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The numbers game

Posted on September 23, 2012 by

As you might expect, attendance at yesterday’s independence rally in Edinburgh has been the subject of much spin and counter-spin. The police, who have of course never knowingly overestimated the size of a march for any cause, put the crowd at 5000, a figure which the Unionist press has repeated as fact. The marchers themselves seem fairly united around an equally-predictably higher claim of 10,000.

Out at the extremes, a few exciteable nationalists somehow got it into their heads that the capacity of the Ross Bandstand auditorium was a frankly ambitious 12,500 while poor old mad Ian Smart of Labour suggested there were fewer people at the rally than St Mirren took to their game at Rugby Park, ie under 1000.

(Though he subsequently conceded that it might just have been as many as 2000, albeit while also asserting that we should expect significant SNP resignations in the next 48 hours as a result of something or other connected to the event.)


This excellent shot taken from Edinburgh Castle and sent to us by WingsLand reader Jean T should provide some sort of guide as to whose estimate is closer to the mark.

The official standing capacity of the Ross Theatre (to give it its proper name) is 3000. That, however, only refers to the enclosed arena in front of the stage. Conveniently, we managed to find a very similar image giving an good idea of the space in question:

Compare the picture above to the one of the rally and it seems reasonable and fair to say that there were roughly twice as many people watching the event as can be held inside the hedge that marks the actual auditorium, suggesting a crowd somewhere between 6000 and 7000, especially given that people still seem to be arriving. (We’ve crudely superimposed the empty arena on the crowd scene here, and it seems beyond much sensible doubt that the area could be filled twice over with bodies to spare.)

But that’s only part of the story.

Despite a heavy propaganda onslaught of misinformation from Labour in particular, this wasn’t an “SNP rally”, nor even an official YesScotland one. The SNP website didn’t mention the rally once in the weeks leading up to it, and as far as we can tell still hasn’t. (Scottish Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson described this complete silence as a “huge drive by the SNP to get people to attend”, apparently quite untroubled by lying so transparently and on such a scale.) Alex Salmond was billed as a “guest speaker”, and was only onstage for around five minutes, and the other speakers came from a mixture of other parties and none.

When assessing the attendance it’s also necessary to consider how many people were expected. As can be clearly seen from the picture, very few additional marchers would have fitted into the area. The size of the crowd is plainly at the upper end of what the organisers had discussed with police beforehand – had thousands more been anticipated, the march wouldn’t have been authorised to culminate at the Ross, where a large overspill could have caused chaos on Princes St.

In short, then, the rally fulfilled the organisers’ highest hopes. For an event put together by a handful of members of the public, with close to zero national publicity, on a Saturday during the football season, it drew pretty impressive numbers, and can only have served to encourage supporters of the nationalist cause.

(Labour’s comparisons with the 30,000-strong rally for devolution 20 years ago are spurious – that was an extremely widely-promoted protest march, extensively covered in advance by the media and backed by almost every political party in the country. We’re also bemused as to which “struggling third-division football team” David McLetchie of the Conservatives apparently thinks was playing yesterday to more than 5000 people. In fact, the total combined attendance at Saturday’s four SFL3 games was 2350. A brave stab at a footy-loving-man-of-the-people pose, though, Dave.)

On the strength of yesterday’s evidence, a full-scale official YesScotland event could be quite a sight to behold. We look forward to it.

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  1. 24 09 12 11:16

    A just Scotland: the vision | Edinburgh Eye

76 to “The numbers game”

  1. MajorBloodnok says:

    Superb picture.  I think we’re going to need somewhere bigger next time…

  2. Marcia says:

    and maybe have it in Perth?

  3. Morag says:

    That’s the point, Major.  It’s extremely obvious that the turnout was significantly higher than expected by either the organisers or the police.  The back of the match hadn’t left the Meadows when the front was beginning to fill up the arena.  They had to delay the start of the rally to let the marchers get to the arena.  By that time of course they couldn’t get in – they were having to find space in the gardens.
    At the beginning, it was announced there was to be another rally in the same venue next year, but hopefully with a larger attendance, and then the third in 2014 would need to move somewhere else because they anticipated there would be too many people for the Ross Theatre.
    I think that must have been a pre-prepared speech, because even as it was being delivered, I was wondering where they thought they were going to get a significantly larger rally in there.  The terraces of the Ross Theatre were full.  I don’t know how packed they calculate their standing capacity, but the police were turning people away and making them find a space in the gardens above.  Of course that was an option that was no doubt anticipated.  But they clearly got the turnout they hoped for and more besides.

