And then we will win

I have a long standing policy of refraining from attacking other people in the Yes movement. If we are to win Scotland’s independence, we can only do that with a broad based movement which encompasses a wide range of opinions, and a diversity of viewpoints. We need to attract those who disagree with us, and we can only do that if we contain within our ranks people whom those wavering No voter can identify with. That means that, by definition, our movement will contain voices which I individually don’t agree with. After all, if the Yes movement only contained people who agreed with me, it wouldn’t be a very broad based mass grass roots movement, it would be a fan club.

In this blog post I’m about to do something I never do – criticise certain parts of the Yes movement. I love this movement. I am committed to the cause of independence. I want us to win and to succeed. So when I make a criticism I hope that it will be received in the same spirit in which it’s given, a spirit of constructiveness. I say this because I want us to be stronger, and because I want us to achieve a better Scotland, an independent Scotland.

The harsh reality is that there is a double standard in the Scottish media. That’s the Scotland we currently inhabit. We all know that mad zoomer abuse from Unionists is overlooked and ignored. We all know that the Scottish Unionist media vehemently rejects any insinuation that the abuse from the sectarian and far right fringe of Unionism is in any way reflective of Unionism as a whole. In fact it’s pretty near impossible to get them to acknowledge that Unionists are ever guilty of abuse on social media. For independence supporters, it’s the other way about. The Unionist media revels in highlighting abusive behaviour from independence supporters, and it has no hesitation in using that abuse to characterise the Yes movement as a whole.

That makes it all the more important that when bad behaviour happens within our own ranks, we call it out, we condemn it, and we disassociate ourselves from it. It’s only by doing that that we have the moral authority to call out and condemn abuse from Unionists. To be a Yes supporter means to occupy the moral high ground, but we can only continue to occupy the moral high ground by being moral.

There will always be tensions within the Yes movement. There is a spectrum of pro-independence views, some of us believe in independence for its own sake, others believe in independence as a means to an end. Most of us are somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, but it is alarming and saddening that certain voices on the extreme end of the independence for its own sake end of the spectrum attack and name call people on the other end of that same spectrum. That happened last weekend, when Cat Boyd went on TV and said that even though she’s a well known independence campaigner, and even though she still believes in independence, she was sufficiently persuaded by the message of Jeremy Corbyn that she voted Labour in the General Election.

I’m not about to defend Cat’s position. She’s perfectly capable of doing that herself. Personally I don’t believe that voting Labour is at all useful to the Yes movement, but I do understand where Cat is coming from. She wants independence because she believes that independence provides the potential to implement much needed social and political changes in Scotland. She voted for Labour, mistakenly in my view, because she sees that as a way to implement those same social and political changes. It’s a perfectly consistent position for her to take, even if many other people in the Yes movement disagree with her. The fact is we will only win independence by winning over Labour voters.

catabuseeditedI’m not saying that Cat’s position should be immune from criticism. What I do take issue with is the way that certain of the more fundamentalist indy supporters criticised her. It is not acceptable, nor is it helpful to the Yes movement, to name-call and insult Cat for her views. It is not acceptable – and forgive the sexist language – to call her a “stupid cow”. It is not acceptable to tell her that she is “a waste of oxygen” or to call her a “traitor bastard”. It is not acceptable to tell her that she’s an egoist who’s desperate for publicity. When you get hundreds, if not thousands, of people piling into your Twitter feed to disagree with you, many of whom have been using language like I’ve illustrated here, that feels pretty damn abusive. It feels like bullying. And it doesn’t help the Yes movement one jot.

johnabuseedited2John McHarg of Yes 2 works his socks off for the Yes movement. The fact that we still have a grassroots Yes movement after the defeat of September 2014 is in no small measure down to the hard work of John. He has done sterling work in supporting local groups and ensuring that they have the resources to continue campaigning, and he’s done it all without seeking public recognition. Yet a week ago he felt so threatened and so besieged that he closed down the aYe Scotland facebook page and was on the verge of giving up campaigning. John and his wife both felt vulnerable and threatened because someone who describes himself as a Yes supporter has issues with Yes 2, and decided that the way to air their grievances was by threatening John and his family and publishing their home address online. I’ve advised John to go to the police about this, and by the time this blog article is published he will have. John and his family have my absolute support. I trust they will receive yours too.

johnabuseedited1What this so called independence supporter has done is illegal. I know who this individual is. And now so do the police. There is absolutely no excuse or justification for their threatening and abusive behaviour. They are not assisting the Yes movement in any shape or form. To tell John that he is a “traitor”, that he’s “Unionist scum”, that it’s just a matter of time before he “will be gone” is neither constructive nor helpful to the wider Yes movement. It’s simply an angry little person lashing out. It’s fine to disagree with people. It is not fine to threaten them. It is most certainly not fine to make their families feel unsafe in their own home. As an independence campaigner I disavow these individuals. They do not represent me, they do not represent our movement, they do not represent Scotland.

A movement which attacks those within its own ranks with whom they disagree is not a movement that exudes strength and confidence. It’s not a movement that’s going to attract undecideds. It’s not a movement that looks like a welcoming home to those who have doubts. A strong and confident movement is one which celebrates difference, which is accepting of other points of view, which can discuss differences in tactics in a calm and rational manner. I want this movement to be strong. I want this movement to be confident. I want this movement to win.

The way we conduct this campaign will determine the shape of the independent Scotland we win. If we are suspicious of one another, if we are closed minded, if we are intolerant of those with different views and different tactics, that’s the kind of Scotland we’ll end up with. That’s not the kind of Scotland I want. It’s not the kind of Scotland I’m campaigning for. All of us involved in this campaign have a responsibility to one another, to our fellow Scots, and to Scotland. If we’re going to win, and we will win, we need to be self-disciplined, we need to be focussed, we need to keep our eye on the prize.

