Fear of foreign

For the past few days there have been Scottish Unionists on social media congratulating themselves that with their No vote in 2014, Scotland resisted the evil tide that has unleashed the evils of right wing populism and washed up the flotsam of Brexit and the Trump presidency. They’re deluding themselves. The No vote in 2014 was the first victory of that right wing, xenophobic and fearful populism. The No vote was secured on a fear mongering campaign, a campaign of demonisation, of stirring up hatred and preaching odium.

It wasn’t the Yes campaign which spent 2014 stirring up fear of foreigners. It was the Better Together campaign which produced posters and leaflets warning Scots that if we voted for independence our English relatives would become foreigners to us. You’re only going to do that if deep down you believe, or you cynically want others to believe, that being foreign is a bad thing. The No campaign played on fears. The No campaign pandered to stereotypes. The No campaign didn’t just dog whistle, it blasted the fog horn of fear.

It was the No campaign that claimed that people who needed transplants would be left to die in agony. It was the No campaign which asserted that pensioners would be left in penury. It was the No campaign which spoke of border controls and barbed wire and burly men in uniform wielding weaponry. It was the No campaign which outrageously and without a trace of shame tried to insist that Scotland was the only country in the world which is incapable of having any sort of currency at all. I had a elderly neighbour who listened to the horror shows and the fright clowns of the No campaign and sincerely believed that the pound coins and banknotes in her purse would be as valueless as Monopoly money the morning after a Yes vote. Is that an honourable way to win a vote? It’s something that wouldn’t trouble a Farage or a Trump – or a Gordie Broon.

The real fascists, the real sectarian bigots, the real xenophobes and authoritarian figures of fear, they supported the No campaign. Farage campaigned for a No vote. The Orange Order campaigned for a No vote. The BNP campaigned for a No vote. There were no instances of violence from Yes supporters. No Yes supporters ended up before the courts for offences against public order. That was Unionists. It was Unionist fascists who rioted in George Square and embarked upon assaults and attacks in an orgy of destructive rage. It was the No vote which empowered the violent and the thugs in the exact same way that it was the Brexit vote and Trump’s victory which legitimised the anger and thuggery of right wing bigots and set off a rise in attacks on minorities.

So enough of the self-righteous smuggery from Unionist campaigners in the wake of the Trump vote. His tactics were your tactics. The consequences of his victory are yours. The intolerance he preached is yours. The fears he stoked are the same fears you stoked. The hatred, xenophobia, he unleashed is the same as that you unleashed. The legitimisation of fascist violence is the same. Brexit and Trump simply elaborated and built upon on the playbook that the Unionists’ Project Fear created. They laid the foundations for the Yellow Brick Road that leads to the fake tanned wizard of lies and ends in the swamp of despair.

It’s the continuing vitality of a progressive, social democratic, tolerant and diverse Scottish independence movement that gives hope that the Farages, the Trumps, and the fear mongers and xenophobes can be resisted. The Scottish independence movement seeks to build a Scotland that’s accepting of difference, that values all citizens irrespective of their origins, that defines itself in opposition to racism, sexism, homophobia. The Scottish independence movement is the opposite of Trumpism, diametrically opposed to the insularity of Brexit.

Scottish independence is the last great hope of social democracy. The Scottish independence movement is an attempt to construct a modern form of social democracy that engages an active and politically aware citizenry and unites them. The Scottish independence movement doesn’t speak of division, it speaks of escape from a corrupt political system that trades in fear and gives succour to the Faragists of this world.

An independent Scotland will be characterised by the movement which campaigns for it. It will be a Scotland which will be tolerant, accepting, outward looking, internationalist, and which will engage all its citizens. An independent Scotland will be a beacon of liberal values. The hope of the independence movement is that it can create a Scotland in which democracy and participation can flourish. A Scotland which distances itself from the patronisation and inequalities of the past. That’s why we’re doing this, that’s why we’re campaigning. We look to other nations like Iceland, Sweden, Norway or Finland for models of the kind of country that we can become. We’re not so arrogant that we don’t believe that we can learn from the experiences of others. We’re not so proud that we destroy ourselves in a misbegotten attempt to keep the world at bay, we run towards the world, and we accept it with open and welcoming arms.

Brexit Britain will be characterised by the movement which campaigned for it too. It will be bigoted, xenophobic, insular, backward looking and fearful. It will be authoritarian and dictatorial. It will look to the past and seek to ground itself in the dream of a golden age that never existed. And it will disappoint and deceive those who voted for it. When they realise that they were duped the backlash could be violent, angry, and frightening.

Just like Trump, Brexit Britain flees from the foreign and is afraid of it. It tries to build a wall against it. An independent Scotland will embrace the foreign and make it our own. That’s what has defined Scotland throughout the centuries, and it’s what will continue to define us in the future. That’s the opposite of Brexit, the opposite of Trump. If the supporters and backers of the Unionist Project Fear want to know the real face of Brexit, the real motivations behind the movement that swept Trump into power, they won’t see it by looking at the Yes movement. They’ll see it by looking in the mirror.

