We tried our best

All over Scotland people are hurting right now.  Myself included.  The professional commentators probably don’t realise just how deep nor how wide this hurt runs.  When my partner took our five year old son to his primary school this morning half the kids weren’t there.  His mum had to take him home, bewildered, and in tears. The staff helped but were gutted. There is nothing I can say here that will lessen the hurt people are feeling.

We tried.  So many wonderful people embraced the idea of transformational change and tried their best to make our country a better place to live in; for everyone not just the few. But, as happens in a democracy, we didn’t win.  We embraced hope but the vote went against us. Anyone who believes in the sovereignty of the people, as I do, and the principles of democracy, then we have to accept the result.

I feel depressed that some, perhaps clouded by anger of the moment, chose to attack their following Scots for voting a different way from them.  This doesn’t help.  I’m not embarrassed by Scotland and its people.  Look how many people voted.  What an incredible display of civic participation.  I’m proud of them not ashamed.  These are the same people who inspire me every day of my life.  Despite the poverty and neglect there is so much kindness, such a generosity of spirit, and a desire to make our communities better places to live in, I’m confident, as a people, we’ll get over our hurt and get back on our feet.

Where we go from here politically is something that perhaps should be thought about carefully. Let the dust settle first.  Now isn’t the time for ranting or raging, blaming or scapegoating.  YES did its best.  Armed with little more than social media, blogs, and DIY creativity, we tried to take on the might of the British state and the vast power and wealth of the British establishment.  And for a few weeks we had them terrified.  Hold on to that feeling and be proud of it.  It was incredible that over a million and half Scots had the courage to stand up tall for a fairer society, and that will see us in good stead. It has changed our country forever.

This isn’t intend to be a long article.  Its hard enough writing this.  I’m taking the weekend off to spend some time with my family.  Next week I’ll write something constructive here on Bella, my own thoughts, nothing more, about where, as a movement, we could go from here.  The pages of Bella are always open for others to do likewise.  We’ve suffered a huge setback, this is true.  But we’re not defeated.  Not by a long chalk. As long as poverty and inequality stalk our land, accepting defeat is not an option.

My last thought and the main reason I wanted to write this. This might be tough to accept but it needs to be said on today of all days.  Most of those who voted NO are not celebrating.  They’re looking at us, the wounded minority, and wondering how they can reach out to us.  We’re part of their families and communities. The overwhelming majority of NO voters don’t want to rub our faces in it.  So please don’t lash out at your fellow Scots.  The hurt will pass.  People’s allegiances change.  There are ways to regroup.  Opportunites to advance the democratic case for transformational change will come again. That is a universal constant.







Comments (177)

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  1. Peter G says:

    We don’t live in a democracy. That was proved last night. We live in an occupied state where people are brainwashed by foreign media and their useful idiots.

    Scotland voted yes. Scots voted yes. English colonists, craven pensioners and the labour racists voted no.

    Fuck you and your well we tried shite!

    My country no longer exists and we are the laughing stock of Planet Earth.

    1. TimGS says:

      I’m English and voted Yes. My partner is English and did likewise. I’ve been able to say that until now I have never experienced any anti-Englishness since I moved here. Until now. I guess this doesn’t really change anything though – it just shows that Scotland, like England, Wales and Ireland, has it’s bigots. It’s just a shame that your comment is the first one for the world to see after a well written article.

      1. Iain Donald says:

        Well said Tim. Well said sir.

      2. strathedin says:

        You are absolutely correct, Tim. Scotland welcomes with open arms all who wish to come here, work hard and contribute to society. There is no place for ignorant racial diatribes at any time, and I apologise to you and your partner for any hurt or discomfort…I hope that you will continue to help, as you already have, and join in the conversations on the way forward.

        PeterG…we are all hurting badly now…and I’m sure that includes many of the No voters who are seeing the “Vow” melt like snow off a dyke in less than 24 hours after the vote. We need to work together to achieve our goal… and we shall.

      3. The English people are amongst the most fair minded people on the planet. We are lucky to have them as neighbours, the fact of the existence of the referendum testifies to that itself. Everyone who lives here and pays taxes here is entitled to a say in our future wherever they come from.

        Also older people are very vulnerable to scaremongering, especially of course on pension provision, and many have little or no access to the internet so can only go by what the hear on the BBC and MSM or from leaflets.

    2. timgs says:

      “English colonists”? I’m English and voted Yes. My partner is English and did likewise. I’ve been able to say that until now I have never experienced any anti-Englishness since I moved here. Until now. This doesn’t really change anything though – it just shows that Scotland, like England, Wales and Ireland, has it’s bigots. It’s just a shame that your comment is the first one for the world to see after a well written article.

      1. Cheradenine says:

        2/3rds of the English in Scotland voted NO. There are more than 400,000 of them, almost 10% of the population, so that was a significant influence on the outcome, which was decided by fewer than 400,000 votes. And non-English immigrants also disproportionately favoured the NO side. Yet the SNP continues to adopt an open-doors attitude towards immigration.

        If immigration of non-Scots into Scotland continues, we will eventually reach the Basque country stage where independence can never be achieved dempographically because of the non-Basque element in the population. That’s why there is a Basque terrorist movement.

        1. Marconatrix says:

          Even if you thought it wise to exclude ‘immigrants’ there is no way at present to define them, at least not those from other parts of the UK. Someone might have lived for years in Scotland, and consider themselves thoroughly Scottish, but since there is no mechanism for anyone to acquire a legal Scottish nationality they could not be distinguished from someone who settled last month. The best I could do myself is to produce a British passport with “domicile Scotland” on it, but that would only prove I was living in Scotland when I obtained the document. So regardless of whether this would be useful, it is simply not practical.

          In any case an independent Scotland would be such a brilliant place that everyone would want to be Scottish 😉

      2. Cheradenine says:

        The right to vote in the referendum should have been restricted to those who were living in Scotland, born in Scotland and who had two parents born in Scotland.

      3. timgs says:

        @Cheradenine – Factual point: If 2/3rds voted of English voted no, then that’s 11% more than the overall 55%. As English born residents are 10% of the population, that made a difference of a little over 1% to the overall result. Hardly much of a difference.

        Your second posting appears to be leading to a fulfilling of Godwin’s Law.

      4. Cheradenine says:


        Yes, because anyone who thinks that the people who decide the future of a country should have a demonstrably deep-rooted familial involvement in its past and stake in its future must love Hitler, right? The thing is, if people were completely interchangeable, if culture and history meant nothing, then what exactly would the point of independence be?

      5. timgs, Im not sure of your maths there, if 2/3rds of 400,000 English voted no, that is almost 270,000 who support the union, as most English folks do actually – I dont blame them and I dont think being aware of this matter or discussing it makes one anti English. But whatever anyone feels about this fact, given the vote was won by about 400,000, that 270k had a massive influence.

        Practically speaking, I am unsure any other method than the franchise that was used could have been implemented and it was agreed by all sides. Though I do sympathise with Scots living outside Scotland. Never the less regarding the point in discussion, I am left with a linguering discomfort that Scotland’s largest minority, the Englsh (myself included), have had a disproportionate affect on the future of Scotland. For the record, this point I believe pales into insignificance when compared to other factors which led to a no vote, media, big business, propaganda etc, so its not really something I was or am concerned about. The only reason I am discussing it here is because others have raised the matter and I find it interesting. For me, a yes vote was for everyone living here.

        As someone born and bred in England, to a Scots mother and a Greek father and with family still all over the UK, I can say with some certainty that racism, bigotry, xenophobia are a sad part of every nations make up, fueled by a minority and I have experienced it both in England and in Scotland. This is not what is in doubt or question. What we do know is that type of nationalism, British nationalism, is on the rise in parts of England and is a million miles away in ideology and intent, to the movement for a yes vote and Scottish independence. Sadly this did not stop the unionists and media trying to paint each with the same brush.

        However overwhelmingly no one I have met, worked with or know of during the long 2 years of campaigning which has left me exhausted, mentally and physically, not to mention utterly heartbroken – expresses or identifies with any anti English sentiment at all. Nor do I think my small discomfort qualifies as anti English. Instead we were united against a permanent austerity agenda that all three main stream Westminster parties are signed up to, against foreign and domestic policies which favour the big business elite and coorporate interests, over the people. Against a system which disenfranchises vast swathes of the population in an undemocratic political system. United in the belief that a better, fairer, more equal Scotland was and is possible for evereyone living here and that this positive change could and would have swept accross the UK and beyond. And my goodness how hard we fought, Im proud of everyone.

        Love and light to all.

      6. timgs says:

        @Tony McAllister

        In brief, you are ignoring the effect of English No votes – it’s not an effect of 270,000 alone (English ‘No’), it’s the net effect of the English No minus the English Yes. Less significantly, you are assuming that all 400,000 English voted instead of taking 10% of the turnout as being English.

        Assuming that 10% of the turnout was English, and 33.3% voted Yes, then we have:

        Overall vote (obtained from http://www.theguardian.com/politics/ng-interactive/2014/sep/18/-sp-scottish-independence-referendum-results-in-full):
        No: 2001926 (55.3%)
        Yes: 1617989 (44.7%)

        English-only vote, based on the above assumptions:
        No: 241328
        Yes: 120664

        Non-English vote, obtained by subtracting the calculated English vote from the known overall vote:
        1760598 (54%)
        1497325 (46%)

        This makes a difference obviously, but not one that – in the context of a 10.6% difference in the known overall vote – I’d describe as massive.

        — Tim.

    3. Dean Richardson says:

      What about English Scots For Yes? Are they No-voting colonists? When you generalise like that, you sound like Labour or the BNP.

      1. Matt Seattle says:

        It’s not the English wot did it. Somewhere a little further back on Bella is a post entitled Theme for the Early Days of a Better Nation. It links to a song co-written by this Englishman and a Scotsman. I hope the song survives as an aspiration if not a celebration.

        Some English and many other nationalities are not ‘colonists’ but ‘settlers’, to risk Alasdair Gray’s controversial distinction. I wished Yes, wanted Yes, worked for Yes. And my eyes fill every time I contemplate what we lost today.

        I agree with your first point, we don’t live in a democracy, the media made sure of that. But we experienced something real. The “substance-of-we-feeling” which Doris Lessing so beautifully evokes in her allegorical novel Shikasta. The “brithers be for a’ that” of Robert Burns. It’s real. It’s the centre of our humanity. It’s more real than the defeat we suffered. Too many of our brothers and sisters just didn’t experience it.

    4. MichelleQ says:

      Dear dear friends in Scotland, a word of encouragement from across the pond in the U.S. You ARE NOT the laughing stock of planet earth, not by a long shot. We watched amazed as you turned out IN RECORD NUMBERS in percentages that are unheard of anywhere in the U.S. I was glued to the television as your results came in, and watched for hours as you showed the world how to REALLY vote. What have you to be ashamed of? The YES side didn’t win, but in our eyes you smacked England upside the head, as we say, and are now going to force them to take seriously your desire for more autonomy and more say in your own affairs.

