Tipping the dung heap over


We’re now over five years down the line from a day in Scotland’s history when many of our people, many of us, not politically minded (why should we have to be?) not Tories, not diehard unionists, not Labour, just us, ordinary Scots, for whatever reason, decided at that time, on that day, that they were not yet convinced of their own capabilities, and the capabilities of their country to manage its own affairs.

Our people, our families, friends and colleagues, folk who have lived with the consequences of their actions, as unfortunately do we, us who voted Yes.

For some, oblivious to much that is going on around them that doesn’t impact them directly, not consciously aware of the impact politics has on many of the issues that effect their everyday life, and the lives of others, ignoring the fact that Scotland is governed by another country, and subject to the whims and priorities of another nation rather than ours, is an easy thing to do. A subject you never think of never causes concern. This is changing.

As the shambolic conveyer belt of lies, broken promises, pitiful pleadings, denied vows, planned and unplanned snap General Elections, the continuing worrying rise of the right and their self sabotaging plans to leave the world’s largest single market, and at the same time chase EU citizens often those who carry out vital work whilst contributing a net £6billion a year to the income column in the Treasury ledger, out of the country, have come to pass there are increasing numbers of our folk examining why they voted the way they did in 2014, now eager to become informed about the question of who governs their country, eager to at least consider making amends for a decision which has resulted in a disastrous outcome, an outcome not yet played out completely.

The last few years have been a wacky fun filled ride to an even further marginalised, ignored and dictated-to Scotland (so much for ‘We love you Scotland, don’t leave us, lead us’).

The growth of a far right nationalist government in London, after the Brexit dust cleared, buoyant and confident, having engineered a dilution of the UK’s version of democracy via their ‘taking back control’ from the EU, which if it ever eventually happens will see legislation being proposed which will allow ministers unfettered decision making powers on a nightmare rightwing agenda, is extremely worrying.

We’ve seen the start of it already as Johnson and his gang of pseudo posh thugs continue to fight the authority of parliament at every turn to get their way, despite even the highest courts in both Scotland and England showing them up as unlawful miscreants and chancers.

In 2013/14 the British state made great play, a relentless 24/7 wall-to-wall media propaganda campaign emphasis, a plea to the risk averse amongst us, that voting no was the stable thing to do, to maintain the steady ship, the way to ensure their pensions, their jobs, their status as free movement Europeans was in safe hands. Now? On the brink of yet another General Election do you feel your future is secure? Do you feel you live in a country governed by a progressive outward looking, welcoming, even modestly competent executive branch in London?

I have never, and will never, criticise any of my fellow Scots for deciding no, independence was not for them in 2014. My goodness I know someone who received a phone call from unionist campaigners telling her that her pension would be cut if she voted Yes, and she would not have enough to pay bills and feed herself. Despicable lies. The combined Tory/New Labour/ Lib Dem pact that will surely arise to try and derail Indy Ref 2 won’t get away with that one again. We’ll be ready this time.

Every day we watch as the circus merry-go-round replays itself, observing the wildcard public school buffoon, who convinces some, falsely, that he has some sort of superior intellect because he can quote a few phrases in Latin from the classics, a man who havers nonsensical financial statistics to blacken the name of the European Union, pronouncements which are so clearly embarrassing lies that a senior UK public servant had to write to him publicly to tell him he’s talking shite, an individual who commissioners on the EU negotiating team view as a cartoon joke figure. It’s no wonder.

We look on in bemusement as his band of misfits insult the electorate, like the lanky Hooray Henry with the Lord Snooty complex who thinks Foodbanks for the oiks are uplifting. Why are we, as sovereign Scots putting up with this nonsense?

The tipping point is coming with this General Election in December. England will vote to remain in the shadow of the narrow inward looking little empire nationalism, building barriers, ‘Making England Great Again’.

Scotland will vote overwhelmingly in the exact opposite direction, outward looking, progressive, and, as an existing member of the EU whilst part of the union with England, Wales and N Ireland, already match fit to take over the warm seat at the table when the English nationalist state vacates it.

We can not be complacent, that is why we, the many thousands of advocates for independence, must now put the hours, and our hearts and souls, into the campaign just started, so that when the time comes, at a moment of our choosing next year, a time fixed by representatives we have selected to represent us, the time to exercise the sovereign will of Scotland’s people, the evidence before the jury will result in only one outcome, a resounding Yes.


Take our country back


It’s on. A General Election will take place in December, perhaps one of the very last of such events where Scotland’s 59 seats of the 650 in the House of Commons chamber will be occupied by representatives of the people of Scotland.

