Stuff to be getting on with.

lighthouse in red

by C.C.Hamilton

 

It has been hilarious the last 24 hours watching opposition politicians and media types tie themselves in knots after the First Ministers announcement yesterday. It was, essentially, a non-story but they got they ended up frothing wildly again anyway. Brillaint entertainment for those of us quite relaxed about the Country’s ability to govern itself and indeed it’s ability to go and put a cross in a box sometime in the future without the country descending into anarchy because of it. Indeed, you only have to look at themother of all parliaments in Westminster to see what political chaos looks like.

 

So for those of us who are quietly going about our daily business there are a few easy things we can do in the YES movement to keep the momentum going through the summer.

 

  • Buy The National and the Sunday Herald. I know people have issues with the content, but they are all we have and both are a decent read. If you can afford them, please buy them. When you are finished why not pass it on to a neighbour, friend or leave in a cafe/waiting room/train. Might help to drive sales.
  • Subscribe to iScot magazine if you can, it’s a terrific read and valuable to our movement.

 

  • Try to stop arguing with people on social media who clearly cannot be convinced. Block or mute, we don’t have time to waste for that, life is too short. I know some people are by nature arguementative and that is healthy but let’s pick our battles better. About 30% of Scotland will never be convinced so leave them to it. Their position is no less valid than ours.

 

  • Block or mute the worst of the right wing media on social media. Ignore peole like Daisley, Torrance etc. Let them talk and bitch amongst themselves. Retweeting and arguing with them gives them oxygen fuels headlines, becuase inevitably someone will say something stupid in anger.

 

  • Try to stop arguing with ourselves on social media. Try to be nicer. We are going to disagree on loads of things,but sometimes we are going round and round in circles for days and getting nowhere. There is a real danger we are just talking to one another in a wee 140. character bubble.

 

  • Take a break from politics on social media altogether if you can. The weather is nice. Scotland is in fine trim. Enjoy it. Take a breather. Recharge.

 

  • Engage with the mobilise.scot site. Spew out your ideas to them. Let’s see what they come up with.

 

  • Get active locally with Yes Groups, face to face is much better than behind a keyboard especially when the weather is nice. If you dont have one, start one. Put up a poster, have people over for coffee. Keep it light, fun. This doesn’t need to be hard. It’s actually an easy sell.We are saying to people “Yes You Can.” We are reinforcing their own beliefs that the people of Scotland are energetic, fun, vibrant and capable. Try to get out of halls and meeting rooms though and into public spaces. Especially in the Summer. We need to open this thing out.

 

  • Let Westminster eat itself. Dont browbeat people, stop shouting, stop being angry (at least in public.) Let the Unionist press and commentators be angry and shouty and crazy. Patiently point out the many flaws as they come through and listen to people then move on. Most of Scotland knows Westminster is fucked but they are scared that our system is no better. It is. We know that and after independence we will own that. Have a laugh with people, lighten the mood. Grab the moral high ground if we can.

 

  • If you can contribute financially to projects then do so, but our best resource is our people. Only by engaging people will we win. Online is important but face to face and through creating something interesting for people to come and see is vital too. People are, by nature, curious, if we are different and welcoming then people will have a look. Scotland wants to be inspired, our people want to see light. The UK is a dark place for a lot of people just now. Our wee movement can be a beacon of light. Let’s try to be that light.

 

  • If you are good with words write a wee letter to a newspaper, inviting people to have a fresh look at independence. Be concilliatory, no finger pointing, just generally talk things up.

 

You guys will have better ideas than me that suit your livestyle, work committments and local area. What I think we all agree is that Independence is about more than BREXIT, it’s about more than Political Parties and we either pick up the ball in run wih it or we wait for someone else to do it,but when we are this close, and we are closer than we have ever been. It would be daft to back away now.

 

 

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Reset

FLAG_LITTLE

by C.C Hamilton

I liked the tone of the speech from the First Minister today. I agreed with much of what she said. Indeed, as someone committed to the idea of Independence even I am exhausted, not so much by the campaigning but more by the grinding down of the movement by the media. I also can’t really afford it the now. It feels like everwhere I turn another pro indy blogger/project is looking for money. All great projects by the way but exhausting all the same. I have long since felt that it is time for the SNP to step back and let the movement grow organically, in much the same way it did in 2014. I would like to see a figurehead emerge for the movement and some resources from the party to pay a couple of media savvy salaries and a premises for a couple of years but only to sit on top of it and to help it NOT own it. The Independence movement has to belong to the people. These guys and girls though, should be energetic, patient and committed. This should be a Labour of Love, there should be no huge expense accounts or anything like that and it should all be totally transparent. It will be attacked. It needs to be squeaky clean and value for money. And it needs to work with the existing registry’s/groups already out there. Bringing everything together but not taking over. If anything today the FM gave us the chance to draw breath and reset the Yes Movement.

I am delighted to read that the Scottish Government will outline a bold, radical agenda in the new Parliamentary term. Sure battle on with Brexit thing but try to do things differently in Scotland. Leave Westminster to its backward looking, insular approach. Lets see the SNP and the Greens work together to really make Holyrood bold, outward looking and a Parliament fit for purpose.

