Choosing the Scottish path

I managed to get to the end of the rally in Glasgow Green on Saturday afternoon, and met up with some friends for a little while. I’d have got there much earlier, but I couldn’t get out of the house because my street was closed off and there were polis, fire engines, ambulances, the bomb squad, and security cordons everywhere. A wummin along the road had just received a baby box. Ye cannae be too careful.

The real reason was because I had a previous commitment, and knew I was going to be busy in the evening as well, but I wanted to get to Glasgow Green just as a punter, to sample the fantastic atmosphere produced by this great movement, to participate without speechifying. I’m glad I did. There was an amazing turnout. Estimates of the crowd ranged from 35,000 according to the polis, up to 80,000 or more according to the organisers. Whatever the exact figure, this was certainly the largest demonstration in favour of independence that Scotland has ever seen. It even made the news in Catalonia, where pro-independence newspapers were delighted to report the large number of estelades, Catalan republican flags, on display.

There are those within the independence movement who are sniffy about marches and rallies. No one is converted from a no vote to a yes vote because a bunch of people parade down a Glasgow street waving saltires and playing bagpipes, they point out. And this would be true. But it misses the point. There is a great deal more to a successful campaign than converting no voters. Obviously it’s vitally important that we convert no voters, but in order to do so we must have an energetic, engaged, and enthused body of yes voters who are willing to give up their time and energy to the campaign. The purpose of a march and rally isn’t to convert no voters, it’s to give existing yes campaigners a morale boost in a country where the media is overwhelmingly opposed to independence and where independence supporters feel besieged and beleaguered, because that’s exactly what we are. Rallies are a way of allowing yes voters and campaigners to be visible in a country where the media conspires to keep us invisible. It’s a way of allowing people who support a yes vote to spend time in the company of others who feel the same way and feel the buzz and the energy that it creates. That’s the point of a rally, and yesterday’s rally was the biggest pro-independence rally that Scotland has ever seen. That fact alone should have been the news.

Mind you there’s something wrong when a supposedly pro-independence newspaper was put to shame in its coverage of an independence rally by yer actual BBC Scotland. Today’s front page of the Sunday Herald produced a genuine WTF moment. It takes a special kind of talent to make a photie of a wee group of 20 British nationalist far right haemorantoids look the same size as a march of upwards of 50,000 people – and in a newspaper which ostensibly supports independence no less.

The front page of the only Sunday pro-independence newspaper in Scotland managed to give the impression that a peaceful and joyful expression of belief in Scottish independence was equal in size to a display of British nationalist hate and anger. We have the Express, the Mail, the Sunday Mail, the Scotsman, the Telegraph and all the rest for that sort of thing, we don’t need it from our only pro-independence Sunday paper. All it did was to perpetuate the British nationalist myth that the independence debate is divisive and exclusionary, and to top it all the photie was accompanied by yet another story about supposed divisions within the Yes movement because some guy that no one has heard of shared something on social media with his 79 followers. So thanks a bunch Sunday Herald. Get a grip would you? Thanks. With friends like this, etc etc.

There were two types of nationalism on show in Glasgow on Saturday. There was the civic kind led by bagpipers and Sikh drummers campaigning for an independent Scotland, and there was the far right wing exclusionary kind waving Union flegs and making Nazi salutes in order to prop up existing inequalities and a status quo that works for the few not the many. Guess which one Ruth Davidson complained about?

Funny how the Conservative politicians who rushed to condemn the march for inconveniencing drivers never utter a word against the inconvenience and disruption caused by Orange Walks, and unlike Orange Walks you don’t actually risk physical assault if you try to cross the road in the middle of an indy march. Then there’s the dreadful inconvenience caused to all of us with the loss of our European citizenship and losing the right to travel and settle freely throughout the EU. There’s the inconvenience caused to all those people who are fearful that their jobs might be at risk once the UK falls of the EU and out of the customs union and single market. There’s the inconvenience caused to people in the island of Ireland who see the Peace Process at threat due to the intransigence of British nationalist Brexiteers. Oh no. These are as nothing compared to the disruption of an indy march. Nicola Sturgeon must condemn.

