The heart that beats stronger

Chris Deerin, yes that Chris Deerin, Chris Deerin of “voting No is the moral choice” Chris Deerin, Chris Deerin the apologist for British nationalism because it’s not nationalist at all Chris Deerin, Chris Deerin who’s never come across any mud he’s been incapable of slinging at the independence movement Chris Deerin, has just published an article in the New Statesman in which he acknowledges something that independence supporters have known for quite some time. It’s actually the British state in its Brexit incarnation which is the practitioner of the narrow inward looking xenophobic nationalism which Chris has always decried, whereas the Scottish independence movement is an advocate of inclusivity and firmly rejects the narrow ethnic based nationalism which is on the rise and which blights so much of the world.

Anyone who has read this blog, or the output of any of the mainstream of the Scottish independence movement already knew that. This blog, just like other outlets for the mainstream independence movement, has always argued for an inclusive Scotland, welcoming of new Scots wherever their place of birth, and I have always advocated a vision of Scottish identity that is defined by where we’re all going together and rejected one based on where people come from. Because the Scottish independence movement is about the future, not the past. It’s not about your genes, it’s about your heart. It doesn’t matter where you were born, where your family came from, by coming to live in Scotland and contributing to Scottish society, by committing to this damp cold and heartwrenchingly beautiful and sometimes infuriating country perched on the edge of a continent, you’re just as Scottish as anyone else. Scottishness is not defined by ancestry, or by place of birth. Scottishness is a state of mind.

In fact just yesterday I blocked someone from posting on this blog because they were advocating that a vote in an independence referendum should be denied to people born in England. We don’t need xenophobia in the Scottish independence movement. We already have the British state and the Home Office for that sort of thing. The whole point of Scottish independence is to create a better society, a better country, and we’re not going to do that by drawing up hierarchies of who’s a more authentic Scot. There is no place for that sort of nonsense in our movement. We hold our faces to the sun, and we welcome the dawn of the new, the new Scots who do us the honour of choosing to come to Scotland and to build their lives here, to contribute to making this a better place for all of us. They illuminate and enlighten us all.

Contrary to the assertions of the knee jerk British nationalists who are blind to their own nationalism, it’s that outward looking acceptance which defines us as a movement. It’s a broad and multicoloured tartan ribbon that runs through the heart of the independence movement. The point of that tartan is that there is a colour there for everyone. This is what makes us morally superior to the ethnic nationalism and suspicious xenophobia of the right wing Brexit advocates who dominate and drive the British Government, and I make no bones in stating that. Because, yes, we are better than the Jacob Rees Moggs and Boris Johnsons of this world. And unlike the British Labour party our solidarity is truly international. It doesn’t stop at Gretna, and it doesn’t stop at Dover either.

Those who base their desire for independence on a narrow ethnic and exclusive nationalism are the exception not the rule within the Scottish independence movement. Of course such individuals exist, but they do not define the independence movement. They do not shape the direction we take or determine the vision of the Scotland we seek. They are roundly rejected by the mainstream of the Scottish independence movement, but that doesn’t stop apologists for the British state trying to define all of us as anti-English bigots. However their British nationalist counterparts to do increasingly define the direction that the British state is taking. Far from being rejected by the mainstream, the bigot-Brits have colonised the mainstream of British nationalism. British nationalism is increasingly defined by all those slurs that apologists for British nationalism and the British state hurl against the Scottish independence movement.  That is the realisation that appears to be dawning on Chris Deerin.

Chris Deerin hasn’t come out in support for independence, but he does appear to be coming to the slow recognition that the values and strengths that he once saw inherent in Britishness are no longer to be found there. They are instead to be found within the Scottish independence movement. Paradoxically, the only way to preserve the good aspects of the British state is with Scottish independence. Tolerance, acceptance, being welcoming to the outside world, connecting with it and engaging with it, a social security system that protects and defends the vulnerable, a comprehensive and universal health service, all these things are now at threat of destruction by the British state and its insane drive off the Brexit cliff. They can only be maintained and cherished within an independent Scotland because those are the values that the independence movement espouses, values which are being rejected by the Conservative defined Brexit that is in store for the UK.

There have been some seismic changes in the political landscape recently. The British state has destroyed its credibility in Scotland. The devolution settlement lies charred and burnt in the ashes of British nationalist arrogance. People we never thought would ever support Scottish independence seem to be changing their minds. Even the man who drafted the Vow now disavows it and espouses independence. We have to be accepting of the sincerity of people’s change in mind and change of heart. It is imperative that we accept them with open arms. The more prominent that someone was within the Better Together campaign, or the more forceful that they were as an advocate for the UK back in 2014, the more powerful the impact of their conversion to yes. Their change of mind must be welcomed with open arms and a warm heart. The hurt of 2014 must be left behind. We’re playing a different game now, a game we’re going to win. A heart that is capable of change is a heart that beats stronger.

All of which means I’m going to have to start being nice to Chris Deerin now. And if that’s not making a huge sacrifice for the cause I don’t know what is. I draw the line at being nice about Tom Gallagher though, the man who called me a Gaelic imperialist for drawing a Gaelic map of Scotland. We all have our limits.


