Kingdom.

Let’s get this straight. During the very recent successful negotiations undertaken by the Scottish Government with the UK Toff gangster mob of the Conservative British Government the financial settlement which was under discussion involved Scotland’s access to Scotland’s own finances, tax revenue generated by the people of Scotland and the wealth, services and goods which they produce, not anybody else’s money Mr Forsyth.

During the protracted period of discussions, compromises and counter-offers the stoic work of John Swinney, his team, and First Minister Sturgeon, the SNP Scottish Government team (bad beyond belief) achieved one key success for Scotland, the UK government did not manage to squirm out of a commitment they previously had made but which had no intention of keeping, they did not manage to claw back unfairly by stealth around 7 billion pounds over the next ten years of the people of Scotland’s money.

Mr Forsyth, a Scotsman, thinks this money generated by Scots, which pays for essential public services for Scotland, should be used to fund new bridges in London, even better infrastructure for London, high speedy speed rail systems to London (not from Scotland though) big horrible missiles to protect London (although housed in Scotland in case they leak and harm the people of London) and to line the pockets of his corporate pals in London who have villas in Mustique.

The big test of whether a country is being subsidised is to make a comparison of whether the rest of the UK would be better or worse financially if Scotland was not part of it. In a report prepared by those eminent researchers into such things Dr Jim and Mrs Margaret Cuthbertson for the Jimmy Reid Foundation, which was subsequently provided to the Finance Committee of the Scottish Parliament at their request in May 2014, it was determined that using a starting point of 1980, around the time the Barnett Formula was introduced ‘if Scotland had instead become independent at that time and taken on its share of the UK’s debt,had enjoyed the same level of public expenditure now devolved as was funded by Barnett, had experienced the same levels of public expenditure on non-devolved services then Scotland today (Autumn 2014) would have been at least 150 billion pounds better off, and the rest of the UK would have been worse off by the same amount.”

Lord Britnat, go forth and byle one’s heed.

God bless Hooky Street

Och well then. That’s it settled. Stand down now those in favour of living in a democratic country which has it’s own government. The baw is burst, the gemme is up. Scotland is gonnae be considered North Britain by some for a wee while longer.

I love the media headlines varying around a theme of “Scotland will now have one of the strongest devolved parliaments in the world.” Compared to whom? Almost all of the other democratic devolved parliaments around are based on federal states within a country. Unless anyone can tell me differently I’m pretty sure that Scotland is a country itself, no?

Its benevolent godfathers have kindly agreed, after being dragged kicking and screaming to the table several times, and sitting through endless hours of John Swinney staring hard at them over the top of his glasses , drumming his fingers on the polished oak veneer, sniffing loudly and muttering under his breath the words “I smell shite”, to reduce their deception of the Scottish people, or at least delay it somewhat, if they are still relevant in six years time.

The Cameron cabal involved in the lengthy Fiscal Framework settlement negotiations would have been as well being replaced by the likes of Arthur Daley, Boycy and Del Boy. Although it is clear that David Mundell is not a good substitute for Charlie Endell Esq.

Conmen and tricksters one and all displaying a complete disrespect for the people of Scotland. Unionist representatives whose only aim since their mendacious panicked empty promises of Autumn 2014 has been to completely avoid fulfilling any promise,if possible, or to massively backtrack on the solemn vow which was heralded from the heavens that Scotland would have “Home Rule” or be “as near to a Federal State as possible.”

Through the whole watering down process of the Smith Commission, which met to the background music of the speeded up Benny Hill theme tune to keep up with the farcical timescale it was set, to the complete disregard of any amendment put forward by democratic representatives of the people of Scotland , the whole process has been nothing short of a sham. A sham to allow Westminster to be able to falsely say they’ve done something for Scotland, instead of what they have actually done for three hundred years, and continue to do, take from Scotland.

If the London Treasury officials involved had backtracked any further on this process they’d have ended up tripping over the horses on Horse guards Parade, slowing doon the Whitehall Traffic, and ultimately falling backwards over the fence intae the toxic soup of the Thames!

The usual so called “Scottish” journo types with their union flagged labelled cardigans are crowing today that “The Vow” has been delivered. Shameful lot. What a load of chinless wonders.

Imagine gloating about the fact that a government which rules the country you are from, a government which your country never democratically voted for, or ever does, has just spent the last year trying to steal vast sums of money from your countryfolk, and were only stopped from doing so because of the steadfast determination of actual representatives of your country to stop them. How sick is that?

On that subject Mr Swinney and his team, and the First Minister of Scotland, of the SNP (who are “bad”) are to be heartily congratulated. Very well done on their part.