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70 comments on “Fear of foreign

  1. Bill McLean says:

    Despondent and finding it hard to encompass the treatment that is doled out to us daily by the media, uk govt and now the ordinary people of England. Do they know what sacrifices Scots, and many others, have made on their behalf over the years? I’m afraid that for the first time since I decided to support the movement for Scottish independence that I’m losing heart. As my wife English wife has just remarked ” how many NO voters will read this” or Wings or any of the other fine nationalistic blogs. I ‘m beginning to feel that Scotland is just going to be an ongoing tragedy for all of us including the blind and complacent Noers. I hope I’m wrong and do not in any way want to diminish anyone’s enthusiasm but I’m really beginning to believe that a longing for fairness and decent treatment is beyond the British establishment! I don’t see any fight either from our Government to inspire the rest of us.

    • fynesider2 says:

      Illegitimi non carborundum Bill..

      Saor Alba

    • Lizzy says:

      I agree. I have been an independence supporter for many years and firmly believe that we should have been fervently campaigning to turn the no voters to yeas voters. I’m becoming fearful that it may never happen. Our time is now and I don’t see the big independence parties doing the campaigning they talked about starting many months ago. I’m with you, the poisonous mess in the MSM is sickening and we have very few outlets counteracting their lies. It’s sickening to see and hear. I desperately hope it changes after all these parties are certainly rich enough to start changing the hearts and minds of the no voter. Great blog as ever, just wish if reached more people.

      • Jim Curnyn says:

        There is nothing more destructive than defeatist whinging. Frankly, if baffles me how anyone could read what has happened in the last two years in U.K. or world politics which detracts from the arguments for independence. On the contraray it must surely reinforce them – make it clear that our only hope now is independence. I have read if and know NO voters that have turned to yes but none who have moved the other way. More than ever do we need optimism and a positive resolve – remember Robert Bruce and that wee spider!

    • scrandoonyeah says:

      Strange how people see things differently. Ever since 19th Sept. 2014 I have had a warm glow inside and a warm smile. Why? because what has transpired since has made me emotionally and rationally certain that Independence will happen and it will be within the next two years . The British state is in the process of destroying itself from within. Nervousness before a battle is normal but once we start, we will win self-determination no matter what the tactics of Westminster. They will be brutal and callous but we will hold our heads up high and cut the chains of our own oppression with dogged determination, integrity and humility.

    • Dan Huil says:

      Just remember how far we’ve travelled in the last few years. This is no time for defeatist sentiment. Just the opposite. One final push and we’re there.

  2. Neil Anderson says:

    Don’t lose heart Bill. There is nothing worth fighting for more,than our right to self determination. But don’t wait for any government to deliver it,not even a Scottish one. We will win this conversation by conversation; by committing endless acts of kindness and compassion for those in difficult circumstances. We will win this by encouraging each other, especially when times are most difficult. We,the people of Scotland, will win this by and for ourselves. Stay strong! With the best of wishes to you, Neil Anderson

  3. Bill Wyler says:

    I’m tending to agree with your statement Bill. Just what does it take to get a majority of us to believe in our self determination. In my case, the politics and press being railed against our cause makes me rage to myself at times. The Indy sites display signs of the strain, perhaps I’m being paranoid, but at times it feels like some yoons have infiltrated the Indy posts to muddy the waters. With there being only hostility from all things unionists we are being brow beaten to swallow the unionistas guff and raise a flag of surrender. IMO we have a very limited timeframe to go for Indy2, possibly around the 07 local elections. I so hope I’m mistaken, but many of my kin feel very indifferent towards a 2nd vote as no strong leadership at present, only platitudes. I look for some strength from the survey NS has undertaken on where we are heading.

  4. Graeme Timoney says:

    Thank you Paul, we need to be reminded occasionally of the depths the BT campaigners and politicians sank to in order to steal our freedom lest the anger at their actions fades. We will be prepared for it next time (And how good does it feel saying next time?) as we were naïve in thinking they would play fair, now we know. Slightly off topic but how much fun is it watching Theresa May and her cohorts scuttling round their former colonies with the begging bowl? Deliciously ironic.

  5. katherine hamilton says:

    Nil Desperandum. Most of all don’t let the bastards get you down. I’ve felt it myself, though. It’s tough, painful and frustrating.
    It is coming.

  6. Bill McLean says:

    Thanks Neil and Bill – in no way will I give up and will always do what I can for the cause. I suppose my real disappointment is that our leadership does not hit back – I know they don’t get a fair crack from the media but there has to be a way even if they bought advertising which the greedy press would not turn down if there’s a buck involved. I believe in fair treatment for all including those I disagree with – it appears that the Uk and it’s minions don’t hold such values as I should have known from their treatment of other peoples around the globe.