      There is a lot of discussion in the U.S. about why the YES vote didn’t win, and yeah, many of my friends expressed disappointment and dismay. Not living in Scotland the subtleties of why and who and what escape me, but you are admired for what you did. Oh yes, indeed.

      Change comes slowly, friends, but this was a massive and important beginning. People fear change, fear the unknown. Disappointment is a bitter pill. But you’re building long term momentum for change. Patience.

      We salute you, Scotland!

      1. Valerie says:

        Thank You Thank you for a lovely post. My hope is that a bigger wider change will come as a result of this. It is good to know and hear from friends around the world.

      2. homesick scot says:

        I was born in Scotland and am Scottish through and through, but because I no longer live in that beautiful country was not able to vote. I think this was a very unjust and shortsighted idea. There are many, many Scots like me who would have loved to vote in this referendum, after all, even though we do not live there at the moment it is still OUR country. Many, if the vote had been yes, would have returned in a shot and are just devastated at the way things have turned out.
        I agree MichelleQ Scotland is not a laughing stock – it can hold it’s head up high – by it’s very actions Scotland has shown that over 45% do not agree with the way that Westminster is treating us. It has shown that David can stand up to Goliath and while, this time, we did not defeat him at least we gave him a h*ll of a fright.

      3. Elizabeth Martin says:

        You actually brought tears to my eyes. A Massive and Important Beginning it is indeed!

    5. David Craig says:

      Unhelpful…this is exactly what we don’t need to make our country better. Yes, there is disappointment, but we need to rise above our base feelings to attack those we don’t understand very well.

    6. HelenPringle says:

      Dear Peter,
      You, Scots and Scotland are not the laughing stock of Planet Earth. I can’t speak for all of us, but in my little corner of Australia we are crying with you. And we DO know what it feels like to fear that we are the laughing stock of PE (eg see those quoted here: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/17/bill-shorten-scottish-independence-world-has-enough-borders-australia).
      However, sorry to say, they in WM and their hangers-on are almost certainly laughing at you. Shamefully.

      1. Michael says:

        You speak for me and many many here in Australia.

        I can’t begin to express my anger at William “bill” Shorten’s article.

        The world was and is watching and the support is stronger now. I have followed daily all year the Scottish people’s inspiring democratic leadership of how we might change society for the better. We wept with our Scottish cousins and rejoiced in their courage and good sense and goodwill.

        William “bill” Shorten, another Labor betrayer.

        I come from shearing and underground mining, am 57 yrs and have lived a few industrial interesting times and events. When the waterfront workers were attacked by balaclava-ed thugs, dogs, Murdoch’s media engineering and our current PMs teacher I joined the Labor party as, like the shearers who created that party it I figured we needed to win in parliament (as well as the courts, in the media and on the picket lines) and I wanted a say in pre selection of our parliamentary candidates.

        I watched and experienced this bastard’s union betray their own people, more than once. I will now leave the labor party and work harder for a democracy and society that “honours the person.

        I cant express my admiration for what our Scottish cousins have and are doing highly enough with words. My tears are giving way to anger which I’m old enough to contain and put to good use. My hope is that there are others who want to respectfully, positively and generously work in some alliance with our Scottish cousins for a more civil society. For example an alliance with our Scottish cousins to counter this bullshit as it is written and or broadcast and perhaps findings chinks and gaps in the mass media to get more genuine interviews and coverage. I’ve noticed that ABC Australia interviews on Scottish referendum seem more honest than BBC, bit like New York based articles on West Papua are often way more candid than the “not in the Australian national interest” bullshit we get from our “impartial” ABC here.

        I salute and support the Scottish people for standing up and drawing some bogeymen out of the cupboard where we can get a better look at them. You are a long long way from laughing stock.

        thank you Scotland

    7. Atmos says:

      I think people who live in Tibet would would disagree and would love to have the opportunity to vote and have the freedom we enjoy.

    8. Andrea says:

      Peter – Its natural to feel angry and hit out – but generalising like that is every bit as unfair to those who cast a vote – as the biased media was to the YES vote. I know English people who voted joyously for YES……and pensioners as well…..

      One day those who voted no could change their mind,widen their perception and understanding of the issues = realise they made a mistake, have better access to unbiased media – and join the Independence movement. Swell the 45 to 65%

      But not if you alienate or exclude them now.

      If you need to rail against anyone rail against the power brokers who made it nearly impossible for Pensioners to see balanced views – unless they had internet access. Don’t support the Scottish Labour Party – and those businesses who threatened Scotland – You, standing together with 45% of Scotlands population can make choices about who will wield financial power in Scotland. 1.6 million consumers can do a LOT of damage. Cancel your TV licence and starve the BBC of 45% of its fund in Scotland.

      You can do that now

      Channel your anger. Form new Independence parties who will work with the 45% who voted with you. 1 third of all English people voted yes – and LOADS of English Welsh and other nationalities outside of Scotland were willing you to succeed.

      The world is FULL of of Scots like myself who live overseas and couldn’t vote – wo were celebrating the HUGE success you made of engaging with the democratic process. e are crying with you and for you.

      And if the fight continues …..would/could play a far more influential part in raising awareness all over the world.

      Focus on your allies.

      And Scotland will ALWAYS exist as long as their are people who stand up for it….

      1. MBC says:

        Yes, we need to not over-egg this. I saw the survey on buzzfeed that showed this, and it was based on a poll of only 2000 people. Supposing five age groups, that’s only 400 in each group. Plus I noticed that people in the 18-24 age group had low support for indy, well below 50%, and those in the other age groups under 55, didn’t necessarily have overwhelming support for indy; it was in the 50-54% range, which is not exactly astounding, is it?

        So basically if there had been higher support amongst the under 55s for indy, say, above 60%, it would have cancelled out the pensioner vote.

      2. Antoine Bisset says:

        I’ve cancelled my John Lewis A/c. Much as I love Waitrose, I won’t be buying from them in a hurry.
        I wish there were a complete list of those who threatened us.

    9. Dave G says:

      Shame on you.

  2. I’m glad to see many of us picking ourselves up and reminding ourselves that we are 45% -we are not simply a statistic, but a potent legion of 1,617,989 (possibly a lot more) biodiverse, intimately-interconnected souls dedicated to a more enlightened Scotland.

    We need to look at that as starting point, whilst being VERY aware of possible rigging, AND the obvious media bias against us- that we succeeded so is an immense achievement, any way you look at it.

    This is NOT Winner Takes All, but it IS about how we keep this engagement potent, without allowing ourselves to slip into that self-fulfilling prophecy (WHICH WE FOUGHT SO HARD TO PROVE WRONG ABOUT THE NO CAMPAIGN!!) of despondency/ disinterest/ och, I knew we’d never make it…

    On a more topical note- http://shaunynews.com/2014/09/19/why-did-1-million-people-not-vote-who-were-registered-video-proof-cheating/ Is anyone else looking at evidence about rigging?

    1. Antoine Bisset says:

      In a General Election there is an audit trail as to how people voted. Like lottery tickets the voting slips are numbered. The polling station officials record the counterfoil numbers against the electoral roll. So, if an audit were to be conducted, the audiors could turn up at your door and ask you to confirm how you voted.

      This was not the case in the referendum. The voting slips were unmarked: no better than simple photocopies. There is no audit trail and no audit is possible.

      If you noticed, the Counting Officer read out the reason for spoiled ballot papers. The first reason ”want of an official mark” was always zero because none of the voting slips had any official marks.

      1. 2012nancy says:

        My recollection is that the voting slips were numbered, and I did hear at least one counting officer (at one of the last declarations) giving a number for ‘want of an official mark’. I know because I had noticed too that most of them had said zero and was listening out for it.

      2. Brian Menzies says:

        Yes, this just isn’t true. There is an audit trail (based on the serial numbers), and there were a number of areas where there were in fact ballots spoiled for want of an official mark: see, e.g., the Glasgow City Council results website which references 8 ballots spoiled for this reason (https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=13526); similarly, there were 2 in South Lanarkshire (http://www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/press/article/1148/area_referendum_result), and 16 in East Dunbartonshire (http://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/content/council_and_government/councillors_politics_elections/elections_and_voting/sir_2014.aspx ).

        There are reasons to be upset about this result; this just isn’t one of them.

      3. Antoine Bisset says:

        No mark or number on my ballot paper. I looked.

      4. MBC says:

        There was a six or seven number on my ballot paper. I memorised it. It was 382007. Not sure of the second and third digits but the last three, ‘007’ stuck in my brain.

      5. jivetoaster says:

        Antoine, if your ballot paper was genuinely unmarked, there is actually a cause for concern. Mine (a postal ballot) had on the back the following:

        – a QR code box
        – a description of where it was from
        – a bar code
        – a long serial number which I assumed was the bar code written out
        – a 6-digit ballot number

        The concern with your ballot, in may view, is that someone may have stolen your actual ballot somehow. Although I can’t see how, and I can’t see how such a fraud could be carried out large-scale.

  3. Jean McEwan says:

    Thanks for the words Kevin. Have made me greet but the tears need to come before we can gather our strength and then begin again, another way. Have a good restorative weekend with your family and thank you for the inspiration

  4. Marie Spencer says:

    Seen one or two YouTube videos on rigging

  5. JimnArlene says:

    45% of Scotland’s people agreed that independence, was the way forward. That’s a fantastic result, not the one we were hoping for, but still an immense achievement. An achievement that this, truly, grassroots movement should be proud of.

    As for the future, a 45% baseline is a good place to continue, persuading informing, educating and convincing the populous. Once the multicoloured Tories, back peddle from their hollow vows and promises, and their funding cuts, NHS privatisation and general kick them when their down attitude sinks in. More and more will be drawn to the idea of independence.

    1. Cobra! says:

      I hope that’s what happens, and get another referendum in a few years, if not sooner. I’m just worried about the NHS, once privatised, there’s no changing it back, is there? The US apparently tried it, but failed, and I’ve heard companies can sue a government for trying to take their shares.

      1. Dean Richardson says:

        A cyber tenner says that one of the first items of business for the next parliament (it doesn’t matter which party’s in office) will be to make referenda illegal throughout the kingdom. I hate having to say that, but I really can see it.

      2. Our agreement to TTIP needs to be stopped, or at the very least exemption for NHS. Change.org has a petition to Vince Cable to stop it. Once it’s in place we have big problems and Scotland will be able to do nothing.