The best way to disagree with another Yes campaigner is to put forward your own views, not to threaten and name call. Don’t lash out in anger, and if you do see an independence supporter name calling and abusing another Yesser, call them out for it. Make them know that they are letting our movement down, letting us all down, letting Scotland down. Let’s save the name calling for the Tories. Let’s be better than them. Let’s be united in our differences. Let’s celebrate our diversity. And then we will win.

gingercartoonWee Ginger Fundraiser

I’m doing a fundraiser this year to keep this blog going for another twelve month and to allow the dug and me to continue visiting local groups all across Scotland. You can donate via my crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo –

Alternatively you can donate by Paypal by clicking the donate button.
Donate Button

Or you can donate by making a payment directly into a special bank account I’ve set up for the purposes of this fundraiser, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at and I will send the necessary information.

Many thanks.

0 thoughts on “And then we will win

  1. Pingback: And then we will win | speymouth

  2. Thank you for this post, Paul. Like Jack, I find the attitudes shown above impossible to understand. The whole point of Independence, in my view, is that our beloved Scotland can then be a broad church with a welcome and a role for everyone. This divisive vituperation will be the death of our movement if we do not call it out whenever and wherever we encounter it. Damn it – it’s one of the very things we are seeking to be Independent of!!

  3. Must admit I’ve blocked many many idiots and only use social media for info and laughs. I find talking to folk face to face works much better, which is why I can’t wait for the proper campaign to begin.

    You’re right that we have to police ourselves, some of those examples are shocking no matter which “side” does it Independence is too important…

  4. Reblogged this on itisintruthnotforglory and commented:
    I don’t usually reblog other Indy bloggers articles but Paul’s comments here highlight how crucial it is. if we are to ever have any possibility of Scotland becoming an independent country once more, that the concept of self government also appeals to Scots of other political views and none. It is our job, as a wide diverse Yes movement to convince them.

  5. You are 100% correct in what you say Paul. Threat to anyone on anything is wrong and when it crosses the line the police should be notified.

    Likewise we should not react to this bile no matter the source.

  6. That needed saying Paul.

    ALL OF US TOGETHER is NOT a serving suggestion. It’s pretty much the philosophy that makes you worthy of nationhood. It makes you a grown up country.

    All parties, no parties. All creeds and none. The left, the right of centre and the centre. If you are not accepting of the breadth of your population, then you are not fit to govern that population. You need only take one look at unionism and UK government to see how that works out. Ironic that those who name themselves unionist and play on the word unity have absolutely no understanding of the concept. (shrugs)

    THIS is why self determination is about HOW you are governed and not WHO governs. This is why an independence referendum is a people’s referendum and not an election. THIS is why it’s beyond the personality/beauty (cough) pageant of party political choice.

    Intolerance and exclusion, divide and control is the tool of choice for both HMG and the media. Take a small difference and use it to create an unbridgeable chasm which divides. There is only one beneficiary from such a strategy of division and it’s not going to be a public who are in real and present danger of losing everything from the shirt off their backs to their human rights.

    Basically, we CANNOT afford this bullshit. This is too important and people, whether they are aware of it or not, whether they want it or are wary of it, need the YES movement to succeed. Politics as it is practised UK style, has led the UK to the brink of societal, political and economic catastrophy. A new politics (or very old one) is badly needed to repair the appalling damage wrought by decades of the Westminster system of government. Whatever political or social difference you think or imagine you have with other members of the YES movement it needs to be buried or put to one side. Better yet, chuck it altogether for as long as you can.

    Only one thing matters now and that is the one thing that we hopefully ALL agree upon… Self determination. Without that, we won’t have a country where our diverse views, our ideas, our popular will can find expression or be reflected by a government of OUR choice. We won’t have a country at all.

    So whatever part of the social or political spectrum you hail from, ditch the fish supper on your shoulder and hold your hand out. We need each other.

    It’s how you make a government fit for a people.

    • Sam,I note that the Herald is headlining with yet another Ruth Davidson piece, manufactured by an unnamed Blue Tory source (the Herald itself) announcing that Ruth is getting tough with Treeza from her ‘power house’ of a massive 13 Branch Office Tory MPs, demanding more social justice policies and a ‘softer Brexit’. I cannot name any of the Blue Branch Office bench fillers.
      It is of course a big fat bunch of MSM sponsored lies.

      The great Scottish public is being asked to believe that Davidson is now the rebel, bucking the WM trend, and backed by her 13 trusty lieutenants, which includes BTW the Cabbage Patch Doll Mundell, not to mention the Newly Promoted nobody Laird Ian Duncan, and that she is as the hack writes bearding the Blue Tory lion in its den. No she’s not. She’s off on holiday somewhere spending my money.
      It’s quite a leap.Davidson the tart with a heart.
      Forget Rape Clauses, Dementia clause, forget PIP cuts, ESA cuts, two child Tax Credit caps. Ruth has had her Damascus Moment. According to the piece of insulting fabrication in the Herald Britland anyway.

      In reality, the Tories are divided, as are Corbyn’s New Labour/Marxist Militants, and Rennie’s and Cable’s Lib Dems are Lost in Space and Time.
      But Davidson knows how to survive. Taking on the PM is not a wise career move, and she knows it.
      Still until the 3rd of September, when the Yoons crawl back to Holyrood, our Dead Tree Scrolls and BBC/ITV/SKy/BBC Radio Shortbread will be full of these ‘in absentia’ gems, failing miserably to convince us that they are not off sunning themselves for a couple of months.
      It recalls the scene in Beau Geste where they palce Legionnaires’ hats all along the parapets of the fort to fool the locals into thinking there were hunners of sojers instead of a skeleton staff.

      I make no bones about going for the Unionist jugular, especially when confronted by this type of pointless column filling MSM Yoon Propaganda Porn . The Red Blue and Yellow Branch Office Tories will never back Scottish Self Determination.
      None of us who voted Remain Up Here will back or condone Brexit in any shape or form, or stand by idly while England pulls up the drawbridge on the rest of the world, and expects we Scots to go along with it.
      That’s what Davidson, Mundell, Duncan, Dugdale, and Rennie expect us to do. Back Davis and Fox, and live with it.