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78 comments on “The heart that beats stronger

  1. Anne Martin says:

    “We’re playing a different game now, a game we’re going to win.”

    Oh yes, love that!

  2. Tom Who,Paul?

    It takes apparently five miles for an oil tanker to stop in the English Channel. Perhaps some former No’s need this sort of leeway.
    Well said, Paul.

  3. Therapymum says:

    Goodness! Was he drugged? Will he be able to claim plausible deniability? That’s going to put a cat amongst the unionist pigeons. Brave of him to reverse everything he has said over the last 10 years though. Looks like there’s hope for the future.

    • Alasdair Macdonald. says:

      There have been a couple of straws in the wind in several of Mr Deerin’s recent pieces. They indicate that he is beginning to look at the broader picture. Probably, he has always known what the broader picture is, but knows that the smug, precious, self-congratulatory, self-proclaimed ‘progressive’ media like New Statesman, Guardian, Observer are as mendacious regarding Scottish independence than the usual suspects like the Mail, Sun, BBC, etc. They are entirely metrocentric and more colonialist in their attitude towards Ireland, Wales and Scotland, than the right wing press.

      If Mr Deerin has changed his mind or has moved to swithering than I salute his courage and hope he joins us.

  4. Doug says:

    “We hold our faces to the sun, and we welcome the dawn of the new, the new Scots who do us the honour of choosing to come to Scotland and to build their lives here, to contribute to making this a better place for all of us”

    What nonsense is that? Sun? SUN? Okay maybe today it’s not raining, but on average….

    Kidding aside that thinking is exactly why I’m proud to be Scottish. It’s not about where you are from, or who your parents were, if you want to come here, if you want to contribute and if believe in fairness and helping your fellow human not only are you welcome to join us you are already one of us.

    Scottishness is very much a state of mind and one I wish we could export, perhaps we should bring Gibraltar with us when we leave.

  5. Thepnr says:

    Couldn’t have put it better myself. Thanks Paul, oh and thanks to Chris Deerin too who would have known that he would take pelters from the worst of the British Nationalists.

    Takes a lot of courage to be as honest as he was in admitting to the obvious differences between Scottish and British Nationalism in his article.

  6. Big Jock says:

    There is an ignorance with the MSM. A deliberate and calculated ignorance. They take the name Scottish NATIONAL Party and use the word national as nationalist. They then call it nationalism and compare it to all nationalism that has been bad. Whether it’s Hitler or Mussolini , that’s the narrative they use.

    It’s lazy and ignorant of the facts. But it’s deliberate. People like McTernan et.al know fine well that the independence the SNP seek is a million miles from facism. The things is they constantly contradict themselves. At one time they complained Sturgeon was to left and too liberal. then they say the movement is based on narrow nationalism.

    The only nationalism on view in the UK is the Tory party, BNP,UKIP and even Jeremy Corbyn who is a wee leftie Englishman who has not time for Europe.

    When a man wielding a union flag singing about ruling the waves ,calls someone with a Saltire a bigot . You know that these people don’t even know what they actually are or what bigotry actually is.

    Bigotry is the intolerance of people who are different, or who practice or believe in things which are not the same as you. Our movement believes we all are equal, our country is no better than any other and we welcome strangers to our nation.

    Never try and explain bigotry to a bigot , they only see red mist!

  7. […] Wee Ginger Dug The heart that beats stronger Chris Deerin, yes that Chris Deerin, Chris Deerin of “voting No is the moral […]

  8. astytaylor says:

    “a Gaelic imperialist”. That’s a classic. Lol, as they say.
    Scottishness is a state of mind, and there is a better time coming.
    Hang in there everyone, and keep the faith.
    Decent, honest, people, doing the decent, honest, thing.

  9. scotsgeoff says:

    I think (and I could easily be wrong) that the situation in the USA with their President ensuring children are caged (and even drugged) after being separated from their families may have played a part. Seriously.

    I feel Mr Deerin may have looked at this and thought ‘Oh, my God! What is happening to the world’. He perhaps sees the way that the Right Wing in England seems almost to be following that same path and his conscience has kicked in. ‘The SNP aren’t doing any of this, in fact, they preach the opposite. Have I been blinded? Cognitive dissonance? Time to write from the heart.’

    Whatever the truth, it is to be welcomed that he appears to be, let’s say, mellowing.

    And if he ‘turns’ and becomes FOR independence he should be welcomed like any other.

  10. Andy Anderson says:

    “Welcome Chris to this understanding. I hope that you continue to blow the trumpet for Scotland. Please feel free to move here. You are welcome”.

    “Oh, can you mibby, just mibby, move a bit more and help our crusade for freedom from the self centred destructive forces in Downing Steet”.

  11. mogabee says:

    Quite right to welcome all…but exceptions are ok too. 😀

    Perhaps our constant reiteration of inclusiveness finally clicked, or maybe the comparisons got too wide for even the blindest of commentators!

