BLETHERIN FOU ANENT CALEDONIA (Ben the Howff)

thistle_2

by Jaz Dunnichen

Contermacious yir Pictish quean an loon.

Charrit an airms Tam, no aft laid doun.

Breuked a braw stour an aft pentit thairsel

tae set tae Romans, flichtermice fae Hell.

 

Sic Hadrian biggit thon faur-kent dyke

seein tae as the wather wiz dreich like.

Gin Antoninus biggit anither ane-

gaed fae Forth tae Clyde wi divot an stane.

 

Tak yer een aff thon wee ginger limmer –

she’s fell peelie-wallie like wir simmer.

Dout that she’ll cast her duddies tae the wark,

maistly sin yir wearin thon mingin sark.

 

Weel it wis fair in the newins the day –

micht hae been anither waw Mearns way,

that archaeologists jalouse thay’ve fund

whiles  howkin some reid clart oota the grund.

 

Mind ye wad cuddies ere ye wir waddit –

craitur cried Mons Graupius ye  haddit.

Stairtit swith an gat stickit in the glaur,

cried efter thon fecht by dinna ken whaur.

 

Wee cutty sark thar’s juist gon ben the howff.

That’ll lear ye tae be sae awfu dowf,

doverin as the warld passes by

regairdless o’ ongauns like hird o’ kye.

 

Nou if wi depairt dae wi hae three dykes?

That’ll fair stir up ane whappin wasps’ byke.

Whauraboots is wir leal mairch the nou?

Here man, ye can vote even gin ye’re fou!

 

Hadrian’s,  Antonine’s an ae ither.

Gie awa Hadrian’s – twa bide hither.

Sortit wi’oot a muckle stramash Tam.

Wauken up man an feenish that wee dram.

 

Wunner if the Picts kent thir wis ile?

Thay focht the Roman billies a while.

Used tae gie ane anither a guid fleg

but a’m no sae shuir wha wis the mair gleg?

 

Nou wi micht git lowsed – tak tent Tam tak tent!

Than again some fowk think wi micht git rent.

Mind guid howffs’ll be here mony morras,

sae we coud come back droun ony sorras.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Yes Picnic

by C.C.Hamilton

Yes Picnic

I love the idea of the Yes Picnic that is being planned for the 29th July. Don’t get me wrong I am realistic enough to know it will probably pish doon wae rain but it is exactly the king of gathering I was talking about a couple of weeks ago about using the summer months and the “better” weather to bring people together. The boss here at Defiaye Towers is helping to organise and I am to understand that a wee dug of the ginger variety will be there.

What it will do, and this is important, is attract nosy/curious peole in the park that day to come and see what isgoing on and these are the really important conversations we need to have over the next couple of years. In my experience most people are really receptive to the “idea” of independence but are a bit scared of it. We need to take the sting out of it. And informal gatherings in public places can help to do that. We need to stop shouting and start listening. Stop talking AT people and start talking to them. Conversations are a two way thing and too many in our movement want to talk and shout AT people and not take the time to listen and converse. Let them come to us because what we are doing is interesting, fun and worth their time. Actually too many in our movement spend too much time on social media arguing with people who are NEVER going to be convinced, but that is a whole other blog. So if you are about on the 29th and fancy a blether, come along. I’m taking the weans. Bring a bit o scran and a bottle of ginger. It’ll be great.

 

 

Difficult Night

 

Last night was a tough one for our Womens football team. Those of us who follow the side knew it was going to be a difficult night. Particularly as we were missing Kim Little, Jen Beattie,Lizzi Arnott and Emma Mitchell through injury. However, that has created opportunities for others and most of them are young enough to learn great lessons from last night. Disappointingly I don’t think our players did themselves justice. I am sure they will be desperate to prove that they are better than the scoreline and performance suggests and they are. On Sunday they move on to play Portugal and it is a game they can win. Qualifying for this tournament was massive, but we don’t want to be there just making up the numbers. The experience of tournament football will be brilliant for the squad and should drive them on to bigger and better things and any girls out there playing the game or watching last night shouldn’t be downheartened but it should make them more determined to push on.

