Sweeping our past under the carpet

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Let’s face it. We really must be a nonentity. We have no identity, and all of things we thought were important milestones for our country, that we didn’t hear about in history at school (because we were too busy hearing about the Normans, Henry the 8th’s 16th century supply of ye olde viagra and his axe grinding fetish, the horrendous slaughter of the First World War, and Winston Churchill) turned out to be untrue. or mainly just minor non-events.

The latest revelation from the unionist media, falling over themselves to tell us, now that there’s a new fillum coming oot, that apparently Robert Bruce, who I always thought had a bit of a French background but was fae roon aboot Ayrshire (I think I read that somewhere) actually was an Essex boy, and was famed for opening restaurants in every city, town or hamlet his forces captured, a man with a pronounced lisp and a tendency to sprinkle hot chillies and pomegranate seeds on everything he ate before taking a bite and exclaiming in culinary satisfaction the phrase “ Oh my Lord” and “my nan would love this.”

Who would have thought it? This after years of telling us that William Wallace was a bad yin, prone to murderous rage, and that he could very well have been a small not -discovered -yet American, brought up in the equally not -yet-discovered Australia, who liked to wear a long shaggy wig and paint his face blue.

Aye, according to our overlords oor historical figures are no’ worth talking about. Let’s get back tae talking about General Haig or Bomber Harris.

Mind you for years the wholly inappropriately named ‘Scotsman’ has put endless column hours into giving us myth busting correction pieces to suggest that around 1707 the nobles of Scotland were actually only signing up to a Union with England because the vast majority of the common folk were falling over themselves to be British, a view that they apparently held ‘fiercely’.

No,no, it was nothing to do with bribes, promises to pay off debts, patronage, threats of blackmail, or the negotiating team being nobbled and handpicked to assure the right outcome.

No, none of that, the people wanted it. All of those riots in the streets that went on for months and the stories that the Scottish signatories of the Act of Union were chased out of Edinburgh only happened because the populace were beelin that the nobles hadn’t gotten round to getting unioned-up earlier. The real anger was against the slow pace of bureaucracy, nothing to do with the fact that not one in every ten of the population agreed with it.

I remember reading in the Scotsman, only a couple of years ago, that all of that nonsense about tartan being banned after the Jacobites were routed was really just a misunderstanding about plaid going out of fashion at the time, just like Gaelic and certain highland clan memberships.

The image too of the agents of wealthy landowners pleading at the docksides of Scotland’s ports, with long queues of hungry and penniless crofters and farmers,and their families, carrying all of their worldly goods with them as they wait to be transported to the colonies, whole rural communities being beseeched to change their mind about spending months on a rickety boat to go far far away, and come back to the land, ‘don’t listen to the travel agents, the Duchess of Sutherland doesn’t want you to leave, she hates sheep’ they would have shouted, is one that the media as well as certain faux TV historians with dramatic hair and a hatred for anything that would ever suggest that their country should govern itself would have us believe.

Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. Belittle, undermine, downplay, cast doubt. Consistently work to rewrite and revise the past. That is how you pull the rug over a culture and over time dilute its identity to meaningless.

I don’t give a fuck where any notable individuals in Scotland’s past originated, just like I don’t give a fuck where anybody who currently, or in the future, identity themselves as Scottish, and commit themselves to playing their part in making a better Scotland for all of its people,was born.

Some day soon we can forget that we were ever subjected to so much propaganda designed to make us doubt our own selves. It can’t come quick enough.

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Don’t ever get sick

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My goodness. The figurehead of the We’re not really Tories, we flip-flop on policies to suit any changes in the weather, but we strongly push unionism at all times on every occasion to appease those in bowler hats with a penchant for being up to their knees in hateful bile, and our London masters, Ruth Davidson Party of Scotland, has hardly left the Parliamentary chamber, her seat still warm, and already the mask has slipped.

Like a long forgotten horror movie franchise revived and re-scripted to give the latest Hollywood teenage up-and-comers a run out before a cinema audience we can confirm that “The Spawn of Thatcher” are walking this land and appearing regularly in matinee sessions at Holyrood.
 
Tory MSP Michelle Ballantyne’s attack on benefit recipients, when asked about the two child tax credit limit in the Scottish Parliament yesterday, was a disgrace. There is no other word for it.

