Dear Theresa

To:

The Right Honourable Theresa May,Prime Minister of the UK,
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson,Foreign Secretary,
David Davis, Minister for Brexit,
The plastic Scot Viceroy Mundell,
Ruth Davidson, who considers a working class Scottish accent to be something to scorn and a source of amusement,
The rest of the rightist of right-wing Tory governments.
All of your wee pixie former socialist pals from across the chamber in red,
That other lot, what’s left of them,
The scary racist mob who despite having no MP’s seem to get a strong representation on Question Time every week…… and…
Last, but not least, the unelected freeloading, expenses hoovering, mob in ermine cloaks,

The Palace of Westminster,
Westminster, SW1A, London (Empire 2.0 Britannicus)

Dear Theresa and the beneficiaries of privilege.

Re: Request to seek an Order in Council under Section 30(2) of the Scotland Act 1998.

You’ve had your fun. The utter pish that you have been ripping out of the people of Scotland is going to stop.

You’ve had our oil and gas, and despite your propaganda about the oil price the fluctuations in price over a long period don’t matter, you’ll be gubbed without it,

You’ve traded off our fishing industry, significantly depleting stocks in the 1980’s and 90’s, for concessions and European funding for other projects which benefited London.

You’ve destroyed just about all of our industries (apart from the limited remaining maritime engineering sector you keep going so you can use it to threaten us every time you need to spend obscene amounts of public money to retain some sort of notion that you still are a major world power).

You are hoovering up massive export revenues from our whisky, which you’ve done for many years.

You pulled a sneaky move, you, and your red neo-liberal club members, half-inching some of our maritime seabed by changing the boundaries of Scotland’s waters in the days and hours before devolution.

You and some of your foreign pals (the ones you like, the rich ones) around 525 of you, make sure that you retain ownership of half the private land in Scotland.

You’ve well and truly pulled the rug out from under our renewable energy projects, new technology which would create a booming Scottish economy.

You’ve taken us out of the biggest neighbouring market for our remaining traders, the largest market on the planet, where we had a free trade arrangement, and made the rest of Europe think we are all a bunch of racist half-witted nutters.

You’ve alienated vital members of our community who originate from European Union states.

You’ve ridiculed, and for the most part ignored, just about the entire democratically elected membership of your lower chamber who hail from Scottish constituencies, booing the very mention of the words St Andrew’s Day.

You’ve decimated our armed forces, turning previously thriving rural communities which supported the services into yet more areas of severe poverty.

You tried to do us out of several billion pounds in the Scotland Bill settlement.

You’ve lied to the people of the rest of the United Kingdom about Johnny Foreigner and straight bananas.

You’ve ensured that we, who do not want anything to do with weapons of mass destruction, we, who overwhelmingly voted against them, will continue to have a target on our backs, and no choice in the decision to park these monstrous instruments of mass murder within shouting distance of half of our population, but miles and miles away from you,

You are going to lock us in to the extremely difficult challenge of maintaining an ageing population with little prospect of economic growth, as expertise and talent from outside your isolationist borders, who would be paying tax to help pay for increased pressure on public services, won’t be allowed to come and work here.

You’ve set us up to lose at least 80,000 Scottish jobs over the next few years because you don’t like garlic…….

……and now you insist that any democratic decisions we make are irrelevant because democracy only works when you decide it does

Get out of the way. We will decide our future destiny, not you.

Yours unswervingly.

The people of Scotland.
#ScotRef

The clock starts ticking towards 1950

There we have it. After many months of bluster, a letter about an advisory non-legally binding vote, which was subsequently ratified by a parliament (we Scots may hear of a similar process soon) to ‘restore national self-determination’ is signed and sealed by an unelected Prime Minister, and delivered by an obviously uncomfortable UK EU Ambassador, Sir Tim Barrow, a man who looked like he either wanted to fart or self-implode.

A pretty important fundamental right is self-determination, but clearly, when it comes to the British State, a right only considered vital on a selective basis.

