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.
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
The UK honours system is as old as the hills. It dates back to the crusades when people were ‘knighted’ for service to the monarchy. Its been turned into a more ‘civil’ based awards process and since around 1890 there has been a New Years honours list almost every year.
Honours of course are issued at other times and usually at the hands of the Prime Minister.There is a resignation honours list and that one is where all a PM’s political allies get paid off in one go.David Camerons is here. Tony Blair’s resignation honours list was caught up in a ‘cash for peerages’ scandal which meant any lists would be getting vetted by a committee of the House of Lords. He failed to make the deadline. Gordon Brown’s ‘dissolution list’ became a mishmash of some of Blair’s non-runners and some of his. (Rev. Iain Paisley was in there somewhere.) 22 peers were appointed to the House of Lords this year alone.It is what some politicians strive for, that well paid, free day-care place for life.A place where the wine and the food is subsidised and you get paid for just showing up.
Bringing it bang up to date many observers have slated Theresa May for using honours to ‘buy’ support for her failing Brexit deal, some would go as far as to say that is why she delayed the vote from before Christmas.There are even some companies now that exist to raise your chances of getting on the Honours list. We kid you not. If you have about £3,900 they will knock you up an awards profile and punt it for you increasing your chances of a gong!
Here at Yes Scotlands Future we thought that we would propose a completely new system for a bit of fun on Hogmanay :
The Yes Scotlands Future iScotland Ne’erday Honours List.
In the interests of equality all recipients would receive the award of:
1 fish supper (2 fish) haddock of course
A Morton’s crispy roll
A glass bottle of original recipe Irn Bru!!
We did contemplate different categories of award based on region and status such chips and cheese (Ayrshire) and white pudding (Edinburgh and the Lothians) but in the interests of equality it is a fish supper or nothing!
Now this system is proposed to be self financing and will actually be good for local business. The Honours Committee of the Peoples Republic of Scotland will identify special fish and chip shops ‘by appointment’.These super-chippies will be the purveyors of the awards scheme and in return their businesses will grow with the increased status and they will gladly donate the grub to the successful nominees. This is much the same as the venue Oran Mor ‘pays’ the artist Alisdair Gray for his amazing work on their ceiling, only with fish and chips. We have seen him sitting in the corner tucking into a nice steak pie with a ‘half and a half pint’ on the side, that is for life. It’s a normal way of supporting art in many countries.
Like the UK system some honours can be lifetime awards but let’s face it if you only eat fish suppers you are not going to live very long so it will be a self regulating honours system.There will be no hereditary fish suppers awarded. That is just going too far.
In this first year the committee has proposed two categories of award, one for organisations making a contribution to civic life in Scotland and their community and secondly to individuals who are also doing the same. If it is a big organisation we realise this might mean a hell of a lot of fish suppers but hey why be mean about it!
Organisation Honours List
All Under One Banner (AOUB) for organising all the marches which took place in Scotland last year and giving us all the opportunity to join other Scots on the streets declaring our support for independence. You worked tirelessly to do this and took a lot of criticism in the process but you succeeded. Good luck with the plans for 2019.
Orkney News for being a newly founded community newspaper dedicated to bringing alternative news to the people of Orkney. They are a model of citizen journalism and the committee believes all parts of Scotland deserves a local citizen led media outlet like them. Very best wishes for 2019 and thank you for the encouragement and support to the wider networks trying to build citizen journalism elsewhere.
Independence Live for bringing all the years events to a larger audience. They are great ‘citizen live streamers’ who you are bound to have seen at many of the events throughout the year. From The Hague to Dumfries, Inverness, and Faslane and the big one in Edinburgh they covered them all and most importantly provide a means to share and encourage more people to come out on the street next year. Good luck for 2019 and thanks for all you have done.
Individual Honours List
For this category we take for granted that Nicola Sturgeon deserves more than a fish supper for what she has put up with this year so we have limited the nominations to just two individuals.