59 democratically selected individuals, 59 only, who, if in carrying out their role in parliament do not conform to the established norm of protecting the elite, supporting the priorities and weighted bias of unionism, are scorned, mocked, ignored and marginalised. (The ones who do conform usually end up with nice medieval style cloaks, a lucrative bung for life, an honorary corporate directorship or two, and a lovely wee made up Brigadoon shortbread tin fantasy name to append to their title of Lord or Ladyship).

The SNP must now place Scotland’s independence at the front, in the middle, and at the coo’s tail of their election campaign.

Brexit, the long running cheap soap opera, with its dodgy cardboard sets, pish acting and dangerously incompetent directing is but a sideshow, a distraction which those we independentistas have trusted to represent us have been morally obliged to fight, to protect Scotland’s economy, the livelihoods of our people and our cultural and social ties with those who do us the honour of choosing to live, work and make their home in Scotland.

However whether the Brexit referendum result happened or not is irrelevant, it’s result, and the farcical nature of the politics of unionism since, have only served to give hundreds of thousands of us yet another very good reason to be highly motivated towards giving our time freely to help steer our not yet convinced loved ones, friends and colleagues towards factual research they can do themselves, which at the very least informs them enough to make a considered judgement about their country’s future without being influenced only by what the BBC or the newspaper’s want them to think.

It’s time to be upfront, address any questions that hang around like large trunked mammals who occasionally make trumpeting sounds in a room, and get on with it.

If, after all that’s gone on since 2014, the SNP cannae provide overwhelmingly convincing rebuttal on the mendacious project fear chestnut headlines on pensions, currency, financial sector flight, Nessie heading for Lake Windermere etc by now, somebody somewhere is seriously needing their arses kicked.

I’d love to see a clean sweep of all those frilly knickered rightwing careerist May/ Johnson cheerleaders from Scottish constituencies who came in at the last snap election. I’ll say it again, Aberdeen South what were you thinking? Remember they promised faithfully that they were going down to London to hold their masters to account, to speak truth to power on behalf of those they represent. How did that work out? Slimey sleekit numpties, the lot of them.

Anyway, c’mon First Minister, on Saturday give us a clue about how we need to organise our schedules for next year, let’s campaign for December like folk possessed, fill as many of the Commons seats as we can, and then next year, with a convincing democratic majority at the polling booth on a given date yet to be announced, finally take our country back.


A time for us to make history


Over the last two weeks, accompanied by some of those I hold dear, I’ve toured some of the transcendent places of Scotland’s past, sites where our history was made.

I’ve wandered through Linlithgow Palace. I’ve paid homage at Arbroath Abbey, where the Declaration of Scotland’s Independence and the sovereign right of Scotland’s people were asserted in 1320. I’ve planted a clump of heather, which will hopefully flourish, on the Jacobite lines at the eerily quiet Culloden field. I’ve marvelled at the splendour of Eilean Donan Castle, strategically situated at the meeting place of three sea lochs, and once the subject of a bombardment by government gunboats in rebellious times. On Thursday I ticked off a lifelong ambition to visit the site of the Jacobite Rising of the clans on the banks of Loch Shiel in 1745, at the Glenfinnan Monument. 

‪Next Saturday, 2 November, as the next step in what one day will also become Scotland’s history unfolds,  I will be in George Square in Glasgow to listen to the political leader of my country, the democratically elected First Minister of Scotland, a woman who potentially will become the first leader of the restored independent Scotland. ‬

On the back of the cringeworthy Brexit, the British state now considered a laughing stock by the international community, a General Election is coming, the prelude to a request by the Scottish Government to our London rulers for a section 30 order to seek permission to hold an independence referendum. A request which will inevitably and arrogantly be turned down. This will be the last time ever that Scotland asks permission from England for anything. 

The people of Scotland will speak their mind during the General Election. Along with the citizens of the rest of the UK they will exercise their democratic right to choose who represents them and best serves their interests in government. The outcomes however will be dramatically different.

By an overwhelming majority, and importantly not just those who voted Yes in September 2014, I have no doubt the voters of Scotland will select the social democratic progressive political party whose policies most reflect the traditional values held dear by them. Values which have over generations helped build the Scottish NHS, protect the elderly and the vulnerable, and paid due consideration to the needs of others in society.

Once again Scotland will show that it has radically gone it alone against the tide of hypocrisy and self serving greed which has pervaded politics in the UK for at least the last forty years, an era which has now resulted in clearly identifiable determined efforts being made to rollback the progressive miracle of the early postwar years social contract, and a return to a rightwing mini version of imperial sel-delusion.

