Treading a Scottish path

The situation in Catalonia is growing dangerous. The Spanish State has been emboldened by the lack of international support for the newly declared Catalan Republic, and it’s quite possible that Mariano Rajoy will take this as a signal that his government can get away with a brutal repression of the Catalan independence movement. It’s all very well calling for dialogue and saying it’s the only solution to the problem. That is a statement of the obvious. However the problem with calling for dialogue is that you need someone to have meaningful dialogue with, and Madrid has shown not the slightest inclination to engage in it. The lack of overt support for the Catalan declaration of independence will only strengthen La Moncloa’s resolve to maintain a hardline stance. (La Moncloa is the seat of the Spanish government.) But equally Madrid’s intransigence will only make the Catalans more determined.

There are some who have argued that the Scottish independence movement should distance itself from Catalonia. After all, Catalonia has embarked upon a declaration of UDI without a clear and unequivocal mandate from a majority of the Catalan people. The Catalan movement might have received considerable momentum from the corruption in which the Spanish political parties, and especially the Partido Popular of Mariano Rajoy, are mired, but some of the Catalan parties are by no means immune to corruption scandals of their own. There is a strain of unattractive right wing ethnic nationalism in Catalonia, particularly within the CiU, which is considerably more influential than in Scotland. All of these are genuine and legitimate reasons why some people within the Scottish independence movement are uncomfortable with too close an association of our movement with Catalonia.

Catalonia is where it is because Madrid has refused to negotiate, refused to compromise, refused to recognise the Catalan right to self-determination, and because it attempted to brutally suppress the referendum of October 1. However supporting the Catalans in their current situation does not imply that Scotland’s independence movement should copy the tactics employed by its Catalan equivalent. We are similar in that we are both highly developed European democracies which seek independence from the states we are currently a part of, but there are also many differences between Scotland and Catalonia. Our respective independence movements operate within very different political and cultural landscapes and originate from very different historical backgrounds.

Language is at the centre of the Catalan debate, while in Scotland language issues will always be peripheral and at best symbolic. Catalonia has a diverse and vibrant media which is far more representative of the range of opinions within the country than anything found in Scotland’s partisan overwhelmingly Unionist propaganda outfits.  Catalonia has a tradition of outdoor events and rallies which isn’t found in a wet and windy Scotland. Catalonia’s debate comes out of a recent historical memory of a fascist dictatorship and a Spain which tried to brush the remnants of Francoism under the carpet without anything equivalent to the de-nazification of Germany post-WW2. But the biggest difference of all is that the Scottish movement does not operate under a constitution which doesn’t recognise our right to self-determination, within a legal system which categorically prohibits an independence referendum, and a central government which is willing to use force.

We can, and should, be inspired by Catalan determination and resolve. We should stand with them and support their right to determine their own future because if we don’t support the right of other nations to self-determination then we have no right to expect that others will support Scotland’s right to self-determination. But we cannot take the tactics of Catalonia and transpose them to Scotland in the expectation that they will fall on fertile ground. They won’t. Scotland needs to shape its own individual path to independence, and we shall.

Catalonia’s biggest obstacle to independence is the Spanish constitution. Scotland’s biggest obstacle is the mendacious and unrepresentative British nationalist media which dominates the Scottish airwaves and newsagency shelves. I am convinced that if Scotland had a media as diverse and representative as Catalonia’s, we’d be independent already. The British nationalists know that too, that’s why they’re so determined to prevent Scotland getting its own public service broadcaster and why they’re so threatened by the two pro-independence newspapers that we do have.

One by one the promises and commitments made by the Better Together campaign in 2014 turn to dust. While we’ve all been distracted by the drama in Catalonia, another reason given for Scotland to remain a part of the UK died this weekend. Yet Scotland’s media doesn’t broadcast that from the rooftops in the way it sung to the heavens and puffed up all the promises and claims made by the Unionist parties in 2014. “So Devo Max then,” said Jackie back in 2014 when she was interviewing Alistair Darling about the Vow. Where’s the analysis from the BBC about how far short of devo max the Vow fell in reality? Don’t go holding your breath.