Which brings me to the appalling way the SFA treat our team. While the men are resting up in the luxury of Mar Hall the ladies are treated like second class citizens. That has to change. If we are serious about progressing our game in Scotland and encouraing more girls and women to play and watch the game, we have to treat our elite squads properly. They have the ability but they need the preperation time and facilities that are afforded to the top nations in the Womens game. Make no mistake, this is a talented group we have with better talent coming through behind them. If we invest now, we have a real chance. Is the SFA brave enough to really back the Womens game in Scotland? I hae ma doots.. but they should or else a terrific opportunity will be lost. Oh and by the way, the Scottish Government could intervene here with a couple of million quid, small beer for them, and demand that the SFA match their investment. I appreciate that money is being spent in grassroots fooball but it is the elite squads doing well that drives participation at grassroots. The FM is patron of the Womens National team, lets see if her Government can put their money where their mouths are.

Before I finish can I also point to the great coverage the Womens game gets in The National newspaper. The only newspaper to take the Scottish Womens game seriously and I really hope they continue to grow their coverage of Womens Football.

 

 

 

BBC Pay

 

Firstly let me say that I don’t really care what individual presenters on the Beeb get paid. However as a big fan of Scottish football I was annoyed to see that Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer are receiving more for presenting Match of the Day than the amount the BBC paysin total for Scottish Football coverage. I love Match of the Day and really like Lineker and Shearer but I think it is time for the BBC to shell out a bit more to support our game, produce a better Sportscene product and give it a prime time slot. That in turn would encourage more people to watch, attend games and that would, hopefully encourage more participation in the game. I don’t grudge anyone a single penny but we pay the licence fee too in Scotland and our national game deserves better from the national broadcaster.

 

 

Continue Reading

SONNET FOR JIMMY REID

for_poem

by Jaz Dunnichen

 

The Stygian dawn of Thatcher’s children

loomed out of the maw of the South the day

he spoke clear again to me by the Tay

this mighty Clyde built man of then

orator of another river’s ken

whereon he’d employed with time’s truth and lay

those ancient trusted Greek arts to inveigh

against disciples of greed and its yen.

 

Succinctly he voiced a selfless heart’s cause

heralded hope and sang a plaintive hymn 

of working dignity this man of pause

this denizen of the Communist rim,

this fair fluent fan of Jesus Christ laws.

No such fine ships in now’s zeitgeist and whim.

Continue Reading

Bubbles And Echo Chambers

ECHO

by Wee Coonty Radical

As with most things it’s the getting started that is the hardest step and once taken the rest falls into place or so we tend to believe. There are always a few people who caution against over optimism, people who look at an issue such as independence and ask why those opposed to it do so and how do those that support independence convince our fellow Scots that independence is not only desirable but essential if as we like to think we live in a society that is progressive and democratic enough to allow for any political ideology wherever it is on the political spectrum to have its place within the wider Yes movement.

 
I believe during the independence referendum this was achieved but since there has been an entrenchment of opinions and if not a reluctance to listen to other viewpoints then to only listen to those that closely resemble our own, be that left, centre or right.  Personally I know I have been complicit in this as after the 2014 referendum result I was, shocked and angry at the result. Along with many others I had attended rallies, canvassed and travelled over the central belt of Scotland to get material for my local Yes hub.

The people I canvassed alongside did so because they believed we could have a real impact on how this nation would be run. We would have an input and a real say in a way that many of us felt we had never had. So we went to peoples doors, gave them leaflets and information from the many groups that participated in the referendum campaign and we talked to people who had different points of view and we learned to refine our arguments and tailor them to the areas we were in but wherever that was we ensured that we made sure it was an inclusive, socially just and positive message.  Given the negativity of the better together campaign, you’d think voters would opt for the more positive choice, but as we found out fear won out over hope.

