Scottish independence referendum, plus jokes.

Wings Over Scotland


Journey to the Yes side

Posted on September 28, 2013 by

As far back as I can recall, I haven’t believed in anything.

I’ve had no over-riding passion for change, I’ve felt jaded and disconnected from the establishment, from the institutions. Westminster and the political scene of the UK was framed by a “they’re all the same” mentality. All I saw was greed and corruption in people who didn’t represent my view of the world, but that’s just how it is, right? It’ll always be the same, we can’t change it.

apathy

But maybe we can.

I’m 24 years old and entering the 4th year of my university course (English & Film – I’m one of those creative types we apparently can’t afford in a recession). I came to university as a break-out attempt from the realities of life. I didn’t want to go straight after high school, as careers advice was less than helpful. Unless you wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer there was pretty much no help forthcoming. You had to have a clear goal in mind, and if (like me) you didn’t then you were on your own.

So before I made the jump to uni I worked the 9-5 at various office jobs and then spent a few years as a CCTV and computer engineer in the east end of Glasgow. My childhood had been split between Scotland and Wales, and as far as I recall I managed to identify myself as both Scottish and Welsh. I went to high school in South Lanarkshire and I’m still trying to figure out my role in life.

My first year of uni finished just as the SNP won their 2011 victory. I didn’t know much about Scottish politics then and had no idea about upcoming policies or referendums (except free tuition, of course). I only became aware of it during some pub sessions with a friend who essentially told me how this whole referendum thing would go. It was background info though, something that still only really sat on my periphery.

I ran through my own version of the Scottish Cringe during this time – “We can’t be independent can we? We’re Scottish”, I recall telling myself. “We cannae run our own affairs ’cause we’re too poor. We’ve no’ got the brains to do it.”

That didn’t come from a cultural standpoint – I was far more aware of Scottish culture than most people my age thanks to my family upbringing (being Scottish in Wales probably helped my mother and father understand themselves and where they came from more than if they’d stayed in Scotland). Yet I still believed that we weren’t up to the task and that London probably knew best.

renton

The summer passed and negative news story after negative news story arrived like rain in a monsoon, torrential and neverending. I was an avid reader/viewer of the BBC back then but I was beginning to get a little suspicious of the diet of anti-Scottishness. Why were our own media doing their country down so? Why were there no positive sides to the independence thing? If people were fighting for it surely they had their reasons?

I can’t recall preciously the story that tipped me over the edge – some lie that Alex Salmond had supposedly told – but it broke my apathy and I went to the internet in search of answers.

This next part of my journey is probably very similar for most of you. The internet opened my eyes big-time. Newsnet Scotland was my first port of call and there was the BBC story refuted, with sources, in black and white. The media had blatantly lied. The Scottish media had deliberately lied to the Scottish people.

While I was aware enough of media manipulation to know not to trust everything the media put forth, for some reason this really hurt. I read the BBC website daily, I enjoyed a host of programmes and articles and radio shows. I endorsed the BBC, it was a part of my daily routine for years. This is how they repay me for that? Why would they lie?

From then on it was a slow trickle of checking the news against the likes of Newsnet and then Wings. I sincerely hoped that the false news story was a fluke, a hiccup in this debate. I naively believed that the BBC would set things straight. Needless to say, they didn’t. What followed was a barrage of negativity, lies and scaremongering.

I fact-checked everything online, I found the refutations, the anger that was stoking the fires of the public and I even started watching FMQs so that I could hear first-hand the FM knocking down whatever rubbish Johann Lamont and Ruth Davidson shot at him.

My case for voting Yes was coming together slowly but surely, piece by piece. The comments sections opened my eyes to things I hadn’t even known about – McCrone, The ’79 referendum, Blair moving the coastal boundary. As I took all the information into my referendum arsenal I was being pushed further and further to a Yes vote.

I had been led to believe all my life that those who supported independence had simply watched that Mel Gibson film and donned their kilts to hate “the English”. I was rapidly coming to realise that the use of that stereotype was deliberate and manipulative. Surely those who banged on about how great London was, waxed lyrical about WW2 and waved the Union Jack around were just as guilty? Why was one “nationalism” worse than another?

greatbritain

The picture was beginning to come together – I say “picture” but it was probably more like a detective’s whiteboard, documenting every deceit, every affront and every dismissal of the Scottish people. Scottish Labour, PFI, the BBC, Trident, McCrone, the truth behind the Acts Of Union. I was beginning to see it was all connected. I was beginning to realise that the only way to properly understand ourselves as a people was to get free from the shackles of Westminster, to run our own affairs, to have Scottish people looking after the interests of the Scottish people.

Every passing week brought further reinforcement to my new position. I wasn’t anti-English so why were “Better Together” claiming I was? I wasn’t selfish for my voting intention as I was thinking of other people, my fellow citizens, the future generations and my future children. I was thinking of my family.

I wasn’t SNP so why were they saying I was? Why were the media parroting everything “Better Together” said while hardly letting Yes Scotland respond? I didn’t run around the streets shouting “Freedom!” and chucking haggis at passing English people so why were the No side painting me as some sort of racist Scottish redneck?

I was growing frustrated, angry and saddened by the level of the debate. Mostly no-one I knew was even interested in it or knew much about it. Most of their ideas were the same that I had before I began my journey but they weren’t interested in having their fears dispelled. My flatmate was a Rangers supporter who still believed independence was ‘”all about the oil”. At a family gathering the subject of independence was raised, rather drunkenly, but after what seemed like hours of discussion it became pretty apparent – we were all voting Yes.

One of the key areas in this debate that people often say is lacking is the inclusion of women and their voice. Let me tell you now that my mother, probably your standard representation of a working-class Scottish maw, puts that to shame. She’s worried about the bills, about the house and about the future of her children. She’s worried what will happen tomorrow and in the coming years.

But she hit the nail on the head when she said (as accurately as I can remember it) that “faced with uncertainty, and problems and all the manner of things that might or could go wrong, surely it would be better if we had all the powers to address and solve these issues rather than just a wee bit?”

chamber1

When 20,000 Scottish people of all walks of life take to the streets of the capital city in support of a cause then you would expect that country’s own TV stations to report it. You don’t expect to have to go to Iranian and Russian television for decent coverage. The BBC and the media in this country should be ashamed of themselves. We deserve so much more than this.

When people pester you about what a Yes vote means, the answers are pretty clear. Scotland in Scotland’s hands. A No vote on the other hand is far more terrifying. Westminster will do everything in its power to make sure independence never raises its head again. There will be no “extra powers” and from the recent talk you can kiss devolution goodbye too. Best of both worlds? Aye, right.

In essence I’m voting Yes for hope. I’m voting Yes because we deserve to look after ourselves. I’m voting Yes for my family, for their children and for all of us. But also for our cultural dignity – I’m voting Yes so Scotland can finally get to know itself, to understand who it is.

I don’t want nuclear weapons while a quarter of children live in poverty. I don’t want the gap between rich and poor to continue to grow while the unemployed and disabled and forced into slave labour for a pittance of benefits. I don’t want our culture to be sacrificed in case it might fuel “nationalism”. I don’t want the poor or the disabled to be criminalised as being sub-human by people who never had to work a hard day in their lives. I don’t want to be seen as parochial or xenophobic for enjoying my own country and its infinite supplies of beauty and wonder and character.

My mindset often reminds me of Data from Star Trek – “I aim to be better than I am”. That’s the Scotland I want to live in. That’s the future we need. Don’t wait for others to do it for you. Get out there and speak to people. Get our country voting Yes.

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188 to “Journey to the Yes side”

  1. Restlessnative says:

    Every no voter should be made to read that till their eyes bleed.Excellent post,thank you.

  2. ianbrotherhood says:

    Well, if anyone was feeling a bit down after last night’s bickering, that should come as a tonic – brilliant stuff Shaun, many thanks.

  3. Tasmanian says:

    Beautiful article Shaun. Well said!

  4. Atypical_Scot says:

    “I aim to be better than I am”


    These words should be heeded by the governments as well as the people (I assume that is what you inferred) Apathy at the polling station says more about the politics of a nation than the people.
     
    Here is an interesting wiki page, jump to the international differences chart and trends of decreasing turnout chart at the bottom;
     
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_turnout

  5. smac says:

    Very similar to my own journey. Although I started from the Leveson Enquiry.

  6. Sneddon says:

    Well done Shaun, very well articulated.  I’m with Data on this one.

  7. Castle Rock says:

    Brilliant stuff Shaun, you’ve encapsulated a lot of what I feel.

  8. Davy says:

    Aye Shaun, its good to have you onboard, their is a lot to do yet but I am sure that if yourself can see past the shite being thrown our way by the BBc and the rest of the MSM so can most of our countrys men & women.
     
    Keep on speaking to everyone you know and letting them know about WOS, Newsnet Scotland and all the other sites available to them, all people need is the true info that the MSM will not give them, once they get the info eyes will open and minds will follow.
     
    Good article.
     
    Saor Alba.

  9. Juteman says:

    Great stuff, Shaun. That fair cheered me up.

  10. McHaggis says:

    This is a stunning piece of writing.

  11. BeamMeUpScotty says:

    Excellent Shaun,hope many of your friends read this.

  12. James S says:

    Best summation of “the journey” I’ve read. Brilliant.

  13. McHaggis says:

    just had twitter exchange with a 26 year old unionist automaton (I genuinely now wonder if it was a real person or some unionist android pre-programmed with anti Salmond soundbites)…
    To come here and read this from an equally young person, who unlike the automaton has actually decided to try taking the blinkers off, was completely refreshing.
     
    There is more than just hope.

  14. balgayboy says:

    Well written and articulated article. I think most independence minded people will share the same sentiments. We all need to up our efforts and work as a team in the coming year to get our aspirations over the line.

  15. David Smith says:

    Nice work, Shaun. A fair few of us have come your road too. Took us a wee bit longer, mind!
    Thanks for sharing!

