Think before you click…….or stop sharing posts from Unionist press when we are winning. (you are keeping them afloat)

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Yes Tactical post # 4236

Just occasionally we feel moved to make a post like this.

While the Tories have just about shot most of their toes off over the Brexit crisis and both Scottish Labour and UK HQ main branch Labour are falling over themselves to help the Tories to achieve a fantasy Brexit deal we in Scotland need to develop some discipline.

There will be tough times ahead but those times are going to be fruitful because we will soon be an independent country.

However we are our own worst enemies.

Quite often we do things that hurt our own movement. Despite being passionate about achieving independence we can be inadvertently undermining our own cause.

We have seen multiple posts of articles from mainstream unionist press being shared urging us to take part in an online poll on independence usually with a picture of Nicola Sturgeon. These are designed to get folk clicking and sharing because we all know that independence doesn’t get much main stream press attention. Well here is the problem. They are taking the piss and laughing all the way to the bank.

Here is how they fool people.

They put an article up with some obvious Unionist sourced text from a ‘pro-Union’ group. Then they invite readers to take part in an on-line poll on Scottish Independence and how you would vote now.

A new poll has found 60 per cent of Scots would vote against independence if they were asked whether to leave or remain in the United Kingdom, a landmark poll has found. The Survation poll, commissioned by a pro-Union group, found that if a referendum were held now, the majority of Scottish voters aged 16 and over would choose to stay in the UK and just 40 per cent would choose to leave, once the don’t knows are removed.

The Yes troops rise to the bait and BOOM they get over 45684 clicks on their otherwise skint newspaper that in economic terms is hanging by the proverbial baw hair.

By clicking on this ‘clickbait’ , because that is what it is, you are keeping them going. Online newspapers earn by following ways

  1. Publishing google ads
  2. Publishing ads for page per impression
  3. Paid editorials for businesses
  4. Selling media services for any specific events

So every click is income for these papers.Papers that day in day out undermine Scotland (except when it makes them money). Here is what the Indy press had to say about the poll. Incidentally the offending post came out in November 2018 but was still being circulated by Yes supporters as recently as yesterday.

The Scotsman’s rabidly pro-Union stance meant there was little sympathy amongst pro-independence social media users last week when it went into administration.  The newspaper was subsequently saved.  However this latest front page is unlikely to lead to an increase in readership amongst the independence movement.

Comment from Indyref2 blog at the time.

Based on figures on newspaper circulation for 2018 most unionist press outlets are in terminal decline. Press circulation figures are released every year. If you want to look at it in detail you have to pay.We are not about to do that so that is why we will use 2018 figures

The ABC figures for 2018 show the real reason why the Scotsman is pulling the wool over peoples eyes.

The only paper keeping a steady position is the free paper the Metro, from the Daily Mail stable and heavily reliant on adverts. The Metro’s circulation – presumably because no-one pays for it, remained steady at 1,476,169 copies for May 2018. This represented a slight decline of 0.24% on the same month in 2017. To show where the ‘UK’ newspaper readerships heads are at the Daily Mail is still the UK’s third biggest newspaper, selling 1,277,409 per day – although a chunk of these were bulk sales (airport distribution etc). This figure represents a year on year decline of 11.49%.

The Scotsman gives lots of papers away free, as do many other titles.While most of this is down to people changing the way they get their news, it also represents a significant switching off away from politics and seeking information and questioning things. The dumbing down of politics over the decades is working for the Tory press. This is why they continue to get away with murder.

Support for Indy media sources is on the rise -dont click while we are winning!

The current post reach of the Indy page we are posting from is measured in post reach on facebook and page followers. At the moment we have a post reach for the last week of 342,095. Over the last month our post reach was over 1.5 million. That’s just from a page follower base of just 32,000 and a group of volunteers.

Imagine what it would be like if those 45684 clicks went to Indy media pages instead? Some of these papers are loss making and we should not be keeping them alive.It is only prolonging our own oppression.

Support citizen journalism and think before you click.Remember they all answer to London.