Since the referendum some of us have rather impressive built bubbles and echo chambers. We decided that those who did not share our vision, our way whatever that may be to achieve independence were somehow holding the independence movement back. Any questioning of the timing of another indy ref was considered to be tantamount to being against it, this seems to have intensified since the 2016 Brexit vote and the General Election of 2017.   

From a personal point of view memes with Eat, Sleep, SNP , Repeat began bothering me. The meme seemed to imply carry out these actions but don’t critically assess why you would do it.  Mentioning this on Facebook was interesting. I was informed only the SNP would bring about independence (as the largest party committed to it and being in government so I was told on a few occasions, ONLY they could deliver it) I argued that we get independence only through engagement with the wider grassroots movement as only by recapturing the diversity that existed then could we hope to win any future referendum.  Nonsense I was told, what other party will bring it about? Will a bunch of lefty columnists achieve it? A few days later Nichola Sturgeon announced that the SNP need to engage with the wider YES movement.  I would have claimed bragging rights but here’s the thing, it doesn’t really matter as I agree the SNP is the most effective vehicle at present but to succeed listening to other points of view , more so the opposite and debating points, yes even those of people who voted Labour in the last GE, is the only way we are going to win.

 Recently I have heard that the success of Jeremy Corbyn in England is due to his adoption of SNP polices. I can’t agree with this reasoning. The policies Corbyn has promoted are social democratic\ socialist. They are not Corbyn’s Labour or the SNPs solely , they are an attempt at social inclusion and the fairer society we aimed for in 2014.  When will we get the opportunity to advocate those values, a part from in our everyday lives and the interactions we have with our friends ,family , colleagues , though going on about politics all the time does tend to become wearing to those who are not motivated by it, 2019 seems likely.

I hope I have learned to become more tolerant of opposing views and know for certain that to win another independence vote deflating the bubbles and deconstructing those impressive echo chambers is vital.

Continue Reading

Here we go again

by C.C.Hamilton

 

With stunning regularity we end up on this Twitter abuse merry go round. This time It’s Cat Boyd that is the focus. Cat voted Labour in the GE and is all excited about Jeremy Corbyn and Labour policy at the moment.  So What? I hear you cry.  I know,  I know but the usual dafties on twitter were pure raging about this because Cat was a big part of the brilliant RIC and the not so brillant RISE campaign at the last Scottish Election.

Cat is a terrific writer and communicator and writes for The National Newspaper.  Why anyone really cares how Cat Boyd votes is beyond me, why Cat even bothered to tell anyone how she voted is beyond me. 

In fact most of this Twitter abuse merry go round is beyond me but what seems to happen is this: Fairly prominent person says something vaguely controversial, it gets retweeted by the likes of Wings Over Scotland, usually with a wee dig!  A few dafties pile on raging.  People like Angela Haggerty and the Wee Ginger Dug jump to their defence and they get abuse for that.  Before you know it the papers have got it, the news has got it and we have a great story to batter the Yes movement with.   Most of us don’t know what all the fuss is about but we are ALL branded abusive trolls.   No one EVER talks about the loads of supportive messages the prominent person receives, which probably outweigh the abusive ones, just the abuse.   And while all this is taking place  real issues are sidestepped and ignored.  While we should be organising and energising people some of our greatest minds are shouting at each other in 140 characters on social media. And all this goes on for days and days because people just cant let go.  Sheesh!!!

I don’t know Cat Boyd.  I found her engaging and energising in the referendum Campaign.  I contributed to the RIC as I thought it was a terrific movement.  I’m in my 40’s I’ve seen loads of left leaning, hard working well meaning people come and go in the independence movement.  They always go back to Labour because they think this time it will be different.  Even I thought this time things were different because after the abuse we received from labour members and politicians, there would be no way people could go back there.  But they do, they always do.  And that’s fine. 