      3. acordinerbuchan says:

        This is the kind of self-defeating rumour mongering that made some of the yes campaign so dishonest. Westminster, obviously, can’t ban all referenda because the Tories want one on Europe and after the next election Labour might too. If it was just a ban on referenda on Scottish independence, like Spain has, on Catalonia and the Basque Country, then Westminster would need to follow Spain’s example and have a written constitution, or basic law, stating that the integrity of the current borders couldn’t be questioned, but they can’t do that because they have entered into an international agreement with the Irish Republic that there can be a referendum in Northern Ireland on whether to leave the UK and join the Republic. So the whole idea that Westminster can ban a further referendum on Scotland is bollocks. However, they are very unlikely to agree to anything like the Edinburgh Agreement again. But we would be wise not to go for a referendum again unless we have laid the groundwork first as laid out by Robin McAlpine in the next post and any referendum that was based on a more solid basis in Scottish opinion would succeed regardless of whether there was a legal agreement. I suspect Catalonia will succeed even though their referendum has no legal sanction.

    2. Iain Hill says:

      Thanks, Bella, for sustaining us for so long. I want this to continue, whether by subscription or donation. You seem one hope in a darkened world.

      Astonishingly, the WM termites seem to be tunnelling their way backwards already!

  6. I can’t say I feel defeated. This isn’t 1979.

    It was a draw.

    After the count the Negatives obviously felt relieved, not victorious. They slunk away.

    Someone shouted after them “See you back here in a few years!”


    Bear in mind too the the pool of people who do not have access to the Internet, currently ~1.4 million, will steadily shrink.

  7. adamrpollock says:

    Reblogged this on adamrpollock and commented:
    As many of us continue to struggle with the result of the referendum and the accompanying loss of hope for a better future, some soothing words from Kevin Williamson might help us regroup.

  8. TEW says:

    Down here in Devon, there are many of us feeling sad today too — we were hoping you’d gain the independence you deserve. My husband and I were gutted when we woke up this morning and heard the news.

    Nonetheless, we’re so very proud of all of you in Scotland who stood up *against* the Westminister elites and stood *for* social justice and a more equable future. You have our admiration, and our thanks for showing that it can be done.

    Thank you also for this heart-felt and compassionate editorial. May the days ahead be brighter than they seem today….

  9. kendomacaroonbar says:

    Wise words…thank you

  10. leavergirl says:

    It’s been a bloody excellent campaign! Don’t let the bullies among you tell you otherwise. Don’t stop now!

    You did not try your best. You did your best. You lost the vote; it happens. You won other things. “Winners” don’t lash themselves for losing… they keep on going.

    I am reminded of the time Prague Spring got crushed. Normalization set in. Yet, in retrospect, they won… because everybody knew then the system was built on lies. The game was over. It took another 20 years for it to crumble, that’s all.

    This system is built on lies, bad faith, pathetic incompetence, and fear. It was, for a while, thanks to the YES campaign, suddenly naked. People saw. People KNOW.

    Love, from America.

    1. Wee malkie unthank says:

      Sorry . Do not forgive the No voters. Enough of that soft liberalism . They voted to destroy us. Don’t forgive , don’t forget

      1. leavergirl says:

        Ha ha. More “us vs them” BS? No way.

  11. Trick says:

    In the light of the result my anger hasn’t diminished , but it has sparked an idea . Those of us who support independence look to here and others of a like mind for our information . We came close , when you consider all bar one of the main stream media were dead against independence . Those online provided something they couldn’t and wouldn’t , the truth , honesty and a vision . Now imagine that collective coming together to form an online media , think of the possibilities .

    I would like to thank all contributed to inform and enlighten .

    1. Marconatrix says:

      Cameron is already backtracking and saying “what timetable?” etc. That should bring round a few No’s, indeed they ought to be hopping mad. Others may feel remorse when it sinks in just how dejected and heartbroken they’ve made so many hopeful young Scots, and realise that they’ve made a terrible mistake. There should be a steady “creep towards Yes”. There needs to be some way of estimating the level of support so we know when we’re well over the 50% line and it’s time to hold a more formal poll. (This is assuming the Carty & Clyde take on our constitutional relationship with England).

      1. MBC says:

        The buzzfeed poll I saw of 2000 voters suggested that most No voters had made up their minds a long time ago. I wish I could remember the figures, but I think those who had made up their minds very recently were not a large percentage. Still, it might have been enough to have swung it.

      2. Marconatrix says:

        MBC @ Yes, I saw those figures and thought the same to begin with. But your conclusion is wrong. For example, I was fairly anti the EU for decades and indeed voted against joining in the first referendum way back when. But more recently I’ve come to realise that I was wrong, that I was in fact the victim of propaganda of the ‘England (meaning Britain) stands alone’ type. And I changed my mind, I now believe the EU or something very similar is on the whole a Good Thing. So what I’m saying is that anyone can change their mind in the light of new information or a new perspective, however long they’ve held it. Nevertheless, even those few who had changed their mind recently might have been enough to swing a Yes. After all who else are we going to get support from? Votes for unicorns? 🙂

  12. Patrick Hogg, Biographer of Robert Burns says:

    Wise words my good friend. The ideological war heightened in the last few weeks as the London elites hit the panic button. I looked into the eyes of some pensioners who were so scared they were having their pension taken from them TODAY that they were scared into voting No. Had you and I went around doors scaring the lief out of elderly people we would rightly have been arrested for a disgraceful breach of the Peace and dragged before a magistrate and rightly punished. No committed a National Breach of the Peace on the nation of Scotland. The fact that around 73% or so of those older than 65 yrs voted No is testament to the success of this psychological campaign of deliberate propaganda fear which elevated to levels of hysteria in the last week. Not only would their pensions be taken away but their daily shopping would rise and so on. They even tried to partition our heads and hearts with the patronising notion that all our hearts were Yes but our heads were penny-counting shrewd No. Some of this propaganda was so atrocious is was beneath contempt and a disgrace to any person of principle to propagate. But these were Labour’s big guns (in their own eyes at least) and rarely was it pointed out by the British media that they were privately in terror of losing their own jobs (status, power et al) and facing a P45. Imagine Ian Davidson having to sign on the Broo?

    Our response has to be to keep the Yes team together and pull our strands together rewoven stronger than before with specific outcome objectives. To this end I suggest the following: that Yes campaigners request from the SNP leadership that we meet and discus fielding a Yes Scotland for Independence team of candidates at the General Election next year which rallies and consolidates the achievements to date and focuses the vote as a referendum on Westminster rule over Scotland. Several candidates could come from the broader Yes Movement, the SSP, Solidarity, the Greens, Business for Scotland and so on, all on the one Yes Scotland team. One goal. A majority of MP’s for Yes. This might win us a majority of MP’s but it may also win us a majority of the overall vote……………….and we take it from there. No doubt some may wish to kill this idea, like, Hope, before its birth. I am very proud of what Yes did yesterday and even more proud that I saw through the Labour careerist I used to be part of for 11 years and joined the SNP from 1987 onwards when I was still in London. I will not rest until my country is independent from reactionary forces of control who are intrinsically anathema to democracy. My gratitude goes to you, Mike and all contributors on Bella for many wonderful articles over the last while! The flames of Enlightenment are not extinguished. ‘In the Cause of Right engaged; Wrongs injurious to redress, Honour’s war we strongly waged; But the Heavens denied success’. Next year at the election there might be a surprise for some Labour big guns……….. .

    1. mary vasey says:

      I like your idea Patrick ‘re YES putting up candidates for Scottish parliament. Robin Mcalpine has some good ideas too, the post after this one. He also had email from YES Dunoon asking what they can do/contribute. There are many yessers who, as well as working hard, are very astute with plenty of political savvy who would make excellent candidates, more so than many standing MSP’s.
      My YES posters are still up in my windows and I’m wearing my YES badges so I think I might leave them up for now.
      Thanks for giving me something positive to consider.

      1. Patrick Hogg, Biographer of Robert Burns says:

        Brilliant Mary

    2. Saor Alba says:

      We’re already organising. Remove labour from Scotland. Not just the MP’s but the councillors too. Councils are their power base, they have a lot of access to resources and can organise while the MP’s/MSP’s do the talking. We pull the rug from under them. Erode their power base and they’ll all come tumbling down.

      1. Patrick Hogg, Biographer of Robert Burns says:

        Let me join in this ‘We’. The refocus NOW has to be the General Election of 2015 and the Method to achieve this has to be the collective Yes Scotland which harnessed the communities of Scotland because they were the people from the communities of Scotland. No point in some long winded secret waffling plan that waits to be printed in a year when the door of opportunity has closed. It re-opens next year and we need to rally the focus on that objective. For Yes Scotland to win the General Election in Scotland next year. I am a member of the SNP and it has to be Country first, not party first..

  13. Lorraine Barclay says:

    This was only a battle, one where over a million and half people came together. The older voters were scared about their pensions, currency, … and we can not blame them, Better Together offered no hope only Project Fear and remember they still believe in the biased media, is that any way to treat our elders?

    The promise made will not be honoured therefore we can not accept the result.

  14. paulscribbles says:

    Beautifully written, intelligent and compassionate article.Much was achieved by the YES campaign and those forward steps will I hope, emerge more potently over the coming months.

  15. mefinx says:

    Here in NW England, I’ve watched your campaign with great interest and I believe you have much to teach us. You won in Glasgow – that is a magnificent achievement in its own right. We in England look to you – you have regained the moral high ground of political and social responsibility and shown all of us what is possible. In time, we may come to thank you for being our bulwark against racism and extremism south of the border, even if that was never your primary responsibility and intention.

    The Palace of Westminster is not only morally bankrupt, it is physically in terminal decline and major renovations, which will involve Parliament relocating for several years, will have to be tackled soon. Your campaign has given me the incentive to campaign that Parliament is moved to the North of England for a time. I love London, but it breaks my heart to see what it has become. I know your hurt and disappointment today must run deep, but when you feel able to regroup this is only the beginning of the work you have ahead of you. I shall continue to follow your beautifully written, heartfelt and inspiring website.

    “Do not weep, do not wax indignant – understand.”

    Or, as Billy Bragg said, “There is power in a union.”

  16. Have wept in the last 24 hours – Clackmannanshire broke my heart. It’s painful to read so many friends hurting so badly right now. I’m hurting too but mull on this awhile:

    Scotland now has a more switched on electorate than it has had in years, and the grassroots movement has given us an amazing network of friends and colleagues who we can draw strength from, today and in the future.

    Our Fifth Estate is dynamic and in a position to challenge the waning influence of the Fourth – without Bella, Wings, Newsnet and the electrifying drums of social media we’d have all been put to bed months ago.

    We fought a magnificent campaign – be proud of that. My heart swells with pride what I think of all the wonderful people I’ve met and talked to and laughed and sang and corresponded with.

    No bitterness. Things are changing. Demographics are changing. The BBC and the “big three” political parties are badly wounded.

    Change is coming. Take heart.

    Speak soon Kevin and Mike. And well done guys.

    1. Dean Richardson says:

      You didn’t just fight a magnificent campaign, you fought a fair campaign. Can the No side honestly say that?