Reading through this morning’s associated articles comment sections in the likes of that great Scottish daily journal “The Britishman” it is clear that those with a passion for continuing to live in a country run by someone else think that this settlement now puts an end to any possibility of a further referendum on independence for Scotland.

Nah. The Scottish Government, currently the SNP (who are still “bad”) are playing this very cleverly. They have managed to gather some more power, not anywhere near what they should have, but financially it will be enough to rule out the possibility of our old pals at Project Fear being able to scare the pants off previous swithering No voters about Scotland not being able to manage its own financial affairs next time. That is a key positive to take from this agreement.

To move to the next stage on the road to Independence the Scottish SNP Government (did I mention they were “bad?”) have to do two things well over the next couple of years . Two big tests.

One, use the new limited tax powers they have been granted by the British State (and what a state they are !) effectively. In the face of increased financial pressure it will take all of John Swinney and his team’s canniness and expertise to meet the challenge of spending the revenue wisely. Remember Westminster are trying to set the SNP ( they are very very “bad”) up to fail.

Two, continue to protect the fine work that has been done on free tertiary education, prescriptions, care for the elderly etc whilst at the same time actively produce and implement more radical plans for social justice. Plans which must succeed.

It is of huge importance to the cause of self-determination that Scotland continues to take a widening successful different path away from the neo-liberal me-me society of the British establishment. A path which will continue to build confidence amongst the people of Scotland, and ultimately will create a modern socially democratic European country sure of its identity as a sovereign state.

I think they can do it.

The best of both worlds

Kara was tired, worn out in more ways than one. Up all night, almost, comforting a crying three year old Calum, his cheeks as red as his sleep-suit, his nose dripping, there was no shifting that cold.

Looking out of the window of her eighth storey flat she could see above the multitude of mainly boarded up and metal shuttered windows that the sky was grey and darkening. It was going to be another bitter and dreary late February morning.

Heading for the kitchen Kara switched her radio on to the local channel to try and add cheer to the dimly lit room, and had a cursory glance at the now switched off fridge. “Why do I need a fridge anyway, the cold and draughts in here keep things cool enough” she said out loud, to herself, only half-jokingly.

The kitchen cupboards were mostly empty, apart from some food and milk for Calum, salt, pepper and a bag of sweeties that Mrs Grant, from across the landing, had handed in last night. Kara almost lost it then, when she thought of the lovely old lady, wrapped up in her winter jacket and gloves, often offering hot homemade soup and sympathy. She would even sit with Calum on occasion to let Kara run down to the chemist to get him his prescription.

Mrs Grant’s kindness brought back happy memories of her childhood with her mum and dad in the sprawling council estate, then on the edge of her home town, with the countryside beyond. She’d known, or knew of, just about everybody in her street and most others in the crescent behind. Her extended family dotted around the estate, aunties, uncles and cousins. Happy times and happy homes, where, if you were playing in the near vicinity of a relatives house with your friends around meal times, or if you were thirsty in summer, you would be guaranteed a “peece” or a cool drink.

Both dad and mum were now gone. Dad, a hardworking man, only ever interested in seeing to the needs of his family, apart from ‘his’ time, a Saturday afternoon, with his pals at the fitbaw, a wee flutter in the bookies, never more than a few bob, or in the pub for a well-earned pint. He’d never really recovered when they shut the engineering works down. Cheaper to manufacture in Taiwan the boss had said, on his way out the door to retirement in the south of Spain. Dad couldn’t quite accept that after all of these years they didn’t need him anymore.

Mum hadn’t lasted very long after dad. Her health had been failing over many years, forcing her to give up her job in the factory. She’d suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. The majority of Kara’s surviving relatives had moved on, out of the estate, out of town, several even out of the country, seeking work and a better life.

She remembered, again as a child several years before, her uncle Bill, a lovely man, quoting a prominent government minister of that time, as she was watching, distraught at her girl cousins in tears packing for their flight to Canada, saying “If you can’t find a job get on your bike he tells us. Well we’re well and truly getting on our bike!”

Now, in this high rise existence for the past two years, Kara knew very few people around her, only Mrs Grant, Debbie, the young lassie from the floor below her, and Mr and Mrs Jina, who owned the shop on the ground floor.

As she prepared Calum’s lunch. it dawned on Kara that she herself hadn’t eaten for twenty four hours or so. This, in conjunction with her lack of sleep, would explain the slight feeling of wooziness she was now experiencing. Financially she hadn’t really gotten out of the bit from the period of time, several months before, when the social had cut her benefits as a result of her not completing a benefits review form the size of a novel properly. “Sanctioned” they’d called it.