Remember all that about voting No in 2014 because you were worried about your pension? A study out this weekend showed that UK pensions are amongst the worst in the developed world. Only Hong Kong and Taiwan have worse pension provision than the UK, and those are societies in which there is a far more ingrained culture of younger generations having a social obligation to care for their older relatives. People in the UK are going to have to save far more of their income than they currently are in order to stave off penury in old age, but saving is becoming ever harder as wages stagnate for the many while ballooning for the rich and low paid gig jobs spread across the face of the economy like a bad outbreak of plukes. Meanwhile the state retirement age in the UK is creeping up, and today’s young Scots could face having to work until their 70s before qualifying for a state pension. And that’s in a country where there are communities where the average life expectancy for men is 65 or lower. Vote to be British, vote to work for a pittance until you drop.

The crisis in Catalonia continues, but the Scottish independence movement is quietly getting on with the day job (© Ruth Davidson) of organising a grassroots movement that’s going to win a legal vote on Scottish self-determination. There promises to be a huge attendance at the SIC’s Build conference in the Usher Hall in Edinburgh on November 4, where I’ll be amongst the speakers.  There are no spaces left at the local groups conference which yours truly has organised in Dunblane on Saturday December 16. We’re getting organised, we’re getting into shape, we’re getting our act together.

Our task as a movement will be to deliver to the people of this country the information that our biased British nationalist media doesn’t want them to have. It will be to join the dots and demonstrate how only independence can protect Scotland from the negative consequences of a Tory led Brexit. It will be to point out and highlight the democratic deficit that blights Scotland.  It will be to campaign in a recognised vote on Scottish independence.  We can and should show our solidarity with Catalonia, with the Basque Country, with the Kurds, and with all those other stateless nations which seek self-determination, but we must always recognise that our movement will and must tread its own distinctively Scottish path.  It’s a path that’s peaceful, democratic, legal, legitimate, and which will lead to a declaration of independence that’s negotiated with Westminster and internationally recognised.  That’s exactly what we’re going to do.

The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. You can now access this blog simply by typing into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.

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0 thoughts on “Treading a Scottish path

  1. Pingback: Treading a Scottish path | speymouth

  2. Really informative and helpful Paul. Your time in Spain was not wasted! The bias in Scotland’s media is an obstacle but little by little people are paying them less attention – hence the lashing out we’re currently experiencing. We are on our way!

  3. Paul. another measured piece on the differences between Scotland’s democratic right as a nation to decide our own future, and the plight of others, like Catalonia, who live under the Iron Heel of post Franco Spain.
    I cannot imagine our Polis taking to the streets and bludgeoning elderly citizens going about their business.
    We’ll do it at the ballot box.
    I am 70, so I’m qualified to have an opinion.
    Many of our elderly Baby Boomers just won’t bend. They’re OK thank you very much.
    But time is on the side of pro Independentistas.
    We oldies are shuffling off this mortal coil in our thousands every month.
    You youngsters will outlive us.

    • At a mere 64 I’m hoping the youngsters can make room for us oldies, who are desperate for independence, to lend a hand and make the new nation for them to bring up their children in a fair society. I would like to take part in the celebrations when it happens!
      Hopefully the older generation of Independentistas in Catalonia will be able to take part when things settle down for them.

    • I am nearly 68 Jack, catching you up. It cheers me to think that there is a good chance we will succeed the second time.

  4. Jack, I don’t share your confidence in the police not bludgeoning anybody, be they pensioners, young women or even children. I was working for Fife Council in the coalfields in 1984 / 5 in a job which brought me into direct and supportive contact with striking miners families. The UK government used police from England, and probably people who were not police, to attack pickets and demos which included pensioners, women and children. I saw this with my own eyes as well as hearing about much more.

    They’ll do it again when we look like getting our independence. They will declare it illegal and use force.

    I hope you live to see independence, as I hope I do too (I’m a pensioner too) but don’t kid yourself that the bastards are going to make it easy.

    • I have to agree that WM is not averse to using force when push comes to shove, we have the example of the Miners’ Strike, not to mention the use of lethal force in NI. I sincerely hope it never comes to this, but simply saying “it couldn’t happen here” smacks of complacency.

      Out of interest, how many clear examples are there of legal “independence by agreement” as opposed to some kind of illegal UDI. There’s the split-up of Czechoslovakia, (how exactly was that engineered?) any more examples??

      • Yugoslavia illustrates a couple of contrasting examples. The “illegal” UDI for Slovenia and Croatia was prompted by the West – specifically Germany. What many people in the UK were never told, was that the Yugoslav constitution ALLOWED member republics a legal route to independence. The breakaway countries could have used that legal route, but we now know they were encouraged to break away “illegal” and this was a catalyst for the terrible wars which followed.

