For what it’s worth

A guest post by Samuel Miller

Back in May of this year I wrote the post Survival of the fittest. In that post I outlined what I considered to be my own personal summary of the challenges faced by UK society and the nature of the forces ranged against the YES movement, or indeed any movement seeking a fairer, more just system of government. Basically my thoughts on why we are where we are.

I pointed out what I felt were a couple of reasons for that and as a refresher, here’s the second one: “The second reason we are where we are? That would be the fault of the electorate. You get who you vote for. You get the society you contribute to – or don’t, as the case may be. For generations the populations of the UK bought into the big lie of our governance, that it gave a shit, could be trusted, was just the way it was meant to be. We allowed ourselves to be reduced to ‘ists’, ‘isms’ and labels (Makes that whole dividing thing so much easier). We allowed our system of government to take our best and brightest, make over their idealism and turn them into ‘weel kent’ faces we would vote for, perpetuating the cycle of legislative abuse. Worse, we allowed them to tell us who to trust, who to vote for, who to alienate and who to hate.”

For the removal of any doubt. What people are up against today hasn’t become any less frightening:

Poverty, Hate Crime, Austerity UK, Democratic Deficit, Brexit, 

Constitutional Crisis, Eire/NI, Legislative Abuse, Food Bank Growth

That wee list could be endless. You could literally cut and paste linked examples all day and I haven’t even touched on the usual subjects of ‘politics as it is practised’, the meeja, or a host of individual policies and scandals over recent years. If people are looking for something that needs to be opposed. If they’re looking for baddies under the bed, or something to get outraged about, then there are plenty examples to be found. There are people and causes who need help in the here and now. Entire populations of these islands, fractured demographics, oppressed minorities. Y’know, human beings.

Me? I’m easily offended and outraged really. A big softie with the accent on the soft bit, which spookily gets softer and wider the older I get (cough). I get offended when those we literally pay to care for our wants and needs abuse the trust we place in them. I am also somewhat miffed when those we empower put their own population in harms way for the sake of party political advantage or pure greed driven self interest (see under any campaign ever, but more recently both the EU and Scottish independence referendums). When they steal from us, abuse their positions, sign our names on the dotted line for illegal wars, or selling arms to others for their wars and abuses of human rights.

I am particularly offended when I see families in 21st century Scotland go without. When they have to make a choice between feeding the weans or paying the bills. I get offended when those least able to defend themselves are preyed upon by empathy free bastards in government who won’t know a day of hardship in their pampered, besuited, public expense fiddling, thieving, entitled lives. Those … people…, who know full well what they do and why they do it, are a special peeve in my book.

Basically, I get offended by people who harm others because they can, or because it benefits themselves. There’s a name for them. No, don’t tell me. It’s on the tip my tongue. It’ll come back in a moment. To be fair though, you could probably use several descriptors forming extended sentences, so fill in your own preference (though not in comments, m’kay? There may be young impressionable folk under fifty reading).

The buck still stops in the very same two places though. It stops with your system of central government and with YOU. The one we have currently feeds off the other’s compliance, acceptance and division. It needs that mix to continue doing all of the above examples and keeping itself and its patrons in the style to which they’ve become accustomed. That and being nearly totally unaccountable to those in it’s care.

Now you can have a system of government, practice of politics and an establishment which demands your compliance, your loyalty and your obedience. Yes you can. You can have a system that uses intimidation, fear and uncertainty as political strategy and practice against its own population. You can live on a media diet of celebrity get me tae f*** out of here and vote this way because the other team’s ‘the wrong sort’ too. You can continue to be told who and what you are by folk you’ve never met, nor walked a mile in your shoes. You can stay on your knees and get kicked repeatedly for daring to think you’re as good as.


Or you can stand up and TELL them you’re as good as. You can have a system that earns your vote, your loyalty, your appreciation and is obedient to the mandate you give it. You can have a government which offers care and aid to all of your population without favour, where and when it is needed. You can have a system of politics that rejects the tools of intimidation and fear because that’s how you want it. You can have a government that’s within the reach of the toe of your boot when it steps out of line, or when it’s politicians feel like dipping their sticky digits into the public kitty.

That choice is entirely up to you.

In the run up to Scotland’s 2014 indyref, many pro indy writers and bloggers wrote of what they feared was the future of a Scotland which still remained a UK partner. Throughout the YES movement we all had some pretty dark thoughts on the potential of that no vote given the nature of UK politics tbf. Back then it was on the horizon, something waiting to happen, but which we hoped would not. Personally, even in the aftermath of the vote, I hoped we were wrong, that the worst wouldn’t, couldn’t happen. Well, it’s here now and happening all around us. I also very much doubt it’s even close to the worst of the hardships and challenges our electorates have to face.