  12. Puzzled Puss says:

    Today’s New Statesman article is the second I’ve seen by Mr Deerin in which he gives a positive assessment of the SNP/ Scottish independence. Coupled with Murray Foote’s recent statement, it makes me wonder if the media tide is finally beginning to turn (fingers crossed).
    Don’t think I’ll hold my breath till the Daily Express says something nice about Nicola Sturgeon, though!

  13. Robert Graham says:

    I have had the feeling a whole lot of Scots are pretty confused , they dont quite know who they are , they know we have Scottish history but are not quite sure of what it is ,a sprinkling of Bruce , Wallace with a little braveheart tossed in for entertainment value .

    All the work attributed to English explorers ,medicine and countless other things ,Scots have either been there first or actually done better has been overlooked ,because England and English people are writing History , all the programmes on TV that profess to being British when we know its always England they mean , thats why i believe folk are confused they know they are Scottish But.

    I think this confusion can be laid at the door of our education system in the 40s & 50s , probably well before that as well ,old films feature England as does TV programs we are rarely mentioned our history is ignored , its quite shocking the facts i have found out since 2013 – 2014 , this information has been passed on by some pretty wise contributors on Indy websites , and not least by Paul here with his knowledge of Gaelic places and names and its use in our language .

    This wilful neglect of our History & Culture was a tried and tested way the Empire behaved when moving in on a country , I wonder if those people who resist scottish independence ever Question why our young people have to leave to advance their career , why are all the well paid jobs south of the border , why are all the Ministries and centres of power and government not here .

    Christ even HS2 won’t be coming our way but we probably will get the opportunity of contributing towards its cost , so much is wrong with the present setup it gives you a sore head even thinking about it .

    • Andy Anderson says:

      You are spot on Robert about the effect of education. I used to work with a native of Ness, on Lewis, when he was about ten they suddenly stopped Gaelic and started on English with no locals speaking that language. It was policy. I was taught about the British Empire in that time period.

      I only learned our true history by reading and research. I now know a lot about our history from the year 80AD onwards. A great tale indeed. Never mind, once we are free we can remedy this omission in the lives of our young.

      • wm says:

        If we had Scotland’s history in the 1940’s and 50’s, it would have led to indipendance long ago, that is one of the reasons we did not and instead had “English” history shoved down our throats at every turn. Never underestimate the Brit Nats they are not stupid no matter whether they are Red,Yellow or Blue Tories.

      • Kangaroo says:

        If you want some history then a good read is

        http://philological.bham.ac.uk/boece/

        written in the eaarly 1500’s so unpolluted by imperialism. Enjoy.

  14. Illy says:

    “but that doesn’t stop apologists for the British state trying to define all of us as anti-English bigots.”

    I proudly consider myself an anti-*WESTMINSTER* bigot. But that’s a very different thing to an anti-English bigot.

  15. alanm says:

    I hope this new, inclusive Scotland will still allow us to support “anyone but England” in the World Cup. Maybe when we’ve got our own television coverage rather than having to put up with BBC & ITV London I’ll be able to watch and enjoy this festival of football once again and not care who wins. Then again, maybe not.

    • Heilan Coo says:

      I’ll do you one better, alanm – I hope this new inclusive Scotland will afford us some future sexy footballing talent so that we can actually reach a major finals again, get out of the group stages, and not even think about things like “anyone but England”.

    • stewartb says:

      Once independent I hope we stop once and for all defining ourselves – defining Scotland – by reference to England.

      Yes England will be our closest neighbour but it will be just one of many independent countries with whom we will engage as equals and with whom we can compare and contrast ourselves.

  16. Movy says:

    Couldn’t believe that article was written by Chris Deerin. But a very welcome recognition of something we’ve known for a long time. Very very glad he and others are beginning to see, at least some, light. I hope they join us fully in the not too distant future.

  17. Movy says:

    Hey. Just seen your new graphic on Wings. It’s fab. When will the merchandise be ready???

  18. ewenart says:

    “Taingean dhut!” and ‘many thanks, thank you!’ (for we who don’t speak our ‘mother-tongue’), which, of course, doesn’t include our friend the Wee Ginger Dug! Another fine article, of course!

  19. emegra says:

    I think there are a lot of past NO voters out there who are rethinking their position perhaps not completely convinced yet but close, articles like that could be the tipping point it takes to bring them onside,

    So I don’t really care if he himself comes out for yes (although I suspect he has) because articles like that could mean 100s maybe 1000s of new converts and as hard as it may be we must welcome them all

    Graeme

    • Andy Anderson says:

      I agree.

      However many No voters do not read all the blogs, journals etc where much of the change of opinion is written. Still good news though. Hopefully NO voters are talking to NO voters and helping them to enquire and move our way.

  20. ephemeraldeception says:

    Reality versus ideal, thats the thing. I do agree that all in Scotland should get a vote, anything else is just flatly undemocratic; its that simple.
    Reality however tells us that 70% of English born residents voted no. If 50% of Scotlandbecame English immigrants 70% would would Union for various reasons killing any chance of independence. This is not something anyone can ignore. The use of ‘planting’ a population is a tried and tested method of colonisation.