        Once the wars were over, Macedonia, and Montenegro broke away with the cooperation of Serbia under the constitutional arrangements that always existed. Kosova of course chose UDI and were also immediately supported by the same countries that backed the war-mongering countries a decade or so earlier.

  5. Yes we will do it sir.. Soon enough for me to buy Jack a guiness anyway..
    I offered before my services as a distributor of any info needing ‘vanned’ down A77 girvan/ayrshire region and stand by it just say the word when the time comes..
    Could do with a bigger profile in these parts -the National can be hard to find and the message being fed in the main sq. in Stranraer today was SNP bad from the microphone of the Galloway Community Hospital Action Group ..leaflets calling SG and Shona Riobison to recognise the difficulties in accessing hospital services duel to 75m trip to next nearest Dumfries if doctors cannot be recruited locally..
    No mention of the budget set byWM or the catastrophe unfolding in NHS down south.. The leaflet also told of the ‘pot-holed non-dualled A75 often jammed with lorries and tractors’.
    No mention of the improvements already made to this road ( I think I am right in saying in SG’s time and with EU money?) nor any mention that the tractors don’t even pay full costs to be on the road!
    I smelt Tory all over it, this band was formed in July this year, so be aware that in these sorts of guises they too are getting organised- honestly Paul for at least an hour that I saw they were firing oot this leaflet with different yins spoutin’ pish, sorry, Jackie Bile!
    Blah, blah, blah,Nicla Stirjin! Vindictive hate! Blah,blah,blah it was like the return of the ‘murph’ at the indyref –nearly spoiled my swim!
    Let’s do this..

    • We visited friends today and travelled via Dumfries and surrounding areas. We both commented about the vast improvement of infrastructure going on all around us. Some folks have no desire to see any good…their loss!

  6. Excellent post as usual, Paul, and you’re absolutely right. Our path to independence won’t be the same as that of Catalonia or Kurdistan or anywhere else seeking independence but our hearts and spirits are with them in their determination to achieve autonomy. We Yessers are people of independent mind and thought and it would make no sense to refuse to acknowledge the goals of other countries while we seek to head towards a better future for ourselves.

  7. I enjoyed this piece Paul. It gives perspective. We all know the issue is the media.

    Over the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to chat with a few people I have never met before. I reckon they were split 50:50 between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ at present.

    The thing that really stood out for me was the absolute ignorance in all of them about recent important events. The ignorance level was unbelievable. We discussed Brexit, Catalonia, NHS issues, lies in the media, etc. etc. They did not seem to have any interest in checking out facts themselves even when I showed them proof as to what I was saying to them. Good balanced media would help them but really they need to get a life. Work and family and footie that about sums them up. I know from a few successes I have had (six so far) that it takes time to get people to ‘wake up’ to the political world. Average education time is over one year per person.

    Onwards and upwards.

  8. I can agree with your conclusion,
    ” Scotland is Completely Distinct from Catalunya.”

    I can’t agree with a lack of Self Government in Catalunya, who have enjoyed more autonomy, and for much longer, than Scotland.

    Nor, bandying Franco’s ghost, as it just isn’t there. A lunatic fringe, not unlike the BNP exists and thrives during troubles. However, APP155 was approved in both Senate and Congress by Left, Right and Centre. The compromise was EARLY Elections, duly called. And a Constitutional REVIEW within Six Months. Never has a Constitutional Reform been more possible.

    Take the Elections on 21Dec as a single issue ballot, let ALL of Catalunya vote, then dialogue based on the DEMOCRATIC outcome.

    Demonizing Spain, or Spaniards, is not helpful, as hatred of the English is of NO use to Scottish independence. Instead, supporting both sides of good will finding a Spanish-Catalan solution, to a Spanish-Catalan situation.

    I believe it can be done, Democratically, by dialogue leading to Negotiation, it may not be the result that some want, but it may be acceptable tongue many.

    • I never said there was no self-government in Catalonia. I said self-determination, which is an entirely different thing.

      If you don’t think Franco’s ghost still hovers over Spanish politics, you really don’t know Spain that well.