The real reason that British nationalists were pissed off about a march and rally of tens of thousands of Scottish independence supporters is that they couldn’t put on an equivalent rally of their own. Or rather they could, it’s just that it would be indistinguishable from an Orange Walk or a far right hate parade and would largely comprise the same people. All the sectarian exclusionary bigotry that underpins the Scottish Conservatives would be fully on display, and it would not be a pretty sight.

But the fact remains. The actual nazis, fascists, and extreme right wing bigots in this debate are overwhelmingly on one side, and it’s not the side that wants Scottish independence. Scotland in Union was pure miffed when people pointed out to them that it’s British nationalists who are the actual fascists and Nazis. “How very dare you imply that people who don’t want independence are vile,” said a spokesfleg who exists in my imagination. “It’s cybernats that are vile. Everyone knows that. It says so in the Daily Express.”

There are two paths facing Scotland, and we must choose which path to take, do we want the British path, of exclusion, of Brexit, of Tory misrule, of suspicion of foreigners and all that is different. Or do we want the path of joyful inclusion, of peaceful participation – the Scottish path, a path that leads to a better country. The marchers in Glasgow yesterday have chosen which path is best for them, for their families, for this country. Let’s choose the path of peace and inclusion, not the path of hate. Let’s choose the Scottish path, and not have a path chosen for us by Theresa May, by Ruth Davidson, and by far right extremists.

Video thanks to Phantom Power


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49 comments on “Choosing the Scottish path

  1. It would be nice tae think that the Sunday Herald hadn’t become the SUN-day Herald overnight because someone had spent too long at Glasgow Green and become overcome with the joy, the sun and a bout of cystitis due tae the queue at the toilets at the People’s Palace. But the SUN-day Herald has been sniping and sniding at the independence movement and the SNP for a long time now. Their Pro-Indy, We Are With You Scotland-YES-Voters mask slipped a good while back and many of us have (a) noticed and (b) stopped buying their hypocritical bumph

    On the newsstands today I could have selected from a cornucopia of BritNat dribble – yes, it is awful about Sir Alex, I wish him well. Oh look, Steven Gerrard has lost his mind and gone to manage Rangers. No doubt I missed a Royal recipe for dumpling or someone getting an awfy paper cut fae a babybox because my eyeballs had rolled back into their sockets by then.

    What I didn’t need was a paper which took my money off me in 2014 by saying “We’re YES – buy us”, ignoring all the wonderful pictures of yesterday and using the one they did. Jeez, they could have pruched one off Twitter if their own photographers were so useless, I’m sure no-one would have cared by now.

    SUN-day Herald – you are yesterday’s Herald in this hoose. Awa’ and play cowboys wi’ the rest of them

  2. john 59 says:

    Fantastic piece Paul , I followed the whole March yesterday and was ecstatic and moved by the whole movement.

    In my opinion I would love a wee nod from SNP even a hint at when the gun is going to be officially fired, this I think will help invigorate us more knowing that we have a start and end point to work on.

    please let us end this most rancid of Unions.

  3. donald6 says:

    I have never been convinced of the Sunday Herald’s commitment to Independence and the last few editions have been absolutely dreadful.

    Yes the purpose was to gather the troops and boost morale and show the world we mean business. It was well behaved, even in the face of such lumpen opposition, encouraged by their cowardly masters in the Unionist coalition and their media of hate.

    As for the Tangerine Walk, it is an anti Kafflick and anti Irish display of hatred and bigotry and should be treated as such by the authorities. You don’t have to be a “Wine and Grape”, or a “Taig”, to be disgusted by a display of mass idiocy by throwback Paris Buns. They used to cry “Croppy lie down” and are on a hiding to nothing when they start their “Scotty Lied down” here.