In the meantime there are a few things we could do to reset the movement…

Big voices

I would like to see someone brave enough to bring together our prominent pro indy voices to discuss a joined up media approach. Leave the ego’s at the door and get the likes of Paul Kavanagh, James Kelly, Stuart Campbell, Mike Small together with the likes of Derek Bateman, Neil MacKay, Tom Morton and throw ideas around. We have to form a concilliatory, grown up plan going forward. Throwing shit around on Social media just isn’t going to cut it. We are not going to agree on everything but we can surely agree to disagree in an adult manner and be less grumpy! We are trying to engage people but there is a huge danger we are just arguing amongst ourselves. I include myself in that. I write this wee blog and in the grand scheme of things it matters not a lot but I could do better to understand other points of view in the movement and outside of it.

Get creative

Is there theopportunity to bring our creatives together? There is such a huge range of artists receptive to the idea of independence. Can we look again at the National Collective idea? Such potential in an ideas based environment for what we want an Independent Scotland should look like. I remember away back we had a group called Artists for an Independent Scotland but it didnt really go anywhere. While we are resetting the movement let’s look at that. Can we put together gigs, shows, artwork to encourage poeple to have a fresh look at independence but in a less strained, more comfortable environment. Not forced on from above but affordable or free events where all of Scotland is encouraged to come along and see where we want to go.

Sort out the dull stuff

I am really looking forward to reading further work from Common Weal and the Independence Convention which I think is due later in the year. We should all get behind that if we can. These think tanks should produce the economic arguements for an Independent Scotland (the boring stuff!) but we should get involved and have our say on currency, taxation etc. We know next time around where the attacks will be focused. These guys can give our movement the tools to answer clearly and with confidence. We know we have the people and the resources to be a successful independent nation. But the attacks will be relentless. We need to be ready and these guys are vital.

Fresh faces

We need a few fresh faces at the front of the movement. Could that be Mhairi Black along with someone like Angela Haggerty? Or some of the Journey to Yes folks that PhantomPower has uncovered in the last few months. I’m just throwing names about but we need a freshness.

Smile

And we need to lighten up. The last year has felt like a war of attritian and it has had to be but people also want to have fun and enjoy themselves. Let them. My God,  Life can be shit sometimes but our movement is such a positive thing. Celebrate it. Have fun. Leave Westminster to their shambles. Let’s party…albeit on the edge of a fucking volcano but if we are going to hit the reset button lets go the whole hog. Lets laugh at ourselves and be different. Westminster is boring, Tories are boring. Let’s at least be interesting. Make people want to come over and see what all the fuss is about.

Fly yer flag if you want

And do you know what, lets get the fucking Saltires out if we want. Lets be proud of our achievements as a country in the past, be proud on the inclusiveness of our movement and come together whenever we can to have fun, trade ideas and work towards a brighter future for everyone. To borrow from Hawaiian culture “Ohana” the Yes movement is a family. Let’s reach out to everyone. Lets build a Scotland where no one gets left behind or forgotten. If we do this now and build belief in the country we will win the Referendum whenever it is.

 

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It’s a done deal

DUP

by C.C.Hamilton

So they finally got it over the line. The Tories managed to do their deal with the devil and ensured DUP support for the Queens Speech, Budget and Brexit. At a cost of £1Bn to the taxpayer and according to our Scottish Tories who are at Westminster standing up for us it is not “Barnettable” therefore there is no equivelent sum coming to Scotland or Wales at this time. Lets leave aside the money for a minute because for me that is actually secondary. It has actually been shameful how quickly everyone jumped on the financial aspect and seem to have forgotten who the UK Government have actually gone into a deal with.

 

The DUP’s record in Women’s and Gay Rights is pretty awful, let’s not kid ourselves and their links to Terror Organisations in the past and their history of Sectarianism is well documented and does them no favours whatsoever. The first thing to imagine is if Corbyn had done a deal with Sinn Fein ( the other party of Government in NI) to prop up a Labour Government. There would have been carnage. Secondly remember the billboards with Alex Salmond picking  pockets in the run up to the 2015 election? The same kind of bollocks was put out this time around too and usually by “Proud Scots” and the SNP is a centre left social democratic party! But the thought of Scotland getting a few extra quid for public services for backing either a minority Miliband or Corbyn Government was a scandal in the press. The DUP are a hard right organisation, somewhere to the right of UKIP in some regards and the UK Government has bunged them a billion quid with the sweetner of further money in 2 years time, should the Government last that long. It is also worth noting the behaviour of Tory MSP’s like Murdo Fraser earlier this year when the Green Party manages to gain a few concessions from the Scottish Government in the budget. Screaming and name calling at the Greens in Parliament, so what does he have to say about this deal? I’m sure our press will remind him of his behaviour. And what of Ruth and auld snackbeard Mundell. Well, Ruth decided to attack independence as some kind of justification for her Government doing a deal with a party with, and let’s be kind here, questionable views on Catholics (she’s marying one) Gay Rights (she is gay) and womens rights (she is a woman.)  It’s all deflection.There can be no right minded person in Scotland who likes this Tory/DUP pact, sure some of the crazy Unionists out there will be buzzing about it but the vast majority of Scots are rational and decent and know that this is a desperate measure from a dreadful Prime Minister and a dangerous one at that.