      1. Antoine Bisset says:

        Even so.
        When Lt Chard is asked how he feels after the battle at Rorke’s Drift (film Zulu) he says “ashamed”.
        The NO campaign leadership should feel ashamed. The lies and misinformation were repeated endlessly, and endlessly repeated by the BBC.
        I will not forget Jackie Bird’s vicious approach, nor her asking John Swinney about the Penny for Scotland and asking him if his present and proposed fiscal policy was not just as dud. When was the last time any interviewer asked a Government Minister about a failed policy that had been defunct for 15 years, and which was proposed before the party had any power?

  17. Alasdair Frew-Bell says:

    This is an opportunity to learn from strategic mistakes and there have been plenty. Depression, weeping, self-harming and turning on the romantic default mode is definitely off scale; besides being just what “they” expect. The 1.6 million who voted for independence must not be abandoned. In Catalonia they would be out in streets proclaiming their “faith”. The time for our domestic and undemonstrative politics is now surely over. The struggle continues.

    1. Saor Alba says:

      We were in the streets until labours friends in the order turned up and started to show their true vision of democracy – threats, intimidation, nazi salutes, burning Saltires, wide scale violence…….
      We are organising and we will be back on those streets and we will win this.

  18. Les Wilson says:

    We were cheated at the counts, plenty evidence on the net, although they are being deleted as we speak.

    1. Antoine Bisset says:

      Les, unlike a General Election where the voting slips are traceable, the referendum voting papers were simple copies. No audit trail is available so no audit is possible. Normally ballot papers are kept for at least a year.
      Postal votes are supposed to be checked against application letters for signature and DOB. A major task, strightforward but tine-consuming.

      Who knows?

      1. Steve B says:

        I’m feeling as gutted and weepy as everyone else – but as someone who was a Yes representative at both the Polling Stations and at the Fife count I don’t personally think cheating had any significant affect on the end result.

        The first indications during the day in our area was that the turnout (from our own observations and asking the polling clerks) in the middle class areas were ahead of the working class areas – that started ringing alarm bells in the evening in our ward anyway.

        Secondly, we had observers at the polling stations and in the count Yes groups had 3 observers per table (which is unheard of) – so any wrong doings there would have been easy detected. At the end of the day the No vote turned out whereas some of the Yes vote didn’t. I’ll let others speculate on the reasons for this.

        Unfortunately the electorate can be cruel in the extreme – but that is the nature of democracy – so after a period of coming to terms with defeat all we can do is to try and find a way of going forward to help make Scotland a better place to live (or at least try to stave off some of the things that are now likely to come our way).

  19. Kevin, you said in your excellent article that for a few moments YES terrified the British State. That doesn`t come without a price, and that price WILL be paid further down the line, make no doubt about that. You don`t make a global fool out of the British Establishment and get away with it scot free. So, 55% of our people have voted for more austerity, more poverty, Trident, and to give away over 240 years of Scottish oil and gas revenues. They have voted to remain part of a Union that lied to, deceived, stole from, and berated Scots by calling them “sponging, subsidy junkie Jocks“, while we keep the Union afloat with Scottish oil and gas revenues. They voted for more powers for the Scottish Parliament that don`t include access and control over our vast oil and gas wealth. How to make a fool of Scotland in front of the world`s media in one easy lesson by putting a cross on NO. What other nation would turn down the opportunity to run its own affairs? Don`t be downtrodden and sad. Scotland is not finished, its just on hold – on pause at this point. 45% in favour of independence is a very good base to build on.. Look at it another way – we were 5 or 6% from winning our independence. Now, the fun begins. I`ll bet my bottom dollar that Westminster will come out and say that 7 months is too short a timescale to complete further, major constitutional change for Scotland and the rest of the UK, and the timescale will lengthen….and lengthen……and lengthen. No major changes will be made before the UK General Election. That would be political suicide for Unionists. Westminster now has what it wants anyway – access and control over trillions and trillions of pounds in the massive oil and gas reserves in the Scottish Atlantic Margin, off Scotland`s west coast (mention of which was kept under wraps by Unionists during the Referendum Campaign, but then, some Scots are easily fooled). Would you pander to people who gave away their own oil revenues to people who had already squandered over 40 years.of Scottish oil revenues and failed to set up an Oil Fund for posterity. No, I wouldn`t either. But that`s what voting NO gets you. You couldn`t make this up. The worst is yet to come from the so called debt ridden, bankrupt, precious Union in which so much misplaced loyalty is placed. When it does come, and it will, as surely as night follows day, don`t complain to me – I voted YES.

    1. Evelyn Pender Eadie says:

      I agree William but hope we are proven to be wrong. I wept last night and this morning for what we as a nation are throwing away. I wonder what the Catalans think of us? They would jump at the chance we threw away.

    2. Antoine Bisset says:

      William, you are not wrong.

      Robert Peston on the front of the BBC website;
      “The big question about the Prime Minister’s plan to hand more control over taxes, spending and welfare to the four nations is how far this would end the subsidy of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland by England, and especially by London and the South East.”

      Mr Cameron said “there had to be a “fair and balanced” settlement with English MPs deciding on laws applying to England”

      On the BBC panel last night a Labour MP said there would have to be, “a conversation” – clearly the “Vow” was dead before all the votes were counted.
      (I don’t know his name and the BBC iPlayer seems to have the Huw Edwards version and not the Glenn Campbell version.)

      So that is all dead in the water. Whatever progress and conversations take place, they will be killed outright in May 2015, only nine months away. Boris and UKIP will have other fish to fry.

      However, there are further austerity measures to come. Not a real problem for those in Aberdeen, but not so good for those in Easterhouse and Wester Hailes. They can now do what they like to us.

    3. Jo says:

      Quebec turned down the opportunity to go independent twice, in 1980 and 1995.

    4. Saor Alba says:

      Less than 12 hours passed and Labour refuse to sign up to the plan for more powers. Tory cabinet ministers joining the ranks of backbenchers who don’t want Scotland to have more powers. Cameron basically ditching the timetable.
      Shame on everyone who voted NO and bought the lies. Don’t complain to me – I voted YES.

      1. Marconatrix says:

        We’re pretty clued up on how far you trust a politician’s promise, but not everyone is. After all the document on the front page appeared to show all three leaders’ signatures, so there’s the illusion that they were committed. Probably not legally binding though, only a lawyer could tell you. Look, many nice ordinary people were fooled, scared and even threatened, and are probably now feeling awful. We need to support them and bring them on board, where else are the extra numbers to come from? Blaming them would be counterproductive. As I’ve already said somewhere, see them as victims, blame the ones who lied to the naive and frightened little old ladies, they’re no better than muggers.

  20. Michael says:

    The pensioners robbed us of our future, simples.

    1. Antoine Bisset says:

      Maybe, maybe not.
      Pensioners really are in the safest position of all, most especially if they have an occupational pension.
      However, some folk voted NO because they did not want to lose Coronation St.. It is really not that simple.

      1. haggis68 says:

        The shrinking pensions and disappearing NHS will kill them off in tile for the next vote… :-/

      2. Antoine Bisset says:


        I’m not keen on the idea of being killed off, although “Cause of Death – TTIP” would have an ironic ring to it.

        As it happens I think that the Unionist “Vow” will be seen for what it is by the end of the year. Last night it was being translated as “conversation”. Don’t you just love the Labour Political Thesaurus?
        The ba’ will be well burst at the General Election with UKIP gaining a few seats, Boris Johnson as PM and Clegg vanished.
        Diehard Labour (and even Tory) Scots will be able to see the obvious. All politicians standing in Scotland in 2016 should be pressed on their views on secession. Pack Holyrood with secessionists and vote UDI. Contrary to the Westminster view, it would be perfectly legal.

  21. leavergirl says:

    What won in Scotland is federalism. Devo max. Hold them to it.

  22. Michael says:

    And I don’t see why we shouldn’t feel angry and ashamed and all the rest. Really not sure why every time anyone expresses a negative emotion it needs to be suppressed. I hat this emotional conformity thing that is prevalent in discourse in Scotland.

    1. leavergirl says:

      Ashamed?! Are you nuts? It was a great heartening campaign.

      There is nothing wrong with expressing hurt. There is plenty wrong with blaming… and self-blaming.

  23. 2012nancy says:

    Thanks for this, Kevin. I’m hurting and trying not to blame those who were duped into voting No out of fear, or because they were led to believe what I’m sure were false promises of substantial increased powers. I know they did what they thought was best and I’m trying not to be a sore loser but I’m coming to realise that it’s hurting so much because we were beaten in an unfair fight. Kevin Bridges joked that everyone in Scotland could pass their Higher Modern Studies. Maybe the next qualification we need is Media Studies.

    1. Dean Richardson says:

      Followed by Sleekit Politician Studies.

  24. flow26 says:

    Reblogged this on Griabig and commented:
    Die unmittelbare Gefühlslage direkt nach der Wahl

  25. oldbattle says:

    Thank you Bella! Just a word from an old battler angry at my generation for failing to offer the future to the young. BUT
    The SNP in 2011 gained 909,915 constituency votes. In 2014 just three years later the pro-Independence movement garnered1.6 million. A new surge of 700,000 people have defeated fear.
    We hear that the 25-54 year olds won the YES vote as did the 16-17s but the over 65s voted 73% NO. So the future is pregnant with hope.
    The history of political struggle within progressive national movements is full of setbacks but this YES movement should not hide away and be consumed with bitterness but look to harness this new found energy.
    Glasgow,the Central belt and Dundee voted for sovereignty over dependence, for power over powerlessness, for ridding communities of the blight of poverty and despair and they WON! These communities and others across Scotland feel the lash of injustice and hardship daily and voted for change. We must not let them down!

    “A luta continua, vitória é certa

  26. Like you all I am tired an weary of the long fight today, but after some rest I will feel better. 45% of the population are now educated and astute about the true nature of the British state. This realisation will increase in the days and months ahead. Today is like a funeral not a celebration of the ‘union’. And that says it all. The next wave will be a bigger one, make sure you are there to ride it – we have the networks and the community leaders and the young have had an education better than any politics degree…Everyone who worked for this should feel proud. Kevin is right – dont lash out – there will be plenty coming over to us soon and we must offer them a path to join us.

    1. Great Fiona, and thanks Kevin.

      Have a rest, we all need to lick our wounds and feel the grief. We never expected to hurt so badly. But it’s the hurt you feel when you really really care. And nothing can defeat that, and a lot can grow from that. It will, we will, they, he, she will.

      Rest. Not long now until the next wave, and it’s likely to begin with a storm lashing around our heads. That Wong be pleasant and maybe we’ll fight as creatively and positively, but this time with the resource of being able to point back to the way the lies and betrayals played out this time. It all can become resource for winning next time, but for now all that ‘resource’ just hurts and grieves and cries.

