*UPDATE 19/08/14 13:45: I have reason to believe that the man called Sam I speak about in this blog is Sam Harty, and is apparently MP Tom Clarke’s election agent, although that remains yet unconfirmed*
On Saturday morning I attended the Alistair Darling meeting in Coatbridge with a few friends. We were lucky enough that a friend had managed to get past their vetting process and receive tickets.
Better Together meetings, unlike those from Yes, are shrouded in secrecy. In order to gain entry you first have to apply for tickets and give them your name, address, and email address. If you’re lucky enough to pass their process, you are allocated tickets – although that still doesn’t secure you entry as many people have found out, Including a dear Yes supporter called Ronnie, who I have a bit of a soft spot for. Despite Ronnie having been allocated two tickets, he turned up to be told he couldn’t get in because they were full. One does have to wonder how a ticketed event could possibly be full…
I took part in the peaceful (and fun-filled) protest outside BBC Scotland at Pacific Quay a few weeks ago, as did many many hundreds of other people who are as disgruntled at our state broadcaster as I am.
To be honest, it wasn’t just the reporting of the independence referendum that prompted me to attend, but rather the BBC News and current affairs programmes’ handling and reporting (or there lack of) on certain events over the last few months.
I was, and continue to be, disgusted by the mass coverage that Nigel Farage and UKIP received in the months before the EU elections. It got to the point that if I hadn’t seen a UKIP representatives’ face on my TV for 5 hours or so, I began to wonder if the entire party had been abducted by aliens.
The above letter was sent to me via Twitter earlier today, by a ‘No’ voter I first encountered, and enjoyed chatting with, yesterday.
Due to the chronic character limits on Twitter, I’ve decided to use this blog as a means of putting my two pence worth in.
It’s no secret that I am planning to vote yes for independence, but for me the vote isn’t just a political one. I’m not voting ‘Yes’ just to rid myself or Scotland of David Cameron or the Tories, because no one can say with 100% certainty that in the future the people of Scotland won’t vote for a Tory government themselves at some point.
For me, It’s not all about the Tories or David Cameron, and it certainly isn’t all about the SNP or Alex Salmond – it’s about the fact that I believe Scotland, with its 5.4million people, should be a sovereign country in its own right and not an appendage of the United Kingdom.
I have to laugh here! My brain is having an off day and the word appendage suddenly looked very strange, so I highlighted the word in order to get its definition for clarity and this is what I was faced with.
Vote No Borders has been providing me with some amusement over the past few days, particularly with the launch of their newspaper advertising campaign which included this little gem: Continue reading →
I sent out a tweet several days ago voicing my disappointment at the way some Scottish politicians and councillors have been conducting themselves across social media, their behaviour often coming across as borderline abusive, derogatory, and somewhat troll-like.
Councillor Stephen McCabe giving a prime example here:
A response to the tweet I posted led me to the blog of one Mr. Terry Kelly, a Labour councillor for Paisley West. I had never read this councillor’s blog before, and upon clicking the link I was absolutely disgusted and furious in equal measure.
The Better Together campaign against independence has been heavily criticised for its constant stream of negativity; having picked their way through the Scottish Government’s White Paper with a fine tooth comb, it seems as though no detail, regardless of how small, has been left untouched from their mockery, scorn and seething contempt.
The White Paper lays out the plans for an independent Scotland, it gives a starting point to negotiations, and a place from which to begin building a new Scotland. However, it seems as though whatever the Scottish Government would like to see happen, there’s a Better Together representative waiting in the wings to pour a dose of doom onto their aspirations.
Currency union? Naw!
EU membership? Naw!
Paying pensions? Naw!
NATO without Trident? Naw!
Defence sector jobs? Naw!
Scottish Defence Force? Naw!
Oil fund? Naw!
Better manage our economy? Naw!
You get the point…
Whilst the Yes campaign – and it truly is a cross-party and non-partisan campaign at grass roots level – prefer to focus on the more positive messages about independence, adopting the message of hope over fear, we do need to spread a little dose of harsh reality ourselves from time to time.
Browsing through Twitter a few nights ago, I stumbled upon a conversation regarding Scotland’s free higher education. A university student was questioning why those in the yes campaign kept bringing up protecting free higher education by voting yes. She said: