Journey to Yes, N° 5

Shetland based journalist, writer, and broadcaster Tom Morton wrote some searing articles during the 2014 referendum attacking the Yes campaign and supporting a No vote.  Tom believed that the interests of social justice and solidarity were best served by Scotland remaining a part of the UK.  Following Brexit and the self-immolation of the Labour party in Scotland and in the UK as a whole, Tom has now reconsidered his previous position and will now be backing a Yes vote for independence in a second Scottish independence referendum.  In the latest instalment of Phantom Power’s Journey to Yes video series, Tom sets out the reasons for his change of heart.


0 thoughts on “Journey to Yes, N° 5

  1. Pingback: Journey to Yes, N° 5 | speymouth

  2. Very similar to my own journey, except mine started earlier. I really didn’t feel in 2003 that Labour was representing me or really helping narrow the poverty gap, but I couldn’t bring myself to vote Tory. In 2007 I didn’t vote, the first time ever in my voting life, and for me that was a really big event. I haven’t voted Labour since. I didn’t initially think Independence was realistic, but after the campaign started I began to see the possibilities for the future, voted Yes and will do so again,

  3. I was a big fan of the Tom Morton radio show back in the day, I even still have bootleg tapes of Blind Boy Flugga and Angus Dreich Mhor.

    So it was a massive disappointment to me when Tom was a No.

    All sorted now though, glad he has seen the light at last.

  4. good to see yet another persons story and how their eyes were finally opened .
    Just imagine where we would be now if we had a media that wasnt hell bent in suppressing the truth . for thats what they are doing trying to hold back the tide , it cant work for ever ,all it takes is a wee chink in their armour a wee breach in their dam and we win .

  5. Ive watched this seres of videos and the eloquent speakers puttng their latest views across, the trouble is I can picture them being as eloquent in their arguement for a No vote the last time round and as they couldn’t see how gullible they were then, they hold no credbility now.

      • My feelings exactly. I was disappointed that Tom Morton (and others) supported No in 2014. He’s been big enough to change his mind and share his reasons why. I thought the general idea was to get people on side and thereby increase the 45%, so I’m confused to see someone going from No-to-Yes being condemned for old beliefs.

  6. We need to be welcoming these new voices for Yes. The landscape has changed dramatically and the post-Indyref fallout and Brexit have highlighted quite how bankrupt the British state is in terms of social cohesion, equality and justice for all members of a society.

    No recriminations from me, and no buts. Support is welcomed and valued.

  7. Welcome aboard Mr Morton.

    We need all the help we can get, because it is going to be hard and because it is just that important.

    No one should be in any doubt what faces our population in an isolationist UK, both societally and politically by this point.

  8. Ah well good for him. The circumstances for the poor now are the same as 2014. Did he not notice it then? Oh of course he worked for the BBC. So no, the other people on this thread sound genuine. He doesn’t.

      • Thanks Dug for that. I’ve spread your writing far and wide, and will continue to do so. However his failure to see what we all saw in 2014 (especially you) is denial of the first order, No matter all converts are welcome. Obviously.
        Best Wishes
        A mealy mouthed cynic. (Or not!) I don’t think I’m nasty either.

        • 55% of Scots failed to see what we saw in 2014. We need to persuade as many of them as possible to our point of view because the stakes now are higher than they ever were. We won’t persuade them if those who have made the journey from No to Yes are made to feel unwelcome and that the sincerity of their change of opinion is disbelieved.

          • Not 55% of Scots. 55% of people living in Scotland, many from England, NI & Wales. Edinburgh University research suggests majority of Scots voted Yes to independence.

    • This is a pretty sour, spiteful and inane response. Essentially, Katherine Hamilton is saying anyone who voted NO last time should not be permitted to vote YES, next time.
      So, she is, in effect, accepting the unionist position that because Scotland voted NO, then that has ended things.

      • Hi Alastair, no I’m not saying that. He sounds insincere, that’s all. We all have our opinion. Again I have to defend myself. I am not “sour, spiteful and inane”. Hyperbole is never impressive.

  9. Have read his articles in iScot magazine, along with yours Paul, so assumed he’s for an independent Scotland. Enjoyed the video all the same.

  10. This is a man who has a following, people have listened to him for years. So how to get his message out? There are now 5 videos of travellers on the road to Damascus, all exellent and putting across a heartfelt message.
    Here’s the but. How to get these messages to the Daily Mail readers, the Express readers and those who think that because it’s on the BBC it must be true.
    Well I don’t know, because I am not in control of the media beloved of the NO sayers. But there must be a way. Getting the message out must become the priority.
    Thinking caps on.

  11. This was the tipping point for many people and so its come to pass for, I think a great many thousands more. The westminster elites just kept pushing and thus pushed to far for to many to take this time.

    They are now off balance and struggling to control their inevitable fall, but we’ll be there, in their greatest hour of need, to give them a helping push on their way off the cliff edge.

  12. Social justice and Westminster are opposites. Irrespective of red or blue Tories in power, the last two versions of these alike clones show that we must leave this degenerate union asap!
    Red or blue Tories, which is the worse? Hasbro be the red Tories; the blue Tories are nasty becoming nastier in tone, deed and attitude. The red Tories talk and speak about justice, but voted against amendments in the Commons and have been austerity-junkies just the same!
    The old broad shoulders argument is patronising and is now risible. As the Westminster driven juggernaut which all macro economic and fiscal powers, and dictates 75% percent of budget, then we need to go.
    Run our own 100% control of the levers of power and investment etc. The UK is hurtling to nearly 3 trillion deficit! Enough said!
    The goon- yoons up here hope for a Labour resurgence dahn sath, eejits. All gone now! They should man the Labour for Indy lifeboats and wave Corbyn and Dugdale off.

  13. Amber Rudd, whose name sounds like a fairly serious colour coded Fire and Bomb Alert in Newcastle Retail Park, was on TV at the week-end announcing that Article 30 will be triggered in March and that freedom of movement as we know it, would cease immediately, because her mandarins, at the Home Office, predicted that if they didn’t implement a Door Slammed Shut policy immediately article 30 is triggered, then ‘half of Romania and Bulgaria’ would make a Closing Down Sale mad rush to Britain.
    Population of Romania: 19,237,813
    Population of Bulgaria: 7,097,796
    Perhaps a tad hyperbole to forecast 13 million crazed furriners clambering aboard trains planes and boats and heading for the Land of Milk and Honey that is Kent before England shuts its borders.
    But nevertheless, Ms Rudd announces on a TV show, that from the suggested date, the 15th of March, the Ides of March, we will no longer have freedom of movement for work, play, resettlement within the EU. Whit?
    Have her Eton Oxbridge Classics educated Civil servants picked the date?
    The Ides of March. From memory, this was the equivalent of the New Year in the Roman Republic. A priestess sacrificed a sheep to the gods, an old man was garbed in rags and driven from the city walls to banish the old year to the wilderness.
    Of course, we associate the Ides of March with ‘Julius Caesar’ Act 1; Scene 2.

    Soothsayer. Beware the ides of March.
    Caesar. What man is that?
    Brutus. A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.
    Caesar. Set him before me; let me see his face.
    Cassius. Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Caesar.
    Caesar. What say’st thou to me now? speak once again.
    Soothsayer. Beware the ides of March.
    Caesar. He is a dreamer; let us leave him: pass.

    Then he got chibbed in the back by his fellow senators, the sacrificial lamb, the last throw of the dice by the Senate to prevent the Republic being taken over by an Emperor.
    And the rest, as they say, is history.
    3 million EU citizens working in the UK, and over a million Brits retired to the Costas are about to be used as poker chips by Rudd, and we’ll need a visa to go to those same Costas on holiday this summer, all on the almost casual say so of Empress May?

    Tell me; how did we arrive at this madness so soon, without anybody screaming, ‘Stop!’?
    Mr Morton, yet another of our freedoms is removed without so much as a ‘by your leave’.
    The ‘moral case’ for self determination is beyond doubt now, I’d argue.

    • And then there is this:

      and this:

      May holds gun to head of EU would probably be more accurate headline though.

      So much for ‘our friends and partners’ spiel. I’d like to say to our continental friends looking in on this thread… welcome to our world.

      Westminster has a very shoogly grasp of the terms friendship and partnership. Which is to say they have none of the former and the latter are approached as random and confusing letters on any piece of paper.

      Safe to say that rights, human and civic, mean little to May and even less to members of her government and that chamber. These aren’t the first rights they have/are willing to remove and they won’t be the last by a long shot.

      The folk in the videos produced by Phantom Power have come to realise this, each in their own way and their own time.

      People NEED to remember that yesterday is yesterday. Every new YES vote is required and necessary. No recriminations, no looking back and no bad grace. We hold out our hand to every new voice, every new convert, every new Scot.

      If we don’t, then the removal of our rights will be the least of our worries.

      • the ones who would benefit from seeing this series are the ones who attended the conference in Perth over the weekend ,maybe some of them would see a way out of the Matrix they are stuck in , its always good to broaden your horizons , it usually makes you a little bit wiser than you were yesterday , the trick is how to remove the blinkers and earplugs that seem to be permanently attached .

      • Exactly, macart.
        The impact of this underplayed declaration, the end to free movement in Europe, even before Brexit talks begin, has far reaching effects for all of us, in employment, education, travel, holidays abroad.
        Will ‘hard working families’, ‘just about managing’, the ‘squeezed middle’, now have to scurry about getting visas for a fortnight break in Magaluf? Will they need to budget £14 a head to pay for it?There will be millions of applications. Will the mechanisms be in place to process such a massive upsurge in 4/5 months?
        Of course we should welcome former No voters to the goal of Self Determination. I suspect that there are some Roden McTernan MCDougall Fifth Columnists posing as Yessers trying to undermine the considerable No to Yes trend.
        It is to be expected.
        I agree whole heartedly with your ‘No recriminations, no looking back and no bad grace. We hold out our hand to every new voice, every new convert, every new Scot.’ sentiments.

        • I doubt the wider public realise the cost implications Jack. The setting up of the administrative machinery required, its scale and how those costs will be passed on directly and indirectly through taxation. That, along with so much else, will be brought home to them soon enough.

          I doubt the reaction will make for pleasant viewing.

          • Sam, I am alarmed that more Leavers are not alarmed.
            I’ve just come off WoS site after ‘losing it’ with yet another anonymous Yoon Troll, talking ‘too poor’ guff.
            It occurs to me that there are many hundreds of thousands of Scottish citizens who were No voters, and in addition, opted for either Remain or Leave for a variety of reasons, who will still vote No in the next Referendum.
            As a democrat, I cannot find it in my heart to condemn them, even if their political beliefs,and their moral and ethical stance in life are diametrically opposed to mine.
            If some believe in a social hierarchy, where the status quo trumps all else, and that the United Kingdom must remain intact even through the impending disaster of Brexit, or that Scotland became a colony of Greater England 310 years ago, and that they are doing all right regardless, and that the poor will always be with us, and that the unseen hand of the laissez faire markets will sort it all out, or that there are undeserving and deserving poor, skivers as opposed to strivers, and are members of Rotary Clubs, the Lions, The Masons or the Knights and are heavily involved in charities, ‘doing their bit’, god fearing church going sons and daughters of the kirk, or the chapel, who pay their way, and are opposed to a Nanny State, then nothing we say will alter their life view.
            Nor would I even attempt to. That hard core will remain immutable. The same could be said of the committed Self Determinists.
            In Free Scotland, I cannot imagine a one party state, can you?
            The checks and balances of a multi-party democracy will be vital as we step out into the eye glaringly bright light as an independent nation within the EU. I find the prospect thrilling, terrifying, life changing, and even at my frail old age, exhilarating.
            It will be all hands to the pump.
            We shall need all our talents during the early years.
            I shall of course work tirelessly to convince as many as possible that the UK is a dead rubber, and hopefully some, the parable of the Lost Sheep comes to mind, even just a few, decide that WM no longer represents their interests and opt to take a punt on Yes.
            As the devil in the Brexit detail unfolds, I suspect many many more former Nos will consider moving to Yes.
            Exciting times.

          • No, I can’t see Scotland in the shape of a one party state either. No more could I condemn folk for being a product of literally several hundred years of propaganda and media management. When words fail then the only thing that ever changes a mind is being brought to the coal face. To be personally confronted with the consequences of their choices and actions.

            Its great if you can change a mind or point of view with well crafted words or face to face debate, but if not? If not, then being needlessly impoverished or indeed driven into the poverty zone will do the job. For new Scots I’m also fairly certain that the threat of deportation, loss of civil and human rights and liberties can also have a similar sobering effect.

