Un Conventional

I remember it vividly: a sea of saltires and a soundscape of joy and noise from Mogwai, Frightened Rabbit, Stanley Odd, Franz Ferdinand and loads more at the Usher Hall for A Night for Scotland, sometime in September 2014. It was intense. It was the pinnacle of ecstatic Yes-Certainty. But it was a bubble and a silo and we lost.

Fast-forward nine years and little has been learnt as the remnants of the Yes movement debate frantically that a convention is needed urgently to salvage itself and move on. No real detail is made of how or why such an event is needed or what it would do but it’s definitely URGENT and anyone who disagrees or doesn’t attend is a traitor to the cause (or something).

This is why Neil Mackay at the Herald was quite right to argue that the AUOB marches are largely pointless at this stage. He wrote: “What’s the earthly point of a bunch of people who believe the same things telling each other they believe the same things? Well, let me correct myself. There is a point: the point is to reassure yourself that you’re right. The Yes movement – at least the AUOB iteration – seems so fragile it must be constantly on parade to convince itself God is on its side. There’s an inherent risk here, of course. By parading around and telling yourself you’re right all the time, you repel those who don’t agree with you, and deter those who sit in the middle unconvinced …”

Looking Outwards

He’s right. The independence movement needs to be looking outwards, not involved in pointless endless internal feuding and pointless endless talking to – and performing to – itself. Mackay notes that lessons can be learnt from Northern Ireland where there’s been an emphasis on listening to and respecting those from ‘the other side’. He writes that that has paid off: “More and more young people – and not so young – from a unionist background are beginning to embrace the notion of a United Ireland.”

Much of the arguments about a Yes convention miss the point. It is not about the SNP via a movement, it is not about Alba, the Greens or the ISP or whoever, it is not about the characters and individuals involved at all and the clash of egos or online wars, it is about engaging with what actually matters, what is actually going to make a difference to peoples lives in the hellscape that is Britain after 13 years of Tory rule.

Mackay again: “The Yes movement will only move forward when ordinary non-partisan Scots feel they are part of this conversation.”

This is not to say that taking to the streets doesn’t have a powerful role at times, but that actions, protests and marches have to have a purpose and an endlessly inward-looking movement that repeats the same events with the same actors and the same routines is not a movement of change, it is a movement atrophied and parochial. It’s much more difficult to talk to people you disagree with. It’s even more difficult to listen to them. But talking to yourself is pointless. We are at the stage where we need to change how we organise and who we look to for leadership because their programmes and projects are failing us.


Comments (38)

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  1. Sandy Watson says:

    Marches and gatherings are important to promote and demonstrate solidarity around a cause. The cause is clear – independence.

    That doesn’t mean that all the other stuff isn’t necessary as well.

    If the cause of independence for Scotland is serious, advocates and sympathisers need to get so much better in dealing with what that’s about (and not excluding marches, demonstrations, gatherings, etc).

    I can’t stand the jingoism and the ‘braveheart’ crap, nor the un-informed, in-your-face, daft politics.

    And I don’t advocate other than peaceful, non-violent, expression.

    I’m not sure that N Ireland is such a good example to follow. The current situation there has come about through many factors and over long and very difficult times. Very different, if similarly complex, circumstances.

    1. “Marches and gatherings are important to promote and demonstrate solidarity around a cause.” They are and they do. I just think we need some new ways of organising that is outwards rather than inwards looking.

  2. Alan C says:

    I think it’s time a definate date was set for independance talks to start with the UK government, if they don’t want to talk that’s fine, they give up any right to negotiations later on. It would also give YES campaigners the impotus to really get motivated, folk need a date to work towards otherwise we’re just going round in circles. Regadless of what the ‘polls’ say I suspect there is a healthy majority now of YES voters.

  3. John Wood says:

    I disagree. The marches serve a useful purpose in reminding those on all sides that the demand for self-determination is still there, regardless of the failures of the SNP and Greens. They are not about talking to ourselves, or antagonising anyone – on the contrary.

    We do need to articulate a vision for a independent Scotland that looks different from the one we have – and the policies of the present Scottish government are simply dismal, designed to please international
    oligarchs at the expense of planet and people. For all the broken promises and tokenism, in reality it’s a vision very little different from Westminster’s.

    That is how the Yes movement is destroyed through spreading despair and hopelessness.

    We have to articulate an alternative, something worth fighting for. Common Weal has done great work on this. Bella is a great place to start a discussion about this. I have also tried to get debate going by offering various ideas at planet-people.org. So far I seem to be talking to myself but I live in hope.