It’s not rocket science. We do this together. We work together to fix this, or we lose more than you can possibly imagine. We dump the rosettes, the petty grievances, the chips on shooders. We win by celebrating our differences and knowing that we are accepted by each other as a whole package. That’s kinda what it means to be a community, a population. We come from every walk of life imaginable and these days a fair few points of origin, but we ARE Scottish citizens. We are Scots. Think about that for a second. Really think about what it means and what it could mean.

You either govern for ALL, or you’re not fit to govern. Equally you either want a system of government capable of that, or you don’t deserve one.

I’ll leave it to readers to make their own minds up of course, but I know what I’d rather have.


The East Kilbride stooshie, a wee comment

I’m due to go on holiday, off to America to spend some time with my partner. We only manage to get together for a few precious weeks each year and during that time I need a break from the pressures of the independence movement. A few days ago there was an instance of just that kind of pressure and I want to make a wee statement about it before I leave. It’s only to be expected when you have a degree of prominence in the indy movement that you are going to be attacked by British nationalists and apologists for the British state, but this latest attack came from fellow independence supporters. It was hurtful. It was hurtful because it was unfair and many of the criticisms were unnecessarily personal.

The issue which sparked so much ire was the event put on by Yes East Kilbride last Thursday. There were no women on the panel. This is of course very regrettable, however the object of anger from those who were upset about it was the organisers and those of us who participated on the panel. It is important that people organising events should be aware of the need to ensure diversity and that women are represented. And that’s exactly what the organisers of the event in East Kilbride were and exactly what they had tried to do. I was only invited onto the panel a few days before the event because the organisers had repeatedly tried, and failed, to find any pro-indy women involved in the media who were willing to participate and who were available on the date. By the time they invited me they were desperate to get enough numbers on the panel to make the event worthwhile.

This was an event about the media. Everyone on the panel was a pro-independence voice with some connection with the new media and or the traditional media. If the organisers of the event had made absolutely no efforts whatsoever to find women panellists from the Scottish pro-indy media, if they had shown not the slightest degree of awareness of the need to find women panellists, then those criticising them for the lack of gender balance on the panel would have had an important point and would have been making a valid criticism.

But that’s not what happened. There is a serious issue here about the lack of women in prominent positions in the Scottish media, in the digital media, and in the indy movement as a whole, but that’s a much wider and more important issue which isn’t going to be solved by making unpleasant and personal attacks on the people who organised the East Kilbride event or on those of us who participated. The target of the ire was entirely misplaced.  And although it shouldn’t need to be pointed out – but sadly it is – it’s equally bad to make personal attacks on the people who raised the issue of gender imbalance in the first place.  None of this helps.

This is precisely the kind of crap which made me give up on Twitter, and it has only reinforced my decision to refrain from using it. Twitter is toxic, it’s nasty, and it’s full of people looking for something to be outraged about. They’re far more interested in their own self-righteous anger than they are in ensuring that they are targetting their ire accurately or in highlighting the real issues.  This recent spat has done nothing to help us all tackle those real underlying issues. All the Twitter outragederatti have done is to cause upset, anger, and to give our Unionist opponents something else to gloat about.

A final point. Those of us who did participate did so for free. Unlike a panel of commentators on a TV show no one was paid. We neither asked for, nor received, travel expenses for the evening. A panel of people who had given up their time for free in order to help a Yes group re-establish itself were attacked and belittled by a bunch of self-righteous Twitter warriors for no other reason than the fact that they had penises. Well thanks a bunch. Way to go to discourage people from volunteering to participate in indy events in the future. I hope you’re very proud of yourselves.

Who knew?

A guest post by Samuel Miller

A recurring theme running through the press these days is that the EU just keep coming up with unreasonable demands.  Indeed the narrative from certain quarters of government and the meeja paints a picture of beleaguered UK diplomats and ministers bravely fighting off unfair demands and tactics from dastardly furren agencies intent on punishing the UK because… reasons. So, not the more logical explanation of panic stricken politicians, hopelessly out of their depth, in a catastrophic situation of their own making and looking for a scapegoat at all then?

