The unconvincing script

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On her one day whistle stop, one day only, tour of the outer provinces of the new English Empire, smuggled into Ayr like a Butlins day visitor of the 1970’s hiding in their auntie’s chalet for the weekend, Theresa May unleashed her dazzling charm, charisma and strongly held convictions yet again on a pre-organised staged BBC propaganda slot for the Ministry of Truth.

Run folks, run, run fast, run now, don’t waste a spilt second to look back.

The Prime Minister of the British government, who is always telling people how clear she is, to deflect away from the fact that the near nonsense she spouts is as clear to the average voter as the ancient Dead Sea scrolls, is actually only clear in one sense, and I’m sure any expert in body language, facial expression, phrasing and tone of voice watching her in action would agree.

She is clearly, in fact very clearly, unconvinced that what she is trying to persuade the people of the UK into believing will be a successful endeavour, with lashings and lashings of ‘opportunities’, Brexit, will become anything other than an unmitigated disaster.

Her limited abilities in persuasive communication make hiding this very difficult, and I suspect you’d either need to be deeply immersed in the middle-England blue rinse, investment portfolio lunch club, bloody foreigners, throw them all in the channel, Daily Maixpress brigade, or really quite intellectually challenged between the lugs if you believe that what comes out of her mouth reflects accurately what it is she is actually communicating, doubt, uncertainty and mild panic. They have no clue, they have no winnable strategy, they have no Plan A or Plan B.

Clinging desperately to her standard phrases she’s moved on kicking and screaming from the not ‘Strong’ and not ‘Stable’ routine, but has switched to making constant reference to a new mythological invention of the scriptwriters down at Conservative Party Office, the ‘UK single, or internal, market’.

Scotland cannot possibly have control of the meaty powers returning from Brussels, the profitable ones, the ones that can be used as bargaining chips, because it might upset the ability for all four nations of the UK to continue to trade happily, and freely, and play nice with one another in the newly fabled ‘UK single market’ says the droning PM.

What a complete load of bollox. Who came up with that one as an excuse? Is there a Tory version of Malcolm Tucker in a pinstriped suit, an accent like Boris on a day out at Ascot, and the menacing ghostly pallor of John Redwood stalking the corridors of the Conservative Central Office thinking all of this crap up?

The current trading arrangements between those that laughingly are referred to as partners within the UK have been maintained, operated effectively and benefited all parties involved, for generations. These arrangements are intertwined that much that to try and disentangle them in any way would benefit nobody. They will substantially continue as they are now, even when Scotland takes the step of returning to its rightful independent state.

You are going to need to come up with something better than that Theresa as an excuse. Why not just come clean and tell us all that the devolution settlement must be reneged upon, and these devolved powers retained by Westminster to ensure that London maintains an overwhelming grip on power.

That would be one occasion when we would actually believe what comes out of your mouth.

Every hour, every day, an independent Scotland gets closer.

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The toatie wee Coonty Cooncil

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I really didn’t think that David Mundell could fall much further in my estimations as a politician, and as a Scotsman, but his actions and words continue to see him stooping to new lows each time he denies, dishonours, and disrespects the people of Scotland’s right to be represented in vital areas of policy which directly impact them.

He has no credibility, and will surely go down in history as entirely London’s man in Scotland. The holder of his particular position in the British government who without compunction overtly did his Westminster masters bidding with no conscience or sense of a requirement to refer to,or consult, the local population about decisions which effect their future. He clearly does not recognise that the area of the UK within the responsibilities of his portfolio is an actual country.

Scotland may be geographically connected to England but for all intents and purposes we are now a colony.

No? Do you feel represented, or consulted, or that your views and values are protected and respected by him? Do you feel assured that on matters of Scottish interest he will roll his sleeves up, transform into a man of action, and provide a formidable force in the cabinet room to ensure Scotland is treated fairly, and not disadvantaged?

I suspect the answer to that is a resounding no. My goodness even in the days of the Raj the Viceroy and the colonial leaders of the vast Indian civil service consulted and negotiated with the local nobility, and territorial leaders.

This time he is arguing the point, in that kind of vague don’t pin me down doublespeak style that he has, that Scotland has no need to be represented on an independent expert committee which advises on immigration.