      • Hear! Hear! Well said, Paul. One look at the appalling violence of the Guardia Civil on 1st October, with the full approval – nay the instruction – of the Madrid Government, should have been sufficient to demonstrate that Fascisim is alive and well in Spain.

    • Some odd logic there. This has nothing to do with “demonising” ordinary spaniards, and everything to do with the present right-wing administration in Madrid, which very evidently knows what the answer has to be before even the question is asked.

      With good will, it would have been eminently possible to have had a legitimate free referendum, and discover what the view of the Catalan people truly is. Yet instead the Madrid regime chose unyielding obstruction and violent attempted repression of a peaceful exercise in democracy.

      Dialogue, like the tango, requires two willing partners.

    • Well Brian, just you go and have a look at ‘Wings over Scotland” twitter account. You will see plenty of photos and videos of Spanish fascists chanting “Viva Franco”. This happened today. The Swastika is also prominent.

      So coming on here making stupid and unsubstantiated statements, as in the opening sentence of your 3rd paragraph, doesn’t wash. Is this what you support?

      Don’t kid yourself on. You are another who sees what you want to see.

      You will also see them raiding Catalan radio and bullying women and their children. Franco’s spirit is alive and well in Fascist Spain.

      • Saor, BBC News 24 at 23.30 described these thugs as demonstrating frustration that ‘spilled over’ while showing a clip of some worthies shoogling the crush barriers in front of the Catalonian Parliament Building.
        No Nazi salutes , no bloodstained teachers.
        Thank heavens for the WWW.
        The scenes of mass hysteria and simmering violent fascism, of r-Spanish ‘insurgents’ milling about in Barcelona are there for all to see,on the various videos available on the ethernet despite British State Sponsored News censorship.
        What price your poppies now when you support Fascists like this?
        My father fought a World War against evil people like this.
        Hitler and Franco were great mates.

        We are being controlled absolutely now. We live in a totalitarian state where truth is suppressed. Ominously the idea that any protests or pro Independence activity Up Here may be met with violence, oppression, or even jail, is an Iron Heel Oligarchy option for the Brit Nats when they support Madrid’s violent response. When we vote YES in INdyref 2; October 2018, will the jackboots march North?
        There is more than an element of ‘see what will happen to you lot if you insist on Independence?’
        Of course the SE Oligarchy supports Spain.
        The Blue Tories over here are killing severely disabled citizens to give tax breaks to the wealthy.
        They have no morality left.
        It’s only business, as Don Corleone would say.
        How any young person living in Scotland cannot see that our only option is Freedom from SE Tyranny by way of Self Determination.
        The alternative? Blue Red and Yellow Tory Brit Nazi hell.

  9. I think it needs saying that Scotland is going to suffer horribly under May & her tories. All Scottish lab are doing is talking endless pish. The Lib dems & Scots tories are like the creepy kid who hangs about with playground bullies. Although we are not under the thumb of oppression like Catalonia – Scotland is in an intolerable situation, were its hopes for the future are a hostage to fortune to the whims of an English electorate.

    Yes, one by one the fears of Better together have come true. But they have come true while Scotland is trapped in a Union with rUK. While we and the SNP are constantly told to respect the NO vote. At no time did these champions of Union or those No voters ever think to ensure that Westminster respected it as well.

    What we are confronted with, as each promise turns to ash is an aggressive apathy. We are dealing with opponents who are viciously invested in their apathy towards Westminster and its desire to ensure Scotland has no agency in the Union. No powers whatsoever and ultimately no respect. And all of Scotland’s 4th estate (with very few exceptions) are simply cheer leaders and witless propagandists for these politically ineffective, senile, servile and cartoonishly inept imbeciles.

    Scotland needs to leave this union and the rUK to its fate. I bear no malice towards the rUK electorate but frankly, they are allowing the UK to driven over a cliff and I see no reason for Scotland to tag along for the ride.

    I have seen an increase in arguments that we “must” vote for labour next time round to get rid of May. This would be a desperately bad mistake. I have no more faith in Corbyn in avoiding that cliff edge that’s rushing towards us. So why in the name of the wee man would I reward those clownshoes in Scottish labour with a vote? It should also be noted that Corbyn is just as opposed to the 2nd indy ref as May. There is no hope in Labour. I am done voting for a party that thinks Scotland’s role in the UK is to provide them with well paid jobs. To be voting fodder in return for the hope that Labour will be less of a dick than the tories. With the promise that they will give us a few more left overs from their meal. A meal Scotland has paid for them to have. No more of that. I am done with Scottish – fucking – labour.