 

As far as the money goes, good luck to Northern Ireland. If the money is available they should have it but it shouldn’t have taken 3 weeks of haggling to get it. Here is the whole problem with devolution. Scotland, Wales and NI have to battle and scratch and moan to get a few extra crumbs from the table. And when they do they are called scroungers, sometimes by their own media! Can you imagine where Scotland would be without its own Government screaming and shouting all the time for a share? I can. It was called the 80’s and the Tories brought Scotland to it’s knees and the Labour party, in control just about everywhere in Scotland but in opposition in Westminster managed to do the grand total of fuck all to prevent it. And as we send more Tories to Westminster on the basis of shiny promises for fishermen and farmers (who THEY sold out in the first place) we should remember that. All Scotland did at the General Election was weaken it’s hand. We know that now. Snackbeard Mundell was on TV at the weekend guaranteeing a share of the DUP deal would make its way to Scotland and Wales by way of the Barnett Formula.  It hasn’t. We may get a couple of quid at the budget as a sweetener to make the Thick Thirteen look a bit better. That’d be nice but I rather think that will be more about the SNP screaming and shouting again. Ruth said that her 13 will stand up for Scotland,but I ask to whom? Why do her MP’s have to stand up to their own Government? It is now clear already that these Scottish Tories are no different, indeed are much worse than previous ones. But I don’t think that that is unexpected. They have failed their first test, spectacularly. That is not unexpected either.

More than ever we need to be independent. It is embarrassing having to beg for crumbs from the UK table. No country should be reliant on another, no country’s purse string should be held by a bigger neighbour and no country should need protection from the policies of a larger neighbour who we are supposed to be in partnership with. The democratic deficit is alive and well. Once again Scotland is sidelined because we dream of a better future for everyone. Once again we give this union another go. We send  a few Tories to Westminster to protect us from….Tories, increase our Labour MPS in the hope of something better under Corbyn and vote out some of our most capable politicians to give the union another go. Maybe this time, we will be treated as equal, maybe this time…..Nah. Same old same old. A Tory Government that more than 2/3rd of the country didn’t vote for.

Time for Scotland the Brave, time to make our own mistakes and own them. Time to plot our own path with shoulders back and head held high. Confidently striding into the future as a welcoming, inclusive forward thinking nation. Not dragged back into deals with right wing, as the Mirror calls them today “crackpots.” Time to be in a position of voting OUT any Government we are not happy with. Time to spend money on Health and Education and proper defence rather than nuclear weapons in the Clyde that we will never use.

It is our time, Time to put all of us first. We’ve given the Union another go, it’s broken, we are too junior a partner to fix it. But we can fix us and work with the rest of the UK as equals. And you know what, if Scotland has a £15Bn deficit as is claimed, it just proves that the Union has failed us and that we are brave enough to take the difficult decisions to move Scotland forward. Come on, it’ll be an adventure, let’s get off our knees, Hope over Fear. Be the Scotland we wish to be.

 You Yes Yet?

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The Truth

by C.C. Hamilton

The truth about Ruth

 

The images over the weekend of Ruth Davidson in military uniform gave me the dry boak. There is something very uncomfortable about a politician in military uniform. The “Lesbian kick boxer” as she was lovingly referred to in the English press at the weekend is just a parody figure in my eyes now. I cant wait to see her joining in with the party tunes at the next Armed Forces day at Ibrox. I am sure brother Adam and brother Murdo will teach her the words.

It was interesting to see the response from Keith Brown MSP, who actually served, on the subject. Dignified and considered. Such a contrast to what we have come to expect from this batch of Tories.

 

Gordon Wilson

 

As I write this, the news is coming through of Gordon Wilson’s passing. Gordon led the SNP through turbulent times and was, for me, a frustrating figure in recent years. I met him a couple of times as a young man as I fell in and out of love with the party, and found him courteous, patient and engaging. In contrast to people like Jack McConnell and Margaret Curran who I met around the same time but found rude and almost arrogant when discussing Scottish politics. I understand Gordon has a big family and he will be sorely missed. As far as the YES movement is concerned, like Jim Sillars, he was an important voice in recent years, a frustrating one at times as I said before, but an important one. He will be sorely missed by all of us who believe in self determination but we will carry on. A true patriot. RIP.