      We are up against it, and we must be united in our efforts.
      I fail to see why friend turns on friend, and lets the enemy in the back door.
      I have noticed the usual trolls surfacing: ‘I voted Yes, and Remain, but this time I voted Labour, because the EssEnnPee have lost it.’ mince.

      • I agree with nearly everything you and Macart post, I have hated bullies all my life, infact I have had on occasion had to win a few arguments with them, they are usually cowards. How do we get organised ? I feel that like myself their are a lot of people who do not comment very much, but read Paul’s bloggs, and the very high standard of comments regularly, would attend local meetings and would put in some suggestions towards how to go forward with an organised yes movement, something like the National does traveling around the country. I think we could also weed out these so called bullies or (unionist plants). They will try anything to devide the yes movement, never under estimate the unionist movement as Ruth calls it.

  7. Totally agree with you again Paul. As my Mum used to drum into me, “If you can’t say something nice, keep your mouth shut”.

    As someone who came to social media late in life, the power of it (for good and evil) terrifies me. I suppose it’s the same as people posting on forums; they think, because they use a pseudonym, they can spew out any drivel they like. IMO, if you would not stand in front of someone and say something, you should not write it down.

    I only read social media for information and sometimes a laugh. I never post except for on a closed family group of 5 people.

  8. Terrible you had to write this article at all. Well said.

    Macart @ 5.50 am is a good annex to this article, what he said =)

    Have met Cat Boyd, in fact, once gave her a lift to Waverly. Lovely lass.

    The thought of ANYONE giving her abuse is horendous.

    And someone supposedly from the Yes side? I don’t get that. I don”t think her choice to vote Labour was a good idea from Scotland’s perspectivve but hey, I do my own thing too.

    As for attacks on John Mcharg. Again,I don’t get it.Dispicable behaviour.

    Behaving well,with respect to a fellow human being,of whatever political persuasion,is I think, our basic code of conduct.

    Think that’s what your Mum and mine are talking about AnnieM 🙂

    • I haven’t seen the abusive tweets to Cat so can’t comment on them, only to add that if these are true, then anyone sending them should be ashamed. It does no one any good and is detrimental to the YES movement.

      However, what critiques I have seen, and I share this view, is that voting for a party in Scotland that has just run a campaign in Scotland on the basis of “a vote for us is a vote AGAINST a second Independence referendum” does seem odd for an Indy supporter. I will leave it at that.

    • Thank you, andygm1, for reminding everyone of this. It might be fun to name call the Unionist and MSPs who hold positions of power and with whom we disagree. But in an independent Scotland, we are going to be cooperating closely with these same people. All the silly personal insults, no matter how clever they are (or how understandably cross someone is) and no matter how richly deserved the insults might be – they are deeply unhelpful in the long run. It’s a bad habit to get into, which leads to extremes as WGD’s excellent article makes clear. Now is the time to march up to the moral high ground and make sure that lazy ad hominems don’t find their way into any indy social media platforms with which your readers are associated.

  9. Not your usual ‘tone’, but an excellent article WGD. I hope as many YES people as possible read it and take it’s message to heart.

    Mind you I wonder if these disgraceful individuals might be agent provocateurs … deliberately writing these abusive comments specifically to discredit the YES movement? Terrible to be on the receiving end of them though; best wishes to Ms Boyd and Mr McHarg.

    • I’d bet my left kidney some of them are agent provocateurs: they didn’t disband the 77th Brigade after the GE.

      Fortunately they aren’t quite as clever as the Government think, and are fairly easy to spot once you’ve seen a couple.

      Thing is, we *have* to confront them, or people will believe that they’re “genuine”, which gives Unionists carte blanche to attack Yes/SNP supporters (I’ve been a victim many times over).

  10. I think it’s also important to realise that our movement will have been infiltrated ( for want of a better word ) we, like the SNP, will be regarded as dissidents. That we have paid trolls, possibly government, pile into any good news and in particular SG/SNP post, should to my mind be illegal, that it’s not, demonstrates just how corrupt this so called decoracy is. If you are on face book, don’t ‘ like’ abusive comments, its approval if you do. A lot of people avoid Facebook, but it is undoubtly one our main battlegrounds( again for want of a better word) keep it factual, we have so much ammunition, we don’t need to use abuse.

    • I have to say that my first thought on reading some of the repulsive comments Paul quoted was “Are these people doing this deliberately to screw the Independence movement?” You’ve said what I was thinking but didn’t want to express for fear of being thought a “tin-foil hat merchant”.

  11. Fine article, well done. The point of independence – at least for me – is not independence per se: it’s the chance to build a better society. If we can’t listen to those who have the same aims, if we don’t tolerate those we disagree with, then we are not building a better society. We’re just another group of blood and soil nationalists. Of course we need to put our case with conviction, and where there is no respect we need to call it out. But respect is a two-way street, the amount you get should balance the amount you give (or what’s a Heaven for?).

  12. There are several views on how independence for Scotland can be achieved, and these are best expressed without belittling, dismissing or attacking others. Most definitely we can agree that the SNP are the key to the door. Without their sterling efforts independence will never happen. That is not a matter for dispute. However It is our job, as a wide diverse Yes movement to convince as many of our fellow Scots, many of whom who are currently not the slightest bit interested in politics or whether London or Edinburgh makes the decisions which impact their futures that independence is the best route forward for Scotland, and for their’s and their families futures. We cannot make people who are not politically minded become so. We can however work towards making them feel comfortable and confident about the idea that Scotland does not need to be governed by a neighbouring country.

    On all sides of the pro Indy debate we can all agree on one thing, we are passionately committed to Scotland returning to its rightful state of independence. Attacking each other is playing right into the hands of those who wish us to fail.