Mundell says that he recognises, bless him, he’s like a human blancmange, that yes, Scotland does have specific issues when it comes to immigration.

(I hope he means the same issues the rest of us are concerned about, an ageing population, and the need for significant and consistent immigration of key workers into Scotland to ensure there is a sufficient tax paying workforce to pay for the increasing burden on public services of that ageing population)

We can’t be sure if these are the issues he means, BUT these issues, the Secretary of State Against Scotland reckons, apply too in other areas of the UK, so much so that he can make a comparison between a country, Scotland, and an area of flat land in southern England, Lincolnshire.

We’ve to stop all of this separatist nonsense and trying to be different from Lincolnshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire, Dibley or Stowe on the Wold because he doesn’t want to see Scotland like that. It’s giving him heartburn and wind. Ok then David, perhaps then, if it’ll help you to get your ermine cloak quicker, maybe we should go the whole hog, and call ourselves Scotlandshire, or would you prefer Toatie Wee Scotlandshire, that maybe rolls off the tongue better?

Also at the meeting, Pete Wishart, representing sense and the actual people of Scotland, not the imaginary ones that Mundell and Ruth Davidson talk about, could only shake his head at such nonsense, wondering why a discussion about the serious and vitally important subject of immigration suddenly turned into one about nasty old independence.

I’ve got to give Pete Wishart ten out of ten for keeping his parliamentary temper. I don’t think I could, particularly when, during the same discussion, the UK Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes likened Scotland’s request to be given a seat on the immigration advisory committee to ‘ any county council’ in England having a role.

I’m currently reading a book called ” How the Scots invented the modern world’ a rather grand and over the top title I agree, by Arthur Herman, which describes the massive influence Scots have had over the last three hundred odd years in philosophy, education, arts , architecture, the creation of systems of justice and trading, the beginnings and formation of the United States of America, and its institutions, and many other significant innovations that have formed modern life as we know it, yet in 2018 representation of our country is considered by the country that governs us as comparable to a county council.

A slap in the face Scotland? Get back in our corner. They are in charge.

What happened to don’t leave us, lead us? We love you, we won’t be the same without you? Our precious enduring Union, and all that bollox?

Anyone in Scotland who still thinks we are Better Together must surely either be entirely unaware of the world around them, and may require a bubble-wrapped cushion taped to their forehead to stop them injuring themselves, or otherwise they are not prepared to be dissuaded from loyalty to the Union under any circumstances, even if it means having the country they live in being perpetually marginalised, disrespected and mocked by the country they are loyal to.

An independent Scotland will be so much better when the politicians who purportedly serve it have it’s interests first and foremost in mind, not the interests of another country.

Keeping the powder dry

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The case of Professor Clara Ponsati brings sharply into focus the ruthless determination the Spanish state has to crush the movement for democratic self-government in Catalonia. A ruthlessness that can manifest itself physically as we previously seen demonstrated in the numerous horrendous scenes of black uniformed anonymised Spanish police and militia battering and assaulting innocent Catalonian voters of all ages, including women and youngsters, as they attempted to exercise their democratic rights in last year’s elections.

It is correct that the Scottish government has no powers to intervene in the execution of a European Arrest Warrant, having no part to play in the determination of such a warrant under existing legislation.

However First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made the point that concurrent with compliance with the Extradition Act 2003 due process must be adhered to, the integrity of which must be exercised and maintained.

It is my understanding (I’m happy to be corrected) that this is essentially saying that although Scots law cannot stop the execution of the warrant Scots law will decide whether Ms Ponsati will be returned under that warrant or not, following due process. Professor Ponsati has rights to provide evidence and testimony as to why she should not be extradited to Spain. This requires examination.

I’ve read somewhere that eminent Scottish civil rights lawyer Aamer Anwar is likely to take on the case. If he does, this is good news, his focus will clearly be on the very strong possibilities, based on the atrocious behaviour of the Spanish government over the last year, of human rights breaches and the safety of Professor Ponsati. You couldn’t ask for a better representative in this field than Anwar in your corner.

The First Minister’s comment that at this stage the Scottish government will make no further comment is a shrewd move also, clearly designed to not muddy any waters in terms of the independence of the judiciary being accused of being pressured into making a decision by a government which has on several occasions made its views known that it is entirely behind the Catalonian people democratically being the deciders of their own future.