    The ideals written in the blog above while full of aspiration seems to ignore or at least dismiss this population.Scots, (people living in Scotland) are pretty inclusive but allegiances are varied.

    Lets all have a vote but do not forget that a large number in Scotland do not consider Scotland as a country at all, never will, and consider Westminster as the rightful center of power come what ‘May’.

    • Weechid says:

      I do wonder about the percentages that they quote regarding the Indyref. The majority of English born people that I know voted Yes as did the majority of pensioners that I know. Most of the people I know who voted No were Scots born and under 50 – many working for the local authority or health board.

  21. Rooney says:

    Watching Hammond live on Sky. Is the flat bit bit on the back of his head the missing part of his brain that tells the truth. Just saying!!!!!

  22. Marconatrix says:

    “gu’m bi aoibhneas air nèamh airson aon pheacaich a nì aithreachas, nas mò na airson naoi-deag ‘s ceithir-fichead fìrean, aig nach eil feum air aithreachas.”

    🙂

  23. Liz g says:

    Well said Paul
    We should welcome everyone and look for turning being Scottish to become more than just a state of mind but a way of life. A noun that others use when that are describing what they want for their own lives no matter where they live. A description of a good kind Democracy…. and that can only get started by including everyone in the process not checking birth certificates or not giving people the space to change their mind

  24. When I heard if the vote was restricted to natural born Scots it would have been yes I was livid for about 2 seconds until I had a word with myself. I don’t blame European nationals voting no after being scared about being out the EU. I also understand why people from rUK for voting no, I guess many just see Britain as one place but most would have bought the family of nations argument. Personally if you live and work here then that’s good enough for me no matter where your origins are. There could be an argument made for population planting and to be honest I wouldn’t put it past them but that’s not who we are, we have always been a mix of people’s. The only thing I would say though is as well as 16, 17 year olds I would have liked Scots abroad that still hold citizenship to get a vote. If I remember right I think there was a period of 5 years living here to qualify so we could make it that if you have been away under 5 years you could register. I’m not sure how that could be done but seeing the Irish flying home to vote it and it made me think if we could do something similar

    • If you are living here, working here, paying taxes here, bringing up your family here, retired here, then Yes.
      It will be a Referendum for the people of Scotland, not ‘ex pats’ who were forced by ‘hostile environment’ WM regimes to quit these shores in search of work and a better life, many of whom contribute wonderfully to pro Independence blogs.
      Those who are the vibrant beating heart of Scotland, those here now, no matter their origins, surely have a say in Scotland’s future.
      I’ve attended BBQ’s in Canada where ‘My Grannie’s Heilin’ Hame’ got Kentucky Bourbon and Labatt fuelled big licks, from Les Exiles who left these shores 50 odd years ago.
      Scots born but who spent twice as long working, paying taxes, raising the Next Generation in another country.
      My nephews and nieces are Canadian, American English and Aussies.
      They will always be welcome back in the Auld Country.
      ‘There’s plenty of room’.

      We certainly welcome their support, and donations, but there is hardly an argument that they get to decide Scotland’s future.
      I speak as one who has family all over the world, even Down There, who have zero expectation of being allowed to vote in any Scottish plebiscite.
      I’d imagine that many of the 180,000 plus change EU workers who have done us the great honour of moving to Scotland, and provide vital services, contribute through taxes and civic involvement, but who voted No the last time, will ‘think again’ and convert to Yes next time.

      • Anne Martin says:

        As an expat Scot I totally agree with you Jack. I do not expect to have a vote in Indy2 but I donate to blogs and have joined the SNP as my contribution to the cause.

        For the sake of my family who do live in Scotland, I hope and pray that independence comes soon. For myself and my husband too because we don’t want our lives here complicated through not being in the EU, or at least the CU and SM.

  25. Sandra Hunter says:

    Paul, I thank you for this blog post because you have so eloquently expressed what so many of us feel and are not adequately gifted to give sufficient voice to.

    It is all the more comforting to read this today – as today I reached a sudden sharp point of psychological ‘stillness’ and what I would describe as a final departure from feeling any existing connection with either the personalities, the history, the performance of the British model of governance.

    This came about after watching the video message put out by ‘The Prime Minister’ who actually said ‘the Brexit people’ and who physically looked worryingly unstable. Given her the benefit of the doubt that if she is not in need of Diazepam today, it certainly looks as if the poison chalice Cameron and Osborne dumped her with has seriously left her running on adrenaline only. It was genuinely disturbing watching and I don’t express this in an unkind way. I may despise her politics, but on a human level…it was a worry.

    There comes a point, which I think many of us have reached, where you think you must have witnessed, read or heard the worst you could possibly expect – and because we have been deluged with ‘things’ which could fall into this category, you imagine you will reach a point of true immunity to anything else you are likely to hear and be able to flick the next outrageous thing off your sleeve in the way that Scotland appears to be that fleck which is casually flicked from Westminster’s.