  4. Gavin C Barrie says:

    Today was my last Sunday Herald purchase. I was concerned when Haggerty announced she has been hired.I had read a few of her early articles pre-being hired and decided no more reading of her nonsense.Today’s paper comprised 52 pages. I scanned through the pages,and I read McWhirter, and the letters page only. And the letters page comprising arch-unnionists Redfern and Howell.

    Why did the Herald hire her? is she one of the BBC funded journalists that are being hired out to local news media? it does seem like the Sunday Herald has been knobbled.

  5. Movy says:

    It was an absolutely great day. Thorougly enjoyed marching. Really up for it now.The picture in the Sunday Herald was a disgrace. 35,000+ (and I guess it was +++; I saw neither the beginning nor the end of the walk, there were so many of us) and we saw a wee bunch of Unionists at Boots corner and a few others (surrounded by Police) in the Broomielaw with Union flags. Disgraceful and misleading reporting. 35 Unonists (if that) : 35,000. Says it all.The “independence supporting” Sunday Herald ensured the continuing loss of this reader today.

  6. Iain Taylor says:

    I don’t agree that nobody gets converted from No to Yes because of a march. The sight of so many people marching might never change the mind of extreme British nationalists, but it can give waverers and mild No people cause for thought. At least, marches like yesterday’s put nobody rational off.

    As for Sunday Herald, if it’s sharing a stable with its British nationalist daily math, I can hardly be roused to say “Jings, whit a surprise”.

    • Iain Taylor says:

      “math” = “mate”.

      Predictive text!

    • SandyW says:

      I agree with you, Ian. People seeing the march or reading reports of it might well be convinced that the cause of independence is a more popular movement than they realised.

      90,000 people must be close to 2% of the voting age population.

      • Iain Taylor says:

        Yes, that’s the point I was really trying to make. Some people might imagine they are only one of few sharing the same opinion, but then see scores of thousands of like-minded people marching the streets of our biggest city. That’s encouraging.

        • Jan Cowan says:

          Exactly, Ian. It’s also wonderful for those us who are unable to join such a march. Really exciting to see so many people keen to be free from Westminster and certainly gives great hope.

          I saw the Sunday Herald’s twisted view on Twitter but I had already watched the excellent Phantom Power coverage on Saturday. The SH can’t last long – such an obvious meddling with the truth spells disaster.

  7. […] via Choosing the Scottish path […]

  8. Robert Graham says:

    Excellent Paul the first paragraph was priceless.

    Most of us probably thought the Mail – Express etc the usual suspects had went as low as was possible, but today’s Herald plumbed new depths a whole different kind of sinister twisted attempt at fermenting division,
    It would have have made their day if there was a reaction ,because they were right at hand to record any disturbance , strange having someone right there at this particular spot , the only thing missing was the expected agent provocateurs because they will come ,
    It is a prerequisite of the State ,a tried and tested method with cameras at the ready , if they get desperate a really dangerous situation will be engineered maybe so serious that emergency powers will be used to ensure public safety , nothing is beyond them because the ones pulling the strings have no conscience or even a moral compass they don’t act like normal people so expect a lot more .
    A great uplifting day for all who managed to participate well done all.

    • Sam says:

      “A really desperate situation will be engineered maybe so serious that emergency powers will be used to ensure public safety” yes Robert they have recent experience at this, the Chemical Weapon attack in Syria”

  9. grumpydubai says:

    Wee Ginger Dug,

    You are 100% correct in everything you say.

    I felt I needed to be on the March yesterday and was so glad to be there.

    Like many of those participating, I am an (older but) proud Scot.

    I have worked many years overseas to ensure my wife and I could retire with some pride, due to prevailing circumstances in the 1990s.

    I felt the March yesterday was so important for the future of our people, to bring to their attention the danger we are presented with and, that there is an alternative for our Country and our people, especially future generations.

    We need to constantly make our fellow countrymen/women of the dangers that are threatening us all.