  4. Graeme Purves says:

    There’s no point in being sniffy and censorious about rallies and marches. I seem to remember the Campaign for a Scottish Assembly/Parliament and Scotland United having them back in the day. AUOB is filling a gap in the absence of an effective, broad, cross party independence movement. It’s high time we had one.

    1. Not being sniffy – just being (self) critical. I think we need new tactics and ways of organising.

      1. Cathie Lloyd says:

        Reading Neal Acherson’s brilliant article on the 1848 revolutions in the LRB made me think of Marx’s own analysis of these events. What he did in his articles was to think about new ways of organising which sprang up around that time. And that is relevant to your piece here. Not all initiatives worked, but contributed to the general upheavals in 1848. I remember 2014 as a series of flowerings which weren’t all by any means predictable. It would be good to look back at what worked then what caught the imagination. Those of us who have been around rather a long time have experienced moments when movements have flourished, often made progress (seeing off the NF with Rock against Racism and the ANL in the 70s, then goodbye to Cruise at Greenham in the 80s). I think that our task at the moment is a double edged one: to keep the structures and groups we have founded alive to be able to seize the moment when it becomes available, and to keep our antennae fixed on new developments from which we can learn. If we’re concerned about the ageing Yes movement, lets look at the way XR is organising and using social media to incentivise people. What new cultural movements are there, and can we form common ground with them? Alliances must be a key way forward if we’re to build for self-determination.

        1. Great examples Cathie – yes, concerts, sit-ins, festivals, gatherings, direct action, occupication … all much more empowewring forms than marching then listening to the same old faces

          1. Cathie Lloyd says:

            I don’t want to sound too vague but conjunctures throw up ways of mobilising which are innovative sometimes unlikely but which flourish. We need to be open to recognising and to work with them when they arise. Having organisational networks like the yes movement is a great resource which needs to be kept alive. But we can’t plan every move. But we can be ready to Seize the time!

          2. SleepingDog says:

            @Cathie Lloyd, indeed, as the concrete superstructure of the old order cracks, splits and decays, more and more opportunities for green shoots of the new appear.

            In a time where even the Daily Telegraph is wondering if architects should swear an oath to save the planet, people are creating their own opportunities to pledge allegiance to our living world:
            “When Dr. Makenzie Lystrup was sworn in as the new director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center last week, she didn’t take her oath of office on the Bible or the U.S. Constitution, but rather on a tome revered by space enthusiasts everywhere: Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot.”

          3. Sandy Watson says:

            All NASA space activities should be halted until global human problems on this planet, in the biosphere that’s necessary for life to continue, have been sorted.
            Anything else is really nonsense and more examples of stupid human behaviour.

          4. SleepingDog says:

            @Sandy Watson, you seem spectacularly ill-informed about NASA space activities. One of the world’s most outspoken climatologists is NASA’s James Hansen, and NASA observes the world’s problems from space, and recently released imagery detecting dangerous but hitherto unquantified methane leaks.
            Furthermore, possibly one of the few things than could united humans on Earth is a perspective from space, and perhaps major breakthroughs such as finding life on other worlds. We can do publicly-funded space research (you’d rather leave this to the private sector?) and still solve the problems humans cause on Earth, which are surprisingly little to do with our space programmes (which offered a peaceful form of competition during the Cold War).

            It would make much greater sense to call for the end of the cosmetic industry, motorsport, tourism flights, organised religion and mechanised armed forces. There is a massive list of harmfuls and non-essentials before you get to space-based research.

            Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the meaning associated with Carl Sagan’s pale blue dot?

          5. Sandy Watson says:

            There is nothing in what day here that I’m not (spectacularly!) aware of.

            There’s plenty the world could be doing to resolve issues to do with environmental catastrophe…and all other catastrophes. But the world is not doing it. And those who wield the power over most of the world have little interest on doing, apparently. On that basis alone (and, yes, there are so many others too…ffs!) IMHO, the resources applied to NASA are resources wasted unless and until these more basic issues of human and environmental need are addressed.

          6. Sandy Watson says:

            I’m quite aware of the things you mention here, but J try to avoid self/delusion as much as I might.

            If you believe that the value of NASA to the people and biosphere of this planet is greater than their health and well-being, whether you are falling for what you’re being told ie being deluded, or indeed self-delusional.
            You decide which.