 

More Toxic Tories

 

I see the Tories in Scotland are in more trouble. The new MP for Stirling Stephen Kerr was picked apart by people on Social Media and picked up by the Sunday Herald for holding, shall we say, questionable views on Gay Marriage etc. He was, of course, pictured with “Lesbian Kick Boxer Ruth Davidson.” Amazing how beliefs can change when you get a whiff of power. We also had the incredible news that Ian Duncan, loser in Perth, is to be parachuted into the Lords and to get a top job in the Scottish office ahead of the other 12 useful idiots who actually won a seat ( with help from Scottish Labour of course!) Ruth’s Party is now being taken to court by a European list candidate who has been passed over for Ian Duncan’s MEP job in favour of one of Ruth’s pals, Iain McGill, who lost in Edinburgh . You couldn’t make this up. There is very little noise from the Timid Twelve (discounting snackbeard as he does have a kinda bigboy job) as the 35 SNP MP’s get back to business. It was always this way though, we know in Scotland if we send MP’s down to Westminster, either Labour or Tory, they are merely Lobby fodder with big expense accounts. The Tories in Scotland are actually a shambolic disgrace and the media (even the left leaning side like the Daily Record) gives them a free pass. No wonder the latest poll on trust in the media is an absolute shocker.

 

Labour

 

This week we had Owen Jones in Scotland to visit his sick father and to campaign for the Scottish Labour candidate in Leith. Most of Labour are wetting their knickers at the prospect of another election this year (the third in 2 years) because Jeremy has momentum behind him and he may win this one. Owen took the opportunity to attack the SNP, not the Tories but the SNP and campaign in a seat where the sitting MP is a very good SNP MP. Owen,of course, not so long ago was campaigning for Jeremy Corbyn to stand down, but now there is a whiff of power all is good with the dandy Socialist and Corbyn is his man again. Now, I like Owen Jones and I like Jeremy Corbyn and I have no problem with Owen coming to Scotland to campaign but surely his fire would be better used on The Tories in Scotland. The party of the benefits cap, Rape Clause and mired in allegations of Sectarianism, Racism and Homophobia. Remember even if Labour had swept Scotland Jeremy would still have been short of a majority, that’s how far behind labour had fallen in the UK. Now, of course, they made great strides at the Election but still fell well short of winning the Election against the worst campaign in history. I think, we all have to accept too that the Tories will NOT be that bad again. They will regroup to a degree and won’t make the same mistakes again.

 There is also the hypocricy of Kezia Dugdale driving for another election, the third in two years, but campigning to deny a referendum, already voted through Holyrood, a second in 5-6 years if it takes place as seems most likey in 2019-2020. So I would respectfully ask Owen Jones, to look at the bigger picture here in Scotland. The SNP is not the enemy of Jeremy Corbyn, in fact the wider YES movement are some of the biggest friends he has in Scotland. And certainly MORE supportive of Jeremy and his socialist ideals than Scottish Labour.

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An Object Remains at Rest

by Jason Michael McCann

Right now it has become obvious that we in the Scottish independence movement have a decision to make. We must decide whether or not we want independence. This, however absurd it may sound, is the most pressing and the most important decision we have to make, and we must make it soon. Each of us must look deep inside ourselves, think long and hard, and decide. At the end of September 2014 those of us who chose to continue knew that from that point on – emerging from the mouth of defeat – it would be a longer, harder road. We were kidding ourselves on if we thought otherwise.

This general election has proven to be the second speedbump, and perhaps more than the 2014 No vote it has slowed us down. It has ground us to a halt. Now is the time, if you are so inclined, to lower your flag and head on away home. I’m not going to blame you. We’re exhausted. I’m exhausted.

Are we willing to get back up and dust ourselves down and get back on the move? If this is what you want, then let’s think it through. The last election cost us some dearly loved MPs. It was a bitter pill and a high price. We’ll lose others. Ask yourself, can you take that happening again – and again after that? Have we got the stomach to go through this a third time and a fourth time? Friends, we’re not getting any younger. Our fight is against an empire with resources and energies we cannot begin to even comprehend. Is your answer still Yes? Then let’s think about this.

Some of us are saying, “Yes, but not yet.” The wisdom here is that we should get Brexit out of the way, give the Westminster government all the rope it needs to hang itself. When the London Conservatives have, as inevitably they will, made this mess as bad as it can possibly get we will be rested enough to lift up our banners again and walk through some fairy tale open door. The tired little boy inside me thinks this a brilliant idea. He, like so many of us, wants to curl up and sleep.

Do you know what the problem with this idea is? It assumes that our foe is a mannequin, a motionless, changeless statue that will wait perfectly still until we are better rested. Can you see how dangerous this idea is? Westminster is not this pathetic Theresa May or even the collective incompetence of her parliamentary party’s privately educated murder of toffs. Westminster is an apparatus of an imperialist police state, the bureaucratic structure of intelligent plotters and schemers whose longer-term strategic view of the future is five, six, seven moves ahead of us; whose plans are tuned and reactive to our every move.

Do we think that wheels are not turning within wheels all the while we wait, continually conspiring against us; plotting our downfall – our destruction? Do we really believe Great Britain became what it is by happy accident? Was this once globe-spanning empire, this vicious nuclear state the product of luck? If we think this then we truly lack the wherewithal to be struggling against it.

As we wait for the storm of Brexit to pass over us those wheels will roll out every conceivable underhand and devious weapon against us. Theresa May or the puppet masters behind her will fight their fictive terrorists by shutting down the internet, and when we finally wake up from our rest the only tool we have at our disposal will already be gone. You think this is paranoia? Did you read her manifesto? By waiting and resting we will do only two things. We will start to lose numbers and shrink, and we will hand the beast the gift of time. Waiting is death.