The political party she represents, under the guise of necessary austerity measures, has torn away any small semblance of security that many vulnerable and disenfranchised groups had in their lives through biting welfare reforms, cuts and failed experiments like the disastrous Universal Credit roll out, but it’s their own fault really, the unwashed, implies Ballantyne, because if you are on the bones of your arse and eating only every other day, because of delays in receiving your benefits, and the assistance you received from the Foodbank only allows you to just about adequately feed the wean, you shouldn’t be thinking of having any more children at any point during your miserable stay on the planet.
 
If you are thinking of having another child you are only creating another burden for the state, so procreation must be limited, implies the Tory Welfare Spokesperson mother of six, who, according to the National, claimed tax credits for all of them. (Of course obviously the rich, the influential and the powerful won’t take the financial hit for the burden created by someone on benefit having another wean because they either organise their finances to avoid UK taxes, paying pittances abroad, or they have tax experts rorting the system to limit their tax liability to ludicrously small sums in comparison to their income).
 
How about that revelation for a throwback to the days of Filofaxes, self-indulgent eejits with oily hair in pinstripe suits and braces setting fire to fifty pound notes, and Iron Looney Sermon on the Mound quotations from St Paul like “ If a man will not work he shall not eat”? It fair brings back unhappy memories.
 
With this in mind then, maybe upon the completion of their brilliant and well thought out Brexit plan the Tories (and there are no such things as separate Scottish Tories, they are all the same thing) will consider partly reviewing their policy to ditch renewable energy, although instead of advocating the use of the wind and waves to generate power they’ll be looking for teams of the unemployed, or the working poor, or those on zero hours contracts, or the many disabled who have somehow managed to be found fit-for work during an assessment by a private sector contractor on a performance related bonus scheme, to rotate giant propellers by physical force, walking around in circles for eight hours a day, so that they’ll at least feel like they are contributing to society whilst receiving their more than generous benefit from the state. This will improve their mental health, a renewed feeling of taking part, of belonging.
 
For those that want it perhaps even housing costs can be drastically cut too. Any large disused factories left over from the original de-industrialisation of the 1980’s that haven’t been turned into retail parks could be fitted out with ropes, like Victorian times, when the poor slept standing up in workhouses leaning over ropes attached to the walls of the building. Just think of the improvement that would have for those with lumbar injuries, they’d be cured almost overnight, and they’d have far better postures than they have developed sitting watching TV adverts all day for goods they’ll never be able to afford to buy.
 
It’s such a relief to those of us just getting by, struggling at times, but keeping our heads above water for the most part, to know that if we fall sick, get injured at work, suffer a bereavement of a loved one who contributed to the family income, or fall on any number of hard times in life, that our government in London thinks so much of us that it sees us as an underclass who, for the best, really shouldn’t consider breeding and spreading our genes around. For them it would be better, if we fall off the consumer conveyor belt, that we just quietly disappear.
 
Our Scotland, the Scotland that is coming, will not be that country. No one will be left behind. Michelle Ballantyne’s words yesterday act as a sharp reminder to me of what it is that we are striving to achieve, an independent self-governing Scotland with control of all the levers of power to allow it to focus on, first and foremost, benefitting, and improving the lives of its people, all of them.
 
We need independence and we need it yesterday.
 
 

It’s official. The media is not impartial

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I’d never have believed it if I hadn’t seen it in writing, in an article on the slippery-sloped, shoogly-pegged Hootsmon’s news site (if ever there was a newspaper that hasn’t kept up with the significant changes that are going on in the country that it purports to write accurately about over the last twenty years it’s that one, and it’s about to disappear as a consequence).
 
Apparently, according to broadcasting regulator Ofcom, the First Minister of Scotland has been wronged during a TV interview by a British television channel. It’s official! Who would ever have thunk it?
 
Surely not? How can this possibly be, when First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is so used to the easy ride of cosy media fireside chats in front of the cameras, occasions which unfailingly allow her to discuss her party’s policies at length, without the requirement of interruption or questioning from whichever bedazzled gushing interviewer has the privilege of having her on their show, appearances which let her share her personal ambitions with us, the viewing masses, that and her thoughts about marzipan and butter icing when we’ve seen her slots on popular cake making shows, and giving us real insight into how she felt about her photos, dressed in a Kevlar vest and a jumper with a prominent union flag on the sleeve, for the Sunday supplement spreads, dismantling landmines in a disused factory space in war ravaged Partick.

Oh no, wait a minute, that’s someone else I’m thinking about,  isn’t it?
 