I like Jeremy Corbyn, I really hoped he would be PM but he still lost heavily to the most disastrous Tory campaign in history.  His party is still deeply split.  He leads a party that would keep nuclear weapons on the Clyde, favours a much harder “brexit” than any of the young people who I know that voted for him wants and already members of his party are questioning whether they could have afforded their manifesto commitments anyway.  He opposes Scottish independence but favours a United Ireland and sacks ministers for rebelling when he did so himself over 500 times.  Not really the radical voice I hoped for.  But left leaning Pro-Indy foks always gravitate back to Labour in my experience and that is their choice.

I don’t care how Cat votes and neither should anyone else.  I hope in the next Referendum Campaign she is involved with us because we need her.  But that will be her choice.  But my God we all need to spend less time arguing on Twitter and get a bit of life back into ourselves.  It’s the summer, go out and have an ice cream.  Switch yer phone aff.  Or here’s an idea arrange to meet for a coffee and discuss things face to face, like grown up’s do not on the Twitter playground.  Not with 140 characters and emoji’s.  Fuck sake people there’s a bigger picture here.

Continue Reading

New Thoughts

by C.C.Hamilton

A country divided

 

The really good thing about travelling around the Shires of England is getting a feel for the people and leaving the “Scotland is shit” media behind. I love England, it’s people, it’s scenery and it’s rich history. I love how, for the most part,they have this great belief in the country’s ability to overcome any odds. There is no way, for example, if England had entered a Union with France 300 years and had the parliament moved to Paris, they would, 300 years later be still agonising over whether they were good enough to be independent. Long before now the English people would have TAKEN their country back. I like that. This last wee while is different though.I sensed division this time, division I had never really sensed before. And 3 way  too. There are those who want a really hard BREXIT,who seem to dispise the EU, those desperate to stay in the EU and those, like most Scots, I suppose, just shrugging their shoulders and burying their heads, dismayed by politics in general. We all hear about Scotland being divided, my goodness, Kezia is never done goingon about it. But lets be clear, there are divisions in all countries between left and right, religion, yes and no….. But we manage these divisions and particularly in Scotland we are managing these divisions better than ever I think. We mustn’t take our eye off the ball of course.

Speaking to people down South I’ve never heard such polar views. Some had a real deep distaste for the EU, usually around the issue of Immigration and others just felt helpless. Some of those I spoke to, voted for Jeremy Corbyn on the basis that he “was different” but already had become dismayed by the fact that 1. he lost and they got a Tory Government anyway (we know the feeling!) and 2. were now of the opinion that Corbyn’s Labour party are after much the same “hard” Brexit that the Tories are.  What was also startling was the positive attitude to some of our Politicians, Nicola Sturgeon, Mhairi Black and Angus Robertson being particularly highly regarded. Funnily enough, friends in England seem to have seen through Ruth Davidson much quicker than us Scots, one guy referred to her as a “Posh Ned!” which I thought was funny. Too much Still Game for him I think! What I think has become clear is that people in England are much more aware of the other countries in the UK (possibly brought in to focus by the Tory-DUP deal) and are paying more attention to our politics.  Becoming frustrated by the performance of their NHS for example compared to Scotland.  Anyway that’s just a snapshot of recent travels in England.  I don’t know where Brexit will take the UK, it’s a mess and I think we all know it. Can we make the best of it? I am not sure but many people around these islands feel exactly the same.

 

The problem with Labour

 

It’s been interesting over the last few weeks to read two of my favourite Pro-Indy writers Cat Boyd and Alan Bissitt wrestle with voting Labour in the recent General Election. As I have said here before, I don’t really care how anyone else votes, indeed it’s none of my business but you have to own that vote. Be aware of what you are voting for, who you are voting for and if elected what you will get from your candidate and if the party forms the Government what you will get from them. For me in the General Election the choice was easy. My SNP MP has been superb for our area. Worked harder than his predessor and deserved, in my view, to remain in place and he did albeit with a reduced majority.  Our Labour candidate was a mess and despite my being encouraged by the prospect of Jeremy as PM, it was just as important to me that the person representing us at Westminster was competent.  The Labour candidate certainly was not that. The Lib Dem was the previous MP and was largely anonymous and the Tory was, well a Tory!

