Changing the world with a Yes cake in Shettleston

The dug and me, well mainly the dug but I got to tag along too, had a great time on Friday evening meeting the enthusiastic and committed volunteers at Yes Shettleston in the East End of Glasgow.  From a wee group of less than ten a few weeks ago, Yes Shettleston’s ranks have now swollen to some fifty volunteers, and more keep arriving every day eager to make a contribution.

Earlier that day, Ruth Davidson the Action Krankie took a wee break from being sporty to give an interview to the Guardian.  Being an Action Krankie and a big fan of Davie Cameron, Ruth believes sporting metaphors describe her politics perfectly – “Oh look someone got a gold medal for running about a bit” being the closest we’ve ever got to a positive case of the Union.  With Ruthie there’s a lot of grunting, striving, tearful promises that she’s doing it all for Great-Auntie Annabel, and then she runs round in ever decreasing circles and ends up worse off than where she started.  So exactly like the Unionist parties’ promises of extra powers for Scotland then.

But it’s a hard and lonely life being the only lesbian Tory Glaswegian in Scotland.  I follow Ruth’s career with great interest, since part of the reason I came out as gay and made a general nuisance of myself about gay rights all those oh so many years ago was so that future generations of lesbians and gay men could pursue their dreams and still be true to themselves.  But it turns out it was so some wee careerist abseiler could decide she wanted to be a Tory MSP and become the glittery lesbian bauble in Davie Cameron’s modern Conservative PR plan.  I could weep sometimes, I really could.

In her interview Ruth explained what motivates her, and said:  “If somebody says I can’t do something then it’s: ‘Right, I’ll show you,’ and I’ll go and do it.”

You got that one right Ruthie hen.  Yes Shettleston is full of people who share that sentiment in full, and so are other Yes groups up and down the country.  We’ve heard Ruthie and her pals tell us we can’t do it, we can’t govern ourselves, we need Westminster to do it for us.  Aye right.  We’ll show you.  We’re going to go and do it ourselves.  The message from Shettleston is that we have the confidence in our own talents, skills, experience to know that we can do it.  We have the confidence of our own audacity and the strength of our passion to know that you’ll not only watch us do it Ruthie, but yer wee jaw will have abseiled down to the floor.  Watch – and learn what gallus means.  Cannae?  Aye, right.

The Yes Shettleston volunteers want Scotland to break out of Ruth’s style of politics where a small minority run around energetically in circles getting nowhere while the majority tune out and watch soap operas instead.  Like so many of us, they’re fed up fighting against the latest austerity threat, the latest Tory cut, the latest Labour betrayal.  They want to fight for something positive.  They want a plot line with a resolution, a story that develops.  They want a Scotland where politics becomes a documentary of the possible and not a melodrama of you cannae.

You don’t get the quantity and quality of commitment and energy on display in Yes Shettleston in a campaign which feels like it’s losing.  And that’s because we’re not losing, we’re winning.  The media has been crowing for the past week that it’s all over for the Yes campaign, but while they’ve been stuck in their currency rutting, real people have been talking about fairness and justice.

People have been talking about oil, and rumours, and about politicians who think they have a right to lie to us.  People have been talking about Shettleston, about Castlemilk, about Methil, about Niddrie and the Raploch, and about how the only way things will ever change is for those of us who live here to take matters into our own hands and change them ourselves.   The words of Shettleston’s grannies ring in our ears: If ye want somethin done, dae it yersel.

The No campaign has the media, it has the corporate interests and the right wing foreign politicians trading favours with their Tory pals.  Incidentally Tony Abbott, we’ve already had a message from Australia, and it’s from someone infinitely more dignified and with far greater wisdom than you.  He said we should vote Yes.

The Yes campaign doesn’t have any of that.  It doesn’t have the corporate backing, or the weight of the state, or the massed ranks of the media.   The Yes campaign just has people in it.  Real people, lots of people.  People who give their time and their energy and their talents and skills and experiences.  The authentic version of the kind of people that politicians invent so they can find quotes for their leaflets.  Yes groups speak for themselves.  Yes supporters think independently.  We’re the people being told we can’t, watch us change the world.

Yes Shettleston is full of women and men of every generation, most have never been involved with politics before.  They’re the Scotland of the friendly welcome, the Scotland of the enquiring mind and the passionate heart.  The Scotland you always wanted to live in but were too ground down by the cynicism to believe could ever exist.  It exists already.  It’s here, and it’s in a Yes group near you.  Come and make it happen everywhere.