  16. Albalha says:

    Thanks for this excellent article,
    ‘Scotland in Scotland’s hands’
    Exactly

  17. heraldnomore says:

    Shaun, words fail me, so I’m going to read it again.  Then I’ll encourage others to do the same.  Brilliant, and welcome.

  18. Marcia says:

    The journey for Independence has been a long and rocky road for me but I am cheered to read this article, it is within our grasp.

  19. Quinie frae Angus says:

    Wow, what an excellent and inspirational article. What you have done Shaun, is articulate the story of a journey, that I imagine is shared by many many people in this country. Thank you for the time you’ve taken to think about this and write it up so eloquently.
     
    More power to your elbow. This deserves to be shared widely on folks’ social media. And I think it will be.

  20. The Man in the Jar says:

    Good article expressed from the head and the heart. You took the time to peek behind the curtain of lies presented by Scotland’s media and establishment and found the truth. If only more people would do the same.
    I know of several unionists that just refuse to seek out information for themselves. I know that they will vote no and nothing that I can say or do will alter that. They are in a position that will mean a no vote will damage their families and their own lives but still they wont pull back the curtain and look for themselves. I don’t know what is stopping them fear or embarrassment I don’t know. It is very frustrating trying to tell folk that a No vote will damage their lives but they refuse to listen. They are intent on blindly following a course towards disaster.

  21. rabb says:

    Shaun,
    Excellent piece my friend.
     
    Restlessnative,
    Correct. Every naysayer should be made to read this before being allowed anywhere near a ballot box!

  22. liz says:

    That cheered me up also. I have been a supporter for independence since I was old enough to vote,
    This was due to being brought up in Glasgow and being surrounded by die hard Labour supporters.
    I could see the poverty around me and kept asking my Labour friends what their party was doing to alleviate it.
    The excuses came thick and fast – Glasgow has unique problems – why – no answer. 
    Donald Dewar is a great man – why, he is the MP for one of the poorest areas of Glasgow – no answer. etc, etc,
    I worked briefly in London in the 70′s and my eyes were wide open. I was ashamed to come from Glasgow because of the dirt and the poverty.
    I thought there has to be something better than this.
     
    Anyway thank you for sharing because it’e people like you that will win this for us.
     

  23. Barbara Watson says:

    Thank you Shaun, fabulous article and reflects my own journey in life, you are a very inspirational young man.  This is one of the most profound articles I have read this far.  
     

  24. Thepnr says:

    Shaun this is the best article I have ever read on Wings, you really could feel the emotion in your words. The Uni your at should just give you your degree now or maybe even a PhD!
     
    I will be sharing your words with the many young folk in my life. Thanks.

  25. Heather McLean says:

    Well said young man.. reading this fills me with hope for a better future!

  26. DMyers says:

    Well said, Shaun :)

  27. david says:

    i have just had a newspapaer put through my letterbox by bruce crawford, theres a team out delivering them its really good, 8 pages full of info and stats. new poll has yes well ahead. had a chat with him, he is very confident and wants the campaign to stay positive and not resort to no campaigns tactic. im all excited 

  28. southernscot says:

    excellent article shared on F/book.

  29. Jeannie says:

    faced with uncertainty, and problems and all the manner of things that might or could go wrong, surely it would be better if we had all the powers to address and solve these issues rather than just a wee bit?”
     
    There’s no arguing with that.  Go Shaun and Go Shaun’s mammy!  What a great article.  Many thanks, Shaun.  I have no fear for the future if it’s in the hands of young people like yourself who are willing to question, question, question.

  30. Craig Stewart says:

    I have to agree with what’s been said, fantastic article that I’ll be sharing far and wide.
     
    I think its been touched on in the comments, discussing the frustration of getting people to open their eyes and look behind the curtain to find the truth. How can we encourage others to start on their own journey to the truth without making ourselves sound like zealots?
    If we can find a way to encourage others we can secure a Yes vote with ease. :)

  31. Alba4Eva says:

    Supremely eloquent Shaun.  Nice writing.

  32. Marion says:

    Inspirational! Fair cheered me up so it did, shared on FB.

  33. Melissa Murray says:

    Brilliant, touching piece Shaun. We will win because of folk like you and millions of others.
     
    Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

  34. rabb says:

    O/T Sorry
     
    Osbourne using taxpayer money to fight EU in court over bankers bonuses!
     
    So they kick the crap out of legal aid and then do this?
     
    Click here
     
    I fucking hate this union!

  35. Yesitis says:

    Excellent, inspiring writing, Shaun. I will be brandishing my ipad to share your article with as many people as I can this week-end.
    Thank you for sharing and hope to hear more from you soon.

  36. dinnatouch says:

    Excellent article Shaun, it will be reread many times to buoy my spirits when the MSM attempt to drown them in negativity.

  37. Murray McCallum says:

    Inspiring words Shaun.
    The Union is odd, independence is normal – “surely it would be better if we had all the powers to address and solve these issues rather than just a wee bit.”

  38. Brian says:

    To be complimented, the pulse of it will strengthen many a heart.

  39. ianbrotherhood says:

    What Shaun has described here is ‘enlightenment’, or, more simply, ‘waking-up’, and it happens to most folk at some point in their lives. For me, like many, it happened during the gestation of the Afghanistan/Iraq invasions – with a few name-changes, Shaun’s article explains the process precisely.

    If the friends and neighbours who haven’t yet ‘woken-up’ are going to do so at any time in their lives, they’re as well doing it now. Let’s help them any way we can.

  40. twenty14 says:

    Brilliantly put Shaun – this will be on FB now and hopefully start do the rounds. As others have stated its great to see our younger generation coming forward and speaking up
     
    Saor Alba

  41. Gray says:

    A very skillfully written piece of propoganda.

  42. Peter Mirtitsch says:

    If this is typical of the younger people in our country, we haven’t got too much too worry about. Wonderful well crafted piece..

  43. rabb says:

    Gray says:
    A very skillfully written piece of propoganda.
     
    I was thinking the boy was pro independence and nothing to do with Better Together?
    Turns out he’s a naysayer.
     
    You live & learn!
     
    A wee spell check wouldn’t hurt by the way ;)

  44. Jinglyjangly says:

    Gray propaganda is what we get from
    the bbc and msm
    obviously you are not the sharpest tool in the tool box im pretty impressed you have managed to figure out how to turn an electronic device on

  45. Thepnr says:

    Propaganda hahaha? Got you sweating a bit now it seems.

  46. Marcia says:

    Jinglyjangly
     
    If you use the word in its literal meaning then it can be benign. Please don’t rise to the bait.

    Propaganda is a form of communication aimed towards influencing the attitude of the community toward some cause or position by presenting only one side of an argument. Propaganda statements may be partly false and partly true. Propaganda is usually repeated and dispersed over a wide variety of media in order to create the chosen result in audience attitudes.

    As opposed to impartially  providing information, propaganda, in its most basic sense, presents information primarily to influence an audience. Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus possibly lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or uses loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. The desired result is a change of the attitude toward the subject in the target audience to further a political, religious or commercial agenda. Propaganda can be used as a form of ideological or commercial warfare.

    While the term propaganda has acquired a strongly negative connotation by association with its most manipulative and jingoistic examples (e.g. Nazi propaganda used to justify the Holocaust), propaganda in its original sense was neutral, and could refer to uses that were generally benign or innocuous, such as public health recommendations, signs encouraging citizens to participate in a census or election, or messages encouraging persons to report crimes to law enforcement, among others.

  47. HandandShrimp says:

    The media in this country have pitched their lot in with the Yes camp. With newspapers notoriously partisan this is perhaps not surprising but for the BBC and STV to do so is just disturbing.
     
    The information is out there and thank God for the internet and blogs where people are increasingly turning to get their news but it should not be so difficult. I’m glad that Derek Bateman is commenting on the news. I wonder if the BBC are wishing they kept him under their wing and control. 
     
    Good article

  48. Marcia says:

    Dash I missed out my last line.
     
    The BBC/Media are experts in propaganda.

  49. Gizzit says:

    A plain spoken, logical summary of the case for Independence.
     
    An excellent article – very well done.

  50. Marcia says:

    HandandShrimp
    Did you mean to say ‘The media in this country have pitched their lot in with the No camp?

  51. proudscot says:

    Excellent and quite emotionally moving article. Well ssid Shaun. I’m in my 70′s now and started my independence journey back in my 20′s just like you. One main downside of the Union you didn’t emphasise us the huge disparity in the voting strength between Scottish and English/Welsh/Northern Irish MPs at Westminster. It amazes me that any pro-Union Scot can regard that imbalance as either democratic or somehow to Scotland’s benefit – unless of course they are so-called “one nation” Tories or Labour diehards, or cringing forelock tuggers of the most supine kind!

  52. Jeannie says:

    @Rabb
     
    Rabb!  Language!  You feckin promised to stop that just the other day!  :-)

  53. scaredy cat. says:

    Really good article. Can’t add much to what’s already been said. Just thanks for sharing.

  54. iain taylor (not that one) says:

    Braw!

  55. McHaggis says:

    “A very skillfully written piece of propoganda”
    words fail me.

  56. Oneironaut says:

    If the Yes Campaign are looking for something to put on their leaflets that’ll convince people, they could certainly do a lot worse than using this.
     
    Then again I think this article owes most of its effect to the fact that it’s not coming from the Yes Campaign.  It’s coming from an ordinary person who’s fed up with being lied to.
     
    As a fellow “one of those creative types we apparently can’t afford in a recession”, I can definitely relate.
    Thanks for sharing! :D

  57. HandandShrimp says:

    Marcia
     
    Yes I meant No
     
    I shouldn’t multi task

  58. X_Sticks says:

    Thanks Shaun.
     
    Very eloquently put.
     
    I hope many more of our young people in Scotland will make the same journey over this coming year and together we will win a better future for all in Scotland.

  59. TJenny says:

    Shaun, Well written article and welcome out of the dark and into the light, and onto this site.  Oh, and gaun yersel, Shaun’s mammy:-)

  60. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Excellent article Shaun.
     
