Readers will be aware that the Flag having been a forerunner on the web- it has been published every week since June 2000 – has been overtaken by such sites as Newsnet Scotland, Bella Caledonia and Wings over Scotland. This is not a complaint, we are only too pleased that these sites emerged in the cause of independence.
What is the case is that the technology has moved very fast and I have not kept up with it – being old causes its own limitations!
As from the start of 2015 The Flag in the Wind will be run by Margaret Hamilton, who is already a Compiler; I will be taking my turn with the others, but she will be doing a site revamp – so watch this space!
A new newspaper
When I got wind of a new daily newspaper, I think through the 45% website, I was first ecstatic, then went back to check the announcement very closely as I feared that it might be a spoof, something like the plea for money from an acquaintance mugged in a foreign land. However it all checked out and the ecstasy returned.
I am not concerned that its intention is to make money – that is what newspapers are in business to do; what pleases me immensely is that hard nosed newspaper bosses have done their sums and decided to join the independence cause. They are putting in their money and we will at least have balanced reporting on the cause of independence – another thing I would not have envisaged in my life time.
I am intrigued by the apparent resignation of Gordon Brown from political life, and I have read his statement very carefully. He is staying in Fife, not going back to the Commons or the Lords, but concentrating on his work with the UN. Certainly since he was forced out as Prime Minister, as the rainbow coalition which could have kept him in power was spurned by Labour as it would have meant dealing with the SNP, he has not until these last few months shown a lot of interest in Scotland or Fife.
He also is seeing the writing on the wall from the English votes for English laws lobby, so he has decided to get out before Scottish MPs are made second class.
He saved the world, saved the Union, and as a consequence saved the Tories. Could it be that he might turn up in the Scottish Parliament – to save Scotland from the SNP? He may have made his followers and the media happy with the doctored vow, but not the majority of Scots, so might not want that confirmed.
Resignations all round
As a consequence of not winning the Referendum Alex Salmond stood down. It was not something we in the SNP wanted him to do, because he is the most talented politician Scotland has ever seen and had led us almost to independence, frustrated at the last by a blitzkreig from Westminster and the media of which we have never seen the like. His action in standing down completely wrong footed the opposition, who stood with fingers in their mouths; they had all worked tirelessly for years to demonise Alex Salmond – and he escaped! However we have great hopes that he will stand for Westminster – his intellect and ability will be sorely needed there.
What was even more curious was the resignation of Johann Lamont; had her party not won in the Referendum by selling their soul to the Tories? That was Labour’s raison d’etre for the last 7 years, a united front in the Calman Commission (remember that?), then in Better Together and then after walking the plank, the Smith Commission. All the things they desired, but Johann’s amour propre was outraged at her colleagues in her own party! Verily indeed, it is wise to remember – be careful what you wish for!
And no sooner had she resigned than Anwar Sarwar also decided to stand down, and not to contest the Deputy leadership of the Labour Party in Scotland. How strange after them winning the referendum tae!
No one could have predicted the aftermath of Yes losing the Referendum, or even where Yes would win. Certainly there were signs that Dundee was going to vote Yes, which gave me inordinate pleasure as that is my home town, but Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire and almost Clydeside. This is sending shivers up Unionist spines everywhere. This was their heartlands.
And the growth in SNP membership is phenomenal, and I for one can hardly believe it. Having spent more than half of my life in the SNP I am almost delirious! (This takes longer as you get older).
What I was very aware of during the campaign was the commitment of the grassroots; the trigger was independence, none of your wishy washy halfway houses here, which is why the SNP and the Greens are picking up members. 1.6 million got a glimpse of the promised land and liked what they saw and they want the vision delivered; they are not interested in cop outs.
I find it curious at the Unionist cries – “Ye lost – nae independence – jist dae what England tells ye” and the same Unionists are baffled by our response. How many times have we heard “Can you no take No for an answer” – to which the answer is “No”.