Back in the real world Ofcom found that during a disgraceful pile-on by Good Morning Britain hosts Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway the First Minister was subjected to behaviour which breached broadcasting guidelines on accuracy and impartiality, behaviour which had a significant impact on the interview.  

Shephard in fact argued falsely during the interview that a quote that he was reading out-loud was from the Scottish Government’s Growth Commission report when it wasn’t, which the First Minister, whilst being dismissed and ignored, tried several times to point out. In their findings Ofcom also noted that “this potentially left viewers with an erroneous impression that Ms Sturgeon was either unclear about the contents of the report or deliberately misrepresenting its findings.” Och well, the viewing public got the wrong impression again eh, oops!
 
This follows on from a similar ambush recently on the same channel by the ever-so-nearly former editor of the Wormwood Scrubs gazette, and friend of the great orange Trumpet, Piers Morgan, and Susanna Reid, where the usual diatribes based on deficits (under Westminster’s watch, let’s fix that by moving Trident to the Thames estuary and transferring all the civil service jobs based in London attributed to Scotland geographically to actual Scotland), a bizarre ludicrous statement that Scotland has great influence at Westminster, and the new slogan of the last two years “Independence would put the UK internal market in danger.”
 
In reality if ever there was a politician more than able to handle any of this fallacious ill-prepared and biased rubbish, It’s Nicola Sturgeon, It’s water off a ducks back to her because she faces it all the time. She never gets an easy ride, and to her great credit, she answers the questions that she is asked, no matter how feckin bonkers, falsely accusatory, simplistic, or badly researched in order to try and provoke an emotional response they may be. This she unfailingly does courteously.

Contrast her with the dumplings of power at Westminster, where softly softly interviewers generate the sight of robotic crazy dancers spewing out, like diced carrot confetti, heavily scripted repetitions of phrases which include up to two power word per sentence, like “Strong  and Stable” (or more accurately “Bewildered and Demented”), phrases thought up by rooms full of PR onanists who can’t help themselves from saying the inane “lets unpack that idea’ every ten minutes.
 
There is no comparison. Nicola Sturgeon leaves them in her wake. The right person, in the right job in Scotland, at the right time.
 
Every time I see one of these British state media ambushes of the First Minister, which is often, my already unquestioning strong belief that my country should govern itself is renewed, and if possible that belief is strengthened even further.
 
The sooner Scotland returns to its rightful independent status as a self-governing independent country the better. That way we can but hope that our news media in Scotland will set itself to the task of holding our politicians to account, for the benefit of the people those politicians represent, not for the benefit of the media’s London overlords.
 

A matter of common sense

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You only have to switch on your TV, the internet, or pick up a newspaper to realise that we are living in the bizarre chaos of the final days of the United Kingdom.

Ironically, for an entity which continually asserts its undying love and wish to protect and nurture its ‘precious union’, the catalyst for the end to what has only ever nominally been a union of equals is being brought about as a mis-intended consequence of its own actions.

These are the actions of a centralised post-imperial power, arrogant, indignant, blind to its own inadequacies and shortcomings, caught up in simplistic governmental factional and personality driven squabbling about immigrants, wildly inaccurate fables about power struggles with a trading bloc of its near neighbours on the European mainland, and inflamed by paroxysms of ire about straight bananas.

At the front and centre of the thinking of those gnawing on the bones of their own demise is, as always, greed, and a sense of self enrichment, at the thought of personal opportunities to make a fast buck prostituting Britain’s goods, services and workforce once regulatory frameworks set up to protect the rest of us in areas like Health and Safety, food standards, the environment and employment protection are dismantled to suit their financial aims.

They’ve performed a massive confidence trick on the electorate of England and Wales. They don’t give a fuck about the NHS, really they don’t, apart from expecting to exploit it for their own financial gain when they can.

The sentimentalisation of what they consider halcyon day’s of late empire, buttered scones, the BBC News read by Alvar Lidell, the Archers, good old Winston, where ‘standards were maintained’ (standards which benefited them, not us) days which in reality were only considered idyllic by those of the same class and wealth status of these modern day snake oil selling chancers, is odious.

How I wish we, in Scotland, had reached the other side of this protracted struggle to see our country rightfully re-established as an independent self-governing nation.

We, the hopeful, the hoarse, the footsore and the keyboard calloused fingered, often hear that the way we will convince sufficient numbers of our not-yet-convinced folk to allow us to achieve our goal through democratic means is by painting a picture for them in their minds of what Scotland can be, once the heavy weight of the chains of union have been cut away.