    Vote YES and move Scotland FORWARD!
    Vote NO and move Scotland BACK!
     
    SAORSA! :D:

  61. rabb says:

    Jeannie says:
     
    @Rabb
    Rabb!  Language!  You feckin promised to stop that just the other day! 
     
    OOPS!!
     
    I do apologise. Old habits die hard. *hangs head in shame*

  62. Jeannie says:

     Why were our own media doing their country down so?
     
    The 64,000 dollar question.  Why indeed?

  63. David McEwan Hill says:

    Jeannie
    Because it is generally not our own media – and even the bits of it that are have vested interest in the UK continuing – or so they imagine

  64. john king says:

    OH MY GOD 
    that was a great piece!
     

  65. Weedeochandorris says:

    Just brilliant Shaun.  Lead on and hopefully many more young folks will follow.

  66. balgayboy says:

    Jeannie says: 2.23
    28 September, 2013 at 2:23 pm

     Why were our own media doing their country down so?
    Simples, because they are state sponsored and also do not give a shit for the people of Scotland they are contracted to represent with a balanced/impartial report on any subject. Example  MP Mr James Arbuthnot telling fibs on BBC radio today without being challenged (BTW the same guy has had previous) “You could not make it up” ..Fashionable Twitter statement!

  67. Dramfineday says:

    No doubt this’ll be getting boring by now Shaun, but thanks very much for a great and thoughtful read. Well done my friend.

  68. JLT says:

    I read this after someone posted a link on The Herald (or was it the Scotsman …can’t remember!). It’s dated from May 2012 and it’s a Westminster Parliamentary debate about defence in a post indy-Scotland. It doesn’t answer anything, but it certainly gives you big clues as to what Scotland may be entitled too, and how our defensive landscape will look.

    You realise that Scotland WILL have a defence once the post negotiations are complete. If Scotland owns 13% of the debt and assets, then it is entitled the exact same to the military hardware. Now …we may not want the attack submarines or the new aircraft carriers, but we do deserve something. They can’t just chuck us the old crap either. It has to be new (or newish), so instead of aircraft carriers, we may get 15 tornados or typhoons. We may get a few destroyers. Just keeping Faslane open for Trident (for the foreseeable future) gives us an ace to bargain for even better bits of the military hardware. This is not MP’s discussing this; this is professors who have knowledge in military affairs. They are advising the MP’s of what SHOULD happen.

    So, in other words …Scotland won’t start from scratch (as in zero assets in Navy, Air Force or Army) as the wonderful Scottish media and Tory MP’s would love us to believe. Instead, Scotland starts with a decent fleet in hardware for both the Navy and the Airforce.

    It also gives a slight insight into spending in nations very similar (Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands – all North Sea nations).

    I found it very interesting. Interesting in the sense that it rubbishes all the mince in the media about defence in an indy-Scotland. We don’t get answers, but it gives you an idea of how it will probably go.

    Read and decide for yourselves!
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmscotaf/139/120523.htm

  69. murtam says:

    Just have to add congratulations to Shaun for an accomplished piece of writing sharing his experience in coming to support independence for Scotland. His sincerity is evident in his journey from trust in the BBC to disillusionment with it and the other MSM to the realisation that the truth is out there but it has to be sought and becomes all the more meaningful because of that search. 

  70. twenty14 says:

    Sorry O/T – in the Guardian ” Britain is to host next year’s Nato summit for the first time since the end of the cold war in 1990 ”
    Wonder what date this will fall around !!!!!!!

  71. balgayboy says:

    JLT says: 3.06
    Sorry, but an independent Scotland  does not or will need not any “separation” split of UK assets. An independent Scotland will create their own requirements on their own and in their own time. Make the break clean and totally without conditions, most other independent countries have prospered in this condition.

  72. Gav Bain says:

    Very heartening story.  
    There seems to be a lot of folks, yet to go through this journey, struggling to know which side to believe. 
    I think it is often better to encourage undecideds to go online and check the facts for themselves, than to deluge them with an avalanche of points.
    This is a good story to share, perhaps Stu could help linking some more of the points raised to source material?  Get more people started on their own fact checking journeys.

  73. call me dave says:

    Just read the main article: Great  Superb contribution to the debate.
     
     
    JLT
    Here’s a similar scenario 

    lots of good stuff and the maps are fine too!
    newscottishnavy.blogspot.co.uk/

  74. Andy-B says:

    Great piece Shaun, as youve so rightly pointed out, when you dig a bit deeper, you realise, Scotland, must become independent in order for things to change, for the better.

  75. blunttrauma says:

    @Gray………..it’s propaganda (spelling nazi)

  76. Ronnie says:

    Well done, Shaun! A great piece of writing – an inspiration!
     
    I have wanted independence all my life (I’m three times your age) but never thought it could happen.
     
    I’ve lived and worked in England, Wales, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia and visited many more countries. I’ve met, worked with and lived with people of many nationalities and, unlike most people from these islands, I was always determined to at least attempt to speak some of their language. As I had developed an ‘English’ accent over the years, my ‘instructors’ were always pleased and fascinated that I was in fact from Scotland. I have taught ‘Fit like?’ to hundreds of people in return. 
     
    When I came home in the seventies, I read all the Scottish history I’d never been taught at school. It made both inspiring and sad reading. At the end of each book I would feel depressed, usually coming to the conclusion that we bring much of our troubles on ourselves by being acquiescent and, not to put too fine a point on it, lazy.
     
    But now, there is real hope that Scotland’s independence can be restored, although we believers have much work to do to open others’ eyes to the possibilities.
     
    The strange thing is, Shaun, that I appear to have travelled the same journey as you at much the same time.
     
    The common factor is, of course the Internet, and excellent sites like this one.
     
    I will be keeping your article to spread around and convert more doubters.
     
    Thank you.
     
     

  77. Shinty says:

    Thank you for sharing Shaun. Fair cheered me up.

  78. creigs1707repeal says:

    Apologies folks O/T:
     
    Large numbers of service personnel on the pitch at Ibrox 4pm today – soliders, navy and RAF. Anyone know why? Certainly has the Ibrox faithful in good voice.
     
    Brilliant article Shaun.

    YES Scotland.

  79. JLT says:

    balgayboy says:     
     
    JLT says: 3.06
    Sorry, but an independent Scotland  does not or will need not any “separation” split of UK assets. An independent Scotland will create their own requirements on their own and in their own time. Make the break clean and totally without conditions, most other independent countries have prospered in this condition.
    ———————–
    Balgayboy
    Sorry, mate. You’re wrong. Scotland IS entitled to a share of the military assets. We have paid for them through our taxes. To suggest that we start off with zero, or a blank sheet of paper, is not going to happen. Scotland needs a fleet to protect it’s shoreline and it’s offshore assets.
    To tell the people of Scotland that we will take nothing from the UK, would actually drive a percentage of the population towards the ‘No’ camp. It suggests that we are incapable of

    1. being foolhardy in denying our God-given right to what is rightfully ours when it comes to military hardware and

    2. that to start from scratch is going to cost more that £2.5 billion a year. You could double that figure, and may still not get close.

    To tell the rUK that we want nothing from them, would leave the world looking on in complete and utter disbelief and totally perplexed, plus, it may also be viewed that we are cutting off our nose to spite our own face.
    On a separate point revolving around defence. We will also still need to work with the rUK in terms of defence. Defence against terrorism, the sharing of knowledge as well as technology, and a combination of arms in strength should both countries need to go to war against one common enemy.
     

  80. JLT says:

    call me dave says:     
     
    Cheers Mate. That is one interesting read, as it gives us a better idea of what the Scottish Navy will look like.

    Going from the Commons Report (plus using common sense), a Navy would be the main priority.

    I’m guessing 3 fleets (a North Sea, a Northern or Arctic Fleet and an Atlantic Fleet). Second to a Navy would be an air force. Once again, I suspect 3 bases, and all 3 near the Navy bases (thus offering immediate air support to that Navy that governs that part of the sea).

    Lastly, would be a standing army. With England as our only ‘border’, I would say this is probably the least important part of the defence. To invade Scotland with an army, one would need to invade England first (and good luck to the nation that tries that! They would be on an absolute hiding from the English!!).

    Therefore, any attack can only come from the sea. With no potential enemies for at least 4,000 miles, I would bet my house and my life that there will NEVER be an invasion from China, Russia or even the US! Apart from the insane supply lines that would need to be protected by the invading army by sea, half of Western Europe would blow the invading armada right out of the water before they got within a 1,000 miles on any land. 
     
    So …Navy first, Air Force second, Army third. That’s my view on priorities for defence.

  81. patronsaintofcats says:

    Late to the party, but let me add my congratulations on a superb piece.  I work part time at a uni and much as I would like to talk up the Indy ref, I’m an old fogey, why would students want to hear what I have to say?  Young people need to hear from other young people and it’s messages like this article that will get the point across.  I hope you all share this far and wide. The momentum is shifting and moving towards the Yes position.  Once they realise how badly the MSM have betrayed the people of Scotland, No and DK voters up and down the country are going to move to Yes.  We have to do everything possible to get the word out at the grass roots level.  Thank goodness for social media!
     

  82. Krackerman says:

    Priorities I’d say are airforce – navies stand no chance against air attack so to stop a seaborne invasion an airforce is key. Secondly a small navy for coastal patrols and fisheries protection and lastly an army primarily of trained reservists but with a small professional core with the equipment emphasis on mobile anti-air and anti-tank equipment.
    Unfortunately there is little in the UK inventory that can help us here – it’s primarily all obsolete or 2nd/3rd rate equipment. I’d prefer we took money instead of equipment and used that to buy kit that might actually work…

  83. Gray says:

    Goodness I have really stirred up a hornet’s nest.  I stand by my original assertion albeit perhaps not the spelling ;)
    For those ascerbic comments aimed my way thinking I support the No Better Together campaign, you couldn’t be further from the truth.