What we have is a movement that is now sluggish and tired. Our decision is this: Wake it up and fire it with new life or send it to sleep and sit by its side in tearful vigil as it breathes its last.

You want my opinion? Well here it is. Scotland is my home and I am here fighting for it. I am watching as the British state penalises my mother for being disabled. We are watching as it murders infants for being Syrian. We are looking on as it feasts on the suicides of the weak, the sick, the poor, the unemployed who have lost hope and given up. Now we have a front row seat to their rutting session with people in Northern Ireland who’d throw rocks at children for attending a Catholic school. How long can we wait and watch and rest? Can you sleep through any more of this? I can’t.

Britain is injustice. It is unjust that Scotland is unfree. There can be no peace without justice, and we sure can’t sleep without peace. So tired as I am, and I am exhausted, I am here to finish the job I came to do. We have set our hands to the plough. This is my opinion. I am not for giving up. I am not going to give this monster a moment’s rest, a moment’s peace, until this job is done. I can’t do it alone.

If now is the time then now is the time to wake everyone up. This movement will move only when we give it another push. It will succeed only when we keep on pushing, when we don’t give up. It is time for ideas and talking to be turned into action. We become an unstoppable force right now or this is the end of the road. If this is what you want then you had better get your boots on – we’re about to start moving again.

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Chaos, Independence & Governments

by C.C. Hamilton

Hampden

I am going to say something really unfashionable in Scotland these days. I LOVE SCOTLAND.

Thats better, glad I got that off my chest.

I was at Hampden on Saturday and it was brilliant. The atmosphere, the banter, the camaraderie, the rollercoaster ride, the post mortem amongst us as we trudged away after another hard luck story. It is unique to us. Not better than anyone else but definately unique and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We have our problems in Scotland, like every country does but when we come together like we did on Saturday it is a thing of beauty. Sure some people booed the National Anthems and one or two songs were a bit near the knuckle but it was never poisonous in any way. It was a rivalry and a good one. A wee country trying to get one over on a much bigger neighbour. All credit to our English friends too for adding to the atmosphere. I really hope they go unbeaten the rest of the campaign. For us we just keep on keeping on but there is a wee bit of gallus returning I would love to see that replicated throughout the country and not just at Hampden and Murrayfield for big matches.

 

Tory Chaos

As always when we get yet another Tory Government we didnt vote for I look on at the chaos that ensues and shake my head. The Tories are bad for Scotland we know that, bad for the UK too, but particularly bad for Scotland. Of course this time we were brave enough, not stupid, but on their record in Scotland you have to be brave  to send 13 of them to Westminster but such is the shambles down there that they are already trying to distance themselves from the UK party and pretend to be independent. Oh the irony!  The lack of scrutiny on Ruth Davidson and her party in the Scottish press is actually quite frightening but if I had voted Tory in Scotland and looking at the mess I have voted for I would be thinking twice about trusting Ruth Davidson with my vote again any time soon. Interesting that she now wants an “Open Brexit!” whatever that means, but I am pretty sure there are many,many people who voted Tory in Scotland on the basis of the hard Brexit, she herself, seemed to have signed up to during the Election Campaign. I dont believe there were many in Scotland voted for a Tory Government, propped up by a party like the DUP (and all their baggage that goes along with that,) ditching most of their manifasto, no coherant Brexit plan and a lame duck PM being savaged from all sides including her own party. It’s not for me to tell the rest of the UK how to vote, but we know from bitter tears that if we vote Tory in Scotland we get chaos. The Tories are spinning hard up here because they know the UK is a shambles of their making and that at some stage the Scots who voted for them, and they are not stupid, will catch up and see them for what they are. The party of self interest. Scotland and in particular the fine people of the Borders and the North East deserve better than that.

 

Independence

Independence is gone for now, there is no real stomach for the fight in Scotland. Part of the problem with the yes movement is that we try to solve all Scotlands problems overnight with indy. We can’t. Independence is about choice. And who makes those choices. Once we are Independent from the UK we choose what kind of country we want to live in and elect Government to meet that demand. If they don’t deliver we vote them out. We can never do that at UK level, even if we had all voted Labour, Corbyn would still have been short of a majority. And that is the core point and always has been. It is a democratic deficit. If you believe Scotland is a country, it should elect its own Government with all the levers available to influence our economy, way of life and public services. No one wants to fall out with the rest of the UK. A negotiated settlement so we take responsibilty for our wee bit of the world. Who knows what path our country would take but it would be our path and if it was a shambles (it wouldn’t be) it would be ours, we would own it and we would take the required steps to sort it. Compare that to the mess of the UK at the moment. There cant be anyone out there who thinks we couldnt do a better job ourselves of managing a country than this mess forced on us my May, Davidson et al. Is anyone amongst THEM brave enough to take ownership of it? Nope, lurching from one disaster to another. We have a lifeboat, we just need to trust ourselves, but are we brave enough to use it? Not yet.