  7. FM says:

    The two Bills echo my thoughts. The vilification of WoS is a MSM victory. SG cannot go near it despite it’s excellence. Paul! Could we Crowdfund a free handout, possibly with adds, that would involve those who already have contributed so well?

  8. Bill and Bill,

    If you think things are dark where you are, try being a Welsh nationalist! We haven’t even got a nationalist party worthy of the description.

    You at least have a broad and vibrant movement up there which is still getting the essential message across. You’re also helped by the sheer nastiness of what is promoted as public opinion in England (as seen by the treatment given to Tasmina by the Question Time audience and Crown Prince David of Dimbleby the other night); every time people in Scotland see things like that, it will bring numbers over to the cause. You still have it all to win.

    “And it will disappoint and deceive those who voted for it. When they realise that they were duped the backlash could be violent, angry, and frightening.”

    “This”! (as I belive the hipsters say). We keep hearing the screams of “17 million people! 17 million people! 17 million people!”, and it’s going to be interesting times (in the Chinese sense) when 17 million people who voted for a unicorn with a golden coat realise that they’ve ended up with a donkey in a Pac-A-Mac.

    • Hugh Bryce says:

      That is so true Nigel Stapley Dimbleby ignored Tasmina letting the other guest speak sometimes twice and kept bringing in the audience then after 23 minutes he suddenly realised Tasmina was a guest, afraid Dimbleby doesnt come close to being a Chairman of any note.

  9. Worry not, lads. Now is not the time. Once the Brexit negotiations kick in and go horribly wrong given that Bonehead Boris, Dithering David, Petty Patel, and Sly the Fox will be confronted by the EU’s red lines, no Free Trade agreement, no free movement of Labour, British Silver Swallows to lose all EU privileges and possibly threatened with being deported from the Costas, no passporting of Finance business, 10% tariffs on goods, and no EU employment, retirement, or holidays without visas, with the pound falling faster than my jaw on Wednesday morning when I learnt that Trump the Chump was Prez, then the penny will drop for No voters.
    62% of us voted to remain in the EU, many anticipating the horror of the Leave outcome.
    McDougall and McTernon can hardly replay Better Together Fear Campaign’s Greatest Hits , can they?
    Vote Yes and be thrown out of the EU, a border between Scotland and England, State pensions will be under threwat (see Hammond’s latest on the ‘triple lock’, we wouldn’t be allowed to keep the pound, (who wants to now?), and Russia would invade.
    NS and the Scottish Government is only one cog in the Movement towards Self Determination. WE are many, we are varied.
    The proprietor of this excellent site has no affiliation to the SNP, or any other party I believe.
    I too am not a member of the SNP as are 1.5 million who voted YES.
    Sturgeon is correct. Explore every avenue to retain Scotland’s membership of the EU. Only then, if seems likely, and Holyrood is elbowed out of the Brexit room, will the Scottish citizens be faced with a straight choice. Self Determination as a free nation within the EU, or remain a colony of an isolated Far Right Wing ruled England.
    I understand your gloom this week of all weeks. Leonard Cohan passed over, and Robert Vaughn left us, the last of the Magnificent Seven; and America lost its head.
    Regarding MSM bias, I note that Lego have withdrawn advertising with the Daily Mail, and sent letters of concern to the Sun and the Express because of the increasing xenophobia, and racism.
    Perhaps we might try this tactic with the Scottish Dead Tree Scrolls.?
    Chin up. It’s always darkest before the dawn.

    • Thepnr says:

      Funny thing is Jack. Staying with the UK means a Hard Border with the 27 other countries of the EU.

      Leaving the UK may mean just one hard border. Though I doubt it.

      • There will be a Common Travel Area, Thepnr, just like the existing arrangement with S Ireland. That’s if we agree to it, come Self Determination.

        I foresee hundreds of thousands of Geordies and Cumbrians fleeing North seeking work and EU citizenship when the reality of Brexit kicks in.
        Kelso, North Berwick, and even wee Gretna ( ready, Smallaxe, the bridge builder? ) could be the new post Brexit boom towns as global companies leave England/Wales to relocate within the EU, and Scotland, would be the most obvious option.
        March next year starts the ball rolling. Blink and we’ll be there. Meantime, get out the tea and oranges that came al the way from China.

        • Smallaxe says:

          Don’t worry Jack,I will be here at our border to welcome all good people,regardless of race creed or sexual orientation. Scots by choice will be made most welcome in our inclusive Kingdom.Out of many One People.

          Peace Always to All

    • Bill McLean says:

      “Scottish Dead Tree Scrolls” – really like that! Cheered me up a bit!