  13. Very well written Paul. I agree with everything you say. Myself and a friend had to endure a tirade of abuse on a street stall in Dornoch during Ref1 from a local businessman and UKOK supporter. The fact that we knew the man and I had worked with him and his wife on a trade committee previously made it worse!! 2 women on an information stall in a financialy healthy wee town in the North of Scotland having to endure verbal abuse and be told to get back to the kitchen by a well known local was shocking to say the least!!

  14. Agree totally , and sad you had to be involved in something that should have never happened .
    damage from within is what unionists want , they dont care who or what useful idiot is used just cause damage
    After what now seems years of Lies misinterpreting facts ,smears of our representatives and MPs this one sided assault , this daily relentless barrage by the media that largely goes unchallenged , must be having some effect ,this feeling of helplessness and the inability to return fire must sometimes drive a few misguided individuals over the line of what is acceptable rational behaviour
    The “YES” movement are having to adhere to very high standards , while anything goes, absolutely anything with no check to curb the excess and downright vile behavour of unionists and their media,
    Divide & Rule works every time unless its recognised for what it is , another club to beat us with , i can only say dont fall for the trap .

  15. Agree fully Paul. I recently became a Yes supporter from being an undecided voter and started writing for newspapers on the yes side. I was called out by Indy supporters as not a real Independence supporter having only recently got involved and because ” it now suited me” Other Indy people researched our background. I now write under a pen name to protect our identity. Sadly it didnt stop there I have seen people on the pro Indy side leaving awful comments under my articles towards others in the undecided group. I considered stopping writing on the topic as it was difficult to see the online mobbing of anyone who raised a question or alternative point of view that was not pro Indy. I have kept going because some articles have been shared over 500 times so clearly there is a need for people like me who have moved position to help explain in terms why. And in less passionate terms that seem to scare off others at times. Independence supporters who allow their passion to take an aggressive almost territorial tone must
    realise what they are doing and cease. It risks repelling future supporters.
    It is that simple.

  16. The question for me is why did she go on TV to announce her vote? Seems something of the “I’m a indy, SNP supporter, but Indy and the SNP are crap” in doing that.

  17. Agree. Having been on the end of some pretty spiteful comments and unkind behaviour from the occasional Yesser, I can only imagine what it’s like to be subjected to the vitriol that Cat experienced.

    We all bring our private trials and tribulations to our day to day interactions and we manage them the best way we can so as not to infect those interactions with our own problems. There is no justification for hurting our Yes family intentionally, and if we do so unintentionally we make amends.

    Maupassant’s parable about the wind and the sun is a good benchmark for political debate, and I try to use warmth rather than hostility to connect with doubters. I haven’t always succeeded but I try my best.

    Only connect.

  18. I do not condone any abuse on social media ever. The attacks on Cat Boyd and to a lesser degree, John McHarg, have been truly awful. However I feel the need to attempt to give this article a bit of context at least.

    Cat Boyd’s comments appear to be borne out of nothing more than a little bit of youthful naivety. To think voting for Corbyn, would in some way, be beneficial to the Yes movement is a bit like telling your mates you still believe in the tooth fairy or Santa Claus. They’ll laugh at you at first thinking you were joking then take the utter piss out of you when they realise you were being serious. In no circumstances is it EVER compatible to vote for a British Unionist party if you believe in independence for Scotland.

    The abuse aimed at John McHarg though, whilst appearing more serious, has an actual causal effect at its root. It is not a random attack by Cybernat loons and nor is the criticism of him unwarranted. Whilst the personal threats against him are unacceptable and must be called out, he has made a rod for his own back.

    Checking back through various posts on social media you will come across allegations from several individuals which should be of great concern to anyone in the Yes movement and certainly calls into question McHargs fitness as the self proclaimed Yes figurehead he has pushed himself forward as. If McHarg had nipped the allegations in the bud when they first surfaced then the abuse against him would not have occurred. He is either innocent or guilty as charged, in which case he must publicly defend himself, be exonerated and carry on as before, or admit wrongdoing and be publicly shamed.

    I’m not going to go into ALL the allegations against him, just a few. If anyone can shed some light on them then please do:

    1. Why is former Yes2 business partner, Ian Robert Aitken, claiming John McHarg had boasted that he had used a contact he had within Glasgow Police to force stewarding restrictions to be imposed on the AUOB march last month. Is this true?Is there any evidence to support this claim? If not why would Ian Robert Aitken make this up?

    2. Is it reported on social media that Processions officer Gordon Fulton had claimed that McHarg had put a scathing complaint into the authorities in relation to the AUOB Rally that took place on 3rd June? Did McHarg make such a complaint? If he did why is he trying to scupper AUOB Marches? If not, why has he upset people so much that they would make up such lies about him?

    3. McHarg and Aitken set up Yes2 as a limited company and trademarked the Yes2 name. All of this was paid for by Aitken as the chief financial backer. They grew their Facebook page from a few hundred followers up to 60,000 by Facebook advertising paid for by Aitken. It is claimed that Aitken ran up debts of £16,000 investing in Yes2 and when he suggested McHarg should shoulder some of this debt, McHarg deliberately fell out with him and disappeared taking the Yes2 Facebook page with him, having to rebrand it as Yes 2 Aye to avoid breaching the Yes2 trademark which Aitken had registered. Is any of this true, it should be publicly checkable? Aitken should make a statement admitting this either happened or didn’t and McHarg should have his say as well.

    4. It is alleged that McHarg used to turn up at Yes stalls with merchandise and a collections box which he would leave. He’d return later and collect unsold merchandise and contents of collections box. Very often that collections box contained much more than the value of the merchandise. Where did that extra money go? Can he provide a detailed breakdown of money received from collection boxes? There are at least three Yes organisers on record claiming this. Did the money get accounted for properly or was it pocketed? The detailed accounts should be made available not just the abbreviated ones.

    5. It is alleged that McHarg has run up hundreds of pounds in hotel, food and petrol bills attending Yes events whilst claiming at the same time Yes2 was a grass roots movement. Is this true? Is it morally right if it is?