My problems with Labour as a leftie remain.  It is the insulting way they dismissed the YES campaign and continue to dismiss and denigrate those who favour self determintion.  I like Jeremy Corbyn and think he is a decent man, but the party he leads would still keep nuclear weapons on the Clyde.  The Labour mayor of London made bizarre claims about theYES movement being racist. They seem to favour a hard brexit, albeit committed to more concilliatory talks with the EU, and interestingly several of their pledges made during the campaign seem to melt away the closer they get to Government.  Indeed we hear senior members of the Party suggesting that the “radical” manifesto they proposed was based on the fact that they didn’t think they would be elected and admitting that it couldn’t have been implemented.  We also have Jeremy sacking ministers for rebelling, when he himself has been a serial rebel in the party for years. Very much do as I say not as I do.  It’s all so disappointing.  My issue, with the party, here in Scotland is also that the level of candidate just isn’t very good and when I listen to people like Jackie Baillie, Anas Sarwar and James Kelly I don’t hear people who represent what the Labour Party was to me in my younger years or my parents generation or indeed the Labour Party of Jeremy Corbyn. For me Alan Bisset hit the nail on the head, recently, when he said he thought about it, voting for a Labour party with a socialist agenda again, but just couldn’t.  Too much damage has been done. I can’t vote for a party that includes those who openly dispise and denigrate the peaceful democratic YES movement it is such a joy to be a part of. I hope to be able to vote Labour in an Independent Scotland until then it’s SNP/Green/SSP for me.  I want a radical,socialist Scotland. And while we are in the UK I want a radical, socialist UK. Sorry Cat, but even under Jeremy Corbyn Labour is not even close to that.  I am not saying the SNP are radical either by the way, but in the UK we need MP’s whose first and only concern is Scotland and are not lobby fodder for Labour or the Tories.  I can’t forget my own family’s  80’s experience of  local industry being wrecked by the Tories while the Labour MP’s and Labour councils stood idly by and did nothing for the people they represented.

 

Calling Agent  Gilruth

 

I never think the personal lives of Politicians is anyones business and I certainly don’t think it constitutes news but I had a giggle this week when I read about the relationship between SNP MSP Jenny Gilruth and Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale. Both are very capable Politicians and strong characters so I can imagine the discussions over dinner some nights!  Of course, we all know Kezia would love to come over from the “dark side” and back independence for her country and I am sure through time Jenny will be able to persuade her of the merits of that. Kezia Dugdale as the Labour FM in a Independent Scotland? I would take that. On a more serious note, good luck to them both.

 

Space Cringe

 

Not content with saying the Scotland is currently shit, I see our pals in the Unionist media and Tory Party were back to telling us what we couldn’t do as a future Independent country at the weekend.  The National ran a front page at the weekend on the ambitious idea floated by Common Weal that an Independent Scotland could have a thriving space programme.  Despite the fact it was another of those cartoony front pages from the National that I hate.  It was an enjoyable piece, ideal for lighter weekend reading and was indicitive of what the Pro-Indy movement is all about: dreaming big, thinking out of the box, being creative, doing thing differently and trusting ourselves to make those aspirations a reality.  Of course all the big guns piled on, Deerin, Tomkins (yes he of the WATP, Queens 11 tweets), Murial Gray. Most of the Cringers in one place.  How dare Scotland think big?  How dare Scotland think forward?  Quite mad for Scotland to even contemplate such an idea. Of course, many thousands in Scotland are already employed in the space industry and efforts are afoot to bring the UK spaceport to either Prestwick or Campbeltown. We build more satellites in Glasgow than any other European City.  None of that suits the “Scotland is Shit” brigade who currently populate our media and political spaces. It’s a shame really because wee countries with big ideas and big dreams seem to do OK. Never mind.  While they moan from the sidelines we will continue to dream big, reach out and drive forward because that’s what proper country’s do.