Mhairi Black has been the ‘baby of House’ at Westminster, but she continues to act with such maturity and level headedness when it comes to representing Scotland.It must be so annoying working within that environment and yet she does it without being reduced to their level and regularly points out to us just how ridiculous and outdated that system of government is. Keep going Mhairi you are a credit to Paisley and all of Scotland.
Ian Blackford MP and leader of the SNP at Westminster has also had an amazing year of keeping up the pressure on the Tories.You can tell he has got them riled when he was told to his face by Nicholas Soames MP to ‘go back to the Isle of Skye’. We hope our MP’s can all in fact go home to Scotland when we gain our independence from this out dated mess that is Westminster.
All winning fish suppers will of course be wrapped up in newspaper and award recipients will be able to state a preference for salt and vinegar or salt and sauce, no west coast bias here. They will have to buy pickled onions and portions of sauce from their own pocket.
We were considering a special award to Theresa May for services towards furthering the cause of Scottish Independence but we have heard she doesn’t eat fish and chips wrapped in newspaper. She prefers single use plastic.
Have a great time and everyone at Yes Scotlands Future wishes you and your family a Happy and Healthy New Year.
While everyone is celebrating this is the time of year Unionist parties have already prepared their press releases to take advantage of the lack of stories in the media, hoping that some of their ‘spin’ will make the headlines as fact.
In the case of Scotland that will not be a problem there is a willing press pack in radio, print and TV media eagerly awaiting stories which can help to undermine the Scottish Government, and the Scottish Parliament.
Like a broken record (remember those 12 ” bits of plastic you put on a record player) these press releases get stuck in the same message that the SNP are not doing enough to prevent austerity. They usually highlight issues that you would expect such as pensioner poverty , low pay and the increased use of food banks. All sounding quite normal ground for a political party to cover. But when you take a closer look you see them for what they are, thinly veiled lies and spin.
Take Richard Leonard for example, we do not know if he wrote this himself but his piece in The Scotsman on 21 st of December is a classic example of seasonal deceit. The headline screams at you:
Why are working Scots living in poverty? The SNP refuse to help
He starts out talking historically and ends up talking hysterically.
‘I joined the party over 35 years ago’.
So that would be the 1980’s then just after two back to back Labour governments of Harold Wilson and James Callaghan heralded in 11 years of Margaret Thatcher. Another 13 years of Labour Governments were to come in the shape of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. We point this out as Richard seems to get all heated up about Labour and positive and practical things it could do to eradicate poverty. In the 24 years of Labour Governments since Wilson’s 1964 government they have had 5 chances in government to do something about it and little has changed. And they want us to vote Labour to let Jeremy Corbyn govern us.Assuming he would win if there was an election?
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive.”
So why are Scots living in poverty? Let us answer his question for him by using the well worn phrase , ‘It is the economy stupid’. Here is a standard overview of the UK economy right now and its recent history. A history Labour conveniently forgets when blaming others for their own continued failings.
UK Economy – overview:
In 2008, the global financial crisis hit the economy particularly hard, due to the importance of its financial sector. Falling home prices, high consumer debt, and the global economic slowdown compounded the UK’s economic problems, pushing the economy into recession in the latter half of 2008 and prompting the then BROWN (Labour) government to implement a number of measures to stimulate the economy and stabilize the financial markets. Facing burgeoning public deficits and debt levels, in 2010 the then CAMERON-led coalition government (between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats) initiated an austerity program, which has continued under the Conservative government. However, the deficit still remains one of the highest in the G7, standing at 3.6% of GDP as of 2017, and the UK has pledged to lower its corporation tax from 20% to 17% by 2020. The UK had a debt burden of 90.4% GDP at the end of 2017.