    I watched excerpts from the Westminster evidence sessions with Guy Verhofstadt. The first excerpt I saw was at the point where Scottish Tory Ross Thomson, – who had adopted a peculiarly common superior Tory pose, addressing Guy Verhofstadt with the insulting question of did he think his memory was ‘any better this afternoon than it was this morning’. Verhofstadt looked astounded at both the tone, the cheek and the ludicrousness of the question and asked him what he was referring to. It was apparently related to some twitter post he had made about Scotland being accepted into the EU without difficulty or something. Thomson had asked him something similar earlier – with Thomson referring to Scotland (ie an independent Scotland) as ‘THEM” at the time – which was astonishing!

    But the excerpt from the session which – brought home as it were – and chimed exactly with my strongest belief as to what Westminster is – came from Guy Verhofstadt himself – and I could have kissed him for it. He expressed in one sentence exactly what UK governance is – and I am sure those listening were so lacking in awareness that they didn’t recognise one of the sharpest barbs which had ever been delivered, which was pure genius – more from the impression that he was thoroughly fed up of being insulted, treated so patronisingly – and was at the end of his tether having to sit in the presence of such obvious naïve patronising idiots who had been looking down their noses at him all day.

    A lady in pink (no idea who she was), sitting next to Rees-Mogg asked Verhofstadt – “If this is truly a two-way negotiation, what is the EU prepared to GIVE or GIVE UP FOR THE UK”.

    I thought I was beyond shock, but I actually held my breath. I thought I was too long in the tooth to be truly shocked by anything emanating from British nationalist front persons. But this really did shock me. BUT – Verhofstadt – who by this time was beyond, I think, thinking he was committing his time to a kindergarden – provided a perfect response for someone like me with my mindset!

    He said “This is not a classical situation like between two political parties for example, sitting around a table to make a government and to give in on their principles”.

    THAT for me has always been pretty much what Westminster and the UK Government is – the same two largest parties wheeling and dealing with each other – in order that either of them claims power, status, self-aggrandisement, extra-curricular income and privileged activities – and then they exchange them with the other party. They are now at the stage where Brexit has peeled away this sham like an onion; we more publicly see that really roll on, decade after decade, maintaining themselves and the continuity of the system by which they, their outriders, the British media, their special relationship foreign clients and investors have thrived – and intend to keep on thriving.

    I know many of us have always thought that – but I’m absolutely sure that Guy Verhofstadt was a stratosphere above every Tory who sat opposite him during these sessions.

    The final sickener – as if there could be any more – was looking back at the recording of the NATO Debate in the House of Commons which was yesterday I think. This was repeatedly peppered with various individuals emphasising the ‘need to address the disaffection of our own people’ It expanded, as you would expect, to ‘what is taught in schools? ‘Fertile ground for Russian interference’, cybercrime, the Skripals – outrage that ‘people actually believe it was MI6’, ‘that we did an attack on our own soil’. It moved to talk of ‘an intensive information campaign where tv cameras will be more effective than weapons’. ‘Our armed forces’ to be protected from the intrusion of cameras in conflict (may have got that one wrong – memory lapsing a bit’. Russian threat to de-stabilise the Western alliance, cyber and media threats, fake news. Increasing the defence budget – which surprise not – seems to hover around the same £20 billion mark suggested for the NHS. The emphasis on how to get ‘our own people’ onside was the chant. And whilst I feel we should be aware of genuine threats and that it’s government responsibility to make us aware of them – I just kept remembering reading investigative journalist publications detailing the make-up of the US psychological unit to get the American public on side and having read that when UK Gov set up more recently their own ‘marketing’ thingy – they weren’t getting the eager number of applicants they wanted.

    Scotland needs to create a different future for itself, for all of the reasons Paul has alluded to above. We need to chart that map to the best of our ability and become the road-signs towards it sooner rather than later – but responsibly and furnished with all of the qualities and aspirations and frames of mind he has so eloquently noted above. Sorry this is so long. I’m always too long. But I’m sincere – and tired of worrying when it will be that Westminster ‘disappears’ Scotland and we wake up one day and find that for kids it’s nothing but a vague memory and nothing more.

    • Laura Atkinson says:

      Think it was Douglas Ross not Ross Thomson – both odious cretins so I understand the confusion.

      Verhofstadt is well used to the sneering attitude of Brit Nats – there is a great video of him slapping into Farage. British Nationalists tend to forget they are not as well liked abroad as they think they are.

    • Macart says:

      Well said Sandra.

      As for Mr Verhofstadt? TBF, the difference between him and the arrogant wean throwing a question at him is that Mr Verhofstadt has actually been a Prime Minister. He’s actually been the leader of his country and speaks with adults most of the time.

      Mr Ross has his head on far more hefty matters than leading countries or caring for populations and their interests… probably.

      Hefty matters link!

    • Marconatrix says:

      “… he was thoroughly fed up of being insulted, treated so patronisingly – and was at the end of his tether …”

      Just like most of Scotland then. I think most of us can identify with that feeling. Surely they’re just digging their own grave, or rather the UK’s.

  26. Sandra Hunter says:

    PS Important point – in my post above re Verhofstadt when I refer to those listening – I don’t mean folk watching the event on their computer – I mean the Tories who thought they were successfully squeezing him and trying to humiliate him.

