Visited By Locusts

I came across ten minutes of a documentary recently which was mainly about how Norway is currently looking to deal with the challenge of green issues and global warming, whilst at the same time still exploring new oil and gas fields on its sea border with Russia.

The huge benefits to the people of Norway, in terms of their standard of living, healthcare, education etc as a result of the Oil and Gas Fund which was created at the time of discovery of oil was included as context to the main theme of the programme.

Norway’s responsible handling of the discovery of a vast profitable resource in its waters contrasts starkly with the treachery, secrecy and sleight of hand, which could simply be described as theft, in Scotland’s case.

Now, not content, over forty odd years, with stripping Scotland of the majority of the benefit of its own resources, reducing its industrial capacity to almost nil, slashing its manufacturing sector, diluting and eroding its public services, forcing many of the country’s workforce into a low pay, low skilled, low job security retail environment, where profit is not reinvested but removed out of the country, the British State are determined that they are getting what’s under it too.

Having made sure that they’ve pulled the blanket out from underneath renewable energy programmes with the potential to make Scotland a world leader in the production of clean energy, the propaganda emphasis is now clearly on Scotland’s ‘Midland Valley’ (they’ve already got a name right there for their shale field) right underneath the Central Belt.

This area apparently has 80 trillion cubic feet of shale gas resources underneath it, enough to meet the needs of the southern city state, and the regions that support it,for the next half century at least.

Is it a coincidence that the state broadcaster’s first two online headlines the other day were about kilted pipers welcoming tankers of shale gas coming from America to save the day, hurrah,Grangemouth jobs are secure, fracking is great, put the flags out, followed by a solemn warning from the Oil & Gas annual report, the oil price is killing the North Sea, it’s gonnae run oot, again, lack of exploration makes the future dire, and surprise surprise, diversification is the answer?

SNP Bad…. Yes Movement Bad…. Oil and Gas until you give in and let us frack the land underneath you… Very Bad…..

The Scottish Government’s moratorium is a smart move, but it’s not going to hold them back forever. There is no doubt the corporate fracking lobby are piling on the pressure in any way they can.

Only independence will stop them.

Itisintruthnotforglory.wordpress. com

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Autonomy

The gemme’s a bogey. The dream of self-determination for Scotland has died. Everybody quickly get back in to your box.

C’mon now, move along, in an orderly and sheeplike manner. The cereal bowls are waiting. We are beaten.

The Union has been saved for once and for all due to a political masterstroke. The party of the people have decided that, on the very thinnest of very thin surfaces, they are about to re-launch themselves as…….the party of the people.

As a key tenet of this major strategic move the former Scottish branch office of the once great movement that was the Labour Party (they are great again apparently) is to become the most autonomously autonomous political organisation ever created in the history of the world. In fact they’ll now just be known as Scottish Autos.

Their London leader secure in his position, like Julius heading for the Forum, now strolls into the Palace of Westminster past Big Issue sellers imploring him to ‘beware the Ides of March’, but, no worries, everything is fine because the parliamentary party are all going to get behind him. Watch your back Jezza.

The platitudes have started too. ‘The Labour Party speaks up for Scotland and puts Scotland first.’ What about that? Great eh? Inspiring stuff, and so original.

In line with the strong left wing language of rebirth of their leadership, in an effort to convince their abandoned voters, now labelled as separatist hordes, we’ll now start to hear regularly in speeches luxuriant evocations of the likes of Keir Hardie and James Maxton.

Perhaps some of our newly born-again Guevaras will even drop the odd hint, in Sunday magazine interviews, that their personal struggle to pursue equality and social reform was deeply implanted in their blood by long deceased relatives of previous generations who were from Springburn and freens of MacLean.

It can only be weeks before we’ll see short, stout, red faced fifty-something’s, men in cheap suits, grinning from ear to ear whilst sitting in expensive restaurants, telling journalists from the Hootsmon “Aye so, we’re back to not having to count votes, we just weigh them. Pass the canapés, will you?”