      • Remember, Bill the next time, we shall have 56 battle hardened SNP MPs rooting for us. Even Westminster grudgingly admits that Angus Robertson, and our merry band of ‘insurgents’ are the real Opposition Down there.
        Unlike the F*^cking Useless Forty New Labour Failures whom we subsequently kicked out on their asses in the May ’15 UK GE, and who were largely notable by their absence during the 2014 Referendum campaign, I’d imagine that the SNP WM Parliamentary Group will be knocking on doors, flooding the TV studios, speaking at rallies, slapping down Post EU Project Fear and Smear lies,and providing the MSM with plenty of ‘will say’ column inches.
        Ruth Davidson, Kezia Dugdale, and Willie Rennie will make up their Better Together Team? No, don’t laugh.
        Not even Napoleon Solo and the men from U.N,C.L.E. can save the Yoons next time.

  10. bedelsten says:

    But not any normal mirror which would reflect back the twisted, distorted face. No, this is special mirror, specially carved from the amber of rudd, borished to an-drea loathsome sheen by a fluffy, mounted in a silent truss to the strains of a Hammond, which projects back the world as they would like to see it, a perfect polarising filter where the poor are at fault for being poor and the vulnerable an easy target.

    However, the world continue to rotate…

    The Graundiad today had a moan that newspaper companies are losing money and one of the first commenters responded with, to paraphrase, it hardly surprising when the majority of the newspapers print lies and fabrications about Scotland. Eventually, the message will get through.

    Googling for information about Hadrian’s Wall, brought up several newspaper articles where the author stated it was the Scottish border. I suppose from inside the M25 losing bits of Cumberland and Northumberland wouldn’t seem to make much difference – unless you like shooting grouse and have an eye for sheep. (Yes, I know, it is just a caricature)

    Despondent? Don’t be. Think back to Indyref in 2014 where Alex Salmon was bumped into the referendum by David Cameron because Cameron reckoned, with yes at 25 – 30% (2013), the no would win – which it did, though it was touch and go (yes at 49% Sep 2014) for a while until Gordzilla vowed the audience with his pacing the axminster gig. This time round, it is probably 50/50 and the timing is of our elected leader’s choice and the Gordzilla will be locked in its lair / liar (or probably just ignored).

    Still despondent? Don’t be. Last time round about the only thing happening was Indyref. This time round there is so much stuff happening elsewhere (as noted above – beat me to it) most yoons will be distracted by the other stuff and, as we see today, there are some who think there is maybe some benefit in getting rid of the irritating blue faced barbarians north of the wall. (Another caricature – maybe)

    And if, with the long winter nights to look forward to, you are really determined to be despondent about all this, don’t be. Some of the best political writing on the Internet is Scottish writing. A book of yaps to cheer you up over the solstice perhaps?

  11. Albawoman says:

    Nigel thank you for your words of encouragement. The Unionists are relentless in their propaganda. Scottish voices are popping up all over Radio 4 a main propaganda outlet.

    I really just smile. My mental and physical health is just too important. The people are going about their daily lives waiting for the moment to come. Folk are organising quietly and with determination.

    You just have to go with the reality keeping hope and determination within your heart.

  12. Stevie says:

    Talking about the media this bit of news might cheer you up a little. Is that The Daily Mail, Lego will withdraw advertising with them. Reason for this decision has been helped by a campaign for company’s not to support newspapers that promote “hate, demonization and division”. The same campaign also hit out at The Sun and Daily Express. Hopefully this could be a start of a new trend and for newspapers to think about future headlines. Wonder how many other company’s will follow?

    Link: http://news.sky.com/story/lego-ends-daily-mail-links-after-stop-funding-hate-campaign-10654476

  13. Macart says:

    Well said Paul.

    Oh, and Bill? Don’t despair. Don’t get angry either.

    Simply focus on performing an unpleasant, but very necessary task. When we shovel the dross and the shit of our current mess out the way, there’s something very worthwhile waiting on the other side for folks.

    Back on topic, I reckon there’s also a smidge of deflection from the likes of McDougall and Co. I reckon the poor dears are feeling a tad uncomfortable right about now. That Scotland STILL labours under a tory yolk as part of austerity UK is none of their fault y’see. That Scotland is currently tied to the sinking hulk of Brexit UK is also, I think you’ll find, not their fault. Its all a terrible misunderstanding. A big boy did it and ran away. Nothing to see here, no dirt on their hands, no skeletons in their closet. They’re as pure as a… a byre.

    What Scotland, our government and our population is going through right now at the hands of Westminster politics and the media is without a shadow of a doubt the very definition of shameful.

    Mr McDougall can take a bow for that. He was Better Togethers campaign manager, yes? The strategy worked out between himself and Alistair ‘Lord’ Darling of Roulanish. Now there’s a fella well paid for his time, eh? The price of demonising half of Scotland and selling the wealth, the sovereignty, the culture and future of all Scots to the establishment? Ermine trim apparently.

