A matter of pride

A guest post by Samuel Miller

I see both Mr Brown and Mr Darling have endorsed Kezia Dugdale’s musings on a constitutional convention and a call for movement toward some ambiguous form of federalism then. This in spite of the fact that the recent government submission in the Supreme Court kinda casts our ‘devolution journey’ and our political relationship within the union in an entirely different light. We’ve covered why we think that may have not been the best timed intervention on the subject of devolution previously, so we’ll leave that aspect where it lies shall we?

Still, some of Ms Dugdales comments did have one or two laugh/cry out loud lines worth mentioning and considering a little further.

“More than two years on, those of us who fought for the UK shouldn’t be embarrassed about winning – we should be proud.” Kezia Dugdale (Fair enough)

There were of course other classic gems by Ms Dugdale such as this beaut: “I was proud because it was a Labour argument I was making.” That would be a Labour argument enhanced by a Conservative/Libdem government, enabled by a somewhat helpful amount of Westminster machinery, promoted with only the bestest astroturf window dressing money could buy (or bus in) and megaphoned the length and breadth of the UK by an extremely helpful mainstream media. Righto then.

Or this:

The UK provides the redistribution of wealth that defines our entire Labour movement and it provides the protection  for public finance in Scotland that comes from being part of something larger.”

Redistribution of wealth ye say? Jings! And don’t get me started on ‘protection for public finance’ after the detriment/no detriment fiasco that came with the Scotland Bill settlement and several successive and catastrophic austerity driven budgets. Oh and whisper it quietly… Brexit and fiscal reset. (shudders)

“Something good. Something worth fighting for.”  (NOW THAT really is purely in the eye of the beholder at this point)

Still and all, its nice of Ms Dugdale to note that the UK togetherness she campaigned for, including the Scotland Bill settlement, which she has just generously declared proud part ownership for (she’s still proud of winning right?), isn’t apparently settled at all. Who knew?

One wee questionette. Just for the sake of clarity, are we now to believe that we don’t have the most powerful devolved parly in the world and that the ‘VOW delivered’ isn’t really fit for purpose? Surely not, I hear you say. (cough)

But that’s enough laughs for one post I think.

Firstly, let me be perfectly clear that those ordinary folks who campaigned for and those who simply voted for, a no vote in 2014 should not be ’embarrassed’ about participating in such a historic ballot. In our politics, as in anything else, we can disagree, we can argue, we can hold a massive diversity of varying viewpoints and then we can make a choice. This IS a democracy and freedom of choice is an inalienable right of our electorate. NOTHING is more precious than having and enjoying the freedom to choose. We are also however, by the same token of such rights and freedoms, free to change our minds as and when new information is made available, or events dictate or necessitate a change in our viewpoint.

Sometimes when we make the big choices we get lucky and things work out for the best. Sometimes however, that choice carries unfortunate consequences we did not foresee and/or we may come to regret. Sometimes our choices are misinformed, or coloured by poor or misleading information. Information from people or institutions we may, upon a time, have held in some regard or with a degree of trust. For those who feel the period since September 2014 hasn’t gone swimmingly, or that the promised Betterthegitherland hasn’t exactly turned out as billed? Well that would be one of those times where the aforementioned rights and freedoms come in handy. As for being embarrassed about winning? I don’t think embarrassment is exactly what some voters may be feeling about now.

2016 anyone?

Now we come to those who should be embarrassed at the nature of their ‘win’. No, scratch that. We’re going beyond embarrassed to utterly bloody ashamed of themselves. Had they any empathy or sense of conscience, they’d be walking around the centre of every city, every town, every village in Scotland wearing sack cloth and ashes begging forgiveness of ALL Scotland’s electorate.

We speak, of course, of the orchestrators of the Better Together campaign, the leaders and politicians of the affiliated political parties, their heid office counterparts in Westminster and the massed weight of the UK meeja.

The propaganda war they waged in Scotland during the independence referendum of 2014 was beyond appalling. In my view it was reckless, dangerous and shameful in the extreme. I’d say the narrative they unleashed and indeed which continues in use to this very day, didn’t just divide people politically, but appeared fully intended to divide a society/vote in any way that would protect the integrity of the system of government and party affiliations they served.

