You’ll have had your unity then

A guest post by Samuel Miller

Yesterday oor PM, Treeza of the ‘strong and stable’ party, marked the Uk’s one year to Brexit countdown with what was called a whistlestop tour of the UK. This apparently, in order to promote unity within her presiousss, presciousss union. By whistlestop what they mean is basically back hame in time fer tea and a spot of cabinet whack a mole or Brexit bingo.  No public walkabouts, no unscripted public questions and no fanfare. Selected venues, photo op, meeja questions only and a hard day of pure uniony unifying over and done with. Quite the speedster.

Oh, and so far as the devolved legislatures are concerned there’s no such thing as a power grab. Treeza sez –  “Let’s be clear, there is no power grab, we are not taking back any of the powers that are currently devolved to the Scottish Government, indeed the Scottish Government will be receiving more powers as a result of us leaving the European Union,”. (my bold)  Which, y’know, is weird. As I understand it those powers currently are not in the remit of UK gov either, nor are they covered by the current devolution settlement. They have been exercised by the EU and again as I understand it, those powers not specifically reserved by Westminster government should revert to the devolved legislatures on repatriation.

Question: If there is no power grab, then why the need for a negotiation process with the Welsh and Scottish governments? Certainly sounds like a power grab, doesn’t it? (shrugs)

Moving on and in a further show of unifying unity. Mr Mundell, our Secretary of State for something or other (squirrels, wildebeest, who knows?), insists there’s no need for Scottish Government representation on the Migration Advisory Comittee. Seems the SoS for small cuddly toys didn’t take too kindly to being pressed on the issue by the SNP’s Pete Wishart either. When questioned on Scotland’s particular population needs and demographics. Mr Mundell, in a blistering display of unity replied, “We do take a different approach, Mr Wishart, because  I don’t want to see Scotland in a separatist manner, that everything in Scotland has to be separate and different if that is not the best way to deal with it”. (my bold) He doesn’t want to see Scotland in a separatist manner? He doesn’t? Righto.

As both an aside and yet more comic relief, Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes reply to Mr Wishart’s questioning also merits a special mention. This is Ms Nokes view on Scottish Government representation.  “I do not think there is any greater case to put a Scottish Government official on it than one from the Welsh Assembly or indeed any county council who wanted to come forward pointing out there was a specific shortage in their area.” (my bold)

Can you feel the luuurve readers?  That is just the past few days and of course the latest in a long line of what many would consider a litany of casual arrogance and ignorance by representatives of the Westminster establishment.

Good God! They’re still spinning like a top over what is widely perceived the recent betrayal of the fishing communities of the UK. An action which displays, for any reasonable observer, the complete lack of Scottish Conservative representation at ANY significant consultative level on Brexit negotiations. Apparently they were pure ragin’. Ignored mainly by the PM, but still, pure ragin’.

For the removal of doubt though, let’s have a look at that word unity. Just in case there’s some misunderstanding of the concept.

UNITY: NOUN: oneness, being one or single or individual; due interconnection of parts; harmony between persons etc; thing forming a complex whole; Math: the number one.

Any part of that definition resemble today’s UK to you readers? Are you feeling a particular oneness or harmony?

It’s been three and a half years since Scotland’s indyref of 2014. Had the British state been remotely interested in the concept of unity, of promoting unity, it’s had ample time and opportunity to put words into practice.

Smith Commission, Scotland bill debates, general election, Scottish elections, Brexit, another general election. Throughout ALL of the above, the parties of the Westminster establishment sought to belittle, to punish, to alienate the Scottish Government and its support. All with the seemingly willing aid of the Uk’s media. The current government have seriously endangered standing agreements with devolved legislatures. They’ve broken pledges and assurances made to Scotland’s electorate throughout their indyref and as for their assurances to demographics of the UK electorate post EU ref? See under CFP, N.I. border issue and settling financial commitments to the EU. Oh and don’t forget impact reports.

There hasn’t been a day without some Essenpee badness, some Scottish service or institution undermined and portrayed in deepest crisismageddon. As for the alienation of half Scotland’s electorate? What can you say that hasn’t already been said?  If you are a supporter of Scottish self determination, it’s safe to say that there’s been a positive dearth of olive branches out there from Unionist politicians and their more vocal support. You’d be forgiven for believing that you pretty much live on the same level of popularity as the infamous fart in a lift. But, y’know. That’s politics as it is practised… apparently.

The United Kingdom is anything but united. There are serious divisions along political and societal lines. Divisions created by the same political establishment that now wants you to forget their appalling narratives and unite to save their arses and the lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed. Unite to save the UK from what has been described as “an extraordinarily painful process of national self-mutilation”.

Personally and after the past three and a half years? I’d say you’ll have had your unity then.


Happy 1000th to The National


They said it wouldn’t last, that it would disappear just as soon as the Yes movement evaporated away after the No vote in the 2014 referendum, but 1000 issues later and The National is still going strong. Congratulations to Callum Baird and all the team for working their wee socks off to produce the only daily newspaper that gives the views of half the population of Scotland a fair shake of the stick. And as a special incentive to support the paper, if you subscribe you can get a bottle of The National’s very own exclusive Still Yes whisky.

We complain a lot about the media in Scotland, especially those of us who support and campaign for independence and feel frustration that our opinions struggle to get heard against the constant barrage of SNPbaddery and scare stories and threats telling us that Scotland would uniquely incapable of doing all the things that every other independent nations manage to achieve. However it’s a fact that those of us who support independence are still far more likely to spend our hard earned cash supporting British nationalist and anti-independence news outlets than we are to support the few pro-independence outlets that we do possess. If you support independence, there’s only one daily newspaper for you, and that’s The National.

The National faces difficulties that other newspapers don’t face. It’s a national publication so doesn’t have the regional focus of the Herald, based in Glasgow, or the Scotsman, based in Edinburgh. The National also faces the concerted hatred of British nationalists who resent the fact that one single daily newspaper dares to break the anti-independence consensus they’d enjoyed for so long. Callum Baird, the editor of The National, has been called a conspiracy theorist by certain Scottish journalists for stating that people actively hide copies of The National in shops in order to make it more difficult for customers to find the paper. But the reason Callum has said that is because when he and I do public meetings of The National Roadshow events, readers have told him that they’ve caught people in the act of hiding the paper! British nationalists in Scotland feel so threatened and weak that they’re scared of one single daily newspaper. Let’s give them something to feel terrified about.

As a regular columnist for The National, I’ve got a vested interest in supporting the paper, but the fact is that having a daily print newspaper gives the Yes movement a toehold in the mainstream media that we wouldn’t otherwise possess. That gives us a legitimacy and a credibility that we’d otherwise struggle to achieve, particularly since prominent independence campaigners are less likely to appear on our TV screens than those who support the British state or who are happy to criticise the SNP and the vast majority of the traditional press has no interest in giving the cause of independence a fair hearing. The National gives us a national platform and a voice that we would otherwise be deprived of.

Since The National pays its contributors, it helps to support a community of pro-independence writers and journalists who would otherwise be marginalised and ignored. Writing for The National gives me a little bit of financial security and that’s what allows me to write and campaign for independence on a full time basis. I’m proud to be associated with The National, and proud that it speaks up for Scotland.

If we want to see another 1000 issues of Scotland’s best newspaper, we need to support it. If we want to see the front cover that we all long for – SCOTLAND SAYS YES – then we need to support The National. You can subscribe to the digital edition or subscribe to the print edition. Or you can order a copy from your local newsagent and then you never need worry about it not being available.

Support it, buy it, share it. Here’s to another 1000 editions.

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