  4. Training Day says:

    I’m afraid all our efforts yesterday have been in vain.  The Mail on Sunday has conducted a rigorously scientific poll which conclusively shows that the overwhleming majority of potential 16/17 year old voters in the referendum don’t want wrenched out of the United Kingdom.  Add that to the ’embarrassment’ for Salmond at the extraordinarily low turnout yesterday, and the Mail’s captioning of a picture of the fine young men at the back with the Union flags as ‘backing Britain’, then it’s clear the separatists have been routed and utterly humilated.


  5. Adrian B says:

    I understand from comments made in various places across the web that the ‘Better Together’ lot have tried unsuccessfully several times to organise a march. Unfortunately they were unable to get enough numbers to be ‘Better Together’. Everything around the status quo, ‘Better Together’ campaign seems to be shrouded in secrecy. They are good at making claims, but go silent when it comes to providing evidence.

    The difference here was an individual took it upon himself to arrange this event a great cost to himself and apparently without money from the official ‘YES’ campaign.

    The whole event had a great atmosphere and was well attended by all age groups and by people from all walks of life representing independence right across Europe and further afield.

    I noted a couple of English tourists that had stumbled across the event and moved in closer with interest to the bandstand to get a better view. People were coming and going throughout the afternoon – after all the catering and toilet facilities were limited and not sign posted. A long day for many standing on their feet for so long as well as many having a long journey to the event and back home.

    Lessons will have been learned from this first event, which will be put into place for next year.

    It would also be good for the next event for people to comment on blogs to be able to meet up. It would be nice to put a face to some commentators across several blogs.


  6. Luigi says:

    Regardless of what the accurate number was, this unofficial rally had only modest online and effectively no MSM advertising in advance. Therefore, it can be considered to be a great success. This event impacted the many thousands of onlookers in the city yesterday. Now people in Edinburgh know that many people believe in independence and are willing to stand and be counted. The local effect could be significant. If only similar rallies could be held (only once) in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee in early 2014, it would send an incredibly powerful message. Would the people who attended yesterday be willing to travel to these cities and march again? I think so – the people are in the mood for marching now. I am certainly ready to travel anywhere in Scotland to demonstrate my support. “Whatever it takes”.

  7. Morag says:

    I see someone posting at NNS is saying that the 5,000 figure was the police count of marchers leaving the Meadows.  And that the accurate count in the Gardens was 9,500.

    A different poster says his father was a steward at the march and counted 100 bodies a minute for 90 minutes, giving him an estimate of 9,000.

    A third poster says he was a steward himself and reckoned at least 8,000 and probably closer to 10,000.

  8. Erchie says:

    I count it a sign of the success of the day that the Sunday Herald had no mention of it at all on the front page. If it had been a flop they would have splashed with that.

    Instead they had a rant by a bishop no one cares about with a big scary photo to jutify no other space on the front page for other matters.

    I didn’t see all of the Scotland on Sunday front page, but above the fold there was no mention either. Again I take this as a sign that yesterday was successful 

  9. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I think without doubt a great big “THANK YOU” has to go out to Jeff Duncan who organised the march and rally yesterday.

    Now that he has seen what can be achieved with next to NO advertising I’m sure he has already begun to make plans for actually advertising next year’s rally a great deal more.

    I think your right T.D. As we all know very well by now, the Daily Mail only prints the truth, WHOLE truth and NOTHING but the truth. So I guess, to paraphrase a rather well known Scottish member of Warmington on Sea’s Home Guard, “we’re doomed, all doomed!” 😆
    Adrian, I’m surprised that the Bitter together crowd have been unable to get a “march to save the union” going. After all was it not reported recently that they had 45,000 supporters?
    I’m sure they would all love to charter coaches to bring them all up from the South East of England to hold a rally in Glasgow. Oh, wait a minute, maybe they think they have to show their passports at the border to get to Glasgow, perhaps that’s what putting them all off travelling 500 miles to a rally. 😀

  10. Seasick Dave says:

    Ah wid say, at a conservative estimate, a million an’ a hauf easy.

