The East Kilbride stooshie, a wee comment

I’m due to go on holiday, off to America to spend some time with my partner. We only manage to get together for a few precious weeks each year and during that time I need a break from the pressures of the independence movement. A few days ago there was an instance of just that kind of pressure and I want to make a wee statement about it before I leave. It’s only to be expected when you have a degree of prominence in the indy movement that you are going to be attacked by British nationalists and apologists for the British state, but this latest attack came from fellow independence supporters. It was hurtful. It was hurtful because it was unfair and many of the criticisms were unnecessarily personal.

The issue which sparked so much ire was the event put on by Yes East Kilbride last Thursday. There were no women on the panel. This is of course very regrettable, however the object of anger from those who were upset about it was the organisers and those of us who participated on the panel. It is important that people organising events should be aware of the need to ensure diversity and that women are represented. And that’s exactly what the organisers of the event in East Kilbride were and exactly what they had tried to do. I was only invited onto the panel a few days before the event because the organisers had repeatedly tried, and failed, to find any pro-indy women involved in the media who were willing to participate and who were available on the date. By the time they invited me they were desperate to get enough numbers on the panel to make the event worthwhile.

This was an event about the media. Everyone on the panel was a pro-independence voice with some connection with the new media and or the traditional media. If the organisers of the event had made absolutely no efforts whatsoever to find women panellists from the Scottish pro-indy media, if they had shown not the slightest degree of awareness of the need to find women panellists, then those criticising them for the lack of gender balance on the panel would have had an important point and would have been making a valid criticism.

But that’s not what happened. There is a serious issue here about the lack of women in prominent positions in the Scottish media, in the digital media, and in the indy movement as a whole, but that’s a much wider and more important issue which isn’t going to be solved by making unpleasant and personal attacks on the people who organised the East Kilbride event or on those of us who participated. The target of the ire was entirely misplaced.  And although it shouldn’t need to be pointed out – but sadly it is – it’s equally bad to make personal attacks on the people who raised the issue of gender imbalance in the first place.  None of this helps.

This is precisely the kind of crap which made me give up on Twitter, and it has only reinforced my decision to refrain from using it. Twitter is toxic, it’s nasty, and it’s full of people looking for something to be outraged about. They’re far more interested in their own self-righteous anger than they are in ensuring that they are targetting their ire accurately or in highlighting the real issues.  This recent spat has done nothing to help us all tackle those real underlying issues. All the Twitter outragederatti have done is to cause upset, anger, and to give our Unionist opponents something else to gloat about.

A final point. Those of us who did participate did so for free. Unlike a panel of commentators on a TV show no one was paid. We neither asked for, nor received, travel expenses for the evening. A panel of people who had given up their time for free in order to help a Yes group re-establish itself were attacked and belittled by a bunch of self-righteous Twitter warriors for no other reason than the fact that they had penises. Well thanks a bunch. Way to go to discourage people from volunteering to participate in indy events in the future. I hope you’re very proud of yourselves.

99 comments on “The East Kilbride stooshie, a wee comment

  1. I wonder if any of these “Angry of East Kilbride” nitwits have heard of, much less pondered on, the phrase “divide and conquer”? If not, then I highly recommend that they withdraw from the political scene forthwith – anyone who is historically and politically ignorant to that extent cannot be an asset to any movement! In the meantime, Paul, enjoy your break, relax and forget about all this until you return. Your blog will be in safe hands with Sam.

  2. volepark says:

    Divide and conquer is right.Is this not the method of old of the british state?Definitely best ignored whoever the tweets appear to be from.

  3. Trouble is – there are many “Trolls” online – whose only aim is to cause disruption. I usually delete or totally ignore anything they have to post. I’d also say that the ‘British nationalists gangs’ will have a field day trolling Scottish freedom supporters and spying on our activities. What makes my blood boil too is that unionists claim Scottish indy supporters are the aggressive ones, when its the opposite that’s been my experience – even in middle class areas!! I even had Orange men shouting at voters at the gate on the Independence Referendum day, which is of course illegal! What gives them the right to be so aggressive? At Edinburgh book festival there were many talking about how we might build bridges. We will not build bridges with the ignorant – but rather with those who engage in informed arguments. We need more physical spaces to do this too rather than mainly online – real time discussion places. As you say we all need to encourage more women to come forward and continue the fight against ignorance. Keep the faith.

    • Morag says:

      These weren’t trolls. They were arrogant harridans (and their male fellow-travellers) with a sense of entitlement only surpassed by their egos and their personal ambition.

  4. Andy Anderson says:

    I have been aware of this Paul from other sources. It is awful, I think GA Ponsonby got it correct in one of his tweets about it. Basically he showed how naïve the so called women’s equality people were. Unreasonable just making a point no matter what, which is what politician do.