    Oh they had plenty of help from Cameron and HMG. They even had help from overseas parties, the corporate elite, even that arch backstabbing and often AWOL liar Gordon Brown, not to mention the hero of the egg box massacre Jim Fundimundily Murphy were rolled out to bolster the cause. But I think the two fellas most responsible for where Scotland is at today are indeed Lord Alisssssstair and the tuba’s greatest exponent, the never knowingly honest, Blair McDougall.

    They should take a bow and a well earned round of applause.

    Well done them.

  14. Jan Cowan says:

    Many people feel despondent at the beginning of winter but as bedelsten says now is the time to enjoy reading and realize how lucky we are to have so many excellent writers. Those who want to continue with the “union” are not as fortunate. These poor souls have to face the dark nights in the company of the gutter press. So count your lucky stars!

    Thanks, Paul, for another great article.

  15. Bill Hume says:

    The phrase in this piece which stands out for me is..”the dream of a golden age that never existed”

    How true it is. I’m 65 Years old and my father had me late in life. He went about the streets of Bainsford without shoes, lived in a tenement with a shared toilet and left school at 14. There never was a golden age for ordinary working class people in the UK. The great British Empire only meant a form of slavery for ordinary people (just a notch up from actual slavery in effect).

  16. liz g says:

    Bill McLean
    I have seen a few people say the same as your wife Bill.
    But I personally don’t see this blog or Wing’s as being in any danger of becoming an echo chamber for all of the Independence movement.
    Mainly because I see them as more of an information exchange, that helps us with our arguments and gives us checkable facts,
    on every conceivable subject relevent to Scotland !
    While I always try to post as though a curious soft no was checking us out.
    I see these blogs as a resource for the movement it’s self.

    I don’t think it does any harm not to be “official” or “approved ” of but rather that,anyone who is going to vote and is thinking about Yes will know that their information can’t come from”establishment” sources.
    And we are the alternative.
    Since we are known to get up the establishments nose I’m pretty sure people will know where to look.
    When they are ready.
    I also suspect that these blogs are read more widely than we imagine,and don’t forget we are not actually in a campaign yet.
    One of the good things about them,espically this one,it can give a way of looking at something from a completely different angle,and anything that makes you think can also make you relate the subject to your own circumstances which is a big help in conversations with those around us.
    So take heart we are almost there.

  17. NeI'll mcfadyen says:

    If Scotland gets independence and all the oil will I still be paying the same mortgage payments same car tax same old job or with all the oil will I be a millionaire nothing will change for the working class man it never will

    • Thepnr says:

      You can be sure of this Nel’ll staying with the UK outside the EU is certain to increase your mortgage as interest rates must rise to stop the pound falling further. Your car tax might not change but overall your taxes are also certain to rise as the cost of the UK imports keep rising due to the falling pound.

      You also have inflation to look forward too for exactly the same reason, imported TV’s, laptops, mobile phones etc will ALL increase in terms of UK £’s quite soon. Imported electricity, oil and food yep they are going up in price.

      Your wages though they are not going up, they will stay the same and may even be cut. Such is life without a Trade Union to fight your corner.

      So I’m afraid things will change for the working class man within the UK for the worse. An Independent Scotland need not share the same fate. No it won’t all be sweetness and light initially, we will have to find our feet. I am certain though that an Independent Scotland will be successful, inward investment will flood into Scotland after the UK leaves the EU.

      An Independent Scotland will do just fine, though whether it makes you a millionaire or not? That’s down to you.

      • Well said, Thepnr.
        Nel’ll, we get your cry for attention. Cheer up, lad.
        Why have car tax at all?
        1p on the price of petrol would cover it. The more that you use your vehicle, the more gas your runaround guzzles, the more you pay in a ‘car tax’ levy?
        We’d save a fortune on costly administration of the current system.
        As part of the YooKay, our interest rates are heavily influenced by the Holy London Empire’s inflated standard of living.
        A first time buyer single bed apartment in London starts at £450,000.

        ‘Same old job’. There are many reading this who would love ‘any old job’.

        Be careful what you wish for.

        There, now you’ve got me ending a sentence with a preposition.
        My old English Master is turning in his grave.
        Did you play the robot in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?

        • Andimac says:

          Wee Matt, Jack?

          • Remember ‘La Belle Damme Sans Merci’ when he pronounced ‘sans’ as in ‘pans’, Andy?
            A lifetime ago now, mon brave.

            • Andimac says:

              Aye, Jack – a lifetime ago but still remembered. And I still think of it as “sans” like “pans” – happy days, eh? Some teachers you never forget, nor should we. “Oh, what can ail thee, knight at arms,/Alone and palely loitering?/ The sedge is withered from the lake/ And no birds sing”. Some things you never forget. Nor should we. Keep on keepin’ on, Jack!

    • barpe says:

      Well, if Scotland did get it’s independence (and all it’s oil!!) then I’m sure we could afford to have special classes in place, for people like yourself who have difficulty with the written word. Sentences and full stops could possibly be a start!!

