Divided? Where?

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Talk about desperate attempts to create a self-fulfilling prophecy! We are experiencing as virtuoso a performance in spin as we are ever likely to see right now, clearly and openly demonstrated by the vast hordes of flying monkeys of unionism propaganda determined to undermine the cause of self- government for Scotland.

The momentum of this fallacious hype is almost at warp factor 10, the equivalent in intensity of the week before a referendum where a poll on the previous Sunday had suggested pretty strongly that come the following week’s vote their unionist erses were oot the windae unless they managed to frighten the bejaysus out of voters pronto.

They are all at it. The British State broadcaster, STV, Murdoch satellite news, the Herald, the Hootsmon, Kenny Farquharson (no relation) at the Times, Deerin, the previously mentioned in the last post Clegg of the Red Top and his attack on the independence movement’s ”unifried’ front, the Depress, the Hate Mail and every other unionist gob in the Scottish media that’s still breathing and can see straight after four o clock in the day.

Apparently we, in the independence movement, are in crisis. We’re dropping the whole idea of stopping somebody else conning us out of our countries wealth, resources, and governance in droves. We’re going back to the fields.

Currently the entire indy movement, according to our Britannic propagandists, consists of an auld guy from Bonkle sitting in a dentist’s waiting room reading a skiing magazine, two foreign students from Latvia, a particularly sullen goldfish and a wee dug, that isnae even ginger, and the rumour is that if the auld boy gets telt he’s tae get more than one tooth extracted he’s defecting tae the Wullie Rennie’s. It’s dire!

Tell me friends, fellow independentistas and deeply committed and driven advocates of our rightful return to an independent Scotland, have you noticed this horrible rift that’s suddenly developed in our ranks?

Are you filled with sorrow and angst at this hurtful and decisive division that has cut us down and consigned our country to another three hundred years of some other fecker making our decisions for us?

Are we all moaning and wailing in biblical-like sorrow as our First Minister sends out press releases on a half hourly basis informing the general populace that her former mentor has crossed the Rubicon and is ready to burn his way to the citadel via the wine shop in Linlithgow? (My wife nearly ran him down crossing the street on the way in there once, but that’s another story).

Naw. Tumbleweed. Because dear friends all of this fabricated media nonsense is exactly that, fabricated nonsense.

As I wrote yesterday, we have been known to moan at each other, we will argue amongst ourselves, we will debate where debate is required, we will tear the arse out of every angle of a relevant issue within our circles, but we will never ever be divided when it comes to our goal.

Let them continue to try and divide us and watch what happens. Our resolve and our numbers will only grow stronger and bigger.

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The ‘Unifried’ front

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I’ll tell you what folks, I wrote yesterday that in respect for due process and the rights of all parties involved I wouldn’t be blogging about the complaints made about Former First Minister Alex Salmond.

What I will do though, and continue to do with conviction where I see it, is defend the movement to return Scotland to its rightful state as an independent nation from those who would use these complaints as a political weapon to undermine that perfectly normal and natural sovereign cause, in the name of protecting unionism.

I’ve watched the political editor of the Daily Record, David Clegg, on Newsnight, make entirely baseless assumptions about the impact of the complaints against Salmond on the SNP, and by association the wider Yes Movement, suggesting that there is division, stating that ‘ some in the SNP have been torn asunder, and the event has cleaved through the nationalist movement in Scotland’.

I can only suggest that as the rag which brought us the Vow, and utilised information provided to them by an individual or individuals who breached confidentiality processes designed to protect the complainants as well as the alleged subject of the complaints, to sensationalise the story last week his paper is making political capital falsely. Clegg’s comments are simply drivel and unfounded.

His further comments, attempting to drive a wedge between the current First Minister, who has acted impeccably during the unfolding events, in the transparent and impartial manner that you’d expect from a leader of her standing, and Salmond, suggesting that it is directly Nicola Sturgeon that Salmond is challenging in court, is illusory, and akin to a child in a playground egging two former friends on to fist fight each other. In other words it’s utter pish!

Clegg knows as well as anyone else who has followed events since last Thursday, or he should do in his position, what the structure of the process of making complaints within the Scottish government is and the roles of investigators and decision-makers in that process. To suggest that Alex Salmond launching a judicial review to gain access to evidence within that process in order to seek to prove his innocence is a challenge directly to Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP and the independence movement in Scotland is wildly incorrect, and manipulative.

In 2013 and 2014 we were fed propaganda, like this, day after day by rote by the British state media, about Alex Salmond’s referendum, Alex Salmond’s Yes Campaign, Alex Salmond’s Plan B, Alex Salmond’s independence plan.