It’s over to the Scottish courts now to consider whether extraditing an eminent professor of one of Scotland’s premier universities for essentially carrying out a political act is the lawful and right thing to do.

The time for jumping up and down, I would suggest, is if they agree that it is.

Hands off our Parliament

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The great success of the recent Hands Off Our Parliament event at Holyrood is more than just symbolic, it sends a clear signal to Westminster that Scotland will not be trifled with when it comes to the continuity of the agreed terms of the devolution settlement of the late last century,

What’s ours is most certainly ours. We shouldn’t need to even be in a position where we are required to defend Scotland’s legal powers of government. Try and renege on the devolution settlement Theresa and watch what happens. You may win the battle but you’ll have started something only we will finish.

I wrote the other week about a friend of mine’s father, a lovely man, clued up, sharp as they come, but a long term defender of, and advocate for, the Union. Even he now can see that independence is the natural progressive step that Scotland must take to prosper, not should take, must take.

Knowing this gent very well I am convinced that if he gets it then quietly, and even in some cases subconsciously, all across Scotland there are folk starting to come to terms with independence being a normal state of affairs, being a viable proposition that they can take confidence in, particularly now during an extended period where the London government is directionless, like a rudderless ship, unable to offer any clues as to how the future will be out-with the European Union, lumbering around from minor drama to major disaster.

Imagine if someone was to sit Theresa May and senior representatives of the various factions of her government down in front of a TV camera beaming out to the citizens of the component nations of the current U.K. and subject them to questioning on Brexit to the same level of detail that Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon, and senior figures in the 2014 Yes Campaign were subjected to pre September 18th about what a future independent Scotland would be like? How much will a second class stamp cost Boris?

Dear God, there would be mass public panic, and an establishment media rush to impregnate, separate, divorce, or catch out taking a Saudi bribe, any minor royal who happened to be free at the time to take the heat away.

The prospect of self-government has had a high public profile now for at least six years. Polls and surveys consistently confirm that Scots under 55 are not weighed down with the baggage of an attachment, to England as a ruling neighbouring country. Despite what your media tells you incessantly there is a certain inevitability about Scotland at some point, hopefully soon, taking control of its own destiny, like most every other country in the world.

It’s all adding up. Every slight, every insult, every dingee, every time the democratic deficit is clearly and publicly visible the days of union get shorter.

At last Scotland will be able to see how much better off it can be without the constraints of a ruling power governing it for their benefit not ours.

A well worn path

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Here we go again. Somebody trusted the Tories, and in return were booted soundly in the place where they store their cod(s) for their trouble.

It’s not like it’s not a well worn path that, is it? Wee mad numpty wae a Michael Forsyth fetish, in a pinstriped suit, wae a side shed, and a father whose a tax accountant, comes chappin at your door at 8 o’clock one weekday night when you’ve only just come off your perilous shift floating up and doon on one of the coldest wildest seas on the planet, risking everything for a share of a catch. Missus fretting at hame, keeping the two weans close, spends half her time with one ear on the shipping forecast.

‘Hello sir, I’m your Conservative MP. You may have seen me on the telly shouting ‘ By jingo, one did it’ when I soundly thrashed that nationalist chappie at the ballot box. Anyway I’m here to tell you that we are going to save your job. You’ll be rich I tell you. No more giant industrial trawlers from foreign parts hoovering up the seabed, and leaving you with the small change, no more having to throw fine catches back in to the sea due to nonsensical quotas. Stick with us, we’ll see you right. No you don’t have to thank me. Your happiness is my reward.”

Aye, it’s no’ like they haven’t got a track record for treachery, is it?

Ruth Davidson and the vaccupuss Douglas Ross can blether on all they like about how disappointed they are, standing up for Scotland and ‘drinking pints of cold sick’ but that’s all just fluff from the Scottish sect of the London Tory cheerleaders society. We’ve heard it.

It boils down to what they can sacrifice in negotiations with the EU that causes them, and their heartland of middle and southern England, the least damage in exchange for special deals for London and financial passporting. Pretty much all of that sacrifice will be Scottish. Why? Because they have governmental control over you but are not accountable to you.