  11. Wullie B says:

    Heard the Bitter together are having a march the saturday before the 12th July Next year in Glasgow , by the way Am a Rangers fans but no a unionist one

  12. Adrian B says:

    @Arbroath 1320

    Adrian, I’m surprised that the Bitter together crowd have been unable to get a “march to save the union” going. After all was it not reported recently that they had 45,000 supporters?

    I think that this claim came from Ruth Davidson after her summer tour around Scotland. I can’t be bothered to go looking for the original story as it is not relevant to my cause.

    What happened on Saturday did not happen by chance and with it being a holiday weekend, many others had other family commitments. I am sure that after such a successful first event that many more will also want to make the effort for the next one.

    I had a great time yesterday and am looking forward to next year. After all of the negative nonsense form the press and labour activists in particular, to be at yesterdays event was a great boost. I feel all the better for being there and soaking up the atmosphere.

  13. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I agree Adrian, it looks like it was a great event yesterday. If my health had been better I’d have been there as well, still there’s always next year. What is really interesting is the chatter about the possibility of chartered trains. Now, in my view, if we can get the chartered buses well organised AND the chartered trains well organised then I have absolutely no doubt that next year’s march and rally will require somewhere a hell of a lot bigger than the Ross Theatre.
    I think that Jeff Duncan can walk the streets with his head held high today. His low key, from an advertising point of view, march and rally was an OUTSTANDING success. From various comments that I’ve read I believe that the numbers yesterday even surpassed the numbers expected by Jeff. Therefore if he can achieve around the 10,000 mark with next to NO advertising then the sky’s the limit, in my view, for next year. Somehow I can’t see the Ross Theatre being the centre of the rally next year. 😀
    Jeff and his supporters are going to have their work cut out with their organisation for next year. However, having seen what they can achieve from nothing I have every expectation that next year will rock Edinburgh to its core! As you say, a lot of people were on holiday etc. Next year WILL be different. Everyone will have seen the photos of this years event. They will have read the reports, comments etc about this years event and I am certain that  those who missed yesterday’s march will do their utmost to attend next year.

  14. Cuphook says:

    I don’t know what time that photo was taken but it’s after the Unionists were removed. And going by the banners on the Princes Street railings it’s after the rally started – in fact, going by the yellow painted banner on the left hand ramp it’s a good bit into the rally. The crowd thinned out as soon as the first band came on after Alex and Margo’s speeches (a sunny day in Edinburgh for a lot of people – who can blame them) and this looks like it was taken after that.  

    I got a phone call this morning from a friend who’d seen the march on TV – she’s not a member of any party and doesn’t really do politics but she’s going to the next one. She’s the third person who’s remarked to me how good it is to know people are marching for independence. It’ll be bigger next year.

  15. Arbroath 1320 says:

    This has just appeared on my partner’s Facebook page.
    “Someone had a clicker at greyfriars yesterday – he logged 11,984 marchers at the March and Rally”
    If there were OVER 11,000 passing by Greyfriars the mind begins to wonder what the TRUE numbers were at the Ross Theatre. 😀

  16. HenBroon says:

    OK hands up I repeated the claim that the arena holds 12000. if the unionist press can claim a figure that is under I can do the opposite. Either way it was bloody fantastic and a turn out that the NO campaign could only dream of.

  17. Morag says:

    Arbroath, nearly 12,000 passing Greyfriars?  That’s a bit hard to swallow.  There were a lot more just showed up at the rally without marching, and I think the estimates of around 9,000 at the rally are about right.
    It would certainly have been prudent to have someone on the route with a clicker, and Greyfriars would have been a good place to count as the marchers weren’t bunched there as they were just before entering the Gardens.  I just find the number unconvincing.  I’d have expected a lower count for the march itself than attendance at the rally (at least at the start for Alex’s speech before people decided to go home), so my disbelief is refusing to be suspended on that figure.

  18. peter says:

    not too concerned about the figure being 7000 or 12000.  it’s about momentum.
    yesterday demonstrated that there’s appetite.

  19. Morag says:

    Oh, it was great.  Everyone there was absolutely thrilled by the size of the crowd.  The rest is just petty bitter people getting scared.

  20. Jeannie says:

    The person who took the photo has told me he is pretty sure he took it when Margo was speaking. 