The interesting quirk of this new fresh and dynamic autonomy will be the Scottish Labour Scottish Scottish Party’s ability to set policy in all areas, including on reserved matters. Mone then Kezia, let’s see your true mettle. Are you willing to take the chance? Are you able to embrace ‘real’ socialist values? Are you ready to lead your people out of the wilderness and join us?…… Naw, didnae think so.

As Jimmy Reid once said…….

“When New Labour came to power, we got a right-wing Conservative government. I came to realise that voting Labour wasn’t in Scotland’s interests any more. Any doubt I had about that was cast aside for ever when I saw Gordon Brown cosying up to Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street.”

Nothing has changed. They can dress a coo up as a thoroughbred racehorse if they like, but it’s still just a coo.

Itisintruthnotforglory.wordpress.com

Crystal Clear

Now let’s go over to our outside broadcast unit in a park at the front entrance of a big conference hall somewhere not in Scotland.

Kezia Dugdale, as leader of the Scottish Labour Scottish Scottish party can you confirm for our viewers that it is raining at your current location?

“Let me make myself absolutely clear on this one. I’ve been consistent about this in the past, and I’ll do the same in the future. I am one hundred percent behind it.”

But is there actual water falling from the sky where you are?

“Look, let me clear this one up right now. I have been consistently consistent about this, we have to unite, we have to continue to be committed to our fundamental principles.”

Yes, but is the pavement you are standing on wet?

“Oh, come on. I cannot be any clearer than what I’ve already said. I have intimated to you consistently my view on this. We have a plan, we are committed to that plan, and I aspire every day to see it through. It’s what gets me up in the morning.”

Let me put it to you another way. Can you see anyone sheltering under an umbrella?

“I don’t think you understand my answer. I couldn’t be more consistently clear. I am committed to working towards uniting the party, but the party must want to do that first, and that is what I intend to do this week.”

Are you saying that there are puddles in the carpark beside you?

” Now you are trying to put words in my mouth. I never said anything like that. I never wrote that in a newspaper article. The time has passed for division. We must clearly and consistently unite. We are the world. We are the the children.”

Okay. Moving away from the hard questions. Kezia Dugdale, as the leader of your party in Scotland, can you foresee a time when your party will once again become a dominant force in Scottish politics?

“Gordon I can confirm that it is raining here. It’s pouring down”…..

A Piece Of Cake?

You put your right-wing in, your right-wing out, your right-wing in, and you shake it all about. You do the Brexicoaky and you turn around…that’s what it’s all about.

Boris, the man with the plan when it comes to high level diplomacy involving foreign types (celestial beings of all faiths and denominations please save us) has let it be known, as we edge ever closer to 100 days in the dark, that he, David, don’t call me Dave, Davis and Theresa have got this cancelling Grand Britannia’s subscription to Thomsons 2018-19 Explore Europe holiday brochure lark under some sort of control. Are you confident? I think there may be grounds to say not.

Horace Wimp, or Colonel Blimp style Boris, in his usual mumbling and stumbling manner, reckons the Article 50 missive will be wending its way south to Brussels sometime in early 2017, firing the starting pistol on what will be yet another extraordinary and chaotic period in the life and times of old Blighty. Further to this our furry friend also reckons they won’t need two years to carry out the separation process. Oh really? Yes really. In Boris’s world he imagines the leaders of Europe sitting round a dinner table weeping into their plates of spotted dick as cigar in hand, he makes a Churchill-like speech evoking empire and his solemn sorrow at the thought of parting. “However you’ve brought it on yourselves Fritz and Pierre. If you’d only just let us keep sending our nationals to live on the sunny coastlines of your countries, without sending us any of yours, none of this would have happened”.

In reality Boris and his buddies are doing exactly what they and their rabid media pals accused the Yes Campaign of doing in 2014, having false confidence in radical change to your own advantage taking place as a result of the compliance of an agency which is out-with your control.

If the result had gone the other way in September 2014’s referendum there may, or may not, have been a currency union agreed between neighbours to allow both to carry on using the pound. There was no impediment to this, all it required was the will to do so. We’ll never know.