The big hairy fermers will be next. It’s time to dig those NO placards out of your fields ladies and gents.

The curse

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Och my, but they were terrible unlucky the Saltirians. You’d almost think they were cursed by the Deil himsel.

In the days back beyond yer Faither’s Faither’s GrandFaither’ s Gid Faither-by-law and the Meenister’s word, back when the crops were blighted, when the coorse cauldness, the wind and torrents of rain took the food from the bairnses mooths. Back then. Well then they had little alternative. They hid tae dae whit was required. Dae ye see?

Near nae thing tae tred. Freens across the watter pleading wounds and poverty from years of fechtin wae their neighbours doon by, the St Georgians, whose control of the seas was now secure, the Saltirian assembly of parliamentarians, influential nobility and moneyed folk had settled on a scheme of sorts to send oot a well stocked fleet tae a far off isthmus that then separated waters under chart with seas and wide oceans beyond.

Aye, It’s remote they’d said, but build a new Saltiria there and man we’ll be rich beyond our cares. No ship of the treding powers will pass withoot begging our pardon, paying us our due respect. We can build a fleet of vessels to rival the best ae them, bringing back spices and precious stones from the vast warm bountiful lands beyond.

Gather coin tae fund their grand adventure they did, to a drumbeat, with great fanfare and fancy speechifying. The extraction of funds from those that had it, and from those engaged in the back breaking toil tae create it, amounted tae the sum of an eastern Sultani’s ransom. A gamble indeed tae take one quarter of the wealth of a pare land, where fermers stomachs ache in nervous protest at the delicate and fickle nature of their crops resting in their rocky soil, and send it off in creaking sea vessels tae an unknown fate. Weel, it was done, and that’s all that can be said.

Bad luck, foul weather, disease, carnaptious ill-tempered leadership, not competent, dae ye see?

Deliberate acts of treachery, promises unkept and re-supply blockaded by those that think the world’s sea tred is theirs, and theirs alone, with even the very watter that’s in it loyal to their cause, starved them out, pare sowels, and scuppered that grand plan stane deid.

Poor? Man, the general population were in the fields scratching the soil fur seed or grain in despair tae keep auld Nick fae calling them by their Sunday name.

As if tae rub further sawt into the wound their neeburs, St Georgia, in their fancy government meeting hall, decided that those native to Saltiria, those biding within their borders, were no longer welcome at their table, Aliens they’d be. Aliens! Their possessions confiscated, monies taken from them and considered the property of Her Majesty the monarch of all the island.

Scrapin and scrabbling in an ever darkenin corner the leaders of Saltiria, suffering from this great spell upon their land, people and progress, agreed tae demands from St Georgia, eager to cut the strong ties Saltiria had with its freens across the sea whom the forces of St George were forever fechtin wae,for the commencement of conversations of a nature of mutual advantage. Tae consider a Union of equals would be that noble parley’s bailiwick.

Oh there was opposition, oh aye, there was deep resentment, disorder and rioting in the streets. But the curse seemed tae strike again, and strike hard.

Talks were arranged and worthy Saltirian representatives of the parliament, the nobility and the Kirk, were selected (curiously by the St Georgian government and the monarch) to represent the views of the common folk, but something went amiss.

In discussions over various articles of a proposed Union former orators of the style and formidability of Cicero himself were sudden struck partial dumb, tongue tied. Where the views of the people of Saltiria had appeared clear tae even the very wanderin dugs in the wynds, complications arose when these were expressed in the speaking chamber.

The curse was so deep that one individual, a respectit and feared well propertied chiel, who had spent an entire day convincing his fellow Saltirians that giving up their own self governing parliament in return for receiving only a small representative number of seats in its neighbour’s larger chamber, suggesting that his country folk would be lucky tae get that deal, ‘what wae the taxes they puir St Georgians will pay tae keep us fed and wattered’ took to his bed and never was to rise oot of it again.

Something about this plan for equal Union and enduring fraternity was clearly smelling off. Particularly as time passed and the negotiations became more comedic by the hour. Leaders of the Saltirian parliament beseeched by spectators to come forth and sway the arguments mysteriously took ill, could not be located or remained seated when comment was expected.