    I hope they are proud to bring the movement into some disrespect. Maybe one of the moaners should have got of her arse and filled a vacancy on the top table. I mean she is in the Tweets sphere media.

    I am sure you are aware Paul that the vast majority appreciate what you do and what those Yes movement people are working for. Thanks to you all.

  5. Capella says:

    Many thanks for your time and energy Paul. Don’t let the trolls get you down. I very much enjoyed your talk with Callum Baird at “the Place of the Beeches” last night. Love my Gaelic map of Fife and looking forward to the Aberdeenshire one coming out next year.
    Nil desperandum! (there must be a Gaelic version)

  6. Graeme Timoney says:

    Please don’t be discouraged by this nonsense from doing the great job you do of giving up your free time and campaigning all over the country promoting the independence cause Paul. Your sacrifice is very much appreciated as are your columns. Have a great relaxing break.

  7. dunkmacrae says:

    Met you both in West Linton last week, thoroughly enjoyable evening. Getting my Gaelic map of Glasgow framed up. Enjoy your break, you deserve it…

  8. Duncan MacRae says:

    Saw you and the (not so wee) dug in West Linton last week. thoroughly enjoyable evening and good to see so many like minded souls in the audience. Keep up the good work and enjoy your break..you deserve it.

  9. […] via The East Kilbride stooshie, a wee comment […]

  10. For what it’s worth, I agree with every word. Many on Twitter are disgusted at the attack, and its clear, it’s ego over Indy.
    Unionists lapping up this cannibalism.

    Have a great break. You do need that break away from toxicity. You work so hard for independence, and its much appreciated. Don’t let a tiny minority of harpies get you down.

  11. Morag says:

    This is why I keep my distance from Women for Independence. When it first started I thought it was a campaign to target female voters, who were a demographic trailing in their support for Yes. However it was soon dominated – if it wasn’t from the start – by these self-important women with huge egos and an enormous sense of entitlement who think that being female should be a passport to anything they happen to want.

    Many are intellectually mediocre, but seem to believe that by dint of their sex they should be recognised above men of possibly greater abilities. I’ve spent my entire professional life among women with huge intellectual abilities, and never encountered this attitude. If I hear one more privileged, cosseted middle-class woman banging on about how disadvantaged she is because she’s female I swear I will scream.

    • Weechid says:

      Agreed Morag. I also avoid WFI. I consider all of us “people” and couldn’t care less about gender. Too many fragile egos around.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      I agree with you Morag. Like you I have found men and women equal. If you have the skills, social and business then you will succeed. I have had a couple of female bosses in my life, they were great.

      Can’t stand these mind numbing dafties on their hobby horses.

    • Exactly my experience also Morag..

  12. Macart says:

    Like the YES movement requires a further degree of difficulty.

    Well said Paul.

  13. Neil Scott says:

    Kind of OK forspeajers who have partners at home who can look after the we’ans and pay travel.

    This response is beneath you, Paul.

    Disappointing to say the least.

    Yes Scotland meetings we organised back before Sept 14, in my area anyway, were deemed a failure I’d they were not gender balanced both in panel or audience. I’ve seen photographs of both at this event. It was a failure, beyond boosting somepeoples profile.

    This should be a red line moment. The Yes movement has slipped. It’s time to up our game rather than be apologists for failure, and the unacceptable.

    • The Soupdragon says:

      You’ve seen photographs of the EK event – I attended it.

      Consequently, I think I know rather better than you what it was like – photographs never tell the whole story.

      It was one of the best meetings I’ve been to since 2014; not a “failure” at all.

      (Like my namesake in the Clangers, I’m female.)

      • Neil Scott says:

        Observation shows it obviously failed. It has caused huge disharmony across social media.

        I repeat my point, by the way, about Paul mentioning “everyone does this for free.” Paul doesn’t. He crowd funds. Perhaps he can pay the fare of a woman to speak at his next meeting? I can give plenty of suggestions (as I have organised many gender balanced Yes meetings).

        Might I also suggest that people now complain about the balance, political and gender, on BBC Question Time tonight?

        As Kevin Williamson said, back before 2014, we had dealt with the issue of #manels, positively. They were rare during the Yes campaign.

        I have no doubt what the men on the Ek panel said was valuable and turned many noes to yes (?), inspired many people into activism (?) helped to get us over the 50% line (?), but to go from Yes Scotland actually gathering real stats, gender etc included, to this situation, what value did the meeting have? How was this measured? Just qualitively, based on how people’s blood was up at the end? Certainly, if it is to be measured by the outcome as seen over the past few days, we need to up our game. No?