In the post indyref period, the infamous Project Fear has been well dissected, discussed, documented and now, ghoulishly, emulated  as a political strategy. Even during the referendum it came under fire as being deliberately one of the most negative, divisive and harmful campaign strategies ever conceived. So, embarrassed? I don’t think that word covers what those responsible should be feeling. The truly sad part is, they’re not. Not in the slightest. As professional sharks in suits, they probably are quite proud of what they achieved. The collateral societal damage? A mere bagatelle, I think you’ll find. After all, a win IS a win, yes?

These… individuals… (Look I’m struggling to be diplomatic, RIGHT?) took what should have been a people’s referendum and turned it into a party political beauty contest. They personalised our referendum and made the primary focus of their whole sorry strategy the demonization of the SNP government and Alex Salmond in particular. What those people went through and indeed continue to go through, at the hands of establishment parties and the media? No one should. As for tarred by association? The entire YES movement was subjected to that treatment. We were supposed to feel what? Guilt and shame for supporting the principles self-determination, independence, choice?

I don’t bloody think so! Not now and not ever!

The positivity and enthusiasm of the grassroots YES movement, then as now, is a source of pride as far as I’m concerned. The passion, the humour, the sense of inclusion and family (always looking to get bigger). It’s all still there y’know. There may be a few sad memories and some hard lessons learnt from the past two years, but still and all their continued engagement is nothing short of amazing and surely, SURELY to be applauded.

In the main, the electorate of Scotland should not be embarrassed in the slightest. No, that embarrassment, that shame lies elsewhere. In terms of participation and voter turnout, no more could be asked of the electorate. For that alone, the vast majority of voters on BOTH sides of the debate should be rightly and immensely proud.

Long may that level of engagement continue. I suspect its going to be needed.

34 comments on “A matter of pride

  1. diabloandco says:

    That fair cheered me up Macart – I was getting decidedly down in the mouth and needed a wee reminder of the ‘fault ‘ lines.

  2. mogabee says:

    Exactly Sam, Pride versus “Sharks in suits”, sums it up very well.

  3. Dan Huil says:

    It continues to be pro-indy positivity against anti-indy negativity. Of the two it’s always easier to be negative – that’s why the media, especially the bbc, is anti-independence. I believe more and more people in Scotland are getting pissed-off with the britnats’ Project Fear. Yet Project Fear is all the britnats have.

  4. Robert Graham says:

    They ” Labour in Scotland ” cant change , are unable to adjust to events , they seem to be still living in the age when they managed to perpetrate the biggest confidence trick ever on Scottish voters by giving the impression we actually matter in this union ,our votes counted ,our opinion and voice would be heard , well that was laid to rest in the English Supreme Court last week , i dont bother referring to Britain or British now , lets be honest its all England and the English , we dont and never have been in a union , its an occupation .
    I believe a good number of Scots still believe we play a part in this Farce and even after being presented with the grim reality of the situation , would still vote NO to Independence thats how f/kn stupid a lot of our fellow Scots are , no matter how many times they are pissed on , degraded , their representatives ridiculed and laughed at in the English Parliament , a free independent Scotland has never entered their thick bloody sculls , they cant see further than next week no wonder Labour used to weigh the votes from these idiots , if it wasnt for the fact these dopes are required to form a majority and are holding everyone back i would say cut them adrift let them bloody drown , how do you waken the evidently semiconscious fools that gave the Tory Party free reign to do exactly they want , i despair i really do .

    • I was just thinking on this earlier today, Robert, and am still bloody angry mainly with my contemporaries who are not poor, who are leading a comfortable life, concerned only with their pension, who have no belief in themselves as Scots, who couldn’t care less about the constitutional question so long as their boat ain’t rocked, who believe what they read in their crappy papers and what the BBC tells them in between Strictly and GBBO.
      I also despair at times.
      We need to find a way to counter their blindness and ignorance.