  84. Jimmuckmc says:

    Excellent article Shaun have you noticed the newspaper circulation reaping what they sow
    as we turn to our own media and read calibre articles like yours

  85. annie says:

    Excellent piece – like you said yours is a similar journey to lots of us here on Wings – truly hope there are millions more like us.

  86. Elizabeth Sutherland says:

    Very good article Shaun, thank you for taking me on your journey to the Yes side.
    Scotland now has the only chance it will ever have to cut the strings of Westminster next year, and the more people learn about what is going on, and what has been going on, to denigrate Scotland and her people, then we can win a Yes for Scotland. 

  87. JLT says:

    Krackerman,
    I agree in part. But I would go with a Navy first. We need to protect the offshore assets (the oil rigs). Certainly, fast attack planes come next (they come almost a close first!). You would use the Navy as bait, but the jets would be used to attack any ‘invasion’ force.

    However, just talking about that scenario; it is never going to happen! Never, Ever!. To attack one European country; especially a Western European one, would be tantamount to political suicide for any invading regime. This is why Scotland doesn’t need to spend a fortune on defence.

    Probably once you add up the entire Western European military hardware, it would probably even give the US a run for it’s money. This is its own way, allows Scotland to keep its defence to a small, trimmed, but well maintained organisation. With the help of other nations, our combined military arm, is actually greater than we realise, as we would always have the help of the Norwegians, the Dutch, the French, the UK if something daft happened. We would have a defensive military setup, not an attack one, as it is in the current UK.

  88. Juteman says:

    Speaking to a neighbour today, and they didn’t even know there was a referendum next year. I live amongst folk that others may call the underclass, so maybe not surprising. There is a huge pool of potential Yes voters out there, I can only speak to my neighbours, how to engage the rest depends on better thinkers than myself.

  89. velofello says:

    Well written and expressed Shaun. And as a wee bonus, could be good on your CV too. Your pals might want to consider that and write some articles too?
    That we need to watch Russian and Iran TV to get news reports on events in our country is a very telling statement.

  90. call me dave says:

    JLT :
    28 September, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Krackerman,:
    Here is another version of our defence capability
     
    (spot the email .co .uk)
    martinkelly.blogspot.co.uk/

  91. CameronB says:

    Nice one Shaun. Inspirational and educational for early adopters such a myself (since adolescence).
     
    My own personal mantra is “Be all you can be“.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgQEl7lBV6s

    P.S.
    Leaked footage for BBC Misreporting Scotland news room.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5ZSDCvUwN8
     

  92. theweemalky says:

    Very well written article Shaun. One of the best I’ve read. Here’s something for you all to try when you meet a unionist troll online. Ask them how much SCL are paying them for their online activity. That’s SCL folks. This is their business. It’s what they do. Go check the profile of the troll. It might not be too thick on detail. Do make sure that you have a virus checker and immediately run any check you have for malware or Trojans. Screenshot the comments before and after you accuse them. Chances are the comments and profile will disappear. Check for files that you don’t recognise. Nice people. For hire this is their bread and butter.

  93. Brian Powell says:

    As the bias of the BBC and media goes on: Johann Lamont quizzed a day or so ago, on calling 40% of the Scottish electorate ‘virus’, but after a couple of mentions, not much pressure, it is left; now a dilemma comes up for the BBC today.
    Scotsman on Sunday claims the BBC is in collusion with the SNP against the Better Together groups.
    How will they spin this. How will the other papers deal with it.
    It came from Lamont’s spin doctor.
    Nothing remains of what was the Labour Party in Scotland. Just the sleaze.

  94. HandandShrimp says:

    How on earth can Better Together claim that the BBC is pro SNP? They get a free run and just about every stupid moronic scare story gets top billing. Are the accusing the BBC of trying to make Better Together look like morons by highlighting all their nonsense?

  95. Jeannie says:

    O/T Heard something today that made me think.
     
    I was in a village/small town in Argyll and got chatting to an elderly lady in a shop.  She was telling me that it is common practice in the area for wealthy businessmen to buy out the opposition, create a monopoly situation and hike up prices.  Locals can’t afford to pay these prices, but there’s nowhere else to go. 
     
    She gave two local examples – in the first case, there wee two garages in the town.  One decided to sell and the other bought it then closed it down.  Now there’s only one place to get your car fixed and it’s expensive.  The second example involed a large hotel buying up a rival B&B and then closing it down and using it as overspill housing for its bar and restaurant staff, most of whom come from abroad.  They also bought up local housing for temporary workers, which means the properties don’t get looked after and locals find it hard to sell their own properties because neighbouring properties are looking decrepit.  That way, the price of housing stays low and gradually the hotel can buy up more properties cheaply, which, I’m guessing, they might sell off at a hefty profit at some point in the future. 
     
    I was only told this and don’t know how accurate the story is, but it made we wonder if I just look at the world differently from others….because if I had bought up the other garage and formed a monopoly, my instinct would have been to lower prices, not raise them, so that people would have more money available to spend in the community, thus boosting the local economy generally.
    What is the point in one person gaining more and more wealth as an individual when the community around you is falling apart and the economy is disintegrating?
     
    And what’s even sadder is that the individual who told me this story was adamant she was voting No – because we can’t do it, the oil is running out and she hates Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon.
     
    Yes Argyll…..you’ve got your work cut out for you.

  96. scaredy cat says:

    O/T Hate to bring up the subject of numbers again, but Police Scotland have confirmed 20 – 30,000 people at last Saturday’s event. 
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=591278790930610&set=a.489171851141305.108216.486344144757409&type=1&theater

  97. Juteman says:

    @Jeannie.
    Just get her pished on the day of the vote, and tell her Yes means more of the same. :-)

  98. Jeannie says:

    How can the Labour Party claim that BBC Scotland is pro-SNP when the BBC Newsroom is run by John Boothman, confirmed long-time Labour supporter and partner of former Labour minister, Susan Deacon?  I suspect the day John allows a pro-SNP item on the BBC news, is the day he goes home and finds Susan waiting for him with two half-bricks!

  99. Jeannie says:

    @Juteman
     
    Think it would be a damn site easier than rational debate.  She doesn’t use the computer, but I did leave her an Aye Right leaflet anyway in the hope that she might know somebody who can use it to give her some of the information she so badly needs.  Felt a bit sorry for her.  She’s was a nice wee woman but if you only get your news from the papers and the tv, you’re bound to be worried.

  100. Linda's Back says:

    Wonderful piece by Derek Bateman on Alistair Darling
    http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/8093-who-will-fill-a-cowards-grave
    And all this leaves Alistair Darling as the Tory Prime Minister’s puppet.  When Cameron can’t front up, it is a Labour MP who steps forward to do his work for him.  Darling has just become the Tory Party’s Save the Union mouthpiece.  Leading a united campaign of Unionist parties including Cameron’s Conservatives is one thing, replacing him is quite another.
    And Labour press release complaining about BBC bias in favour of independence. headlined by the Hootsman
    archive.is/aAuJQ

  101. tartanfever says:

    JLT says:
    ‘But I would go with a Navy first. We need to protect the offshore assets (the oil rigs).’
     
    I don’t understand this. The oil rigs are owned by private companies, they do not belong to Scotland as a nation. With this logic, why then not protect the Marks and Spencers on my local High Street ? They, like the oil rigs, are a private company that employ people in Scotland and pay taxes to the government. Attacking them does not threaten the life of the nation.
    I certainly wouldn’t be happy seeing Scots service people fighting and risking their lives on behalf of BP.
    I would have thought that infrastructure would be the most first on the list of vulnerable targets – communication routes, power stations and the like.

  102. muttley79 says:

    @Jeannie
     
    The 64,000 dollar question.  Why indeed?
     
    In a sense there is no Scottish media (apart from local newspapers; towns).  This is because Westminster retains broadcasting.  The Scottish MSM is essentially journalists in Scotland, both print and broadcating, giving the London world view to the people of Scotland.  That is why they are generally hostile to independence.  The Scottish MSM are essentially controlled by the British state.  They promote the power elite in London’s view of Scotland.  It is no surprise to watch Reporting Scotland, and see basically a diet of murders and football.  Although BBC Scotland have their HQ in Glasgow, the editorial line is made through the prism of what the British state wants the viewers in Scotland to see.  In effect BBC Scotland is exactly the same as the Scottish Labour Party.  Just as SLAB are a branch of British Labour, so too is BBC Scotland just a branch of the main BBC.    
     
     

  103. HandandShrimp says:

    I do wonder what it is Alex and Nicola are supposed to have done that generates such ire but I guess it goes with the territory of politics. Although largely lauded in books and by talking  heads on TV when I was young I worked with some old soldiers who had fought in the war…they did not like Churchill (understatement alert).
     
    The Yes vote is about Scotland but I suppose the SNP are popular and those who are Conservatives or firmly in favour of another party might worry that an independent Scotland could see the SNP in ascendancy for a generation. I’m not convinced. I think we will have multi party politics and that others will form Governments just like any other European country (OK the Tories might perpetually struggle but who knows what the future holds). People need to understand that Yes is an opportunity to do things our way not a vehicle for one party.

  104. Jingly Jangly says:

    Gray
    Apologies for my rant, was a bit tired when I read it and no I was not emotional
    either.

  105. muttley79 says:

    @Jeannie/HandandShrimp
     
    Re the accusations of bias by SLAB against BBC Scotland:  This is not done seriously.  They will both know the situation.  In fact I warrant there will be laughing behind closed doors by both sides.  SLAB know full well that BBC Scotland are not biased against them.  They know they will back them, and the Union to the hilt.  This is done purely for appearances sake.  This is about PR.  They are hoping that people will be fooled into thinking that this is real, it is not.  It is done purely to deflect any potential criticism from the SNP about BBC Scotland.  If the SNP were to claim the BBC were biased against them, then the BBC would say that as both sides have claimed they are biased for the other side, it means they are actually balanced in their coverage.  It is very cynical, but that is what it is about imo.     
     