There are loads of ways to get involved.  From staffing the Yes centre and making tea for footsore canvassers, to chapping on doors, signing up to drive elderly or disabled voters to the polls on the Big Day, stuffing envelopes, or just providing a listening ear.  Come and connect with Scotland.  This isn’t party political.  It’s people political, it’s about our lives, our futures, and about making our voices heard.  The political is personal, and that person is you.  And Agnes might bake you a Yes cake.

Yes Shettleston are based at the Yes Shettleston Campaign Centre, 647 Shettleston Road, Glasgow, G32 7EJ.  The centre is on the corner of Blair Street, next to Sheddens bar.  The Campaign Centre is open daily from 9am to 9pm.  Drop in for a chat, volunteer, get involved, and become friends with a Scotland of possibility.

If you don’t live in the East End of Glasgow, you can find your local Yes group here:

Meanwhile in other news, the respected historian Tom Devine has announced that he’s decided to vote Yes.  Tom Devine, now there’s a history man for you.  Dan Snow, eat your heart out.

18 comments on “Changing the world with a Yes cake in Shettleston

  1. macart763 says:

    “Its people political”

    Its really something Paul and never fails to bring a smile. People’s politics and a people’s referendum.

    Mind you the politicians haven’t been backward about trying to hijack this referendum from the beginning. They’ve queued up in orderly fashion at broadcast studios and put themselves on speed dial of every moothy newspaper columnist’s title to tell us just how little we understand about this whole governing thing and how incapable we are at making decisions for ourselves.

    Of course once you get past all the condescending bollocks they’ve heaped on us over the past three years and cut through the mountain of ‘facts’ they’ve dropped in our laps to digest, you come to the truth. They’re afraid.

    Politicians of all three major parties under the current system took our votes for granted. What and who else was there to vote for? The fox ran the hen hoose and had free reign to do as he pleased. They ran our system of government to suit themselves, they corrupted it and became in turn corrupted themselves. Cash for access and questions, expenses scandals, patronage for power, position and corporate interest, foreign misadventure, the list of misuse and abuse of power is endless and a byword for governance Westminster style.

    They didn’t see it coming, a popular, peaceful democratic revolution and those few at the top of the establishment tree who did, made every effort to head off the awful day. They buried facts (see McCrone), they lied, they used their power and access to alter constitutional law, they mobilised and used the media to affect public perception and when all else failed they resorted to terrifying their own electorate and spreading social division.

    But there’s a day coming in a few weeks time when the people get to tell them just what we think about that, for the greatest truth of all is that they were never really in charge. The few only get to govern, because the many let them. That is why they know fear. They know just how badly they have governed in our name and they know that on September 18th the people will have the opportunity to pass judgement on that governance.

  2. Wee poor stupid Scotsman says:

    Delighted to hear Tom Devine has announced his support for YES. Let’s hope the other prominent academics who share his opinion come out and say so loud and clear.

  3. A Meringue says:

    while manning the Uddingston street stall on Saturday. We got one of those suborn unionists that show up like “difficult to remove stains” in a soap commercial. All he had was “Whits this aw aboot are yooz doing this to keep your house prices up” (I didn’t have a fecking clue what the hell he was on about either) and also “It was yooz that let the Tories in” guff. Rich considering Better Togethers red Tory / blue Tory roots. Anyway I think that the argument was somewhat lost on this one. One of those incidences where it is best just to smile and nod your head! 🙂

    • macart763 says:

      Oh good grief. You see how Labour have peppered that lie into the public consciousness, even those who barely appear conscious. Anything to escape the fact their own inept governance ‘let the Tories in’. Its kinda why there was a vote of no confidence in the first place. Yet they’ve used the results of that vote to escape responsibility for their faults for decades and shape Scottish politics and the Scottish electorate to suit their needs.

      Mind you had a laugh at a Better No stall myself yesterday if it helps. Mrs M and encountered one whilst toddling up our own high street. They were hand out balloons and leaflets, or trying to. Some unhappy looking poor lass tried to offer me one as we were going past and brought me to a halt. Mrs M was waiting for a ten minute lecture to be forthcoming when instead all I did was pause, smile sweetly at this young lass and politely said…. no thanks.