  27. Iain says:

    It was an inspiring campaign and I was so proud of all the people who appeared as though from nowhere. But I am not proud of anyone who voted no. I don’t want to reach out and hug them like some jumper-wearer pastor with a guitar. They have put my father’s free personal care in jeopardy; my nephew’s chance of education with no tuition fees; my aunt’s prescriptions. I’m not proud of those people and I’m afraid that scaring the UK establishment for a fortnight just isn’t reward enough. Because they can scare us for the rest of our lives.

  28. I expected a no, but I expected it to be a bit closer. One good poll is meaningless is 20 others are telling you something different but it was the one poll that changed the dynamic of the campaign. The Better Together campaign were sleepwalking into independence until that poll. Then the whole force of the British establishment came crashing down on us.

    But I will admit that this is probably the best outcome, and I say this as a lifelong believer of independence. There were too many holes in the SNP’s argument and a collective willful blindness amongst Yes Scotland to these issues. I never believed we could share the pound, I never believed that we could automatically enter the EU or even if it was in our national interest to enter it. The SNP white paper, air brushed too many things. Simple maths would of told us that we cannot afford free tuition fees, a full NHS, free care for the elderly, free proscriptions and free nursery places while at the same time we create the institutions and government agencies necessary for an independent nation. Something had to give. The whole white paper was a nonsense. And I’m guilty of keeping quiet about it despite my strong misgivings.

    On the rare times I did bring my concerns up, I was accused of being negative and being brainwashed. The no campaign was also accused of this, but I sat as a very uncomfortable observer during the debates when Alastair Darling was echoing many of my own feelings. Accusing people of being negative isn’t a proper answer for legitimate and very real issues such as currency. Although in defense of the Yes Campaign there was a lot of scaremongering around the issue of food prices and border control, but that is no excuse for the SNP for this failure.

    If we are to be independent the SNP have to come up with a white paper that both stands up to scrutiny and that the WHOLE of Scotland can get behind and not just certain sections of it.

    I hope that the SNP learn their lessons, frankly they had a poor campaign, if not for the hard work and enthusiasm of those outside the SNP the independence vote would of completely collapsed. The SNP should take a long hard look at themselves after this. This vote was there for the taking, but that white paper was an insult to the intelligence of Scots and their habit of avoiding straightforward and basic questions was at times cringeworthy.

    I will probably get in trouble for posting this but I’m passed caring. I’m angry and more than a little upset we lost. But we can’t avoid some painful truths and we can’t learn lessons by being in denial. The SNP lost it, not because of some conspiracy but because of their own shortcomings.

    1. EndaClarke says:

      Excellent analysis. An ounce of realism is worth a ton of schmaltz, self-pity and psychobabble. And stop patronising and insulting your fellow countrymen for disagreeing with you. That is no way to convert them.

      There is a lot of dubious extrapolation here about old voters dying off and Yeses becoming a majority. Remember that circumstances change, and that people tend to appreciate the boat not being rocked more as they get older. Don’t trust the Grim Reaper to win your battles.

      Remember too that if the Scots of the diaspora had had a say, the vote would probably have been 60-40 against the unconvincing ‘independence’ set-up David has exposed here. Moreover, within Scotland only the ‘left behind’ areas had pluralities for Yes, and none of them reached 60%. Critics wil say that the most enterprising Scots were disenfranchised and the next most enterprising rejected the proposition.

  29. Bill Scott says:

    Thank you Kevin. I needed to hear that. Too much bitterness and bile being spilled. It’s a natural reaction which has to be resisted. I know good decent folk who campaigned for or supported the other side. We need to reach out to them just as they may seek to reach out to us. Shed a tear – keep on inspiring us to be all that we can be.

    1. Alasdair Frew-Bell says:

      sounds rather like wishy-washy religion not politics.

  30. There were no exit polls commissioned by the BBC or anyone else. The UK on the point of dissolution and no exit polls? Was this in case the exit polls indicating a strong YES vote base, would not tally with the rigged alleged results? Why did the YES campaign not arrange its own exit polls?

  31. Marian says:

    There is still a way forward if we can get a federal Scotland with full fiscal autonomy. The Unionist media and Brown were promising we would get federal Scotland in the closing days of the campaign and this probably influenced a large number of voters to vote NO, so we should hold them to account for that.

    The momentum gained by the SNP, Greens, Labour for Indy, Radical Independence, and rest of YES movement should now be rapidly re-directed into forming a new single political party with the objective of creating a federal Scotland with full fiscal autonomy within a UK federal system of government.

    Doing this now capitalises on the setting aside of differences and dedication to the cause showed in the YES campaign. If they move quickly enough they can get this amalgamation approved by their Party Conferences in time to actively join the campaign for the May 2015 UK general election.

    The voters in Glasgow, Dundee, the West of Scotland, and many other parts of Scotland are now clearly disillusioned with the Westminster parties and so a new political party with a federal objective could win the natural support of those voters to elect a very large contingent of pro-federal MP’s for Scotland who could hold the balance of power at Westminster and ensure Scotland gets a true federal government with full fiscal autonomy.

    This new political party could also be vigorously supported by a new daily online newspaper promoting pro-federal news and video, that might be formed out of the amalgamation of Newsnet Scotland, WoS, and Bella Caledonia, websites that support the federal Scotland objective.

    1. Federalism is highly unlikely. The problem of asymmetry, not just England but the ever growing scale of London and the English south east, make that difficult. There is also no demand for devolved government in England. When the dust settles on this all talk of federalism will go and Scotland will be offered the customary glass beads. We have grown up, or some of us have, over this campaign. I hope we have the balls to tell “them” where to stick their gift.

      1. Jo says:

        Actually there is quite a large demand for devolved government in England, more so now the Scots are staying in the Union. MSPs were instrumental in raising English tuition fees, something they had abolished in Scotland. A lot of English people, myself included, are unhappy about that.

      2. Dundee for Capital says:

        You have to laugh at the prospect of English home rule. Where do they think they are currently governed from?

  32. Sally Welham says:

    Kevin I did vote no but I really feel for you and could have been persuaded to vote yes but not by mr Salmond. I respect your views and even share some of them. I, personally, have been able to happily debate with my friends with different views to mine and we have remained friends. Now is no time for triumphalism but I will work with others to ensure Scotland gets the best deal. I am a firm believer in democracy and the power of the vote and I think Scotland has shown the world how to engage with politics in a peaceful way. Best wishes to you and your family.

    1. muttley79 says:

      Unfortunately a No vote will empower the British establishment to take revenge on Scotland.

    2. MBC says:

      Sally, why oh why could you not see past Alex Salmond? It is the principle of self-determination that counts! So sad to hear that you rejected independence because you did not like Alex Salmond.

      As Jim Sillars said, Salmond is mortal but Scotland is immortal. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Forget the White Paper. White Papers are only statements of what governments intend. Their basic policy position. What is actually delivered can be quite different. What you have to ask yourself is first, can Scotland go it alone? Of course we can, tiny Malta with 450,000 people goes it alone and celebrates its 50th birthday this week.

      You have turned down the opportunity of a lifetime on a dislike or mistrust of one man. What about the legions of your fellow Scots? Do you not have faith in them?

      We have conducted an absolutely fantastic, peaceful campaign. Doesn’t that give you faith? There would be challenges, but we could have sorted them. You have voted to remain a child under the roof of a controlling parent instead of stepping out for yourself.

  33. John Flanagan says:

    what about the vote rigging?

    1. leavergirl says:

      Don’t waste your time on it. The lying powers that be always cheat. Fix it as you gain more power in the future.

    2. Annie says:

      John, Recount called for – Sign the petition and pass it on


  34. Yes indeed, today I’m hurting – a lump in my throat I cannot shake. Until the results were flowing in I was filled with hope & optimism. I’ve always maintained that today when I woke up, regardless of the outcome I would still embrace the result. I hope that the UK political landscape will change, and oor wee nation caused ripples across the pond and beyond. Democracy was personified by the Scots, and yes we can be proud of that.

    No voters are not the enemy, they’re our Scottish friends & family. Only time will tell if we manage to get any additional powers. Less control by Westminster with less centralisation of powers. I’m sceptical about this, but for now will trust the vote of my fellow Scots. We’re the “noisy neighbours” and if there’s no change then no voters may need to reassess their loyalties, and the yes movement may become stronger. However, my faith lies with democracy for now…

    I voted with hope, not fear. Maybe one day we’ll get another chance 🙂

  35. Here’s a breakdown of Scotland’s pathetically indifferent population …

    About 132,000 (3%) of Scotland’s voting population cared so little about their own country, they didn’t even bother to register to vote.

    About 659,000 (15%) of Scotland’s voters who did register, clearly don’t care for Scotland either way so even when they had elected to have a vote, they too, just couldn’t be bothered to cast it. Maybe there was a repeat on the telly they just didn’t want to miss or perhaps they had an important appointment at the hairdressers?

    So far then, 791,000 (18%) of all the people in Scotland, that’s nearly 1 in 5, who are eligible to vote just didn’t give a shit; except perhaps about the price of beer or fags?

    Of those that did get off their arse to actually vote, 2,001,926 (55%) voters say they like their sovereignty in the hands of the London Establishment & are delighted with the current arrangement whereby they send their taxes to London & get some pocket money back, while Westminster executes whatever policies the marginal seats in the South East of England prefer.

    Only 1,617,989 (45%) voters then, think that the current arrangement is deeply flawed, unfair & needs to be changed. So the actual ratio of people who voted YES as a proportion of the entire population of eligible Scottish voters (4,416,415) is a lousy 37%.

    Thus, just over a 1/3rd of the people in Scotland actually acted to deliver a message that they think there might just be a better alternative to the status quo.

    It is a stunning achievement of the British Establishment, aided & abetted by it’s corrupt BBC broadcaster & self serving print media that it was able to convince so many Scots that they actually live in a country which serves them better, than any alternative they could possibly imagine, even when the evidence to the contrary is staring them in the face, from just over the other side of the North Sea.

    Well done Britain.

    If he were still alive today, George Orwell would be proud of your text book delivery.

    1. 1.6 million…quite an army!

      1. Bigger than some members of the EU.

      2. Abulhaq says:

        good point. Montenegro: 625k for example, is on target to join. Also applied to Nato.

      3. Graham Harris Graham says:

        But still makes up only 37% of the electorate. Therefore it remains a minority army.

    2. Seamus MacNeacail says:

      Truly a sad day! It is disappointing that the “yes” vote did not prevail. But what is really disheartening is to realize that a majority of Scots have been so conditioned over the past 100 years to believe that they are not capable of taking responsibility for their own lives, families and futures.

      This vote represents the fact that the majority of the Scots are truly a dependent society with a dependence mentality. They are willing to take whatever the English benevolence or lack of it dishes out to them.

      “The welfare culture tells the man he is not a necessary part of the family; he feels dispensable, his wife knows he is dispensable, and his children sense it. The man loses his self respect and the respect of his family.” Is this truly what has happened to a vast number of Scots? Have they lost their self respect and confidence that they can be self-reliant and be responsible adults by taking control of their future without help or dependence on a government handout?