    So there we have it. McHarg has been accused of being an infiltrator, a collaborator, a conman, a grass, a thief, to name but a few. Is he, isn’t he, who knows? Personally I find it odd that people would accuse someone of all of these things without some of them being true. Alternatively it could just be a smear campaign against him. However there’s no smoke without fire as they say, McHarg really does need to come out and defend himself on this. If not then he can no longer speak for the Yes movement which prides itself on being open, transparent, inclusive and above all things honest.

    • Even if absolutely everything you have alleged is true, it does not justify publishing John’s home address online and threatening him and his family – that was the point of this article and that’s the point you fail to address.

      • Your absolutely right and I condemn those who have done so. However allegations which threaten to bring the Yes movement into disrepute must be challenged vigorously and anyone who does must be outed whether, as in this case, it is the allegers or the alleged.

        • There are ways to deal with disputes irrespective of what the cause of the dispute is. That way is not by engaging in slanging matches on social media and doxxing people. That’s a guaranteed way to bring the Yes movement into disrepute.

          • I totally agree with everything you say Paul. However John McHarg’s latest post on Facebook does not really do himself any favours by stating publicly that the AUOB organiser has alcohol problems, is a gambling addict and that he left his wife and kids to have an affair. He’s also trying to pick a fight with Solidaity members by insinuating that they are in someways a disruptive element in the Yes movement and then manages to finish by insulting the Scottish Resistance, James Scott, and all their followers. It’s like they’re all having a massive square go on social media. This has to STOP. On all sides.


          • 1. Iain Aitken was a member of Yes2 all 3 had an argument and decided to leave the company Yes2, as the founder of the page Mcharg removed Tony Mcandless, Iain Aitken and himself. Prior to this he promoted editors Christopher Graham (YesBikers) and Maz Hastings (Yes2 Airdrie) to admin without their knowledge.
            In an attempt to resolve the situation Myself (chris) and Maz decided to keep the page running on a public front without issue and tried to arrange a meeting between the 3. After much discussion all 3 decided to walk away. (Messages to prove). Regarding the march I have no knowledge of that but Neil McKay march organizer advised the bikers of permission to have bikes on square. Such permission was not granted as advised and nearly lead to arrests.

            2. As above

            3. There are multiple recorded conversations where Iain Aitken willing stated he wished to invest in the campaign and fund the movement which was entirely well received. However with a young child John always made clear he was never going to be able to shoulder that level but paid what he can.

            4. John Mcharg used to set up st event alongside Iain Aitken. The main stall runner was Edith Steel now fiancé to Aitken. Let us not be naive as to belief a movement selling merchandise is doing so at cost price but to make a mark up to re invest in the campaign. As ex leader of YesBikers we employed this strategy but had re invested 100% into the campaign.. however at Yes2 since I helped them run their stall Edith Steel since she was “in charge ” took all large notes and finances from raised money. She then returned to the house of Mr Aitken where she was living, as MrAitken was the financial man he was then in receipt of funds raised. No documentation of records were ever given to other members involved such a source amount raised. As such it is Mr Aitken who has to produce the documents for his time I need charge, multiple witnesses can collaborate their removal of money from boxes.

            5. This is in regards to an event ran by 2 members of the public in Elon and supported by YesBikers and Yes2. Given the nature of location and that a convoy was running to the event all items had to be above Aberdeen the day prior to the event. As leader at the time of YesBikers I had to get all of our merchandise to the location and I do not have a car. Mcharg offered to take this, alongside merchandise he was taking for Yes2. I am pretty open about my finances earning just £ 14000 a year the personal income to invest in the movement was not there. Although all petrol and food costs were paid for by myself as by Mcharg, however given the location of the event overnight accommodation was required, this was booked for 4, myself Mcharg, Aitken and Hastings. Aitken however decided to book his own private location despite this being Available. This hotel cost only was paid for by my card and refunded by YesBikers totaling around £99 I believe. The decision to take this refund was due to lack of personal funding and that without it there would be no event, the main speaker of the event was Alex Salmond not seen as a speaker since pre 2014. A note to mention was that Aitken took the receipt he had of this payment with my personal details and posted this publicly for all to see my financial details.

            I hope this provides some insight to a well merited set of questions, apologies for not replying before now but given the attacks upon John and Myself I have left the Independence campaign and resigned from YesBikers. The movement is not something I want to be associated with since I dedicated 2.5 years of my life to campaigning and event organizing. As a no voter turned yes I wanted to do my part but for many that was an issue who did not like a no voter holding such a prominent role within the campaign. Those who attack John do so out of jealousy seen first hand, does John make mistakes of course he does, I made them when I was involved also. However what he has done is inspired people all over the country to go and campaign or set up events to get the spirit of indendence continued.

            It is clear that by actions within the Yes Movement Scotland does not deserve independence if it continues upon the current trajectory, it is a battle amongst itself and not a campaigning tool. People are too concerned looking inward Than outward at the real target, Westminster. A target that thrives on our division and suffers when we work together.

            I have made this my final ever comment regarding Scottish Independence now, given the chance I will vote Yes to Independence. Don’t stop others like me converting because they are scared of being attacked and threatened.

            Ex-Leader YesBikers for Scottish Independence

            Christopher Graham

      • Totally agree about personal abuse. That is never justified whatever the issue.

        I am not au fait with the McHarg dispute but information about ownership of the YES2 trademark, YES2 Scotland Limited and the YES2 website is available on line via, respectively the UK trademark registry, companies house and nominet, see:

        • Copyright of the Yes2 Logo belongs to Mcharg as designer of the logo, legally speaking. Regarding use of Yes2 Aitken stated it was free to use messages available to highlight this.

  19. O/T – I have watching on and off since about 9am SKY & BBC News , surprise surprise , not one item remotely of any interest to anyone north of the border , looking in on another countries TV output , its no wonder people here have no sense of nationhood , mass bloody brainwashing and assimilation into greater Engurland , today absolutely nothing is happening in Jockland and the establishment Aim to keep it that way , in the dark and fed copious amount of junk from over a border .