Think of the assets of Scotland. For example, (there are many more) its abundance of natural resources, to an extent that other nations of a similar size and population could only dream about, its world class food and drink sector exporting unique Scottish branded goods recognisable everywhere, the capability to be a world leader in renewable energy development, exporting energy to what will become our neighbour to the south and the European grid.

The sky is the limit when it comes to opportunities to create an economically successful re-established Northern European medium sized (look at the sea boundaries) independent country Don’t let anybody tell you Scotland is small.

But better than that, much better than that, an independent Scotland will have a written constitution, something the UK does not have. (Why would it, why would it wish to enshrine the rights of its people into a document which could be used to hold its feet to the fire?)

Our independent Scotland will have a written constitution taking account of your requirements, your aspirations, your views, as a citizen. It will set out your rights to excellent standards of health care, from cradle to grave, to warm, high quality affordable housing, to education, to employment rights, to a fair wage, to a welfare system which treats our people with respect and puts us at the centre of its service provision).

Even better than all of that, Scotland will be governed by its people, no matter their origins, Scots.

A parliamentary chamber with full constitutional powers, real decision-makers, where first and foremost, on all occasions, no matter the issue under debate, no matter the political ideology of the democratically elected representatives seated in the room, a place where those charged with the responsibility of public service will always put the needs and stated aspirations of the people who put them there to the front of their mind, at the core of their decision making.They will have no option, for we will be watching.

That, my friends, will be the clear and distinct difference between the Scotland that is coming, and the toothless poor relation to a controlling government from another country we currently are.

How could you possibly not be convinced that independence is clearly a better option for us, our children and their children?

It is coming. Come join us, we’ll get there all the quicker.

#DissolveTheUnion

Truly frightening

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A brief flick through various news sources very quickly reveals, even at this late hour in the negotiation phase of the Brexit fiasco, the utter lack of understanding of complex issues, incompetence and absence of integrity which seeps through the sycophantic acolytes that are trusted by those currently in control of Scotland’s future from their London base.

Watching the hapless Ross Thomson, or as I recently heard him described, the Member for SNP Gain, getting his arse handed to him on a plate on a BBC TV panel whilst trying to tell an Irish senator about the Good Friday Agreement, I am struck by the dearth in talent of what passes for a Member of Parliament in the Tory party in Scotland these days. If nothing else you’d expect as a pre-requisite that such creatures would possess a fully functioning, critical thinking, brain, but it seems not.

It was bad enough the other week watching this dullard fawn all over the deceptive and dangerous Boris Johnson at the annual Tory conference and pig roast (it took Johnson two days to remove the puppet-faced walloper’s tongue from his left ear), but to hear him waffling on about Brexit, bursting with delivery pizza-fuelled confidence that the drivel he was spouting (essentially a revisionist narrative that Brexit poses no threat to security on the island of Ireland, it’ll all be great, there’ll be no issues about a hard Brexit, and aren’t all things Brexiteer just really the most wonderful things since the invention of Dyson carpet cleaners, especially Jacob Rees-Mogg’s union flag Y fronts) is just a step too far.

During this verbal blast of odoriferous air, of a kind often associated with an untrammelled watery fart, the camera kept cutting to the thunderous face of Neale Richmond, Fine Gael’s EU Spokesperson. I must admit I feared at one stage the poor man was going to get to his feet, cross the floor, and lamp the aforementioned village eejit open-handed square in the puss.

Instead the Irishman chose to verbally eviscerate the content of Thomson’s drivel, leaving him miserably shaking his head like a denying school boy caught by a teacher smoking at the back of the bike sheds when he should be at double maths.

It really does beg the question, people of Aberdeen South (who voted to remain in the EU) what the fuck were you thinking?

Moving on, did we all hear the loud, almost eardrum-bursting screech of the brakes going on as Lord Fluffenhowf to be, the Secretary of State Against Scotland, made it known that nah, he was never really going to resign if Norn Eyerlin gets a special deal out of Brexit when he wants them to get as shite a deal as Scotland, and he doesn’t know how we could have all come to that incorrect conclusion about his future?

Face it folks, Ye couldnae paint a red neck on this guy if ye held him down and slapped him at the back of his lugs with a 50mm sash cutter covered in Dulux ‘Carmen Miranda’ Red. It would simply slide off him.

Doing the honourable thing, at any time, will never cross London’s man in Scotland’s mind. Doing what’s right for Scotland equally will never enter his consciousness. He’s got an ermine cloak fitting to think about.