As usual, when it comes to any sort of situation where they feel they are under threat, or they have to impose themselves on a negotiation, they’ve started their exit approach to EU negotiations with their standard go-to strategy, making a threat.

The people of Scotland, and the peoples of many nations around the world, those now independent from the former imperial power, are familiar with this negotiating technique.

This time it’s about crime and terrorism. The opening salvo of the Brexiteer Guide to Winning Friends and Influencing People involves veiled threats to the European Community that if they don’t play ball and agree to Britain’s demands the UK won’t share any intelligence information they come across with Europol, information which may avert acts of terrorism and the deaths and maiming of European citizens.

How noble they are, the UK public school Cosa Nostra. It’s no wonder the Europeans feel they are well rid of such a state.

I note Theresa May’s words with interest. “The country can look forward with optimism and hope and to believe in the enduring power of the British spirit” says she.

What does that actually mean? What is the British spirit? Can anyone define it, other than currently as a dogmatic Greater English nationalism, xenophobia, isolationism,and imperial nostalgia. What is it?

Is it supposed to be about democracy perhaps, and the will of the people to decide their destiny? Is it about the strength of the unity of the component nations of Britain, respecting them all as equals?

Is it about being proud to stand up for those in the world who need us, protecting the vulnerable and welcoming fellow human beings suffering as a result of war, famine and disaster to a safe haven?

If what Theresa May describes as the ‘British spirit’ relates to any of the admirable aspirations of the last two paragraphs I suspect she’s deluding herself, as well as the people of England. She is clearly engaged in political doublespeak, where words expressed contrast with actions of a completely opposite nature.

Future historians will postulate that the decisions and actions of the UK government in 2017 brought about the end of the UK as an entity, the restoration of Scotland as a sovereign nation, and perhaps,and very possibly,the reunification of the island of Ireland.

Heaven help the ordinary citizens of what is going to be left of the UK once the Tories of perpetual government convert EU legislation on workers rights, human rights, health and safety, fair trading and a compendium of others, via their Great ‘Regret’ Act, into UK statute, ready to be repealed and replaced with whatever their corporate big business bedfellows want them to be.

A forward progressive step? No chance. Someone will have to dig Charles Dickens up to start writing novels again.

On a lighter note the early initial responses from EU stakeholders have started coming in to Theresa May’s letter triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was quoted as saying, following a meeting of his cabinet “Does this mean we can stop serving full English breakfasts?”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel chipped in with. ” Fair enough, we’d rather keep them a week as a fortnight anyway.”

Guy Verhofstadt, Chief EU Brexit negotiator said ” Are they the ones with the oil & gas and whisky? No? That’s ok then.”

Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, was slightly more to the point when he said ” That’ll be £50 billion please. How would you like to pay?”

Lastly EU Council President Donald Tusk put his immediate response to receiving May’s letter on record succinctly, articulating clearly his views to the waiting media press pack. He said simply this “Yer Maw.”

‘Skintland’? Aye right

I laughed so much I nearly cried. Well in fact, naw I didnae laugh at all. Instead I just felt sad and a wee tad frustrated that such an image of Scotland is still portrayed, and its sentiments actually believed by some to be true.

What is it I am rambling on about? A map, a map which I think I first remember clapping eyes on around 2014 entitled ‘Skintland’.

Upon the news of the result of the historic vote in Scotland’s parliament yesterday, ratifying the will of the Scottish people to seek to ensure that Scotland is allowed the privilege of being the 29th country which gets to decide its future relationship with the European Union, and also the small matter of its own destiny, some wag decided to send me this map, presumably to highlight the error of my ways.

We’ve all seen it. You know the one with place names like ‘Aberdown’ ‘Obankrupt’, ‘Edinborrow, ‘Glasgone’ etc. it would be hilarious, naw actually it wouldn’t, if it wasn’t a clear example of the huge Scottish inferiority complex perpetuated by those with a vested interest in maintaining control of Scotland’s assets and resources, known as the ‘ Scottish cringe’.