  20. I don’t do Facebook or Twitter, but I imagine the very immediacy of it might encourage the irate to commit before the brain is properly engaged. A rush to the head seems to accompany a rush to the keyboard with some people.

    I find, when occasionally contributing to blogs such as this, that it takes slightly more consideration in the composing. ( You can’t remain angry about something when you are thinking about syntax and punctuation for example.) Also you are not actually directly in contact with whoever is causing annoyance, be it a journalist or politician. Such contact seems to provoke a giddy abandon in some people, putting it politely. A certain distance aids reflection perhaps – and better prose!

    The other replies tend to set the tone of a debate anyway and commenters here are a pretty thoughtful and polite lot, so again there is no encouragement to join a keyboard feeding frenzy.

  21. In all honesty I cannot for the life of me see why anyone who advocates Scottish independence, would even consider voting Labour.

    London Labour are against Scottish independence, and the Labour branch office in Scotland, can’t even be said to be pro-Scottish, so why would anyone (unless they are unionist minded ergo wish the status quo to remain) vote for any facet of Labour.

    Corbyn is fleeting, Scottish independence is eternal.

    • they even comdemned the labour for independance group and had all there members as instant no voters its nay wonder in 2015 many left for the snp yet without corbyn stealing snp policys already impelmented here scotttish labour would be no more no matter what the rancid says or the real triators like jackie baillie say and she is a triator because saying the scottish vote dont mean squat in the trident vote is not the action of someone who loves scotland the mps like her ruth the mouth mundell etc those are the real triators attack them on there actions or inactions to explain why they are triators violence or abuse is lowering our side down to the unionists level

      • I’m firmly opposed to any kind of verbal abuse, it doesn’t really help the independence cause, and the unionist press takes great delight in highlighting it.

        However I can’t understand why Cat Boyd voted for Labour, knowing the deceitful position they held during the 2014 indyref., a position that they’ve since went on to consolidate.

        The road to Scottish independence was never going to be a smooth one, Westminster and the Scots who see the union, as more important than the wellbeing on all aspects of Scotland, will see to that.

        Passions will again run high in Scotland when indyref 2 comes around.

    • For some I imagine the hope, vain or otherwise, of UK-wide socialism eclipsed their commitment to Scottish Indy. Not too difficult to understand, surely. As long as the SNP was the only credible party of social justice, equality and so on there was no conflict. Now, with the “Corbyn Effect”, such people must be swithering back and forth wondering which way to turn. Maybe they should be more pitied than scorned?

      • Will Corbyn be England’s saviour? If history is anything to go by, Labour landslide victories (Blair) are lauded at the time as great socialist leaps forward. It’s not until we look back that we see things for what they really were.

        For sure the “Corbyn bounce” helped the Scottish Labour branch office, in the recent GE, that could account for the average person voting for Corbyn, voting for hope, a false hope in my opinion.

        Even if Corbyn somehow became PM, his party is at odds with itself, he said recently in the Staggers that immgrant workers have damaged British workers conditions. He’s anti-EU, but wants to staying the Single Market, he’s a lifelong CND campaigner but his party is pro-Trident.

        Effectively Corbyn does no good to our independence cause, he’s a loose cannon, that has slowed down the shift towards independence temporarily.

        • British Labour cannot contemplate Scottish Indy as long as feel they need Scottish Labour voters to ever succeed at WM. Only if and when ‘Scottish’ Labour is effectively dead and buried might an alliance with the SNP be possible on the basis of their shared socialism. But by then Scotland will be independent anyway 🙂

          • My sentiments precisely, Marconatrix. The ONLY reason that Labour in EngWales is SO determinedly opposed to Scottish Independence is the knowledge that, in the past, it was the Labour voters of Scotland who made Labour Governments at Westminster possible. Without that electorate, they believe that Westminster is destined to be a Tory hegemony forever more and for that they will find it very hard to forgive us.

          • In my opinion, independence would be good for the voter, the unionist minded opposition parties would need to rethink their anti-Scottish approach in order to survive.

            However, I also think, those parties, Greens aside need a good clear out, Sarwar Baillie, Davidson, Murdo Fraser, etc. Fresh blood, would at least give those parties, and good solid policies, a fighting chance at the polls.

  22. I’ve noticed a growing number of ‘blood and soil’ type ‘Yessers’ posting up on FB and Twitter over the last year. Part of me wonders if they are all they profess to be or are they some kind of disruptive operation by the British. This is, after all part of the mission of their army’s 77 Brigade.

        • I am prone to lampooning no-mates Twitter eggs as being members of 77 Brigade however I recently became aware of an organisation known as 5 Eyes. They are very real. Effectively any 5 Eyes member state will use their surveillance assets to spy online & then pass that info to the relevant government which neatly skirts any claim of state sanctioned surveillance out with the judicial system. There is also 9 Eyes & 14 Eyes countries.
          There are details on the website I would urge everyone to familiarise themselves with these arrangements.

  23. May I suggest that part of the reason we’ve come to this point is that whenever the MSM highlights something bad an indy supporter has done or said online, people always dismiss it with either whataboutery (“oh but what about the stuff Unionists do? That’s much worse and you never expose them for it”), or with allegations of infiltration by MI5 or whatever. There’s even two comments here suggesting this is actually government black ops stuff rather than genuine pro-indy arseholes.

    Dismissing bad behaviour from our side gives those folk a licence to continue as they are doing, and to push the boundary further and further. We criticise unionist politicians for the way so many of them have given unionist trolls the OK to go beyond the boundaries of reasonable debate, but to be perfectly honest, we’re almost, if not, equally, as bad.

    I’ve been thinking for a while that one of the Yes movement’s biggest enemies is a tendency to believe any far-fetched crackpot theory that excuses our own failures or paints the union in a bad light. Whether it’s people convincing themselves there was mass electoral fraud on the 18th September in order to avoid having to face the reality that we didn’t convince a majority to support independence, or writing off any idiots on our side as MI5 infiltrators, people are just far too quick to look for excuses in order to avoid having to face uncomfortable facts.