Oh for the days of Tory Scottish Secretaries actually trying to now and again put their country first, like George Younger, who talked the Iron Looney out of many of the outrageous social experiments she had planned for Scotland. Rifkind and Forsyth have a lot to answer for.

It’s un-nerving to recognise that Thomson and Mundell are the types of individuals that our overlords in London will promote, encourage and support. Their buffer against you, the people of Scotland.

They will continue to be involved in decision-making about the future of our country, if Scotland does not take the step of returning to its rightful status as an independent country.

Independence we surely must have. The alternative is frightening.

#DissolveTheUnion

Getting on the front foot

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The following is a letter, originally published yesterday on Bella Caledonia, from the recently appointed Executive Committee of the Scottish Independence Convention (Convenor Elaine C Smith) to us, the independence movement.
Itisintruthnotforglory.wordpress.com fully supports the content and intended spirit of the letter, and in so doing will make a contribution to the forthcoming start up fundraiser. Independence is within our grasp. Let’s get on the front foot and work towards changing perceptions in our undecided folk.

Going Forward

In this letter to the independence movement, the newly elected Executive Committee of the Scottish Independence Convention explain why the move to create a national campaign organisation can get independence consistently beyond 50% in the polls and give Nicola Sturgeon the backing of the majority of the Scottish people when calling for a referendum.

What’s a pro-independence campaign organisation for and what would it do?

The Scottish Independence Convention is a coalition of Scotland’s national pro-independence organisations, the pro-independence political parties and, through the membership of regional forums, of Scotland’s local grassroots pro-independence groups. It is just about to launch a fundraiser to start a national campaign organisation.

But what is that organisation for and what would it do?

Be more than the sum of our parts
The independence movement is brilliantly alive with a flurry of grassroots activity all over the country. But sometimes we need to come together as one.

Coordination from a national campaign organisation should be about helping people build on each other’s work, reinforce what each other are doing. It is about providing campaigners with insights and information which can help them be better at what they are already doing. It is about being able to listen to what people say they need – and then giving them it. It is about giving people strategic direction which helps them to focus on what is going to have the biggest impact in the place they live. It is about never being ashamed to say that we all have more to learn, that none of us alone have all the best ideas. That together we can do more than we can individually.

Set the agenda, change the story, get people to look again
The work of the grassroots of the independence movement has been amazing and has kept the momentum going where other campaigns would have just packed up and left – but unless we do a better job of setting the national agenda, changing the story we hear in the media all the time and finding ways to encourage undecided voters to have another look at the case for independence, we will struggle to make the breakthrough we need.

People don’t trust newspapers or television news like they used to – but it is still the media (and social media) which starts most of the conversations most people have about politics. At work, at home, at the school gate, in the pub or the cafe, at the golf club or the sewing bee, on the football terraces or at the gym, most political conversations still open with ‘did you see…’, as in ‘did you see that stuff about how Scotland’s economy is below the UK average’ or ‘did you see that thing about how there’ll be no food after Brexit’. This is not the end of the conversation, but it’s where it starts.

The independence movement needs to be more on the front foot at making our stories the starting point for these conversations, because it is the conversations undecided voters have with each other which is the most important thing. We need to find ways to set the agenda, to change the story and to get people to look at our case again.

So how will a campaign organisation do that?

Get our visual communication right
As you know, in the modern world of social media the way we communicate with people is very often highly visual. The mood you set, the tone it contains, whether it implies authority or down-to-earthness or inspires fear or hope, whether it catches the attention or merges into the background – this can be the difference between being seen or not, being trusted or not, being liked or not. You know instinctively when it works – and you know instinctively when it doesn’t. The SIC has appointed a leading design company to work with the movement and with undecided voters to come up with a name, a design style and a full set of templates and materials to help us get our visual communications right. It will provide local groups and the national organisation with a toolkit to help us reach voters who don’t stop at street stalls, join marches or read political blogs.

Our goal is to help us connect with people who don’t like politics but are ready to look again at the case for independence.

Create a strategy
Sometimes people might worry that ‘strategy’ means central control. It doesn’t – it means looking at all the possible things we could do and working out which ones are most likely to achieve the outcome you want. Sometimes we think we know what motivates other people, but often we’re wrong. People are angry at the injustices of Britain, worried about the chaos of Brexit, afraid of an isolated or insular future. They feel these things, but feeling something doesn’t necessarily make you act. Strategy is about how best to understand people’s feelings and to work out what you can do to convert those feelings into action.