  5. Stan Reeves says:

    Once again the commentariat have nothing to offer but critique. I have been on marches demonstrations and rallies for 60 years, and yes, you are correct they often don’t make any immediate difference. They do however energise the foot soldiers of freedom, they provide an opportunity for dialogue. Next you will be saying there is no point in having yes meetings as we are only preaching to the converted. All libertarian movements, lacking any institutional power have taken to the streets.
    I suspect that writers are more fearful of public gatherings of folk committed to anything and have a intellectual snobbishness when they see that ordinary working class older people make up the bulk of the marchers. They just don’t look cool. More than anything journalist want to be cool.
    It’s a great day out and you get to make a lot of noise, protect the right to free speech and free assemble, and meet old fiends and share with new. Taking part in anything is not what you guys on here do. Sniping cleverness from the side lines is what you do. Organising a popular movement is difficult, contradictory, and requires courage and commitment.
    If you have any suggestions as to what the Yes movement could be usefully doing please make them. Better still get from behind you keyboards and organise something. Come on then! Dae something!! I’m waiting. !!!

    1. “they provide an opportunity for dialogue” – yes they do but, as I said, that’s talking to ourselves?

      1. Stan Reeves says:

        Dialogue within a movement is the way that tactics change, so big gathering help that. Empty critique simply enrages folk. No opposition without proposition. I am sure AUOB would be open to your positive suggestions of any new tactics to engage with the undecided. We can march AND engage with the undecided. My YES group has stalls in public on a regular basis. You’d be welcome. How about you Mike getting down to the mound and make a case for independence to passers by?

        1. I’m not sure why suggesting that we organise better, more dynamic, more interesting forms of protest and action creates such a response?

          I suppose people are comfortable talking to other people who agree with them, so I know this suggestion isn’t going to be popular, but you know …

      2. Cathie Lloyd says:

        Take a look back at Rock Against Racism which scooped up a whole generation of young people to identify as antiracists. Its not always obvious what cultural form it can take, but we need to be alert to what is happening out there. And then when it happens, embrace it.

  6. John says:

    Personally I think flags are more for Hampden & Murrayfield than politics. Much as I find BBC news output in Scotland lacking in partiality (&UK now) I did find the saltire March on Cowcaddens in 2014 disturbing and certainly counterproductive. However flags are used as a means of demonstrating national pride throughout the world. Post Brexit and denial of Holyrood Section 30 request I do find the Union Jacks flying in Scotland uncomfortable and to be honest oppressive.
    This may be over simplistic but basically there are two groups of people on both sides of independence debate – those who see this as primarily an issue of national identity rather than governance (hard Yes & No‘s) and those who see it as which option is best for themselves and society in Scotland (soft Yes & No’s).
    The key to winning independence is convincing soft No’s that Yes is better option and this does require listening to those people’s concerns and effectively answering and reassuring them. This should have been focus of Yes movement post 2014, and should still be, as this will not only maximise support for independence but make for a more cohesive society post independence.
    It took 18 years to go from 1979 devolution referendum (1.2 million in favour) to 1997 (1.8 million in favour) and devolution was pretty quickly accepted by vast majority of Scottish electorate. It took a lot of time and effort with background of Thatcherite governments to persuade >500K that devolution was the right path to follow. The No vote in 2014 was 2 million so this puts the challenge Yes side face into context.

    1. Stan Reeves says:

      I can see that along with many Scots you are embarrassed by public displays of political commitment. (perhaps this is one of the things that needs thought about??) I was in Catalonia on marches and not only did they have flags, but full orchestras playing and hundreds of thousands singing El Segadors. (Find a band any where in Scotland prepared to stand out for indy??) My point is always this. Propositions and leadership of those propositions, is what is required not empty critique of those who are trying their best to make a difference. Will you make a proposal as to how we should “Listen” to the undecided? Where are they? Where do they meet? Having made a useful proposition will you book a hall and gather hundreds of supporters for you proposition? Posters, leaflets, media engagement etc etc. This requires work. I will help! I will hold your jacket!

      1. John says:

        I admire your commitment to the independence cause and while I do not openly campaign for independence I do try to discuss with others by listening to what they say and putting an alternative point of view. That is my preferred way to live my life but does not mean I do not hold strong beliefs on various subjects. My hope is that if I am open to someone else’s opinions then they will be open to my opinion. If someone shouts their opinion at me without listening I, and I suspect there are many like me, am less likely to be persuaded by and more resistant to what they have said.
        I am a self confessed soft Yes since 2014 but this does not make my observation any less valid.