    It’s got to stop, quite frankly.

    • Doug, I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one. A few quotes. Re. Mundell -“the Fluffbucket”, “the tea boy”. Re. those who adhere to the Union – “some people who are in chains and who love their shackles because they think they are jewellery”. Re. Michael Gove. “for being a crawling wee gobshite”. All collected here. Is it OK to relentlessly lampoon (if it can be dignified as that) the “others” but get offended when it comes closer to home? Don’t get me wrong, it is never right to threaten anyone, irrespective of their stance, beliefs, politics, but I do believe that invective, scorn and even insult are fair but it has to be open to all. We’re not going to win over many of the unconverted by constantly referring to them as “Yoons”, mind you – I doubt if they see it as a term of affection. And no, I don’t think the independence “movement” was infiltrated by MI5, MI6, or that “black ops” denied us independence. The reality is that a majority of people in Scotland didn’t want it and so didn’t vote for it. I really don’t think that has changed much, if at all, since the referendum. I’m pretty sure if we had another tomorrow the result, sadly, would be the same. We have to seriously ask ourselves why, even in face of all the problems the U.K. faces, none more appalling than Brexit, so many of our fellow-Scots and people living here rejected independence and why many (a majority?) still do. Ach, I’m going to stop now: I suspect I’m (to use another metaphor) pissing into the wind.

      • “We have to seriously ask ourselves why, even in face of all the problems the U.K. faces, none more appalling than Brexit, so many of our fellow-Scots and people living here rejected independence and why many (a majority?) still do.”

        A question that cannot be properly addressed as long as people continue to insist that we only lost last time because of postal vote rigging, or ballot box switching, or dodgy practices at the counts – all of which imply that we didn’t actually lose at all.

        There are some who genuinely seem to think that tightening up postal voting is all we need to do next time to win.

        • @andimac / @Doug

          I’ll get this first comment out of the way and then address the others. Do I think it possible that the YES movement (and even the SNP) have been infiltrated by British “Intelligence”. Yes, of course it’s possible. It’s what the Secret Service is for, and there is a long history of this, going back to 1700s.

          The formation of the so-called 77th Brigade in 2015 (named after the Chindits, famous for their infiltration skills during the Burma campaign, if memory serves) whose role is to use Social Media to manipulate opinion is testament to some of the additional problems the YES campaign faces after our relatively high success of exploiting SM between 2012 – 2014 during the Indy Campaign.

          That having been said, I do not think that any subterfuge during the IndyRef count would have made much difference. As you say, we were unable to persuade enough people that Independence was both the natural and most beneficial outcome for Scotland. (Not that surprising given the massive bias in the MSM/BBC.

          This time round we have no excuse for not changing the approach. We lost. I accept this was due to a failure in the campaign, either due to the message being lost or distorted, or that the message was simply not clear enough.

          This is where I think the YES campaign supporters need to accept that THEY were part of this problem. It seemed that the central message of self-determination was lost among a plethora of alternative ideas about what iS should lookalike. At one level this is great, as it shows that Scotland is not a ‘fixed’ place. But this diversity should have been explored as an asset, but was used by the NO side as a failing, which was never properly resolved by the YES campaign.

          We will only have one more change in my view. If we get it wrong again, it really will be no change for a generation (i.e. 20+ years).

  24. Thanks Paul. Completely agree, there is no place for threats against anyone.

    Independence movements fail when they dissolve into infighting and arguments about different visions of independence.

    Polite arguments and good example will carry much more weight.

    ‘Tartan Army’ football supporters have not always had such a friendly welcoming reputation. It took years of careful self discipline, I’m not a football fan but I’m (mostly) proud of the example that they set. Maybe we can learn from them. Zero tolerance of abuse or threats must be the order of the day.

    I’ve had many online debates and found that polite repartee works best, even with those of a very different outlook. I have particularly fond memories of a long discussion with someone styling themselves ‘Longshanks’. Surprisingly, given the unpromising name, we had much to agree on (he concluded that England would be better off without us, I was happy for Scotland to be ejected from the Union and we parted on good terms).

  25. I agree with everything you say Paul but find it difficult to accept some of the comments. Surely we must realise that WM will use all means possible to hang on to Scotland. Who can survive without their bread and butter?!

    • The problem, Jan, is that the result of Indyref2 will be close, probably in favour of YES this time, given all the promises that were broken, the lies exposed in the aftermath of Indyref 1, and in the here and now, the disaster that is Brexit.
      The outcome may be that a substantial minority of the citizens of Scotland will feel disenfranchised, angry and frustrated, and there may be a need for a considerable Reconciliation Period, a joint initiative to bring the country back together, and go forward as an Independent nation.
      I doubt that there will be a mass exodus as threatened by Project Fear in 2014 (700,000 fleeing if I recall) but there will be a backlash, an smouldering resentment among the minority: think 62% Remain in Scotland and the emotions stirred by WM’s refusal to involve Holyrood in Brexit negotiations.
      It will be a turbulent time. A lot of people are not going to be very happy indeed.
      Think of Scotland ‘letting go’ of rUK, rather than England ‘hanging on’ to Scotland.
      Our bottle is half full.
      We set the pace, not ‘the English.’
      It is averred that Scotland is our country, not a colony of England. Nobody decides our fate for us .

          • Wendy, perhaps if we reversed the trend of the 20th Century and offered $10 assisted passages to exiles and willing immigrants to return to and/or set up home in Scotland?
            In 1919 we lost nearly half a million Scots WWI veterans returning from the horror because the Scots Lairds refused to give up sufficient land to create viable crofts.
            Hundreds of thousands had no option but to head for the former colonies in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
            It is by no accident that Scotland’s population has remained static for generations. Sheep grouse and stags are more important than people to the belted Earls, Royalty and the wealthy Southerners.
            No more.
            We are expanding; full membership of the EU and Self Determination will go a long way to helping Scotland grow financially and socially.
            There’s always a bed at my but’n’ben for some of the Homecoming hordes.
            Haste ye back, Wendy.