Continue Reading

The news where you are

by C.C.Hamilton

 

I think the last couple of days have seen most of the Scottish media losing whatever credibility it had left. This, is of course, a good thing and is to be welcomed. The whole of Scotland now sees that much of our “mainstream” media is just shit.

 

Yesterday we were subjected to wild howling headlines about the state of the NHS in Scotland.  The headlines and stories came from a report by Nuffield Trust, which was actually really POSITIVE about our NHS.  In it they spoke in glowing terms about the apporoach to care and even suggested that other health bodies in the UK should look to the Scottish model for guidence. Now, of course, the report said there are many challenges to be faced in Scotland. Like the rest of the UK, there will always be challenges in health, but here was a positive report commending the work being done in our health servicew and out written press chose to trash it. Shame.

 

The last couple of days has seen us being warned by politicians, media outlets and experts that we are all doomed, we are heading for a recession and it was ALL the SNP’s fault.  Turns out they were all WRONG.  Our economy recovered a bit in the first quarter of this year, the picture looks a bit heathier and actually we performed better than the rest of the UK in this quarter. Now, again, the country faces challenges, not least as the full impact of BREXIT is yet to be felt,but I think, the numbers yesterday confirmed what most of us “real” people think, that actually, our wee country is in reasonable trim.  Do I think we could do better?  Of course, would I like to see more bold policies from the Scottish Government? Yes. But, out in the real world I feel a sense of confidence returning, a wee bit of swagger and gallusness coming back.

What the press has done over the last couple of days has shown them to be sneering one trick ponies,who are only interested in talking the country down as it suits the Unionist agenda of the owners of those papers.  The last couple of days confirmed it.  Hell mend them.  Only the I paper (and the National) were grown up enough to put a good news story about Scotland on their front page.

 

As for the Scottish Tories sadly packing away their recession celebration decorations? What.A.Joke of a political party. An embarrassment to Scotland.

 

I am heading off for a break for a couple of weeks. But I have one simple message this Summer, get out and enjoy Scotland.  We live in an incredible country.  Visit a castle, walk some hills, Pop in to one of our brilliant museums, visit our outstanding cities, hunt for Nessie, jump on a ferry and visit an island, have a dram or a craft beer or a Scottish gin, eat fish n chips n ice cream n Irn Bru.Turn off your phone, jump in the car, bus or train and lose yourself in this place we call home.

 

 

So I have gathered unto myself

All the loose ends of Scotland,

And by naming them and accepting them,

Loving them and identifying myself with them,

Attempt to express the whole. (McDiarmid)

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Marches and stuff

UNICORN_CAROSEL_SMALL

by C.C.Hamilton

 

Summer in Glasgow

 

We were in Glasgow on Saturday, it was depressing. My kids looked on bewildered at the parade as it passed by. Of course, these were a staple of my childhood but we now live in rural Scotland so to my kids, this was like people landing from another planet but with added aggression.  Union Jacks, Rangers strips, Buckfast, Fuck the Pope, The Famine Song, The Billy Boys. We saw and heard it all. “We arra peepil!” too was screamed from a few patrons so at least the new Rangers Manager and Mssrs Tomkins and Fraser of the Ruth Davidson No Surrender Party would have been pleased. Let me say that I have no problem with peaceful demonstations/marches/parades, indeed in a democracy it is to be encouraged. But there is a toxicity around these ones, always has been.

 It was a nice day in Glasgow on Saturday and lots of tourists looked on as bewildered as my kids at the spectacle.  Perhaps I’m just over sensitive as a wee West Coast Catholic boy but there is an aggressive tone in Scottish Unionism and isn’t it telling that the media cheerleaders of this Unionism like Massie, Torrance, Deerin and Clegg never have much to say on it? Even wee Jamie Ross (who I like btw) doesn’t sneeringly tweet about this in the same way as he did the peaceful Pro Indy marches. Funny that.