     

  106. call me dave says:

    Scotland’s defence:
    This was mentioned on another thread Guardian comments.
    Worth raising it again.
    http://archive.is/XvHIJ
    ————————————————————————————————
    The Ace in an Independent Scotland’s hand is Glen Douglas.
    If we were denied Nato membership, Nato would loose that facility.
    Most people – including those MP’s – don’t know what it is !
    It’s Nato’s biggest, most secure weapons, equipment and supplies facility in Western Europe.
    Over 100 huge bunkers cut into the southern slopes of Glen Douglas – just a few miles north of Faslane.
    It’s a few hundred metres from a deep water anchorage on Loch Long, and most of the gear required for the Falklands was loaded onto the huge RFA supply ships ….. 25 miles INLAND.
    Like Couplort, it’s unique, and if Nato had to replace it it would cost billions.
    Direct, secure/hidden access to the North Atlantic would also be lost to ALL Nato supply ships.
    Have a look on Google Earth. You’ll see a large complex of buildings scattered at the West end of the Glen. They weren’t there 30 years ago.
    You can also see the bunker accesses among the trees planted to hide them.
    Again – 30 years ago there were only 30 or so bunkers. That number has more than trebled …. because that’s what Nato wanted – and wants (yes, you can see where the next series of bunkers are going to be).
    Glen Douglas is a massive Nato asset. They’ll desperately want to keep it – and keep it where it is !
     
    http://www.secretscotland.org.uk/index.php/Secrets/GlenDouglasMunitionsDepot

  107. HenBroon says:

    Shaun Milne
    I have read and written some stuff in the past 20 years on the desire for Scottish independence. I have read your piece several times and each time it just gets better and better. I really wish I could write and think like you. You have a big future no matter what you do.
    This is one of the most powerful inspiring articles I have ever read, it dots all the ayes and crosses all the teas ;o) well done Shaun you are a true scholar and thinker.

  108. tartanfever says:

    H&S – I agree, I don’t see the SNP being in power for a generation, I do see them winning the first Scottish General Election and in that time, the other parties will reform, re-group and shape themselves to fit an independent Scotland.
    Remember also that our system of proportional representation more often than not will return coalitions or small majorities and give rise smaller parties, like the greens having a voice.
    However, the scaremongering Scots at present will toe the unionist line by saying  that independence will lead to a ‘dictatorship’ – we have to counter that argument.
    Of course, there is absolutely nothing to stop us changing our voting system or even adding some form of 2nd chamber or ‘senate’ if we desire through a constitutional convention. Potentially we could do anything we like, it’s a blank canvas.

  109. HandandShrimp says:

    Muttley
     
    I have to confess I never expected Better Together to be quite so straight down the middle evil. There is a debate to be had about whether an independent Scotland would prosper and evolve into a nice wee Northern European country but they do not engage in this for one second. Everything is scare and ridiculous a priori assumptions that Scotland should be a UK mini me, with barking nonsense about mobile phones and Scotland driving on the right.
     
    On defence, who gives a stuff whether we have armed forces or not. It is not a pre-requisite to be being a successful country. Undoubtedly we will have a Defence Force but it will be commensurate with our need and for defence not attack. We do not need the capability to project force 8,000 miles away. Once that concept has sunk in it is easy to see that defending our wee bit hill and glen requires a much simpler and less costly approach. Off the shelf F16s are an extremely cost effective air defence as Denmark, Holland and Norway demonstrate. This is not difficult and it is a well trodden path. The money wasted on grandiose project by the UK, £4bn on Nimrods we scrapped as a recent example, simply would not happen. We would all be the better off for it.

  110. ianbrotherhood says:

    @jeannie (6.19) -
     
    ‘What is the point in one person gaining more and more wealth as an individual when the community around you is falling apart and the economy is disintegrating?’
     
    That’s as concise an argument against capitalism as I’ve ever seen.

  111. CameronB says:

    Nimrods scrapped so that they would not be available to a future Scottish Defence Force, IMO.

  112. JLT says:

    Tartanfever,
    I don’t understand this. The oil rigs are owned by private companies, they do not belong to Scotland as a nation. With this logic, why then not protect the Marks and Spencers on my local High Street ?
    ——————
    For one very simple reason, mate. Oil is Gold. Black Gold.
    No offence to M&S, but if an M&S shop was attacked tomorrow by anarchists, it would not really affect the Scottish economy. If you think about it. No, it wouldn’t.
    But an attack, on an oil rig would have a massive impact on the economy in general. It would have an effect on the pound sterling (£). First, it would raise questions about defence. How was this allowed to happen? Why was it allowed to happen? You would have one very seriously bemused public.
    To say that it is up to the oil companies to sort out the defence of the rigs is not viable, nor would we allow it. I certainly wouldn’t want, say, Shell, or BP to be patrolling Scottish waters in dozens of destroyers, which were armed to the teeth, and not in our control.
    To look at it logically, the oil is in UK waters (because we have to use the present or the ‘now’). These companies have been given a licence to get that oil out of the ground. They claim a percentage of the money raised on it, the country takes the rest. The companies however don’t have to provide a military presence around the rigs; the UK does that for them.
    If for example, one of the rigs were attacked tomorrow, by a small group of fundamentalists in speedboats. Who do you think is going to sort this out? Who do you think is going to drive these anarchists away? The oil company? No chance! It’s not their problem. In the end, it will be the Royal Navy and the Air Force. 
    And for that very simple reason, we would do the same in an indy-Scotland. This is literally Scotland’s gold reserves if we become Independent. Black Gold reserves ..,and there could be £3 Trillion pounds worth from both the North Sea and the North Atlantic side. Therefore for that very one simple reason, we need a navy and air force to protect Scotland’s black Gold.

  113. CameronB says:

    ianbrotherhood
    As US President Roosevelt advised, government controlled by capitalist interests is a state of fascism.

  114. Sneddon says:

    Taranfever- I don’t understand your earlier comment on defence.    it’s a bit of a step to compare M&S with the oil rigs isn’t it?  Safe to say shops are easily replaced if you take away M & S and provision of shops could be termed an infinite resource (while the planet lasts) whereas oil rigs are a whole kettle of other fish. A finite resource , centrepiece of the economic system, potentially environmentally dangerous if disaster strikes, worth a lot of dosh.  In addition oil belongs to the country it sits in so the companies are in theory ‘renting’ the right to extract it(and taxed accordingly as well).  Therefore in the interests of both companies and the country to protect it.  So a direct comparision with a retailer isn’t a fair comparision within a defence context.  M & S need police service for most of its problems with the criminal element with oilrigs it’s a bit more complicated :)
    Damn just seen JLT’s post

  115. Macsenex says:

    Some locals think Glen Douglas has been sold to the Danes, but so far difficult to get confirmation

  116. JLT says:

    (chuckle) Sorry Mr Sneddon …beat you to it! but yes, I agree with your analysis. You and I are both singing from the same hymn sheet!

  117. twenty14 says:

    Mutley79 – Totally agree re: b b c  bias towards SLAB
    This was all agreed over coffee  IMHO

  118. Sneddon says:

    JLT  nae bother I should do the ‘count to ten’ and wait to see if anyone else posts a response rather than just firing one off (Ooer missus :) )

  119. JLT says:

    Macsenex says:     
    Some locals think Glen Douglas has been sold to the Danes, but so far difficult to get confirmation
    ——————
    Hmmmm. I would very surprised at that! If this is a massive military storage unit, I don’t think the UK Government would want anyone near it, bar themselves. I would find this very odd if it turns out the Danes owned it.
     
     
    Questions quickly spring to mind…
     
     
    1. Why would the Danes want it, considering it’s not even remotely close to them?
    2. Even if they did own it. Why? For what purpose? the Danes are not exactly big sea-farers these days. Viking expeditions petered out around the 12th century! Can’t recall the last time the Danes had a big navy! To get to it, they need to cross the North Sea, enter UK waters, float around the top of Scotland, down the West Coast, and then up a sea loch to get to it! It just doesn’t make sense. Do the Danes know something we don’t? Are the Germans about to invade them again!
    3. Now, if it turns out they did own it. I think this will not sit well with Scotland if it became known; that possibly …another nations navy can come and go as it pleases out of Scotland’s waters. What happens post-indy? Do we tell the Danes to ‘get tae ….’?
    4. and the big question. Why would the UK – literally the most secretive nation on the earth …allow another European nation to have a military installation in the UK’s own back yard. Maybe the US …yes. Denmark …No!
     
    To be honest, I’d be stunned if it was true!
     

  120. muttley79 says:

    @HandandShrimp
     
    I have to confess I never expected Better Together to be quite so straight down the middle evil. There is a debate to be had about whether an independent Scotland would prosper and evolve into a nice wee Northern European country but they do not engage in this for one second. Everything is scare and ridiculous a priori assumptions that Scotland should be a UK mini me, with barking nonsense about mobile phones and Scotland driving on the right.
     
    What we are seeing, and what we are up against, is a relatively small number of people in Scotland fighting as hard as they can to retain the power they have at the moment.  There is no great principles involved here, no ideals.  It is a power struggle between people who want to retain their careers and perks, and those who want to change Scotlland as a nation for the better.  These people would drop their opposition to independence without a moment’s thought, if they felt they would better their position in doing so.  What Yes is up against is self entitled power, which exists purely to sustain itself.  I think it was Frederick Douglass, the former African American slave turned eventual US ambassador, who said that power never gave up anything without a fight (or struggle?).  This is basically what we are facing.  This group has lied for generations to the people of Scotland (see McCrone Report, the myth of the subsidy junkies etc), and they have denigrated their opponents (anti-English, xenophobes, Bravehearts, fascists, dictators etc).  This has only been done for one reason; to keep themselves part of the London power elite.      
     

  121. Westie7 says:

    @CameronB
     
    Your Nimrod assessment is spot on!
     