It means doing public attitude research, challenging your own assumptions, coming up with creative ideas, putting together messages and images and stories that make people think again, about initiatives and ‘stunts’ which link people’s worries to a clear case for voting for independence. It is about understanding their fears and finding ways to mitigate them. It is about finding out what it is the undecided or unsure voter needs to be confident to make a different choice this time. It involves hard work and creativity – but it is how campaigns are won.

This campaign organisation will offer this strategic capacity to the grassroots movement across Scotland.

Be better at communication
What you say doesn’t matter – it’s what people hear that matters. People may well feel insecure or worried or disrespected in modern Britain, but that does not mean that shouting ‘Britain is horrible’ at them is enough to make them choose independence.

Clever communication is about telling people stories about their lives which gently move them towards an understanding that this is not as good as it gets, that there is a better future for them. It’s about helping them to understand truths, but without barking statistics at them. It is about capturing their imagination with pictures of what could be. It’s about finding the language that lays bare for them the anger and frustration with the status quo that they already feel. No, the independence movement is never going to have the support or sympathy of the Scottish media. But clever communications tell stories that survive the attacks of our opponents, that live beyond us because people themselves remember the stories and tell those stories to others. It is these stories that change how people think.

With your help the independence side can start setting the terms of the debate.


Always be prepared, never take it lying down.
The independence movement is under constant attack from powerful vested interests. Shouting ‘not fair’ is not going to stop them. Our only defence is to be ready for their attacks and to take them head-on with calm, clear, careful thinking. If they shout ‘England is Scotland’s biggest export market’, we need to say ‘look, a decent proportion of that is electricity exports which England definitely needs so don’t kid on you can manage without it’. We need to unpick the slogans they throw at us. We need to research and prepare answers to their allegations. We need to work to build up our own, better stories. We should never be caught on the hop without an answer. Rebuttal is not about saying the other side is lying, rebuttal is about telling an alternative story that is stronger and more persuasive. It’s time to do this.

If successfully funded this campaign organisation will find the best ways to offer rebuttal quickly, clearly and decisively.


Get things done
Campaigning is hard. Setting up events or initiatives or news stories takes time (as our volunteers who also work fulltime jobs know full well). Listening to what people tell you they need means you have to be on the end of a phone, that you have to get out and talk to people. Leaflets don’t print themselves, training doesn’t organise itself, media initiatives don’t just happen. We need people who are paid to dedicate the time into doing these things for and with others. You don’t win campaigns without people dedicated to winning campaigns. We need people whose responsibility it is to get things done. We need a campaign organisation.

The team
Our fundraising campaign is about raising the money to do these things. It is not about repeating the mistakes of the past – paying salaries that are far too high, wasting money on things that don’t matter, being too cloth-eared to the grassroots of the movement. It is about getting our visual communication tools right. It is about having a coordinator to do the work to develop strategy, a media officer pushing stories into the mainstream and social medias, a researcher making sure we have all the answers we need, a support officer to work closely with local organisations to listen to what they need and support them, an admin officer to get things done. We hope to be able to have a team of five people working every day to make Scotland an independent country.

But it can only happen if you support us by giving a donation. Stay tuned for news on this very soon.

With thanks,
The Executive Committee of the Scottish Independence Convention:
Elaine C Smith, Convenor,
DaveThompson, Vice-Convenor (Christians for Indy and former MSP)
Rosemary Hunter, Treasurer (Women for Independence)
Mary McCabe
Iain Black (SIC Researcher, Yes Edinburgh North and Leith)
Maggie Chapman (Scottish Greens)
Jonathon Shafi (Radical Independence Campaign)
 
Published on 10th October 2018

This

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This is what Scotland’s independence is all about. This.

Good fellowship, camaraderie, respect for our neighbours, recognition of common bonds, of shared pasts, of friendships and family connections, of affection, of love, which will always mutually be there on either side of the Tweed. Oh, and rest assured, we’ll be the neighbours you would always wish for.

It’s about confidence in our own ability as a legitimate sovereign country to manage our own affairs. It’s about recognising the basic democratic unfairness, the lack of balance in the distribution of power, and the constitutional abnormality within the family of world nations that a clearly defined and recognised country being governed by the government of another neighbouring country is. Oh to have Burn’s gift to see how the rest of the world views that relationship.

The days of 2012-2014 are gone. The times of not being informed, or unsure, or in two minds have passed.