In reality, then, and as it is now, the continuing growing campaign for a return to an independent Scotland is not Alex Salmond’s, or Nicola Sturgeon’s. It belongs to every single one of the hundreds of thousands of committed firm advocates for that cause. It is ours, and we will argue, and we will debate, and we will disagree, amongst ourselves, but we will not be divided, and we will win.

Clegg refers to coming events surrounding the Salmond complaints putting what he calls the SNP’s famous ‘unifried front'(sic) in danger.

I think he’ll find, no matter what way he wants to spin it, that the more him and his like report clearly distorted views of the facts, aimed at inciting division, the more applications for membership will arrive at SNP party HQ, swelling the already impressive numbers. He’ll also find that the numbers attending the now regular marches for indy through our cities and towns, SNP members and the many others non-affiliated alike, will increase. Division? No chance.

Let due process take its course, without resorting to salacious reporting, false spin and political points scoring. If Clegg was to do his job correctly and report the facts he would note that both Alex Salmond and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon from their various standpoints are seeking just that.

Dance like nobody’s watching

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I’ve had a few days away from writing bollocks about Scotland’s continuing struggle to break loose from its increasingly deranged overbearing next door neighbour. The one with the superiority complex, anger issues and a weird longing to don red uniform jackets from the 19th century whilst marching up and down the coastline at Dover.

I’ve gotten over writing about the annual brainfart of anti-independence propaganda that is GERS. If you write a blog about Scottish politics long enough it seems like you are in the old Dr Who episode from the 1970’s ‘Carnival of Monsters’ where events just keep repeating themselves and nobody can remember how they reacted the last time.

A small country governed by a much larger country, which only allows the smaller country to control around 20% of its own revenue and around 50% of what it spends it’s money on, has, apart from the last three or four years, generated more tax per head of population than the larger country every single year since 1980, and has contributed well over 323 billion pounds in tax revenue to the larger country’s treasury in the last 40 years from its natural resources.

That small country governed by a bigger neighbour who controls all of the levers that can impact or influence finances, has a drop in its revenue due to circumstances entirely out-with its control which resulted in the price of oil dropping for a while, and then start to pick up again. Who would have guessed it, oil prices fluctuate. The resulting consequence being that the sums attributed to the smaller country’s public spending, a large portion of which the smaller country has doesn’t ever get the privilege of actually seeing or deciding what the money is spent on, exceeded it’s tax revenue by 13.4 billion pounds for the year, improving on last year. This whilst the larger country has a national debt of 1.7 trillion pounds.

This is seen as a reason for the small country to be beaten around the head and not to become independent from the larger country how? I’ve never understood it. It’s a spin and a half that one.

The British state broadcaster did manage to get some wildly inaccurate Scottish doom headlines in about it though, before being forced to retract their original comments (their audience’s attention span for politics generally means that the retraction won’t have registered with most of them, thus achieving the desired result).

Then we’ve had the salacious glee of media multi-newsprint-paged allegations against a former First Minister. A subject upon which I’ll record only this, in respect for due process, and the rights of the parties involved this blog will make no further comment.

All pretty dire stuff when it comes to the application of mirth until, well until I saw this.

The ‘Global Britain’ strong and secure roadshow hits South Africa, seeking out new and bizarre ways to rip off and exploit third world and emerging nations.

Right on, off the edge

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He’s some man ,the pretendy big J fella under the halo, is he not? I’m sure that in there somewhere, under and behind that beard there was once a chin, principles and a backbone. They might even re-appear again once the corruption of potential power is in his past, Tony Benn he isn’t though, that’s for sure.

He’s got the charismatic personality of an auld colour-dulled dish cloot or a sponge that’s been left wet and soapy too long and turned slimy, which probably explains why he can’t raise his political party’s profile high enough consistently in the polls to look anywhere near like they would ever stand a chance of beating the worst, least talented, overtly moronic, Hooray Henryist, bunch of self-aggrandising wasters ever to work their ticket to corporate board membership and peerage Nirvana via the government benches in the Commons.

If he was supposed to be the antidote to the sickly smarm of the Member for Sedgefield, his arch alter-ego, the son of the Manse or the extra from Wallace and Gromit that came after that, who, when confronted by two young Glasgow lassies with a wean in the pram asking him a serious question during the Belters Together love-train invasion from London of September 2014, felt it was either beneath him to engage in conversation or couldn’t think of an answer he was confident of delivering that the wean wouldn’t laugh at and point at him shouting “yer zip’s doon, ya wallaper!”, he comes up somewhat short.