 

Tale of 2 Governments

 

Today the Scottish Government quietly announced a funding package for the Borders and a bill for further powers and protections for our island communities. Getting on with the day job in the face of the most hostile press anywhere in the UK (you wont read about it in the papers because its not SNPBAD). Compare that to the actual state of the UK Government over the last few years. A UK Government set to take us back in time, doing deals with the crazies from across the water against and outward looking, inclusive Scottish Government. Of course, we have challenges here and devolution actually makes some of those challenges greater with a fixed budget and limited tax powers but I would much rather have a left of centre social democratic party running Scotland, with all our challenges than what we have at UK level right now. In any other year we would be screaming to get out of this Union and build a fairer, just society in Scotland and support similar parties of Social Justice in the rest of the UK. But the GE has shaken us. After 10 years of competency we have become complacent. The SNP are not perfect by any means, but they are a lot better than anything else out there at the moment. Never forget that Davidson and Dugdale led us here. They don’t think we can do any better and we need this shamolic UK Government. In their desperation to crush the SNP they have made us believe we just need to suck it up. We don’t but we do need to be good neighbours. And after independence we will be good neighbours, best friends working together in the best interests of all of the British Isles. It will be brilliant.

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Ruth Davidson

by C.C.Hamilton

Ruth Davidson cannot be allowed to run away from this current Tory cluster fuck.  The Scottish media has to do its job and hold her to account now.

Her party is now going into an agreement with the DUP, a party with “questionable” views on gay rights and a history of  sectarian issues. I say questionable but it’s a lot worse than that of course.

Now add that to the fact that she has:

 

-Councillors suspended (but still active in the party during the General Election) for allegedly posting racist and sectarian content on social media.

 

-She has been pictured with activists who have been or are in the process of being investigated for alleged sectarian and racist abuse/content on social media. Indeed one such activist was exposed by Wings Over Scotland as having been been convicted in court over abuse made to call centre operatives.

 

-And remember  we also have actual high profile MSP’S using the hash tag WATP (we are the people)  to troll folk on twitter.

 

It’s then no real surprise to read Aiden Kerrs story today of an increase in Anti Catholic crime recently. Of course wee Aiden is either not brave enough or good enough to follow the trails because he knows it may lead (at least) partly to Cuddly, darling of the media, former BBC employee Ruth Davidson’s party. Language is important and high profile figures using sectarian or racist terms emboldens those at the fringes. Indeed Nicola Sturgeon is questioned constantly about those on the fringes of the YES movement and they are not even involved in any way with the SNP. An example of which was Kezia Dugdale recently demanding the the FM distance herself from the owner of pro indy site Wings Over Scotland. A man who does not live in Scotland, is not a member of the SNP, has never voted for them and is indeed a reluctant Liberal Democrat voter. If he is anyone’s problem he is a Tim Farron or Willie Rennie problem! Compare the days of coverage that received to the near silence around this issue. No one is saying that Ruth Davidson is racist or Sectarian, of course, but there is a creeping bigot element in her party and it must be called out when we see it. What is important though is whether she has the strength to deal with it.

 

Ruth made a big play yesterday of being a Protestant Unionist marrying an Irish Catholic as a cynical attempt at deflection when questioned about the DUP agreement, yes…she really did. Well no one really cares about Ruth’s personal life, other than to wish them both well actually. Most of Scotland moved on from that a long time ago.. But her party is cosying up to a party who would deny couples like them the same rights in Northern Ireland and she has high profile figures and activists using intemperate Sectarian, Racist and homophobic language on HER watch. Remember Ruth was very quick to wade into the Corbyn/IRA story. So the same scrutiny should be on her and her party here. Questions must be answered. Ruth Davidson talks a lot about division but it is members of her party and activists working alongside her in campaigns who are using some of the most vile, divisive language in the country. She may argue that she is unaware of these issues but she surely has to be asked the question. Members of her party North and South of the Border are dragging this country back to the dark ages, that much is clear, and that definitely wasn’t on any leaflet I got from the Ruth Davidson party.  She now says that she has assurances from the PM that the loose agreement with DUP will not harm LGBTI rights, even suggesting that her new MP’s may vote against the PM in a desperate attempt to distance herself from the Tory shambles she told us to vote for. The woman is spinning like a top. The Media, particularly the broadcast media for failing to investigate these issues and indeed the work of Open Democracy recently around “Dark Money” funding her campaigns ought to hang their heads and they do a disservice to democracy.

 

There should be nowhere to hide for Ruth Davidson. This Tory Government that she told us to vote for is an utter shambles and she doesn’t get to run away from her part in this. She thinks she is fireproof. She knows she just about fell apart over the rape clause debacle only to get off the hook. She should face the same scrutiny as every other party leader. In my view there are many in her party who are no better than UKIP, I think she knows it and she is trying to deflect and hide. 

 

Shame.