    • Marconatrix says:

      A rather academic point, I suppose, but even in a perfectly gender-blind world with the panel was selected entirely on merit and availability, there would still be a real finite probability of getting a same-sex (all male or all female!) panel once in a while. Around 6% or one chance in sixteen, I reckon for a panel of five.

      But in the real world women probably have more commitments and so on the whole are less available etc. etc. raising the odds of a all-male panel. It’s just something that’s bound to happen now and again, like getting a whole week in Glasgow without any rain 😉

      • Good point – well made. Thank you, Marconatrix.

      • Politics Scot says:

        I do love how everyone is assuming the level of commitments of the speakers and assuming that they must be less than those of a woman. For what it’s worth I have a full time job of 40hours a week and the rest, I don’t get home until 7/7:30 most evenings and my wife had to make her own way home on the night when normally I would pick her up. The timing of when I had to leave to get there in time meant that she couldn’t come and see her husband speak. We don’t have kids which is fortunate but then neither do all women so it’s not always an issue for female speakers.

        I absolutely recognise that there are barriers to people speaking at Yes events, but I’m not sure those barriers are quite as gender specific as some assume.

    • Muscleguy says:

      I was on a jury once. As we were about to retire to consider our verdict the Sheriff noted we had a female majority and hoped we would therefore have a female chairperson.

      Well the women of the jury had other ideas, they saw a nasty job they didn’t want to do so they got a man in to do it and yours truly was press ganged into it. I’m white, male, middle class and well educated. I’m also well used to public speaking. They knew what they were doing iow.

      People like you would have looked on and seen the Patriarchy in action and criticised the women for not coming up with a solution you, or the Sheriff approved of. Yet that was not the story.

      Equality is NOT about absolutely equal outcomes, it is about equality of opportunity. The organisers or the EK event tried hard to offer women the opportunity and none of them wanted to do it enough. So they got some men in instead.

      That is what women do when there are certain tasks which they require to be done. We are bigger, stronger and tougher, on average, than women are.

      The tops of our kitchen cabinets are crowded with stuff, nowhere else to be put it. There is a stool which she had me made, rejecting my design suggestions to make it stable. So instead of using it to get something up top she gets me to reach for it, I have arms like an orang utan after all. When she needs a new bottle of tonic water she leaves the empty one out on the side as a smoke signal.

      She is short, with short arms and legs, I am tallish with long legs and arms, Oook! These are facts of life and we live within them. Similarly when something breaks and needs fixing she gets me to at least assess it. She is the daughter of an electrician and assisted her father. She is perfectly capable of wiring a plug or changing a light bulb but chooses to let me do those things. I have reminded her of her capability but she is unmoved. She must be infected with the Patriarchy.

    • Stephen Wales says:

      That’s an odd view since I had to ask the Murray Owen Janitors to bring us more chairs….

    • Douglas says:

      I’m male, middle aged (maybe that’s stretching it a bit), white, middle class and educated. I have some time and some skills that might be of use.

      I’m increasingly getting the feeling that I should stay away to avoid making the photo look bad.

      Am I automatically in the wrong for being me?

      Maybe many leading lights of the Irish independence movement should have stayed away because they were not Catholic?

      Maybe many of the suffragette movement should have stayed out of it because they were male?

  14. KennyMac says:

    well said; there are some who claim to support independence but only seem to wake up when there’s a chance to attack the Indy movement! My local women for Indy group doesn’t include a single person who was actually active in the 2014 Referendum – they all appeared out of the woodwork once we had lost….i welcome everyone to the campaign for independence but am suspicious of those new recruits who suddenly appear to take over local groups yet have never shown an interest in the issue before

  15. clipper says:

    I may well be way out paranoid here but the antics of these specimens referred to have me wondering if they’re indy supporters at all, and are perhaps britnat infiltrators and spies tasked with disrupting and dividing the independence movement.

    After all, no one would believe for a moment that the indy movement isn’t being monitored and infiltrated in some way or other. This kind of thing could be how they’ve chosen to do it. Or maybe they are just self entitled self important arseholes of the female variety. Either way, they should be excluded from anything of any real importance with regard to strategies for boosting support for indy.

  16. Les Bremner says:

    It is particularly difficult to chair a meeting against arrogant hecklers.

    If logic, diplomacy and reason don’t calm things, the only remaining path is to adjourn the meeting, and exclude the troublemakers from the second gathering.

  17. ianrlowe says:

    Enjoy your break, and please, don’t let them get you down. You are one of the eloquent, sensible voices we need if we are going to win.

  18. liz says:

    Thanks for the input Paul.
    Like many I was disgusted by the outrage on twitter and rallied to the support of the panel and YEK.
    You are an invaluable asset to the indy movement, so please don’t be put off by a small minority of loud fem rad voices. IMO they don’t want equality but dominance.