However, the Brexiteers have an inflated opinion that somehow or other ( is it the arrogance of long gone empire again?) that the European Community are going to let them have access to the single market on similar terms to their current trading arrangements without the “burden’ of the other responsibilities associated with being a member, they’ve said so. Bearing in mind that in 2014 there were only two parties involved in the debate over a currency union, there are twenty-seven other member states of the current EU. Do you think every one of them is going to agree to another country having more favourable terms than a member state? Keep dreaming Boris. Your chances of achieving that? The middle of a doughnut!

Get the late night cocoa and brandy on your night stand, and flick the telly to your old recording of “Last night of the proms”. Land of Hope and Glory will be on in a minute…

When that Article 50 letter gets delivered the strange rumbling sound coming from the north that will be able to be heard as far south as Westminster will be the sound of placards, flags and banners coming out of cupboards and being dusted down, ready for the winning campaign ahead.

Real Journalism

In perhaps one of the best summaries I’ve ever read regarding the question of self-determination for Scotland Derek Bateman, in his article ‘Deference or Dignity’, captures the very essence of the constitutional question. If you haven’t read it yet you’ll find it on derekbateman.scot

Leading on from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s comments last weekend about the transcending nature of independence, and the inevitable subsequent unionist media flak as a result, Derek absolutely nails the reality that is the dysfunctional relationship that exists between the British Establishment and the people of Scotland, whether some of them realise it or not. (The quicker more of them do the sooner things will change for the better).

In his description in the article of Scotland’s current standing Derek Bateman writes “we are largely powerless to make strategic moves to transform key areas of national life – we have limited access to borrowing, can’t adjust corporation tax, set VAT or alter competition policy or industrial relations. We have no separate foreign or immigration policy, our defence needs are (not) met elsewhere, our energy likewise – even our broadcasting is not our own. But we do at last control traffic signs”.

He then goes on to write ” A country denied the ability to run its own economy is blamed for being bankrupt by the authority which exercises those macro economic powers over it. The British Treasury pulls our wings off and then laughs when we can’t fly”.

In other words the British State keeps close control of the levers, and complacent in its power, spins its own mismanaged failure as a form of rolling propaganda to convince the people of Scotland that somehow they are responsible for the economic woes of the day, at any given time, pushing forward the too wee, too stupid (too gullible perhaps) myth that Scotland couldn’t survive without the broad shoulders of the UK. What a great ‘partnership!

Unionists are forever telling us how great the union is, 300 odd years of glory, stability, prosperity, all of that stuff. But then they tell you that one of the partners in that union, Scotland, is an economic disaster, requiring constant propping up and subsidy. That is illogical. It can’t be both.

The main thrust of the article is that there is no perfect time to become an independent country. Oil prices go up and down, recessions happen, major events occur in the world which can have negative consequences for all countries, but Scotland as an independent country would weather these storms, just like every other country does.

The argument that Bateman makes for independence is compelling and should be required reading, the concept used as a basis for engagement on the doorstep, for anyone gearing up to get the walking boots on for the extensive door chapping which will commence sooner rather than later once this Brexit Article 50 lark kicks in.It completely blows unionist propaganda out of the water if communicated well.

Derek’s Bateman’s great ability to summarise in this article also bring to mind the equally excellent words of Robin McAlpine in 2015, when writing about the new ‘powers’ Scotland would receive as a result of the Scotland Bill.

When considering whether the smoke and mirrors over the result of the watered down Smith Commission were actually creating real power for Scotland’s Government over welfare McAlpine wrote ” Broadly, Scotland is being given the power to spend but none of the power over policy. For me this is a bit like being put in a corridor with a mad man pulling pins out of grenades and being told you have the ‘power’ to run around after him to catch the grenades and try and put the pins back in. Or perhaps it’s more like having the ‘power’ to replace all the dishes your children are smashing but not being allowed to tell them to stop doing it”.

When it comes to simplifying complex issues for us (the non-economics geeks) and some of our fellow Scots who may only have access to the mainstream news these Indy journalists and many others, Lesley Riddoch, to name just one, are doing a fine job.