    • Global Nomad says:

      I would imagine that it likely you would still be paying the same on your mortgage to begin with until interest rates could be sorted out. Same with car tax and any other taxes in the main.
      For what it’s worth, I believe that the government we choose will find a way of better deploying the taxes taken, improving social care, NHS, transport infrastructure (roads, rail, bus, etc) and hopefully just investing in our communities.
      I don’t mind having to pay the same as I do now (maybe a bit less on utilities and no tv tax) if it means that I have a happier place to live in the main.

  18. fynesider2 says:

    “The No campaign didn’t just dog whistle, it blasted the fog horn of fear.”

    Just as well the only whistle the Dug responds to is yours Paul..

    Thank you for a fine epistle friend…

  19. fynesider2 says:

    Last comment:

    • fynesider 2, stop doing that! As usual, I clicked onto the link and got lost for 45 minutes listening to the sublime Eric Bogle. I hope you are happy, because I certainly am.
      A wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning in November. TVM.
      We shall achieve Self Detremination ‘not by weapons or Machines’, but by realising our dreams; as I say, sublime.

    • diabloandco says:

      fynesider 2, like Mr Collatin you have given me an excuse for displacement therapy – bugger the ironing!

  20. punklin says:

    I share the despondency but it just got harder, not impossible.

  21. Bill your despondency is normal and its ok to have a wee rest, watch shitey telly and coast for a bit. Many of us have felt as you do. Its the indy blogs that keep me going, they are the cement of yhe whole movement just now. Mighty pens indeed!

  22. Dek says:

    A keynote blog from the Dug. A manifesto in all but name.Reading rapidly through the comments the overwhelming impression is one of quiet determination that the next time we can break free. 2014 in retrospect was a learning experience we maybe just had to endure. The contrast between yes and no could not be clearer than it is now. We can do this.

  23. douglasclark says:

    Unless I have missed something more recent, the votes according to opinion polls are running at roughly 50 / 50. A knife edge even.

    We are never going to persuade neanderthal men or women to agree with us. But there is a persuadable group that would take us well over the finish line.

    I would imagine that the SNP and others will be looking at that 10% or so with a view to deciding how to appeal to them without losing any core voters. It might be as simple as guaranteeing the triple lock on pensions when Westminster is wobbling, or something similar. Fear of the unknown was a major selling point for the ‘No’ campaign, we should make fear of the known a major platform in any future ‘Yes’ campaign.

  24. douglasclark says:

    I apologize to any folk who have neanderthal DNA. Apparently all Europeans – and oddly enough that includes UK citizens – have some of their DNA. And, from what little we know about them, they seem more intelligent than the more extreme ‘No’ voter.

  25. Mike Fenwick says:

    Extract: “It was the No campaign which outrageously and without a trace of shame tried to insist that Scotland was the only country in the world which is incapable of having any sort of currency at all.”

    Ghandi … “You must be the change you wish to see”.

    I offer this link, of a recent meeting in Orkney, one of many such meetings, that Andy Anderson and I have committed to undertake anywhere in Scotland. Change is coming, a “Scottish Hand”, a “medium of exchange” for use in Scotland is the first in a series of changes that will offer a choice for those who wish to see change, not after but before independence.

    I hope you may take a short time to watch the video, to share it more widely, and to take an “active” part in due course in what is planned..

    Link from YESOrkney here:

  26. And in other news: it stretches the credibility of any readers whom the Herald still attracts to describe Alex Rowley, deputy Dug of the So Called Scottish Labour Party, who never seems to get a jacket wee enough to fit him, as ‘sending shockwaves throughout the Party’ by peddling The Clunking Fist Brown’s Federal Scotland tossery as pro Independence.
    There is a schism apparently, a fault line opening up in the ground beneath Kezia’s feet, a hairline crack in the dam which holds back all those closet federalists within what remains of the Labour group Up Here.

    Rowley wants to renationalise everything, and tax and spend for Socialism.

    Kezia? who knows?

    I presume this is Rowley’s attempt to woo back erstwhile Labour voters by promising Federal Jam tomorrow, yet again. Has he taken an oath to deliver Marxism to Morningside, Communism to Corstorphine, and Maoism to Milngavie when the So Called Scottish Labour Party sweeps to power in 2020 ?
    Is there another ‘vow’ in there somewhere. It’s a while since we had a ‘most powerful devolved Sewing Bee in the world’ guff from the Yoons..
    Or are we merely listening to the faint gurgling death rattle of a Party That Lost Its Head?
    Perhaps Kezia could get the US State Department of organise a Federalism Workshop in Florida over Christmas, and give us all peace.