Y’know, it’s even been recently touted that Brexiteering high heid yins in cabinet are set to go off in a major stroomph because these unreasonable furriners don’t understand how this whole Brexit business should work (mainly in their favour dammit). Seems they don’t like the idea of having to put any possible new rules in place whilst they’re seeking to ditch the existing ones and that’s just not cricket. As I recall and so far as I know, whilst you’re still a memberor aspiring to trade with the EU, then you still have to adhere to their rules, but without voting rights or input to relevant bodies. 

So, yes. Yes it is a pain and I can even understand the frustration of having to administer any new legislation during this negotiation period, but there is a more important question here. Given that the Lisbon Treaty A50 is pretty clear on an exiting member’s voting rights and participation on voting bodies, why weren’t the government prepared or apparently aware of this possible eventuality? Did they actually think the EU would just stop legislating for its members because of Brexit?

As has been highlighted in a previous post: From the EU’s perspective, they aren’t going anywhere. They didn’t force anyone to do anything and didn’t kick anyone out, but they do have rules (as does any club). So far as they are concerned, those rules help ensure and facilitate peace, trade, access and rights between all of its member states. The remaining twenty seven nations agree to live by those rules and enshrined at the core are the four freedoms

Is it just me, or is there apparently a breathtaking lack of self awareness by UK government and sections of the media over Brexit? It’s either that or, and this may come as a shock to some readers, it appears some are being more than a little disingenuous on actual facts surrounding the nature of Brexit, its possible repercussions and the processes involved (cough).

Surely then, it is entirely reasonable for the continuing body to expect that you adhere to their rules whilst you are still a member, seek access to trade agreements, transitioning to exit, or are still locked in a negotiating process? Does it not also seem reasonable that the continuing body expects the rights of its member citizens, currently in your care, receive due consideration? Isn’t it reasonable that all the leaving member’s financial commitments are settled appropriately, to each party’s satisfaction and that a pressing issue which may have dire repercussions for current and former members achieve a desirable resolution?

On that note…

Just when your expectations of the Conservative government’s handling of Brexit negotiation outcomes couldn’t be any lower, they always seem to find new and interesting ways of limbo dancing under a tick’s bum with inches to spare. It’s a talent few would aspire to, but an absolutely essential trait when you’re a minister responsible for… something or other. Right down there with the empathy bypass, telling you the order of … things and backstabbing for the career minded. (There’s probably more you can add to that list, but for the sake of brevity and all that.)

So naturally, not to be outdone on the art of stroomphing and in an astonishing (sark) ‘hold my beer’ moment, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has said that basically the Irish border issue should not be settled until after there has been a trade agreement with the EU. This, of course, flies in the face of the three issues which the EU have contended needed immediate attention from pretty much day one. Those being: Settlement of outstanding financial commitments, the rights of EU citizens and naturally the border issue between Eire and Northern Ireland.

I mean, what’s the worst that could happen when you use people who have home grown political and economic issues as bargaining chips in a trade negotiation? In fact, what’s the worst that can happen when you ignore agreements, assurances and guarantees given to members of your own political union?  Personally I’d say that the situation both for Northern Ireland and Scotland should never have arisen, but then I would. Bearing in mind the UK was the member who initiated the entire process, not the EU, you’d have thought UK gov would have prepared contingencies for Northern Ireland and Scotland. You’d have thought their electorates and their standing constitutional settlements and agreements might have merited some consideration before the whole thing kicked off, but apparently not.

All together now… WHO KNEW?

Seriously though, I believe the government and elements of media need to perhaps take another look at the combative/competitive tone they currently are intent on selling the public. The whole ‘them against us’ language doing the rounds may just have a down side is all ah’m sayin’. Certainly some of your actual diplomacy may not go wrong at this point. Seein’ as how, Brexit or not, the neighbours are still the neighbours and you may, at the very least, want to be on friendly chatting terms with them. It may also be helpful if the political class in general would, (just for once), come clean with the true state of affairs regarding Brexit. Not saying those impact reports (minus the redaction), wouldn’t come in handy for the public about now or anything, but y’know…

At this juncture, many would argue the damage has already been done. The UK’s economy, equally arguably and to put it mildly, is somewhat challenged over ongoing austerity and looming Brexit measures back to back. The government’s reputation on the international stage is not in its best shape ever and the practice of politics in the UK has seemingly descended into jingoistic, soundbite and media-driven, farce. In as little as three years since Scotland’s indyref, the nature of party politics as it is practised have brought the peoples of these islands to the brink.

Might be worth the movers and shakers asking themselves, do they really want to pursue a politically combative and societally polarizing strategy? Do we really need to make a potentially volatile situation any worse than it already is?