London calling, yes, I was there too
And you know what they said? Well, some of it was true!
London calling at the top of the dial
And after all this, won’t you give me a smile?
London calling…

Joe Strummer.

Fiddling while Rome burns.

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Scottish Tories re-ran their Party Political Broadcast tonight.It is full of clips of some of Theresa Mays most faithful MP’s doing and saying ‘couthie’ things like lifting litter and talking to shoppers on the street about how plain and ordinary and dare we say it ‘working class’ they are.

I doubt that they timed the broadcast to counteract last nights antics in the “Strangers Bar” in the House of Commons when Aberdeen South Tory MP Ross Thomson was removed from the bar by police.That said BBC can be very obliging when it comes to counter propaganda.

It has been quoted that Ross Thomson was very drunk and had engaged in touching people wearing visitors passes. A statements from a witness reads-

“He was in Strangers last night drunk and was groping young men who had guest passes on. Grabbing their backside and genitals and trying to put his hands down people’s pants.

Many people watched on in disgust and I saw someone pull him to one side to ask him to leave. He returned around four times after being chaperoned out and carried on groping people.

It became so unpleasant that the police had been called and eventually escorted him out of the bar after taking statements in the corridor. I believe the Sergeant at Arms is also aware of the incident.”

This took place last night and so far he has not surfaced to defend himself but some of his colleagues have.

Tory MP’s have said that the stress of Brexit is the explanation of his behaviour.

Here was us thinking that the heavily subsidised bar on an otherwise boring wet Tuesday night in Westminster might be more of a reason to get absolutely legless and start shoving your hands down strangers underpants?

Brexit has been stressful however.

  • It been very stressful if you have lived here for decades and brought up a family but now have to apply for the right to stay in your own home.
  • It’s stressful if you are a car worker in Sunderland who was counting on Nissan building their new car models in your home town.
  • It’s stressful if you have a life limiting illness which depends on a regular supply of life giving medicines.
  • It’s stressful if you are a small business in Ross Thomson’s constituency which is uncertain if it is going to survive a no deal Brexit.
  • It’s stressful if you are a student and hoped to go on an exchange programme to Europe that will not exist after Brexit.

We don’t believe it is that stressful for MP’s like Ross Thomson an MP unless he realises he has as good as lost his seat over Farming and Fisheries issues.But the penny has dropped too late.

We prefer to think that Ross was born out of time. He would be better off in Roman times having a bacchanalian bevvy after a hard day at the House/senate.

We can only conclude that he was just fiddling while Rome burns.

Team Yes Scotlands Future

Support Indylive.Radio -Peace, love and Scottish Independence

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This week saw a new arrival on the Indy Media scene. Indy Live Radio was launched and for all of us who complain about the biased and downright boring mainstream media this should be a thing to celebrate.

Many a morning in the past I have listened to radio on the way to work or at home and felt moved to switch off just before ‘Call Kaye’ came on to discuss some banal BBC Scotland take on the state of Scotland. It usually has a distinctive, SNP-bad sub plot and is designed to set people up to undermine any positives about Scottish society and to sow the seeds of doubt and fear into people.

It is constant.The output on BBC Radio Scotland is dominated by news and ‘opinion’ until about 1.00 p.m. when it starts to ‘loosen up’ and you get the occasional arts programme and god forbid the odd track of music is played. (Thanks Janice!)

By contrast switching from BBC Scotlands output to a national BBC channel like Radio 2 it is like Scotland is a country under occupation. Turgid stories are churned out about the latest manufactured FOI driven ‘crises’ in NHS Scotland when we know we have some of the best health care and the most dedicated health care staff on the planet.

It’s like a more subtle version of the Lord Haw-Haw and Tokyo Rose propaganda broadcasts from Germany and Japan during the second world war.

Meanwhile over on Radio2 its all ‘Happy’– Pharrel Williams or ‘I feel love’– Donna Summer. Then you come home from work midweek to find that Orwell’s 1984 has become a reality and ‘compulsory sport’ is on the television and its English Premier League.Prime time evening television.

It makes us so angry………

Why shouldn’t we have a little fun now and then?

Well now we can and we will be supporting an independent citizen media broadcast outfit at the same time.