    I sincerely hope that many, of all ages, will waken up and see the promise that the future can bring, if we stand together or, the hell that we have to endure if we do not.

    Ian

  10. Alba woman says:

    You are totally spot on WGD…I love the fact that you can bring humour to the situation.

    I was at the march yesterday and had a great day….loved the wains and the dugs.

    I thought as we passed that small group of folk at the corner why don’t they have a rally …go on let’s show our Unionist voting Scots the realities of their supporting these highly disturbed people.

    The OO were out marching yet again in our area today. The peace of a lovely Sunday afternoon was disturbed by the very out of tune band passing our door.

    I was hopeful that the SNP administration would have had a look at the relentless number of marches that are allowed in our area…..what is going on?

  11. Macart says:

    Feet still sore and spirits still high. 🙂

    One word sums it all up. AWESOME!

    Also? Killer first para Paul. May be cleaning this screen for a while. 😀

    As for the Herald and the rest of the meeja? Didn’t read a bit of it. Didn’t check the news broadcasts. Didn’t even peek on social meeja. Didn’t need to. I was there.

    Cracking day had by all.

    It really doesn’t matter what the Scottish media do or say today. It only matters what people saw and experienced for themselves. Glasgow was awesome and the support lining the route from every street, hingin’ oot they windaes, from passing and (sorry) queued motorists was amazing. There was even one fella hanging out of his window, with I think it was a trombone, playing by yon bonnie banks? My section of the march spontaneously broke into full song in accompaniment, much applause and cheering afterwards There was even one bonnie lass in a wedding dress waving as we passed. A spring bride? Singing, smiling, peaceful. A joy. It’s how it should be.

    Regardless, the heart of a city saw the reality and no amount of spin can change that.

    • stewartb says:

      “… the heart of a city saw the reality and no amount of spin can change that.”

      I couldn’t agree more.

      And that is why some looking on from the pavements may well have been converted from No to Yes because of a march or at least started out on their journey to Yes by the joy, the positivity, the scale of what they saw. What may have become evident to those looking on yesterday was that a very large and very diverse, happy group of ‘normal’ people in Scotland want something they see as normal for their country – independence.

      • Hazel Godfrey says:

        Totally agree. I was there and enjoyed being with such a diverse group of people. Couldn’t stop smiling.

  12. Bill McDermott says:

    I gave up on the Sunday Herald a year ago for the very simple reason that apart from MacWhirter it is not worth reading. People complain about the journalism in The National but with George Kerevan, Lesley and MacIntyre-Kemp, your goodself and one or two others, as well as genuine attempts to educate us in the history that was never taught in our schools, I think it is a good read. Lang may yer lum reek.

  13. Peter Barjonas says:

    Did you see our old friend Paul Hutcheon of The Herald on Sunday Politics Scotland. He said that yesterday’s march was “fairly well-attended”. He went on to say that while there were thousands there, there were millions that where not. And the icing on the cake: Hutcheon managed to turn the march into an SNPbad story. Apparently, all were there due to frustration caused by Nicola Sturgeon not yet calling for indyref2. You have to hand it to the guy!

  14. TSD says:

    I really wish WordPress would get their act together and let me reblog, like and share! I saw you at Glasgow Green sans Dug! I mean, really! Keeping the Dug from his adoring public! How could you! Lols!

    • Molly McC says:

      Hi TSD,
      If you are using an iPad, or tablet, there is a “Forward” link, top right hand corner of the screen. If you are using a desk top, right clicking on the mouse brings a window up…and an email option too.
      That’s the way I send WGD on to all and sundry! I don’t use the Word press links.
      Have a good week….it certainly started well!!

  15. David says:

    I saw the Sunday Herald picture and headline online and I think it was very disappointing. I was in a cafe this afternoon and had a look at a Sunday Times that was lying around. I looked for only one thing, their story on the march. I was very surprised at how balanced and fair it was! What’s happening Rupert?