    You can add to that the
    Run down of the tornado squadrons to only three
    Giving Leuchars to the army and already it has been stated one of the runways is being ripped up
    The coastguard 
    Search and rescue helicopter cover
    Emergency tugs
     
    The asset stripping continues

  122. Boorach says:

    Sorry Muttley but it’s rUK who would be driving on the right… that, after all, is where their political parties are!  :-)

  123. CameronB says:

    The British state has been responsible for genocide (e.g. Tasmania), and the obliteration of entire cultural identities, all in the pursuit of colonial empire and free trade.
     
    Why should we expect anything better today?

  124. Smudge says:

    Read your article and found myself agreeing with everything you said, in fact I changed my vote for exactly the same reasons.

    I’m shocked to find a country that has been in surplus to be forced into austerity cuts affecting the weakest in our society, I hate having food banks springing up and being seen to be an acceptable resource for a govt to rely on.

    In this great country there has to be a better way of doing things and so I will take a step into the unknown and thanks to SLAB, Tories Lib dems and all other Liars from better together I shall put a cross next to the YES ballot and hope for the correct outcome.
     

  125. tartanfever says:

    So let’s get this straight about defence JLT, you said our priority should be in a navy to protect the oil rigs.

    I agree that oil is a vital asset, but in the unlikely event of a war or a military attack, they are hardly going to be the first target. The loss of an oil rig does not threaten the life of a nation.
    Let’s put it this way.

    Evil dictator to generals:

    ‘Lets invade Scotland, we hate them for their independence’

    Generals:

    Yes, the bunch of haggis eating subsidy junkies’

    Evil Dictator:

    ‘ Good, we’re agreed , I propose or main thrust be against the oil rigs in the Clair field, some 40 miles west of Shetland. With one swift strike we will defeat their oil rigs and leave them incapable of retaliation’

    Generals:

    ‘Er… we thought we might attack their airfields first, followed by naval bases, then communication and power infrastructure..’

    Evil Dictator :

    ‘No, lets get them where they are most vulnerable – take out the oil rigs and they will crumble before us leaving surrender as their only option..’

  126. tartanfever 
     
    You obviously don’t like fish!

  127. Famous15 says:

    Re the Danes and Glen Douglas,the locals may have seen Danish military on NATO exercise.Saw the same with other NATO troops at Aulbea where there is another “secret.” military storehouse and fuelling facility….got all the secrets from the NATO troops over a pint in the Aultbea Hotel!  The whole mountain is a “secret” munitions store.

  128. ianbrotherhood says:

    So, it’ll have to be Salmond versus Darling?
     
    Hmmm…some confrontations are disappointing -
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Y6kog5RJKY

  129. velofello says:

    Wealth is power Jeannie, even if it means your Lord o’ the midden.
     

  130. JLT says:

    Tartanfever,
    I agree that oil is a vital asset, but in the unlikely event of a war or a military attack, they are hardly going to be the first target. The loss of an oil rig does not threaten the life of a nation.
    —————-
    Mate, in the event of a war, that’s the FIRST thing they will attack; kill the oil supplies, you kill the industrial engine of the nation. Oil in the Western World is the life of a nation!
    No oil means no petrol. No petrol means no fuel. No fuel means no vehicles. No vehicles mean the entire nation grinds to a halt. After that, mass rioting and strikes. Nation surrenders in defeat!
    All modern warfare is based on shutting down the enemy as quickly as possible. Denying your enemy access to resources is the key to victory.
    When Saddam took Kuwait, what did the Allied Coalition aim for first …the retaking of the oilfields. That was the reason why Saddam set oil the rig heads on fire. So, he could slow the advancement of the Allies, while at the same time, hoping to raise the price of oil to stratospheric levels that it would cripple and freeze the West, and thus end the war before they invaded Iraq.
    Oil, in our Western World, is the greatest and most important resource; without a shadow of a doubt. And we, the people of Scotland, are almost swimming on the stuff. No, sorry mate, but we most definitely need a Navy and an Air Force, to protect our greatest natural resource.
     

  131. Edward says:

    tartanfever
    How it works
    Order of battle : First take out ‘eyes & ears’ that is radar using HARM (High Speed Anti Radiation Missile). Followed by Command and control centres and airfields Finally Economy assets, such as manufacturing and oil fields
    So your correct

  132. tartanfever says:

    cynical highlander – I love the fishes, they love me, anyone says any different and they’ll be swimmin’ with them in a pair of concrete wellies.
    You kapish ? :-)

  133. ianbrotherhood says:

    ‘My case for voting Yes was coming together slowly but surely, piece by piece. The comments sections opened my eyes to things I hadn’t even known about – McCrone, The ’79 referendum, Blair moving the coastal boundary. As I took all the information into my referendum arsenal I was being pushed further and further to a Yes vote.’
     
    For me, this is the most important passage in Shaun’s article, insofar as it highlights the importance of this site ‘below-the-line’. 
     
    We shouldn’t forget that (according to Rev), 99% of this site’s readers never ever comment. Presumably, Shaun was one of them. Despite the fact that we sometimes get bogged down in trivial shite, or personal slanging-matches, Shaun clearly took something from the thousands of comments he must’ve read.
     
    We should feel good about that, and voice solidarity with our quiet brothers and sisters – big cheers to y’all! 

  134. Tris says:

    Brilliant piece Shaun.
     
    Thanks.

  135. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    @ Shaun – Your final 3 paragraphs just tugged the weepy button that I normally keep in check. Thanks for a great article.

  136. Sneddon says:

    JLT/Tartanfever
    the best defence would be telling my mum the invaders are after her chocolates to be honest.
    ‘Yes, the bunch of haggis eating subsidy junkies’’  Just brillant Can I pinch it?
    I find all these hypothetical defence options interesting but it will ultimately be down to whoever the invader is and their motivation.  Whoever the SG is at the time can do the maths and work out a realistic defence plan.   I think we’re more at risk from attack from outer space and no amount of ships, planes or missles or even my mum could protect us.  And in that case I would welcome our new green skinned overlords :)

  137. Edward says:

    JLT
    Yes Oil is a vital asset and would be attacked , but would only happen after any military assets are taken out first such as Radar, Command and control and airfields
    It should be noted that during the cold war it was recognised that Leuchars or any airfields would be primary targets. So the UK government had certain motorways or dual carriageways adaptable to taking jet aircraft. There was a stretch of the M90 that was entirely concrete specifically for this use (you probably notice rather straight stretches). Take out the airfields and you have the sky to yourself to take out economic assets

  138. Jeannie says:

    @vellofello and others
     
    Yes, I agree – it’s not just about having money, it’s the power and influence it can by you that motivates some of these individuals.  It seems very feudal when it happens in a smallish community.  But the nature of power it brings seems to me to be narrow at best.
     
    I was thinking some more about the example of the guy with the garage I mentioned earlier.  At present, he controls the market, sets the prices to his own advantage which are higher than his customers can afford.  The net result is that they have less money to spend in the other shops and on other services, so some of these businesses can’t survive either.  The ones that do survive are essential services such as food shops – but they do exactly the same thing as the garage owner and push prices up, leaving even less for other businesses which then can’t afford to keep going, so they have to lay employees off or even close.  There’s now little work, so people move away.  There’s now even less money to go round, till eventually the garage that started the whole thing off has no customers.  The garage owner may still have accumulated some wealth and therefore power, but the problem is….there’s nobody left to lord it over – they’ve all moved away to find work.  So his power is somewhat empty and to make matters worse, the infrastructure of the area deteriorates – you don’t need good roads and transport where nobody lives.
     
    Now what if the garage owner had lowered his prices in the first place, creating more disposable income for the people in the community.  And the food shops lower their prices, too.  There’s now more money to spend on other items, so new businesses start up, creating employment.  As employment grows, more people move into the area and spend their money there, creating the need for more services such as shops and leisure activities.  Because there’s more people, you need to build more houses, creating work in the building industry and of course, you need better roads and transport for the larger population.  There’s a chance for everyone to benefit.  Now, to be able to instigate such an organic, creative venture……that’s what I call REAL power.
     
    That’s how it looked to me today, at any rate.  Maybe it would only work in theory and not in practice.  But a girl can dream……can’t she?
     

  139. Linda's back says:

    We should never forget that that Alistair Darling is a Tory stooge .
    Remind Labour supporters that he is the only Labour politician to address a Tory Party conference in living memory.
    Darling is scared to debate with Denis Canavan his Yes Scotland equivalent,
    Never forget that the No Scotland  campaign is largely funded by Tory supporters in England.

  140. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    @ Edward – M90 between Pitreavie and Kinross? Are you saying that those bloody concrete slabs on the motorway were to be used by Tornados instead of Allegro 1300′s? The amount of times I have pulled over thinking I had a puncture when I should have had a feckin afterburner. :-)

  141. Sneddon says:

    Jeanie- the guy who bought the shop is very short sighted.  His customers all have the cars and the means to go to garages elsewhere for their MOT at least. The more expensive he gets the more it is worthwhile for people to go elsewhere.  I imagine there is very little goodwill for his garage and that will put people off getting other work done on their car or getting parts via the garage as well as encouraging people to do more work themselves on their own cars  As cars get more reliable he’s going to find out what ‘diminishing returns’ means.

  142. JLT says:

    Edward,
    You are definitely right, but two points.
    1. That was not the original debate. The debate from Tartanfever was, why would we need a Navy or Air force to defend the oil rigs.
    2. And one thing you need to remember, the oil rigs would definitely be hit first, regardless of the theory of tactical warfare. The rigs are not on the Scottish mainland. They sit in open waters with no defences around them.
    Say Russia decided that it wanted to continue the war with Berwick (I know …it’s a bit far fetched). While heading Westwards towards Scotland, their navy passing down from the arctic realise that the rigs are between themselves and Scotland. There is no way, that as they fly over the rigs, that they are going to pass up the chance to knock them out before reaching the mainland.
    Your theory on warfare is correct, but the problem here is, that our main priceless asset, is not protected inland, as if say, the oil was in Saudi Arabia, Iraq or Iran. Ours lies a good many miles off shore. They would be taken out first.
     