 

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Initial Thoughts on a crazy night.

by C.C Hamilton

  1. If someone had offered the SNP 35 seats from a previous total of 6 in 2015, I think they would have been delighted. Last night, of course was a disappointment but it is still a BIG result. 3rd largest party at Westminster on the back of wins in the council elections and Holyrood elections is still very good after 10 years in Government in Scotland and against a brutally hostile media.
  2. That said it was a real blow to lose people like Angus Robertson, Eilidh Whiteford and Alex Salmond. However, it is now up to the Tories who suggested they can protect the North East (fishing in particular) to come through. They won’t.
  3. Never underestimate the power of the Sectarian vote in Central Scotland, especially when it tactically votes and in some places they got it right this time. When that tacks enmasse to any party’s base support it will do well. Good luck to them but I suggest in places like Rutherglen, where they lost the hardest working MP in Westminster, they cut off their nose to spite their face. In my constituency we only got postal stuff from the other candidates, the Tory nowhere to be seen, didn’t even turn up for some of the hustings but only narrowly lost with 32% of the vote. The Tory vote in Scotland has next to nothing to do with policy, because they don’t really have any.
  4. Labour vote share going up slightly had nothing to do with the Scottish Labour leadership and everything to do with Corbyn. Hell I would have voted Labour myself in England, but I never want to hear anyone in Scottish Labour go unchallenged if they use the “Tartan Tories” shite again. The Scottish Labour Leader suggested the Tories were better placed to beat the SNP in some places and news reports suggested they were working with the Tories to unseat the SNP candidate. Disgusting. As those 12 seats staying SNP could have led to a progressive alliance and Labour running the country. Kezia Dugdale should be hanging her head in shame today. All she had to say was “Vote Labour, and if you can’t vote Labour, vote anyone but the Fucking Tories!”
  5. Nicola Sturgeon completely fucked up with her attack on Kezia on Monday, I appreciate Kezia has attacked her all campaign and I get the impression Nicola was hurt at being attacked by someone she once regarded as a friend, but to do so as she did on Monday brought the debate level down even further and let RapeClauseRuth of the NoSurrender Party off the hook. Apologise Nicola and move on please.
  6. I dearly wanted some kind of alliance between LibDems, Labour and SNP but that seems to be unlikely with the Tories keen to work with the DUP to secure a slim majority. This is terrible news for progressives in the UK and has particular consequences for our friends in Northern Ireland I would suggest.
  7. Will Saint Theresa resign? early indications are no but she is weakened.
  8. Will Nicola Sturgeon resign? No but again she is weakened. A poor campaign, the result aside, where she spent most of it on the defensive. There seemed to be little or no strategy but I think she is still the outstanding political mind in Scotland. There has been a complacency around the party, though, and that has to change. Forget referendums for now, the Scottish Parliament has a mandate anyway, and get back amongst the people and engage again.
  9. Again Scotland, Sillars was right. We must face the paradox, what happens when Scotland votes one way and England another (paraphrasing) 2/3rd of us voted against the Tories and here we are again. A Tory Government but not just that this time. A Tory Government propped up by the DUP. And Ruth the Mooth thinks the yes movement is divisive. What a fuckin joke.
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Getting on with the Day Job

 

So @kezdugdale has said all SNP MPs are doing in Westminster is fighting for independence. Let’s see shall we?

 

1. Here’s @IBlackfordSNP fighting against the UK’s ridiculous immigration system that would have deported the Brains. http://www.thenational.sco/news/14902497.Ian_Blackford__MP__describes_the_deporting_of_people_like_the_Brain_family_as_a_modern_day_Highland_Clearance/

 

2. Here’s @EilidhWhiteford passing landmark domestic violence legislation. SNP MPs did that in Westminster.  https://www.holyrood.com/articles/news/snp-mp%E2%80%99s-bill-ratify-istanbul-convention-gets-backing-parliament

 

3. Here’s @alisonthewliss exposing the Tories repugnant #RapeClause and SNP’s fighting against it.  https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/mar/03/exemption-clause-for-tax-credits-in-chaos-says-mp

 

4. Here’s @MhairiBlack fighting against the UK Govt’s absurd benefits sanctions regime which is hurting the vulnerable.  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/video/2017/mar/22/mhairi-black-benefit-sanctions-dont-work-and-westminster-knows-it-video?CMP=twt_gu

 

5. Oh look. Here is @alisonthewliss again, campaigning for more protections on the marketing of baby formula milk.  https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/nov/16/formula-milk-marketing-claims-mp-calls-for-fresh-curbs

 

6. Here’s @joannaccherry campaigning against the Tories inhumane decision to scrap the Dub’s amendment.  http://www.thenational.scot/politics/14892135.SNP_MP_Joanna_Cherry_calls_on_Theresa_May_to_give_support_to_vulnerable_child_refugees_after_French_camps_visit/

 

7. Here’s @kirstenoswald fighting for our veterans. Thanks to her, mesothelioma sufferers will get care they deserve  https://www.snp.org/doing_the_right_thing_by_our_veterans

 

8. Here’s @RogMull fighting against the SLP tax loophole that’s Westminster seems to not want to close. http://www.heraldscotland.com/opinion/14695858.Roger_Mullin_MP__Why_I_fear_Westminster_will_not_close_Scotland__39_s_tax_haven_loophole/

 

9. Yup it’s @MhairiBlack again. Fighting for @WASPI_Campaign & for fair treatment for women born in the 1950s #WASPI  https://www.sundaypost.com/news/political-news/mhairi-black-pledges-to-continue-pensions-fight/