 

The Herald

 

That’s me officially done with The Herald newspaper. I have been reading it for a long time but the front page this morning introducing Chris Deerin as a new columnist finishes it for me. I will continue to buy the Sunday Herald as I find it fairly balanced but Chris Deerin?FFS! That’s just trolling half of the country. The last thing The Herald needed was ANOTHER SNPBaaad/Scotland’s shit voice. So Fuck them.

 

Getting organised

 

I have been engaging with the mobilise.scot site to share what I think are positive ideas for moving the independence case forward but it got me wondering what they are doing with it. I am looking forward to seeing what the Independence Convention and CommonSpace come up with but I  impatient to see what can be done NOW to get moving. The Summer is such a good time to be out chatting and networking and I am concerned that another summer will be lost bogged down in policy and depressing news headlines. Let’s make the case for Independence NOW and take that message to the streets. I like the core message from the SNP which is “make our own decisions, not have them made for us” and I think that is a fundemental building block. Dispense with brow beating people and WestminsterBad, ToriesBad rhetoric. Most people know that the current set up is shit but want to believe that we can do better. Let’s talk ourselves up for a change. I honestly don’t think we need to have ALL the answers, we need to provide alternatives and make it clear these will be choices for US to make not others. But most of all we need to get moving. Let’s not lose another Summer. Please.

 

Greggs

 

I am sure you have all seen, by now, the furore over Greggs refusing a Scottish banknote in Solihull. Incredibly staff at the shop, having taken the note, then proceeded to take the half eaten food back off the table as the people sat outside eating it. Greggs have since apologised but this is not a new issue. We regularly holiday in England and the further South you go the more of a problem this is. I have had banknotes refused in many places and in London I have seen shops and Restaurants with signs up saying they dont accept Scots or Northern Irish notes. I tend to change my notes to English before I go now, but I shouldn’t have to. It is now time that this issue was raised by the Scottish Government or by our MP’s in theHouse of Commons and put to bed once and for all. We are one country after all!

 

YesBar

 

If you are in Glasgow you should visit the fabulous YesBar in Drury Street. The food is exceptional, the beer is terrific and the service is top notch. Run by prominent yessers it is a brilliant little hang out. They do some incredible offers on their mailing list and even give you 45% off your food bill if you are a member of an indy supporting party. As we gear up for another push, all indy groups should consider having their Glasgow meets here. Try it, you won’t be disappointed. It’s particularly good fun on a Scotland home game! I really wish they would have Scotland away games on the big tellys though, it would be great fun to get together with other yessers and watch the game there.

 

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Your Political Silence Is Consent

by Howling Mad Maverick

Before you start reading I’ll let you know now that I am not a ‘name brand’ academic or anything like that. I’m just a person who lives here and who is sick to the point of insanity at how things are.

 

A lot of people out there now know the facts, I’d even dare say that most people out there know the essentials.

 

Workers are being broken, disabled people are being culled, and the Etonions are swilling even more luxuries from their troughs, while the best people out there starve away to nothing.

 

But complaining changes nothing.

“Boo Tories! Boo DUP! Boo RFC!” shows your opinion in the same way that livestock crying “Baa! Moo! Cluck!” before going on the chopping board shows their opinion.

 

What we, the people, need is a movement again.

The Yes campaign was a monumental revival of humanity in our home, people came together peacefully, sharing their hopes and dreams for the benefit for all, and for the first time in my life I was able to smile at a stranger.

Now many Yes organisations have become the political groups from the film Life of Brian “Let’s have a meeting! (and talk to no one outside our group)”, which leaves us with only the SNP and Scottish Green Party in the ‘limelight’.

We can’t expect any political party at Westminster to continue the fight for our dreams on our behalf (just look at the party Keir Hardie founded).

We need to take to the streets again (and let me be crystal-sparkling clear, I am not inciting riots. What makes our movement so special is that we are so peaceful, no Brit can ever say the same).