  21. TYRAN says:

    – Seriously, is this #indyrally a secret gathering? I have seen better turnouts at bowls tournaments… @JamesMills1984


    It’s just making them out to be rather silly. (The other link didn’t work, so I deleted)

  22. Adrian B says:

    or try these links; 

    News from Edinburgh:

    News from Glasgow:

    Same story….well check them out

  23. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I accept your skepticism of the “clicker” number Morag. As I was unable to attend myself I can only go on what I see and read. I don’t have anything to gauge yesterday’s event by but I’ll bow to your greater “knowledge”. 😀
    Here’s something for everyone who can’t get enough of yesterday’s amazing event.

    The first three minutes or so is of various points along the route. The rest is of various artists on stage. I loved the last song!

  24. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    Bitter Together brigade march every year. It’s called the Orange Order-the last bastion of Britishness in Scotland.

  25. Arbroath 1320 says:


  26. Roboscot says:

    The problem for Better Together holding a march and rally is it would mostly consist of the Orange Order/Loyalists, SDL, BNP and UKIP. Imagine that lot, banners held high, marching together through our streets! 

  27. bill says:

    Just been called a racist by an Englishman and NorthernIrishman, for supporting Yes to inde, they actually walked out of pub, bitter together!

  28. Holebender says:

    I haven’t looked at the link given in the article… until now. The Events Edinburgh web page gives the capacity of the Ross Bandstand as “a seating capacity of 1500 (max) and up to 3000 standing capacity” (my emphasis). It doesn’t say 1500 seated or 3000 standing, it says 1500 seated plus 3000 standing! Clearly then the area inside the hedge/fence holds 4500 people, ne c’est pas?

  29. sneddom says:


    They just didn’t want to buy you a drink:)  I think you’ve met a couple of sensitive flowers Oh well,  I hope they enjoy Anna Karinna.  

  30. Appleby says:

    I wonder what the total attendees were as opposed to the peak number at any one time (as people will no doubt come and go at various points too)? How many more did the event get interested in the topic when they heard about or saw the events? I think the impact of this will make it very worth while indeed, not even including the huge boost to morale and the chance for all these people to network and socialise.

  31. Bill C says:

    Roboscot you are right on the money there. That is exactly why I doubt if we will ever see a Bitter Together march, racists and facists marching together, (Bitter Together right enough!) no sensible unionist would contemplate it. Then again?

  32. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Roboscot, IF, and this is a VERY BIG IF, the Bitter together crows could ever get a march and rally organised one question jumps to mind.
    With the Bitter  march and rally consisting mostly of he Orange Order/Loyalists, SDL, BNP and UKIP., banners held high and marching together through our streets how far along the march route would they get BEFORE they started fighting amongst themselves?

  33. Morag says:

    Holebender said:
    The Events Edinburgh web page gives the capacity of the Ross Bandstand as “a seating capacity of 1500 (max) and up to 3000 standing capacity” (my emphasis). It doesn’t say 1500 seated or 3000 standing, it says 1500 seated plus 3000 standing! Clearly then the area inside the hedge/fence holds 4500 people, ne c’est pas?
    Holebender, I don’t think so.  You can either put out seating or not.  If they say seated 1,500 max, I think that’s the most you can get in if you put as many seats as you can fit into the terracing.  Or if you don’t put the seats out, then 3,000 standing.
    There were only a handful of seats down the front yesterday, for the disabled attendees.  So we’re looking at the 3,000 standing number.  I was wondering how close-packed that would be, but if it’s only double the seated number then not very close packed at all, the way those terraces are raked.  I think it would have been completely full, which is why people were being directed round the sides and up the back by the police and stewards.
    So, how many more beyond that 3,000?  Same again?  More?  I don’t know really.  The place seemed pretty full to me, and if that crowd was only 5,000 and someone was expecting 7,000, where were they planning on putting the rest?  If they were expecting 7,000 this year, and still planning on having it in the same venue with more people next year, something does not compute.  Because you could not get another thousand people in that space (over and above yesterday’s numbers) without something getting trampled.

  34. Holebender says:

    I don’t disagree with you, Morag, but I do disagree with Events Edinburgh’s sloppy use of the English language!

  35. Andrew says:

    From my experience of football crowds pre seating, I estimated 10-15K

  36. Tris says:

    The Daily Mail asked young people?

    I didn’t think the Daily Mail knew what young people were; young people certainly don’t know what the Daily Mail is. 

