Marmalade Tales

And then Auntie Nicola picked up the wee jar of whisky marmalade she’d been saving up for those cold Brexit winter nights, and she moved it one shelf up. She thought to herself, “it will be there when I need it, as a wee comfort, when times are hard.”

At that very moment a great big ROCK came flying through the window! Crivens, it was Colonel Ruthie, Wee Willie, and Gloomy Kez, and they were shouting like billio, “Take the marmalade off the shelf! Take the marmalade off the shelf!” “Your not allowed to keep the marmalade Nicola!, not, not, NOT!”

They sounded like they were dafties! Ho-ho, thought Auntie Nicola to herself, you’se are all just feart because you’ve got nae marmalade at all and now your scared maybe folks will realise!

Comments (41)

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  1. scrandoonyeah says:

    I liked that…..

  2. Iain Patterson says:

    Brilliant Alec!
    We need mair moral tales.

    1. Welsh Sion says:

      I have written 60 such tales/parables for the independence movement since Wallace Day 2012. Friend me on Facebook (under the name Welsh Sion) and I’ll happily share them with you, Iain Patterson (et al.)

  3. Fionnghal says:

    Brilliant! 😀

  4. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    Thanks for the smile!

  5. bringiton says:

    I hope every Scot remembers the stance the London based parties have taken on our fundamental rights.
    They will only allow us the rights they bestow.
    England is about to find that they will be in the same position soon after May removes them from the European courts jurisdiction but with no way out.
    They voted for that however.

  6. Elaine Fraser says:

    Love it ! Cheered me up no end and I do like my marmalade !

  7. Brochan says:

    Is that how you spell billio? 😉

      1. Alistair Livingston says:

        It is more usually Billy-O. There may be a satanic connection…

        http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/like-billy-o.html

  8. James R Thompson says:

    Brilliant! Made me smile! Thanks!

  9. dougie strang says:

    Very fine 🙂

  10. A Truly Concerned Troll says:

    There’s debate on both sides of the divide as to what Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement yesterday amounted to, but everyone agrees that to some extent her speech signaled a retreat. We can debate the extent to which the SNP are retreating here, and my personal view is that it’s a full retreat (a u-turn, in other words), but, since almost everything Nicola Sturgeon says is cloaked in overly cautious and contradictory caveats, it’s doubtful that we will get very far.

    However, it seems pretty obvious to me that if the SNP were intending to fully retreat from their commitment to another referendum, they would want to fudge the issue and in doing so break it to their core support as gently as possible. Yesterday’s announcement fits that description perfectly.

    To be clear, I am absolutely gutted about this. I was a passive but loyal SNP member and supporter until yesterday, (nearly) always willing to bite my tongue when they were making what I perceived to be errors and quietly buoyed when they had success.

    There’s nothing passive about my support for independence though, and that will continue to be the case. Independence is a no-brainer for me, it always was and always will be.

    And, yet, as the SNP retreats, the argument for independence has never been easier to win. Britain is going into the abyss under the leadership of a government (and establishment) that has no credibility on any subject whatsoever. It’s unbelievable that even on their traditionally strong issues like security and the economy, the Tories are completely at sea.

    The backdrop to all this, provided by British politics over the last 10 to 15 years, reads like the script from a horror story that nobody in their right mind would ever consider making; illegal and immoral destructive wars, millions of lives destroyed, expenses scandals, corruption, food banks, widening gaps between rich and poor, allegations of pedophile rings at the heart of government — did I miss anything?

    And amidst all the current chaos, in the light of those poor people burning in that tinderbox tower, with terrorist attacks an almost weekly occurrence, and the cliff-edge of Brexit looming closer and higher than ever before, the SNP were busy rescinding their own laws on docking dog’s tails. What the absolute fuck?!

    The SNP campaign during the general election — if you can call denying your own essence a campaign — was farcical. I don’t say that lightly. I’d be happy to discuss that further now that I feel I have have no obligations to the SNP, but what’s the point?

    Suffice to say, if a unionist in the street came up to me and said “all you care about is independence, you’re using Brexit as an excuse for a referendum” my response would be instantaneous; “Yes, that’s absolutely and exactly right!”