      Unfortunately, the Scots are being mocked by the rest of the world and pitied for their evident dependency mentality on a English government.

      Those Scots who voted “No”, no longer deserve to call themselves Scots but should instead embrace the Sassenach label.

      Hate to say it, but this the first time I’m ashamed to admit to my Scottish heritage. My forefathers would be ashamed of and appalled by their ancestors today.

      1. Dean Richardson says:

        Call the No voters Brits, by all means, but don’t lump them in with us English. If somebody sidled up to me in a pub and told me that they voted No, I’d make myself scarce in a hurry, and leave them to find some other company. We English hate Wastemonster’s ways just like you do.

  36. muttley79 says:

    Salmond has resigned as FM. I think the 55 per cent who voted No will begin to realise the consequences of a No vote very soon, and they are not good at all for Scotland.

  37. Emer Martin says:

    my paraphrase of W.B. Yeats September 1913, (remember this was the gloomy feeling in Ireland at that time and Independence came within less than a decade)

    What need you, being come to sense,
    But fumble in a greasy till
    And add the halfpence to the pence
    And prayer to shivering prayer, until
    You have dried the marrow from the bone?
    For men were born to pray and save:
    Romantic Scotland’s dead and gone,
    It’s with Wallace in the grave.

    Yet they were of a different kind,
    The names that stilled your childish play,
    They have gone about the world like wind,
    But little time had they to pray
    For whom the hangman’s rope was spun,
    And what, God help us, could they save?
    Romantic Scotland’s dead and gone,
    It’s with Wallace in the grave.

    1. His line, A terrible beauty is born, has a chilling resonance.

  38. paulcarline says:

    I’m a democrat and I don’t accept this result. Democracy is about much more than having the simple right to vote – whether for a person or on a substantive issue like this. Democracy can only exist if it has clean air to breathe and solid ground under its feet. A crucial part of those ‘environmental’ conditions is the access by voters to honest, fair and untainted information – on which they can base a sound judgement as to the merits of each side.

    That was not given. Instead, the campaign was characterised by dishonesty and mendacity on a mammoth scale by the ‘No’ campaign.

    The Electoral Commission has ‘rules of engagement’ for referendums – and should have power to sanction parties who break them. Its special Scottish Referendum website expressed the pious hope that “We want to see a fair referendum with an active and informed campaign on the issues.”

    Why did it not step in when fairness was being so blatantly traduced?

    Re. Alex Salmond, he deserves great credit for taking the campaign so far. But, even in the event of a “Yes” majority he would not have had an easy time – given that both he and Nicola Sturgeon had enthusiastically endorsed the disastrous TTIP agreement whose outrageous provisions will be visited upon us unless we mobilise in Scotland to block the agreement before it is signed into EU law.

    This, and the creation of local democracy with statutory rights of initiative and referendum, are two of the main tasks for the immediate future.

    1. Neil Shaw says:

      The Electoral Commission has ‘rules of engagement’ for referendums – and should have power to sanction parties who break them. Its special Scottish Referendum website expressed the pious hope that “We want to see a fair referendum with an active and informed campaign on the issues.”

      Why did it not step in when fairness was being so blatantly traduced?

      Because the Electoral Commission is a tool of the UK state…


  39. Ann Rayner says:

    In order to demonstrate their commitment to their promises to deliver more powers to Scotland, Cameron, Clegg and Milliband must quickly acknowledge that Scotland is a net contributor to the UK through taxes and revenues, as well as the exports of oil, whisky etc which make the UK balance of payments a lot less worse than they would otherwise be.

    This is absolutely necessary as many MPs and people in other parts of the UK regard Scotland as a ‘subsidy junkie’ and are convinced by the right wing press that they are paying for our free prescriptions, eye-tests and student education. If the three party leaders do not do this, there is no chance that these promised measures would ever be passed by a Westminster Parliament.

  40. NeilH says:

    It’s all a process. If Scotland had squeaked to independence the No campaign would not have accepted it, Westminster, business and Scottish irreconcilables would have done everything to hamstring and scupper an independent Scotland; it would have been a terrible mess, I think. All of this is worth knowing and planning for in the future.

    Nonetheless, the Union is vulnerable and if it fails over the next few years, politically and economically, and in its handling of the constitutional issue, then the 5% shortfall may be handily supplied.

  41. wanvote says:

    Thanks, Kevin I’m .. thanks

  42. JBS says:

    The animals couldn’t understand it. Some of their number had just attempted to escape from the farm. Why would anyone wish to leave? There was regular food, there were comfortable stalls, pens, cages. The barn was locked every night, and they could sleep in peace, safe from possible predators. It was puzzling.

    Anway, all of the troublemakers had been recaptured by the farmer. They were now tied or penned or caged every hour of the day, with no freedom at all to roam. As the animals passed by, they smiled pityingly at the transgressors and shook their heads. Then they went back to their endless munching and slurping and sleeping.

    Those who had tried to escape stared at the ground and were silent. They knew what was coming.

    Soon it would be the time for slaughter. Soon the farmer and his sons would appear with their axes, their knives, their guns. None of the farm animals would be spared.

  43. Joseph Gibson says:

    Have you checked out the youtube video which seems to confirm vote rigging counting in Clackmananshire counting room Joe Gibson

    Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2014 12:28:14 +0000 To: [email protected]

  44. Sean McElroy says:

    I have just watched the video evidence of vote rigging. I hope there is a Scottish legal team who will jump at taking this on!
    I woke up in Nottingham this morning feeling heart broken at the result. But even with vote rigging the massive vote for Yes must be something to be proud of when the establishment through everything including the kitchen sink at the Yes campaign. You are still the light of fairness shining through the fog of neoliberal lies and control.

    Sean McElroy

    1. Brian Fleming says:

      I agree Sean. Surely there must be lawyers working on this now somewhere. It must not be allowed to pass with a shrug of the shoulders!!!

      1. Brian Fleming says:

        Oops. Shut up Brian. You’ve been conned. OK. no more of this from me.

  45. Bill Longdon says:

    No tears for Salmond. He was always going to be the first to go. Either way: for failing to deliver independence or for delivering a weak independence that embraced trident, NATO, the monarchy and the bank of england.
    Salmond might be able to to do us a last service by listing all the ways in which the people of Scotland have been deceived by the No campaign. It’s hard to imagine how anyone could be swayed by the words of Gordon Brown, but Cameron has already pointed to one crucial instance. Brown had no official position in the No campaign, so it suited the unionist leaders for him to make the false promises. His vanity made him oblige them….. and sell Scotland down the river (again).
    Scotland now needs to brace itself for the consequent collective punishment. The Brutish establishment will not miss the chance to kick us when we are down.

    1. Abulhaq says:

      only if they find us our knees….never

      1. Abulhaq says:

        on our knees..

  46. Alex Buchan says:

    As Alex Salmond has just said in his resignation speech Cameron has already reneged on his promise to have legislation ready for extended powers before the next UK election. Meanwhile, Labour is engaged in trying to muddy the waters with talk of a constitutional convention, thereby trying to cover up its blatant pursuit of party interest in not wanting to lose the right of Scottish MPs to vote on English maters and hence its chances of gaining a majority by relying on Scottish MPs. It is hoping to steal the initiative but Labour is now the party which is least keen on the Scottish Parliament having control over taxation.

    This battle is not over and we need to build, not so much on the vote we have secured, but on the activism and freedom of thought this campaign has thrown up. We need to organise a peoples convention here in Scotland that draws in as many people as possible to chart the way forward.

  47. anja cradden says:

    Hello folks, this is Kevin’s partner Anja here. It’s a good idea to avoid looking stupid or like liars when incorrect anecdotes get about and I need to correct something in Kevin’s article (Kevin is getting his first sleep in days so I’m not gonna wake him to do it just now). There were no teachers in tears but all the staff I spoke to at school were gutted. It was me that was in tears and their kindness helped me pull myself together. Stephen got upset about all this and the head said just to take him home because of Stephen’s class were off anyway and he assumed there had been a few parents racking up late nights and gloomy mornings. Life goes on. Peace and love and keep on fighting for it. xxx

    1. Hey Anja,

      Good to hear from you.

      That’s lovely: Keep the record straight and don’t wake the man!

      Here’s to you and your family for all you’ve done and all we’ve yet to do.

    2. sprknn says:

      denying your child a day of education cos your a wee bit upset over a fair and democratic process is tantamount to abuse.
      absolutely shameful.

  48. Aaron says:

    Does anyone know if there is a more detailed map showing the voting results? I found the results map used by BBC Scotland utterly depressing and certainly not reflective of a 45% YES vote.

  49. Kevin those are some of the greatest, most heartfelt words you have written, open, generous and summing up the bitter bitter sweet moment we are in, so much has been done and something great has been started,
    so yes, rest up, dust down and then lets see where we can all take it, beyond yes and no reaching out to some common issues and aspirations for the world so many of us want to live in. Best Angus NVA

  50. This is my communication to a Slovenian journalist:…

    When we get up off the floor we must campaign again, the target being the No voters taken in by what will be non existent new powers.

    Hi Brina

    Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner, but it’s been a long night. We set out for a party and ended up at a funeral.

    There is huge disappointment. I look out of the window and it is one of those wet, misty, cold, dull days – it seems as if the weather has captured the mood. There is exhaustion and we need time to reflect. There is also anger as more and more stories of electoral fraud emerge from the counting stations. One guy was secretly filmed, filling in voting slips at the count, after the polls had closed, another film shows bundles of No votes that are clearly marked YES.

    There is a demonstration planned in Glasgow for a complete re-vote, but I do not think this will happen. We have to live with the vote, fair or otherwise.

    What won it for NO was the late promise for more powers by the three main Westminster parties, delivered by ex PM, Gordon Brown.
    This pulled the 20% undecided towards NO because they retain the “comfort blanket” of the UK’s scale, but with more powers to Scotland.

    The problem is the powers promised were not defined, only that they would be outlined by January. Even as early as today the leader of the London Labour party, Ed Milliband has stated he opposes more powers to Scotland, if there are not even more powers to England.
    The promised ‘powers’ are disappearing today, like melting snow.

    This is exactly what happened in 1979.

    There is a General Election across the UK in May 2015, so from now on the four main parties have to look to the majority of voters in England to stand any chance of being elected. Labour and The Conservatives are very close in the polls already. UKIP, which wants to close the Scottish Parliament, is in third place.
    None of the four parties can ignore the recent opinion poll in England that said 62% of English voters wanted Scotland to have less money and less power after a NO vote.

    The First Minister for Scotland, Alex Salmond has just resigned, stating that his successor ( probably Nicola Sturgeon ) will re-energise the campaign. It will also free up Alex Salmond to hold the Westminster parties to account for the promises of more power and the timescale that was promised three days ago.

    The huge movement that has sprung up for YES will not accept the promises disappearing. We are seeing now that we lost the referendum because of being lied to about non existent ‘new powers’.