  16. Lovely piece, Paul.
    The snapshot of the young lass in the wedding dress waving the Saltire next to the sad shabby Brit Nat chap with the Pickwickian pot belly holding aloft his hand made Yoon sign(the wooden shaft of which was doubtless cannibalised from his cached pile of 11th July bonfire night pallets ) will register with switherers.

    It is often argued that Joe and Josie Public are not as engaged or as committed as we anoraks.
    Clause 11, the Continuity Bill, Article 50, fail to register with them as they go about their busy lives, ‘just about managing’.

    But the sight of tens of thousands of peaceful joy filled people from all walks of life, from all age groups, walking through the city centre beneath a wave of Saltires must surely be cause to stop and take note.

    The Herald front page snap deliberately implying that there were as many Union Jacks protesting against the march as Saltires was pure Goebbels.

    As I observed on an earlier post, Sunday Herald Britland has crossed back over to the Dark Side.
    And for good reason.

    They are haemorrhaging readers, and it is clear from their ‘most read’ story list that anything about Sellick or Ranjurs tops the list.
    QED; the arrival of Steven Gerrard at Ibrox as the new Messiah.

    I joked the other day that the Herald and the Raggard would have 24 page pull outs to commemorate the Second Coming.

    How could I get it so wrong?

    There is no other news apart from Baby Death boxes worth reporting.

    So Herald Britland, the Sunday edition, opens with the Butcher’s Apron flying defiantly at a Seps Rally, and 15 or 16 stories about Ranjurs, Gerrard and the Brand New Dawn just over the horizon. (see pages 24-32).
    The Knuckledraggers Gazette.

    Well, I guess they feel that they can lose vile cybernats now that Ranjurs will win the European Cup, or whatever they call it nowadays, because the Loyal readership will mushroom and more than compensate for years of pretending to support Self Determination.

    It’s certainly a weight lifted fro Tom Gordon’s, David Leask’s, and Paul Hutcheon’s shoulders.
    Kevin McKenna is bumming up Corbyn and Labour and federalism ffs.

    I suspect that the Butcher’s Apron will feature prominently in the Glasgow based dead tree scrolls over the coming months as Ranjurs rise from the ashes and thrash Barcelona and Bayern on their way to what they ‘deserve’, world domination.
    It’ll keep Brexit and Eurmageddon off the TV screens and out of the Dead Tree Scrolls.

    I am getting light headed and flippant now.
    I won’t be buying it.
    None of us are buying it any more.

  17. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    I still have sore feet from the march, getting old and stiff.

    The way the marchers behaved pleasant polite friendly good natured, contrasted sharply with the conduct of the small number of underclass unionists.

    Nasty wasp chewing flat earthers.

    The question to the middle class no voters is who do you most identify with?

    Go on have a wee think about ,who you identify with?

  18. angusskye says:

    Sad to see the Sunday Herald turn collaborator; it’s just lost another subscriber.

  19. diabloandco says:

    It was just such a lovely day I’m glad I spent it with a’body!

    It did my heart good and recharged my batteries and I met some more ‘stars’ of Wings and WGD- a great day and try as they might to denigrate it all the media is doing is giving their feet both barrels.

    And I love that first paragraph Paul.

  20. Electric blue says:

    I was on the march. It was brilliant. I was surrounded by happy people making interesting and intelligent comment. I couldn’t see the beginning or end of the March.
    When we passed the very small crowd of eejits waving the Union Jacks and trying to be provocative I said to my husband
    ‘Guess what will be on the front page!’
    I wish I hadn’t been right.
    I think the best thing marchers can do is not hurt their eyes by looking at them. They’re not even wort booing.

  21. m boyd says:

    Der Spiegel (not the English version) had a good article on the march ( better than our own press) I think Europe is starting to wake up to the real possibility of Scotland seceding from the UK.