    I agree with Morag above and left WFI when it became obvious that only one POV was acceptable.

    Much more worrying were the politicians who jumped in and supported the moaners, why?
    The same politicos should be spending their time calling out BBC lies and bias,and pointing out unionist lies instead of rounding on indy folk.

    Have a great time in the US, you deserve it

  19. TheBabelFish says:

    The problem with this is, the defence of this meeting and its speakers has been indiscriminate. If you do have an all male panel, you ought to at least expect some people to ask the question. Now, not everybody asking the question was making some sort of vicious personal attack. Some were women innocently saying they would have been available, or knew someone who might have been, had they known about it. And some of those women have been attacked, bullied and harassed to a frightening degree.

    Paul, sorry it’s been a while, how are you? I hope you have time to see this before your flight. Read this account, which I can personally vouch for every word of, and then maybe you’ll want to consider joining me in calling the dogs off:

    https://leftungagged.org/2017/11/28/vs-fee-east-kilbride-yes-and-manels/

  20. […] Wee Ginger Dug The East Kilbride stooshie, a wee comment I’m due to go on holiday, off to America to spend some time with my partner. We only […]

  21. jaffamcneill says:

    OK. It seemed to me rather that the problem was
    YesEK’s response and the ensuing Yes pile-on
    against the women who dared to raise the issue.
    It wasn’t an appealing sight.
    Yes the event organisers put in their time and effort
    and were understandably loathe to pull the event,
    but the hate fest and name calling against those
    who raised the point was disgraceful.

    • liz says:

      That is total nonsense.
      YEK answered the question 30 times on twitter and also published the reasons in detail on FB.
      The folk being abused were the men who appeared on the ‘manel’.

      There had been an all female panel in the weeks before, celebrated by some of those piling in to abuse the panel

  22. grizebard says:

    The difficulty for the Yes movement is that it is irresistible to bandwagon-climbers with their own agendas to promote. Which they do, come what may, and almost inevitably to the disadvantage of the movement. (Which is some cases might even be the real intention. Divide and rule.)

    Right-on issue-based grievance politics may appeal to a minuscule minority of radicals, but for the vast number of ordinary people that we have to win over, it’s one gigantic turn-off. Politics-as-usual (or even unusual) has to take a back seat until we gain the one thing that makes everything else possible: independence.

    All comers are welcome to our big tent, but the guns really have to be left at the door.

    Also, a word of appreciation, Paul, for the sterling work you have been doing this last long while. You’re a hero. A fine example to all. Have a great break (but haste ye back)!

  23. winifred mccartney says:

    We should be supporting the cause of independence not divisive nonsense, this is just exactly what unionists want – their mantra has always been divide and conquer – don’t fall into the trap instead believe that everyone man and woman is doing their best and are up against it at all times, whether they are time short, child minder short, or just plain too busy.

  24. Robin McHood says:

    Paul, enjoy your holiday and my thanks for all the time and effort you put into the Indy movement, it keeps me sane and inspired in these dark days. On twitter I coudn’t agree more, always thought it was for twits and it seems to be just that. On the gender equality issue perhaps the outraged ‘twits’ of the female persuausion might actually do something that involved getting off their backsides to support groups like E Kilbride. Now pack your bags switch off the laptop and enjoy!

  25. Paul, get yourself off and have a great break.
    I’ve dipped in to some of these Feminist Polemicists’ blogs. If they were chocolate, they’d eat themselves.
    Children are starving, old folks choosing to eat or heat.
    Meanwhile Davidson and Dugdale two avowed feminists, are ripping the arse out of playing at being politicians and chasing loot on the telly.
    For Fuck Sake, either support Independence or not.

  26. Robert Louis says:

    The sole objective of those making the biggest noise in all of this is to disrupt and divide the independence movement. They really should be ignored.

    We all by now know who they are. Those gullible souls who, in their lack of knowledge jumped in with them, should think twice next time the very same folks are ‘outraged’ for some other non existent reason.

    In the independence movement, we need to understand that Westminster will have its puppets in place, who for one coercive reason or another will be played as required by London, in order to disrupt and divide the movement. The best thing to do is ignore them, pay no heed, talk around and beyond them.

    All the people I have met in the movement are great. They are all very different. That is our strength. Do not let London puppets divide the movement.

    Hope you have a great time in the USA Paul – and don’t let the b*ggers get you down (otherwise London wins).

  27. wm says:

    Paul enjoy your break, recharge the batteries and come back to the cause, we need your substantial contribution. The more they (the yoons), fear the oncoming indey2, the more plants we can expect turning up at indy events. We will need to outnumber them to keep their mouths shut. I don’t visit twitter, it would drive me to mad as you can’t slap them in the mooth on twitter.

    • I’m not a twit either, wm.
      Don’t see the point myself.