Their choice of course, but on track record to date? I’m guessing another ‘who knew?’ moment will be along in the very near future.

To IndyApp and Beyond

Guest post by William Duguid of Yes Perth City and Common Weal Perth & Kinross, and blogger at the wonderful To September and Beyond

IndyApp Crowdfund Link

It was a bright July evening when the National Yes Registry Roadshow, in the person of the indefatigable Jason Baird, rolled into Perth to demonstrate IndyApp. For the small band of Common Weal Perth & Kinross and Yes Perth City supporters who were present, the abiding memory of the evening was Jason’s energy and enthusiasm, lifting the discussion beyond dry tech-speak into something that outlined real campaigning possibilities. It was a bright spot in what was, let’s face it, a fairly flat summer.
So what’s IndyApp all about? Well, it’s a free-of-charge networking tool that you can download from to run on any Android or iOS device. As the name suggests, it’s been designed specifically with the Yes movement in mind, after consultation with a pilot group of pro-indy organisations from all over Scotland. Its aim is to help to bring together all the campaigning experience, creativity and organisational talent that’s been out there since 2014, and make it easy for new supporters to become involved.

The app’s been up and running since September 2016, and is growing steadily. At the last count, 131 Indy groups across Scotland had set up their ‘Front Door’ on it, containing all the information needed for individuals to contact them, discover what they’re up to and get involved. No need to search through social media, seek out a street stall or send off an e-mail to what you hope is the right address; the gang’s all here.

What if you’re a technophobe, fazed by new-fangled stuff on your phone? Nae bother; IndyApp’s a stress-free experience. Once you’ve installed it, to find a local Yes group all you need to do is type in the first half of your postcode and hit ‘Go’. The app will display the groups geographically closest to you, and a click on any of them will take you to its Front Door. There you’ll find a group profile page, venue with google map, meeting times, an opportunity to donate (if you wish) and details of any coming events or campaigns.

Most importantly, you’ll see a Contact/Join button, enabling you to become a member of the local group. Once you’ve joined you’ll be able to send direct messages to your fellow group members – individually, as a selection or all at once. Once again, there’s no need to keep up with e-mail addresses.

That’s individuals within local groups in touch with one another. What about the groups themselves? They’re connected via designated Editors in each group, who can also exchange messages with each other. It’s Group Editors who also ensure their group’s information is kept up to date, so it’s wise for each group to appoint two or, ideally, three editors and share the role.

Those IndyApp connections, on their own, represent a pretty significant grass-root communications breakthrough compared to 2014. But they’re just the beginning. The next round of development, already planned and currently being crowd-funded, is where the real fireworks will come.

On the agenda for IndyApp 2.0 are Local and National Forums. In a group’s Local Forum members will be able to post and comment on campaigning ideas and whatever else is going on, keeping everyone in the group informed and thinking about its next move, even between meetings and events. The National Forum, visible to everyone but with designated members of each group posting on its behalf, will do the same on a grander scale, helping to spark national campaigns from successful local initiatives or popular ideas.

Also planned are Resource Buttons, allowing each group to list its local resources: membership skill sets, equipment, suppliers, venues, media contacts and the like. For its local membership, this will encourage and simplify self-starting campaign ideas. Nationally, each group will be able, if it wishes, to share local resources, either as an alternative source of supply for other groups or to be available for national campaigns.

Taking these two ideas a step further, there’ll be national Committee Rooms, where representatives of each group will be able to get together to develop ideas proposed in the forums or elsewhere. They’ll have several other practical applications, too: perhaps organising mass orders of merchandise, so as to achieve economies of scale; or distributing the future equivalent of Wings Over Scotland’s ‘Wee Blue Book’; or setting up national tours for speakers, musicians or film screenings. Endless possibilities!

These features, and a few others that remain under wraps for now, give IndyApp the potential to be a real game-changer in Indyref2. At its heart is local autonomy, with each local group free to select and adapt whichever ideas or strategies it feels are best suited to it, with little or no dependence on a centralised ‘Yes HQ’ that might turn out to be another pinch point as the heat of the campaign builds up again.

Of course, as with any tool, it’ll be only as effective as we make it. To realise its potential we need to ensure that as many Yes supporters as possible sign up for it, start to engage with it and fully understand what it can do. Jason Baird is still touring round, putting in appearances at The National Roadshow in Perth, the Build2 SIC Conference at the Usher Hall and various local venues. But it’s not a job solely for him; we all need to spread the word and get people excited about what IndyApp can do.