Do not expect adverts or even regular chat from a DJ or presenter. You will hear track lists of music. Pretty good uplifting stuff too.Its a good mixture. Occasionally there will be guest speakers on talking about indy related topics. Its very new and they are still testing everything out but its well worth supporting.

By having a PRS licence the station can play music all day long. The technical stuff is below but it is very easy to connect. You can either listen on-line on your laptop or computer, or you can download an app for a mobile phone and listen anywhere.

This ability to take Indy friendly media with us anywhere we go is vitally important. Building up a network of Yes facebook pages, Live streaming events, Twitter feeds and now radio broadcasts will assist our movement to not only connect with each other but reach out to a wider audience. Yes people should keep all their apps on their device handy in one place. This is how we will connect with people.

This is how we will win independence by sharing information over networks we have created ourselves.

Technical bit.

Indylive.radio can be listened to online —-> here

Simply bookmark the link to keep returning. OR you can download the app from the Google Store or Apple Store for free by searching for Indylive radio

Once downloaded you can take it with you anywhere……its important, get it now.

You can maybe comment on suitable playlists for an Indy radio station. Here are few for starters.

‘Kiss this thing goodbye’ – Del Amitri

‘Living on a prayer’ -Bon Jovi

‘Let me go’– Avril Lavaigne

‘Iron Sky’ Paolo Nutini

‘Cap in hand’– The Proclaimers

‘Son I voted Yes’– Stanley Odd

Meanwhile in Westminster Theresa May is singing Mary Wilson’s ‘Just what I always wanted’. But that is for another blog.

The Yes Movement needs to lighten up and you all need IndyLive Radio in your lives.

No more crabbit faced BBC Tokyo Rose in the mornings for me…..go on give it a go and tell your pals and get it shared!

Let’s get their listening figures boosted.

Peace,Love and Scottish Independence.

#PLASI

Arise Scotland

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Enough now of this childish Westminster madness. This is the time for Scotland to step boldly forth, from the ashes of the British empire, and take its place as an independent and forward thinking nation upon the world stage. No one is saying that it will be easy or that we won’t make mistakes but it will be our decisions moulding a future for Scotland and all her peoples. 

Scotland is a welcoming land where many have chosen to make their home. I hope that many more will join us in the years ahead to help forge a better stronger country. Come away in, the kettle is on!


Labour still isn’t working for Glasgow and has left a poisoned legacy

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The closure of the Legacy hub on Springfield Road Dalmarnock has been on the Scottish news. The Peoples Development Trust (PDT), the organisation managing the hub has gone into receivership. It is a high profile building part of the Commonwealth Games legacy in the local area and also houses a GP surgery and a dental surgery.

The media coverage has been interesting. A small but vocal protest took place on Sunday and many of the children and young people who use the child care and youth work provision were there as part of the protest.

The coverage today however is very interesting in one respect. It is what main stream media has left out of its reporting that is the most important thing..

Any community based organisation will struggle to make a go of things but this one has its roots in Glasgow City Council pre-2014 when the Commonwealth Games came to that part of the city and the local councillors were in charge also took some nice paid jobs for themselves and their relatives and friends. Frank McAveety was the leader at the time.

It seems the press reporting today have forgotten a whole swathe of history associated with the management of the building. They only had to look into their own archives to find the evidence.

The opening of the Legacy Hub in Dalmarnock ex-Councillor Kucuk  second from right

A £3.5 Million Commonwealth Games legacy project is embroiled in nepotism claims over a string of posts occupied by a local Labour councillor’s friends and family.
The project was overseen from the beginning by the People’s Development Trust (PDT), a charity that runs the Hub and which hired Kucuk as the £35,000-a-year regeneration manager. Another Labour councillor, Maureen Burke, also declares a paid job at the Trust.
Kucuk took up her post in 2011 and her cousin Alan Kennedy was appointed to the P.D.T. board in the same year. He left in July 2014 and his son Robert joined the board weeks later. Kucuk’s husband is also working at the Hub.

