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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The broadcast finishes by restating the now familiar line,
” Labour will rebuild Scotland for the many not the few”.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Brexit has been a long term project for the Tories.Its been in the works for a number of years but was escalated when they found out about the changes to EU tax avoidance rules.
“Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power”
George Orwell, 1984
One of the most influential dystopian novels ever written, 1984 has had a profound effect on the world. Since its publication in 1949 many of its concepts have entered modern day parlance. Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak and Room 101 are all part of Orwell’s world. What’s more, as a result of the book, Orwellian is now a term to describes official deception, secret surveillance, and manipulation of the past by a totalitarian or authoritarian state. Orwell hoped that by writing 1984 he’d help stop such a state ever coming to pass.
Some would say his vision is only now becoming a reality in more ways than one.
Brexit means Brexit we were told.
We knew it was going to be complex but we were not told Brexit is being used as a convenient smoke screen for a whole number of other plans and schemes. So Brexit most certainly doesn’t just mean Brexit and it never has.
What it has done is allowed the true, deeper nature of politics to be exposed and also to reveal how the state works behind the scenes to hide reality from its citizens.
The process of Brexit will achieve much more for the Conservatives than the Thatcher years ever did.It conveniently blows a smoke screen around a whole number of areas where the Tories would want have a free reign to take money out of the system and allow rampant capitalism to flourish in a virtually tax free United Kingdom.
A tax avoiding haven sitting just off the coast of Europe will outdo the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. It will become deregulated to extent where ‘anything goes’ and Brexiteers and their pals will not only have new ‘blue UK passports’ but will retain the EU ones through buying them via places like Monaco and Malta so that they can have their cake and eat it.
The government has shown how it works with the media in order to make its job simpler. Like in Orwell’s novel politics is portrayed as serving some higher purpose, but is only an illusion helped in part by a willing mass media.
No ‘higher purpose’ is being served here than to line the pockets of its party donors as the recent Ferry contract shambles highlights. The rules are being broken on a daily basis. It is as if the media turn a blind eye and the script gets rewritten every time there is a blatant gaffe.
‘Doublespeak’ although not actually used in the novel its is closely linked to the concept ‘doublethink’ and ‘Newspeak’ which run through the novel.In modern language it boils down to lying and getting away with it.
In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible … Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness … the great enemy of clear language is insincerity.
This is where phrases like ‘national interest’ comes in. When we hear it know that there is something going on like a billion pound bung to the DUP to prop up a failing government when they lost their majority after a failed general election campaign.
Speaking of which enter British Labour, stage right or stage left.It doesn’t matter which because all the past hopes of an election victory at a ‘snap’ general election are slipping away for Jeremy Corbyn. Instead of waiting patiently for his big chance at electoral success his party have failed to respond to the pleas of his own supporters in taking a positive stance over Brexit.
Years of abstaining on important issues such as long term austerity measures ( which Scottish Labour still try to blame the SNP for) and avoiding working with opposition parties to put up any kind of fight against austerity will have lost them the next election.
Scottish Labour are also complicit with other Unionist parties in doublespeak. Before the Christmas holidays press outlets were flooded with press releases to ‘keep them going’ over the lean news period. Not sufficient with poorly written and researched press releases Scottish Labour constantly working for their London based superiors came up with a great new wheeze.They organised a demonstration at Central station.
“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”
The fact that the press nearly outnumbered the demonstrators tells you all you need to know. Also the fact that the BBC and STV trailed the demonstration before it happened and reported on it extensively when most other demonstrations in living memory are largely ignored by them and the attendance figures grossly under represented. Well, I am counting about 12 people.Maybe if some smaller people are in the middle, 15 at best. Hardly a mass movement supporting Scottish Labour?
We have no illusions that Labour , Scottish or British will come to the aid of Scotland.We have come too far for that and have gained too much.Now people know what is at stake.It is not just ‘Independence or bust’ it is independence or the loss of our NHS, independence or the dismantling of our parliament it is independence or the loss of our young flourishing economy, it is independence or an inward looking isolationist UK.
Orwell’s future shock is now clearly recognisable in many aspects of life here and across the world but our future in Scotland is still unwritten. Too many people know that unless we become more engaged and in greater numbers than in 2014 we may end up with no government, being ruled by proxy like a forgotten ‘region’ of a state that never gets what it votes for.
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.” 1984