Labour will never again be the party that didn’t need to count their votes in Scotland, they just had to weigh them. Underneath the veneer of loud-hailing one-liner headline progressive policies the guy is just like the rest. When it comes to Scotland he knows the score. He won’t admit it, but he knows deep down the reasons why his party is as popular in its former heartlands as a particularly nippy in-growing hair on a bum cheek.

He knows that instead of trotting out the same old rubbish, that Independence will result in turbo-charged austerity and renewing Trident is the right thing to do, even though he purports to abhor the very thought of weapons of mass murder, that he should instead have taken the bull by the pointy sharp bits way back when he came to the surface and worked with Nicola Sturgeon to unseat the Flying Circus act which is currently selling tickets for a bus trip to economic oblivion.

Like the rest of the London-based political class he is afraid of real democracy. He’s afraid to give the party of Scottish government credence. He’s another one just in it for himself. Watching his recent interview on Channel 4 he was asked six times whether he thought the UK would be better off once it left the EU. Six times he didn’t directly answer the question. Six times he lobbed out the same tired trope about future relationships with the EU being crucial to the UK that his counter-weight, the wooden Prime-Minister, would use in response. He knows Brexit will be a disaster but the very sniff of a chance at power and he’s not going to say that in case it harms his prospects of leading the country, even if it means he’s leading it through a catastrophe.

The whole Carry on Up the Brexit escapade germinated, sprouted and blossomed around an internal Tory Party power struggle, and Jezza’s not prepared to call it what it actually is in case it causes just as big a power struggle in the Labour Party too, where they are already trying to unseat him.

It’s like watching a play about the Romans, exploding volcanoes and mountains of spewing lava, without the hippy woven sandals. A disaster is coming, and nobody who has influence at Westminster is prepared to try and stop it. Bonkers, complete bonkers.

Having been ignored, having had no input, having had no real consultation, having been marginalised and treated with condescension on this hugely significant process, Scotland has one option. Independence. Run, run fast, do not look back.

The BBC is balanced, right.

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“Good evening. The main headline tonight on Reporting Scotland….

BBC Scotland’s head of public policy tells the Scotsman that alleged bias at the British Broadcasting Corporation is pure pish, and has exclusively revealed, through a spiritual medium, that Rabbie Burns would have found social media to be a load of disingenuous tripe.

In-depth surveys, it seems, suggest that many of our viewers worry about fake news and find it difficult to distinguish between ‘proper journalism’ and that which is fake. We in the BBC of course will always provide balance.

We pride ourselves here at Pacify Quay in letting you know, when Scotland achieves better results than the rest of the UK in a public service or economic measurement, that the results are ‘roughly the same by comparison’. Equally where Scotland achieves worse results than the rest of the UK we make sure that is fully exposed to you, highlighted and extrapolated into the mid- next century.

The BBC will continue to maintain our proud record of holding power to account. Therefore we will continue to ask Nicola Sturgeon any question we can think of, about absolutely anything, at any time. In fact we reserve the right to ask her which international football team she supports every two years until she gives us the answer we want her to give. We’ll keep on her case, cos she’s sleekit and cunning, and we are your eyes and ears.

In this vein too, anything that comes out of any egotistical former Prime Minister’s mouth, or for that matter the leader of the Scottish faction of the British Tory party, we will continue to report to you verbatim, with perhaps some complimentary explanatory context, which has been kindly provided to us by a press officer, because obviously these upstanding individuals are to be trusted, and their opinions promoted without question.

Further to this anybody in future who fires up any sort of official clip on to that YouTube highlighting a BBC reporter speaking in tongues backwards so that it sounds like they are saying ‘ Nicola Sturgeon scared my granny’s budgie’ will immediately have their site and their sight removed, including the cybernat with the wings.

It is important to note that we at the BBC make mistakes. Nick Robinson not knowing that someone else was filming Alex Salmond’s answer to his question in 2014 being one such example. We are not perfect. Nearly, but not perfect. We sometimes get caught.

So let’s put all of this lack of trust nonsense behind us.

Moving on, it was announced today that the Ministry of Defence has reluctantly been forced to cancel orders for new Type 26 frigates because the SNP has used up all the available steel and bolts in Scotland on its White Elephant vanity road bridge over the Forth. Ruth Davidson is on the scene down by the Clyde…..Ruth, tell us what those bad bastard separatists have been up to now.”

Impersonating a straight face

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So there they were, 16,000 marchers rallying for Scottish Independence, taking a stroll in the fresh air along the highways of Dundee.

“Stop” said a voice, the voice of a small middle-aged besuited man.

Two figures stepped out directly in front of the marchers, both with arms outstretched, palms held out facing forwards, towards the vast procession.

