On September 19th 2014 many of the Yes campaign groups were scattered to the four winds, their members in the main sucked up by the SNP, with some going off to the Greens or doing their own thing.
That’s pretty much how things have remained, but there have been some very determined Yes groups which have not faded away but have regrouped and continue campaigning.
The likelihood of another referendum is such that many Yes groups are reforming and new Yes groups are springing up. Technology has also marched on and now there are mobile apps which are designed to help groups communicate with members and for people to find groups near them.
Indy App and Yes 2 Hub
The Indy App is still at an early stage of its development. It was launched in September by The National Yes Registry and at present doesn’t appear to do much. However I was told by developer Jason Baird that there is a lot going on behind the scenes getting groups registered, and there are three updates planned between now and early 2017 which will transform it into what should be a fantastic tool, so stick with it.
The Yes2 Hub collates articles, allows discussions and acts as an events diary which can be utilised by groups and individuals and looks as though it too will become a vital tool for the forthcoming Independence campaign.
The apps can be downloaded for I-phone or Android.
Letter to The National, 06/10/16
The news that British Soldiers will be made exempt from the European Convention on Human Rights was met by cheers from many quarters, but as a former serviceman I am disturbed at the message that this sends out. British troops will still be subject to the Geneva Conventions but I have seen much over the last few years which suggests that many, and worryingly many among serving personnel, feel that British troops should not be held accountable for what are by any reasonable standards, war crimes. The case of Sgt Blackman RM who shot and killed a wounded Afghan enemy combatant is particularly notable. A petition submitted to the UK parliament gained almost 35,000 signatures. Championed by the Daily Mail, almost a million pounds was raised in a matter of weeks to fund a legal challenge, and this had a high profile launch in the Daily Mail who described the events as ‘Dignified and Defiant”. I can barely believe that so many people would rally round to support a convicted war criminal. The “Our Boys” Sun mentality which has elevated all our soldiers to heroes vastly oversimplifies the fact that they do an extremely stressful job, often in a lethal environment, and that sometimes they get it wrong or worse deliberately breach the law. For a country that once claimed to be a beacon of law and democracy to the world, the attitudes displayed during this “phoney-Brexit” period are anything but. The UK Government is sending a new message to the world and it’s a message which discredits British troops before they even set foot on the ground. They are telling people around the world that the British Army can operate without impunity to a certain extent and that their complaints, which if we look to Iraq where millions of pounds was rightly awarded in compensation, will henceforth be treated as vexatious. If they are trying to tell British troops that illegal detention and torture of suspects is unacceptable they are going the wrong way about it.
Letter to The National, 03/10/16
I’m old enough to remember when John Cleese was funny and I had perhaps thought that his tweet about the obsequious behaviour of some Scots was the product of some new character he was trying out. Unfortunately the character was his own and while he clarified his feelings about Scots in general and displayed a broader ignorance of Scottish affairs, in the process he touched on an interesting trait which is prevalent among the more senior British unionists in Scotland; where they try to demonstrate their loyalty by trying to “out-anglicise” their London masters. David Mundell is one such “Union Jock” who would be best starting his sentences with “Theresa says you can do…” as he is no more than her messenger boy. Powerless and pitied to such an extent that his nickname ‘Fluffy’ displays how inconsequential he is, that Toom-Tabard would be more fitting. Ruth Davidson on the other hand is more venomous. Her recent comments that ‘Scots were usually placed where nothing could be stolen or broken’ were a new low for her. This is the woman who wants to be First Minister for goodness sake! If she want’s to be seen as an actual alternative government rather than a Quisling style puppet government then she has to stop behaving in this manner. She has to stop demeaning Scotland at every turn so that she can get a pat on the head from London. She evokes an image of some Union Flag bedecked Mr Punch puppet who says to the puppetmaster “No, don’t you get your pretty hands dirty, I’m so compliant I’ll stick my own hand up my own rear end and work it for you- and still have a hand free to beat the Scotch with my austerity stick!”
What shocks me more than anything is how a compliant media which explodes at the slightest gaffe or verbal slip from anyone of a pro-indy bent suddenly becomes deaf, dumb and blind to this. Had Salmond or Sturgeon made such a remark I’d expect at the very least a large swathe of the front pages and a Call Kaye specially extended edition! In Ruth’s case, it’s “Look, squirrel” and the headlines once again focussed on those nasty immigrants and how bet “we British” can identify them, marginalise them and get rid of them, and Ruth, being a proud British nationalist surely has no problem with that.
Sometimes, especially when talking with people in groups online, and especially typing one digit at a time on a mobile phone, typing a long winded and flowery sentence designed to convey some manner of behaviour we are already familiar with is an utter pain.
For example I wanted to get across the idea that “a person of one country who works to undermine that country on behalf of another country”. Now traitorous is one word that can be used, short and to the point. I feel though that these people don’t see themselves as traitorous. They are British nationalists working for Britain’s interests.
Similarly their actions could be described as Quisling-like. Most grown ups don’t throw a hissy fit when this term is used. It’s recognised that the term is applied to people who work on behalf of a foreign power to administer on their behalf. On using the term once I was asked if I was accusing them of being a Nazi. Clearly not, unless they were Norwegian and worked on behalf of the Nazi regime in the 1940’s…
Viceroy is another, evoking the idea of those sent to run another part of the empire and live like lords in the process. But it dosn’t have the same effect, it’s a more cuddly and acceptable description, when that’s not what I am looking for.
So why can’t we just say in one word what we feel within reason: traitor, quisling, viceroy, without being rounded upon, when we can point out that very same behaviour inside a long and descriptive sentence to no response ? I suppose that the truth is that that to those who act in such a manner there perhaps is a sense of shame in what they do, and to that end they need to control the dialogue, to blunt it, and to mask their actions.
Scottish independence is in effect a revolution, and that revolution has to reach out further than it did in 2014. Can we do that with sanitised, limp-as-lettuce debate? Because if we are afraid to speak the truth then we do their work for them. I’m sure there’s a word for that…