    I wish Catalonia all the best but I fear they are going to have a rough time of it.

    Scotland will never face that level of barbarity – but it is having the pish taken out of it by the UK and that needs to stop. The only way to stop it, is not to fall for the hoary old Bromide sold by Labour but vote yes to independence.

    • Why should we replace the blue tories with red ones, no matter what Jezza preaches, and even if he was genuine, there is about 40/50% of his MP,s ready with their knives sharpened for his back, leaving us back where we were with New Labour(Tory) and their is nothing that mob in the Scottish branch will be able to do anything about it. Indy is the only answer, take it from a 75 year old who has seen it all before.

      • wm, I’m beginning to smell a vote rigging rat here.
        Given the number of old fogies on this site and others, did we silver hairs really opt for No and Remain?
        Something doesn’t add up here, and it’s not Jackie Bailie.

  10. Brilliant as ever Paul. Knowledgeable, informative and above all constructive and really helpful to our overal objectives. What would we do withoot the Dug?

  11. There’s a real element of ‘don’t look over here, look over there’ about our media presently. Misdirection is the order of the day and there are plenty of big events across the globe for the meeja to spin on (pun intended) to be sure.

    These days it seems the world is ‘spinning’ out of control with dogmas and forces driving people’s opinions and feelings to breaking point. Scary place and no mistake. More and more it seems the peacemakers and progressive thinkers are seemingly on the back foot and reason and empathy lost to the current crop of world leaders. It could give a stone nightmares.

    Y’know about now I’d be struggling to find a world leader, or grouping thereof, you could get behind as a genuine force for reason and reliability. Governments apparently don’t do friendships, they do mutual advantage, mutual interests. The main driving motivation behind international politics as it is practised. Who knew?

    People and peoples have friends. They can have commonly held ideals, hopes, dreams and morals. They can have empathy and fellow feeling. Governments? As I’ve said only recently, they seemingly do the other thing. Maybe they would do well to remember that without empathy there is no imagination and vice versa. You can’t put yourself in the other guy’s shoes. You can’t imagine oppression, suppression of rights, deprivation or suffering, with short sighted political gain in mind. You can’t imagine solutions. You can only create more problems.

    So I say again. What happens next WILL define people for a long time to come.

    Better hope that somewhere out there, some of those leaders have a bit of an epiphany.

    In our wee corner of the world, I reckon we’re lucky. I think we do have an FM that hasn’t forgotten how to care and has that bit of empathy and imagination which is scarce on the ground elsewhere. Will it be enough for us? I think we’re going to find out soon enough.

  12. I see you’ve got yourself in tow with McHarg for this Dunblane gig, Paul. You should choose who you align yourself with more carefully – this’ll come back to bite you in the bum. Ask around the wider independence movement about experiences with McHarg.

  13. It doesn’t matter how you look at it, the Spanish “constitution” is in total breach of international law which allows for self-determination of peoples and colonies. The fascist Rajoy-Franco government is in total breach of international law, and the disgusting EU, including the English government, say not a word in reproach of that dictatorial regime. Nor did they say a word about the activities of the Guarda Civil (Black and Tans?) in beating up people (including old people and young) who were doing nothing wrong except in trying to exercise their democratic rights.

    Fascism is alive and well in Europe (and to a slightly lesser extent in England and its colony of Scotland), and till national governments in the EU and the UN stand up to them, this fascism will prevail. We may see more of this attitude when the Brexit deal, or no deal, is completed and the English government make their power grab for matters which are the prerogative of the Scottish government.

    The sooner we have a free, democratic nation of our own, the better.

  14. I’m making Irish Stew for Sunday dinner. Just looking out a recipe for dumplings.
    Speaking of dumplings I managed 7 minutes of Marr before that well known hasty pudding know-it- all-expert on everything under the sun Owen Jones seems to think that Scotland is not a nation, and of course our Indyref is just like the Struggle in Catalonia and, that hoary old fucking chesnut, Quebec.
    Jones, Our Scotland, is a nation ,not a province of your nasty wee mind.
    What a fucking motormouth this man is. An opinion on everything, knowledge about nothing.
    Keep it up, Marr. You are tipping waverers towards independence. I await English tanks trundling up the M 74.
    I have my pitchfork battle ready.
    What an arrogant bunch of Fascist tossers Jones and Co are.
    And he calls himself a socialist. That’ll be shinin’ bright.
    Scotland is a nation, not an English Province or Dominion.
    Keep the fuck out of our business Jones.