“Stop” shouted the man again. “Stop, and listen to us. We’ve got something important we need you to hear.”

Turning to his left the man introduced his colleague “This is the famous TV impersonator Shouty Braemar. He’s Scottish just like you, he was privately educated just like most of you, had a privileged upbringing just like you, and made his fortune mainly in London, and he’s here to tell you where you are all going wrong, again.”

The march came to a grinding halt amid much groaning, sharp exhalations of air, unfinished pipe tunes, unfluttering of flags, and the odd ” Aw fur F**^s sake, no’ him again”under a breath.

“What do you want this time? Is it Belters Together time again?” said a kilted man at the front of the rally wearing a hi-vis vest with the word Steward stencilled on it.

The ‘TV personality’ Shouty, known for his terrible impersonation of Alex Salmond, faced the crowd of disgruntled marchers.

” Friends, we need your help. Our magnificent country, Britain, has made a terrible mistake. The electorate were lied to, they were subjected to a propaganda campaign of right-wing fear mongering, there’s been tampering, and jiggery-pokery. The people must have the opportunity to have a second vote on leaving the EU.”

The silence was deafening. After an interminable few minutes one voice rose from amidst the crowd. “But we voted to stay in the EU, overwhelmingly, 62% of those who voted. That’s what we voted for and that’s what we are aiming to do .”

” Ah” said Shouty, ” yes, but we need you to do so again. Join us in the campaign for a people’s vote.”

“Aren’t referendums held to decide major issues for a generation, and not to be repeated?” said a female voice from the left of the front row of marchers.

” Ah, I’m glad you asked me that. Not in this case. In some cases yes, but not in this case.”the now visibly sweating impersonator was impersonating himself.

The crowd stirred, a loud voice shouted ” That’s it. Pipers, gie us Bonnie Dundee!” and with that the vast weaving mass of humanity set off again, side-stepping the intervention-minded celebrity and his minder, a joyous throng, positive and full of determination, in the opposite direction of the nearest cliff top.

Count your blessings

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Ah, there they stand, that hateful band, on the roadside, spitting anger.

A faded dirty looking Union flag-jacketed figure shouting far-right nationalist bile into a loudhailer.

Too extreme for most tastes, banished from an extremist British anti-immigrant party for denying the cold blooded calculated murder of 6 million souls.

The public face of a ‘Force for Hate’, his comic heavy henchmen by his side, the noise of the one or two peas within their cavernous thick skulls rattling around, impeding their ability to think for themselves.

Billy, the senior ex-skinhead who has been set with the important task, feels the weight of responsibility heavy.

Unconsciously he looks at his tattooed hands. The fingers of his left hand bear a single letter on each digit below the joint spelling out nearly a word W.I.P.I.N.

Similarly his right ringers are roughly carved into with the letters E.A.T.I.N.

The massive crowd of smiling, cheering faces, of joyous women, men, children, pensioners in wheelchairs, pipers, drummers, Bangra, Black Bear and Broughty Ferry, flags of Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, of Europe waving in the air approaches.

His idol screeching distracting spittle into his Britannic noise box in his ear Billy starts his task.

” Wan, two, three, four…….”

The smiling crowd blow kisses, sing, laugh and point at the miserable cabal as they pass, a constant stream of humanity snakes around the small island of exceptionalism.

Billy sticks to his task, furiously concentrating. His head hurts. After a while a small girl, perhaps aged seven , a Saltire painted upon her cheek, steps away from her parents in the march and approaches Billy, smiling.

” Hiya mister, how are you?” Says the wee visitor to Billy’s spot on the pavement of patriotism.

Taken aback Billy looks down at the child dismissively “Ah cannae talk tae ye hen, ahm busy.”

” Aw but mister, my Mammy said I’ve to say something to you.”

“What is it? I’m too busy to have a blether wae ye. Go back tae yer Mammy” Billy’s brows were in deep furrow, his heavy jowls shook from left to right.

“Ok, I will mister. I’ll go. My Mammy said to tell you this, 10,002.”

A look of horror spread across the hate-filled dullard’s coupon. “Aw shite! …. Wan, two, three…………. ”

No credibility

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Aw naw. Stop the presses rolling. Gordy has managed to climb out of the library window at the manse again. They really need to get that dodgy window catch fixed.

As a consequence there’s been an intervention!

An intervention from a former politician who has never ever intervened before. In fact we’ve never heard from him since he buggered off into the comfortable world of corporate speechifying, lots and lots of jolly old lolly, and New Labour campfire reminiscences in stately homes and posh hotels.