  37. Morag says:

    Actually, Holebender, having been in the terraced part of the arena for the rally, I had thought it wasn’t packed to capacity, as I was able (with difficulty!) to change my position, and to go out for a burger and come back in.  However, I’m rethinking that.  RevStu’s second photo shows the arena with some seating out.  There’s only one row of seats for each step of the terrace, and those wide sloping corridors between the terraces aren’t seated.  In fact people were standing on the sloping parts as well, and the terrace steps are wide.  If 1,500 is the maximum seated capacity with all the seats out, then without the seats 3,000 are going to have a lot of elbow room.
    I suspect there were rather more than 3,000 in the arena, even if the maximum capacity is nominally given as that.  Then of course there were all the people above and to the side.  A lot of that grass was occupied – the only grass you can see that wasn’t, was the bit that’s at a 45% slope.
    My main thought is, if it’s true that the organisers were estimating for 7,000 before the event, and that was only 5,000, where the hell were they thinking another 2,000 were going to go?  Not only that, if the prior plan was for 7,000, then to repeat it again next year in the same venue with a larger turnout, this does not compute.
    I think they were hoping for 7,000 at the top end of their optimistic guesses, and actually got more than that.  I also think they may be wondering whether next year’s rally can be accommodated in the same place if the numbers do go up as they are anticipating.

  38. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I think they were hoping for 7,000 at the top end of their optimistic guesses, and actually got more than that.  I also think they may be wondering whether next year’s rally can be accommodated in the same place if the numbers do go up as they are anticipating.

    I think you’re right Morag. I believe the organisers were hoping that about 7,000 or so would turn up. I don’t think even in their wildest dreams they thought so many would actually turn up. The organisers must have gone home on Saturday night and wondered what the hell to do about next year’s event.
    I can only assume, at this stage, that they must seriously be looking at finishing either at Murrayfield or the Meadows. I don’t know much about Edinburgh and its event venues but I would guess these two sites to be the best available.

  39. Holebender says:

    OT. Have just read (via a tweet from Nicola Sturgeon) that UK is to share embassies and consulates with Canada, Australia, and NZ. The rationale from HMG? We’re all first cousins and share the same queen.
    How can any threat re cooperation from the rUK have any credibility after that?

  40. Macart says:

    That’s 1000-2000 people?????????????

    Has Edinburgh shrunk?

    From the images and vids I’ve seen there’s certainly north of 7 or 8K in attendance. 

  41. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Just a wee thought Holebender.
    What exactly will the flag look like that flies over these “new” combined Embassies/Consulates?
    Surely the flag will have to contain “elements” of all four countries.
    Boy that is going to be one hell of a messy flag isn’t it?
    Whose flag gets to fly at the top?
    Who decides on which flag makes up which quadrant of the “Embassy/Consulate” flag?
    Just a few thoughts you understand. That “outside the box thinking” disease has struck again! 😆

  42. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Has Edinburgh shrunk?

    You can never tell what the Bitter camp will get up to next Macart? 😆

  43. Morag says:

    Arbroath1320 said:

    I can only assume, at this stage, that they must seriously be looking at finishing either at Murrayfield or the Meadows. I don’t know much about Edinburgh and its event venues but I would guess these two sites to be the best available.
    The thing is, the rally wasn’t widely publicised at all.  I only knew about it because I came across several mentions of it online, and then went to the event’s web site.  SNP HQ didn’t send out anything about it, and it only got a mention in our branch monthly newsletter about ten days before.  Most people I spoke to didn’t know anything about it.
    If the organisers really put their minds to it, they could double the turnout next year.  There was talk of running trains from Glasgow.  However, the Meadows is HUGE.  Even double yesterday’s crowd would be swallowed up.  Murrayfield can take over 65,000 people seated.  One way to look really stupid is to book a venue far larger than your crowd.  I thought they pitched it just right yesterday.  They may have been calculating that they’d at least fill the theatre area at worst, and that would look fine, and if it spilled over, so much the better.  They way exceeded that.
    So I’m glad I’m not organising next year.  Where do you book that will avoid a safety issue if you get a cracking good turnout, but also avoid looking like a complete pillock if it isn’t absolutely mobbed for whatever reason.  If they can spin yesterday, which was absolutely mobbed, as being a disappointment, how would they spin 30,000 in Murrayfield?