As a grassroots campaign we need to fully harness the output of these folk to make a persuasive case to our fellow Scots who are open to both sides of the debate. Some of course aren’t, and never will be. It is clear over the last couple of weeks that the the unionists have started gathering campaign funds.They are getting ready, so must we.

I suppose during any such discussions at the moment we could also mention the unionist plan for Brexit. What unionist plan for Brexit? Oh yes, the cunning plan to spend a fortune on a re-fit for the Royal Yacht Britannia, no doubt completed in a shipyard far far away, the ‘logic’ being that once Britain leaves the single market foreign leaders from non-EU countries will be falling over themselves to experience the prestige of dinner onboard and a shake at a royal gloved hand. Apparently they will then be pliable in terms of signing favourable trade deals with HM Government. Save us! Is that the best they can come up with?

Independence Is There Tae Be Won

In its day we sweated out on the streets of a runaway Unionist dream.

At night they rode to their mansions of glory in taxpayer funded limousines.

Strung from lamp posts by the Ravenscraig sign,

Red white and blue flags of empire, stretching out over the line.

H-oh, Farage the clown sold a myth to the Hacks,

It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap.

We gotta get out before too long,

cause Scots like us, independence is there to be won.

 

May said let me in , I wanna be your friend,

I want to kill your dreams and vision.

Just wrap your lugs round a Brexit update,

And watch us head for oblivion.

Self-determination could break this trap,

We’ll run till we drop, no chance we’ll ever go back.

H-oh, Will you walk with us out on the march?

Cause maybe it’s time that the message of Yes went wider.

Yes, we gotta sell how it feels,

We want to show that its wild,

We want to show that independence is real…………..

 

The highway south’s jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power trip.

Freeloaders out on the run tonight,

But there’s nowhere left to hide.

Together Scotland we’ll be delivered from the madness,

We’ll work for our future, our country, our soul.

H-oh, Someday soon, We’ll find out when,

We’re gonna get to that place,

Where we really wanna go.

And we’ll stroll in the sun.

Until then,

Scots like us, independence is there to be won……. Scots like us……..

(Bruce McBoss)

The Settled Will

Two years on from one of the finest moments in our glorious Britannic history since Trafalgar, the extremely fairly contested referendum to put down the scourge of screaming nationalist separatists in this, our northern province, we at the North British Broadcasting Corporation thought we would catch up with some of the key personalities involved, heroes one and all, to gauge their thoughts looking back on 2014.

Firstly we spoke to former socialist Baron Darling of Roulanish, Baron Darling, what are your reflections on the events of 2014?

“I got what I wanted. The strength and security of an ermine cloak. There’s no need for me to worry about currency anymore either. Oh, and the outcome was the settled will of the Bri…..Scottish people.”

Moving on to ‘The Baroness Moan’ Baroness, your thoughts?

“Me too, and the outcome was the settled will of the Scottish people right!”

Ex Prime Minister David Cameron give us an insight on your views?

“It was a close run thing but I knew we could do it. However I haven’t time right now to say much more, I’m off for a job interview as I kind of jumped before I was pushed from my last role, and I’ve a few months left to wait before my name comes up as a new member of the House of Lords. To be honest I’m sick of referendums, they are so tiresome. However the outcome was the settled will of the people of Scotland.”

Ex Chancellor George Osborne there must be something you can add?

“Daddy is big in carpets, and one day it will all be mine, as well as the titled Baronetcy of Ballentaylor! I’m just waiting to pull the plug on this public service lark like David did. I’m off any day now. Scotland? Oh yes, I remember. As I recollect the outcome was the settled will of the people of Scotland.”

Nick Clegg, former deputy Prime Minister, how do you view the events of that momentous campaign?

“Don’t ask me. I only signed it because I thought it was a get well card for Boris Johnson, who had flu at the time. If I’d known they were going to actually use it I wouldn’t have used my real name. I’m kind of in a career lull at the moment too, although I can’t work out why. But yes, the outcome was the settled will of the people of Scotland.”

Ex Miliband reflect for us, if you will, on your thoughts when the results came in?