The increased civil engagement and political enlightenment which has taken place in Scotland since 2012 has acted as a slow burning fuse towards what now will be an inevitable conclusion. One way or another independence is going to happen. 

Facts about Scotland’s ability to flourish and be self reliant, its resources, its distinctive trading goods, its innovation and its expertise have been examined and substantiated. Negativity and myths, often propagated by the state and unionist broadcasting and print media regarding the nature of our relationship with our partners in the United Kingdom, have been debunked.

The chaos, incompetence and mendacious behaviour of British state politicians during the debacle of their attempts to disentangle themselves from our European neighbours and trading partners has shown up the Project Fear propaganda of 2014 on pensions, currency, the economy, too wee/ too poor etc to be what it was, lies and fear mongering.

The people of Scotland, more and more of them, are not now going to unlearn what they have now come to know and better understand. That is why we will win on a date as yet unspecified in 2020.

In George Square ‪next Saturday‬ I hope to hear our First Minister confirm that it is time for the hard work to start again. The General Election campaign of the next month or so will be but a warm up to the second and final referendum which will decide finally and unequivocally that the people of Scotland are far better served by a government of their peers than by the government of another country, a country which will always put its interests first.

On Saturday I hope to see you there too. 

Help us to help you


I made a wee pilgrimage the other day tae Arbroath Abbey, site of the 1320 Declaration of Scotland’s Independence, a proclamation that asserts that in Scotland the people are sovereign, not royalty, Scottish, English or otherwise, in whichever forms unelected hereditary monarchy has taken since. This precept is designed to posit into fact the statement that henceforth Scotland would not be ruled by anyone other than its people.

Quite a powerful thought really, considering how things have panned out since.

Today, in the here and now in 2019, we approach the crunch. The miscreant Prime Minister of the minority government which governs Scotland from England is up for doing whatever it takes, by whatever means, to remove our country, against our democratic majority will, from trading, cultural and reciprocal arrangements with our neighbours on mainland Europe which Scotland greatly benefits.

Worse, this same dishonourable peddler of embroidered mistruths intends not just to remove Scotland from a community it wishes to remain in, he intends to place us at an economic competitive disadvantage to our neighbours in Northern Ireland by arranging for them to continue to retain the preferential tariff free trading arrangements that we are to be deprived of.

No one can predict what is going to happen over the next two or three weeks with Brexit, today’s vote in parliament will be an indicator. Time will tell.

The SNP’s Ian Blackford is currently on his feet in the Commons, as I write this on this extraordinary emergency session Saturday, and is clearly and unequivocally once again making Scotland’s case, being treated unjustly as the only part of the UK which will have its democratic will ignored if Johnson’s bid to plunge out of the EU with a ‘deal’ even weaker than the one Theresa May had agreed is allowed to happen.

The time for political rhetoric is surely coming to an end soon. The putative inaugural Scottish Government of our independent Scotland, the political party which currently makes up that government, the other, smaller, independence supporting political parties, and the wider non-party affiliated Yes Movement must be ready to act, but we must know what is required of us.

Much as the thought of having to ask permission from England’s Prime Minister (it is in reality England, not the dysfunctional construct known as the UK or Great Britain) to canvass our own people about their views on their future governance, following the failure of any promises made to them from London in 2014 to materialise, should, and does make us angry, it must be tholed.

I understand the caution the First Minister is currently displaying. It is hard to strategise when the goalposts keep changing, often hour by hour, but this section 30 request must happen very soon, and a clear plan, in response to the inevitable arrogant refusal to this request, to take us forward to position where a date for a second independence referendum is set, needs to be communicated to the movement for independence and the wider Scottish public.

The words chipped out by a stonemason on the base of the statue commemorating the Declaration of Arbroath which sits in a park as you enter Arbroath are apt.

“It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.”

Strong words from a different more desperate time, our days of settling territorial disputes by violence thankfully long gone in the past, and heaven forbid any Scot in the 21st century would ever have to sacrifice their life for the right to self-determination, but the spirit of 1320 remains.

Despite centuries of being, nominally only, an equal partner in a relationship where, in reality,our country has been governed and manipulated by England, Scotland’s people retain the sovereign right to make their own arrangements about how they should be governed, without interference.

We, the many hundreds of thousands who are prepared to put countless hours into ensuring the execution of that sovereign right need to know what is required of us, or wasted time, and poor communication will risk fractures in our movement occurring.

I actually get that


It being the time of one of our infrequent but precious family holidays I’ve had a break from blogging, and instead have been enjoying strolls with the grandweans along our beautiful eastern coast, bringing back memories for me of my own grandparents, my uncle’s old Morris, picnics in lay-byes and sipping tinned soup from a flask in a howling wind. Happy days.