And, most importantly of all, we need to ensure the project is funded.

Building in the features planned for IndyApp 2.0 will cost a total of £24,000. Half of this sum has already been privately pledged by pro-indy business people as “match funding”, which means that, in order to release it, the rest of us need to raise £12,000. If we can achieve that, the new features will be in place within four months – in good time for a September 2018 referendum, if that’s when it happens.

To raise the £12,000, Jason and his National Yes Registry colleagues have started a crowd-funding page at But time is short: the window closes on 6 December, and there’s still some way to go.

I’m sure that, whenever the referendum’s called, we all want to give ourselves the best possible chance of winning it. Used effectively, with all its planned features in place, IndyApp will take us a long way towards that goal.

Please do take a look at the IndyApp crowd-funding page, and donate whatever you can.

Happy 3rd Birthday to The National

It’s the third birthday of Scotland’s only pro-independence national daily newspaper.  The National is three today, despite the doomsayers who said when it was launched back at the end of November in 2014 that it would close down by that Christmas.  The paper gives a platform for a range of pro-independence voices, some you may agree with (me, naturally), and some you may not – but the existence of the paper gives the independence movement a platform in the traditional media that would otherwise be denied to us.  That helps us reach an audience we might not otherwise reach.

The National helps the movement in other ways too.  By providing a regular income to pro-independence writers and bloggers it helps us to do other work to assist the movement.  So give The National a birthday present.  Give it your subscription and give it your support.  To celebrate the paper’s third birthday, I’m pleased to publish this guest piece from Callum Baird, the editor of the newspaper.

The National – Frequently Asked Questions

a guest post by Callum Baird, editor of The National

THE National is three years old today. Most of the pundits in Scotland’s Unionist media said we wouldn’t last till Christmas. We’ve proven them wrong – so far. But how long that lasts is now up to you.

Over the past 12 months, we’ve been doing our National Roadshow, bringing the newspaper and our team to towns and villages across Scotland, hosting events and meeting Yes groups. We’ve spoken to thousands of our readers. And we’ve realised that many people in the independence movement share the same concerns about The National and how it’s run. So we thought we would try to address the most common questions here.

You are published by Newsquest … why should we give them our money?

The truth is that it would be incredibly difficult to launch a successful daily independent newspaper today without the backing of a large publisher.
The fact that we are part of a big media company allows us to benefit from shared resources, like a printing plant, photographers, a circulation department, an advertising sales team – all of which an independent newspaper would have to pay a premium to use.

The truth is that Newsquest doesn’t have a political view. It doesn’t back independence, or the Union. Otherwise, they would never have allowed the Sunday Herald to come out for Yes, or decided to launch The National. Not once, in three years of the paper, has anybody ever told us what we can and cannot publish in The National. The owners of certain other newspaper companies in the UK are not quite so hands off.

But they could pull the plug at any minute?

Well, yes. But they won’t, as long as it’s financially viable. The only time Newsquest will ever get involved in The National is if enough people aren’t supporting the paper. So long as our readers keep buying us every morning, we’ll be there. More on that later.

Aren’t you part of the same company as The Herald?

Yes, we are – along with 20-odd local newspapers and several magazines like the Scottish Farmer. In reality, we run a completely separate operation. We have access to the same photographers, and we use the same sports writers. The other papers have no influence over us, and we’ve got no influence over them.

But is our money going towards The Herald?

No, we’re in a completely separate financial line. Decisions are made for each title based on the performance of each newspaper, and The Herald will sink or swim based on its own performance. As will the Greenock Telegraph, the Evening Times, the East Lothian Courier, or any of the other Scottish newspapers in our company.

I can’t get hold of a copy. What’s wrong with your distribution?

We know we have a major problem here, and there are several factors which contribute to it.

First, The National – unlike most other papers – is a pan-Scottish title that doesn’t have a natural geographic base (for example, like The Herald has in Glasgow or the Scotsman in Edinburgh). We’ve got to be in all 4500-odd shops, which means we need to spread ourselves thin to make sure there are enough copies in every outlet.

Second, the newspaper is often either hidden or tucked away. That’s partly because we’re the new kid on the block and therefore we get shunted behind or on the bottom shelf away from the more established papers.