      • wm says:

        I think twitter might have its fair share of bullies that cannae fight Jack

      • AnnieM says:

        I find Facebook bad enough, but why any right thinking adult would want to post ‘tweets’ is beyond my comprehension!!

        Enjoy your time with your partner Paul and come back to us refreshed.

        • Mine also, AnnieM. I had a twitter account for all of a month before I realised it was a pointless waste of time. My point of view was entirely vindicated when the Cheeto entered the White House. A platform for the angry and ill-informed – no more and no less. You can’t say anything much that’s worth saying in 280 characters, never mind the original 140!

          • Andy Anderson says:

            No tweeting or Facebook for me.

            I prefer to talk to people or use email. I think public social networks are more bad than good. Many people are so up there own arses with that stuff. I keep seeing people photographing meals and putting it on social media in restaurants. Are they sad or what!!

            Rant over.

  28. siliconglen says:

    Great article and I keep on wondering why gender diversity seems to be vastly more important than say ethnic diversity, having someone disabled on the panel or someone LGBTQ? There are a number of protected characteristics in the Equalities Act and the relentless focus on gender is obscuring the fact that in politics we have I think 5 disabled members in total across both the Scottish Parliament and UK parliament. Less than 1%. Isn’t that an important issue too? Diversity is important, but it goes way beyond just gender.

    • Absolutely … and in the short term, diversity needs to take a back seat until Independence is achieved. THEN we can start arguing and squabbling about the representation of all societal ‘groups’.

    • Therapymum says:

      Siliconglen
      Couldn’t agree more. I’m all for gender equality, and equality generally, but this spat has been ridiculous! I could ask whether there was one of each disability on the panel, or as you say one from each of the LGBTQ community, or Asian, Black, Chinese or Arab. Gender is not more important than other areas of equality, despite how many women want it to be. Diversity, however, is.

      Women are not the only group that experiences inequality, and in fact they do better than most. What concerns me most is that when strident voices such as many of those who have been so vocal on social media over the last week, really important issues are obscured. People become more reluctant to speak out, and domestic violence, rape, harassment, disability discrimination and employment issues become apparently of less importance than gender.

      I actually find it offensive that people have wasted so much time and energy in abusing the panel members, YesEK and the organisers, when there are so many more important issues to address. I wish most of those folk had put in as much effort over foodbanks or the welfare freeze or how to address the issues of getting the Indy message through despite the media, BBC propaganda, the WM government and the lies disseminated by unionist politicians.

  29. Robert Graham says:

    its unfortunate you leave for a wee break on a pretty low note ,

    just remember a good deed never goes unpunished .

    I wonder if a scots trait nothing like a good moan ,

    or something else a disruptive faction in the yes movement that wont be happy until the peoples republic of scotland is declared ,

    we saw this lot tag on to the snp vote for holyrood , and how the lend us your vote panned out .

    then at the pensioners for yes event at the weekend , the same suspects making their voice heard trust us we’re your friends, most of us have a fair idea who they are but who is pulling the strings

  30. Therapymum says:

    Paul
    Have a great holiday, and know that you are valued by many, many people! Enjoy.

  31. Fiona Laing says:

    Remember back in 2014 when Better Together managed to close down a lot of debate by not showing up to planned debates or simply not making any spokespeople available, so probably hundreds of debates were cancelled, sometimes at very short notice when a British nationalist speaker would pull out on the day. We were, very rightly, outraged, but part of the Independence movement now seems to think we should inflict this same outcome on our own events- cancel them if the panel is not balanced in a way which suits your particular agenda or interest group.

    Well my agenda is independence for Scotland and I hope then to live in a country when issues of equality can be truly addressed for everyone, but as we already have one hand tied behind our back when it comes to getting the Independence message across it grieves me that some seem intent on doing Better Together’s job for them by closing down opportunities to talk about independence.

    Given the opprobrium heaped on folk I can see a point in time when no one will want to organise an event for fear of the reaction if they don’t get the panel “right” in some folks views. Those who are brave enough to organise one will also find it harder to find speakers willing to put themselves up if through no fault of their own they then find themselves at the centre of a twitterstorm of claim and counter claim verging on abuse at times.

    Have a good break Paul you(and Ginger) are more important to the independence movement than any of the twitterati could ever hope to be.

    • Robert Graham says:

      Fiona – well said if we have independence all the rest will follow .

      If we dont have independence nothing will follow , and we get back to doing as we are told , some folk putting the cart before the horse & getting a bit mixed up , or maybe thats the point set out to sicken people so its job done .Make the YES movement turn on itself divide & rule works every time,

      But a lot of people have seen this threat and aint sleeping it wont work twice . Remember the ” lend us your vote ” in the last Holyrood election that ploy as their VOW will only ever will work once , and the unionists are running out of lies all ammo has been used , tough eh ?.