  44. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I only found out about the march through the web. There was the occasional post on Facebook, VERY occasional. I think the reality of yesterday’s march was that it was accomplished via word of mouth, via Facebook, e-mail etc. As I tried to suggest, I thought the press machine of the YES campaign would have far better contacts that would allow for a far wider reach. This would, in my view, allow a great deal MORE people to be reached. More over, I believe the YES campaign group will be better organised at carrying out the organising the buses and trains required to transport everyone to next year’s event.
    Just had another “outside the box” moment. How about finishing on the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle?
    I’m trying to figure out if the Esplanade is bigger or smaller than the Ross Theatre. Perhaps a wee word with the Tattoo organisers might “persuade” them to leave their Tattoo seating up until after the march in 2013.  Apparently the seating for the Tattoo 2011 held 8,500 seated. This would STILL leave the actual “Tattoo performance” area that could ALSO be used ad an “overspill area. Now if we could only persuade the Management company to leave the seating arena installed, at no charge, I think we might be onto a winner. 😆

  45. Morag says:

    Not a chance, sweetheart.  Those bleachers would be a death trap for the culmination of a march.
    They don’t need seating.  Seating is positively counterproductive.  Seats are only needed for the disabled and elderly, so not a huge number.  An open space which is big enough, but not so big it looks half-empty, is the ideal.  The Ross Theatre was perfect, and such a fabulous setting under the castle, and with enough usable overspill that an excess could be accommodated.  It’s just a bit of a worry that it might not be big enough for a properly publicised event taking place only a year before the vote.
    There’s no way in hell it will be big enough for the 2014 rally, and they know that already.  If we’re going to win, the 2014 rally will be a seriously impressive affair, in my opinion.  (Though who knows.  Last year, people just went out and voted.  It was like that in 1997 as well.  The big rallies were for the right to hold a referendum; after the date had been set people just got on with it.)

  46. Adrian B says:

    Other Parks in Edinburgh that could be suitable include Holyrood Park and Inverleith Park. The problem with Inverleith Park (or any grass park) is if the weather has been very wet prior to an event then it renders the area unusable. Just imagine how thousands of people in mud would cause major problems. I would think that Carlton Hill might be an option, but do not know how many it could hold – with it being a hill that would cause other issues too. 

    Murrayfield, it’s quite a distance out of town. I would imagine would be very expensive to hire, the Hibs and Hearts grounds may not be available depending on football fixtures, again what would be the likely costs? What sort of routes for marches would be possible?

    That leaves two others – Meadowbank or the Castle Esplanade. The stadium at Meadowbank might be an option, but again it is quite a walk from the centre of Edinburgh. The Castle Esplanade would be ideal if it wasn’t for the likely cost of using it. It is central, could still have seating following the Tattoo? The Esplanade is used for concerts so might be possible. I wouldn’t like to be in the organisers shoes either, perhaps if they can get funding from ‘YES Scotland’, then the Castle Esplanade might become a better more viable option. 

  47. Morag says:

    I think the organisers are likely to be well ahead of us, so I don’t see a lot of point in second-guessing them really.
    I think yesterday was a toe in the water.  It wasn’t publicised apart from word of mouth, and neither the official YES campaign nor the SNP set out to persuade people to attend.  I think the water turned out to be a very inviting temperature.

  48. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I think that after yesterday’s “toe dip” the organisers will have absolutely NO problem either:
    a) finding a suitable venue
    b) filling said venue.
    I think the ONLY problem the organisers will have is making the decision WHICH venue to take.
    I take your point Morag about the seating at the Castle Esplanade.  To be honest I was suggesting the Esplanade slightly tongue in cheek. 😀
    I don’t want to labour the point about the Castle Esplanade but I think it would make for a fabulous backdrop to the rally. I was just sitting watching some videos of yesterday’s event and trying to imagine the same in front of the castle. As emotive as the rally was yesterday I can’t think, at the moment, of an even MORE emotive picture than to see the speakers standing in front of the castle and with thousands of supporters on the Esplanade. I know, I know  I’m dreaming. Hark the “Darkened Room” calleth methinks! :LOL:

  49. Andrew says:

    How about the entirety of PSG with big screens?