  7. Jake Solo says:

    Neil MacKay is not right. Neil MacKay is as fake Yes as it gets and wants the movement to shut up shop and go away. He has never – not once – had anything good to say about anyone or anything that didn’t belong to or come from the troughing, traitorous party leadership. A Yes supporter who quite obviously despises everything to do with Yes and anyone who doesn’t grift a living from the SNP payroll or by sharing snooty retread thoughts with about 6 of their pals.

  8. Derek says:

    Marches make it into the media overseas, my friends in other parts of Europe tell me. That’s important, I think, as it keeps us in the minds of others.

    1. stan reeves says:

      I just got a note from a piper now living in the Netherlands who has marched with The Aye Notes, that using us as a model, he will be playing with others for the Netherlands march for independence. Thus building the indy movement into the consciousness of the Europeans. Thats what I call music!!!

  9. Paddy Farrington says:

    Beware of false dichotomies: it makes no sense to oppose action versus analysis, or marches of the committed versus discussions with the unconvinced. We need all of that, and more. What is so disturbing about the current state of the Yes movement is the extent to which it’s stale and atrophied, and is increasingly turning to invective against its own. Unfortunately, AUOB despite its name seem to be just as guilty as others of this. Therein lies the real problem, I fear: the Yes movement no longer comes across as the inspiring, diverse, radical place it once was.

    Can we get back to that? We can at least try. At our Yes group’s outing next weekend at the Meadows Festival in Edinburgh, we’ll be flying the Ukrainian, Palestinian, Kurdish, and Catalonian flags as well as our EU-studded Saltires, along with banners for peace, welcoming refugees, and saving the planet. Meanwhile Stan Reeves and his band will be playing Bella Ciao and Bandera Rossa, and the Indy Choir will be singing Both Sides of the Tweed. If the sun shines, we might just be able to rekindle the old spirit, for a while. And cheer up our own supporters while also getting to chat to a few of the many who so far remain unconvinced.

    1. Stan Reeves says:

      False dichotomies seem to be burned into the DNA of scots. Most could start a fight in a phone box. What is frustrating is there seems to be such little self awareness of this. it’s just nark nark nark!! Marchmont/Meadows YES is a fine example of engaging with the unconvinced in a respectful way. Loads of hard information you won’t get on MSM. Problem is it’s all old folk raised in the direct action movements in the 1960’s. Where are the young? ( Mind you I saw thousands at Celtic game and the Barrowlands singing “Ye can stick yer Coronation up yer arse”. I’d call that a start)
      If you see something you don’t like, don’t oppose it, do something to counter it in a positive way.
      If you hate too many saltires, spend an evening making a funny pithy and beautiful banner to wave. Perhaps it will catch on? (I have a beautiful one made in the 1990’s with a latin American artist “Democracy for Scotland” it says. I can’t get anyone young and fit enough to carry it)
      “philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it” Marx.
      See you all on the Meadows.

    2. Cathie Lloyd says:

      Agreed. To get beyond either/ or let’s reformulate our actions and value everyone’s contribution. From each according to their abilities…

  10. SleepingDog says:

    I think the point of conventions may be that you get to ask fundamental questions that are often undisturbed in less formal conversation; like, what is the point of government? Without being explicit about questions, there is continual risk of talking past each other. I only bring up Plato because these are well-known philosophical templates, but the Republic is useful in showing how an apparently free-flowing and even pleasant conversation can lead to questioning the fundamentals of society if unbound from partisan perspectives and establishment-favouring taboo.

    Some questions I would ask is: What is health? Can we measure it objectively? Can we apply the concept to human society, and to ecosystems? What value should we place on health? If we value health highly, what kind of government would best ensure it? What authority would we take on health on a planetary scale? And so on.

    What I would not do is just rehash stale and failed political paradigms that have had such negative effects on planetary health, and created looming threats of even worse. We should be talking about systems, politics without politicians. And we should be looking widely for inspiration.

    Perhaps there is an opportunity in the combination of the decaying Westminster palaces and the voluntary oath of allegiance requested on behalf of Charles. If we could build a new and rival Parliamentary building, one worth swearing an oath to as an alternative, what would it be like to be there? I picture something which keeps all the real problems of the world in focus, like our degraded natural world projected on to its interior walls in continuous overlapping video, with presentations from all human societies and proxy ambassadors for species and ecosystems, biomes and biospheric systems the only lobbyists.