            We’re not politicians. We’re not orators, statesmen or writers. We’re just folk and the best we can do for those who can’t or won’t educate themselves for whatever reason, is take what we can from these sites and spread it as widely as possible.

            Things haven’t changed so much from indyref1 in terms of who and what we are up against. The machinery of state, corporate interest, the UK media. Y’know, the usual suspects and no small task then, but they can be overcome by ordinary people.

            The YES movement took them right to the wire in 2014 and we’ve learnt a lot since then. We can do this, because we have to do this.

  14. Don’t forget the old saying about converts being more fanatical in their support for their new political or religious home.

    We must welcome them with open arms and forgive them for any past perceived or actual wrongs.

  15. I see here people who have changed from NO to YES because of BREXIT.
    I wish they were changing from NO to YES because they think it’s more normal to run your own affairs than have another country that has 12 times as many votes as your country do , to run your country .

  16. i couldnt vote in the last one as i was living in england looking after my disabled mother but now im up here since june 2015 voted snp last may voted remain as i didnt want the torys to have more power it had nothing to do with the eu at the time as that had me undiecided and i will be voting yes in indy2 along with my mother as shes living in scotland as well and her german husband whos lived in the uk for 40 years will also vote yes so thats 3 more yes voters to help with scottish independance

  17. Mmm….. not convinced of Tom’s thoughts on an SNP Independent Scotland in Europe. Touring South America and finding out more about politics in this fine continent….there have been numerous wars for independence here……..he did conclude that he sees a need for strategic planning. Time is of the essence and only fools rush in poorly prepared!

    • You need look no further than the British Empire’s record on former colonies and their struggle for Independence ovre the past fifty years or so.
      Sadiq Khan’s ‘divide and conquer’ ,Nats hate the English, smear written reportedly by Anas Sarwar was so wrong on so many levels.
      I’ll list but a few, starting with India, and Pakistan. The Brits use division and partition as a blunt instrument every chance they get.
      I am led to believe that both these conniving little men have their roots in Pakistan. How could they bring themselves to deliver this awful message?
      Ireland, Cyprus, Kenya, Malaya, South Africa, Palestine.
      The Brit way, divide the natives into factions and stall independence as long as possible. UDA/IRA, Greek Cypriot coup d’état, EOKA paramilitaries, Archbishop Makarios, Turkish Cypriot resistance, the Mau Mau Uprising , British Concentration camps, and torture, the partitions of India, Cyprus, Ireland, Palestine, and these are only a few from off the top of my aging old head.
      The UK has form when threatened by a colony demanding independence. No need to look to S America.
      The thing is..we,the citizens of Scotland are bucking the trend. We are doing it through the ballot box, not the bullet.
      All the ‘fighting’ talk is coming from the Yoons.

      ‘Fratricide’, war cabinets’, ‘Ulsterisation’.
      It may be argued that this is all they have left with the advent of Brexit. Threaten us with the Iron Heel, and justify it by lying and accusing us of hating the English.
      We shall prevail, Heather, with not so much as a paper cut.