“I was absolutely devastated. After us spending so many years trying to be more like the Tories than the Tories themselves we still got a shellacking, and hey presto I was out of a job! Oh sorry, wrong event, you mean Scotland? Yes, well I don’t understand how the Scots can’t see that we are entirely for the working people. It’s a mystery to me, and those ghastly girls who accosted me in Glasgow during the campaign, I couldn’t understand a word they said. Every time I spoke they just kept saying what sounded like  ” Ahsmellshite”. Anyway, the outcome was the settled will of the people of Scotland.”

Jim Murphy ex leader of the Scottish Labour Scottish Scottish party, it was a tough one Jim but we did it the end eh?

“Yes, we did. I deserve a great deal of credit for it. It was me in all my meeness that got us over the line. Funnily enough I lost my job too, but it’s okay because I set myself up as an international consultant in opportunism. Suits me down to the ground. I’m currently acting as an advisor on conflict resolution in Central Asia. Having spent months running around Glasgow with a film crew trying to goad the locals into hitting me, unsuccessfully, I feel I’m well qualified. The outcome though, was the settled will of the people of Scotland.”

Finally, Ex Prime Minister Gordon Brown, what are your recollections?

“All I can say about my great success is that I vow to thee my country. Without overemphasising my part in the great victory I would simply describe it thus, behold I parted the water, and when I reached the other side I turned and raised my hands to the heavens and the waters poured forth upon the demonic Salmond and his hordes of charioted tartan hordes. That’ll be 65k please. Next! Most definitely the outcome was the settled will of the people of Scotland.”

Just so we can’t be accused of bias our reporter in Edinburgh met with two of the defeated forlorn wretched nationalists who came a right cropper when they decided to take on the empire.

Alex Salmond, You lost. As an MP at Westminster don’t you think at your age you’d be better off seeking a seat on the benches of the other chamber at the Palace of Westminster?

“Rocks will melt with the sun before I’d ever set foot in the House of Lords.”

Nicola Sturgeon, following your abject failure how have you fared since the settled will of the Scottish people was confirmed in the 2014 referendum?

“I’m now the democratically elected First Minister of Scotland, and naw, it wisnae.”

On Track

There is not really much more to say about today, the second anniversary of the ‘1st’ Scottish Independence Referendum, that hasn’t been clearly communicated by several others much better at it than me.

There is one undeniable belief that all of these people have in common. That belief is that no one, absolutely no one, is able to manage Scotland’s affairs better than the people of Scotland.

There is a day coming when the starting pistol will be fired to begin the process to initiate Indy 2. That day however will only come when the time is right, a time when there is overwhelming evidence that there will be a definite yes vote. The signs are there that the momentum continues to move in the right direction. Unionist chaos and the ongoing rise of the right-wing at Westminster will speed this along, further highlighting the differing path Scotland is taking from the Neo-liberal city state of London controlled government.

How do we hasten that day?

The Scottish Government must come up with a manageable workable arrangement for a Scottish currency that can be implemented without the requirement of an agreement from the UK Treasury, and clearly communicate this to the people of Scotland.

The wider Yes Campaign must come up with a clear plan to address questions on pensions and a communication strategy which will act as a conduit to successfully inform Scots who do not use social media as a source of news or a means to be informed on issues of the day.

We must come up with an answer to the unionist propaganda strategy on the curse of North Sea oil, highlighting the benefits of current economic assets and the potential of areas like renewable energy.

The official Yes Campaign, this time, must ensure that they have a designated team ready specifically to rebut every spurious far-fetched scare story which is released from the unionist side with facts on the same day that the stories appear in the media, and distributed as widely as is possible.

We’ll be starting the next campaign from a much larger base than the last time. Patient listening and addressing the concerns of former no voters using tested sources of clear factual information with no jargon will raise that number to the tipping point.

The unionists are always battering us with the heart and head argument. We’ll win this in the end by appealing to both.

In that vein the best quote I’ve read today which sums up how I feel on this anniversary, and I’m pretty sure many more Scots feel exactly the same way, came from Stewart Bremner on social media in the form of a vow.

The vow says ‘I promise that as long as I have breath left in my body, I will continue to work towards the creation of a fair, just and independent Scotland’.