    • Robert Graham says:

      Maybe one day it will finally dawn on Labour Party supporters that Westminster is lost to them, There will never be another PM from a Scottish Constituency after Cameron’s ‘ EVEL ‘ , The Tory party For the foreseeable future will be the Government in England therefore the UK, and the Blame lies with the Labour Party down south, even yesterday Corbyn hinted at a revival when he mentioned winning back a few local council seats, of course he forgot to mention these gains were made with the help of the other Unionist party’s ganging up on the SNP the and assisting each other , Recent events have shown there is no Labour, Tory , Liberal or Green Party now it is a Unionist Block , I add the Greens due to their recent actions for which they will pay dearly at the next election.

      • scrandoonyeah says:

        Agree about the Greens. Talk about cutting your own throat…. and there is something about that Greer guy that reeks of entitlement which is wrapped up in fascist iron glove.

  27. Dan Huil says:

    The people of Scotland must fight against the evil of british nationalism

  28. AAD says:

    I first joined the SNP in the 1960s so I’ve experienced a lot of ups and downs. I have never lost sight of the goal – an independent Scotland. I don’t intend to let this sustained storm of abuse and lies from Unionists put me off now.

    If you are feeling down because of the lack of rebuttal of the Unionist vicious drivel then why not take it on yourself? Leave your ‘National’ on the bus; hand out slips to anyone who might be swayed with links to Nationalist sites such as this one; find short rebuttals of unionist lies in nationalist websites, print them out and leave them on buses; join a local Yes group and get active. Use your imagination! Above all remember – it’s coming yet, for all that!

  29. […] Source: Fear of foreign […]

  30. Walter Hamilton says:

    The French revolution struck fear into the British Lords who run the country, they feared it would spread to these shores, so the pulled up the drawbridge and quelled any sign of uprising in Britain. They are trying to do the same today, but it will not work now, for we now have the WWW,

  31. Gavin.C.Barrie says:

    Hi Paul,

    Seldom that I disagree with you, I do not consider that there is a direct parallel between the No campaign/Brexit protagonists in the UK, and Trump.

    Trump does come across as a tough cookie, coarse with it in his earlier years, and he certainly didn’t seem a pleasant person in his dealings over the golf courses here in Scotland. To my ears he was saying to the blue collar, zero hour contracts Americans that he will create work for them initially by infrastructure projects. And the USA, he declared, has a problem with illegal immigrants of criminal inclination from Mexico and intends to remedy that problem. Time will show whether his actions follow his words, his allegations correct.

    And what choice did Americans have? Trump or Clinton?
    Hilary Clinton, and her husband, have had some simply dreadful accusations made against them – that they do not seem inclined to contest – during the presidential campaign. Money laundering, cocaine importing, sex deviances, paedophilia.

    And residing here in Scotland I can offer no proof that that the Clintons are guilty of these accusations, nor that Trump grabbed a “pussy”.

    What I have seen is the Clinton clip on Gaddafi “We came, we say, he died! Ha ha”.And that the USA, under Bush and Obama have visited havoc upon Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and now Syria.Yet
    Afghanistan seems to be again producing opium at productive levels; Iraq and Libya proposed moving away from the petrodollar, and – bingo, under regime attack, Saddam Hussain and Gadafi removed; Syria? Well who knows why the UK is in there, something to do with a oil pipeline via Syria perhaps?

    So on what level of gravity has Trump lied to the USA people, in comparison to the lies of No unionists here is the UK, during Indyref and Brexit? And Ruth Davidson continues with her – media unchallenged – distortions of data and facts. The pitiful D’hont qualified Unionist numpties wring their hands over the lapsed China memoranda of understanding.The new influx of Tory males are like clones from the Matrix.

  32. […] a running theme going on here, that the No vote in 2014 was an anomaly – a rare victory of progressive, […]

    • Mike Fenwick says:

      @ macart … £3.3bn is a big load of money, but (and I hope Paul will not mind me doing this), please examine these even larger amounts, with these extracts from my piece yesterday on Common Space. Did you know Scotland is an “Unknown region”?

      “HMRC RTS present some export information in an ‘unknown region’. An example of this is where oil is processed on rigs in the North Sea and dispatched directly to other countries, the oil does not enter the UK and therefore does not obtain a regional coding.

      “This category is significant in terms of the value of trade falling within it. In 2014 the ‘Unknown region’ represented £37.3bn almost two times the value attributed to Scotland £19.6bn, and 13 per cent of the total UK exports figure for 2014.” [sic]

      This is another extract from HMRC RTS under the heading “Overseas traders registered in the UK”, it reads:

      “There are a number of traders who act within the UK on behalf of foreign companies overseas, operating as ‘ghost presences’. “For ease of administration, these traders are registered for VAT purposes with Customs House, Aberdeen. The RTS system categorises this ghost trade as ‘unknown region’, as allocating it all to Scotland would falsely inflate the Scottish share and we do not have any information to enable us to re-allocate these data to other regions.”

