No Contest

“They don’t like it up ‘em Mr Mainwaring” came straight to mind as I picked up our newspaper of choice this morning. So, Mr Darling doesn’t think it’s fair that the Yes camp have more at their disposal than the No camp to work with. Does he really believe this? Perhaps he does.  Has he not noticed that to date he hasn’t had to lift a finger because most of the media were spouting the unionist mantra?

We have had a lifetime of never getting our fair share of resources which has made us very clever at utilising the ones we have been able to use. Would the civil servants in Edinburgh really have allowed the Scotland’s Future document to be printed and circulated if it wasn’t allowed in the rules? Unlike Westminster, the documents produced by Holyrood are open to the public to read without a ridiculously expensive cost. The government have produced these on our behalf for us to use. Open government includes the people who elect it instead of hiding things behind locked doors in case we should happen to disagree. Perhaps if the No campaign had read it they might be in a position to debate (debate does not mean shouting over everyone else in the room by the way)


I have to admit I don’t really know what to make of Kermit joining in the debate. Surely this has to be a huge tongue in cheek exercise by some-one. Mind you, Miss Piggy for Queen of Scotland? Might be different!


All in all it has been a pretty surreal weekend. I’m sorry but could someone please remove Johann Lamont from the political scene. I am really worried that the rest of the world sees her performances and thinks that this is all the people of Scotland are capable of producing. Headline in yesterdays Herald read “Scottish Labour rally party faithful for comeback”. It would be funny if it wasn’t so ridiculous. Mr Sarwar stated that they had “outlined the positive constitutional, economic and social alternative to independence and the Tories”. Really? I missed that one. All I heard were screaming accusations, character assassinations and downright lies. Mr Sarwar also said that Johann was “the polar opposite to Alex Salmond”, for once we agree. I had a little difficulty with the next bit though as he went on to describe her as “a person of honesty, integrity, real values, real ideas, passionate, humble, modest, absolutely confident about what they believe in and confident in the values to become the next first minister” Unfortunately I can’t find a link to footage of her speech, in case you missed it, and needed to see why I think his description of her is ridiculous. I did however find a facebook page called “save the labour party from Johann Lamont”


Back to the referendum campaign. It doesn’t matter Mr Darling if you can match our funding, put up as many advertising posters as us or produce as much literature. You have a couple of bigger problems. 1. You are not grown up enough to be able to work amicably with the other unionist groups in the No campaign. 2. You don’t have the groundswell of people willing to man stalls, pound the streets putting literature through doors, the army that is knocking people’s doors and asking them how they feel about the referendum. In other words, engaging debate with normal people.

These are the things we have been learning and building on while you were using your positions in government and the unionist media to secure your powers at Westminster. Mugabe once said that our people were not oppressed enough. Well looks like they are now and it is you, the Labour party who did it.

Even Professor Curtice has come out and said that you have a real problem in getting your message across to the people. Do you think you have enough time left to come up with a positive message that all the unionist parties can rally behind? Vague promises are just not good enough anymore. There are too many of us still around that remember 1979 and what happened after believing you then.


I don’t normally pay attention to polls but as the European elections are drawing close I just thought I would mention the ICM Research poll published in today’s Herald

SNP 41%

Labour 29%

Scottish Conservatives 13%

Ukip 6%

Lib Dems 5%

Keep pounding the pavements people. Another SNP MEP in Brussels might just come in handy after 18th September.

Jimmy Halliday’s contributions to the Cause

Jimmy Halliday – lifetime Nationalist

To put matters into context, in 1955 the SNP contested only two Parliamentary seats in Scotland. Dr Robert McIntyre fought Perth and East Perthshire and Jimmy Halliday fought Stirling and Falkirk Burghs. Jimmy then became the youngest ever SNP Chairman and served 1956-70; in 1956 the entire SNP Conference delegates were photographed on the steps of the Allan Water Hotel, Bridge of Allan.

There will be a Referendum for Scottish Independence this year, which was unthinkable in the dark days of 1955. Jimmy died on 3rd January 2013 at the age of 85, and we will be publishing all his articles in the Scots Independent, all those we have electronic input for. It is anticipated we will publish a book with all his contributions over many years but this will have to wait until after the Referendum.


A great inspiration –   SI March 2013

I always took great pleasure in listening to Jimmy Halliday talk. Whether it was a private chat in a café or listening to him on a political platform. He spoke with great clarity, every word perfectly enunciated without humming or hawing. Not many people can do that.

Our paths first crossed when I started supplying photographs to the Scots Independent on a fairly regular basis. Jimmy’s column ‘History with Halliday’ was appearing monthly and it was the first thing I would read when my copy arrived. I was running my publishing company at the time and suggested to Jimmy that we might collect these articles in a book. He pondered on this idea for some time and we agreed to meet the next time I passed through Broughty Ferry on one of my sales trips to the North-East.  Fyfe’s coffee shop in the main street became our meeting place and before long the idea of the collection of essays evolved into a more adventurous project, namely, a concise history of Scotland. But this was to be no ordinary history of Scotland, it would be, without apology, a clear reckoning of the highs and lows of a proud nation from BC until 1990 but from a nationalist point of view.

Jimmy produced his finished manuscript of Scotland: A Concise History within the year and we illustrated it mainly with our own pictures along with maps, lists and battle plans. The first edition was published on 31 May 1990 and it reprinted in 1996 selling a total of 10,000 copies.

The last time we spoke was when he phoned mid-December asking for one of my photographs for an academic magazine. I said it was time I took some up-to-date portrait shots and we agreed to meet the next time he visited Edinburgh. Alas, it was not to be.

Jimmy was a great inspiration to me and I am very grateful for his friendship over the years.


Gordon Wright