The UK economy has begun to slow since the referendum vote to leave the EU in June 2016. A sustained depreciation of the British pound has increased consumer and producer prices, weighing on consumer spending without spurring a meaningful increase in exports. The UK has an extensive trade relationship with other EU members through its single market membership, and economic observers have warned the exit will jeopardize its position as the central location for European financial services. Prime Minister MAY is seeking a new “deep and special” trade relationship with the EU following the UK’s exit. However, economists doubt that the UK will be able to preserve the benefits of EU membership without the obligations. The UK is expected to officially leave the EU by the end of March 2019.
In 2008 it was Labour’s Gordon Brown who presided over the banking crisis admitting he did not do enough to regulate the finance sector. What followed was Conservative imposed austerity starting with the Cameron government ( including an alliance with the Lib Dems).
Here is the rub.
Government programmes like austerity are set out at Westminster not Edinburgh and run for years.At the time it was Labour, in opposition at Westminster who abstained and did not not put up any kind of fight against the imposition of austerity.
That leaves us with two main conclusions, one Richard Leonard is lying to the Scottish public as the programme of austerity which sets the block grants for years to come were in effect supported by Labour.
Secondly, he disrespects the Scottish public because he thinks we are stupid enough to belief this rubbish.He consistently repeats it at every opportunity especially now at the end of the year when editors will be very willing to use any press releases they can get. Nothing but deceit and disrespect for the people of Scotland.
The Scottish Government took positive and practical steps to mitigate the introduction of austerity measures as early as 2014. This was in response to the UK Government introduction of the ‘removal of the spare room subsidy’, more commonly known as the “bedroom tax”. The ‘mitigation’ continues and has come to the point using the limited powers of devolution the people on benefit have been involved in large scale consultations to help design a rights based Scottish Social Security system- but he says the SNP ‘refuse to help’.
Note also at this point after the 2014 referendum the ‘Vow’ and the promises of ‘substantial new powers’ were made to the Scottish people, remember ‘as close to federalism as you can get?’
Being deceitful is a prerequisite for Labour Party leadership. You have to call out the lies every time you hear them repeated because they will just keep on saying them.
Gordon Brown being deceitful in 2014 by promising us things he could never deliver.
Merry Yessmas……and an active New Year on the streets of Scotland!
It was a small step for us back in 2014 which sadly we did not take.
We were bullied and lied to by Project Fear…that tactic cannot be repeated.
Those Labour/Better Together canvassers who called on the doorsteps of old people and people from ethnic minorities to scare them about pensions and immigration status in case they voted YES were and still are a disgrace to Scotland and the Labour movement.
In time people can see that for themselves as Labour stood shoulder to shoulder with the Tories and the Liberals as Unionists to crush the aspirations of the Scottish people. They had and still do not have any real commitment to Scotland only to curry favour with London and gain access to the House of Lords in return for unquestioning service.
As this year draws to a close we have seen even more evidence of Labours complete betrayal not just to Scotland but to huge numbers of people in England and Wales who would at least want to delay if not stop the Brexit bus. It is like the bus in the movie ‘Speed’ and is not only booby trapped to explode but is going to take a lot of innocent bystanders with it.Scotland did not vote to leave the EU but as with General Elections we often do not get what we vote for.This time Scotland is fortunate to have an escape route-Independence.
This year saw the start of a steady mobilisation of All Under One Banner marches across all of Scotland culminating in around 100,000 marching in Edinburgh in support of independence. Next year we will see another round of marches and an all movement campaign for independence which has already started to be funded with over £104,000 raised so far. The momentum will build again march by march, rally by rally and street stall by street stall.
If you cannot get along to marches or street stalls you can still do good by sharing information that challenges the constant drip, drip, drip of misinformation which is circulated in the press daily. That is why pages like Yes Scotlands Future exist. We are here to share information and put it out there so that Scotlands aspirations can not only be voiced, but also heard above the cacophony of propaganda and news designed to have us all look the other way.
With the page growing in size we are closing the year with a ‘post reach for the last 28 days of over 1 million- not bad for a bunch of volunteer citizen journalists.