  143. Dcanmore says:

    Been out all day and came back with this article waiting… Wow! Thank you Shaun that’s one of the best I’ve seen on Wings and I like the quote you signed off with. :)
     
    Talking about defence, if we take 10% of movable military assets that will give us – Airforce: 10 BAE Typhoons; 10 MRCA Tornados; 2 LH Tristar tankers; 3 LH Hercules transports; 15 BAE Hawk trainers; 9 Short Tucano trainers; 10 Grob Tutor trainers; 4 LH Chinooks; 3 Westland Pumas; 3 Eurocopter Squirrels; 2 Westland Merlins; 2 S&R Westland Sea kings. Navy ships: 2 Type 23 frigates; 2 Hunt/Sandown class minesweepers; 2 Archer class patrol boats; Navy aircraft: 6 Westland Lynx; 3 Westland Merlin; 6 Westland Seakings. Army AFVs: 40 Challenger 2s; 80 Warrior’s; 90 FV432s; 90 CVRT series; 70 Cougar Mastiffs; 15 Viking ATVs; 50 Jackals; 40 Foxhounds; 9 AS90s and about 2000 assorted light and specialist vehicles. Army aircraft: 6 Westland Apaches; 8 Westland Lynx; 2 Westland Gazelles; 5 Watchkeeper Drones and 1 Britten-Norman Defender.
     
    So we would have to build our navy almost from scratch and bolster the airforce and army in that order.

  144. JLT says:

    To be honest, guys …how the hell did we stray from the topic of Defence, to imaginary scenarios?
    Let’s just put the matter to bed. I think we are all agreed that Scotland would have a defence, that no one is going to attack us, and that we have a $hitload of oil.
    and with that …I’m happy!

  145. JLT says:

    Actually, I’m away …I want to watch Star Trek:Into Darkness…
    Bye the noo!

  146. Vincent McDee says:

    Here’s an idea for you Shaun.
    You’d already written the script, why don’t you make it a movie?
    I’m quite sure it’d mean a lot of brownie points @ Uni, plus don’t you have to make a short as final year task, anyway?
    U R Good.

  147. ianbrotherhood says:

    @CameronB, Jeannie & others above-
     
    Don’t know if any of you are familiar with this dude – worth a watch, only a couple of minutes. Quite refreshing… 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rl52iOb5qng

  148. HandandShrimp says:

    JLT
     
    My view too. Of all the issues on the to do list for the immediate aftermath of a Yes vote, Defence would be well down the list. Murphy can tie himself in knots over our inability to invade some poor sods on the other side of the planet but I think most of the rest of us would be more than happy. A Scottish Defence Force would develop over subsequent years. Look at the UK, aircraft carriers make Murphy quite moist but we will exist without the things for a decade and no one will give a damn.

  149. tartanfever says:

    Jeannie, your absolutely right. Small communities are more easily affected by changes in business practice/ownership. It’s very easy to upset the balance, particularly in a smaller market.
    It’s one of the reason the French government are keen to have bakeries in every village and will even subsidise them or give them some tax relief. I’m not sure if the French still do this, but the certainly did last time I was over a few years back.
    You even see it in large cities. Where I lived in Bristol was a pretty run down area, but all of a sudden someone decided to open a cafe where none existed. Within a couple of years there was a deli, another cafe, a bakery and all of a sudden the council gave some money for the local hall to start hosting various night classes – fitness, yoga, woman’s group etc. Now it’s a thriving little community and people take pride in it, they speak to their neighbours more. 
    Community groups are absolutely essential, if you don’t have one in your town/village you should think about starting one. The council will give you some guidance.

  150. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    @ Jeannie and Tartanfever – Today I met up with daughter No2 who lives on a farm with her man. He grows thousands of acres of seed potatoes which are exported to Egypt, Israel and Thailand of all places. These seed potatoes are then grown to maturity and then imported back to the UK for sale in our SuperMarkets at a cheaper price than homegrown tatties.
    Now if somebody with a more economic savvy brain than me can figure this out and why it should happen can you tell me? Is it the availability of land or is it EU restrictions? Or is it something more henious from Westminster?
     

  151. CameronB says:

    ianbrotherhood
    He certainly doesn’t come across as a Rockefeller or Carnegie, Harriman of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., Kellog, Morgan, etc.
     
    Hope this isn’t considered conspiracy theory.

    How Bush’s grandfather helped Hitler’s rise to power
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/sep/25/usa.secondworldwar

  152. ianbrotherhood says:

    Jim Murphy MP, aye, him, is running a half-marathon for charity next week, and has a page set-up to facilitate donations. Unfortunately, he’s only had £25 pledged so far (by Tom Clarke MP) on Sep 9th.
     
    £25, in three weeks? Aw, bless. It’s for a great cause right enough – wouldn’t it be nice if he had to run 13 miles, every step pounding home the horrible truth that whatever dosh he raises is coming from pro-Indy supporters? And will he have grace enough to thank them afterwards?
     
    Just a thought. I won’t be giving him anything, but some folk have pockets deep enough to have a wee laugh and a joke whilst making a point, especially if they know it’s helping someone out in the end – if you know any such characters, please refer them to this:
    http://www.justgiving.com/MPJimMurphy

  153. The Man in the Jar says:

    I am fair enjoying the series of “Testimonials” that Rev is posting I hope that he gets more of them. For me they are a fascinating insight as to the reasons that people change their minds. Hopefully this will serve us well when we attempt to change the minds of others. As for myself I am afraid that my testimonial would be rather short for the simple reason that as far as I can tell I have been a nationalist since I was in the womb. I have no clear idea where this comes from I suspect a number of factors including my Mum who died when I was quite young. Also like my Dad who died just as I reached adulthood I never got to know either of them as an adult. My Mum was dressing me in a kilt from about the age of four. My childhood friend who comments here occasionally under “Vambomarbleye” thinks it might have been my uncle Lewis for “converting” the both of us. Or perhaps it was having Scotlands largest norman castle as a playground and meeting an old local antiquarian who told us of the castle and its part in the wars of independence. All of this added up to the questioning of” why is my country not as important as its neighbour?”

  154. kininvie says:

    Archie (not Erchie)
    It’s because Scotland grows some of the best seed potatoes in the world, and has evolved many well-known varieties (Pentland Dell etc etc). But seed potatoes – not being commercial – don’t require to be grown in huge numbers, very quickly. Israel, etc. have the climate to do that.

  155. ianbrotherhood says:

    @CameronB-
     
    You probably know this book already – American Dynasty by Kevin Phillips (Viking Penguin, USA, 2004).
     
    Does what it says on the tin a la sub-title: ‘How the Bush clan became the world’s most powerful and dangerous family’.
     
    In centuries hence, university students will be required to know about the Bushes, just as they’re currently familiarised (via may subjects) with the Borgias.

  156. Taranaich says:

    It’s always valuable to me to read the views of the undecided, since I think I’ve been pro-independence since I was a wee lad – I just didn’t realise what I wanted was, in fact, independence. I’m very glad you shared your journey with us, Shaun.
     
    And if the Rev will indulge me spamming up the comments with links to my wee blog, I’ve been inspired by these great posts from so many folk to write my own Journey To Yes:
     
    http://bannockburncomic.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/better-together-when-standing-apart-or.html
     
    Deeply personal and hopefully not too ridden with errors, I hope.

  157. scottish_skier says:

    On the subject of journeys… interesting day today.
     
    As I’ve mentioned in the past, my best mate since the age of 11 has traditionally been pro-union.
     
    He’s admitted it comes down in a large degree to sentiment; while he’s lived his entire life in Scotland, his mother is English and father half English, half Scottish; hence considerable family ties across the border. While he proudly wears his grandmother’s tartan, he also has proudly worn the union flag when competing in triathlon events globally. He’s one of the 18% Scottish and British.
     
    We live quite far apart now and hadn’t met up for 9 months. Both our families met up today.
     
    Last time we met, we had a discussion on the referendum over a few beers. He respected my position, and I his as usual. While being for the union, he was extremely angry and upset at both the pro-union campaign and the UK government for their belittling attacks on Scotland and consistent attempts to smear the SNP who he likes and voted for in 2011. He is after all Scottish and proud of that in addition to his British identity.
     
    Anyway, while his wife is a definite Yes, I still had him marked as No.
     
    Then, the other day, when my wife facebook posted a few pics of clan SS at the independence rally, I noted that he liked the post. Ok, fair enough, were some sweet pics of our daughter so maybe nothing to it…
     
    Anyway, today, without prompting, he raised the subject of the independence march. Seemed keen to know more about it and spoke very positively about it in terms of what he had heard.
     
    Then, he went on to mention how he’s been doing jobs in Aberdeen for oil companies installing IT networks. Told me there’s still more than half the oil left, probably a lot more, and investment is huge. Of course I knew all this, but here’s him talking about the march then bringing up the new oil boom… Talk about role reversal!
     
    I didn’t ask if he’d been re-thinking his position. I’ve never pressured him; it’s his choice and we remain best mates whatever his decision. He seems to be increasingly interested however. I’m going to put him down as soft no / don’t know now.
     
     
    If the pro-union campaign can push him to Yes, they are in real trouble. He was a guaranteed No and they’ve really put him off.  

  158. ianbrotherhood says:

    @Taranaich-
     
    ‘I’m tired of thinking there’s no hope for a better world. I’m sick of the idea that there’s no alternative to the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. I’ve had enough of Scottish independence being considered a silly fairytale with no place in the modern world. The Scottish people are capable of great things, if they could only realise they could do it. This is the land of Robert Burns, of Walter Scott, of Fleming, Carnegie, Livingstone, Hume. All the talk of economics, of oil, of law, of logistics, is besides the point – I’m talking about a people making a stand and choosing how they want to live their lives. They can’t do that in the UK. They can in an independent Scotland.’
     
    Great stuff mister. I  just scanned the graphics I recognised, and the passages with the stats we’re all getting to know off-by-heart, but it’s a great piece because you’ve made it so personal, heartfelt.
     
    More power to ye man.