  27. Molly McC says:

    Sandra, at the beginning of your post you thanked Paul for the blog post “because you have so eloquently expressed what so many of us feel and are not adequately gifted to give sufficient voice to”.
    You couldn’t have meant you!
    What a fantastic, eloquently expressed summary of events YOU presented!
    Thank you for being so engaged!

    • Hear,hear, Molly.
      Sandra, a wonderful measured post.
      Give us more of this.
      Our New Blue Tory and Red Tory and Yellow Tory MPs are Brit Nats to the core.
      Scotland was merely a neck to stand on as they climbed the greasy Westminster pole to perks, ‘consultancies’, and for many, as a rewar4d for betraying Scotland, the land of their birth, knighthoods, Lairdships, and Non Exec Gravy Train dosh on Banks, Finance Houses and Big Business.
      I can think of not one Scottish Brit Nat MP who puts Scotland first, only, and completely.
      They are Scotland Deniers. 62% are othered as ‘Them’, as you say.
      Proud to be a ‘Them’, and a Bankie of course.
      More please, Sandra.

  28. Stuart Burdett says:

    This is so true I myself am an English born scot and have been a member of the SNP for 18 years I have campaigned for an independent scotland for much longer back to my primary school days when I still had an English accent never have I felt at any point the independence campaign (the whole campaign not just the snp who are obviously the most visible and influential part of that but the rest of the movement that unionist politicians and media are blind to which itself is a melting pot of political ideologies and ideas bound together by one common cause)was ever in anyway shape or form anti-English or prejudiced quite simply that has never been the case aye there are idiots and bigots but within the indy movement such people are seen as an embarrassment at best and a complete liability by most to the point where they are deliberately kept out of the movement as their views are not the views the vast majority of us not only believe but actively promote! But what has been my proudest time in over a quarter of a century of being in and around those who seek independence is the last week or so the sheer rise in numbers of people getting involved are something I have rarely if never seen but even more encouraging for me is that so many of them are either no voters/English born scots or both! people are rejecting Westminster and starting to see us without the media and political prejudices that we were tarred with and they are realising in significant numbers they actually like what they see and hear most are joining online independence pages as well as the snp and the literal THOUSANDS of welcomes each individual is given is astonishing to them and I have seen hundreds maybe even thousands of these new members joining in the last week alone! the mask has well and truly slipped but it reveals not a horror to these people but a delight and a surprise that they wish they were always aware of they wonder why they never joined before why they believed the media nonsense not only am I happy at the massive increase in support but at the genuine delight and friendship all these new members enjoy each and everyone to me this is the true spirit of the independence movement not one that was hidden by us but rather obscured by media spin and political lies long may it continue because I see in this moment the catalyst for a free nation and the nation we all have been aiming for open,inclusive and genuinely together as one

  29. Iain says:

    I’ll need to find out who Chris Deerin is. Although if he’s just a media scribbler, life’s too short to bother.

  30. Luigi says:

    Paul, I detect a wee change of heart in your latest piece. Those brilliant biting one-liners are still there but this seems to be a far more optimistic, conciliatory tone. It has less of the usual hilarious but angry, frustrated feel about it.

    Och ya big softie – you’ve been touched. 🙂

  31. Macart says:

    Wishing everyone attending Stirling tomorrow a great day out. I’m going to be out of it for a while, but hopefully not too long.

    All the best folks.

  32. Robert Graham says:

    o/t just caught the BBC Weather map this time displayed correctly , Scotland really does not look that small and a lot bigger than SKYs perculular map ,I bet a lot of Scots believe the SKY map ,after all that is how its been presented for many years and must come as a bit of a shock when they realise we aint that small , it’s just because we have been told we are . if a simple map can be distorted what else is being manipulated , makes you wonder .

  33. JGedd says:

    I made a comment elsewhere some time ago in which I referred to the original Damascene conversion. I realised afterwards that some might have looked askance at it, assuming I was making some kind of religious point – when in fact I am not at all religious and an actual atheist, but not a proslytising one.

    I was actually referring to the phenomen of Saul’s conversion to Paul on the road to Damascus which has long piqued the interest of the intellectual sectarian world because of its pysychological truth rather than its theological significance. Paul chose to describe his conversion as a particular moment when he had a vision which changed him from a persecutor into a believer.

    From a realist’s point of view I might choose to see Paul’s ‘moment’ as less to do with a sudden conversion prompted by a supernatural intervension and more to do with how the brain works. In my scenario, Saul’s conversion had been taking place incrementally over some time unbeknown to that part of the brain that called itself Saul, until at some point, perhaps on an actual journey, he achieved a resolution of an argument internal to his own brain. It is significant that thereafter he chose a new name for himself to mark this transition.

    It’s my long-winded way of saying that people are not really converted by others but have been travelling, perhaps with internal conflict that their brain manages to keep from the front of their consciousness, until there is a resolution fo that conflict.

    Perhaps we are seeing something of that happening in the case of such as Murray Foote and Deerin. At some point the brain cannot deal with the gathering conflict of two clashing realities and seeks a resolution – it might resolve slowly or like a flash of revulsion against an old way of thinking.