Things grew worse as the crucial time for decision and casting votes drew near. The dwellers of Saltiria’s larger toons began to notice in increase in the numbers of red uniform jackets and unfamiliar St Georgian accents in their midst. Bridges, Toll Booths and Merket Crosses seem to hold a particular attraction for these fellows of the militia.

The crowds in the toon squares were not happy, fearing the curse would truly serve them ill.

When word came through that aye indeed, the sorry band of worthies, whose fine repute had all but diminished, making them the recipients of defiant resentment in the minds of the ordinary folk of Saltiria, were to sign the articles, making their mark to see away a nation’s independence, well that was just too hard tae stomach.

In an eventful day three times the rogues assembled, for that’s what they’d become to those that had depended on them, to sign Saltiria away. Three times the people spotted them and chased them off before they could achieve their goal, scattering the richly clothed figures through the tight, darkened streets of the toon.

On one of these three occasions their clandestine meeting place was a drinking house, where sweating busybody beadles and hired armed men fussed over the Kirk leaders and noblemen, cursing the landlord for a heathen but drinking the claret proffered anyway. The landlord, pragmatic in his business dealings, and expecting the mob any minute, suggested to the assembled nobility, ‘Come in and rest easy a while M’Lords. I widnae see you thirsty. Ye are fair oot of breath. Have you been running? ‘

Eventually, having convinced the toon folk that they had given up the task of signing their names the rogues individually made their way to a cellar, near the parliament, and in the light of a solitary candle, against the wishes of their ain people, ended the independence of Saltiria.

Teams of horses were harnessed to coaches and ready, allowing those responsible to steal away in the night. South to St Georgia, prosperity and safety. The curse fulfilled.

The Great Escape

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We are five or six key strategic steps away from it yet but I can hear the speech now.

“As we move forward into the unknown, the beginning of a new Cold War perhaps, an era of horrors and dangers which we had thought was behind us, we must remain steadfast, alert, resolved to do what is right.

Our enduring friends stand ready beside us, both those in Europe and our greatest ally, who has stood with us always, unreservedly, in our darkest days.

In this moment of increased uncertainty, amid threats to our citizens within our borders, it is clear that now is not the time for us, for our great nation, to seek to divide ourselves from our European brothers and sisters. Therefore this government will suspend until further notice the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union……..”

The silver lining

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It is interesting watching this whole Russian spy saga unfold.

It’s particularly interesting to watch how a national crisis, of sorts, has had an impact on Theresa May’s popularity.

Is it only last June when her lack of compassion, dithering and poorly judged, and timed, late visit to the site of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire marked her out clearly, exposed by the UK public as a vacuous robotic figurehead rather than a leader?

The British state broadcaster’s online news page has photos of her on the scene, in the know, pulling the strings, taking charge, pointing to where the investigation should go, being ‘Strong and Stable’ exuding gravitas from her very pores, in Salisbury, and reports her, beside a snap carrying a bunch of flowers, the gift of a grateful nation perhaps, as ‘fist bumping a member of the public.’

Meanwhile her Defence Secretary, the replacement for he of the touching knees, is coming over all Errol Flynn, hard and swashbuckling, telling one of the world’s nuclear powers to ‘Shut up’ as he announces that his government is going to throw a wad of your tax money, to the tune of £48m, at chemical weapons defence in a research establishment that for many years has had the prime function of creating these horrible invisible weapons of mass murder in the first place. Work that one out if you can.

It may well be 100% right that Russia has sought vengeance on an agent who has betrayed them, and despicably included his daughter in that act. There may well be much evidence that corroborates this that the state, for obvious reasons will not share with the UK public. Fair enough. We don’t need to know that. But where there is no trust there will always be doubts. Britain has form in this area.

You would think that if a country with the history and capabilities of Russia, the USA or the UK wanted you to stop breathing they would be able to make that happen in such a way that there would be no possible trace of foul play, or evidence to tie them to such an act. Apparently not.

Whatever the truth of the matter, I’m not one for conspiracy theories, if the First Minister of Scotland says it’s true that’s good enough for me, the British state’s government are taking full advantage of the resulting manufactured mini Falklands effect. Cue the bulldog spirit.