Third, there is no doubt – this is the single biggest complaint we hear – that we are also being deliberately hidden behind the Unionist papers. It might be members of the public who come in and stick them under the Daily Mails or the Express. Unfortunately, without us checking every shop every day, there’s not a lot we can do about it. (And thanks to all of you out there who I know fight back to make sure we get a decent selling spot). Quite why Unionists are threatened by ONE daily newspaper when they’ve got all the rest of them, we don’t know.

How does the distribution system work?

If a shop sells out one day, it is then allocated extra copies on that day the following week. If there are a large number of copies left unsold, the shop’s allocation is cut. It is an automated system (it would be impossible to manually control the number of copies going into to 4500 shops on a daily basis).

One major problem is that the number of copies we sell is very volatile. For example, in one shop on any given week we might sell:
Monday 6 copies
Tuesday 3 copies
Wednesday 13 copies
Thursday 1 copy
Friday 8 copies

In order to make sure we definitely have enough copies available, we’d need to have at least 14 (the maximum we’re likely to sell plus one) in there each day. Over the course of those five days, we’ll have given the shop 70 copies, sold 34 and wasted 39. That doesn’t make economic sense, so we need to make tough decisions based on average sales, rather than the absolute maximum. This can lead to the newspaper occasionally being unavailable.

How are sales anyway?

We had a brilliant first six months to the year – our circulation was up on the previous 12 months, which is pretty much unheard of in newspapers. But since the General Election result – and the perception, at least, of it being a setback for independence – our sales have taken a huge hit.

The brutal truth is that we have lost close to a fifth of our print readers since a high point in June. We have a good solid number of digital subscriptions which is increasing (nearly 5000), but our readers need to be clear that the printed newspaper will ONLY exist as long as people keep buying us, and buying us regularly. There have been occasions this summer when we’ve lost an average of 300 readers from one week to the next.

So what can we do about it?

The best thing you can do is put in an order with your newsagents and make sure you get a copy of the paper EVERY day. We’re hoping to introduce a subscription soon for the printed edition, but until then we need our readership to make sure they pick up a National as a matter of routine. And make sure that other people in their local Yes groups and party branches, who might not be regular readers, know how important it is to keep The National going.

But isn’t The National just preaching to the converted?

It’s true that our readership is probably mostly made up of Yes voters. But a newspaper can reach people in other ways – for example, when our stories are followed up by other news outlets. Half a million people visit our website every month. Our front pages are seen by hundreds of thousands of people online and in shops, and articles from The National appear in the timelines of around a million people on Facebook every week.
We also support a community of pro-independence writers and columnists by paying them to contribute for us. Paul Kavanagh (aka Wee Ginger Dug) says that it’s his income from writing his columns in The National that allows him to be able to blog full-time and tour Scotland visiting Yes groups.

Why isn’t there more advertising?

This is another major problem for us. Businesses say they are spooked by the independence thing, because they think The National is too political to be associated with. It’s fine, of course, to advertise in the Unionist newspapers. Funny that. Yet we have a readership that you can’t reach in any other newspaper. We need pro-independence businesses to help us buck the trend. Get in touch!

You don’t call out the media/BBC enough!

Of course, we will hold them to account when we need to. And there are plenty people in the independence movement doing that already – The National is an alternative to the Unionist media, not a watchdog.

I really don’t like those front pages you do.

The front page gets us noticed and gets people talking about us. Those that are a bit more ‘out there’ and are more strident are inevitably shared more online and then sell more copies. Of course, we’ve made a few mistakes over the past 900-ish editions – you can’t get it right all of the time. But we’re learning.

I bought The National when it started but stopped.

Try it again. We’ve changed a lot since the launch. Don’t forget that there were only four weeks between the idea first being pitched and the newspaper arriving in shops!

I don’t like that Cat Boyd/Michael Fry/whoever writes for you.

We’ve got around 22 regular columnists and two cartoonists. You’re not going to like all of them. In fact, if you did like all of them, we wouldn’t be doing our job properly. And besides, it’s healthy to disagree with writers. Some of the newspaper columns I enjoy reading the most are the ones which make me really angry at whatever they’re saying.

I still don’t like you …

Then we’re probably never going to win you over. But wouldn’t you agree that it’s better to have at least one pro-independence newspaper than none at all? If the Yes movement doesn’t get behind us, then we’re right back where we started – with ALL of Scotland’s mainstream media against us.

The National is put together by a small team of around 10 to 12 people every day. We all believe passionately in independence for Scotland, and although another referendum isn’t going to happen in the next few month, it is coming soon. We need you to make sure we’re around to report on the campaign. And to be in the newsstands on the day Scotland votes for independence.

Callum Baird, editor of The National