      The missus had a fit of the giggles as we went on our way. I’d been waiting months to deliver that line. 🙂

  4. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Got it in a nutshell Paul. This is true grassroots, people politics working from the ground up. No more of the top down crap of career politicians who join as students, get a researcher post, show their commitment by standing for the odd unwinnable seat here and there before landing a safe seat.
    And no more elitist, highly paid QCs, trust fund holders or corporate chancers who think they have a right to rule merely by dint of the position they hold.
    One hundred elected local councils in Scotland with budget, spending and tax raising responsibilities? Bring it on. If it’s good enough for the world’s most successful nations like our Nordic neighbours…

  5. hiorta says:

    Yes, politics must begin with the people and continue all the way to and beyond cabinet level.
    Nothing to be hidden, lobbyists and ‘broon envelopes’ opened in public together with instant public dismissal for anyone foolish enough to be tempted.

  6. kestral says:

    It was a great wee night, and thanks for coming Paul, it was lovely to meet you

    I was amazed to find people who have never once voted in their lives actually turning up to canvass and leaflet, this vote has so utterly altered the landscape of our people, it has engaged them, fired them up, brought them to life and given them a voice

    Scotland has changed forever, and for the better when her people are now engaged in making change happen

    Paul, you made my mum’s night extra special in spanish – she has studied so hard to learn the language, but it’s difficult to use it when you’re only in spain twice a year

    and yes the wee ginger dug is the cutest friendly mutt ever, he is a testament to the love and care given to him by Paul and Andy

  7. bjsalba says:

    One phrase jumped out at me.

    It’s about politicians who think they have a right to lie to us.

    The next thought was:

    And they tell us it is not broken?

    Aye right!

  8. rosa alba says:

    One line of cake was all you gave me.
    But yes it is a joy to see Scotland (mostly) engaged with this across the land, up and down.

    Wonderful Yes Cavalcade from Aberdeen to Glasgow today (stroppy boy, we got there a bit late and missed the best of it), with Spirit of Indy bringing up rear.

    Scotland is blossoming and growing up – taking charge of itself – in a way I have never seen.
    It has been a glorious summer even from the sidelines of Stonehaven.

    Movement of Yes People.

  9. […] The dug and me, well mainly the dug but I got to tag along too, had a great time on Friday evening meeting the enthusiastic and committed volunteers at Yes Shettleston in the East End of Glasgow. …  […]

  10. Made me greet again ye wee beggar!….Aye! I’ve one foot in the Lowlands and one foot in the Highlands….and once we all get together, the mass of the Scottish nation that are like ” who the f### says “we cannae” just watch us, just like 1314, they’ll no stop us. I’d like to add more philosophical ramblings but just now the blood is up!…..Aye, we’re gonnae have oor cake, and eat it as well! Keep on writing and ma wee dug says Hi!

    • Bamstick says:

      I second that, keep on writing and giving us a boost.
      I’m feeling a bit lonely here in the Borders with so many NO posters going up. It feels like I’m already in a foreign country. If anything it looks like there are less YES stickers etc than there were a few weeks ago, mind you some have been vandalised and stolen.
      The YES stands in local towns are encouraging and many folk are happy to take away stickers and the likes but I’m really starting to feel a move Northwards is needed.
      I’ve lived down here for nearly 30 years but as I go around I don’t feel that I belong any more.
      Things that I once found interesting and scenic now seem to be ostentatious and OTT, if the people who live here can’t see what a NO vote will do to the people of Scotland. Maybe I just feel too much but when my neighbour pronounces that if we vote YES she’ll move to England to get away from us Scroungers and Scum, it really gets to me.

  11. No No No...Yes says:

    Great stuff once again. The momentum is building day by day., exciting times ahead.
    YES have won the argument. Tireless enthusiasm, effort and energy abounds across the nation. We need the win the majority of votes cast. The first step is to make sure that every person who is entitled to a vote is registered. People need to check that they are still on the register. I was informed that the Electoral Commission send out letters every September/October and if you don’t confirm the details AS LEAST ONCE EVERY TWO YEARS, you may drop off the Voters roll. This is too important to leave to chance, please check, your local library has the latest version.

  12. My housebound YES voter neighbour has asked me to be his proxy voter.If you no of anyone they’ve got ’til 2 sept.

  13. handclapping says:

    You’ll never make a journalist 😦 Who cares if people power pulverises promising politicians –

    Did Ginger get his sausage?

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