 

10. Next it’s @StephenGethins standing up to Theresa May’s extreme Brexit obsession & protecting 80,000 Scottish jobs. https://inews.co.uk/opinion/comment/snps-stephen-gethins-wont-meekly-succumb-hard-brexit/

 

11. Here’s @AlexSalmond laying down 50 amendments to the Tories brexit bill & standing up for Scotland’s interests. http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15043489.SNP_will_table_50_amendments_to_Brexit_bill__says_Alex_Salmond/

 

12. Here’s @AngusRobertson exposing the Tories plans to ditch the pensions #TripleLock at #PMQs  https://twitter.com/theSNP/status/857198729752981505

 

13. Here’s @EilidhWhiteford standing up for Scotland’s fishing communities that the Tories think are “expendable”. https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/9251/uk-government-fails-guarantee-support-scotland-s-fishing-community

 

14. Here’s @callum_mccaig standing up for Aberdeen’s Oil & Gas sector. Demanding the UK Govt support the industry https://www.energyvoice.com/opinion/103515/103515/

 

15. Here’s @CalumKerrSNP standing up to the UK Govt’s extreme Brexit that will hurt Scotland’s farming communities. https://www.fginsight.com/news/news/this-is-a-disgraceful-way-to-treat-the-sector—snp-slams-ministers-for-short-changing-farmers-20649

 

16. Here’s @joannaccherry again, standing up to the Theresa May’s illiberal snoopers charter. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/14/snoopers-charter-labour-threatens-to-hold-up-bill-over-privacy-fears

 

17. Here’s @HannahB4LiviMP fighting for her constituents & winning the fight for a new independent aviation body. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/west-lothian-mp-wins-battle-9837797

 

18. Here’s @KirstySNP reuniting with a young girl with her lost toy bunny. Because not everything has to be serious  https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/uk/westminster-bunny-reunited-child-lost-thanks-snp-mp-kirsty-blackman/

 

19. But if you think it does, here’s @KirstySNP fighting for a more family friendly parliament. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jul/26/kirsty-blackman-snp-mp-westminster-parliament-childcare-london

 

20. Here’s @PeteWishart holding the Tories feet to the fire over the election expenses investigation. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/scottish-national-party-call-for-met-police-to-investigate-tory-election-fraud-a7042396.html

 

21. Here’s @PGibsonSNP securing a victory in her campaign against nuisance calls. http://www.thenational.scot/news/14896609.Victory_for_MP_Patricia_Gibson_as_firm_chiefs_face_fines_of_up_to___500_000_for_nuisance_calls/

 

22. Here’s @TasminaSheikh holding the UK Govt to account over their failures in the #Concentrix scandal http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/perthshire-mp-tasmina-ahmed-sheikh-8849883

 

23. Here’s @AlanBrownSNP campaigning to secure audio & visual help for blind & deaf passengers on public transport. http://www.thenational.scot/news/14903358.MP_argues_for__talking_buses__to_help_deaf_and_blind_travellers/

 

24. Here’s @StewartMcDonald MPs fighting the Tories decision to close half of Glasgow’s job centres https://stv.tv/news/west-central/1375030-half-of-glasgow-job-centres-to-close-under-uk-government-plans/

 

25. Here’s @ChrisStephens constantly reminding Labour & Tories of the #IndyRef promises for jobs in Clyde shipyards  https://www.sundaypost.com/fp/union-fears-for-clyde-jobs-as-tories-back-bae-review/

 

26. Here’s @AngelaCrawley30 standing up for LGBT & Transgender equality and calling for more progress. https://stv.tv/news/politics/1374436-snp-make-2017-a-year-of-progress-for-transgender-rights/

 

27. Here’s @MrJohnNicolson exposing & fighting the Tories privatisation agenda – this time around @Channel4News http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/11/04/jon-snow-david-cameron-channel-4-privatisation_n_8474610.html

 

28. Here’s @Stuart_McDonald & @ronniecowan fighting against the Tories ludicrous immigration targets https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/communities/opinion/house-commons/82861/stuart-mcdonald-mp-and-ronnie-cowan-mp-ludicrous

 

29. Here’s @PeteWishart fighting against the ‘go home’ vans that Theresa May set up http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13116016.SNP_demands_answers_over_immigration__poster_vans_/

 

30. Here’s @GavNewlandsSNP campaigning for men to stand up against domestic violence.  http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/istanbul-convention-domestic-violence-male-mps-vote-a7477006.html

 

31. Here’s @BrendanOHaraSNP standing up to the Westminster parties obsession with spending £100bn on nuclear weapons. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/brendan-ohara/trident_b_11054406.html

 

32. Here’s @DeidreBrock bringing common sense to Westminster & fighting against the Tories desire for a new Royal yacht http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/government-rules-out-using-taxpayers-money-to-fund-new-royal-yacht-a7356426.html

 

SNP – Getting on with the Day Job.

(This is just an example of some of the things the SNP has been doing – if you have anymore suggestions please email defiayeonline@gmail.com with others)

(This article has been made possible by harvesting tweets from  @GrantDCostello – cheers Grant)

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