      • Robert Graham says:

        Agreed and i have lost count of how many folk who either dont know or dont care what is going on around them , when you see the eyes glaze over if you try to correct them if they make a comment on the SNP government that they have just seen in a paper , i even had a really heated disagreement with my older brother who just couldn’t grasp how we were being abused by Westminster he is ex army so a hard nut to crack ha ha

  5. Patience is a Virtue says:

    I do recall, as one of the very many (no wait… All…) of the amendments submitted post the Smith Commission by the SNP at Westminster, also included one…was it not sumitted by the Liberals? …sorry Liberal,…whose hobby horse was ‘Federalism’…the F -Word … was one to host a Constitutional Convention..

    …. but strangely despite the landslide SNP General Election results , what was it ..56 MPs, 1 Liberal, 1 Labour and not forgetting our Secretarty of State for Scotland (the 1 nominal;.. but more equal than most), sole Conservative MP in Scotland…. all SNP amendments/proposals were rejected/voted down by Westminster … there’s democracy for you… rather the democratic deficit manifested. Yes they ‘all’ showed up in some numbers the Chamber that day to ensure your wishes were not enacted.

    … oh and yes that proposal to host a Constitutional Convention …also voted down… (the irony… your reward for being ‘Better Together’…..and of course we now have to go with wishes of the majority… only fair… no Democratic Convention… we’ve already voted on that one…. that’s democracy for you…. so that leaves only one, logical option..to get out of shackles of the current anti-democratic situation .. Independence

    Why would you possibly want to change from the current situation anyway.?.. outnumbered 10:1 at Westminster, with of course the most Devolved, listed to, equal, respected, Country in the world with all bar Defence and Foreign Affairs all now in effect……as of course promised by the above mentioned…did the above-mentioned not deliver on their spiel then? …

    …unless of course, if now in the above-mentioned’s ‘Plan B’ proposals to be an equal, listened to (were you not listening last time then?) member of the Union….. there will now be the same number of Scottish MPs as English ones at Westminster… perhaps re-negotiating terms of new Union on that basis..give it a go for around another 309 years . could be of some interest… or of course the simple solution…

    Independence.

  6. Noirin Blackie says:

    Waw amazing piece of writing if only we had a decent mainstream media alongside the national and Sunday herald this would be read or heard in every household. Thanks x

  7. Dek says:

    Reading this just reminds you how much Scottish branch office labour disrespect the people who live here . Nothing to offer and a complete disregard of the fault lines exposed by the Section 50
    Court case. Don’t they know what’s happening right in front of them ?

  8. Puzzled Puss says:

    Splendid article which encapsulates the arguments very neatly. At one point you mentioned the UK treasury’s ‘fiscal reset’. Isn’t ‘reset’ a Scottish legal term meaning receiving stolen property? Hmm, on second thoughts, that sounds about right….

  9. An excellent read with sentiment I share absolutely! Here’s to Indy2 success.

  10. Jim D says:

    Great piece sir. You need to join Mr Kavanagh in The National.

  11. David Agnew says:

    What better together really achieved was a number of things. The first obviously was that it left Scotland at the mercy of Westminster government ran by neo-conservatives. The 2nd achievement was to destroy Labours near 50 year control of Scottish politics. It practically created the conditions for an SNP landslide. It reduced the parties of union and almost the entire Scottish MSM, to an irrelevance that has spent the last 2 years committed to a daily program of hate, that has left them all look utterly insane.

    But more important than that, is that it endorsed a self defeating narrative that place Scotland in the role of mendicant. A nation that has contributed nothing to the success of the UK. A pocket money people who live of the fruits of people better than they are. With every sickening display of happiness of Scotland’s inadequacy via the GERS reports, they have fatally damaged Scotland’s reputation in the UK. It can no longer be seen as a partner – unequal or not. The bizarre assertion of the UK during the Brexit hearings about the irrelevance of Scotland and that is is simply a “British possession” has its roots in this hateful and sickening campaign.