  11. Dave. says:

    Well Mike I see you are still a unionist backing the unionist S.N.P. as I posted months ago before you censured 2 of my posts giving the true economic condition of Scotland. I also posted that Ms. Sturgeon was a unionist along with the NU-S.N.P. hierarchy. It is obvious that I was 100% correct. The latest F.M. is also a unionist leading the NU-S.N.P. following the same path as the Murrells EXCEPT ASH REGAN who does want our independence.
    In short ‘ A vote for the NU-S.N.P. is a vote for the union’.
    I’m sure that this post will follow my last ones from months ago and will be censored as it is for independence contrary to your support for the union.

    1. SAJackson says:

      hit the nail on the head with mr continuity mike Small, what joke, all be it the joke is on the Scottish independence supporters taken in by …….. like Mike Small, the Greens and NS etc.

    2. No need to censor you Dave – all hail ASH REGAN – our saviour! : )

    3. John says:

      Dave – I always wary of anyone who states they are 100% correct (at least it wasn’t 110%).
      I always like the quote from Bertrand Russell when asked if he would be willing to die for his beliefs replied ‘No, I could be wrong after all.’

  12. Mark Leslie Edwards says:

    Immigration seems once again to be a political hot topic in the UK, or at least one which the UK media is pursuing (is there any difference?) what I’m wondering is if we stopped dropping bombs on folk, or provoking others to drop bombs on folk by proxy, do you think folk might be less liable to flee those places being destroyed where they & their families are at risk of being murdered? Also, how good does it look when a pack of rich molly coddled studenty suit & tie wearing c*nts goes after a group of desperate folk who have nothing but one another for support? Now, before you say, Isn’t that a little off topic? To me, it is not. Scotland is host to a significant part of the UK’s & NATO’s military infrastructure. I would like to see greater emphasis in getting rid of this military infrastructure & making Scotland a peaceful decent place rather than the morally bankrupt shithole it currently is. Many thanks.

  13. mark leslie edwards says:

    While I’m at I wonder if anyone has any thoughts regarding this particular piece of nonsense: https://www.northern-scot.co.uk/news/far-right-activist-who-suggested-using-firearms-on-migrant-314288/

    It’s all very well for representatives of both parties currently enjoying majorities in the 2 parliaments governing Scotland to condemn this, but it seems a touch ironic considering that both continue to support NATO & the British military presence (occupation) in Moray & the Highlands. Mind you, they’ve been singing (badly) from the same hymn sheet for decades so I won’t waste my breath any further. Shut doun a base or 2 or nay votes frae me, cov!

  14. WT says:

    I’m sorry but yet again you seem to have the wrong end of the stick on marches. I don’t know who Mr. Mackay is but his article is nonsensical and a bit on the stuffy self-important side. Referring to the FM and AUOB he starts with
    “Do you: (A), march around with a bunch of people who believe the same things you do?”
    What is the matter with that? Is he advocating the end of all those pride marches with their flags and banners? Was all that civil rights stuff in the US with Martin Luther King a waste of time? So many examples of what is wrong with that remark. He goes on,
    “Or (B), engage with your opponents, listen, show respect, set out your position, and hope others come round to your way of thinking?”
    Who is this he was talking to? King Charles? I can’t see it myself hmm Charles? Maybe, but it seems far fetched. Or perhaps it is the two and a half thousand chums of his he’ll be chatting to at the Caird hall? I have a feeling they might fall into category A as they might be a bunch of people who believe the same thing.
    But how about the one Mr. Mackay missed (C): march around with a bunch of people who believe the same things you do to show some support and offer them some way over-due respect. especially at the start of your ‘ministry’. Still, disdain is easier and part of the way we expect our masters to treat us.

    What Mackay offers us is a flim-flam argument about looking outward rather than inwards. Brilliant idea! If only this Cicero guy was here to help us. Outward rather than inwards.

    He tells us that the marching about is “…to reassure yourself that you’re right.” Could be, but that’s not the reason (it’s easier to do that at home) but it shows how removed this man is from the ordinary folk who attend these rallies. The point in these things is to feel part of something, just like pride, just like the poll tax, and some people need it because the politicos and commentators make many of us feel that we are not part of something, that we have no input, that they don’t really want our input (just votes laddie) that they know best, that we just well…march around.
    This is a bit like saying that going to a football match has no purpose. That vicariously watching other people RUNNING about rather than marching is mad. And with a leather ball? What’s all that about? That standing shoulder to shoulder with friends at Parkhead, Ibrox or New Douglas Park is a waste of time – and one you have to pay for.
    The reason is simple:
    It’s called a herd.
    AUOB is a herd of people who believe in ONE thing – not the same things. Big difference.