It is frustration for me, as I’m sure it is for many, that some of our countryfolk, and I’m not talking about the staunch un-convinceable Proudscotbuts here, do not seem to understand, or want to understand, the reality of the position their country is currently in,and has been for a while, why that is the case, and what can be done to change it for the better.

Instead they choose to hide under the duvet. It’s all too hard. Scotland is shite, we’re shyter than shite, we’ll never amount to much without Big Brother. ‘ We’re too poor ……… etc’. What a sad attitude.

If that’s how you think have you considered how your country got into that state?

Are you aware at all that it was governments from London, many of which you didn’t vote for, who used your country for many years, and would still do if we let them, like a laboratory beagle? Have you heard of the original Poll Tax?

These are the London governments who ripped the heart and soul out of your industry and manufacturing heartland, governments whose deliberate underinvestment softened the place up for them to then turn the country into a shrine of retail parks, with low paid, low skilled, low value, low job satisfaction, zero hours, low job security, and huge profit for London markets and foreign investors. Huge amounts of money has left and is leaving Scotland never to return, enriching the few and keeping you having to claim benefits even though you are working.

Are you aware of the huge tax incentives those London governments have given big business so that they can continue to feed the financial nirvana of the City, and looking after themselves whilst you are shopping at Poundstretcher?

Are you aware that you live in the only country in the world to get decidedly poorer upon the discovery of massive fields of a lucrative natural resource in its waters, during the control of governments from London? Did you ever wonder why that is?

Are you aware that even when the much publicised slump arrived in the world price of this natural resource the UK was the only country out of the 24 in the world who currently do extraction business with one of the biggest oil companies, who gave that company a tax rebate, of £80m?

The other 23 countries, Norway being an example, charged the oil companies for the privilege of extracting from their land mass or waters (Norway charged £2.7 billion) and therefore still made profits, money to plough into public services.

Meanwhile the people of Scotland are continually told that their natural resource is a curse. However investors in this company, abroad and in the financial City of London, and other large oil companies receiving similar deals from the London government, received tidy dividends.

Does that make you question how your country has been governed for all of these years when 1 in 5 Scottish children, 1 in 3 in some areas, are living in poverty?

We could all reel off a hundred more stats which highlight the long-term neglect of an incompetent, self serving distant government, in a system designed to channel money from the many to the few, which sees Scotland as simply a valuable resource rich region to be fleeced, without making it too obvious or alerting the local peasantry.

I tell you what, examine the map at the top of this article, and have a think about it, please, have a serious think about it. It doesn’t look like the BBC weather map that suggests by its perspective that Aberdeen is a ten minute drive from Falkirk.

Do a bit of research on your own. Don’t believe the propaganda, you live in a country which has massive advantages over other small successful independent countries. There is absolutely no reason why Scotland can’t be equally or more, successful.

Scotland will be so much better once it becomes an independent country. First Minister please do what is required to make it so.

For the glory of the ‘precious Union’

So there you have it. Despite intense London unionist hackery speculation of a very late Kasparov-style strategic move to checkmate the hairy-ersed Jockos, where she would have sprinkled promises of temporary powers in her wake, pouted longingly at cardboard cutouts of the Scott’s Porage Oats kiltie for the adoring media, and pretended to look like she was actually awake whilst Nicola Sturgeon spoke, Theresa May’s whirlwind visit to Scotland wasn’t like that at all.

It wasn’t like that at all for one reason, she actually does believe that the people of Scotland are absolutely no threat to Westminster’s plan (without a plan) to remove the UK from the European Union, or a threat to the continuance of her precioussss Union. In her mind Scotland is insignificant, the democratic will of its people irrelevant because we are only a region, a small part (to be milked) of a glorious Greater England. She doesn’t feel she has to make any concessions or come to any compromise because we don’t matter, and she thinks she can always frighten enough of us to stay in the Empire 2.0 project’s loving embrace.

Surely even some of our fellow Scots who voted No in the first referendum must be starting to recognise this. It’s so obvious. There is a crunch coming in the next few days, following today’s vote at Holyrood, when she will defy the democratic will of the people of Scotland’s parliament, and refuse Scots the opportunity to have their say on sovereignty. Even the most ardent No voter must think twice about the fact that in 2017 the democratic rights of the people of our country are being denied. They should be as outraged as us when it happens, Yes and No voters.