    Let’s hope that those making that internal journey might make it soon enough because, let’s face it, most of us have had that experience and know the relief of being able to acknowledge it to ourselves. That’s why others have said once you know, there is no going back.

    • JGedd says:

      typo apology; ‘intervention’ and ‘proselytising’ and ‘of’ not ‘fo’
      ( For those who have even bothered reading, that is)

    • Andy Anderson says:

      Agree Jgedd. My experience of converting our NO brethren is just that. Take time to raise specific points ideally related to a current news event. Then do this regularly. They talk to others and eventually research for truth. Their brains flip over.

      • Luigi says:

        Yep it’s a gradual process. Each person, each soft NO is unique. The tine they take is the time they will take. No shortcuts. It’s frustrating for sure, but we must continue to be patient (and forgiving).

    • astytaylor says:

      Is it a form of “enlightenment”?
      Interesting how the brain works, indeed.
      I think we can all be enlightened.
      Even today, I woke up with the feeling that i’m totally happy with the idea of England winning the World Cup (if they are the best team, and they deserve it). It’s only a game of football, after all.
      However, as far as the matter of Scottish independence goes, bring it on.
      Because that represents a better way of doing things. (Of living life).
      I’m one of Jack Collatin’s ex-pats.40 years in Scotland, 15 years in Canada.
      But I would return to Scotland to live, and train as a primary school teacher, and contribute to society. (There is such a thing as society, despite what Margaret Thatcher said.)
      Little by little, step by step, we learn and improve, grow and blossom.
      With encouragement and love.
      (Ok, off to check in with the kale plants. Thanks for the writings, WGD and folks. Thought-provoking , quality reading.)

    • wm says:

      Having been on that journey a few years ago, I had questioned the fact that the liebour party was not my idea of a socialist party, and even when Tony and Gordie proved this, my problem was admitting to myself that this was the case. Being the stuborn person I am. What a relief when you do.

  34. Ronin... says:

    I agree absolutely the vote should be there for all, wherever they have come from, even if it does mean a significant number will vote no. If Scotland is to have any hope of being a progressive society, it cannot start with discrimination. I do perhaps take an issue with the values of Britishness however – my wife is a politically aware Indian and has always asserted the concepts of fair play etc were nothing more than Just So stories to salve UK consciences. However, I suppose we at least aspire to being better, even if we don’t manage to always live up to it. Giving a vote even to those who will use it against us is the right thing to do, therefore

  35. Robert Graham says:

    o/t again apologies.

    Airbus have just made a statement of its intention to exit the UK if the government continue with its proposed leaving both the customs union and the single market .

    We then on the BBC had some politician dismissing this as a scare story and some deal will be done .

    What bloody planet are these people on ? , wishing for a deal dosent make it happen , so far the EU have laid out the terms and timetable for leaving it was clear and the tory negotiators accepted it all through the first lot of tortuous negotiations they have had to comply with the EU programme

    This tory government throughout appear to be in some kind of parallel existence where wishing becomes fact , god help us all if these tories are allowed to continue .

    • Andy Anderson says:

      Airbus is the latest of many. Recently retired head of CBI said yesterday thousands of small businesses will fail without a customs union or single market. I see Land Rover has stated to go to Slovakia.

      • grizebard says:

        I see it as big business really starting to put the screws on the UKGov, since industry is now seriously worried that the “cliff face” scenario is becoming ever more likely as the fantasies of the UKGov’s parallel universe meets the harsh realities of the EU’s actual universe.

        This isn’t the “brassplategate” nonsense we had to endure in 2014, this is business taking already-prepared (but hush-hush) contingency plans to relocate facilities and preparing for imminent implementation.

        If we had had this degree of honesty from business during the EURef, and less fantastical scaremongering from them during IndyRef, we might have escaped the gratuitous damage caused by both.

  36. Robert Graham says:

    o/t
    i thought it was a joke when i heard lenard the shop steward having a photo opp with Ruthless , surely not i thought how silly was i
    .
    Front page of the Scotsman bold as brass and without any sign of embarrassment .
    Labour and Tory , best pals if anyone is still in any doubt about the support we will get from Labour ! let me make a prediction ,Labour are right now preparing a weasel like excuse for when they abandon any and all support for the defence of devolution or indeed Holyrood ,
    As far as i remember it was the labour shenanigans in parliament that left 20 minutes to debate the devolution bill , they were as guilty as the tory government .

    Better Together My Arse .

    • Robert Graham says:

      Oops you might have spelt the shop stewards name wrong Bob , but then again who gives a f/k about that turd , he will be gone shortly just like the previous ones

  37. Luigi says:

    Remember those British nationalist slogans in 2014:

    “Better together”
    “Equal partner”
    “You’ll be kicked out of Europe”
    “The economy will go down the tubes”
    “The oil is running out – there’s none left!”
    “If you’re not sure, just vote NO”

    Somehow, I don’t think they will resonate very strongly (if at all) with the public next time.

    What are they going to try next time, I wonder?