    And what an excuse Brexit provides. There’s a huge tsunami coming Britain’s way, we all know it. We can all hear the sirens everywhere; if ever there was a time to get off the beach, it’s now. As I understand it, correct me if I am wrong, the SNP intend to make the case for getting off the beach after the tsunami has struck. Between now and then there’s tails to be cut off, “let’s get on with it”.

    A 5 year old could win the argument for independence right now. The SNP not only didn’t win it during the election campaign, they cowered and refused to even take part in it. The diabolical absurdity of the SNP position climaxed when a week or so before the election, my SNP MP advised “followers” not to waste time going to the Pro-Independence march in Glasgow.

    Instead of wasting time on independence, we were to canvas on the SNP’s behalf in order to win seats in a Parliament that we don’t want anything to do with. We had 56 SNP MPs in that parliament for 2 years, the difference they made to policy was molecular. They were basically trolled for those 2 years, our faces and theirs rubbed in all manner of things.

    We could have had half a million people on that march and fought the election singularly and adamantly on a pro-independence campaign — ” a vote for us is a vote to get out of this smoldering nightmare”.

    Maybe I’m getting old and this New SNP approach is some sort of modern acquired taste. Instead of shaping policy to fit with polls, aren’t we supposed to be shaping minds to fit with policy?

    They say it’s darkest just before the dawn. Black and unimaginable as it is, I’m expecting it to get a lot darker. My candle’s still burning away in the background, a little comforting glow, but we don’t live that long in these parts; I should probably resign myself to handing it over to the next generation. Independence was for them anyway.

    So it goes…

    1. Thanks for the comment – don’t share your pessimism but I sure understand it

    2. chris says:

      Sorry to read your story. I was actually quite heartened by what the FM said. Where we live there is next to no interest in a referendum anytime soon and I think to “reset” in her words was the right thing to do. I think Brexit will be more protracted than we thought and I can wait another year or so. What the SNP Government must do is be much more bold in policy over the next couple of years and give people something to vote for. We cant just follow /blame Westminster. I think the GE campaign was poor and the party were squeezed but for too long the YES movement has relied on the SNP anyway. I think the party is tired. It needs a reboot and we need to give them the chance to do that. Meantime there is lots we can do as a movement to get organised and engage people. Don’t lose hope. It’s grim out there but not just for us. We are actually a beacon of light and hope but the key is getting that message out. That is the difficulty. People I meet want to be convinced that Scotland can be different and make better choices but don’t believe it yet.

    3. Heartsupwards says:

      Keep your powder dry Nicola. Truly Concerned? keep up the compulsion for indy Scotland, talk the talk, walk the walk till it’s time to open the jar, cos we all know the content will have been maturing and not stagnating.
      My worry is the Westminster plan for Scotland. £1 billion for DUP (disguise) can be well spent for troublemaking in keeping the union “together”. We know the trick that was/is played on NI peoples, you only need look at the stories on this UVF whistleblower, being given a same type of bung, in a way, that DUP have. The same establishment will kill, literally, people who are pro and anti indy Scotland just to start a civil war. We all know it, they know it , they are not even shamefaced about it.
      MI5 monitoring this website (me too) just to suss out who they can patsy, you don’t need to sound this paranoid to suspect these wheels are already in motion when Westminster are perfectly ready to kick the wheels out of the Peace Process in Ireland to keep them in the “union”.
      Watch for the changes………rhetoric, policy, players, …BBC will keep you posted. Listen With Prejudice.

    4. kate macleod says:

      I look at it the other way. Brexit will be what tips the balance for independence, we don’t need to do anything but wait.

  11. Crubag says:

    I think it’s more a reversion to Plan A (marmalade when support hits, and stays around, 60%).

    Brexit does complicate things, but with indy2 now to come after Brexit there will be one less moving piece, it will be a straightforward Scotland/rUK arrangement. Application to the EU would likely be the subject of a separate referendum, otherwise it would probably cut into the Yes vote.