Kara had always thought that sanctions were something you heard about on the news, something one country who felt they had the moral high ground did to another who was doing something despicable. The word didn’t seem right somehow. She just wanted to care for and feed her child.

Always used to working in her adult life, having retrained from garment-making into customer services in a call centre, Kara had had a dramatic change in fortune following the stormy ending to an abusive relationship with Calum’s father, now long gone. Her elusive ex-partner was now, it seemed, one step ahead of the Child Support Agency, his mother hinting in the passing that he might be working out in Dubai somewhere.

“Rationalisation and refocusing of staffing towards our Basingstoke office” was how her supervisor had put it at the call centre, her tenuous contract being not really worth the paper it was written on she had felt she had been lucky to get her four weeks notice. Unemployment and subsequent unmet mortgage payments on her three bed semi-detached has brought a new home for Kara and baby Calum.

As she cradled her now quiet child who was concentrating on his bottle, Kara considered her options. She had visited the Food-Bank, which had sprung up in the community flat in the block behind the swing park twice before. On the morning of the initial visit she had been hesitant at first, but then as that day had worn on she had found herself in increasing desperation, her son crying for hours with an empty belly.

Leaving Calum with Mrs Grant she felt that she had taken one of the hardest steps of her life as she crossed the threshold of the flat, identified by the small nondescript sign as being the Food-Bank. In fact she had circled the block twice before going in as there had been people huddled outside the door at first whom she vaguely recognised as she had approached the building.

Inside she was greeted by Judy, who looked like she was in charge. There was no judgement, no curious looks, no pity, no prying, just a smiling face, and kindness, in abundance. Judy had initially briefly led her round the range of shelves showing her where various items were before leaving her to it to consider what items she needed. When she had finished doing so Kara a bit awkwardly approached the counter where Judy was busy unpacking and shelving tins, which had arrived that morning in several cardboard boxes, an unexpected but welcome donation by two young workmen in a local building firm’s van.

A hot sweet cup of tea and a biscuit, and some mutual sharing of photos later, Kara had made a new acquaintance and had been reassured that she could come again whenever she needed to. Judy had told her “The wee man will not go hungry as long as there is food on these shelves, and you need to look after yourself too. If we can help you darlin’ we will.” Feeling unable to express her gratitude enough, taking her leave with her brimming plastic bags, Kara had cried quietly to herself all the way up the steps and along the path to her block.

The second time she had went to see Judy had been several weeks later, this time, after a small windfall of forty pounds on a very rarely purchased lottery ticket. In gratitude, Kara had brought with her on her visit a donation, a small shopping bag of tins of non-perishable foods, something, if not much, she felt, to help repay the kindness she had herself been shown.

Now, today, with the last chill of winter still lingering the bills were stacking up behind the clock on the kitchen table. She was back in the same situation. How had it come to this?

Reaching for her jacket and unfolding Calum’s buggy from out of the cupboard for the journey down to the community flat, Kara became aware that the lunchtime news had replaced the music on her radio.

The headlines were familiar. MPs of the Westminster Parliament are to get another pay-rise, just months after a previous 10% rise, there will be further corrective measures employed to meet the continuing challenge of austerity. These plans, to freeze benefits for four years, will affect 7 million children in low income families, and UKIP leader Nigel Farage has dismissed the recent EU renegotiation deal, demanding controls of the UK’s borders.

Then the bulletin changed to local news

The announcer said, somewhat sullenly, “A spokesman for the Scottish government stated today that Scotland could lose out on funding for essential public services of around 3 billion pounds over the next decade if it agrees to Westminster’s fiscal framework proposals as part of the proposed Scotland Act currently working its way through parliament.”

Before returning to the music the last item covered the news that unionist campaigners are set to hold an event on March 23rd in Edinburgh as a celebration of Scotland’s decision to reject independence in favour of the protection and strength of the UK. It is believed the SNP are set to ignore the significance of the next day which was due to be “Alex Salmond’s Independence Day.”

Switching off the radio as she headed for the door Kara spotted the worn blue and white sticker, facing outward on the safety glass, with the word YES emblazoned on it,that two badge-wearing cheery ladies with a positive attitude, and hope, had delivered to her more than a year before. She had almost forgotten that it was there.

Now that it was all over, well in the past, and things had gotten back to normal, Kara thought to herself I’ll kill a spare ten minutes of a boring day later on, whilst Calum is having a nap, scraping that sticker off.

She sighed quietly as she closed the door and headed for the lift.

Some Brussels Sprouts with your pork Prime Minister?

Thatcher encouraged a future of unconscionable selfishness. Those who followed on from her are infinitely worse.