  50. Morag says:

    Well, it doesn’t really matter.  It’s about the vote, not about marches and rallies.  It’s just interesting to note which side it is that has had the confidence to organise a rally and see who turns up.  And that the numbers appear to have exceeded the high end of the expectations.  Also to note which side can’t even get a dozen shoppers to pose for a picture with them when they actually take their case to the various towns.
    The big marches and rallies all tend to happen when people want something they have no other way of getting.  Ending the poll tax, or the war on Iraq, or agitating for devolution with a Tory government in power.  That’s what’s happening in Catalonia at the moment of course.  You know, Catalonia, the place we were told was so happy with devolution it didn’t want to go any further and that’s how it’ll be in Scotland too.
    We’ve got our referendum.  Marches and rallies are for fun, and maybe sticking two fingers up to certain people.  They won’t have much effect on the vote either way.  They may provide an omen, but even that may be a false assumption.  There’s going to be a groundswell of public feeling one way or the other, but it’s not going to happen before 2014, realistically, once sufficient thinking time has been devoted to the issue.

  51. Morag says:

    I was going to say, how about that enormous barn of a main hall at the SECC?  But actually no, it has to be out of doors and damn the weather.
    This is silly.  Time for bed.  What was it someone said above?  In two years time the Scottish people are just going to see the word “Yes” and plant a kiss beside it?
    That’s it.

  52. Andrew says:

    PSG = Princes Street Gardens

  53. Morag says:

    OK, yes, but it’s too broken up with bushes and stuff, realistically.  And enough people could do serious damage to the actual garden part.
    The Meadows isn’t a bad idea, because you’d never fill it and there would never be a crowd safety issue, and you could easily put the big screens up.  It’s just that it’s SO big, you’d want to be sure of 30,000 plus before you went near it, preferably more.  Also, it gets muddy.

  54. Arbroath 1320 says:

    GOT IT!
    Rally in Princes Street!
    Close the damned street off to traffic, job done! 😆

  55. Adrian B says:

    Most of Princes street has been closed off for traffic for years due to the trams works. Perhaps the Alex could have a wee word with the Queen, and 30,000 can pop into the Palace grounds for sandwiches, cake and tea? Only joking! 

  56. Morag says:

    Yeah, like there’s likely to be trams there in 2013 or even 2014….  🙂

  57. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Sorry for going O/T Stu but I’ve found this over on NNS.
    I also apologise IN ADVANCE if my language doesn’t quite come up to scratch on this either, I’m utterly DISGUSTED by the actions of this alleged politician!

    This slime ball MUST be drawn over the hot coals by Lamont. Failure to do so is just TOTALLY INEXCUSABLE! Lamont is “allegedly” the leader of the Scottish Labour party, although no one REALLY believes this. There have been an  innumerable number of slurs and personal attacks on Alex Salmond and NOT ONE has been withdrawn NOR has Lamont berated the imbecile responsible.
    Now I know that personal attacks by various political parties are all part of the “game.” However, for ANYONE to use the deaths of 96 INNOCENT victims in a PERSONAL attack on the First Minister is utterly despicable. This scum bag MUST be made to make a PUBLIC apology to EACH of the 96 families of the 96 victims of Hillsborough AND to the F.M. He should further be made to PUBLICLY apologise to the WHOLE of the Scottish Parliament for bringing their name into disrepute!
    This is NOT McMahon’s FIRST step into gutter attacks. He Tweeted an attack on Kenny MacAskill using the 77 victims of the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik.

    In a tweet, McMahon claimed that Breivik would have been given only a “few hundred hours community service” by the SNP Minister.

    Where does this dingbat get off using the grief of others to attack a Scottish government minister?

    As usual there will be NOTHING about the DISGRACEFUL behaviour of this “individual” either on BBC nor in the MSM. Questions MUST be asked as to WHY none of these organisations is prepared to report or even highlight such disgusting and unsavoury behaviour from an M.S.P. These people are allegedly supposed to be OUR representatives. Well I for one do not want this individual in ANY position of responsibility with regard to representing me, my region OR my country!

    Once again I apologise Stu for the language I have used here in this post. 🙁

  58. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Oh you non believer Morag. 😀

  59. bill says:

    Anyone been to murrayfield to watch rugby? Did you go in the beer tent they regularly errect for big events, I once “bounced” that beer tent , capacity 5000.  Its obvious the crowd at the park was in excess of 5000, I’d guess nearer 8-10k of a visible crowd in those pictures. 

  60. Macart says:


    Johann Lamont was unavailable for comment. 😉

  61. Macart says:

    Wait now………… Isn’t McMahon the eejit who used constituency questions to slander the FM in FMQs a couple months back? I seem to remember the FM tore him a new one back then.