We need to be seen, not just at one of demonstration that has been planned and paid for months in advanced (and boycotted or distorted by the British media). We need to show the British that we have a presence that reaches further and stronger than their propaganda. We have the advantage because we actually live here.

Be like the Icelandic women on October 24th 1975. They went on strike for a day, JUST ONE DAY!, to demand equality, and they got it.

Workers unite! And remember “if you tolerate this then your children will be next”.

That’s enough of my rant. I have been writing a wee story that will most likely never be finished, but with the revival of drugs in the community (especially amongst young people), and with the POVERTY-SUPER-MAX that we ARE in for thanks to the political climate, I figured I might as well share a wee bit of it here:

 

What’s The Point?

(A snippet of what life was like in 2004 for me)

 

“Wee-man!”

 

Everything was grey, the pavement, the buildings, the sky.

It was raining.

Dave was rushing down the street, he didn’t run, but he did move as fast as he could while maintaining his calmest facade. The streets were not safe, at least not to Dave.

The fact that Dave had lived here his entire life meant nothing, you’re either one of them or you’re not, and without knowing it, Dave had chosen a different path to the rest of them a long time ago.

Dave believed this was due to his way of thinking, ‘was it a magic gift?’, he could never understand why people were addicted to tv and alcohol when so much more is possible in this life.

They would rant and rave about how bad corruption had gotten, how dangerous times had become, but they stood ready to attack the person who stood up for them, against the things they lived to complain about.

Dave never understood double-speak, why would anyone focus on what they hated, then defend what they hated the minute someone came along to make things better?

 

“Here wee-man! Mate!!!” a junky called over to Dave from across the street.

Dave never gave anything away, he never showed any emotion, especially when he was outside.

Dave kept on walking, not looking at the junky, but not looking away either, like a government agent avoiding questions from reporters, in a Hollywood film.

All the same Dave kept his head down. He always kept his head down. Dave felt claustrophobic from the CCTV that spread through his home town like a virus, and looking down from the cameras made him feel a bit safer. Keeping his head down also limited the chance of a probable “Whit you looking at!” from a passer-by, and it came in handy to avoid stepping on whatever lay on the ground.

“MATE! ! !” the junky shrieked at the top of his voice, making Dave look over.

Once he had Dave’s attention, the junky shouted “Tell yer maw she was good stuff last night!” making an offensive gesture toward Dave.

The junky proceeded to puff out his chest and spread his arms, inviting Dave to a fight.

A full grown adult on drugs, in a place where people know him, against a school aged boy out on his own…As if’

Dave walked on, still showing no emotion. To show emotion, any emotion, was a sign of weakness in these streets.

Dave hated the world he lived in, everyone was addicted to needless drama. They would even purposely create problems if there was no drama to keep them amused.

And ‘God forbid’ you showed any kindness. If you showed any sign of compassion, you had truly declared ‘open season’ on yourself to all of them.

Things were bad for Dave because he didn’t fight these pointless fights that the drug addicts often challenged him to, but at least they had one slight hint of fear of him, which was not being able to tell what Dave was thinking, courtesy of the “mask” that he wore.

 

Dave could see the newly built flats as he reached a further part of the street.

A forest used to be where the flats where situated. It was the last forest Dave had ever seen.

People had overpaid stupid amounts of money, to some ‘fat-cat’, so that they could live in a house that was essentially made out of papier-mâché, in a horrible area. Was it worth the loss of the last green area that Dave had ever known?

What’s the point?’ Dave lamented.               

Dave’s world was covered in cement, to him the Earth was a large sphere of concrete. It was full of rules that only applied when preventing good people from making a stand.

Snitches get stitches!” the so called “hard men” would chant, but they were always the first ones to run and “snitch” whenever things didn’t go their way.

Dave considered how he would not be living in terror, if the worst people were not encouraged and protected by the establishment.

Head’s they win, tail’s you lose… there’s no survival of the fittest anymore’ Dave thought to himself.

Continue Reading