Scotland is ready, a grown-up mature independent progressive social democratic Northern European country just bursting to get out, to be let loose and create the future our children deserve.

We’re not anti anybody. We are not better than anybody else. We just want to have the same powers, abilities to make decisions, choices and opportunities as every other country in the world. Nothing different.

It is coming….

#DissolveTheUnion

(Photograph Colin T Leck)

Cannae Coont for toffee

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I tell you what folks, I wouldn’t like to be relying on Edinburgh Cooncil tae be calculating my Cooncil Tax correctly, or counting the numbers of grit bins they’ll need to refill this winter. They must have ran out of fingers and toes yesterday.

If that magnificent gathering of humanity that made its way through the historic streets of Auld Reekie numbered the official Cooncil estimated 20,000 then Elvis isnae deid, and is in fact living on a small uncharted island in the Indian Ocean rearing third and fourth generation race horses from his former pet Shergar, and he has lunch each Sunday at the island’s country club with Lord Lucan, Natalie Wood, the ‘real’ Paul McCartney, and Jim Murphy.

It is clear from the pictures of the massed attendance and the outstanding and inspiring Phantom Power clip here…

…that once again officialdom, the media, and the facts are in clear conflict in all matters independence. A red neck ye couldnae paint upon their wee fizzers.

The British state propaganda rules are, if you can get away with ignoring independence events do so, but if they are too big to ignore play down their size and significance, and throw in the odd picture of some sleazy looking guy with a loudhailer and a union flag shirt that looks like it needs a good wash to balance up the numbers.

The BBC tried sore on Friday, their Scottish news page even had it as the main headline, to convince or confuse readers that the event was in doubt, using language that would easily confuse a casual reader that the march and the rally at Holyrood as the same thing.

Well guess what Auntie, it isnae working anymore. We’re on the way…. To independence.

#DissolveTheUnion

Theresa, start making sense

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Let the cathedral bells ring, let bonfires be lit on the coastal cliffs and inland peaks, let the blind see, the lame walk, and in the case of the BBC, the perpetually sycophantic sook.

Praise be and all hail, for the crazy dancer has saved the day, austerity measures have ended! We’re rich!

The born again hard war Maybot of recent times, threatening to get all cross with the Europeans for an inappropriate whoopy cushion trick and various EU leaders spoiling every selfie she took in Salzburg by sticking the middle finger up above her head, has had a makeover.

She’s now the hip, self-deprecating cool mamma of groove. She bounded onto that stage at Birmingham yesterday looking like a physically uncoordinated baby giraffe channeling a cross between John Travolta treading the New York sidewalks whilst delivering paint in ‘Saturday Night Fever’ and Talking Heads David Byrne in his 1980’s big suit about to sing ‘Stop making sense’ (although in order for Theresa May to stop making sense she would have had to have made sense in the first place).

I must admit I couldnae tholl her speech. I survived through the traditional first five minutes, the same as every other Tory leader’s speech, where they delve into the past, tell you about the tremendous sacrifices that millions of ordinary people have made, and then try by spin to link that fact positively to the fuck-up that they themselves and their party are currently making of the country.

About another minute or two further on she got to the part where, as they always do too, she praised the fantastic system of democracy in Britain. That was enough for me, the bile was rising behind my back teeth. I could listen to no more.

Strangely the day before I sat and watched a recording of the entire speech of the pretend buffoon who soon will make his bid for the top, (just as soon as he can get someone to extricate him from Ross Thomson’s arm around his shoulder, that is) without flinching.

I thought I was watching an old clip from the 1970’s and 80’s for the first twenty minutes or so as the ex-treasurer of the Bullingdon sus scrofa domesticus fancier club treated us to a rehash of speeches by Norman Tebbit, Jeffrey Archer and Cecil Parkinson. Cooncil Hooses getting pelters? A wee tad out of date that one Boris.

Things returned to what can be described as normal in the current Tory party though when he spent the final ten minutes getting right into EU Johnny Foreigner EU Bad/ Johnny Foreigner Peru ready to be ripped off/ England great mode.

When he mentioned ’the country’ presuming referring to England and the provinces which they govern, being humiliated by Europe on the Chequers deal despite Britain’s ‘power and might’ you could almost sense the palpable sound of a room full of stuck up self-entitled wallies gnashing their teeth and rattling their Bentley car fobs.