    So no personal reason for McMahon’s vile attacks now then is there? He’s taking his stance for purely moral and ethical reasons, and not for the very deserved public humiliation he brought upon himself.

  62. Doug Daniel says:

    I had a quick look at McMahon’s Twitter stream. You would think it was the ramblings of an activist, not someone elected to serve in parliament. It’s incredible that this man is paid to represent people, because he’s an utter moron.

    He’s in for a shock in 2014, and I for one can’t wait. 

  63. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Your right Macart, I’d forgotten about his F.M.Q.’s “attack.”
    Still it leaves me with a nice warm feeling knowing that Lamont has her fingers on the pulse of Labour, has the matter well in hand and will be forthcoming with an apology imminently. 😆
    Damn that coffee’s strong!
    It’s true what they say.
    It DOES send you off into an alternate universe! 😀

  64. Dunc says:

    We’re going to need a bigger boat…

  65. Arbroath 1320 says:

    For those who are still up for yet more photies of Saturday’s wee shing dig National Collective have some here.

    I think the fourth photo is VERY interesting.
    Isn’t that a SHH! BBC SHH! reporter interviewing a patriot getting his war paint on? 😀

  66. Macart says:

    Some cracking shots there Arb. I do believe you are correct on number 4, obviously pants at going undercover. 🙂

  67. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Ach he probably thought that no one would notice him there.
    He didn’t realise that he was NOT wearing his cloak of invisibility! 😆

  68. Doug Daniel says:

    Aye, that’s Andrew Kerr, the minister’s son (as in the Kirk, not the government). He was the year above my sister at school and apparently he was a bit of a dork. Still, at least he was there interviewing folk!

  69. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Did his “interview”v ever make to air?
    I didn’t watch BBC on Saturday so don’t know. Even if it did I suspect it would have been given the 15 seconds treatment. It’s not like there was a world invasion or anything important happening on Saturday.
    I wonder if he has been dragged up to the D.G. (Scotland) office yet and given a SEVERE reprimand (possible transfer from the pay cut list to the redundancy list perhaps?) for doing something so underhand as attend an Independence march and rally. More over how DARE he actually INTERVIEW people.
    WHAT was he thinking?

  70. Gaavster says:

    numbers, numbers….

    Here is the march in its entirety, make up your own minds…


    Bear in mind this doesn’t include all those who couldn’t march and who went directly to the Gardens…

    As far as I am concerned, it’s mission accomplished for Part 1

    Great day, great buzz, and I’m guessing everyone else who was there, like me, is still buzzing….


  71. Silverytay says:

    Unfortunately due to it being a holiday weekend I was out of the country and did not manage to go on the march .
    I would just like to add my congratulations to the organisers on a job well done .
    Looking at some of the pictures it appears that everyone had a fantastic time .
    Maybe next year the organisers could hold it in another part of the country , I would just like to say that I am not criticising the organisers for holding it in Edinburgh . 

  72. Cuphook says:

    I said yesterday that the pic above was taken later in the parade. Take a look at this one. This is when the Unionists were been arrested and you can see that the Veneti banner is not on Princes Street and the yellow painted one is not on the ramp. When that incident happened the tail of the march was going over the Royal Mile. Lots of people still to come.


  73. EdinScot says:

    Im also buzzing Gaavster  and its a monday work day!  I also was at the march and rally, can only reiterate  a fantastic day with a brilliant atmosphere.  Great to see independence supporters in the flesh instead of communicating via the net. 
    That the Unionist press have on the whole chose not to  run with the ‘march’ story shows that it has them rattled and that it was an absolute  success.  They couldnt spin it into a failure…quite a surprise eh 🙂  The pride and tingles up the spine i felt as i helped carry  my home made banner will live with me for a long time.

    The only concern regards holding the next rally in an enclosed stadium is having to judge the kind of attendance to a fine art as if they get more say at Meadowbank Stadium then it could be a health and safety issue which leads me to believe it should be  in an outdoor  space such as Holyrood Park and the setting is more fitting so close to the Scottish Parliament. 

    The momentum lies with us, it has certainly put a bounce into my step for our cause.

  74. mutterings says:

    RevStu, I’m not sure what happened but on Friday afternoon I tried to post three times on the If nobody came thread and my post never appeared nor was there any feedback, just a spinner.

  75. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Yep, just found them all in the spam filter. Have manually approved the first one, since they’re all the same.

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