With the Yes Scotland campaign boosted by the hugely successful Independence March and Rally, the ‘no’ side would appear still to be floundering in their attempt to put a case – any case – for staying in the Union. They don’t even seem able to find someone to make that case, as David Cameron has declined yet again to debate with Alex Salmond. Letters have been zipping back and forth between the two, with Cameron finding all kinds of reasons to dodge the debate. Correspondence quoted in The Herald from Cameron to Salmond states that: “…it is right for you and Alistair Darling, as theRead More →

There could only ever have been one topic for this week’s flag and I hope I can do justice to the 30,000 marchers on Calton Hill on Saturday. Our day began with a meet at 9.15 at Motherwell Station.  I was mindful that if we each had a plus one on last year then we could double the numbers.  I was delighted that not only had our Branch members, volunteers from Yes Motherwell and Wishaw, and the Lanarkshire Forum for Independence turned out in force but that the platform was full of YES badges and T-shirts on people that I had never met before.  IRead More →

I had thought that Alastair Darling, as a seasoned politician, would have risen above any personal slight on his status as a leader of the No campaign. However, his assertion that he should face the First Minister in a televised debate is quite wrong. What is Alastair Darling’s position within our body politic? Firstly, he is an MP for an Edinburgh constituency. Secondly, he is merely the chairperson of the Better Together organisation and is very welcome to be challenged by his equally eloquent and distinguished opposite number, Dennis Canavan. No one voted to make Alastair Darling the leader of the opposition in Scotland, ifRead More →

We have just spent last week in a small independent country. It was a popular wee place with tourists from all around the world. Some were tracing their roots and discovering where their fore bearers came from. Others, like us, just enjoy the country for its scenery, history, culture and the warmth of the people. We were in a very rural part of Ireland and it took till the middle of the week for me to make the most obvious comparison with Scotland. Each small community had everything it needed with no need to travel great distances for the essentials. There were Tesco stores inRead More →

I was really interested to read the report from the Electoral Reform Society’s Democracy Max inquiry, which was published this week. It coincides with the ongoing debate around independence for Scotland but doesn’t come down on either side of the argument. Some of the ideas brought forward in the report could begin today but I personally feel though that there’s very little opportunity for radical change should the Union continue; independence is the chance to bring real change at all levels of society and the report is an excellent starting point. Sovereignty of the people – as enshrined in the claim of right – isRead More →

This does not refer to the Common Weal issue being highlighted by the Jimmy Reid Foundation, but to the Royal and Ancient Commonwealth of the former nations usurped by the British Empire – well ancient in the sense that the United Kingdom lost an Empire, but translated it into a Commonwealth, since it consist of some 54 countries which have mainly become independent since the Second World War.  Please note that this group does not include the United States of America or the Republic of Ireland, both countries which gained their independence after taking up arms against the British state.   We have now beenRead More →

MRS LILIAN MACDONALD We regret to announce Lilian MacDonald, a long-time director of the Scots Independent, died yesterday. There will be an obituary in the September issue of the Scots Independent.   History Lesson As a Motherwell born and raised girl I have always been proud of the role that my home town has played in the Scottish Independence cause.   When Robert McIntyre was elected in 1945 it marked the first Parliamentary milestone on the Independence journey, a journey that is far from over but which has in its sights the referendum that can realise a dream held by so many, for so long.  OnRead More →

The Better Together Campaign just can’t get it, but the Yes campaign obviously does. It’s better to campaign together when groups from different political and social backgrounds in society all believe in one common idea…………….that Scotland could be so much better as an Independent country in so many ways. Does it matter that we stand behind a banner of a group we are not a member of if we all share the big idea? http://wingsoverscotland.com/a-dangerously-radical-idea/#more-38446 is a piece by Labour members in the Labour Voters for Scottish Independence group addressing the weekend’s accusations. Even Annie Lennox gets it. I had long despaired that Annie justRead More →

As part of the annual Cabinet on tour, our Scottish Government highheidyins are in Shetland this week. It’s a positive thing to do, not least because a different part of the country gets showcased each time they do it. I’ve never had the chance to visit Shetland, but the sunny photographs certainly would encourage me to go: twitter reveals that John Swinney has seen some picturesque landscapes while out running, Fiona Hyslop has admired the morning sunshine, and Derek Mackay has clapped some pretty ponies wearing fetching jumpers. Yes, that’s the ponies, not Derek… More seriously, the Cabinet meeting in Shetland allows for a focusRead More →

Durham When watching TV I saw the procession at the Durham Miners’ Gala – Len McLuskey was speaking at it, and I recalled a piece on this Gala some years back, in the Observer I think.  I paraphrase; One of the comments was  that this was the greatest democratic demonstration in the world, and the report went on: “ “If you vote Tory up our way, you get a brick through your window” quoth one democratic miner.”   A9 tragedies I am never surprised by the hypocrisy of our Unionist MSPs;  whenever there is an accident on the A9 involving loss of life you canRead More →