Yes, the decision will be made by the people of Scotland

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A year ago we were starting to rumble. The grassroots groups were mobilising. It’s on, we thought.

The announcement at the time from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that she would be requesting permission via a section 30 order of the 1998 Scotland Act to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence, aiming to be timed to allow the people of Scotland the ability to have full knowledge of the facts, when they emerged, with regards to UK and EU Brexit negotiations, and the implications for Scotland, prior to putting their minds to the question of sovereignty, almost started the indy 2 campaign rolling.

An honourable move by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon aimed at saving the people of Scotland, and our EU resident friends, from an economic and social train wreck.

This, as we all know, was stymied by a knock back from London, a snap General Election with good and bad unintended and unexpected consequences for the hapless Prime Minister of Britain, and the shameful co-operative actions of the branches of the parties of unionism in Scotland contriving the electoral demise of a number of representatives of self-government. However, thankfully not to the extent where any mandate the party of limited devolved government has for implementing change is in danger.

We are nearing that time again, and this time there will be no request for permission to canvass the views of the people of Scotland for a second time. We won’t be asking Westminster, we’ll be telling them.

Brexit is a shambles whatever way you look at it from a British state viewpoint. Both the British government and their official opposition are clueless about any sort of intended or expected outcomes. When listening to their representatives speak publicly on the subject you get the feeling that every word uttered in a speech has been filtered through a focus group several times before seeing the light of day to ensure that the language used is bland and opaque enough to keep the many as bewildered, but nervously optimistic, as their elected officials are. They’ve hidden the facts and consequences, much of which they don’t really understand, from the public now for nearly 21 months.

Sometime soon the truth about how the future outside the EU will be for the people of Scotland will emerge, it is inevitable, and when it does Nicola Sturgeon will have only one decision to make. We need to be ready, particularly If it turns out to be only a short lead in to a referendum of 6 months.

The SNP, Scottish Greens and SSP are not going to win this referendum. You are, the hundreds of thousands of advocates for Yes, stall workers, organisers, canvassers, bloggers,speakers at events, positive models of behaviour, being respectful, displaying empathy, listening to concerns, providing factual information about what independence actually means, setting out what an independent Scotland will look like, painting the picture. You are the key.

I said this at this time last year but personally, considering the last campaign, and looking ahead to what’s coming, I’m planning a few changes in my campaign approach this time, for two reasons, one to maximise the time I have available to try and hopefully, like the rest of us, convert one or two to Yes, and two, for the good of my health and my blood pressure.

The tired cliches of Project Fear will trouble me no more. The disrespectful and marginalising deliberate media portrayal of around 50% of Scots, us, soon to be more once we get at them, as somehow a cult, that it’s the SNP’s referendum, that it’s all Nicola Sturgeon’s idea, that she’s secretly in the pocket of their arch-enemy Putin’s nerve gas puppet Alex Salmond, all of that nonsense will mean not a fecking jot, this time.

We’ve heard it. They said all of that the last time. They didn’t deliver on promises to pliable voters, and now they’ve really got themselves in a world of economic disaster, a nightmare of their own making.

In fact I would go as far as to advocate that as a movement we don’t engage with the mainstream Project Fearty line at all, as much as they’ll try and provoke a response.

We should step away from them. Let them howl at the moon, and then reflect their wildly inaccurate nonsense back to their targeted audience of undecided voters. Use their own actions against them. We will spend our time then confidently, respectfully and positively targeting the same audience with clear factual information setting out the real story of hope and opportunity that self- government brings.

Let the offical Yes Scotland 2, or whatever they’ll be called, set up a professional rebuttal unit to counter on a timely daily basis the British nationalist media propaganda. There are plenty of reliable well-respected experts they can call on for factual responses to scaremongering nonsense. Let them handle that, us on the ground, we’ll concentrate on the people we need to convince, our fellow Scots.

This time too I am definitely not getting hung up on lengthy discussions with ardent ProudScotbut’s.