    As we analyse the figures, we take heart from the fact that each age group, except the over 65’s, voted a majority YES.
    The fight will go on…. but we need the weekend to lick our wounds.

    Donald x

  51. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    In my opinion the big question to be answered in the next few weeks, is how do we force another referendum?

    I don’t know how right now, but I do know it can only evolve via a mass movement of the people.

    1. Alex Buchan says:

      It would be counter productive to push for another referendum, but its important to point out all the flaws with the one that has just happened, including the evidence of vote rigging. But to just push for another one would be a dead end and makes us seem like sour losers. What we need to do is see how we can organise across the board, both to have an alternative culture and politics based on participation and to stand against the corrupt unionist parties in elections at every level, but that needs thinking out how to do that which is why I believe we need a peoples convention under the auspices of RIC.

      1. Brian Fleming says:

        We should be ‘sour losers’. We were robbed, whatever way you look at it. it’s time to stop trying to look nice. Winners are generally not nice. That’s why they win.

  52. Robert Graham says:

    we all know it was the lies and deception from the MSM and a establishment who feared for their very existence and did everything legal or not who’s to say .And as for the fact not one newspaper chose to expose the lies means the result is a total fraud and the ones on the NO side that are celebrating i hope they dwell on the fact the fickle hand of this british state can and will turn on them who is going to protect them ? not us we tried and they helped to make sure we lost shame on them

  53. Drew Robertson says:

    We can be the nation again………………….and we will be!
    Alba gu brath.

  54. Catherine says:

    “Most of those who voted NO are not celebrating. They’re looking at us, the wounded minority, and wondering how they can reach out to us. We’re part of their families and communities.”

    Aye, they’re busy reaching out to us in George Square tonight. But we are the thugs, remember.

  55. ArdMhacha says:

    Chins up guys and girls, you have not just inspired your fellow countrymen, you have inspired millions all around the world. You have the one thing that will ultimately deliver your independence…passion. I wept for you guys too, but there is a momentum now that won’t be denied, that will not quit and will be handed to the next generation if needs be…let your solace be the laughter of your children in their own country. Bella Caledonia.

    1. Catherine says:

      Nothing more inspiring than watching a country vote against its own independence. We are not an inspiration, we are a laughing stock. And now the winners riot in George Square, while the international media is still in Scotland. Great…

      1. ArdMhacha says:

        But Catherine, that’s what I meant…the fact that you lost, and that it wasn’t YES that was rioting is the inspiring part.. The inspiration also comes from the number of disparate political views that gathered to YES, in a peaceful, good humoured, interested way. Get your chins up, SNP is a ready made vehicle for you regardless of your bread and butter politics, and there they are *right there* with a general election coming up. You’re not a laughing stock, you are a gorgeous country, a fantastic people and and a beautiful idea, you just have to keep fighting, keep the passion, keep the momentum going. HMS Britain has been holed badly here, they are lurching from option to option for devolution, this is not over yet.

  56. Tony Philpin says:

    45% voted for change. this is only 200,000 people short of a majority and a swing of 5% would have delivered an iScotland. Indyref YES was the ideal for folk wanting a fairer and more democratic society. Within the movement there were different coathangers of values – it is/was not a uniform movement. Now we need time to think before we act. Almost every new party launched in the light of the indyref will fail. Most will be shipwrecked on the egos of their founders. Some will be reactionary and have no clearly thought through ethos or ideals and simply self destruct (like much of the left has a predisposition to do) . And none will have a strategy of how to build a YES vote for the next referendum as there surely will be one. First analyse, then think, then act. Now is the time for working out what happened and then we move on to how can we succeed next time – we know the entire weight of the establishment, including their media will be launched against us. How do we reduced the numbers of people who can be fooled part of the time ? (the others – like the NO guy who told me Salmond was mentally ill and would have built himself a palace if we’d voted YES are a lost cause) Patience mes amis, patience.

  57. Helen says:

    William Wallace will be turning in his grave today, Scotland the Brave ? Were are you ? that you cannot believe in yourselves to stand up and be a nation again ? Is this better to be back in the hands of Westminster Again ? Why , why , why this was our chance ! Do all you no voters think things will be better from here on ?? Wake up for goodness sake ! My niece said the best statement I have heard today, “I think all the no voters should go and live in England if they believe it’s better ” ( she’s ten by the way )

    1. Brian Fleming says:

      Helen, I don’t think Wallace had a grave. his body was cut in pieces and put on display ‘pour encourager les autres’.

  58. johnny come lately says:

    For those even thinking about a new campaign/referendum or political movement – forget it! We cannot get much further than now, without a balanced media. The media cost us this referendum plain and simple. There is no use scapegoating pensioners, Salmond or anyone else.
    It was a corrupt and dysfunctional media that terrified the pensioners and ridiculed the very idea of independence. It was the same media that let BT and Westminster get away with their outrageous lies, misinformation and half truths. It was the same media who demonized, vilified and treated Scotland’s first minister with utter contempt.
    Until Scotland has a proper balanced MSN then it will be up hill the entire way and end in defeat with regards to new campaigns. The first battle ground has to be a mass boycott of TV license payment.

  59. Marconatrix says:

    Someone on NNS pointed out how the whole vote and count had a ‘stage-managed’ look to it. So you have to just wonder a little how much was set up and controlled. I think the suggestions above of crude ballot rigging are probably wrong, and anyway would only account for a handful of votes, but was there some more subtle manipulation at work. Look how they allowed us to build our hopes until an Independent Scotland was almost within touching distance, and then simultaneously broke all our hearts, left us all feeling desolate and physically sick. I’m sure they know all the techniques involved. Human emotions are fairly predictable after all. I feel especially for the young people who joyfully took part in the campaign only to be emotionally mugged. Many will probably simply emigrate to a proper democracy as soon as they can.

    I wonder what could have possessed Cameron to agree to the terms of the Edinburgh Agreement, terms that put the whole existence of the UK at risk. At the time I thought it was just over confidence, but true or false when it came to it it was a vote the simply could not lose, and would no doubt do “whatever it takes” to win it, fair means or foul. If they knew that they could always rig it if they had to, then they would be able to put the matter to rest they thought for a generation, with the added bonus of leaving their opponents (that’s us btw) in a state of shock and trauma, liable to turn on each other or on the No’s they’d scared or confused.

    Now we can probably never prove any of this, but just knowing and understanding what’s just happened might I hope relieve the suffering and focus our thoughts on the true enemy and how they might be defeated.

    No harm in demanding a re-run sooner rather than later, just as soon as the vows are torn up and those who were scared and mislead begin to see the light. Timing would be important though. After all a decision made under duress cannot be considered valid.

    1.6 million! We are already a small nation, perhaps we should demand minority ethnic status — LOL! Actually why not if someone wants to try it, for the publicity at least? If like me you’re still feeling like someone has kicked you in the stomach, then that at least brings us together.

    Onward then …

  60. mary vasey says:

    Thanks Kevin for positive post

  61. williams62 says:

    Long post, but it’s been a long journey and I want to vent too. Skip if your not interested.

    I never cared a toss about politics. As a student of History (am old one now), I was aware of how democracy galvanised the voters back when democracy was first invented. But in the world I see around me, that’s long gone and all that’s left was lip-service to an outdated ideal. Even thousands of years ago, democracy and freedom were ideas applicable to the chosen few, not the many. And rapidly transformed into an excuse for “Empire” and slavery.

    The modern world I gew up in (it seemed to me) was accurately described by the writer Douglas Adams. As he acidly remarked;

    “It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see…”
    “You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?”
    “No,” said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, “nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people.”
    “Odd,” said Arthur, “I thought you said it was a democracy.”
    “I did,” said Ford. “It is.”
    “So,” said Arthur, hoping he wasn’t sounding ridiculously obtuse, “why don’t people get rid of the lizards?”
    “It honestly doesn’t occur to them,” said Ford. “They’ve all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they’ve voted in more or less approximates to the government they want.”
    “You mean they actually vote for the lizards?”
    “Oh yes,” said Ford with a shrug, “of course.”
    “But,” said Arthur, going for the big one again, “why?”
    “Because if they didn’t vote for a lizard,” said Ford, “the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?”
    “I said,” said Ford, with an increasing air of urgency creeping into his voice, “have you got any gin?”
    “I’ll look. Tell me about the lizards.”
    Ford shrugged again.
    “Some people say that the lizards are the best thing that ever happenned to them,” he said. “They’re completely wrong of course, completely and utterly wrong, but someone’s got to say it.”
    “But that’s terrible,” said Arthur.

    ― Douglas Adams, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

    Until this referendum I assumed they were all Lizards. So I didn’t vote, because I didn’t want the latest Lizard to rip off the people on the back of my vote. Mr Independent, that was me.

    Then the SNP were elected to majority on an Indy ticket and suddenly, for the first time, I did care. No, I really fucking cared! And to my amazement, many others did too. And politics became not only interesting but vital, to me and to many we could see a way to tear up the old twisted Lizard way of doing it and write the new way, where everyone mattered and not just the ruling Party faithful, Opposition Party faithful, media hacks and the deluded “loyal”.

    So I did what I could to help the Yessers and was proud to be one. And the Yes campaign was a beautiful one. I wasn’t shocked at Lizard society closing ranks to protect the self-serving satus quo, but I was a fool to assume everyone else could see the blatant media manipulation too. Many did, but not all. Of those that didn’t see, it is hard to escape the conclusion it was because they chose not to.

    And Gordon Brown as “Saviour”!! WTF? The fool that sold off our National gold reserves to bail out an American bank, the fool that robbed the Pension funds of over £100bn (according to the Institute of Actuaries) with his idiot “Stealth tax”. A man that assured the Country he was a Prime Minister for “Middle Britain”..and those are only a few of his many failings. .. yer having a laugh. I got in the single malt and the nibbles and stayed up to watch a landslide Yes.

    But it didn’t happen. Irony of irony, it was the Pensioners that did the Yessers the most damage. And behind them the “Middle-Scotland”; too snotty to see beyond selfishness, party politics or blind loyalty to an outdated Imperial past. Hell mend them. Their cherished Devo-Max is already dumped. And if Scottish Labour hadn’t been so spiteful and petted-lip-bitter about that ballot question, we would be independent today. They deliberately split the vote because they saw it as best for them and not best for Scotland, and they should be electorally wiped out for that, much as the Tories were for their policies. They could never deliver Devo-anything in the teeth of a hostile English parliament majority and they knew it.

    But anger has cooled a bit since the vote. 45% of the vote is an incredible result for a grass-roots movement and SNP revivival. We shouldn’t give up. Because the hope that we Yessers all felt going into that referendum is how we should feel at every election, because we can all feel our vote really matters. At present, it does not matter (again). There is a danger an entire generation will drift into political apathy (again). The kids (mine especially) have woken up to political engagement, and they wanted/want an Independent Scotland. For their sake, we can’t drop it all now.