No, the UK Prime Minister, sashayed in, swinging around several roundabouts, to East Kilbride, and made an “impassioned plea for the preservation of the Union” before a hermetically sealed and herded in Department for International Development workforce, probably instructed to clap like their civil service pensions depended on it. Where have we heard that before? (Does she think that Scots have the memory capacity of Bob the Goldfish?) Sincerely, are we no’, as a country, heart sick of impassioned pleas for the preservation of the Union?

During her ‘impassioned plea’ she came over all Thatcher on the steps of Downing Street stomach-churningly quoting St Francis of Assisi, we were treated to a wee bit of “light where there is darkness, hope where there is despair.” It’s scary how every day May seems to be channeling Thatcher more and more. For younger readers, don’t believe the revisionist history, that woman was a bastard, who ruined thousands of lives in the UK, and treated Scotland with nothing but contempt. May is heading down the same road but scarily she has the advantage of a clear run, the opposition’s bowels having dissolved into the shambling husk of what used to be a progressive movement for social change, and Kezia Dugdale.

Leaving the room full of teary pubic servants May then headed into town to meet, for what seems to have been hardly much more than a glorified photo opportunity, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and very carefully made sure she picked the neutral ground of a hotel for their catch-up, rather than have herself photographed again with Scotland’s elected leader in front of two saltires, or worse, one saltire and an EU flag.

No new powers, no discussion on an independence referendum, just a smile or grimace, depending on your point of view, and giving a very frustrated Nicola Sturgeon, as usual, the rubber ear. The arrogance and false self-confidence of May and her government of very well-off Brexiteers is staggering, and has no bounds. This was demonstrated further on a Question Time special in what is a momentous week for UK politics when David Davis at one point couldnae even remember Mike Russell’s name,(the Scottish parliament’s Minister responsible for trying to stop the UK fecking up the Brexit negotiations) though he claimed to have spoken to ‘ a chap’ just recently. Let’s hope he remembers the name Jean-Claude Juncker in the next few months.

Clearly the word on the street is that there is no appetite for an independence referendum in Scotland. It’s been in the weekly memos of the Tory, New/ Auld/ Whatever Labour Party and the Wee Wullie Rennie For Mayor of Trumpton Party for many months now # Daily Tip 101 Just keep saying Scots don’t want a referendum, if we say it often enough it might come true.

I notice even on the state broadcaster’s Daily Politics Show, where the SNP’s Stephen Gethins did really well to stop himself laughing when the presenter, and the talking head Tory of the day, tried to tell him that manifesto commitments mean nothing, and should just be quietly swept under the carpet for the greater Brexit good, that Labour’s Alison McGovern reckons it’s ABSOLUTELY certain and clear that the people of Scotland do not want another referendum, she has has no doubt whatsoever. Sitting in a London studio as the MP for Wirral South in Merseyside how does she know that?

Are you feeling like somebody somewhere is trying to control what you and your fellow Scots are thinking, and heavily influence the decisions you make? If you are not you fecking should be.

Meanwhile back in the ‘real’ world a major earth shattering disaster for the Royal family and their 64 million subjects was narrowly avoided when a helicopter the future king wasn’t travelling in, or was anywhere near, narrowly avoided colliding with a drone flying over McDonalds, the Daily Mail thinks discussions about the potential ending of the UK and a decision to leave the world’s largest trading bloc, which may well result in an economic disaster with repercussions for the whole global financial system, is all about Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May’s legs, and back on good old propaganda TV Jackie Burd manages to grudgingly give 17 seconds to the news that an oil exploration company has discovered one of the largest ever undeveloped fields of oil (an estimated 1 billion barrels) in Scotland’s waters.

Cmon folks, wake up to this. You are the victims of the longest running, and most successful, confidence trick in history.