Returning to the fan dancer of Downing Street,and having read a few reviews on the rest of her speech this morning, it is clear she is gambling on playing her final cards in the game.

Her advisors must have told her to just go out and say anything you like that sounds positive, you’ve nothing to lose, nobody’s bothered and it might just save you. Hear’s a belter, tell them austerity is over!

If they’d given her another five minutes up there she would have told us a British rocket has landed on Mars and three astronauts educated in the Home Counties have set up a tea room and a multi-storey car park, claiming the planet for England. She’s no’ troubling herself much with the truth right now, not that she ever was, but things are getting desperate.

Thank goodness Scotland is setting itself up to take a better path.

#DissolveTheUnion

A disgrace

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I’ve been following the fortunes of the valiant band of walkers involved in the 500 Miles walk around the country highlighting the cause of an independent Scotland with some interest.

Starting off on the Isle of Skye in mid-September these folk have traipsed around the country over the last few weeks in all weathers, fighting blistered feet and tiredness, but in great spirits, and now have the destination of Edinburgh on the day of the AUOB march very much in sight.

Since last weekend and their run in,at of all places, Stirling Castle, with Historic Environment Scotland (HES) I’ve been grinding my teeth into wee piles of powdered enamel and dentin about the treatment they received.

The very idea that peaceful, law abiding ordinary Scots, people representing me, representing you, can be asked to leave one of Scotland’s foremost historical sites because they are carrying the flag of their country with them is simply a disgrace. There is no other word for it.

My father saw active service in Korea as an Argyll and Sutherland Highlander, the Scottish regiment synonymous with Stirling Castle, the regiment’s home. He’s not with us now but I know he’d be livid at Sunday’s events.

Thousands of Scots have marched down King Street from that very spot to die in wars, to fight fascism, and to protect their country from invasion. For example it was the 51st Highland Division, including the Argylls, who were left behind at Dunkirk to form a barrier to the oncoming German forces to allow the British Expeditionary Force to escape capture across the channel.

Suffering heavy losses more than 10,000 of the men of the Scottish regiments were taken prisoner and force marched to Germany as POW’s.

Yet around eighty years later half a dozen walkers flying the flag of Scotland are asked to leave the esplanade of Stirling Castle because early on a Sunday morning apparently it was about to get very busy right where they were standing, in the near empty car park.

Ah but It’s political, they say, it’s the SNP, oh we don’t want any of that around here.

That’s a load of hard-wired and deeply entrenched propaganda nonsense.

The question of the people of Scotland’s right to decide whether they wish to continue to be governed by another country or take on that responsibility themselves is not a party political issue.

Imagine at any time, (don’t think about the current Trump madness) someone in America standing in the grounds around the Washington Monument being asked to leave by a curator for carrying a Stars and Stripes.How would that play out?

Imagine a French family being asked to leave the area of the Arc De Triomphe because they have with them the red, white and blue tricolour of their country’s flag. What would be the consequences of that?

Nothing personal against the wee wummin that was sent out to see the walkers off the premises, that was her job, as per the’policy’.

The problem is way deeper than one individual being sent out to see off perfectly reasonable people, who had every right to be where they were, and talk to them like they were unruly and misguided weans looking like they might raid her strawberry patch, threatening them wae the polis (who at least were very good about it when they turned up).

What is it about us, as a nation, and our institutions that it’s okay for us to identify ourselves as what we are, Scottish, but we’ve tae keep it quiet, keep it to ourselves?

Heaven help you if you assert the fact that you are Scottish, if you celebrate the fact. If you do any of that you will face ridicule, wild false accusations that you are racist, strangely sinister and a wee bit tapped, and be quietly patronised towards a message that you should consider yourself British and like it.

The double standards are incredible, Colonel Ruthie, a politician who is entirely political, can run aboot the ramparts at Edinburgh Castle for the cameras playing sojers anytime she likes. A Tornado fighter jet surrounded by stalls can take up residence in Holyrood Park without an eyelid being batted, but woe betide you if you bring out a flag that isn’t a union one.

Enough with all of that nonsense. There’s a time coming soon when there will be more to identify Scotland as the successful progressive social democratic independent Northern European country it is going to be than a few saltires, and our children and grandchildren will look at us and laugh when we tell them how it used to be.

I hope on Saturday, in front of the many thousands attending in Edinburgh, that the 500 milers receive a massive welcoming cheer that recognises the fantastic effort they have put in, on our behalf.

…and somebody somewhere owes them an apology.

#DissolveTheUnion