    We almost changed the Lizrd’s status quo: we came within 5%-6% swing of changing it. There must be a way to fix this. Don’t give up.

    Happy to support IndyRef 2.0.

  62. Martin says:

    Thank you Kevin for a thoughtful and well written article. When the disappointments become a little less palpable people can take the opportunity to stay involved and not have 1.6m voices languish in despair. It is certainly true that most of the No voters are not the same as the mindless hooligans burning the saltire in the square. That lot are simply rebels without a clue and ignorant of any real cause.
    The good among the No camp will want to see that their vote was also not wasted also and could use allies in holding feet to the fire. Westminster has a serious challenge on it’s hands with the rumblings going on elsewhere in the Union. A cohesive group willing to stand together could go much further than camps still divided.
    You have made history. Help make it again with the tools at hand.

  63. Steve Mackie says:

    I actually swapped sides for a while, and came back to Yes. But during that transition, when I was drawn in to debating against the Yes side, a seed started to grow, and words formed into sentences that are still with me to this day. How it all could have been so different, if they’d only done what was to me, the morally right thing to do.

    Instead of being ‘smert’ and ‘inclusive’ with the 16 year olds (a foil to counter the Grey Vote) and courting the EU migrant (to distance themselves from the Westminster/UKIP anti EU stance), they should have limited the vote to British Passport Holders ONLY in Scotland, and Scottish Born residents of the rest of the UK who wanted to apply for a vote.

    Why them? those who had moved away for work or love – or both? Well, because when you were voting for Independence, you were actually changing the nationality of a whole country …a whole race. Those in it, and FROM it.

    The Brits/English who lived in Scotland would still have been Brits/English if they chose to renew their passports with England.

    The EU migrants would have retained their own countrys citizenship regardless of the outcome.

    But the UK Scottish born – well, others were deciding their nationality for them – but refusing them a say in it. And the defence is that the referendum on affected those living in Scotland. Which to me is a crass, elitist, disregard for the birthright of people from Scotland who love it too … and has cost everyone their dream.

    The UK passport Authority wouldnt have issued a new passport to the Scottish born people living in England, as their “Place of Birth” would not have been anywhere IN the remaining UK. They’d have been as well writing Mogadishu or Ulan Bator on an application, and their application would have been rejected just as quickly if they had. After all, not many people born in Dublin or Limerick gat British Passports from the UKPA, do they.

    And that, when all is said and done, is what – numerically – cost the Yes campaign the vote. They put too many eggs in the wrong baskets, seeking to catch a wave of ‘it only effects us here’ sentiment. A wave that dashed so many peoples hopes on the rocks.

    This was a disastrous miscalculation in my view – as there was more than enough Scottish born voters in England who would have liked a say in their nationality too – ESPECIALLY as the Parly were giving the right to decide it to people who’s nationality wouldnt change whatever the outcome.

    This wasnt just about independence and oil and welfare and local issues – the BIG picture is that it was equally about was changing hundreds of thousands of Scottish born peoples nationality with no reference to them. I know many activists have long resolved this paradox in their mind, and that the concrete of mutual affirmation of the efficacy of their decision has long since set. But that doesnt make it right, and it never did.

    Thats where the votes were lost.

    Thats why the No side sneaked through the middle – because we were split up from the start

    As my Mum used to say “Ye can be too smert fur yer ain guid” …. a pretty hard way to learn an easy lesson wasnt it.

  64. Nick Aurelius says:

    As a Welshman watching the arguments and debates from the sidelines , it became apparent just how embedded the media organisations – including the BBC – are with big business and the Westminster power house. I feel sad to see so much positive energy potentially go to waste against the dreadful sight of the negativity of the No campaign. The Tories are already back tracking on their promises, and the likelihood of getting their promises through the house of Commons are disappearing by the moment.

    Lessons must be learned though , Independence can be achieved with a fair media, so one has to be created in Scotland for the Scottish people. People have to be weaned off Westminster’s media poodles with tales of disaster. That is easier said than done, but it is the key I believe to success.I have absolutely no doubt Scotland would have been fine Independently , and needs England’s fabled financial security blanket like a hole in the head.

    The Labour party has really let the Scottish people down, yet again, and they should not be forgiven for their betrayal. Who could ever believe a word again that comes out of Gordon Browns mouth.

    Other UK nations watched in complete awe at what has been achieved in Scotland, and I truly believe this is just the beginning , and most certainly not the end of the issue. I think the regions of England have woken up to the possibilities , Wales and NI will also now reinvigorate their efforts for autonomy. Westminster at the heart of the “separate state of London” ruling the whole of the UK is coming to an end.

    I see this as a very positive change , and as others have said , the pain of defeat will pass, and the actual success of what has been achieved for the whole of the UK will become apparent in the years to come.

  65. vronsky says:

    “This isn’t intended to be a long article” [fixed your typo]

    Thank fuck for that. The people attacking their fellow Scots are in George Square, ‘attacking’ quite literally, in some cases. But you’re OK with that. Let’s just deprecate the occasional ‘separatist’ expressing a wee bit of disappointment, because that really is awful.

    “Where we go from here politically is something that perhaps should be thought about carefully”

    Oh yeah, absolutely.


  66. Margaret Dempsey says:

    So on the basis that tory Lord Ashcroft polled the over 65 year old Scottish members of his party, many are now prepared to demonise me. I am a 78 year old woman, a socialist and supporter of Scottish independence since my teens. When I heard that sixteen and seventeen year olds were to have a vote I was glad. They are the future and it was right that they had a voice. On the other hand, I would not have been dismayed if it had been decided that anyone over three score and ten years of age should.not.
    I voted yes,and am grieving today that I will probably not be here to see Scotland become independent, and also that some of you are prepared to make a judgement of me based on such a flawed assumption

  67. Steve says:

    Reblogged this on clickysteve and commented:
    “Armed with little more than social media, blogs, and DIY creativity, we tried to take on the might of the British state and the vast power and wealth of the British establishment. And for a few weeks we had them terrified. Hold on to that feeling and be proud of it.”

  68. Louise Kearney says:

    Cheradenine you are wrong on so many counts, and to be pretty honest are being out and out racist. I’m a Yes voter and proud, with an English mother and half my family living in that fair country. This was not an anti-English vote.

  69. niallbradley11 says:

    They rigged it Kevin. I encourage Scots to conduct informal polls of how people voted: you’ll find it was a Yes landslide: http://www.sott.net/article/286057-Scottish-referendum-result-undoubtedly-rigged

  70. Irish view says:

    Irish view.
    There is an obvious attraction to having a new new, independent Celtic state as a neighbour. On the other hand I felt a certain unease that an independent Scotland could derail the nascent Irish economic recovery; after a while I began to realize that this view was selfish and blinkered.
    At first glance this seems to be an overwhelming victory for UK unionism but the more intelligent and perceptive type of UK unionist cannot fail to discern some disturbing harbingers in this maelstrom:
    Barely over 50%of the Scottish electorate voted for very weak devolution in 1979 with a turnout of 64%. Now 45% plumped for complete independence with an 85% odd turnout. The historical trajectory is clear. And this was when up against the combined might and collective scaremongering, of UK corporatism, the UK mass media, Clinton, Obama, Geldof (I’ve a lot of time for my countryman as a musician, philanthropist, social commentator etc. — however I think he’s got this one seriously wrong), the Spanish PM, Uncle Tom Cobley and all.
    45% of the populace of the UK’s second largest constituent part have made it clear that they want to leave the said UK: a significant fact in its own right.
    It is probably reasonable to posit that a majority are emotionally committed to independence — a subset being scared off from electorally expressing this commitment. An outcome-determinant stratum of the electorate were bought off, and deterred from opting for full independence, by being offered substantial additional independence at the last moment. This substantial additional independence can only strengthen the Scottish psychological demos and catalyze the aforementioned dynamic.
    Salmond is a gradualist extraordinaire and it appears his long term strategy is working. In short, the net results of the whole shebang are electoral gains for SNP and Devo Max. When you think about he delivered substantial (soon to become more substantial) Home Rule and left his party on an ‘onwards and upwards’ trajectory. Therefore, by definition he was more successful than the two, obvious, corresponding figures in Irish history: Parnell and Redmond.
    Despair not — looking at the voting demographic, time is on your side – remember Robert the Bruce and the spider!

  71. emma4hope says:

    Beautiful , thank you .
    Still bewildered , burst into tears hourly – last time I did that my mother had died and my love for her goes on for eternity

  72. There are a growing number of positive articles and blogs that call for the people of Scoltand to accept the “democratic” result of the referendum and to come together to continue working against poverty and inequality, not just in Scotland, but accross the UK. To continue our engagement in various forms and work for change together, in whatever form this may take.

    Sentiments that I wholeheartedly agree with and support. I fully intend to wipe my eyes and get back in the fight, eventually.

    But for me, the grief is still too near. I am not ready to move on and I dont know how long I will need to work through my emotions and reflections before I am. Perhaps I never will be. My spirit is broken, I am a broken man. I fought with everything I had for 2 long years. I have seen my hopes for Scotland and her people dashed… for now. For me, fear has won over hope and it has wounded me deeply. I need some time.

    One point I would like to tease out is this – there is also among these emerging positive narratives an acceptance that the movement for independence fought against all odds, the combined might of the establilshment, UK government, media and the coorporate, financial big business interests.

    Again sentiments that I absolultely agree with. So with that said, I do not think this is compatible with – accepting a “democratic” result. We have seen political engagement on a magnificent and inspiring scale, but we have not seen “democracy”. This is cetainly something we must all seek to address as we move on.

    Love and light to all.

  73. You tried your best but on the big day, with a massive state sponsored marketing campaign, with all the stars aligned, with the Bullingdon club running Westminster, with a hated political class, with the SNP in Holyrood, with a non-existent Labour presence and an abysmal pro-Union campaign, just over one in three people voted to leave the Union.

    I’m sorry, but now is the time to stand beside the majority of people in Scotland, and pull together with the rest of the people of the United Kingdom in making this a better place for all of us.

  74. Brian Fleming says:

    “But, as happens in a democracy, we didn’t win. We embraced hope but the vote went against us. Anyone who believes in the sovereignty of the people, as I do, and the principles of democracy, then we have to accept the result.”

    I’m not sure about that, Kevin. There is a lot of evidence of fraud at the counts. Will someone in Scotland please petition for a judicial review before it is too late (6 weeks)!!!

    1. Brian Fleming says:

      How does one cancel one’s own reply??? I’d like to cancel the above one. I no longer believe the fraud allegations. I’d like to, but I don’t.

    2. Lo says:

      Have a read of some of the comments from people at the vote count

      then if you are convinced sign the petition

      It’s important that we get as many yes voters together this saturday at the rallys

  75. Me says:

    On the bigger picture if this your chief concern then every last person here should consider themselves incredibly lucky indeed.

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