It’s all just politicking

Like snaw aff a dry stane dyke in April the nine months of intransigence, stubbornness and basically just plain auld disrespect of the democratic will of the people of Scotland by the arrogant leader of the British State’s political arm is set to spectacularly disappear and be forgotten about today during the late late late late show, or as it will otherwise be known, the Prime Minister’s visit to Scotland.

To the sounds of the dying chorus of ‘Ode to Joy’ the anthem of the European Union, and set to fire the starting pistol on Wednesday on a process that should be musically accompanied by the Benny Hill theme tune, Theresa May is heading north to tell Scotland that she loves us with all her heart and soul.

If you believe anything that comes out of her mouth whilst she expounds forth her hot gas filled theory of union to a carefully controlled audience behind closed doors, as many of her tory predecessors have done previously whilst visiting Scotland, I can’t think why, you may want to consider buying shares in Betamax. I’ll sell you some.

Whatever she says, whatever she offers, whatever she tries to do to slither around Nicola Sturgeon, it’s all going to be just politicking. She is coming to Scotland so that she, her band of Westminster Europhobes, and their Scottish acolytes (and that includes crystal clear Kez the handmaiden of Gordyian Federalism) can say that she offered to negotiate with the SNP, who aren’t Scotland by the way, but Nicola Sturgeon, who doesn’t speak for Scotland, refused, preferring to stick with her obsessional obsession of independence. Did we mention she doesn’t speak for Scotland?

It’s all just a political manoeuvre. There’ll be ProdScotbut memes and blogs all over the unionnet by sundown about their courageous leader valiantly making last ditch attempts to save their precious Union but that wee Sturgeon, SHE SPEAKS NOT IN OUR NAME, is determined to create uncertainty and chaos during the Union’s finest hour, un-straightening bananas, re introducing the shilling and workhouses, sinking the French fleet, and retaking the Suez Canal (the fuzzy wusses don’t like it up them Captain Mainwaring).

We’ll hear about May’s brave efforts to make compromise to satisfy those nasty Nats ((who are not Scotland) for the sake of our wonderful equal partnership of nations ad nauseam in the coming months, in the hope that some swing soft voters can be convinced that snake oil does actually make baldy men look like Grizzly Adams.

We’ll hear how the uncertainty of an independence referendum will weaken the UK’s otherwise excellent (ooft) bargaining position in the upcoming Brexit negotiations. When a bunch of EU Commissioners start laughing and pointing at the London negotiating team it’ll somehow be Scotland’s fault.

In typical Orwellian doublethink/ doublespeak style Theresa May is set to say the following to her hermetically cleansed and sealed audience in Scotland….

” A more united nation means working actively to bring people and communities together by promoting policies which support integration and social cohesion. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that means fully respecting, and indeed strengthening, the devolution settlement, but never allowing our Union to become looser or weaker, or our people to drift apart.”

If she was being honest, truly frank and upfront about the reality of her precious Union she would instead say something along the following lines.

‘ A more subjugated and malleable nation means working actively to undermine progressive citizenship, communities and organised activism, by promoting policies which bolster and support the fear and suspicion of immigrants and minority groups, and which demonise the unemployed, underwaged and vulnerable. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that means maintaining the outward appearance of respect for the devolution settlement of these regions of our country, whilst quietly undermining and chipping away at their foundations, but never ever allowing our British State control over the assets and resources of these regions to slip, making sure we keep a tight noose around the neck of any groups or political movements who would put our sovereignty and privileged way of life in danger.

It’s all just politicking. Scotland’s people really don’t matter. It’s what you’ve got that they are after. They are weak without that.

Another interesting week ahead

What interesting times we live in at the moment being able to observe the actions, machinations and complications surrounding the politics of those who seek to retain control, maintaining the British State’s primary function of channeling wealth from the many to the few, and those who hanker for self-government for Scotland.

In two days time a vote will take place in the chamber of the devolved limited powers Scottish parliament at Holyrood which, barring a minor miracle, will result in a formal request being made to Her Majesty’s Government seeking the authority to negotiate the terms of a referendum to take place, on a date not yet fixed, in the period Autumn 2018 to Spring 2019 to determine whether the people of Scotland wish to govern themselves or remain under the control of their larger neighbour.