    Embarrassed? They should shrivel up and die in shame. To have so badly served the people of Scotland and the Union they claim to love so much. To see Scottish labour spout utter pish about federalism, not only undermines the narrative of a vow delivered, it also places into sharp relief how utterly moronic Scottish labour has become. The absolute nerve of these piss-ants trying to repackage shoddy goods as new is a slap in the face of everyone who voted no. To those of us who voted yes, it simply confirms how right we were to vote Yes the first time and given the chance, will vote yes once again.

    The union is dying. It needs to thrown into the dustbin of history. It’s not only long overdue but a fate that is richly deserved.

  12. Maria F says:

    “More than two years on, those of us who fought for the UK shouldn’t be embarrassed about winning – we should be proud.” Kezia Dugdale”

    Ms Dugdale and co, if you are reading this, may I ask: How stupid do you think the people of Scotland are?

    Didn’t it occur to you that we see through your lies and political propaganda like you see through a transparent water bottle?

    It is actually sort of revolting that you are now trying to use the No voters as the human shield of your party, to cover up and excuse all the crap your party members spouted during the indiref campaign, particularly ‘the vow’. It is disgusting that you are trying to deflect the blame for your party’s actions onto them. I mean, it was no the NO voters who duped Scotland into believing that we were getting genuine devolution, were they? No, it was your party.

    It is not the No voters who should be ashamed of anything, it is your party Kezia, it is those big wigs in your party that putting their selfish interests and those of your party first, did not have the decency of playing fair and quite frankly, it is you, for continuously putting the interests of your party ahead of those of the people you are meant and pay to represent.

    “Something good. Something worth fighting for.”
    Something good for whom Kezia? Because it has not worked out like that for the people of Scotland, has it? For whom whatever is you think you are doing is good for? And when you say worth fighting for, do you mean because there is a HoL seat at the end of it?

    • Maria F says:

      “for continuously putting the interests of your party ahead of those of the people you are meant and pay to represent” above should read for continuously putting the interests of your party ahead of those of the people you are meant and paid to represent.

      Apologies, my contempt for that party blurred my vision a bit there.

    • Jan Cowan says:

      That’s it, Maria. The fat pay packet for the moment and a future bonanza in the HoL

  13. Iain says:

    Exciting to read poor Kezia Dugdale’s thoughts. I wonder what she’ll be thinking next week.

  14. Aye. Well said all of you. As someone who knocked on many doors during the referendum campaign, and we won our district which made being at the count so much harder to take since we thought, foolishly as it turned out, that the country as a whole had voted Yes.
    When Mac describes the vileness of the No campaign during the 2014 campaign, I believe the phrase, “You ain’t heard nothing yet” could well apply. Of course I refer to the forthcoming Indyref2, which I now think is inevitable. If we thought the opprobrium that occurred during the last campaign was bad, just wait until they, the Westminster establishment, and their fellow travellers, see that we are serious about our determination to, at long last, gain our independence.
    The Yes campaign, or whatever it’s going to be called this time around, and all of us supporting it, will be subjected to constant, and sustained abuse, by the M.S.M, with the ammunition supplied by people, many of them Scots I’m ashamed to say, determined to prevent us from reaching our goal.
    This will reach a crescendo as we approach Referendum Day, especially if, and it’s a big if, the polls show us a likely winners.
    Having read the excellent work done by Dave McEwan Hill, and his team, into the postal voting dubiety in Argyle and Bute, I just wonder what dirty tricks the establishment have in store for us in the coming days, for believe you me they will stop at nothing, and I really do mean nothing, to prevent us becoming and independent nation once again.
    You would think the utter shambles that is the U.K exit from the EU, with cabinet ministers contradicting each other on a daily basis, would open the eyes of some of the last times No voters to the reality of our situation. Will it? I can only hope so, because obviously the Conservative, Labour, and LibDems parties in Scotland, and elsewhere, will, once again, turn their collective faces against independence for the Scottish people. And of course, they will be supported in their aim by our greatest enemy, the B.B.C, assisted to a lesser degree by S.T.V, and of course most of the print media, who despite their falling sales, and resulting impact, still have a huge part to play in determining the result.
    I just hope I last long enough to see us being successful, not for me, but for my great-grandchildren, whom I hope will grow up, and prosper, in an independent Scotland.