During the last campaign I spent hours tapping the keyboard in prolonged games of ‘that’s him telt’ with two or three people who would never under any circumstances have voted Yes. Why did I waste so much time? I’m a numpty, but I’ve learnt from it. This time the pride-filled patriots will be getting bypassed, and I’ll be moving on to conversations with genuine undecideds.Telling one from the other can be problematic at times but we’ll get there. There is definitely no point wasting time on convinced dyed in the wool red, white and blue British exceptionalists

We’ll be tested, oh feck will we be tested. More than last time because this time they think they can lose. That never occurred to them until the final two weeks of the campaign the last time. We’ll be watched like hawks by every media source west of the Pas de Calais, desperately trying to highlight any eejit that abuses or threatens or says anything that can remotely be construed as menacing about someone in the No campaign, particularly celebrity troll-fishers.

We’ll get called all sorts of horrible names, we’ll get accused of racism, narrow nationalism, vile divisive separatists.

I think there is an easy fix for all of that . We should kill it all with kindness, smothering it as a nonsense by demonstrating exactly the kind of people we are, not the people they are trying to convince others that we are. They’ll talk about us creating a bitter divide amongst Scots. Let us concentrate on the opposite, narrowing the divide. Make their false assertions look farcical.

We’ve all got to work with each other. We can hammer out and respect any significant political differences in the returned independent Scottish parliament when the hangovers are gone and the flag waving is done, when we are building our Scotland.

Until then we’ve got to get ready, get organised. There is a job to do, the biggest task most of us will ever get involved in, and it might be coming quicker than you think.

There is no margin for error. We must win.

It’s over

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I was talking to a man the other day, the father of a friend of mine, a gentleman whom I’ve known for many years. Always good craic, mind as sharp as they come. He always has a memorable quip to make about any given situation he finds himself, or you, in. He reminds me of my auld Faither that way.

An ex-miner, a shift foreman, formidable I would say in his day. Hands like shovels.

He spent his time in the army too seeing a bit of the world in the late 1950’s.

Bowed now and in his senior years, his wife having passed away a number of years ago, he keeps himself busy with a bit of community work, getting the milk and bread in for a housebound neighbour, tending his wee garden and reading, he’s an avid reader, particularly of history. The body might have slowed down, but the mind certainly hasn’t.

I’ve mainly seen him at weddings, funerals and social functions over the last few years. I was lucky enough he was there when I Facetimed my mate the other day for a blether.

He’s always been a Labour man, as was I for many years, not overly in your face with it, or a political bore or anything like that, just quietly a believer, possibly having been immersed earlier in his life in stronger left wing ideas.

He’s also too, perhaps due to his service days, his generation and situation, has always been comfortable in being British. He used to tease me lightheartedly about the notion of Scotland going it’s own way, which I in less enlightened times mores often than not would rise to, spouting McCrone, talking Norway, all of that.

He doesn’t do the internet. Wouldn’t know how to switch it on. However he’s widely read, Tom Devine, MacDiarmid, and biographies of every political leader since Hardie (with an ie).

I suspect, although I would never dream of asking him, that he voted no in 2014. Not through anything to do with the Better Together fright night Project Fear trope about pensions and having tae eat granny for Christmas because the Nats will steal the Madeira cake, no it would have been because he thinks that is the right thing to do, for him, his son and daughter-in-law and grandkids, and for Scotland generally.

I entirely respect that. I completely disagree with his viewpoint but I am mature enough to respect his right, like mine, to make up his own mind, and anyway, he’s a great guy and I would never do anything to wilfully upset or disappoint him.

Anyway, he’s on the screen in front of me the other night, and I’m asking him what he thinks of Brexit and the Tories, and what’s his view on Corbyn. Does he see a revival of socialism?

He laughed at that. “What a joke. Ye ken son” he says to me. ” I’ve reached a point now where I cannot see where Scotland fits in anymore. They are chasing us away. Maybe your lot have been right all along. Nobody down there (Westminster) has oor Elly’s (his granddaughter) future in mind. The Britain thing is over. I’ll no’ see it but it’s like every empire that’s ever existed, it eventually declines into chaos. This is no different.”

I couldn’t disagree with him. Then I got that same feeling I had in 2014 when I discovered another friend of mine, whom I never talk politics with, who I didn’t want to talk to about the referendum because I thought so much of her that I would have been so disappointed to find out she was going to vote no, changing her Facebook profile photo to include a prominent YES in the bottom right corner.

Attitudes and perceptions are changing. It’s coming .