Clearly this request will be made as a result of democracy in action, the people of Scotland by majority having resoundingly voted to remain in the European Union, (under threat of removal from the EU against their will as a consequence of England and Wales voting to leave) and their chosen representatives voting by majority in Scotland’s parliament chamber to respect that decision.

Therefore you would think, in 2017, that this formal missive to Westminster’s government should surely just be a formality, met with respectful pragmatism. Westminster after all holds itself up as the mother of all parliaments, a bastion of democracy, the protector of freedom where the views of the people are paramount. “That’s wot makes us different don’t you know, God bless you Guvnor (tugs forelock).”

We’ll see. The leader of the UK’s government, a government of as far a right-wing disposition as has ever been seen in living memory (so rightwing in fact that the far right-wing UKIP, a loathsome bunch of racist, fascist, half witted, hate-preaching former BNP members, has almost dissolved, finding the tory government’s policies, now that they are free of a coalition, so palatable that they’ve been re-absorbed as Born Again Tories) has made it clear that God has told her in a vision that “now is not the right time” to allow the people of Scotland the luxury of having their wishes respected.

Furthermore, utilising that massive democratic mandate she has in Scotland (1.7% of the Scottish constituency elected membership at Westminster) she feels that somehow she knows the Scottish people much better than the 94.9% of Scottish constituency elected Westminster members who the people of Scotland selected from a party which only functions in Scotland. This is the same party which currently also forms the Scottish government, with more than twice the number of elected members than her party. She clearly endorsed this view in her recent speech to the Scottish tory phone-box when she described the aforementioned 1.7% (I wouldn’t even rate him that high) and I paraphrase, as “doing far more for Scotland than all of the whining SNP MP’s put together.”

‘The SNP aren’t Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon does not speak for Scotland’ we hear on a regular basis. They could almost put it to music. If they don’t speak for Scotland then who the hell does? Ruth Davidson? Or that other lot of irrelevances, of a former socialist nature, who have made their bed, and have as a consequence doomed themselves as a political party, and the UK to many years of untrammelled right-wing Tory austerity and the perpetuation of a greedy elite, a land of Me First running amok?

We also are now hearing about a new and exciting creation “the UK Single Market”, yet another invention to try and scare the children. Does the British State really think that threatening to withdraw trade with their nearest neighbour, whom they rely upon, once they’ve removed themselves from the biggest trading market on the planet, and are scrambling around for friends, is even remotely going to be taken seriously in Scotland? Give us some credit please Theresa.

For the moment the clear instruction from London, a few days before a fear of immigrants, many of whom don’t come through the EU free movement process anyway, and a love for all things 1950’s, results in the most suicidal political action seen since Nicolae Ceaușescu ordered his palace guards to open fire, is, shut up, play nice with others and then get back upstairs to your bed Scotland. If you are really good Auntie will bring you an Empire biscuit.

We’ll soon see whether she seriously wants to take on the mantle of being known as the Prime Minister of the UK who completely undermined the union and the fabled ‘partnership of nations’ by telling Scots that democracy only counts when it’s Westminster’s version. If she decides to do just that, and further, if she does it in the same cowardly way as her previous pronouncement, via the trained circus act which is David Mundell, beware Theresa, for the wrath of the people of Scotland is a force of nature. If you’ve got the balls for it, if you are worth your salt, if you have courage in your convictions come and debate the subject face-to-face with the First Minister, in front of us all ‘live’ on your broadcasting channel. Convince us if you can.

But do not tell the people of Scotland what they can or cannot do.

It should be Happy Birthday Scotland

Today is the 1st anniversary of the day when Scotland would have officially returned to its rightful state as an independent sovereign nation, had September 2014’s referendum seen a Yes vote prevail. In four days time the devolved limited power Scottish Parliament at Holyrood will vote to seek authority from a belligerent Big Sister to commence a further referendum in a much changed landscape, facing challenges which did not exist last time, and hoping to exploit opportunities which have presented themselves this time. Interesting times indeed.