Calton Jock March 2016

It seems the alternative citizens media have a better record of reporting on this issue as Calton Jock a local blogger reported as far back as 2016 highlighting nepotism and cronyism gone mad in the East End Regeneration area which was on the receiving end of millions of pounds as part of the Commonwealth Games preparations.

It looks like the building was ‘run into the ground’ by a succession of relatives and friends appointments all stemming from Scottish Labour. In November 2015 this Evening Times article called it out.

Board positions linked to the Dalmarnock Legacy Hub were filled by relatives of Glasgow Calton councillor Yvonne Kucuk, whose husband also works at the centre.
A cousin of Labour’s other ward councillor, George Redmond, also works at the Hub while another relative used to sit on the board.

Glasgow Evening Times , 22nd November 2015

The article also said ‘Kucuk was elected to the council in 2012 and is reportedly thinking of making the step up to Holyrood.’

If the main stream media wanted to something more ‘in depth’ about the buildings closure all they had to do was a google search ( other search engines are available) to reveal a series of articles in the Herald, Evening Times and BBC Scotland websites.

It has been local bloggers who have reported on this more accurately and consistently.

“There is a general concern that Labour treats Glasgow as its personal fiefdom, where friends get positions and jobs and not in a transparent way. “It is the councillor’s dual role in this project that is concerning.
You should be a local councillor, or part of the development project. Or, you should have the development role and not be the local councillor. A sensible person would surely conclude that you cannot do both roles. It is about public perception.

SNP MSP John Mason .

The Legacy Hub, located in the shadows of the Emirates arena in the east end, benefited from £3m from the Scottish Government and £1,295,000 from the B.L.F., while Glasgow city council sold land to the Trust for £1. Around £840,000 of the award was to part-fund the Hub’s construction and £455,000 was for four years’ operating costs.

The Big Lottery Fund (B.L.F.) called in outside help after reviewing how its £1.3m award for the multi-purpose Dalmarnock ‘Hub’ had been spent.The quango subsequently launched a review to examine whether its funding had been used in line with its grant agreement. The probe escalated after the B.L.F.’s internal audit department contracted Mazars, one of Europe’s largest accounting firms, to carry out checks.

Another citizens journalist blogger A Thousand Flowers reported on the subject in August 2016. Read the small print in both the Calton Jock and Thousand Flowers posts for the real juicy bits linked to the jobs in building firms and the £500,000 golden hand shakes for outgoing Regeneration Manager.

So, What is the story Morning Glory? It is dig a little deeper. Do your own research or you would be left with a hollow story in todays press that says little of the background and is lamely pointing the finger at the incumbent Council leadership which is the SNP. Main stream media write all of their stories as ‘SNP bad’ stories as a default position and do not do the research.

We call that lazy journalism. We hope the building gets some kind of reprieve for the sake of the users of the building but Scottish Labour need to take most of the blame.

Mon the citizen journalists!

Team Yes Scotlands Future

Friends Not Masters

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It’s an often quoted myth that the Scots hate the English and vice versa but for most individuals that couldn’t be further from the truth. There may be competitive rivalry between the two nations in, for example, sporting matters but it is (for the most part) a good natured  affair. Like a friendship we would not wish ill of the other.

Politically however this is not the case within the UK as there does not exist the natural balance of a friendship, where both parties are equals and they have a mutual respect. Imagine if you will two friends going into a bar for a drink? Before ordering they will discuss what each wants so that each is happy with what they receive. Not so with the political union of the UK where Scotland will almost inevitably be subject to the will of the English MPs in any matter arising. This is of course because the Westminster parliament works on a system of representation based on percentage population of the countries within the union. On the face of it this seems fair and democratic but is it?

Meanwhile back at the bar I arrive with nine friends for a drink. My friends all drink Bitter but I like a pint of Heavy? Now, normally this wouldn’t be a problem except that under the ‘rules’ of our friendship it is the majority who choose what everyone gets to drink. So nine votes for Bitter and one for Guinness results in everyone drinking Bitter together (for every round). Another issue with this arrangement is that the bill is shared which again seems reasonable except that my friends all order food and snacks when I don’t require any or share in them. It is apparent that although my friends realise my unhappiness at the situation they are reluctant to change from the status quo as they are content always getting what they want and,truth be known, having me subsidise their expenses.