    Mackay then launches into Norman Mailer (!) and then decides that by attending an AUOB march Yousaf would be “implicitly sneering at unionism, and rejecting – even denigrating – the views of roughly half the nation.” Non-sensical stuff and, by implication, he feels that rejecting – even denigrating – the views of the other half of the nation that’s the independence supporting half, that is alright? And, anyway, perhaps our FM should be “sneering at unionism”.

    He finishes by telling us that we need to get unionists to journey from No to Yes – well I never! Really! he tells us that “the best way to make the case for independence is for the SNP to govern Scotland well.” Crikey! Well, in many ways that bird has flown, they’ve done some good stuff and some crappy stuff same as the old boss. What independence supporters need is a movement that can supply a vision of a future that is better for all of us by becoming an independent nation. The SNP including Humza have failed to do that over the last eight years. Eight years.

    I don’t know but perhaps a bit of analysis on the demographics of NO voters and digging to find what stops them from voting YES offers us a clue to design a framework leading to the construction of an attractive independence prospectus for NO voting people. It shouldn’t really need very long to do that because the SNP are meant to already believe in independence so they should just be able to tell us why it is a good idea. Articles like Mr. Mackay’s speak to no-one.

    Mackay also draws a parallel with the situation in Northern Ireland giving a massively over-simplified picture of the politics, the methods, and even the movement across the divide. One thing that they have as an advantage over there that he pays no account to is the triangular relationship between London, Dublin and Belfast. We have no Dublin. That is a big factor. Dublin has worked hard over the last few years sending working parties to NI to find out the views of the unionist community, to hear their voice and to tailor Dublin’s responses to the political situation accordingly. We have no Dublin – we have to craft this ourselves.

    You point out that Mackay says: “The Yes movement will only move forward when ordinary non-partisan Scots feel they are part of this conversation.” There is no such thing. We are all on one side or the other. No to Yes?

    In your own article you say “We are at the stage where we need to change how we organise and who we look to for leadership because their programmes and projects are failing us.”
    Perhaps I agree, but I have to say that marching can be an important part of that, and from my own experience of marching in the past (not AUOB) they have a very important psychological effect. They solidify the herd feeling, and in the case of AUOB marches perhaps this is required for the soft YES (don’t forget them) voters.

    To organise? The SNP should have been doing this, but it is never too late. You ridicule Ash Regan because she is unrealistic but you don’t ridicule others such as say Nicola Sturgeon or Humza because they are so called realistic – realistic to the point of not trying. There’s a thin line between realism and surrender and at the moment we’re walking the tight rope.

  15. Fit Like says:

    On the nationalism issue, the side that dosen’t bother to hold rallies devoted to the subject won. Scottish nationalist’s learning from this hasn’t been capable of going beyond conspiracy theories steeped in quasi-religious belief, and a baffling decade-long shoe-gaze about how it would be good to maybe think about stuff sometime in the infinitely vague future. When it walks and talks like Trump… Thankfully the Church of Scottish Nationalists is too elderly and sedate to even contemplate storming Holyrood, and the precious flagpoles wouldn’t fit in the door anyway.

    People should demonstrate about Calmac, but not many people can fit on the infrequent tourist jollyboat that used to be a vehicle ferry, after the once-a-day bus, to get to a demo, so islanders are excluded from demonstrating by the cluelessy incompetent Scottish central belt upper middle class authorities who are to blame, and need sacking.

    The preoccupation of the remnants of the Scottish political left with religious nationalism and other identity politics rather than social change could be a major reason behind it’s remarkable demise. There is no left/right identity politics – they both have ID politics, and the most working-class political party is likely to be the National Front. The Scot Greens will probably be next if they don’t replace Slater with someone who isn’t a candidate for the upper middle class twit of the year compo who wants to bring chaos to your local glass recycling scheme because she thinks it might make her look good, her pals really rich, and the great majority a bit poorer.

    1. mark leslie edwards says:

      They didn’t really win tho did they, since everything that’s happened since can be blamed on continuation of the so-called ‘union’, which is as it should be, ‘unions’ are always miserable affairs after the honeymoon period, approximately 3 months. ‘Tis a’ doun hill frae thair cov.

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