        • Marco, if WM barges ahead with Hard Brexit (even Marxist Corbyn is signed up now) and arrives at October 2018 with No Deal due to their obduracy, intransigence, ignorance, or as is most likely, the Oligarchy brokers behind the scenes deals with Trump to become de facto the 51st State, then we shall know what fate awaits us if we meekly, and I cannot see that happening, accept that the 85% trumps the 8.9% and we forego the opportunity to hold a second Independence plebiscite out of some sort of ‘loyalty’ to an imagined Mother Country England.

          It is not EU Project Fear which is forecasting disaster if Full Brexit goes ahead.

          It is the range of real ‘experts’, so maligned by Gove, who foretell the precipitous decline, in finance, industry, education, freedom of movement, and skills shortages in post Brexit UK.
          It is no secret that Banks, Finance Houses, big manufacturers like European and Far East Car Manufacturers will relocate back into the EU.

          No Freedom of Movement and Labour, no access to the single Market, customs posts, tariffs, out of the EU judiciary system, and so much more, will leave England in particular a very isolated place to live and make a living.

          It follows that when Scotland opts for Self Determination and remaining within the EU then the direction of travel on these isles will surely be Northwards by individuals, families, manufacturers, finance and so on.

          As Nicola Sturgeon quipped:
          ‘We are not full. All are welcome.’

          These are the stark choices Scots citizens will face.

          Cling on to our place in the now defunct Union and be plunged into irretrievable financial social and political dependency as a subjugated colony ruled from WM, or in the certain knowledge that there is an alternative, a more positive path within the EU, we vote for Self Determination.
          Incredibly Brexit negotiations have yet to begin in earnest, 13 months after England and Wales voted to Leave.

          It is clear that Davis and Fox haven’t a clue, yet WM has shut down for 10 weeks, and May and Hubby are photographed in Italy and Switzerland on their summer holidays.

          Surely the exchange rate, 88 euro cents to the £ might have been a clue that ‘now is not the time’ to go off on your holibags.
          Crisis? What crisis?

          I predict that Scotland’s population will mushroom rapidly when we regain our Independence, as EU firms and Investment flood in not only from England, but also from the Continent.

          Anybody for a Chicken Caesar Salad with an extra dollop of Domestos?

          • A thought. Perhaps WM is using the Summer Recess as a ‘cooling off’ period.
            It is not outwith the bounds that there is a leadership challenge, May is ousted, and PM Oliver Goldsmith goes to the country on a Remain in the EU ticket.
            The Tories would probably win that one. I doubt that there is a 52%-48% split now that reality is beginning to bite.
            Premier Goldsmith need only promise that while remaining within the EU he will be demanding real Reform of the EU, to include Freedom of Movement restrictions, and so on.
            Now there’s a thought.
            The very real prospect of a double whammy, out of Europe, losing Scotland, must be concentrating a few minds Down There right now.

  26. Perfectly surmised. Cat Boyd has a lot to offer – RISE/Socialism will too in iAlba (though the Left are more prone to internecine disruptive strife, it seems, than the Right, wherever….whenever).

      • LOL! The curse of the auto-correct! I actually sold my cell-phone because I got so fed up with auto-correct. Now I use the voice phone or old-fashioned email, which I can “proof read” myself before I post. 😉

    • Does she, really? Have a lot to offer, that is. There are many who have managed to raise themselves to prominence via indyref, but, perhaps not all of them merit the “soapbox” they now occupy. Some were the lazy option for new media like the National; self-promoters who network. In that way, we are served much in the same way as MSM operates, always producing comment from the usual suspects. Getting into print or on tv/radio frequently does not make a sage.

      CB, like several others given print space, does not seem particularly wise nor of especial value. There are so many indy supporters who have much less confused and more insightful views. The first ref produced some rather big egos. I, unfortunately, see the “new” movement being bogged down in personality with some people claiming to head the Yes movement, quite ignoring the fact that it never went away.

      I don’t agree with abusing folk, but, maybe I’ve just set the cat amongst the pigeons – apologies for the pun.

  27. Well for the first time ever I disagree. “…A movement which attacks those within its own ranks..” Labour are part of the “No” movement ergo a Labour-voting Cat Boyd isn’t in the “Yes” ranks any more. Shame and a shame about the rudeness shes faced online, but when someone prominent in the media changes their allegiance publicly its damaging and its inevitable they are going to upset those folk who placed trust in them originally.

    • Ever heard of Labour for independence? Liberals for independence?

      As far as I’m aware you don’t have to be a member of a party to vote for them, nor do you have to approve of every policy of that party.

      In order to not be ‘in the “Yes” ranks any more’ an individual would be required to state that they would vote NO in future referendum. Do you have any evidence that Cat Bots has said that?

        • Oh dear!

          He seems to be backtracking or claiming he was misquoted or misunderstood on a number of points; ‘misunderstandings’ that seem to have worked in his favour, but now presumably, as he hopes to gather in a little more support over towards the Right, need to be denied and abandoned. This is all rather sad really.

          He looked like he might, just might, be the genuine article, but no, just another Labour chancer. The trick could work for England, but Scots really ought to have seen through him by now, I think.

  28. Get ready for the McHarg/AUOB debacle to hit a unionist newspaper sometime soon. Personally I’d sack the both of leaders of these groups for bringing the Indy movement into disrepute.

    He says/she says…. getting sick of this childish pish. Do your fighting in a court or a playground? Your not ruining my country’s chance of getting its independence.

  29. Indeed I disagree with Cat, but the progressive option is constructive debate. Those who lash out in anger are simply displaying their inability to articulate an argument. In other words, they’re just thick.

    • Well said, Anne. If you have to resort to personal abuse and invective, your argument is already lost. And if you have to use lies to support your position, then even YOU know your position is untenable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.