As I write this on the eve of the European Parliament poll, Scotland is about to vote to elect its 6 Members of the European Parliament. On Monday lunchtime, we will know how Scotland has decided. I hope that the opinion polls are correct and that the D’Hondt system of allocating seats will reward the SNP and possibly the Greens with 3 and 1 seat. This would be an emphatic lift for the YES campaign – even though we say the European elections are nothing to do with the referendum. The media will dissect the result to suit their own agendas. Three seats for theRead More →

Noam Chomsky once said, “The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people.” I think Nigel Farage may be aware of this truth, as is Better Together – the self- styled “Project Fear.” And this use of fear is what mires our political debate: whether about Europe or the Independence Referendum, it is the lowest denominator of political rhetoric. In the USA, negative campaigning is perceived to work. So if Project Fear and Farage were not bad enough, Labour and the Conservatives are importing US spin doctors David Axelrod and Jim Messina.Read More →

On Sunday mornings I usually get up around 9 am and hesitantly approach my letterbox with a degree of trepidation. My normal Sunday papers were the Sunday Herald and the Sunday Post. A week or two back I was so incensed by the Sunday Post cartoon showing Alex Salmond in the dock being grilled by a scholarly legalistic Alastair Darling, that I cancelled that paper. It had been my parents’ choice in my younger days, and after I got married I just carried on; as my sons grew up they avidly scanned the football pages. So after probably over 60 years readership (these last 10Read More →

After losing so many Yes campaigners throughout the country in recent weeks I was getting a bit depressed. Too many were being taken that had worked hard for independence and with such a short time left, weren’t going to see it happen. We had been asked if we could act as chauffeur on Saturday night and to be honest, with the low feeling and the cold, damp, misty weather we could have seen it far enough. However we had a mission. We had to collect Dr. Norman Allan in Banff and ensure he got to Strichen. The mission was secret. He was to be toldRead More →

I had an odd sensation at SNP conference in Aberdeen last weekend; like being at the top of a rollercoaster, waiting for the thrill of the drop. When next we meet as a party, the referendum will be over and Scotland will be changed forever. It’s almost overwhelming to consider the implications, but the sense of excitement amongst activists at conference was very real. The emotions of conference felt particularly strong to me – I’m always mindful that on this journey to independence we carry the hopes of those who have passed along with the opportunities of those to come. Yet, I was deeply movedRead More →

Wear your badge with pride I was struck by a comment made by a fellow YES campaigner about her badge. She told me that she carries a few of them in her pocket so that when asked about where she got it or how nice it is, she can reply “here have mine.” She gives them her badge and off they toddle, pleased with her gift. Meanwhile, she dons one of her supplies and carries on her way. Then there was the time I was having a coffee in Stirling – a wee break before heading home. I noticed a young guy come in withRead More →

To say it has been a bad few days for the no campaign would be a bit of an understatement. Alastair Carmichael was schmoozing with journalists at his party conference in Perth when news broke of the Guardian article by Nicholas Watt reporting that a UK Government Minister had confirmed what the First Minister has said all along that the stated policy of the UK Government on a currency union was nothing more than a campaign tactic. From the Guardian article: “A currency union will eventually be agreed between an independent Scotland and the remainder of the UK to ensure fiscal and economic stability onRead More →

“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 toRead More →

International Women’s Day falls on the 8th of March, and with it further consideration of women’s role in the independence referendum. By the time this is published, you will find a video on the Women for Independence  website encouraging women to get involved in the debate. It’s definitely going to be worth watching and sharing! Women’s involvement hasn’t shifted a great deal from Lesley Riddoch’s column in the Scotsman two years ago – there has been more information on childcare, more women on panels, lots of wonderful women putting their case on twitter, but women are still not as prominent in the debate as theyRead More →

Big hoohah at one of the committees last week:  Rupert Soames, CEO of Aggreko was giving evidence on behalf of Better Together saying that “No”  was in the best interests of Aggreko, a Scottish company and its employees.  He got quite vehement about this.  A day or two later the back page of the Herald was full of Mr Soames’ move to Serco – a company involved in outsourcing.  Must have seen the writing on the wall.   Aberdeen Council have narrowly been defeated on a proposal by Finance Convener Willie Young (defeated in the Donside by election) to bar all Scottish Government Ministers fromRead More →