Yes media

 by C.C. Hamilton

 

When I got involved in the campaign of Independence in 1986, there was next to no one speaking for us. There were a few artists like Pat Kane who stuck their head above the parapet and a few noisy politicians, Sillars, Salmond Wilson etc and that was about it.Well, those were the ones I knew about. As the SNP grew and got a foothold in Holyrood after Devolution it didn’t change much to be honest. It was still difficult to find a Pro-Indy voice in the media.There was a grudging recognition that there WAS a movement for change out but nothing more than that.

The Referendum changed all that. It is still difficult to find Pro-Indy voices in the mainstream but in the alternative media we have terrific voices like Angela Haggerty, Cat Boyd, Common Space, Bella Caledonia Wee Ginger Dug and yes, even Wings Over Scotland if you disregard his twitter feed. And even in the mainstrean we have the likes of Kevin McKenna writing positively about independence. We have The National and the Sunday Herald. Both broadly positive about Independence. It’s been a struggle but things are a lot better.

The reason I mention this is that it’s been a bruisin few weeks for online Yessers. I chucked Twitter ages ago but I occasionally tip my toe back in and the same couple of dozen folk are still shouting at one another about something somebody said about somebody else.

This week Ross Greer of the Green Party waded in, and I have to say that although I was hugely disappointed in his criticism of The National and it’s readers, in the Sunday Herald I think he was broadly correct in what he said. There is no doubt the Yes Movement is damanged by the intemperate online language used by a couple of dozen broadly well meaning folk. But their language, I believe, is borne out of frustration at the lack of support or protection from those in power on our side of the constitutional debate regarding the incessant attacks by a largely hostile media and the fact that the very worst language used by those noisy dozen or so on the Unionist side of the debate from the likes of Spanner, Stephenson, Smart, Barbour, Deans are largely ignored. My only criticism would be that if you are going to call out this type of behaviour on one side of the dabate then do so for the other side. That would be balanced and fair. It is actually very healthy that we are able to look at our own movement and challenge from within but calling for people to be shut down is not healthy, particularly if you are not able to call for the same standards in your opponents. Isn’t it utterly bizarre that the Brian Spanner account is still largely anonymous when you see the disgusting bile that has come from it? Even more so when Ross gets a pat on the head from Ruth and Murdo (WATP) for his column, when Ross should have been screaming back at them to sort out their own party before they comment because the  bizarre thing is that the actual Conservative Party in Scotland has elected representatives in Scotland under investigation for alleged racist, homophobic and sectarian content and yet we have people on the Yes side calling for Nicola Sturgeon to deal with a man who doesn’t live in Scotland, is not a menber of the SNP, has never voted for the SNP and is actually a LIBDEM voter and not calling for the same standards of Ruth Davidson. Stuart Campbell is no more Nicola Sturgeons problem than he is mine. In fact he is more Willie Rennie and Vince Cables problem. I may not like his twitter feed but it is not for me to shut him down. Block, mute, ignore and move on. By all means challenge intemperate language on our own side but if you do at least have the balls to challenge those on the other side too. It is extraordinary the lack of scrutiny of Kezia and Ruth from alternativeYes media, the National does well and THAT is where frustration is borne. Attacks and challenges to our side would be much more accepted if the same standards were applied to, particularly, the leaders of the Opposition Parties.

 But, and here is the crucial point, I’ll let you into a secret, most of us outside the social media bubble don’t really care. Out on the streets we are getting on with our lives, enjoying the summer, chatting, networking, engaging. Maybe there a few out there who need to spend a wee bit of time away from the keyboards and politics or both. The feeling amongst former no voters that I speak to is one of a wish to be persuaded. Most people WANT an Independent Scotland but they want to be reassured. They want positive leadership. They want to hear people to talk up their country. THAT should be the job of Pro-Indy media. Point out the flaws in our own movement, of course, challenge Scottish Government policy, absolutely. But when Pro-Indy parties are getting things right-lets shout about it. When the Tory Government and Labour Opposition is failing us and they both are, spectacularly at present, get after them. But for God’s sake stop shouting at one another on Twitter, it’s a shit medium for debate. Don’t waste yer energy.

 

Bad Taste Jokes

 

A few years ago I worked for a gay man. We went on to become very good friends. His favourite put down when you did something he didn’t like was “Fuck, I wish your dad was a poof!” Oh how we laughed. Well, we didn’t really, it was a stressful job for him and it was an attempt at a humerous Scottish put down. The inference being, of course,that if my dad had been gay, I’d never have been born and therefore never fucked up whatever he’d asked me to do.  I spent a lot of my teenage years in football dressing rooms and the put downs were brutal. “The best bit o’ you dribbled doon yer maws leg!” “If only yer maw had swallowed” You know them all, I am sure and plenty more “Yer Maw!” jokes besides, well you will if you are male and working class for sure.

 I hated all those jokes at the time and still do. But Working Class Scottish “humour” and put downs are brutal. Think of Billy Connolly down the years, Frankie Boyle, Still Game. Go into any place of work dominated by Scottish males and you will hear these and much worse. Should it be called out? Probably. It would be great if we were all just a bit nicer to one another. Should the FM have to answer for everyone who uses intemperate language if they are Pro-Yes? Absolutely Not. Just thought it was worth a mention.

 

Michelle Thomson

 

So as suspected, there was no case to answer. Never arrested, never questioned about herself,only about a former collegue. Treated poorly by the Media and the SNP. Ms Thompson deserves a sit down with the FM and the chance to rebuild her career. She was a huge asset to the Yes campaign and will be again. The vast majority of yessers I am sure wish her well and look forward to her continued involvement in the Yes Movement now she can  really let fly!

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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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