      Link to full article here:


      It is critical that Scotland establishes the truth over our imports and exports, so that we can establish what might be our ability to build foreign reserves to stabilise and protect any Scottish currency, and that position on currency exchange rates will (eventually) form part of what I am attempting in introducing the “Scottish Hand) as a first stage in establishing a Scottish currency.

      • Macart says:

        Yes, I’ve read a couple of good pieces on Wings a while back on the subject and I also think its basically criminal that Scotland has no official ‘books’ of its own.

        I’d say most folk on these threads are aware of the running joke that is GERS, the source of its figures and the methodology practised. Its an arcane art to most folks though, even anoraks. Having said that it really and I do mean really, needs way more coverage and visibility. A way of turning the finance speak to easily digested facts for folks like myself as it were. The state line we’re fed through the media on Scottish finances is particularly and deliberately confusing, offensive and desperately needs countred with alternative output. That a Scottish Government and population has no access to a full and accurate accounting of Scotland’s *finances is probably one of the greatest inadequacies of our current constitutional arrangement. (*incl. ALL resources, ALL revenue streams and ALL expenditures)

        • Mike Fenwick says:

          @ Macart … I read Paul’s words here as best I can every day, and the posts that follow, and have read you when Paul has been absent, but I don’t post often and have done so this time because of what I am attempting.

          May I ask you a favour, would you please take some time to watch the video I posted earlier, you have said we need to address these type of issues at a level which many people would find easier to digest … that is precisely what I am attempting to do in my part in that video – not only provide facts but facts which can be shared from one person to another – including, I hope, soft No’s. It relates to the first of a controlled set of stages, this first stage is to introduce a Scottish currency on the 1st of January 2017, a currency for use only in Scotland.

          Quite genuinely, I would appreciate your own take on whether I am succeeding or failing at that level – I would appreciate any comments you may have.

          • Macart says:

            Will do.

            I’m out of house just now, but will make a point of viewing tonight.

          • Macart says:

            Enjoyed the video Mike and personally I agree, the aim should be a Scottish currency. I’m also intrigued by the premise you propose for how that should work. To some degree though a YES campaign is going to be led by what a Scottish government proposes as an answer to the currency issue. Its certainly the proposal that the opposition and their media will be concentrating on and I can only hope that the SGs current publicised deliberations on looking again at this issue comes to the same or similar conclusions as your own. I live in hope that their own policy makers and experts pay attention to what people are saying on these forums and take serious account of it.

            All of that out the way its back to the message, its delivery and how to arm people on doorsteps and in debate.

            The story telling analogy was a first class approach. Bringing such a massive and complex subject down to basic understandable levels of what is currency, promisary notes, legal tender etc. Who is responsible for it? Who should or could be responsible for it? This approach takes a lot of the scary mysticism presented by the opposition out of their argument. Sometimes being well versed in the basics of a thing can be far more effective in argument than knowing or understanding a little (poorly) of the larger subject.

            One thing the opposition, with the aid of their media and expert/pro presentation skills, did well last time out was the use of the soundbite or catchphrase assault. I believe our own message/messages need to be just as concise and easily digestible.

            Some bite size 5-10 min vids posted for dissemination on specific points you raised may be an idea for future consideration. Possibly along the lines of info graphic style, or slightly longer one on one discussions a la Bateman style interviews. Ditto on articles for blogs. Attention spans being what they are these days, the bite size approach starting from the beginning and released on a regular basis may be worth considering.

            Andy’s idea of the specific concentrated coaching sessions with small classes of YES groups also struck me as an excellent idea.

            Clearly we can’t make economists or financial experts out of folk like myself and of course, the whole movement WILL have differing ideas on currency options (that’s folk for you). However, whatever option or options are put on the campaign table at the end of the day, the YES movement MUST be able to say with confidence what is guff and what is possible or plausible. The not knowing, the uncertainty of footing was too widespread last time out and the understanding of the basics and the terminology used will prove critical to ground troops IMO.

            • Mike Fenwick says:

              Thanks very much Macart!

              Having read what you have posted earlier on here over past months etc, I value your comments, thus my asking for the favour (…and thanks Paul for allowing this digression).

              The bite size type clips is already being planned, and not just I hope on “currency”, so you are spot on. Expect to see other developments as well.

              What Andy Anderson is doing is forming small groups (within larger groups) across the whole of Scotland 1) who are willing and able to address and discuss these subjects in a positive, knowledgeable and explanatory way and 2) are also ready and able to rebut what may arise when it is negative, and I am sure it will prove hugely important.

              For my own part, beyond any knowledge I could bring to bear, I decided it was equally important, in many ways even more important, to build confidence in and at the grassroots level, and to achieve that by “doing” something, actions not just words, and very specifically actions that offered the opportunity of participation at that grassroots level. Again expect to see that develop.

              Thanks again Macart – very much appreciated!

      • Macart says:

        Just caught up on your post on Common Space.

        Well worth the read folks!

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