      • Wendy, I just watched Brewer’s Sunday Droop.

        He harangued Shona Robinson SNP NHS Minister and demanded that she resign, cos she’s missed 7out of 8 of her targets, but slapped her down, because ‘there wasn’t enough time’ to reply, to break down the figures, which were the best performance targets in the UK.

        He just hurled insults at her and aggressively talked over any attempts at an answer.
        The programme also touched on sexual harassment in Holyrood.

        Well, it may not have been sexual, but this employee of our Publicly funded broadcaster bullied and harassed an elected representative by refusing to allow us to hear her side of the debate, deliberately with quite vicious malice. He is a Brit Nat Unionist, and his slip is showing.

        The tortured mess he got himself into over the additional Health funding targeted at ‘joined up’
        Health and Care in the Community was alarming to witness.
        He seemed quite deranged at times, refusing to acknowledge that the ‘joined up’ Health Boards/ LA Care Departments Health and Welfare strategy particularly for ‘our aging population’ (that’s me) was a ‘Health’ issue, and by diverting ‘Health’ budgets to this joint programme was still budget spending on Health.
        I thought he was going to break down at one point when after four or five attempts at ‘don’t you think’ Ms Robinson refused to agree with him that this was not Health spending, therefore, in his increasingly deranged eyes, meant that the Health Budget was reduced, in his version of ‘real terms’. Are you lost yet. Brewer was.
        He had two old Brit Nat harridans on at the end repeating the SNP/ Scottish Health Service Shite nonsense.
        How many thousands even watch this dross any more, apart from us few masochists?
        We all got that, but he obviously doesn’t get it.
        The reason for his unbelievably hateful and aggressive stance? Audit Scotland wants ‘more transparency’,and that the £500 million for joined up Health and Care should be stripped out of the Health Budget.
        Is this what the a bitter twisted British Nationalist Propaganda Wing of the UK Establishment is reduced to?
        Splitting hairs over words?
        Of course they had a Spanish anti Catalan Independence oppo on against UDI, poo-pooing the result, and assuring us all that there would be elections in December and Spain would win.
        The world of the BBC Brit Nat still spins, madly, out of control, but as spins go, Brewer’s version of reality
        takes the Empire (didn’t they used to be called ‘German’) biscuit.
        I wonder how the health and care workers feel about being constantly told they are shite by the Brit Nats.

        • Ps. and of course his programme didn’t mention Brexit, and its impact on Scotland once.
          He is the TV equivalent of a wee parish magazine churned out on an old Roneo.
          Scotland doesn’t deserve grown up politics.
          And the new Scottish Contro;;er has obviously been appointed to dumb it down.

          I see Sarah Smith is making it a habit of not saying goodbye to Scottish viewers…bitter or what?
          BBC Scotland, why don’t you just close down entirely.
          BBC Scotland content and direction are an insult to all thinking Scots.

  15. Macart is correct in highlighting the misdirection of the msm. The appalling signal to noise ratio may be the result of deliberate bias and/or lazy journalism, neither of which is excusable. Practically anything will be done to avoid upsetting or informing the masses. It will be wall-to-wall neep lanterns next week (or, more likely, pumpkins with LED pretend candles) thus avoiding analysis of the car crash / train wreck of Brexit where the outcomes seem to be narrowing to a Hobson’s choice.

    For example, in his evidence to the Brexit Committee on Wednesday 25 October, Davis mentioned the recognition of driving licences as an issue. Although he was not specific, and the media didn’t follow up, this is at last official recognition that we have a problem here. How long it is going to take for the media to wake up to the reality that, with Brexit, UK-issued driving licenses will no longer be valid for driving on the continent and Britons could face having to apply for international driving permits.

    Hey Ho.

    A substantial number of Yes supporters are not members or supporters of the SNP; indeed, might be quite hostile to some aspects of the SNP which is, I assume, why the SNP does not want to appear to dominate the Yes movement. But this is, in my opinion, leading to a two-headed monster and may be detracting from the SNP as a political movement and government at national and local level. So, the Yes movement has its work cut out doing, simultaneously, many complicated things including, as Paul points out, delivering the information the msm does not want to deliver, not appearing to be a political party but being an effective umbrella, while normalising the concept of Scotland being and independent nation.

    Which is will be.

    • bedelsten, there are many issues regarding Brexit which will become glaringly obvious as we hurtle towards October ’18.(This is May’s target date, BTW. We should know by then the Brexit details, apparently.)
      The 300,000 Brit Pensioners in Spain, that model of a modern democracy, face the very real prospect of the buying power of their GBP pensions collapsing and being unable to afford the life of the Lotus Eaters.
      Health? There will be no reciprocal deal post March 2019.
      How many tens of thousands will be forced to sell up and move back to the UK?
      How much is that going to cost? Farage will blame them for GP surgery delays and hospital creaking at the seams?
      The ‘demographic timebomb’ (that’s me again) of an elderly UK/Scottish population just got bigger.
      There are literally thousands of dramatic costly and socially stifling changes involved in EngWaland dragging us out of Europe.
      IT will be an unmitigated disaster, but not for JK Rowling or Lord Darling. They’re filthy rich you see.
      Hence my assertion the October 2018 ‘is the time’.

  16. One devolved Parliament down, two to go.This is England’s ‘taking back control’
    I have mentioned the madness many times, Sam.
    Northern Ireland is once more on the brink.
    Brexit? I see no Brexit.
    Just watching the YouTube clips from Barcelona.
    Nazis, attacking pacifist resisters.
    A young Sikh beaten up while an elderly Unionist woman attacked the person recording this Franco Fascist violence on the peaceful Catalans Independentistas. One thug sporting a big Swastika on his hand bating the police line.
    I hope someone is recording the numbers being bussed into Barcelona from Madrid and elsewhere in r-Spain.
    I seem to recall that they were arranging free extra trains to transport the Brown Shirts to the Catalan capital.
    I have no doubt that there will be bloodshed as night falls and the demons rampage the earth under cover of darkness.

    They are as evil as they get, yet the UK TV does not dare show this frightening descent into hell, and lies that ‘up to a million’ pro Spain unionists took to the streets.BBC set it at an unverifiable 250,000. I despair.
    WE are actually now living in a totalitarian state.

    The primordial psychos whom I’ve witnessed so far today reminded me of the 19th Sept ’14 George Square Loyalists, with their flags and their Seig Heil salutes.
    It was not a safe place to be wearing a YES badge. Ugly psychopaths roamed the streets then , most of which went unreported by Pacific Quay.
    Another deeply sad and disturbing day, yet one of our main political broadcasters Gordon Brewer doesn’t know that joined up Health and Social Care are costed as ‘Health’ in budget terms.
    This reheated Fake News from Tuesday is Brewer’s Fare on Sunday.
    For fuck’s sake, BBC Scotland.
    Either report on the world, or shut down.

    • No. No they don’t report the excesses of their own support. They don’t even admit to their existence.

      That is the shame they carry and it’s why the likes of ‘These Islands’ live in a delusional and deceitful make believe world all their own.

    • BBC Scotland, are in the same bracket as the Scottish branches of the unionist parties Red,Blue & Yellow tories, they do as they are told by their London masters

  17. I personally witness police during the miners strike in 1984/5 using the exact same tactics as is being used in Catalonia now. In one particular occasion the police, or at least people wearing police uniforms, attacked, and I can only describe it as such, attacked a group of women and children and pensioners with a brutality that sickened me and of which I will never forget.

    It hardened me against the British state, which I remind people, is quite capable of violence and repression when it feels it’s interest are threatened. These people will do literally anything to maintain the status quo, so we who support independence must be vigilant and be prepared for the inevitable storm that I believe is coming. The British state is threatened by Scottish independence and will do anything in it’s power to prevent it.

  18. Another brilliant article Paul. Thanks for that.

    And yes ,,,,”Our task as a movement will be to deliver to the people of this country the information that our biased British nationalist media doesn’t want them to have” …. that’s what it’s all about.

    • I agree Petra. However my experience is that most have closed minds being locked into family and footie. They our fellow citizens have little interest. See my article above. Having said this you are correct.

      Educating the non computer literate is hard.

  19. The British nationalist media, especially the bbc, will do everything it can [spinning and lying] to do down the independence movement in Catalonia in the same way it does to the independence movement in Scotland.

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