Nope he’s been as quiet as a Margaret Thatcher tribute seance and BYO Chardonnay night held in a former miners welfare in a village in the Yorkshire coalfields, apart from the loads and loads of other times he’s intervened for the first time on current Scottish politics.

This time we’re not all doomed. Just the weans. There’s a problem, indeed there is a crisis, in child poverty in Scotland and the neighbouring larger country that governs Scotland. Nae kidding. Well spotted Gordy. Nobody else saw that, apart from the entire Yes Movement, who are desperate to end this systematic long term generation after generation blight on our youth. It drives us.

We’ve become accustomed to hearing about primary school teachers putting their hands on their pockets to buy pupils something to eat because they’ve had nothing at home and have the arse out of their troosers, mothers and fathers queuing at Foodbanks whilst the shelves get emptier, and Universal Credit sending families over the edge. It’s no’ peeces that fall out of tall buildings in Scottish cities these days.

Although the Scottish government are addressing the problem as best they can, with plans to eradicate much of child poverty in Scotland by 2030, bearing in mind they have absolutely no control over the reserved economic or financial levers which impact the problem, and are fighting increased spending cuts in Scotland through Westminster imposed austerity which will see annual welfare spending cut by around 4 billion pounds by 2020, Gordy figures they should tax Scots more to solve the problem.

Does anyone in Scotland really think this guy has any credibility? There is one solution to this shameful crisis.

Independence now.

Get back in your comfy establishment box Gordon. If you look in the dictionary under the title ‘Sell out’ you’ll find the definition reads ‘ Gordon Brown’.

Oh, and happy first birthday to the highly successful baby box scheme introduced by the Scottish Government.

Hope

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Flicking through social media posts the other day, in this near-Brexit, mid-Trump crazy era, many filled with division, hate and anger.

A group of far-right thugs being chased away from the bookshop in London which was the subject of their fury recently.

An ITV interview with a creepy looking individual attempting to hide racism and exceptionalism behind the label of ‘British values’, whatever that is.

A tweet from a well known Scottish TV personality who, as seems to always be the way of such things, has gone from being an ‘alternative’ radical in my teens to now being firmly part of the establishment, warning about all things to do with flags (her coming from a firm unionist perspective, with a distaste for the SNP and a belief that we advocates of self-government are divisive and sinister). I am neither, and I don’t know anyone in the indy movement who is.

All pretty depressing stuff.

But then I found myself looking at a series of photos. Photos taken on the day of the most recent protest by supporters of Scotland’s independence at the British state broadcaster’s Scottish HQ in Glasgow. One photo in particular caught my eye.

The photo was of a toddler, a wee darlin with her grandparents, standing looking curiously at the thin flagpoles she gripped in each hand, her grandma, holding on to the poles further up in their height to make sure the wee yin didn’t hurt herself or trip whilst playing with her new ‘toy’, granda standing close by too, keeping a keen eye on proceedings, his instincts to keep the apple of his eye amused, happy and safe. As a papa of six grandchildren myself I know how that feels.

The flagpoles the wee lassie gripped loosely in her hands bore the Saltire of Scotland.

Without getting sentimental I was much taken with the photo. To me (firmly committed to the perfectly reasonable and sensible proposition that the people of Scotland would have the opportunity of a better future if they choose democratically to be governed by their peers rather than continuing to be governed by a larger neighbouring country which has its own priorities) if I was asked to put a title on the scene I was viewing I would have called it Hope.

Hope that the effort that we all put in now and in the coming days, the grassroots canvassing, the stalls, the events, the marches, the demonstrations, the town hall meetings, the debates, the articles, the blogs, in the lead up to the as yet unannounced only real poll of Scottish voters which will matter, will make that wee lassie’s future, my grandkids futures and your families futures better as a result.

Don’t let the shouters try to muddy the waters, chanting over us, falsely accusing us of anti-Englishness, or blood and soil nationalism. That’s the only weapon they have. In many cases those doing the shouting are accusing us of being something they demonstrably are themselves.

There is something insidious and menacing growing in England at the moment. It has been so for a while but worryingly now it is clearly coming out of the darkness. As an optimist I have faith that the majority of the citizens of that country, the many millions of ordinary hardworking, family loving folk, just like ourselves, will prevail against this rise in far-right faux populism but nothing can be taken for granted.

Scotland needs to be associated with that unstable UK future like it needs a hole in the head. Its future is as an independent small Northern European country with a constitution placing its people at its centre in the policies of whichever government those self same people elect to do their bidding at any point in time.

Scotland has so much going for it. The only thing it lacks is the confidence to take a step we will never ever regret. It’s our job to do something about that. We’ve been through it once, and learned a lot on the way. We’re ready.

To the children of Scotland, here’s to your future!