Since 2012/2013 as a movement for progressive change for Scotland,many of us very new to an interest in politics beyond the level of goodwill to our fellow citizens, decency and humanity, and a commitment to the way we want to live, and treat, and be treated by, others, have learnt a lot, and quickly, about subjects we either knew about only vaguely or not at all.

We all now know about GERS and why it was designed as it is, the suppression of the McCrone Report, Norway’s oil fund, The Barnett Formula, Scotland’s oversubscription to the London Treasury for many of the last 40 years, the potential of Scotland’s renewable energy technology, it’s food and drink sector, and tourism, the Vow, the Smith Commission, the 1979 Devolution Referendum debacle as a late amendment to the Scotland Act meant the Yes win was invalid due to the fact that the winning campaign hadn’t received 40% of the total electorate’s votes, including those on the electoral roll that had passed away, (effectively the dead counting as No votes) all of that and much more.

We all learned the hard way about Project Fear and the power the British State has in influencing its citizens. Something many of us hadn’t even thought about up until the last few years when the veil has dropped under threat from a break away Scotland, clearly heading along a separate path to the increasingly rightwing government in the south. We’re ready for them this time.

I had a discussion with some friends in the south of England last week who had a gripe that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon ‘ranting’ about independence was terribly badly timed. Their view being that Scotland should shut up until Brexit is over with. Then a couple of years after that if we still want to agitate for a referendum London should grant us the right to do so.

They had no concept of Scottish politics other than what they see on the south of England’s news and read in the triumvirate of hate ( the Mail, Express and Telegraph). They are used to sound bytes of Theresa May saying Scotland is putting the precious Union in danger, supported by clips of Scottish unionist acolytes saying how obsessed Nicola Sturgeon is with independence, and the odd carefully selected half comment without context from someone in the SNP to prove we’re all screaming blue-painted loonies.

I explained the democratic argument, I don’t think they were even aware that the three UK mainstream parties only have one MP each in Scotland. I described all of the efforts that the Scottish government have gone to to compromise on Brexit, the proposal document, the fact that the proposed timescale is based on Theresa May’s own schedule.

I put them right on the reality that the only politicians in Scotland who have been ranting about independence over the last two years ( Nicola Sturgeon having only really brought the subject up as a definite proposal in the last two weeks) are Hawdit, Dawdit, Noddit and Wee Wullie Rennie (the Tories man in Scotland and the three Holyrood amigos of unionism, all of whom have gone on incessantly to an almost obsessive level about one track minded SNP, get on with your day job Nicola.

They knew nothing about any of this. I let them know that all we want is balance, fairness, and the opportunity to allow Scottish voters to be able to make an informed choice when considering the position of sovereignty. My mate finished up the conversation by saying to me ” So you are not just racists who hate English people then? He laughed, and I did, both of us knowing he was just winding me up. They got the point I was making though.

Closer to home these are the kinds of conversations we are going to have to have with our fellow Scots. I’m sure there is a lot of background work on the go, and preparations being made by the experts, which will soon provide us with detail on the answers to the questions on currency, pensions etc, all of the stuff that was demanded of us before, proposals and solutions we will need to communicate well, because this thing is going to be won by face to face engagement of a patient, respectful nature, taking account of, and addressing, concerns.

Going back to the last time, the man responsible for much of Project Fear in 2014,Blair McDougall, has admitted that No probably would have lost the referendum if it hadn’t been for two factors, Project Fear and the fact that the Yes campaign spent too much time talking to itself rather than to our fellow Scots who we needed to convince.

Project Fear won’t cut the mustard this time. The shoe is in the other foot when it comes to worry and uncertainty. We’ll take full advantage of that when the time comes. As to the other factor he refers to we can’t afford to spend our campaign just reinforcing our own opinions in the echo chambers of closed social media forums. If we do we are wasting time and energy. I don’t think we will. The stakes are too high.

We are going to get there this time. Independence is coming.