I’ve tried as much as I can to tune out world events, news and politics, concentrating instead on the simple things in life, like the quiet enjoyment that can be had by just sitting comfortably in a room re-reading Neil Munro whilst listening to the banter of small children, twins, trying to outdo each other at snap, one dealing herself from the bottom of the pack, the other insisting that every second card placed down is a ‘snap’ in her favour, the game play deteriorating inevitably to the eventual “ I’m not playing anymore.” “Why?” “Because you smell.”

Yep, I’ve managed to half ignore the continuing sleekit buffoonery of the Bullingdon Monty Python Glee Club, as the circus clown in chief of English politics and his entourage stagger their way to the stopwatch running out of time finish line on Brexit. They are close to a deal, they are far away, we’re nearly there, there is much between us yet, we’re getting there, there are fundamental issues still stopping a deal. Who can tell? One thing is for sure the ladies and gentlemen of the EU negotiating team must be scunnered looking at smug UK Prime Ministers.

Then there has been the despicable developments in Spain over the last few days, removing any doubt, if it existed, that Spain is in any way a democratic country (severe sentences having been handed down to Catalonian leaders for doing nothing other than seeking that democracy be respected).

Polls are rising in favour of us self-deterministas in Scotland, there is much pressure for our First Minister to do something, and do it now, but she’s keeping her powder dry, she’s preparing the ground, she’s edging us forward, but, her strategy is not to obtain a referendum, her strategy is to achieve independence, and the legitimate recognition that goes with it. I’m broadly with her.

Back to my holiday I had an interesting exchange with my older granddaughter, who at nearly 15 asked me the other day if I was still writing all of that “SNP stuff” and wondered if I ever get bored with it. “ In fact Papa, why do you actually do it?” (Actually seems to be a very regular word in 15 year old’s conversational sentences).

How do you explain such things to a 15 year old whose life revolves around music, gymnastics and makeup, as it should?

I pondered for a moment, before explaining it this way “Darlin I do this for you, for you and your brother and your wee sisters, to try and achieve a better securer future for you.”

I explained to her that all over Scotland, in our own individual very small way, like me, hundreds of thousands of us are doing what we can, to help convince even more of us, oor ain folk that are not yet persuaded that we would be better off if the people who live here make the major decisions about our country and it’s future, that this is the best way forward for Scotland.

I asked her to imagine that at school there is a girl in her class who is very clever, in the ‘brainy’ group, a nice lassie, very easygoing and friendly to everyone, who always hands in her homework on time, always gets high marks, and is always generous with regards to sharing what she has with others.

However because of her abilities and her willingness to share she gets taken advantage of by a few chancers in the class, who coast along, when they want her to provide her homework for them to copy, which they take for granted that she will do, which, when she has refused in the past has resulted in her being singled out for bullying or humiliation, and shunned.”

Then I asked her to think of that same girl going through her entire school life being treated in this way, slowly but surely having all of her self-confidence in her abilities and potential sucked out of her, until she reaches the stage that in her mind she has no ambition, can’t see further than the end of the street she lives in, resigned to the mundane, the mediocre and being dominated by others getting on in life on the product of her hard work.

I then asked my granddaughter to imagine that the girl was Scotland, and those that made the girl feel the way she did was the government of the United Kingdom, in London.

I asked her to consider that Scotland is the same, not better, than any other country in the world, and that the way things currently are, being governed by another country, England, is not normal, particularly because the bigger country doing the governing always gets their way.

Finally I stressed the very important point that Scotland becoming independent is not about being in any way against English people, who are our friends, our relatives, our closest neighbours. She knows this, as she has aunties, uncles and cousins from England, people she loves and respects. I mentioned that should never ever let anyone tell her that those, like me, who want Scotland to be an independent country again, hate English people, because this is simply not true, we’ll be the best neighbours England ever had.

She thought about if for a bit, before saying “ Papa, I actually get that”.

Heading towards the tipping point


Watching that fantastic celebration of the people of Scotland’s undeniable right of sovereignty and self-determination in our capital city on Saturday I was taken aback by the scale of the event. The sheer numbers involved in the panorama of humanity pounding the streets was exhilarating to observe.

The usual humour and bonhomie of all of the independence marches was there, and in spades, (the only hate, divisiveness and ugliness ever on display comes from the choob in the dirty union flag jacket and his cronies from the surely ironically named group “A Force for Good”) but it now seems that there is a change taking place. The slide towards the tipping point is happening.