    You could expect non-UK citizens not to have the vote for the first one, even if they do have residency, but according to survey research these were majority No voters.

    1. Eleanor Ferguson says:

      They were’no’voters because we were all told that to vote ‘yes’was to have to come out of the EU. I know a few EU nationals as my disabled daughter’s support team are mostly Polish and Spanish, and I can assure you , they will be voting ‘yes’ this time!

  12. 1314 says:

    How about – We have a referendum when the time is right.

  13. w.b.robertson says:

    Lesson No One in dealing with the public – Keep things simple. The decline set in when the SNP began to mix up the Independence argument with Europe. Many punters who wanted to be free from Westminster did not want to substitute subservience to the (Germany controlled) Europe. Nicola and coy complicated what should have been a simple campaign.

    1. Crubag says:

      The EU certainly has many faults – but one thing it helped simplify for indy was borders. If we’re all in the single market, then future Scottish/rUK trade relations were already a given.

      We’ll need to see what Brexit brings, but there is now another layer of negotiation to consider.

      On the other hand, it will only be with a single partner, rUK, and we can expect other dividends, such as competition policy, fisheries, agriculture, etc. Which makes me think that the future SNP pitch is more likely to be around EFTA/EEA membership rather than the EU.

  14. Charles L. Gallagher says:

    Thanks for the giggle. What I enjoy is watching so that I can actually witness ‘Colonel Blimp’ having her terminal apoplectic fit, can’t wait.

  15. Heartsupwards says:

    With at least 70,000 more English people having moved to Scotland by the time of indyref2, any perceived gains will be offset at least 2 fold in favour of the union.
    I not looking for doom and gloom I’m simply trying to cope early on with the reality of colonisation by London style.
    Can we hope that resident (majority English, some welsh,Irish,further afield) foreigners take a back seat in the vote and leave it to folks who consider themselves Scottish first?

    1. joe gibson says:

      I would certainly hope so.

    2. Ann Rayner says:

      I worry about that too, and also about the probable loss of EU residents’ votes as they may not be allowed to vote if we have already left. Many are leaving already because of the uncertainty. Finally, can Westminster stop 16-18 year-olds voting in an Indyref?

    3. Alf Baird says:

      “With at least 70,000 more English people having moved to Scotland by the time of indyref2”

      In fact, the recent population census indicates the actual figure to be around 70,000 people per annum coming from rest-UK to live in Scotland, some one million in total over the 20 year period up to 2014, and an upward trend suggests another 600,000 or so in the current decade 2014-2024. For a country the size of Scotland these represent very substantial inflows and a markedly altered population. Over one third of No voters in 2014 were people from rest-UK, and this could rise to almost 50% next time, assuming there is a next time. The census suggests people across the professions and those that can afford to leave England are clearly doing so in large numbers, but they mostly continue to vote for Westminster rule over Scotland, and hence oppose Scottish self-determination. Given the resurgence of Tories and to some extent LibDems in mostly rural constituencies (and leafier parts of Edinburgh) I do not see that changing much.

      1. Graham says:

        “In fact, the recent population census indicates the actual figure to be around 70,000 people per annum coming from rest-UK to live in Scotland, some one million in total over the 20 year period up to 2014, and an upward trend suggests another 600,000 or so in the current decade 2014-2024”.

        Alf, I agree that “For a country the size of Scotland these represent very substantial inflows and a markedly altered population”. The foreword to the Scottish Government’s Consultation on a Draft Referendum Bill (Oct 2016-Jan 2017) states that “As in 2014 the proposed franchise for the referendum will match that for Scottish Parliament elections. That will mean that two important groups of people would have a voice that was denied to them in the recent referendum on EU membership: 16 and 17 year-olds and citizens of EU countries who have made Scotland their home”. http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/10/8279/1

        I wonder if any of the responses to that consultation, 6806 of which are published, address the issue of how the population inflows to Scotland from the rest of the UK affected the 2014 result and will almost certainly affect the result of any future referendum on Scottish independence. https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/elections-and-constitutional-development-division/draft-referendum-bill/consultation/published_select_respondent

        The dearth of discussion on this issue is remarkable and the silence of the Scottish Government is deafening. On the census data alone, it’s difficult not to conclude that, on the same franchise, a No result is significantly more likely today than it was in 2014 and is becoming increasingly so.