So we urge you to support pages like this by liking and sharing the posts and talking to as many people that you can about what is being posted. Many people are still led by what is in the main stream media and that is why the task to inform and let people make up their own minds through challenging everything is so very important.
The time has almost come to step back into the campaign for independence again. Some of us have never left I hear you say. That is true but its also worth reflecting on.
A new campaign needs new messages and new symbols and strategy.That is what the next phase will be all about, we need to reframe the arguments to the current time period not 2014 . That doesn’t mean giving up in any way it is just about being welcoming of people who have not yet come to being ‘Yes’.
When the time comes we will still be about letting the Scottish people RESET the political landscape in our country….( the redecorating the house analogy is one we like at Yes Scotlands Future ) Let us get control and ownership of the house first then we can sort out the wallpaper and paint.
We need to convince people to go for full on Independence and reject once and for all the cesspit that Westminster has become.They said they would clean it up after 2014 ,we are still waiting.We have seen it degenerate day by day and now Brexit and the ‘power grab’ threatens the existence of our own devolved parliament.
Team Yes Scotlands Future wish you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Have a good break because there is work to be done- we have bigger steps to take.
The imminent deployment of 3,500 troops on British soil has been announced as part of a no-deal Brexit ‘contingency plan’.
Should we be worried?
We wonder what the government will ask these troops to do and under what circumstances?
When you consider that the UK has just 1,000 troops deployed in Afghanistan it hard not be a bit concerned by the parallels.
Afghanistan has suffered from decades of war and has been a focus for international military intervention. UK on the other hand has put itself through a long drawn out process of extracting itself from an economic partnership with its closest neighbours by a largely ideologically driven ‘Leave’ campaign. The consequences of this are only now becoming real with stockpiling of foodstuff , medical supplies and industrial parts already a reality.
While the UK does not yet meet the full characteristics of a ‘failing state’ it is showing signs of slipping according to the Fund for Peace’s Fragile states index 2018. It is certainly worsening in the opposite direction from ‘strong and stable’
‘A failed stateis a political body that has disintegrated to a point where basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government no longer function properly’
What is clear is that there has been a failure of political institutions, and an erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions.
Whatever the outcome of the Brexit process the result overall in the UK will be less faith in democratic processes not an empowered population as we witnessed in Scotland in 2014.
Instead of engagement and empowerment we have the opposite dominating society. That is something to be very worried about and something we in Scotland can and must try to prevent dominating our society. Independence is our escape route to a more sustainable and equitable way of life.
Recent headlining news about allegations against former First Minister Alex Salmond raises a number of interesting points. At Yes Scotland’s Future we are glad to see him putting forward a robust defence and at the same time we uphold the right of an individual or individuals to raise issues in the workplace.
Firstly the statement made by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday was very clear and very welcome. Its important not to over react to these situations and some of the best advice I have heard is:
“A plea. Don’t rush to judgment. On anyone. Allow due process.
And read Nicola Sturgeon’s statement in full”
At one level that is all we need to say on this at this time no further comment is needed until due process has been completed including Alex Salmond’s court case.
There are other important events going on in the world as we know only too well. This week saw the publication of a massive stream of ‘technical notes’ on what would happen to a number of important sectors if there was a ‘No-deal’ Brexit, including raising a number of concerns about banking services for British people living abroad, increased credit card charges and potential shortages of medicines and medical supplies such as those used for cancer treatment.
Unfortunately none of that is on the front pages of the Scottish press. Just a day or two after their publication you would expect a fair press to have digested and analysed this mass of information and to be sharing it with people. But no, nothing of the sort.
In the case of Alex Salmond (AS) we see an all too typical rabid press pouring over what is to all purposes a leaked workplace grievance and subsequent investigative process.
That process has to run its course but it is the nature of these things that leaking it to the media not only damages the accused but the accuser. It’s extremely difficult for anyone in a workplace to report concerns to an employer if it is then leaked to the media. We have to ask who leaked this confidential information about a sexual harassment allegation and why?