    • Patience is a Virtue says:

      ….’whatever it’s going to be called this time around’….who can say for certain Alex.?.. I’m sure someone is working on that right now….. but a few suggestions, at least, could be:-

      Yes 2 Independence , Yes 2 Scotland, ….Yes 2 Who Decides, …….insert whatever want! …

      …Yes 2 Deja Vu.. or simply …Yes Please ….or of course … Sexit !

      …any suggestions?

  15. Sandy says:

    Column absolutely nails it Samuel, well done sir. I’d second the motion for you to get a regular gig in The National alongside Paul. Its unfortunate that both of your writings don’t reach a wider audience, wish there was some way to address that.

    On the subject of Brown and Darling being wheeled out to support feduhralism, I think we should all fully support that. I can’t think of two better recruiting sergeants for the Yes campaign, unless they were to add in Blair and Murphy, to be honest. The more they stand up and make these empty promises, the more opportunities there are to point out ‘that’s what they said last time’. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Nobody likes being taken for a fool and the more they try to do it, the more obvious it is.

  16. wm says:

    ‘The UK provides the redistribution of wealth that defines our entire Labour movement, and the protection for public finance in Scotland that comes from being part of something larger’. Can Kesia explain why in last two to three hundred years of the industrial era, when 80% of UK wealth was produced in the manufacturing factories,ship yards,and foundry’s north of London, all fuelled with coal mined north of London. Why it is that 90% of the UK wealth is now in London and the south east.

  17. bjsalba says:

    As far as i can see, the chances of the Labour party being in power in Westminster are somewhere between slim and nil. What the has-been ex-prime minister Brown or his post referendum nonentity Dgdale says is irrelevant. No matter how the MSM potray her, she is nothing.

  18. I’m just getting fed up waiting Patience is a Virtue. Being someone who was around in 49′ for the Scottish Covenant, when some two million people signed a petition for Home Rule for Scotland, to 79′, 97′, and then 2014, I don’t care what they call the next Scottish Independence Referendum, only that we win.

  19. grizebard says:

    The UK provides the redistribution of wealth that defines our entire Labour movement

    The nearest that Kezia has yet got to telling the truth. The “redistribution” that she has in mind is the infusion of London head office money that her branch office needs to survive.

    The vast remainder of the Scottish economy? Well, that doesn’t exactly feature…

  20. Jan Cowan says:

    Brilliant post, Sam! I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    We are extremely fortunate to have such worthwhile writers in our midst. Thank you.

  21. Connor McEwen says:

    In retrospect Sam I have bumped into the odd senior citizen who voted NO and they are in denial of their ignorance and laissez faire attitude in lack of voting like LABOUR in Wheeshtminster, there is a slow dawning

  22. Mike Fenwick says:

    … and it goes

    a year

    known

    formed

    written

    full

    Its farewell – Learn from my passing, learn from all the years that have passed..

    … and it comes

    a year

    unknown

    unformed

    unwritten

    blank

    … and it comes

    a year

    yours

    ours

    waiting

    Its greeting – Scotland: Give me life, write my story, I am in your hands.

  23. Agatha Cat says:

    Poor Ms Dugdale has it about right concerning the redistribution of wealth.

    Baron Darling of Flippinghome, Baron Buckfast of Ayrshire, Gordon Brown of the Moral Compass and all their illustrious team show how wealth moves from the ordinary citizen to the magnificent and splendid gentlemen and ladies of the Labour Party.

    Open up a high yield account now if you haven’t already done so, Ms Dugdale, and watch the profits flowing in. Personal performance is in no way related to reward. Enjoy!

  24. emilytom67 says:

    You will batter your heid against a brick wall trying to convert the majority of no,s for one simple reason they do not see Scotland as a country,they are in awe of England/English,we must be the only country in the world that has no pride in their country,we are taught British Empire s–t from an early age,our language has been strangled and all but buried,we have no identity/culture,other countries fought and died for their freedom a lot of our forebears fought/died but for the British Empire,they are Brits first and Scots a distant second if at all,30,000 supporters singing glorifying the Empire every other week.

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