There are many examples of long convinced Indy folk recently being surprised at a change of opinion displayed by a friend, family member, neighbour or colleague who voted No in 2014. Something is afoot, and we need to be ready.

You know, nobody is saying that the early transitional days of turning Scotland back into an independent country will be in any way easy, but it is the right thing to do, and it will be worth it.

Because Scotland will have governments in its future whose laws, policies and focus will be solely centred on making the lives of its citizens, all of them, better, our children and their children will routinely have access to a wide range of first class cradle-to-grave citizen focused public services of a standard of excellence never before achieved in Scotland under the government of England, (for England is what it is, the UK and Britain are effectively, for all intents and purposes, really just other names for the entity that currently governs Scotland).

These next generations of ours will have abundant opportunities to access learning at all levels of education. They will be able enjoy the benefits of established pathways to skills and training in becoming skilled in cutting edge innovative technology, as well as the wide range of trades and occupations an independent nation requires to thrive and succeed.

These kids will never hear, become familiar with, or have to understand what the phrase ‘subsidy junkie’ means.

They will live in a small independent European country, proud to stand up for underdogs, quick to respond where humanitarian support is needed, against unjustifiable war, and free of our neighbours weapons of mass murder and destruction. The wealth generated by our vast resources will be spent for the good of our people, not on weapons.

They’ll no longer die, or be brutally maimed or suffer terrible mental health issues as a result of England seeking to protect what remaining power and financial interests they still have in foreign lands.

They will enjoy better health, and longer lives than their parents and grandparents before them in a country where all citizens by constitutional decree are entitled to a high standard of housing, shelter and adequate heating.

Their country will be self-sufficient in energy production, mainly through extensive renewable energy schemes, the excess product of which will be stored, keeping consumer costs down, or sold on to neighbours, the revenue from which will be re-invested publicly to benefit all of Scotland’s people.

They’ll never read a paper, or hear, or see a tv news broadcast which even remotely suggests that Scotland is too small, too poor, too dependant on England, or not smart enough as a people to govern itself. If they do hear a suggestion of that kind they will laugh loudly and tease the proposer of such a hypothesis as the toon eejit.

They’ll live as outward looking responsible caring world citizens, travelling freely and widely, sharing their skills and expertise, benefiting our fellow human beings, ambassadors of Scotland, representing us, and the values that we believe are important.

In a technology driven closer world community our children will welcome visitors to our country. They will warmly greet new Scots who have chosen to make their home in Scotland, fellow human beings who will contribute to our society and share their skills and knowledge with us.

When they achieve maturity themselves they will look back at us, as parents, as grandparents, as friends and family members, and ask curiously and perhaps with a hint of gallusness at hearing over and over our old stories of the Indy days ” What was so hard about becoming an independent country? It is the most natural thing in the world. What was all the fuss about? It couldnae have been that hard? You must be exaggerating!”

We can then just smile warmly at them, pull them in close, and envelope them in a loving embrace.

It’s coming folks. It is coming.

Why would you do it?


Two examples of Scottish cultural confidence. One in the capital of our ancient nation, Edinburgh, yesterday, the other in the town of Armadale, Western Australia, today.

‘Cultural confidence?’ The clear recognition that you identify as a Scot, by birth or by choice, that your county, Scotland, has a right to exist, just like every other country in the world, you acknowledge absolutely that your country is not better than any other country in the world, but, it certainly is not inferior to any other country.

This of course is a view which is entirely in sharp contrast to the ‘cultural cringe’, the much propagandised view widely put about, particularly by those who’s power, privilege and wealth would be compromised, should Scotland reaffirm its agency and free choice at any time, that we are too wee, too poor, too dependent, too stupid, Wee Jimmy Krankie, See you Jimmy, etc.

Since 2014 I’ve been asked, perhaps on half a dozen occasions, in places like Singapore, Thailand and Australia, usually by a descendent of a former colony of Britain, France, or Belgium, when, during a conversation it emerges that I am Scottish, why it is possible that Scots could possibly vote against governing their own country. Why would you vote against your own interests, why would you do that?

I entirely respect that everybody with a vote has a right to make a choice. Democracy is like that, but I’ve never been able to provide a plausible answer to that question.

Get there if you can


My goodness, If you believe that the people of Scotland have the right to determine their own future,there will never be a more opportune moment to demonstrate your support for that view than a visit to Edinburgh this Saturday to gather with many thousands of others of the same view.

Independence is normal. Outward looking border-free, mutually beneficial partnerships is normal.

Being forced out of a stable community of nations against your democratic will by an inward looking isolationist government from another country, a government of a political party Scotland never votes for, is not normal.