  32. Kate says:

    As a woman, I totally agree with all you have said Paul. I watched that thread growing & some of the comments made me feel almost ashamed of being female! The silliness that was put forth just made me squirm! Firstly, three questions: A) how many times must a panel organiser request a woman to speak at a conference before he cancels the convention, and B) who exactly decides that 17 requests for a woman to speak at the convention isn’t enough and that it should be 18 or 24 or 30, or C) Who gave that person that ‘right’ or the power to make that decision?? Because from where I am standing, no one did!! 17 women were asked. YesEK did THEIR BEST to balance that panel!

    Please understand – I am ALL for equality for women; equal rights, equal pay, equal work opportunities, equal right to freedom of speech, equal in all ways that a man enjoys. But ALL rights that ALL humans enjoy, also come with responsibilities, which include fairness on both sides & using common sense to work out HOW to get that equality. I felt that common sense was lacking in MANY of the comments made on that thread. Again…

    Three points: A) One comment was “She might have come if she had been offered payment. After all, she IS a ‘professional’. Really? You want equality but you want the woman to get paid, even though the men weren’t asking for or getting monetary remuneration? NOT EVEN EXPENSES. How exactly is THAT ‘equal’? B) Why, in a world of equals, do you think that the ‘professional’ woman is a better deal than the amateur male speakers that were on that platform? C) Was not the whole point of the exercise to work within the small finances available and try to make it go as far as possible so that other conferences could be held to get the message out? No? Or was it to make some pin money while you’re out speaking? Ooohhhh… my mistake!!

    If we’re going to talk about ‘equal’ and the fairness & common sense that should prevail when working out that equality – where would have been either the fairness or common sense of cancelling the conference, when those panel members that WERE available had already set their timetable, put their chits in to work to get time off, sorted their family situation so they could be away – and then have their plans all cancelled because 17 women couldn’t be available to go? I’m sorry but – that is DAFT! The ‘yes’ movement is an inclusive movement that includes MEN too! There is no earthly reason why they cannot be trusted to speak in a political platform on which, for their own reasons, women were not able to appear. And the movement cannot be shut down because 17 women have prior commitments and cannot attend. Again, that is just NONSENSICAL!

    One more thing – why was there no bally-hoo-haa about the ‘YesEK’ panel of women only, held only a few weeks before? Why was allowed to go past without any Twitter storm denouncing it? Why was that inequality not criticised with the same ferociousness? Because quite frankly, I think it was a case of “Let’s see how I can turn this into a ‘Spotlight US, the women’ moment – or hours!” I’m sorry but as I read that thread, as a woman, all I saw was sour grapes because someone decided to start this faux grievance to get their moment in the spotlight to sow their discontent of what they see as an unequal world! Quite frankly – I thought that quite disingenuous, the wrong time and place and – they did no favours to themselves and to the Indy movement. I’m pretty sure I won’t be inclined to go hear them speak any time soon.

    The whole point to the various conferences is, surely, to start preparations for indy – to inform people of facts about the media and share answers on how to overcome our lack of Scottish media support? And to support that moment by accepting no fee and/or perhaps just expenses? I watched ‘YesEK’ online and I have to say that I got a LOT out it. The speakers were excellent and had a lot of good, useful information and ideas that I hadn’t given thought to. It was well worth a listen and not having had women on the platform DID NOT detract from the overall message which was, “Be ready! Get yerselves charged up. Let’s get this show on the road, let’s make it obvious – Indy is off and rolling!” (LOL! My thanks to Tim Rice/Evita/Madonna).

    PS: Have a GREAT holiday with your partner! You’ve more than earned it!!

    • Robert Graham says:

      A good well thought out comment Kate , a little long but i guess the space was needed to get a good point across.
      It seems a lot of folk have lost sight of the intended goal in all this,Independence First then we argue and plan for the future , if its the other way round we won’t even be able to argue never mind plan its that simple .

      • Spot on, Robert! Well said. First things first or we’ll be going nowhere. And folk should just try to remember who benefits if Yessers are too busy squabbling with one another to get on with the job at hand!

    • Anne Martin says:

      100% agree with every word Kate. I’m all for equality, but it just becomes embarrassing when some women get so precious about it.

      Indy first, last and always!

    • Patsy says:

      Kate, thanks for taking the time to really spell out the message. Totally agree with your comments. I’m a member of ‘Yes’ not ‘ Yes only for people who agree with everything I say’. Paul does a great job and I hope his holiday gives him a real chance to recharge his batteries.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      Thanks Kate

  33. Mary Teresa Murray says:

    My husband and I attended the Yes East Kilbride event and found it entertaining, informative and well organised. Paul was, as usual, very good. The whole event was enjoyable.
    Don’t let the begrudgers and naysayers upset you, Paul. They are the kind of folk who would make trouble in an empty house. Enjoy the holiday.