    “England is our biggest customer”
    “Europe is falling apart”
    “NO still means NO”
    “The people don’t want another referendum”

    More of the usual guff. Hopefully people won’t swallow it this time.

    In 2014, many people wanted an excuse to vote NO. Next time, just maybe, those people will be looking for an excuse to vote YES. Let’s help them. 🙂

    • Luigi, we fight fire with fire.
      Announce an immediate rise in existing State Pensions for our pensioners to European parity and make sure every pensioner, many of whom were bullied into voting No because Blair McDougall’s Project Fear lied by threatening that England would stop paying their State Pension if they voted YES, get this information at the doorstep.
      A bribe, a ‘vow’ even, to immediately raise the basic pension by 15-20% and a big dose of the TRUTH, England cannot and will not stop paying State Pensions earned in the UK, just like they are legally oblioged to continue to pay pensioners who retired to the Costas or Canada and so on.
      Not only that we make sure that the Brit Nat Naysayer who attempts to resurrect this lie/threat should be publicly called out, humiliated for their bullying and lies, every time. No more Mr and Mrs Nice Guy.

  38. Andy Anderson says:

    I was talking to someone from Slovakia yesterday on the AUOB walk in Stirling. There is a huge Jaguar factory nearly complete there. Production of Discovery starts in six months. This means Tata Steel made that decision soon after the Brexit referendum. Others will be doing the same. BMW revamping a plant in Holland for the Mini.

    • AS I never tire of saying, Andy, all will become clear by October when businesses, money, and vital EU workers start to evacuate MHSS Merrie England as she slips her moorings and slips off rudderless into the North Atlantic.
      No English parliament will take away my citizenship.
      We are not England’s Colony.
      Over by October..
      We have an Escape Pod on offer to the citizens of Scotland. Independence.

  39. Robert Graham says:

    As a few others have pointed out the EU mess this Tory government are intent in pursuing is becoming clear it isn’t going to be good ,

    Having said that fast agreed preparations to exit this failed Union must be based on the time scale available before England leaves the EU , there is no point in any more discussions with the English government they have shown they don’t listen , so stop any and all contact it’s a waste of valuable time,

    I tried to follow the march on independence live yesterday and they did their best covering a route that was not the one most people would have chosen, knowing Stirling and having worked there for a good few years , or as the Irish would say I wouldn’t start from here , it was a pretty baffling way of getting from one point to the other .

    This politics Scotland program on a Sunday gets stranger by the week , you have this presenter doing somersaults trying to find ways, in fact any way of damaging the Scottish government , this week Brewer attempting to distort and twist what was a simple explanation of our ministers stance on his dealings with the English government and yet he made out he didn’t understand , oh he understood all right he just couldn’t figure out how to rubbish it.

    The stench of Scotlands shit hangs over this propaganda program it’s so transparent and obvious even Unionists must be questioning it . As for the attempt to introduce a major reshuffle imminent story ,Christ that was childish everyone knows where that little nugget would have come from eh Ruth ? .

  40. Brewer gets even more Brit Nat by the week.
    He doesn’t seem to ‘understand’ anything these days and cut Mike Russell short on a pre-recorded BBC edited interview with the usual ‘Yes But’ and ‘ok, ok’ to drown out our EU Rep’s points.
    We couldn’t make out much of Russell’s replies. Job done, BBC Big Brother.
    I’d urge all pro Independence speakers to refuse to do ‘pre-recorded’ interviews with the Beeb. They get to edit out the bits they don’t want us to hear.
    Brewer’s overtalking ‘just to be clears’ while the person being interviewed replies takes care of the rest. Perhaps some of his ‘Yes Buts’ are overdubbed onto the interview to blot out nasty SNP Good bits?
    He dragged up the hoary old ‘Attainment Gap’ chestnut and had a female Tory on whom he again coached by framing his questions to her in such a way as to point her in the right SNP Bad direction.
    Does he get a fee for breaking in the new batch of Brit Nat Red and Blue tory wannabes?
    England is crashing and burning and trying to drag Scotland with them and this man Brewer is doing everything possible to muffle opposition to this English disaster.
    Tens of thousands of Scottish jobs will go, our economy will rupture, and this odious man deprecates the achievement of kids who suffered poverty and privation at the hands of Ruth Davidson and this pointless MSP Blue Tory spokesperson by summarising that there was no improvement in the attainment gap, it’s just that the economy is doing better and the Poor are taking up burger bar jobs.
    He really is a nasty wee piece of Brit Nat Propaganda.
    Let me enlighten you, Brewer. You don’t learn on an empty stomach. Poverty, engineered by you political Masters is designed to keep the Hi Polloi thick and subservient. Do you ‘understand’ now?
    Last week I observed that he should wheel on an upright piano and lead his small audience of 61 year olds (the average age for his programme) in songs from Cockney Britain.
    ‘My Old Man says follow the van.’ right off the white cliffs of dover.
    What a pointless little magazine this is.
    England’s burning, nothing to see here, no worries, let’s discuss the worrying potholes on our roads.
    I switched off, which is of course what Donalda wants us Scots to do.
    Dog whistle fare for the comatose convinced little Englanders.

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