In the run up to the Referendum on continuing membership of the EU British nationalism is going to rear it’s ugly head on both sides of the debate, achieving exactly what those right wing politicians who contrived to create such a situation set out to achieve, increased xenophobic distrust of foreigners, an enhanced image of “Rule Brittania” and a misplaced perception amongst their traditional voters that their beloved leader has actually used strong leadership skills, charm, intellect and charisma to bully and cajole those frightful Frogs and Germanic types into submission allowing the UK a “special status.” Aye right!

Anyone who listened to the aforementioned Dave the Rave crowing about his “hard won concessions” from Europe, playing to the msm press gallery and basically ripping the mince out of all things European, (a smart move to insult your partners Mr Cameron, not) will easily identify that this issue is his equivalent to Thatcher’s Falklands political rescue.

There is no chance of the United Kingdom leaving the EU and the PR team behind both Cameron and his “allegedly” opposing viewed buddy Boris feeding their media pals will have a field day over the next few months manipulating Scotland’s southern neighbours into a jingoistic union flag waving frenzy. A deliberate sham but a sideshow which will portray a warped view that Britain has gotten one over on those nasty foreigners so let’s take advantage of them further rather than leaving them.

The UK as it exists is rapidly heading towards becoming a geographically distant 51st state, where the rich get super rich, those in well paid or reasonably paid work envy them and try to be like them, and the lower paid, unemployed and disabled are further despised and swept under the carpet.

The political party created to better the future of working people and the vulnerable have corrupted themselves over the last 25 years incrementally until there is no discernible difference between them and those they were designed to combat.That is unforgivable.

There is presently one solution to this for the people of Scotland. Vote SNP on both counts in May. Get rid of as many unionists as possible. Let’s start to reverse this right wing greed and build a mature society that takes care of everybody. Get the show on the road with long-term consistent policies focussing on social justice, clearly different to the rest of the current UK, and work towards real democratic self government . As soon as it can be achieved current barriers that exist between factions which have developed in what was the broad based Yes Movement need to broken down too and partnerships re-established. Eyes on the prize.

This only requires the will to do so.

The band’s getting back on the road!

The 2016 Scottish Parliament Elections are creeping up fast, and, thanks to the considerate planning of the leader of the Bullingdon Club Sus-Scrofa Domesticus Appreciation Society (or Oink) as they like to be affectionately known, so is the Referendum to decide whether the UK remains a member state of the European Union.

Possibly significant for the cause of Scottish Independence was the notable news from this year’s Radical Independence Campaign Conference yesterday that the Commonweal’s Robin McAlpine has let it be known that conversations are taking place amongst key active players with a view to getting the positive and powerful non-party aligned juggernaut, which was the Yes Campaign, back on the road again. Get it done, and get it done now please.

The more professional, co-ordinated and consistent an approach to producing a positive vision for the future of Scotland we can achieve the better as far as I’m concerned. A long-term staffed, skilled and highly motivated Yes team could do this effectively.

There are some obvious advantages to this approach. This time we’d be starting a campaign with a much higher level of support and understanding of the key issues than previously, and the Scottish public are more clued up about the dark arts of Project Fear than they were before, although clear channels to communicate responses countering the dreadful guff and anti-Indy propaganda produced on a wider basis need to be established, well funded and protected.

A new Yes Campaign can continuously positively reinforce the message of the benefits of self-determination over an extended period. This could be crucial.

We, who are committed to change, know that the idea of citizens of a country running their own affairs is considered normal behaviour for almost all of the rest of the planet, however that message needs to be fully absorbed and accepted by other Scots if confidence is to be built towards a majority in favour of Independence at a future referendum. The impact of three hundred years of being told Scotland is too wee and too poor won’t be reversed overnight. Self reliance needs to become a viable norm.

In terms of party alignment It doesn’t matter if you are SNP, Green, RISE or whatever you are (the Unionists crave division in the Indy Movement) as long as your goal is a Scotland whose people make the decisions about who governs their country, and the priorities those future governments should concentrate on to benefit Scots, not the London based British state establishment.

Thankfully the whole issue of tactical voting in the Scottish Elections, which is somewhat divisive at the moment,will be behind us in a few months. Everyone can then get back to the real goal, and reinforced by the predicted upcoming Indy successes in May we can get moving again.

There is no other feasible way to achieve an Independent Scotland democratically than convincing the doubters. UDI is a nonstarter on many levels. We must convince a significant number of former No voters about the economic, social, educational, health, employment, renewable energy and innovation benefits of self government.

We must educate where we can, we cannot patronise. We cannot force an opinion on someone else. This is the challenge we must overcome.