    4. Gordon Benton says:

      Of course English immigration and its effect on our striving for peaceful independence is both a taboo subject and at the same time something of real concern. We gather that the English voted +70% against Scotland’s Independence in 2014, and I’m not sure that anything has happened since that will change the voting preference of this ethnic group. In this era of racist good manners perhaps we should put this statistic under the carpet.
      It would be interesting to see figures whether Wales can ever get its independence due to heavy immigration from across their border.
      It is not sinophobic to comment on what is happening now to the massive, politically-motivated immigration of Chinese into Independence-seeking Tibet. There were, and are many instances of the total assimilation of peoples through immigration.
      What am I saying? We want and need immigration (largely to compensate for the massive emigration of citizens over the last few centuries), and we as a people are hospitable and welcoming to all immigrants, but perhaps understandably are of the opinion that newcomers might stand back and consider the political aspirations of the hosts. We want to remain on best terms!

      1. Alf Baird says:

        Your comment Gordon surely contains a few contradictions. Concern on the one hand. No concern on the other. “We want to remain on best terms!” Yes, lets just leave what the UN refers to as the “scourge of colonization” to follow its course then. If the rest of the world believed that, there would still be a British Empire exploiting two-thirds of the planet. The definition of colonialism is quite clear: “the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.” e.g. Scotland.

        1. Gordon Benton says:

          Alf – what I wrote did contain contradictions: that is my dilemma! We, I believe should, and do want to remain on good terms with our neighbours but wish that they be somehow banned from voting on such as our Independence (from them!). If we are not going to allow what happened in recent history to the American Indians, Tibetans, Australian Aborigines and other indigenous peoples around the world, we will have to resort to the latter strategy, or something like it. But are we ready for that?
          I believe it is bad manners, and unacceptable for a new immigrant to any country to interfere for or against the wishes of the indigenous people, but since it clearly happens, we have to seek a solution, through some new legislation most likely. I suggest a residence period of perhaps 5 years is needed before s/he can be given that right.
          What I am not equivocal about is that until such time as Scotland is in a position to issue its own passport, Holyrood as a matter of urgency, must prevent non citizens (define!) from standing in the way of the people’s aspirations.

  16. Graham says:

    Alf, I agree that for a country the size of Scotland an inflow of 70,000 people per annum from the rest of the UK is substantial. The foreword to the Scottish Government’s Consultation on a Draft Referendum Bill (Oct 2016-Jan 2017) states that “As in 2014 the proposed franchise for the referendum will match that for Scottish Parliament elections”. http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/10/8279/1

    I wonder if any of the responses to that consultation, 6806 of which are published, address the issue of how the population inflows to Scotland from the rest of the UK affected the 2014 result and will almost certainly affect the result of any future referendum on Scottish independence. https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/elections-and-constitutional-development-division/draft-referendum-bill/consultation/published_select_respondent

    The dearth of discussion on this matter is remarkable and the silence of the Scottish Government is deafening. It’s difficult not to conclude that, on the same franchise, a No result is significantly more likely today than it was in 2014 and is becoming increasingly so.

    1. Charles L. Gallagher says:

      Hi Graham, could the answer lie in allowing expatriate Scots who were born and brought-up in Scotland and who had previously been Registered to Vote in a Scottish Constituency in the past twenty years be allowed to vote?