What seemed like a democratic arrangement in hindsight feels very unfair and is an ever increasing strain on our friendship. The sensible and mature solution is surely for me to simply remove myself from the arrangement before irreparable damage is done to our relationship. I will still socialise with the same people, and consider them my friends but now each of us will take responsibility for our own needs and budget/finance for this accordingly. This new arrangement will be much fairer, eradicating any resentment between us, and strengthening our friendship in the future. 

If we apply the same principles between Scotland, England and the rest of the UK, there is no reason why we cannot re-assess our relationships, adjust them accordingly and remain friends. No one is suggesting a split which is irreparable or destructive. We are simply looking to re-establish some equivalence and equality, beyond which our relationships can bloom because the resentments and frustrations of the imbalance no longer exists. We can rebuild a strong relationship with the rUK, without the dependency upon them. It can, and should be done. 

Yes Scotlands Future social media activists

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This is the full text we supplied to the National newspaper for the article about the readiness of the Yes movement in the article printed this morning.

Yes Scotlands Future are a collective of activists on social media who have been active since before 2014.

Our Mantra is positivity, good humour and above all understanding the manipulation and bias in mainstream media.

The Yes movement has been like a group of planes flying in a ‘holding’ pattern above Scotland since 2014.

Some have crashed and burned already, or fallen out with each other, but many have gone on to develop a strong network built on trust , friendship and a common belief in a better Scotland.

There will always be “egos” in any movement but we try to sidestep those and just get on with it.

The Brexit shambles has exacerbated things and made people impatient but it has also revealed the true nature of the union, it is broken beyond repair.

The people who share posts on our pages are ordinary Scots looking to get involved. There is still a role for pages like this to help put information in front of people to help them argue the case for independence.We just need a date to land safely and get a move on.

Team Yes Scotlands Future

The Hills are alive…….

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New Year, new chances to sell the electorate of Scotland an old party, the Labour Party.

Its a party that when in power in Glasgow City Council they spent £2.5 million on legal fees to fight women from getting an equal pay award.Richard Leonard, branch leader, was then a full time official for the GMB

The current council have just agreed a deal with the representing agents on a payout to settle the cases.

Labour however are using the media to put out messages of support for the women who have won the case against the City Council, now an SNP administration. It’s as if the past is being rewritten.

The agreement has been reached and as full time official his role in the past campaign is now slowly revealed to not to be so much as ‘organise, agitate and win’ and more like ‘sell out, discriminate , capitulate and lose’.

Questions can be asked of him in the process of setting up an arms length external organisation (ALEO) to allow the council off the hook over equal pay claims, and the discriminatory way a mens pay award was prioritised even though they were doing the same job as the women.

Why the GMB under his leadership didn’t resolve this over 10 years ago raises a whole series of questions. Since the change of administration further reorganisation has occurred to address this.

In the midst of all the Brexit overkill of the week this story seemed to strike a cord with some of our page followers who made some of the following very pertinent comments.

  • Labour spent 2.5m fighting against the Glasgow women’s pay claim between 2007 – 2017.
  • SNP under Susan Aitken took a year & a bit to sort out Labours appalling mess.
  • No mention on any bbc news that it was labour who shafted these women, took them to court and all sorts, and was SNP Glasgow council who fixed it
  • Labour have the temerity to congratulate the women they previously sued. Pathetic.

……..and most poignantly of all,

  • Their time wasting also saved them money from poor souls like my mum who didn’t live long enough to get their fare share!

Many people also pointed out that little is known about the role of Richard Leonard in this long running and bitter equal pay dispute and that more should be shared so that more people understand the background. Most of the press coverage still glosses over the role of Labour’s leader and former GMB full timer, Richard Leonard.

Not content with congratulating women equal pay campaigners they had previously tried to take to court, Scottish Labour now seems to be getting its geography a bit mixed up.