We must listen, we must understand doubts and fears. We must overcome feelings of uncertainty. We can’t shy away from the hard questions. The Unionist counter to a positive outlook on change is to continually raise uncertainty and seek considerable details around any change. This is clearly not possible, and those we seek to convince need to be made aware of how the processes to facilitate change would work (negotiations, transitional arrangement processes, debate, canvassing opinions).

We must ensure that we benefit from the massive advantage the original Yes Campaign of 2014 gained, its POSITIVITY. Never be negative, never lower yourself to the level of the extremist end of the other side. We will never convince anyone to our viewpoint by insulting them. Don’t give them ammunition. Don’t hate anyone, don’t blame anyone who voted No. Blame the establishment powers who did everything they possibly could to ensure that Scotland remains chained to the Union.

We must accept that a modern democratic Scotland includes hard-line unionists who will never change their view in any circumstances. There are also many thousands of “Proudscotbuts”. They are Scottish too and are entitled to their opinion, accept this, recognise them as they come onto your radar, waste no further energy, and move on.

Love bomb if you have to. Be patient. We only have the opportunity to convince those of an open mind. Don’t look back, unless to add context to a discussion. Look forward, set out a vision. It is clear that if the facts on both sides of the Independence debate had been fairly communicated to the voters last year, without the spin and overwhelming scare tactics, allowing the people of Scotland to make their minds up in an informed manner, we would be celebrating today and looking forward to a huge party on the 24th of next month.

We need to tailor our points of discussion to our own style and get comfortable with our responses to questions. If you don’t know the answer, find out and come back with the facts. There is a plethora of supporting factual information out there for you to use. Don’t bullshit!

One request please Scottish Government. Please get your head round the currency issue. We must never again be left in a situation where a proposal for a major change relating to Independence relies on the other side playing fair with us. They won’t. Give us, as grassroots campaigners. a clear steer on a self-reliant policy on currency and we’ll run with it for you.

Organise! If you haven’t already join an existing group, or form one. Join Women for Independence, RIC, The Common Weal, The SNP, The SSP, The Scottish Greens, RISE. There are a number of such groups. Form your own Yes group (More than 2 people is a group).

Take the Independence message to your street, your block, your scheme or estate, your village, your town. Keep it as close and connected to a local issue as possible. Involve yourself voluntarily in community works on behalf of the Independence movement.

Identify the many gaps and needs in the services your community requires, that are not provided (no matter how small) and utilise the talents and expertise of your group to work towards filling that gap, whether it be for a few hours a week, or for as much as you want to commit to. There will be complications, there will be red tape. That is detail, and can be worked around, solutions can be found.

Work towards Scotland, through social change, becoming materially and obviously a completely different country to the remaining UK. We are on divergent routes at the moment, help speed it up. Instead of civil disobedience employ a form of civic transformation. The establishment can’t lock you up or shut you up for being nice people! (Give the Tories time).

If we have no other means to persuade others of the benefits we must demonstrate by our actions and deeds the potential positives that Independence will bring.

Continue to utilise social media to its best advantage to get our message across but don’t solely rely on this as your contribution to the continuing transformation of Scotland. Actions are better than keystrokes! It is important too that this time we do not spend too much time communicating amongst ourselves and not enough time talking to the people we need to engage.

We need to support each other! Infighting leads to division and negativity. There are many branches to the Yes Movement, all with their own individual views and standpoints, but all have the one overwhelming desire, an Independent Scotland.

The thousands of Grassroots activists are essentially the key to the door when it comes to the degree of political change required and determining the pace at which it is achieved to make the leap forward to self-government.

This unstoppable positive force along with the continuing destructive work of the Westminster Government will ensure that the desperately disappointing feelings we all experienced on 18 September 2014 will not be repeated next time. We’ve learned a lot since then, and we will be ready!

On to the Scottish Parliament Elections. Unionists out! One more step on the road.

For as long as but a hundred

Welcome to “It is in truth not for glory” a blog produced by an exiled Scot, Ally Farquhar, living in Perth Western Australia, who is fascinated by the explosion of political awareness and the determined hunger for progressive change which has broken out amongst his fellow Scots during the second decade of the 21st century.

An ardent believer in self-government for Scotland the author looks in from afar at the ongoing struggle for Independence and wholeheartedly supports Scots who voted Yes on 18 September 2014, those who had the vision and courage to imagine a fairer, Scotland, focused on social justice, and committed to a better future for all of its people.

Written with passion, humour, and the occasional sprinkle of sarcasm, the opinions expressed in this blog unashamedly follow the heart, as well as the head.

One day soon the shackles will snap and the unicorn will break free.