  18. Oh dear, I know nothing about this lass Clare Heuchan other than that she’s black, Scottish, and has been discriminated badly by white Scottish Males, as have, as she points out here, many other ethnic minorities of colour at the hands of predominantly white Scottish males. No argument there. We have our fair share of racists and bigots, some of our bigots are MSPs who openly boast about it just to get the vote in.
    My problem is what she interprets as Fairer Scotland, and to whom the SNP and Nationalists might be comparing their ‘Fairer-ness.’
    I am sorry, Ms Heuchan, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and not accuse you of using the race card, and the Hate the English trope to further the Unionist cause and get another wee SNP Bad smear out there.
    The Fairer Society to which a Fairer Scotland is a comparison between the arch right wing discriminating policies and actions of the WM Politics of the Red Blue and Yellow Tories over the past three decades and the policies actioned by our Holyrood Parliament.
    WM has discriminated against the poor, the disabled, the unemployed, the elderly, despite
    the democratic choices of the Scottish citizens, of all hues, cultures, and social circumstances.
    WE campaign for a Fairer Scotland as opposed to the Unfair Scotland, in which we have policies and punishments imposed on us by a series of English dominated MP’s for whom we didn’t vote.
    We happen to think that this ‘democratic deficit’ is unfair, Independence would see a Fairer Scotland.
    Many English and London citizens happen to agree with that, BTW.
    The Bedroom tax is unfair, a 53 year old granny who has lived in Durham with her English husband being frog marched on to a plane with only the clothes on her back and £12 is unfair, Ms Heuchan.
    She was held in a Detention Centre in Scotland and chucked out of the country via Edinburgh airport. Independent Scotland would be a Fairer Scotland. It just wouldn’t have happened.
    Invading Iraq was unfair. Sanctioning unemployed folk is unfair. Zero hour contracts are unfair.
    Scrapping Housing Benfit for 18-21 year olds is unfair.
    Freezing UCS payments to Jobseekers for two years is unfair.
    1% of Scots owning as much as the bottom 50% is unfair. An Unelected House of Lords
    is unfair.
    I’ll stop now, but hopefully you now get what we mean by a fairer Scotland. Fairer than the colony status we have now. You know about colonies, don’t you?
    And as for all that slave trade, tobacco barons Scots were as bad as everyone elseguff, oh dear oh dear.
    While the belted earls, wealthy merchants, and Cotton Kings of the Scottish Branch of the Brit Establishment were coining it in, the vast majority of Scots, and indeed citizens of this bloody marvellous UK, were living in abject poverty, in slums, working for the Man, white slaves.
    ‘No Mean City’, and The Road To Wigan Pier’ were not works of fiction.
    I really get pissed off with this sort of nonsense.
    Fairer Scotland has nothing to do with ‘othering’ citizens of England.It has nothing to do with the cancer of race or religious intolerance
    I suspect you know that.

    I cannot access the Grauniad site to send this personally. I sincerely hope you pop into Paul’s excellent site to get my version of the hair drier treatment. My blood boils.
    It stands. Khan and Sarwar
    insulted at least half the citizens of Scotland.
    I consider that a fair assessment.

  19. Tom Morton expresses a view that is more subtle than some yes/no rhetoric and could be one which finds resonance with others who previously voted No. While highlighting the moral vacuum Labour’s Scottish Accounting Branch has made for itself and the absence of morals displayed by the Tories, he forms the view that Scotland becoming an independent country is now the morally correct path to follow. Flinging facts and figures around to justify an opinion can sometimes be trumped, if I can be excused for using that word, by a moral stand.

    It is unfortunate that members of the Scottish Labour executive have their reasoning capabilities shrouded by a mist of hatred for the SNP because, at some point, a constructive opposition to the SNP will be required. Logically it cannot be the Conservative and Unionists since, going by their title, at least half off their raison d’être will have ceased to exist. Wully what’s his name’s party don’t give much of an impression of competence which leaves the Greens. Well, so be it. A missed opportunity if there ever was one.

    Meanwhile, there is some astonishment at the outpouring of guff from Claire Heuchan in the Grauniad, trying to support the Mayor of London’s utterances. More of her outpourings can be sampled at her blog Sister Outrider should you be bored – it looks a bit like word-count journalism, loads of word, buzz words and jargon but little content; you know, the sort of text Weetabix Torrance generates. The Grauniad possibly thought the article was lucrative clickbait – it doesn’t suffer literary merit. The author has also accused vegans of racism so maybe it is just being used as a synonym for being undernourished.

    And Mayhem seems to be wanting the May local council elections to be run as a referendum on holding a referendum. That will go down well. As someone once said, ‘Bring it on’.

  20. Good to have Tom on board for the next referendum. I don’t think I agree with his timing, I think we need to be out of the union before the UK leaves the EU. If we don’t then we are at risk of having the whole british (and even American) establishment turned against us. If at that point were are out of the EU we will not be able to call for European oversight of the referendum which I believe is absolutely necessary to prevent any dirty tricks from Westminster. We will also have no recourse to the European courts in the even of any dispute over the outcome. That would be the worst possible scenario for Scotland.

    Anyways, welcome aboard Tom and I hope your voice will be big and loud in support of independence this time around.

    • xsticks, agreed. We must have the vote while still in the EU. I favour September 2018.
      If we left it until after the UK had left the EU, they would do what they liked with us. We need international support and protection.
      WM is about to become a very nasty place indeed.

    • I suspect events and legal/constitutional process may take the timing out of everyone’s hands xsticks. I’d agree its more likely we may have to deal with what is presented to us rather than what we’d prefer.

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