        • Google Translate of the Der Spiegel article, edited slightly:-

          “A sea of ​​blue-and-white flags moved through Glasgow’s streets. Tens of thousands of Scots demonstrated on Saturday for independence from Britain, moving through the centre of Scotland’s largest city. A few Isolated British flags were on show.

          According to the police, 35,000 people participated in the five kilometres march. The organizers “All Under One Banner” spoke of 80,000 participants and described themselves as a “pro-independence movement whose main objective is to demonstrate on a regular basis until Scotland is free”. Also a delegation from Germany was there.

          The Scots had voted in September 2014 at a referendum with a majority of 55 per cent for staying in Britain.

          Following the vote by the British to leave the European Union in 2016, a new situation emerged, with the majority of Scots voting to stay in the EU.

          Since the failed referendum , the annual (sic) march in Glasgow has become increasingly popular. The Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon threatens a second referendum on independence, should the exit from the EU bring Scotland great disadvantages.”

          ‘The Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon’. Lovin’ it.

          Yet Mark Smith in Herald Britland tells us all how wrong the event was on so many levels.

          Don’t buy the Herald, gang.
          Play your part in driving it to extinction.
          It’s the last time that I even comment on it.
          Like wise Brewer’s Sunday droop, whose audience figures must number a few thousands by now.
          Starve them of even second hand oxygen, and they will eventually fade away.
          They’re gearing up for Indyref 2 big time.

          Herald Britland’s BTL comments rival the Scotsman for banality, and juvenile tittle tattle.
          They are really worried now.

          • Robert Graham says:

            yeh Smith a child with access to a keyboard , i wonder how the bairn will support himself when INDY happens probably join the queue headed by BBC ex employees heading south ,I do hope they get a warm welcome just like the other immigrants to that Hostile Environment i think Mrs Mayhem refered to it as , Byee .

    • Anne Martin says:

      It’s also featured in the Paris Match.

  22. Angus Coutts says:

    If SIU and the rest of the Guys In The Black Hats really believe that Scots don’t want Independence why don’t they organise a march in support of the union and let’s see just how many they can get to march.

    No surprise that saturday’s marvellous occasion was ignored by the metropolitan news media – it would onlyhave been reported if the marchers had resorted to violence.

  23. mogabee says:

    Yours was one face I missed at The Green Paul. Saw a couple of our elected parliamentarians and so many faces that looked familiar but couldn’t quite place!!

    We so enjoyed the rally and it’s put a spring in our step to think every time we look at pics of the day they make us smile. So so much support along the way and we just smiled, sang, chanted and laughed most of the way.

    We smirked as one impatient driver, edging forward towards the crowds was telt by a young policeman to wait, and if he was that anxious to turn round!!

    I was nearly in tears as we passed the bridal shop with all inside clapping and waving with huge smiles. We both simultaneously said ‘eejits’ when we passed the UJ flegmaniacs then laughed and kept on laughing as we all passed by.

    I had a hip replaced in Dec of last year and wasn’t sure if I could do the whole walk, especially as the route took in a couple of steepish hills. But I made it and feel no after effects except being absolutely shattered as we had a 130 mile trip home afterwards, but OMG I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

  24. Cubby says:

    Just don’t buy the Herald or Sunday Herald or any of the rags. The Sunday Herald is just conning people – they do not support independence. Haggarty is a Tory. Hutcheon is a weasel.

    • Robert Graham says:

      The other title Newsquest publishes is under suspicion as well right now , Guilt by Association if you like , Haggarty is just on career focus , it was covered in a previous live stream when an insite was given into the blacklist operating in scotland , support INDY and yer future career hits the buffers , or the wider term used in the Oil industry NRB not required back , when you scratch the surface this unionist blocking runs deep , years and years of handshakes and wink wink is operating right in front of us and the uninformed dont get to know the signs . because they aint in the gang .

  25. Cubby says:

    Note to the ginger dug. The Herald or Sunday Herald is not a friend. Feel free to take a bite at my ankle.

    Buy the National if you must buy a paper.

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