This weeks Scottish Labour Party Political Broadcast raised a few eyebrows among the geologists and geographers among us. It looks like Scottish Labour got someone in ‘Head Office’ to do the donkey work for them as they promoted Richard Leonard’s vision for Scotland but the image wasn’t Scotland it was actually Snowdonia in Wales.

Top photo-Labours visual representation of Scotland. Bottom photo Tryfan Mountain Snowdonia

The broadcast finishes by restating the now familiar line,

” Labour will rebuild Scotland for the many not the few”.

only slight problem with this is the non existent record of house building by Labour when they held office.

The ‘buildings’ that they were associated with were paid for by costly PFI deals which reports say are costing local councils and other bodies a staggering £30 billion and are now subject to structural checks such as Oxgangs Primary, one of 17 schools closed due to safety concerns.

In its defence Labour says the video was shot using different parts of the UK to reflect Labour as a UK party.( Code for Scotland is not a priority for them. Which will be why Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t mention Scotland in his speeches, only ‘regions and communities’)

Scottish Labour, Scottish Tory- same old story.

Richard Leonard local branch leader has also made a name for himself at Scottish First Minister Questions by asking about subjects that were not covered in the devolution settlement. So much so that various Yes pages rushed to point out what was in the Scottish Parliaments gift and what wasn’t. Murdo Fraser of the Scottish Conservatives has done the same.

Reserved powers in the right hand column are often deliberately misquoted as being powers held by Edinburgh – cut out and keep to remind people of how they are being tricked! (Scot Gov now has some limited powers over Social Security)

This confirms the view that nothing has really changed since the ‘Better Together’ campaign in 2014 when Labour, Tories and Liberals united to oppose Scottish Independence.

In public, especially when the media are present all Unionist politicians display a deliberate ‘blurring’ of what is and what is not a devolved ‘power’ of the Scottish Government. Broadband and railways are old favourites for this ‘party’ trick by Labour and their Unionist pals.

Instead of ‘talking up’ Scotland and showing a respect for democracy and the electorate they rely on a complicit media to help them to lie to the public and create an untrue perspective that the Scottish Government is responsible for a whole range of things it is not.

We have have heard this all before we hear you say. This is true but now more than ever the people who live outside the ‘bubble’ of politics are still being lied to and manipulated on a daily basis. We need to communicate this to them.

Labour’s Kezia Dugdale famously encouraged supporters to vote Tory in marginal areas and now with Jeremy Corbyn we have have seen an outbreak of ‘ pretend socialism’ which will now try and spin the well worn line- ‘Vote Labour to keep the Tories Out’.

“While Richard Leonard might talk a left-wing game, he’s an enthusiastic supporter of housing the UK’s nuclear arsenal just a few miles from Scotland’s biggest city – and he now needs to explain his position on Brexit and whether he supports the Tories’ plans to rip Scotland out of the single market.”

Derek MacKay

Jeremy Corbyn on the other hand has been a life long CND activist against nuclear weapons but now seems to hold opposite views and it is okay for these weapons of mass destruction to be housed on the Clyde.

Be sure to have this detector with you at all times.

Team Yes Scotlands Future

With the sound of Labour bullshit……..

Yes for Everyone

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I was giving some thought to the much bandied ‘For the Many Not the Few’ slogan that Labour has been using recently and much as I understand the sentiment behind it there does seem something rather unsettling about a political campaign which touts exclusion as a starting point.

Certainly for the independence campaign it should be highlighted that we are striving for an iScotland which will be ‘better’ for everyone and not simply for a select proportion. ‘Better’ in this context shouldn’t be perceived simply in financial terms but rather more on a life wide and lifelong experience. Surely a country which is socially just with its focus on welfare, in its many guises, would ultimately benefit everyone? Compare and contrast that vision against the agenda of greed and warfare followed by successive Westminster governments resulting in the disunity and inequality which we can now clearly see throughout the UK.

So let’s not focus on the many or upon the few, let’s build a new autonomous Scotland for everyone. A country in which we can all truly be proud and equal.

Yes mantra for 2019

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At the start of this New Year it is easy to feel frustrated, annoyed even at the lack of progress towards independence. However we have come so far and some would say our country has already begun to behave and carry itself like we are already independent.