That brings us to the second main point of this article. What is the role of the media and how are they responding? In the last few weeks and months there have been many stories about alleged misconduct among public figures but in the Scottish Government there is a clear internal process for dealing with such matters. From Nicola Sturgeon’s statement “..I was informed by the Permanent Secretary earlier this week that she had completed her investigation”. The subsequent release of the fact that a complaint had been made and investigated led to AS refuting this and raising a legal challenge. This was seized upon by the media as AS suing the Scottish Government and almost by association some kind of internal struggle inside the SNP.
Looking at the facts of the matter and if you think of it without Alex Salmond but as a complaint in a work setting it should never have got any exposure at all in the media. So why was it put out into the public domain ? We have seen frequently the BBC report on a subject then spin it out to include false or misleading information.In fact just this very week they were forced to apologise for misleading the viewing public about the economic figures relating to Scotland. This goes on regularly and it is by regularly repeating false information that important ‘minor’ details like Scotland can never have a deficit because it’s not fiscally allowed to, are ignored.Instead the media try to paint a picture of a reckless over spending Scottish Government when in fact nothing is further from the truth and all areas Scotland has complete control over are not in deficit.
The media stated repeatedly that Alec Salmond was suing the Scottish Government and the Civil Servants involved in bringing the complaints forward. The message people are not getting explained to them is that the Civil Service is reserved to Westminster and staff are charged to work with the devolved administrations.They are not employed by Holyrood. So it is not true to state that a case is being brought against the Scottish Government and insinuate it is some kind of internal SNP struggle.
This article on the civil service outlines changes to staff numbers across the devolved administrations. The key point s that the devolved administrations have less staff working for them than other UK government departments. We do not intend to attack the civil service or its staff but point out that the presence of senior staff is more heavily weighted towards the 5 Westminster controlled departments than the devolved assemblies.
We can do without the media leading us up the garden path at a time when we are being led to the cliff edge over Brexit. The civil service is in charge of the internal investigative process not the ‘Scottish Government’. We shall see what transpires but we know how politics works. Civil servants are answerable to politicians and at times of crisis staff with skills in mass media are as useful to a government as weaponry is at a time of war.
Jeremy Corbyn has also seen his fair share of media misrepresentation recently although some of it is of his own making.
"Do you honestly believe that Britain is better off outside of the EU?"
I will leave room to consider points by Craig Murray, someone with lived experience in this area of press activity.
Alex Salmond’s jeopardy has caused me a dreadful shudder of recognition and empathy. I too was accused of hideous offences under a civil service disciplinary code and barred from taking any action to defend myself. I was not allowed to speak to anybody at all about the charges, and particularly not allowed to know the identity of my accusers, or to organise witnesses in my defence – which appears the exact procedure which Alex Salmond now, with absolute justice, complains of. These Civil Service disciplinary investigations are contrary to all rules of natural justice, and designed to facilitate executive stitch-ups, not to uncover the truth.
It is also worth noting Alex Salmond’s recent unfettered access to the media on his RT talk showin which he has given free reign to a number of interesting subjects and guests whom you would never see on any other talk show. Recently he has intervened personally in the Wings Over Scotlandversus the BBC case involving the banning of the You Tube channel.
In conclusion it is worth repeating our earlier plea-
Don’t rush to judgment. On anyone. Allow due process.
At the same time being realistic we need to be aware of the massive media games being played on the public over Brexit and Scottish independence just now. There is not a bus big enough to write all the lies that have been broken on the side of it.
Recently there has been a great deal of disruption to Facebook pages.Reports are coming in saying that these are related to changes to programming on Facebook on a worldwide level. The other day this had the effect of posts being blocked as spam posts seconds after being posted and people having to ask for them to be reinstated.
In the event of this happening again or for a more prolonged period we would like to remind page followers that we also have a web site. If the problems with Facebook persist over time we will move all our online activity to that website.
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