      1. Gordon Benton says:

        Hi Charles, – you have highlighted another problem in deciding the acceptable, fair and democratic ‘franchise’ which would be permitted to vote on Scotland’s Independence.
        I have been an expatriate Scot for 60 years, have met many in a similar situation who for different reasons (contracted, economic survivors, disenchanted, entrepreneurs) have left Scotland, and found that, whilst many are romantically close to their native land, a large majority on the surface at least, have little time for Scottish Independence. There are more kilts and haggis, more and larger Highland Gatherings, arguably better RSCDS dancing and excellent Piping and Drumming overseas that today in Scotland, but the sort that leave seem to be more Unionist. I could be wrong; were Independence better presented to the Scottish Diaspora, minds could change. Our brothers the Irish certainly came to the party, when Ireland got into problems not so long ago. And how do we find them?
        The issuance of a Scottish passport by Holyrood would help identify who, wherever they reside, would be eligible to vote on their country’s future. Nae doot, there will be reasons why this cannot be (legally) done, but it is time we behaved as an Independent Nation, and just did it.
        To cover the legality of all others living, studying and working in Scotland, the issuance of such as a Permanent Residency identification card (PR) works well (viz: Singapore where each recipient is entitled to all the benefits – and taxes, and National Service – of native Singaporeans, excepting the right to vote).

      2. Graham says:

        Charles, born in Scotland but having chosen to live in South East Asia for the last several years, I’m relaxed about not having a vote in any Scottish independence referendum but I’d gladly accept one if offered and enthusiastically cast it Yes. I’ve found other expats I’ve met to be as varied in their attitudes towards Scottish independence, on which their expatriatism has no or negligible bearing, as Scots back home. The only realistic prospect of a future referendum not being swung again by the inflow of those from the rest of the UK is to change the franchise for the referendum to those born and living in Scotland.

        1. Charles L. Gallagher says:

          Graham, this would cut-out all the EU Nationals the greater % of whom voted ‘YES’.

          In the end there is, as I’m sure you realise no easy answer.

          C

    2. A Truly Concerned Troll says:

      Since we are going to be so scientific in accounting for these things, do any of you have data on the numbers of people who leave Scotland to return to the rest of the UK?

      What’s that? No? Didn’t think so.

  17. Gordon Benton says:

    Before it gets cast in stone, the idea that the franchise be limited to those who were born and living in Scotland I don’t believe is on! There have been millions of Scots born overseas to Scots-born parents, a great many of whom return or are returning to Scotland, who no one is going to deprive them of their right to vote on the future of their Nation – surely!
    My Mother, born in Aberdeen and my Father born in Rhynie, for goodness sake, brought into the world sons born in SE Asia, and in turn they had a dozen children, more than half of whom were born outside the country. I an not saying, sadly that all ‘Yessers’, but, meeting residence requirements (to be determined), no one would be able to stop them – and possibly a million others – voting.

    1. Graham says:

      Gordon, but for the votes of those from the rest of the UK in 2014, Scotland would now be an independent country. The continuing population inflows to Scotland from the rest of the UK are even more likely to similarly affect the result of any future referendum. Proponents of an independent Scotland must accept that as a serious problem, to which a solution must be found. Parliamentarians appear not to want to talk about it, much less offer a solution. Any suggestions?

      1. Brochan says:

        A very good and valid point Graham.

      2. Gordon Benton says:

        If we are talking about English ‘immigrants’, and if we believe the analysis which says that 70%-80% voted to stay with the Union – and their host country’s continued colonisation – let’s separate them from voter from the EU and such as the expatriate Scot overseas in the military and on business contracts. It would seem, given an English proscription coupled with our 16 and 17 year old voter, we would have an excellent chance of winning the next referendum on Independence. The problem is that of course we could not, as it presently stands, keep just the English from voting, Westminster would never condone it, and to discriminate would be quite unethical. I just cannot see this happening. this is not how we behave.
        But what can be done is to issue a Scottish citizenship document (iow a Scottish Passport) based on such criteria as (say) a 5 year residence as well as having at least a Scottish-born grandparent, and only those would be eligible to vote. Others with educational and skill qualifications, working in the National interest, and/or supporting substantial inward investment would be issued with a Permanent Residency card (PR), entitled to everything (e.g. owning property) excepting the right to vote on anything. The remainder would have Temporary Work Permits (TWP), but as we will possibly keep our European connection, that may have to be modified.
        Something must be done now about this, and it is to Holyrood that we must direct our attention to find a fair and equitable solution. England has now got its Independence. It is surely fair to allow Scotland its day in the sun.

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