  34. TSD says:

    I told Yes EK to either ignore or block the people giving them hassle but unfortunately, they didn’t and fed them instead. A very sad affair.

    Enjoy your time with your partner. It’s much deserved time away from this type of thing.

  35. Joan Neilson says:

    I was at this meeting (I was one of the two persons-better not say females I suppose-serving tea)and I thought it a great evening. All of the speakers were not only interesting but informative. It never crossed my mind to ask why no women speakers were on the panel I just assumed the speakers were there because they knew what they were talking about. I attended my first SNP meeting in 1958 when all we cared about was how to achieve independence and didn’t give a tuppeny toss about the sex of speakers. I saw and heard you a few weeks ago in the same hall and it lifted my heart to realise that people of all political shades and none were still as committed as they had been during the 2014 referendum. I’m afraid I find it hard to fathom what makes some young women these days appear to feel they need to behave in such an objectionable way. Enjoy your visit with your partner,just hope you aren’t leaving the dug with your dad

  36. iain says:

    My,my. The clans would appear to be at each others throats again. Ra-ther. I wonder who that is likely to suit? Divide and conquer right enuf.

  37. James Fleming says:

    I wandered into all this on fb as the highest profile female complainant was on my friends list and a post about how she was being ‘abused’ came up on my news feed. As I read down the post I saw her make some really uncalled for comments about those who had disagreed with her. I don’t tweet so didn’t see any of the original argument but, as we were fb friends since early in the indy campaign, I asked her directly if she thought that there might be a better way to engage with critics than telling them to go fuck themselves.
    One of her mates then weighed in and it wasn’t long before before I was being accused of misogyny, being unable to comprehend why everything is about my misogyny and so on. I bowed out but couldn’t resist a wee look back. The gloating about how they’d ignored any responses as ‘unworthy’ and about how it was time to clean the friends list of dissenting voices made the frequent photo’s this woman posts trying to look like Che Guevara suddenly all made chilling sense.
    No dissenting voices. No challenges to their agenda. Demonise any who question.
    Happily, I was one of those culled so won’t have to hear any more from this shower. I’m saddened, though, because this was a high profile pro-independence voice for whom I once held a great deal of respect. I thought she was better than that.

    Och well, at least all always have the Dug. Have a great holiday, Paul.

  38. diabloandco says:

    You are right Paul , your head is above the parapet and there are those who just love to take a swipe , usually in a cowardly fashion but full of misplaced self importance and contrived righteous indignation.

    As far as I am concerned you are a wee national treasure and I need your lum to keep reeking for the sake of my sanity – which is very selfish of me I know!

    Have a great holiday with your partner and come back refreshed and ready for battle with those that lie , deceive and denigrate Scotland.

  39. Patsy says:

    Paul, have a great holiday. Sometimes you just have to switch off the ‘real’ world and get back to the things that really matter.

  40. Robert Buntin says:

    You have a great holiday Paul and come back refreshed. The self serving muppets who attacked you all will be chased back under their rocks. Bon voyage:)

  41. Enjoy your wee break and put the shitbagery behind you. Your worth is greatly appreciated by your fans. Who’s watching big ginger nuts,if he wants a holiday in Carnoustie just say we would love to have him. He’d meet a better class o dug in Carsnotie.

  42. Thank you thank you Paul for setting the record straight. The way Mike Small from Bella bungled in was not helpful. As an auld warrior of the struggle for women’s rights it grieves me to see such misplaced “zeal” so damaging to the yes movement and to the issue of gender balance!! Oanyhoo off tae the US and a well earned holiday wi yer beloved…xxx

  43. Arthur thomson says:

    Enjoy your holiday Paul and thank you for all your efforts. You are a STAR.

    With regard to divide and rule, their is no need for it to happen. Disagreement is entirely normal. Harsh comments when people are feeling emotional about something are normal. There is nothing anyone could say or do that would undermine my commitment to Scotland returning to independence.

    Of course people will criticise the Yes movement. That is there right in a free movement. Of course this will also provide an opportunity for those who oppose independence to try to exploit the situation. But disagreement is healthy and we need to be unafraid of it. The only and single issue on which we all need to agree is independence. We are not a cult, we are just normal people who want the very best for Scotland and its people and agree that it can only be achieved through independence.

    As someone said, let’s not shush for Scotland. We are not that weak. However much we choose to argue on other important issues, we are all ABSOLUTELY resolute on the one issue on which we all agree – Scotland must be independent. When our opponents realise that it will remove the smile from their cringeing faces. They will face a movement that actively embraces difference – the very notion that they can’t stomach.