  159. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    @ kininvie – mmmmmm not quite sure if I cottoned on to your reply. So basically the seed tatties from Scotland are shipped to the warmer climes so that they can be grown and harvested quickly and the resultant crop then imported back to UK and put on the supermarket shelves. Labelled grown in Israel or wherever without any indication that the original fine seed tattie is from Scotland. mmm
    OK its just a thought mulling around in my heid this Saturday night. I guess its a recognition thing and wanting a wee Saltire on the tattie skins :-)
     

  160. Cath says:

    Great article Shaun. I’ve shared it on FB and also advised my English friends to read it if they have the time – think they need to understand more about what’s really happening as well, rather than the shit they’re fed
     
    “I have to confess I never expected Better Together to be quite so straight down the middle evil.”
     
    The past couple of years have certainly been eye-opening. I’ve heard of a couple of other people who considered themselves hard no voters who were put off by Better Together – one of whom was put off by the way they were speaking to him after  he went to them offering to volunteer.

  161. Keef says:

    Thanks Shaun inspiring words for people who have the least bit of doubt.
    I’ve just finished reading Derek Bateman’s “who will fill a coward’s grave?” on NNS.
    I had to sit back and wonder. Imagine if only 50% of the journalists out there wrote like this in the papers and showed the ‘no shower’ for what they really are. If only one national paper ran your post to show how the ordinary voter feels.
    It’s a crazy world indeed when the current ‘PM’ refuses to debate with current ‘FM’ when the ‘PM’s’ mob spend countless hours demanding ‘answers’. Here was a golden opportunity to get all the answers they needed and what’s more have them broadcast to the entire nation and Cameron simply shit himself.

  162. Keef says:

    @ CameronB
    :-)
    ‘When danger raised its ugly head
    the PM turned his tail and fled”
    Eck must be cackin himself.

  163. CameronB says:

    He bravely ran away. :)

  164. The Man in the Jar says:

    Brave Sir Robin just about sums it up. I hope this story runs and runs Cameron is in a no win situation and he knows it. I for one will enjoy watching the cowardly little shitebag squirm.
    The best that BT can hope for is a Salmond V Darling in the hope that they might just pick up the odd sympathy vote off the skelping that Darling would inevitably get.

  165. The Man in the Jar says:

    Just had a thought!
    Sadly I won’t be able to watch the cowardly little shitebag squirm beacause the British media will back him to the hilt. Still you can only hope that people see right through him.

  166. Keef says:

    I reckon Scotland’s sweetheart, wee Saffron would gie Darling and Cameron a showing up.

  167. Weedeochandorris says:

    I love wings, so I do, always find something to brighten the day, love the patter.  There’s so much negative crap out there – cant help myself somethimes, feel compelled to read it, and then wonder why I have a knot in my belly and feel boaky.  Then I come back on here and the world is immediately a brighter place.  Thanks ALL you guys!
    @ JLT really enjoy some of the O/T stuff as weel :)

  168. Peter Stark says:

    A slight change to the age, and pivotal moments, but could well be the same journey of many, myself included. The wake up call remains the same.

    My “defining moment” came when watching an interview with Alistair Darling where he openly lied. I thought to myself, why does he need to lie to me to get my “No” vote? It was then I started to pay attention to whats going on and my “No” vote became a “Yes” vote. I find it interesting that Mr Darling is still lying and on the very same “issues” of everyone around him. Contrary to what I read in the news papers, I dont view him as a good debater as he seems to splutter and stammer when pressed. I would think that he would be a gift to a good interviewer, but it is noticeable that interviewers do not press him. That raises more questions. I would agree with Better Together on this one subject, there are lots of “unanswered questions”. First of mine would be “why are you lying to me”? and that would be attached to every topic.

    Slightly off topic, but is anyone else disgusted by the UK Prime Ministers refusal to debate with First Minister Salmond? I see it as a dereliction of duty and indicates a Union that is already at an end. I cant quite make up my mind if the man is unfit for office, or if the office is unfit for purpose. Though I lean more towards the latter and really dont care about the prior.
    Anyway, is a good article and have passed the link to it to all and sundry. More need to read it. Well done!

  169. call me dave says:

    Extract fro this mornings Herald:
    Defence  The whole thing is worth a read.
    ——————————————
    THE ‘BUDGET SHORTFALL’
    The HCDSC is apparently “unconvinced” that an independent Scotland will have sufficient monies to fund and support the proposed SDF and its provision. This is a puzzling standpoint, and one which smacks of politicking. A newly independent Scotland would develop its military capability backed by its 8.4% “population share” of UK defence assets, assets which are (conservatively) thought to total around £90bn. Scotland’s share of those assets – in equipment or cash or a mixture of both – would allow it to make substantial progress towards establishing an SDF similar in scale perhaps to the highly-regarded Danish military.
    Precisely what the SDF would look like and what it would do is an intriguing intellectual exercise but it is also something which will need to be given serious political and military consideration over the next year or so. The UK government could play a responsible part in this process by offering the Scottish Government a detailed and honest inventory of “UK military assets”, thus allowing the Scottish Government to look at what is catalogued and to earmark what it might require from those assets.
    This HCDSC report makes great mention of the need to give a “fuller picture” of what Scottish independence would mean for Scottish and rUK defence. But the writing of this report does little to meet this need and its exciting potential is blunted disappointingly by an overtly partisan view of the current constitutional set-up, and a willingness to depict an independent Scotland in the most dysfunctional terms. Quite how this report is supposed to add fruitfully to an intriguingly complex debate is unclear.
    Director Dr John MacDonald is an associate lecturer at the University of Glasgow
     
    http://archive.is/6uHE3

  170. amadeusminkowski says:

    Cameron “Bottled It”! 

  171. Sneddon says:

    call me dave – just another load of ‘whataboutery’ they’re running out of things to scare people with so they are now repeating themselves.  Expect plenty more in the next 12 months.  I wish for once they’d think up a original scare story e.g. ‘global warming caused by Salmond eating curry” or ‘John Swinney stole my pocket money’ anything just to escape the tedium caused by having to listen to the same FUD stories over and over again.
    The bigger picture is that they’ve run out of ideas. :)

  172. gordoz says:

    What an uplifting read from one so young -an inspiring piece of work I intend to display & forward to those undecided or hardline doubters.
    Thankyou for this excellent roadmap to enlightenment Shaun.

  173. Shinty says:

    @Peter Stark
    Enjoyed your comment, you may be interested in this http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/8093-who-will-fill-a-cowards-grave

  174. BobW says:

    @Peter Stark
    Darling’s continued his program of dissembling, on this morning’s Sunday politics.

  175. Macart says:

    Outstanding article Shaun, and not the first time I’ve heard of a journey along those lines recently. There’s a whole lot of people out there slowly coming to the realisation that they’ve been deliberately mislead by people and institutions they trusted.
     
    Not long now. :)

  176. Shaun Milne says:

    I honestly didn’t think this piece was any good. After I submitted it I was sure it wasn’t up to scratch to be published or that what I had to say was worth reading.

    I can’t describe how I’ve been feeling reading your comments. Humbled and genuine grateful. Thank you all.
    If this is how I feel after the feedback of one article I don’t know how the rev coped at the rally!

  177. Kelly says:

    Loved this article! I’m an American living in England and have shared this on my social networks – people outside of Scotland need to be aware of the issues you raise too.

    What can England residents do to support this besides writing to MPs/Westminster and urging others to to the same?

  178. Dave W says:

    I can only think of one other country in the world which presently has a media which is totally opposed to the democratic government which its people have overwhelmingly voted in and that is Venezuela.

    Most other countries which have a media deliberately expounding a viewpoint foreign to the views of its population are generally occupied countries in wartime.

    In the Netherlands they now can receive Dutch and German television and radio equally well and a Dutch resident friend of mine here has described the situation in Scotland as being as if the Netherlands could get German news and German news only and which expounded the effects of world events as it affected Germany.

    We are a captive audience for a crowd of Home Counties Lord Haw Haws

  179. Taranaich says:

    @ianbrotherhood: Great stuff mister. I  just scanned the graphics I recognised, and the passages with the stats we’re all getting to know off-by-heart, but it’s a great piece because you’ve made it so personal, heartfelt.
     
    Thanks, Ian!

  180. Tîm Criced i Gymru says:

    What a refreshing, inspiring piece! Glad you’re a fellow Celt with a little blood of the Cymry in you … next time you give blood, I’ll buy a bag off you to try and transfuse some of my fellow Cymry who are so apathetic and are  dragging themselves lifeless, decades behind THE independence, in fact, ANY independence debate!

  181. ammacdonald says:

    you need to get out and speak to the young people of Scotland…we can’t rely on the BBC…..all Scots love Scotland….just that.. when we (Oldies) as Bairns were in school.. we were educated into thinking we Scots are not worth much !!!…we were belted into submission if we showed any independent thought about being Scottish…… I wonder who interfered with the education systems “the Government” maybe 
    We Scots don’t need to prove ourselves to the English just to each other …… we need to see it can’t be any worse for us……and as for costing us extra tax…what do think the English Government is doing to us now…..can it really be that scary !!!

  182. desimond says:

    An Inspirational read Shaun!
    Watched the movie Sunshine on Leith yesterday.
    When ‘Letter from America’ is sung and the poignant words reminds you of the distant and recent past, the apt lines for the future resounds

    “We should have held you, we should have told you
    But you know our sense of timing, we always wait too long”

    People..We can wait no longer come Sept 2014!

  183. Stevie says:

    Great piece – just wish our fellow Scots would see it too

  184. Smokie says:

    When i read this article Shaun wrote , after reading the Dundee Courier dated today Oct 8th , on the front page a large photo of Alex Salmond in his Tartan trousers, again on page 18 a large photo and a write up, then again on page 24 all about the FM forgetting to pay for a pair of Trousers , with so much to write about , Sackings ,reshuffles, ect,. what Editor would waste so much space on such a trivial matter like this is unbelievable , the better together lot are panicking they can see the yes vote beginning to steam role . 



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