The box has been opened. We are never getting back in to it.

‘Good Evening. Here Is The News’

That’s it then. No need for Scotland to have control over its news services. It’s too wee, and too insignificant. Rest easy and hush now. Fear not. The renewal of the BBC Charter is going to settle all of this North British separationista nonsense once and for all.

One of the key aims of the BBC apparently is to ‘reflect the national mood and national news across the UK’. That’s it cleared up. By national they mean English, or to be more accurate, from London, about London, and how international affairs impact London.

Therefore the current sometimes almost imperceptible, most of the time not, subtle brainwashing involving every second TV programme title beginning with the words ‘The Great British……’ and every broadcast of the news where you are flashing faint barely visible watermark ‘SNPbad’ signs above Jackie Burd’s heid, will continue.

The foreshortening of the contours of our rugged coastline on the weather map, which shows off some crackin’ digital technology simulating the earth’s curve, technology which your licence fee pays for, making Scotland look like it has the size and significance of a small cafe in Luxembourg, will however change. From now on there will be no discernible display of Scotland at all on the weather map of the UK. In it’s place we’ll get a detailed county by county summary of the southern half of blighty, but for Scotland there will just be a picture of an umbrella beside a Scottish town name. This will alter each day as they change the name of the town. Accompanying this ground-breaking new style of weather news will be some tawtie-moothed spanner, who will take great delight in mispronouncing the names of Scottish towns every night. It’ll be great.

Auntie Beeb’s news curse of the black black oil running theme inflicting untold pain on Scottish economic life will continue apace but efforts to bring the peasants back in to the fold are about be ramped up somewhat. It has been noted that there have been several hundred thousand escapees from the unionist matrix over the last few years, leaking into the real world, and they can’t have that!

From now on the broadcasting day in North B (trendily shortened to reflect hip post Brexit self-confidence, the word Scotland will be phased out) will begin promptly each morning at dawn with a union flag raising ceremony ‘live’ with your breakfast boiled egg.

During the day, for those then not out working to make a very small amount of very rich people even richer, we’ll have four hours of compulsory highlights of the Olympic Games and medal ceremonies, daily, repeated on Monday and Wednesday nights. This will be followed by the latest two hour weekly instalment of the Queens 90th year Birthday celebrations (on 21st April that series will tick over to episode 1 of the Queens 91st year Birthday celebrations). This show will, of course, be hosted by the ever fawning and sugary Nicholas Witchell.

In order to further realign North British views to match up with much of the rest of the glorious Sceptred Isle Saturday nights will see the return of three much loved BBC classics to Scottish screens only, again paying homage to the renewed enthusiasm for days of empire post Brexit. North Britons will have the pleasure of viewing ‘The Good Old Days’, ‘The Black and White Minstrel Show’ and ‘ It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’. Cor blimey guv’nor, that’ll surely cut down the numbers heading for the pubs on a Saturday night.

Certain words and phrases will also now be considered taboo on North B TV news. For example the phrase “renewable energy potential” is now completely banned. The combination of the words ‘successful’ and ‘Scotland’ or ‘Scottish’ in the same sentence is strongly discouraged. Mentioning the ‘I’ word without it being in a negative context by any newscaster will result in immediate suspension, and a red line marked under their name on the future OBE list.

Give it four or five years or so of this stuff and the only folk left waving Saltires will be wearing see-you-Jimmy wigs at sporting events.

Laugh? I nearly paid a licence fee.

Anticipate The Future

In the run up to Sunday’s second anniversary of the first independence referendum in Scotland it is perhaps worth standing back and taking a moment to reflect.

Members of the movement for self-government in Scotland are often accused of blind belief in independence, seen as following our “hearts rather than our heads”. The reality is far from this image. Hoping that Scotland becomes an independent nation is not at all about flags, the hills and the glens, kilts, bagpipes and blood and soil. It’s not about disliking English people, I’ll repeat that for the hard of thinking, it’s not about disliking English people. It’s also not about a suspicion of foreigners, and it is certainly not about seeing ourselves as better than anyone else.

To illustrate what it is actually about for many of us let me throw out a few facts to you about life in the early 21st century Scotland.