  44. Les Bremner says:

    Let’s all be trolls in the Unionist movement and indulge in divide and conquer. It is, after all, their idea so they can’t complain.

    Simply set up a dummy Twitter or Facebook account and have fun.

  45. Nelson says:

    I haven’t a clue what was discussed at the meeting, but at least I know about the panelist’s genitals, so I have the important stuff covered.

  46. Marie Gray says:

    Dear Paul, I viewed the event on Livestream. Loved it. I am ashamed for the people who chose to be negative & nasty. No room for them in our bright new Scottish future which will be a more compassionate, fair & respectful society than we have at present I am so sorry that you & others were personally attacked so needlessly.

    Have a brilliant time with your partner in the USA & try to persuade him to come to Scotland to support you in your quest for freedom for our country. XX.

  47. Paul, I’ve been following you and the wee dug for quite some time now. I appreciate your wit and humour and intelligence. I watched the entire presentation online, since I live in the US now. I saw NOTHING wrong with it. I was enthused by it, engergised and excited by the thoughts expressed by you and the other panelists. I had to be away from the media for a couple of days afterwards. Imagine my surprise and consternation to come back and get a whiff of the odour of discontent and bellyaching and malcontentedness surrounding this. IT PISSED ME OFF! I am a WOMAN. I fought for woman’s rights in the 70s. But this whining, especially after the reasoning behind going ahead with the panel the way it was, was VERY disappointing. EVERYTHING that goes on in public regarding independence is open to use against that very movement by those who want to see it fail. There have been panels that have been all women before and no man made a stink about it. I have to stop now, as I’m still raging about how you all and the organisers were treated. Enjoy your trip!

    • Well said, Robyn. Every whine gives grist to the BritNats’ mills. Either get on the Independence Bus and keep your gender agenda until we have achieved Independence – or get off the damn’ bus and stop giving aid and comfort to the enemy!

  48. endrickwater says:

    I wasn’t at the meeting and don’t have a Twitter account. All I know about this is what I’ve read here. Two points strike me very forcefully. The first is that the independence movement must not allow itself to be sidetracked by other groups’ agenda. Independence is a racing car, not a Volvo pulling a motorhome behind it with a dinghy on the roof. Do not allow other groups to hitch themselves to the Independence wagon, or you will fail. These groups can follow behind along the road Independence makes for them. Others here have made much the same observation.

    The second point is a reference to the parable of the workers in the vineyard, which is probably familiar to you all. For the ‘kingdom of heaven’ read independence. The agreed wage — your denarius — is ultimately independence. The workers who come late (after 2014) will still enjoy their wage of independence, having worked for it — just not as long as you have.

    Name-calling and suspicion plays into the hands of those who do not want independence. You will never convince them, so don’t waste time. Discipline is necessary to convince those who would come to the vineyard, even if late in the day, that together we are capable of working together to bring in the harvest. And bringing in the harvest of independence is the only task.

  49. We need the Wee Ginger Dog to be safe from negative distractions like this. We need his spirit and wit that nails the real dangers we are all facing right now.
    This is the beginning of the end of the lull before the next fierce fight for a Yes victory …….and we simply must win. We cannot risk staying with the chaos of greed and cynicism that is Westminster rule. In my opinion the whole world needs Scotland to have her own voice, urgently.
    The last three years have frustrated most of us dreadfully, forced to wait and wait while the propaganda and devious destructive moves from Westminster have seemed more and more like the decades after Culloden. The Yes campaign has seemed far too still and quiet. Lack of direction and momentum causes frustration and frustration can lead to pointless argument and division. Wasted energy on panel membership complaints only gives comfort and satisfaction to Ruth Davidson and David Mundell . We gave to get back on task everyone….get Scotland out from under this horrific Westminster mess. Enjoy a well deserved break WGD but hurry back quick.

  50. I watched East Kilbride and thought it was one of the most inspirational meetings I have seen so far. I have not noticed a furore about Jackies Birds on Misreporting Scotland. The fact is the Independence Live stream put more interesting ideas out into the public domain than BBC Scotland have managed since their inception. Nobody complains when JK Rowling gets wheeled out for her diatribe in support of the Union that there wasn’t a male author, who wrote about child wizards, commenting on socio-political events in Scotland. Nobody suggests that Theresa May is one of the worst UK Prime Ministers in history because she has a fanny but because she is one.Politically correct genderism is not only damaging to the YES movement but it damages the very cause it espouses to promote. Equality is not about the messenger . Its about the message . Now that might sound a bit judgmental from a straight white guy but try asking anyone who has had to fight against a system to be accepted for who they are not what they are and I believe the majority will agree with me. And if they don’t then please feel free to educate me.

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