It is not in the bag yet however and as we have seen with those in charge of Brexit, shooting yourself in the foot is a common human trait which Yessers should not assume we are immune from.

That being the case we thought we would highlight just three basic simple guidelines for keeping the Yes movement on track and in good shape. No crash dieting is required.No fancy food supplements, just these three fundamental principles. The implications of not upholding these should be obvious to people.

1. Always stay positive

The entire Better Together campaign in 2014 was based on fear. Fear about pensions, fear about jobs, fear about not being able to stay in the EU! After the vote in September that year those behind it even gloated about it in interviews- “we could not have won without project fear'”

As the New Year starts there is the usual barrage of negative press undermining the work of the Scottish Government. Accident and Emergency, Rail Travel ,Road Closures- these are all now seasonal anti-SNP stories.They appear as regularly as clockwork.

In our own Yes social media however we see that same negativity being perpetuated.Its is planted by the main stream media and Yes people feel they have to join in and spread their message for them. Why?

We need to stay positive and resist the temptation of the negative comments on our own pages. We know there are Unionist trolls there stirring it up. Don’t rise to the bait, and lastly follow the new RTA guideline- Read The Article first before letting off steam!

2. Humour is essential

When we make a joke about politics or share some satirical comment it is intended to help us be more resilient. We are not setting out to belittle an issue or take away from the seriousness of the situation we are in.

The old phrase ‘you have to laugh or else you’ll cry’ is very true right now and that is why Humour is Essential.

Psychology tells us that the most effective first responders in front line rescue roles are often reliant on humour as a coping strategy. It is vital to helping people become more resilient.

You can’t control reality, but you can manage how you adapt to it. — the most significant lesson: assess the situation rather than distort it through your emotions.

Reframing, in this case cognitive reframing when training first responders is essential to ensure those people are not themselves damaged by the process of doing their job.

Crucially the same techniques are what the Yes movement needs to grasp in order to ‘reframe’ the arguments to win over people from ‘No’ to ‘Yes’.

We all need to look after our mental well being if we are going to win our Scotland’s future.So let’s start the year by being good to each other .

Having a laugh does not mean we are not less serious about the state of the economy or the mess the Tories are making of Brexit, or the threat to undermine our parliament in Scotland. On the contrary we need to be resilient enough to see it all the way through.

3. Remember we are being manipulated

Most important of all is this one. We know or should know by now the extent to which they will go to undermine Scotland in order to maintain the union.

The Brexit vote and the investigations into illegal spending are the tip of a very nasty iceberg of social media survey sampling and targeted advertising

As people already with an independence mindset it is easy to get frustrated at those who do not see beyond the tabloid front pages.But we have to find a way to communicate with them. Understanding how the media works and how people are guided this way and that by mainstream media hand in hand with politicians is really important.

It is no longer the case that we can assume the media are in total control.They are not. Brexit is a walking disaster for the Tories with another crisis everyday. What is the media role then? It is usually to say ‘oh look over there at the drone problem at Gatwick or Heathrow airport, just don’t look at the mess the UK government are in’.

They frequently get it wrong and people can see the weaknesses and deceit. Brexit is a classic example. But what also happens is that people get turned off from participation.

Disengagement and disempowerment is another strategy of the political media- when it suits the state to have a disengaged electorate in order to ensure the status quo remains un-challenged.

Encouraging people to analyse the press and media is vitally important. There are too many of us who just read the headlines then make comments that do not stand up to any reasoned argument.

‘Knowing our stuff’ is what we should aspire to.But when we don’t we can always say ,’ but I know someone who does’.

Internally within the Yes community there are people out to press buttons and sow discontent.So the manipulation is at all levels.

Marches and demonstrations however are great reinforcers of solidarity among us and anybody who took part in any of the great AUOB marches during 2018 will remember the feelings of strength ,commitment and the thirst for social justice.

The eye has to remain on the prize of independence in order to bring about the socially just more equal Scotland we all yearn for. By following and communicating these three basic guidelines we think we will last the race to cross the line as winners.

Team YSF