· In 2016, in one of the top 20 richest countries in the world, 1 in 5 Scots live in poverty of some kind.

· The number of Scots in severe or extreme poverty has increased over the last decade to a figure of around 710,000 after housing costs. (Severe poverty represents household incomes below 50 per cent of the UK median annual household income, extreme poverty represents household incomes below 40 per cent of the UK median annual household income).

· More than 1 in 5 (220,000) Scottish children still live in severe poverty, a figure significantly higher than most other European countries.

· 43% of people in Scotland of working age who are in severe poverty live in households where at least one person is in employment (in low pay).

· Scotland had 706 drug related deaths in 2015, higher than any other previously recorded year. The previous year’s figure of 613 was also a record high at that time.

· The average life expectancy of Scots in comparison to those in the South East of England is still 3.3 years less. Drilling further into published statistics reveals that men born in Scotland’s most affluent areas can expect to live around 12.5 years longer than those in the poorest parts of Scotland.

· The number of Scots who utilised the services of food banks increased by 398% in the period 2012 to 2014. For 2015 the Trussell Trust recorded 133,726 referrals for three day emergency supplies in Scotland, around 44,000 of which involved children.

· In 2015-16, 34,662 homeless applications were made in Scotland.

· By contrast the 4 richest families in Scotland are wealthier than the most deprived 20% of Scotland’s population put together, and the 14 most affluent families are wealthier than the poorest 30% of the population.

– 432 families or corporations own 50% of the private land of Scotland. This is very different to most other European nations.

These statistics come directly from organisations like Child Poverty Action Group Scotland, Shelter Scotland, Oxfam and the Scottish Government’s own figures. There are many more such shocking examples of the ‘benefits’ of being a very junior partner in an unhealthy Union, where the senior partner treats the junior as a distant province to be milked at will for its resources, and otherwise quietly ignores it unless it needs to be sweet talked with false promises to keep it from leaving.

But Scotland has devolved powers. Why doesn’t it use them to solve its ills? Unfortunately, despite what the Daily Mail or Express say Scotland’s government does not hold the economic levers of power, and isn’t able to make the radical decisions necessary to sufficiently and satisfactorily attack poverty and address social deprivation. Westminster retains this control. It does what it can, but this is limited.

Why not stay in the Union? Why not try and change it from within? The politics of the remaining United Kingdom as they stand right now, and as they will continue to be for many years to come, are incompatible with a progressive social democracy which places it’s citizens (all of them) at the centre of its policies and aims as a nation. More and more the Neo-Liberal influence of the city state of London, and corporate multi-nationals, is pulling the UK towards the model which prevails in the United States. The rich are getting infinitely richer and the rest, well, they are there simply to be exploited and discarded. The latest decision to withdraw from the European Union and isolate the UK from a market of 500 million people has the potential to be economically disastrous. The UK government has gotten itself into a complete fankle that it can’t get itself out of. Scotland must remain in that market. Democratically it’s people have decided that it should.

What passes for opposition in the remaining UK has shifted so far to the right that they are in fact virtually no different to the Tories. The Labour Party is a husk of long-gone memories of bold social justice initiatives, having dissolved into a party of plastic professional politicians dusting down the benches of the Palace of Westminster with the arses of their trousers and skirts whilst they mark time until the ermine cloak appears. The parliamentary group of the party treat Jeremy Corbyn, their ‘leader’, an actual socialist, as if he is a bad smell emanating from the sole of their shoes.

Austerity measures inflicted by the Tory government are deployed as a deliberate political decision by a governing political party, not based on any real economic necessity. Contracting the British economy, shrinking the public sector, and increasingly putting services in the hands of low bid, high profit private corporations only serves to act as an effective conduit to further transfer the wealth of the many into the pockets of the few, crushing the lives of human beings in its wake.

Scotland has an opportunity over the next few years to escape from all of this, to go another way. An opportunity which cannot be missed.

We are going to have to make it happen, by listening, addressing concerns and respectful patient persuasion. However on Sunday, as the crowds gather, take some comfort that it is indeed coming.