I’ll march for Scotland’s cause

I hear AUOB is calling for a “emergency” march in Glasgow next Saturday. If I were to attend this event how would I signal which of the things listed as the reasons for the march I’m demonstrating about? I don’t give a damn about Boris Johnson. Removing him might allow some shallow-minded people to feel good about themselves for however long it takes them to realise that his removal has made not the slightest difference to anything. If I were to turn up at George Square next Saturday it would not be as part of any effort to get rid of Johnson. How might I indicate this?

I feel much the same about the Tories. So long as the Union persists Scotland cannot be a truly democratic country. That is true no matter what name the governing party at Westminster goes by. Besides which, the British state is a Tory state. You might be able to vote the Tories out of office but you can never vote them out of power. Why do you suppose British Labour leaders strive to make their party as like the Tories as they can? Or dare! Only Tories get to wield power in the British state. If you want to wield power, you have to be indistinguishable from a Tory.

If I go to the AUOB “emergency” march in Glasgow it won’t be for the purpose of supporting an anti-Tory protest. I would need a way to make it clear that I am protesting against the Union. What arrangements will be in place that might allow me to make this clear?

I’d march for independence. I have done so many times over the past few years. On pretty much every occasion the march has been ‘hijacked’ by groups and individuals whose causes bore little or no necessary connection to the constitutional issue. Some of them were fine causes. But they were not the cause for which I was participating in the demonstration. Nonetheless, any of those groups or individuals got to claim my support by virtue of my presence. Even if there cause was one about which I was seriously dubious or one which I actively opposed, they got to claim my support.

I don’t want to do that any more. I will march against the Union. I will march to demand the restoration of Scotland’s independence. If there is anybody out there organising such events I’d be obliged if they’d let me know.



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13 thoughts on “I’ll march for Scotland’s cause

  1. Peter, you have often said language is important when discussing the union. You state “march against the union” wouldn’t protest against the union be more confrontational and send a stronger message.

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    1. I’m referring to a march. An actual march. And potential marches. The word “march” seemed best to express the idea of a march as distinct from any of a range of alternative forms of protest.

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  2. AUOB used to be about Independence. Now it’s about Tories, BoJo, Environment, Nuclear, pro-Alba, anti-Sturgeon, and whatever its organisers espouse.

    As a result, instead of tens of thousands, a few hundred turn up.

    It needs to go back to Independence – that’s the one and only thing we all have in common. Or indeed, we need a new non-partisan and genuine umbrella group.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I posted this elsewhere, and it shows why non-partisan is the only way to win Indy Ref 2.

      The 2nd last opinion poll, of 1107 people by Ipsos Mori which had YES at 50% and NO at 42%, the composition of the voters for YES was 8% of Conservative voters, 10% of Labour, 14% of LibDem, and 85% of SNP. Alba would presumably have been around 90% as the SNP attracts people who vote for them, but don’t support Indy – same as before in 2011. Green are omitted for easiness, probably included in the constituency VI table.

      Put roughly in figures for the electorate taking into account the reverse VI for the parties, you get out of 3.6 million who might vote in Indy Ref 2:

      Con – 43,000
      Lab – 59.000
      LibD – 23,000
      SNP – 1,400,000
      (Alba – 90% of 45,000 from Holyrood List = 40,000)

      and just as importantly for the don’t knows:

      Con – 10,000
      Lab – 53,000
      LibD – 23,000
      SNP – 92,000

      That gives a grand total of 1,743,000 votes for YES – YES WIns!!!

      That was in an anti-Alba forum I posted that. Relevance here and elsewhere is that being anti-Tory could lose 53,000 votes. Being anti-Sarwar could lose 112,000 votes, and being anti-LD could lose 46,000 votes – and turn them the other way. YES gets 1,533,000 votes and the Union wins – again.

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    2. I suspect there’s rather more to the low turnouts than AUOB’s loss of focus. But we definitely have to get back to the core issue. The latest AUOB call to various actions illustrates very well the blurry nature of what calls itself the Yes campaign.

      But I’ve been saying this for years. Almost before the tears were dry after the 2014 referendum I was warning that lessons had to be learned because the next referendum would be totally different. The following came up on my Fecaboko memories today.

      “At the time Yes Scotland was set up, I wholly approved of the separation of the SNP and the rest of the Yes movement. I have been forced to reconsider in the light of subsequent developments. Not that I’m saying it was a mistake. At the time, it seemed like the sensible thing to do. And it was probably necessary. Then!

      But this is now. The next independence referendum campaign WILL NOT be simply a rerun of the first one. We have the benefit of experience now. It would be stupid not to take advantage of what we have learned – both from our own campaign and from the anti-independence effort. They won. Something they did was effective. Let’s learn from that.

      With hindsight we can see that the, sometimes very forceful, shunning of the SNP by the rest of the Yes campaign played right into the British establishment’s demonising of the party. Because independence is inevitably and irrevocably associated with the SNP, we were effectively asking people to vote for them in one breath and saying we wanted nothing to do with them in the next.

      Separating the SNP and the Yes movement was a mistake. It created a weak spot which the British state – ever the masters of divide and rule – were able to take advantage of. With many on the Yes side showing themselves all too willing to be used.

      We must not make the same mistake again. The entire Yes campaign must embrace the SNP, not as a political party, but as the de facto political arm of the independence movement.

      The British nationalists will attack the SNP because they know that this is the most effective way to undermine the whole independence movement. As they did before, they will completely ignore the other pro-independence parties (OPIP) and organisations such as Labour for Independence and Women for Independence unless and until they can be used against the SNP. They will completely disregard everything people like Patrick Harvie say unless and until they say something that can be spun as a ‘blow’ to Nicola Sturgeon.
      That’s realpolitik. We may not like it. But we’re not going to change it. Certainly not in time for the coming campaign.

      Learning the lessons from all of this we must present a united front. Instead of joining in with the anti-SNP rhetoric, everybody in the Yes campaign should be defending the SNP to the very best of their ability. And if they can’t, then they should just keep quiet. It simply makes no sense to damage the tool you need to get the job done.

      A lot of people don’t like to hear this. Even as I write it, I’m not comfortable with it myself. In normal circumstances this kind of ‘devotion’ to a political party would be anathema to me. But these are not normal circumstances. So I urge everyone who is unequivocally and unconditionally committed to the cause of independence to avoid the customary knee-jerk reaction and just think about what I’m saying. If bringing our government home is important – which it certainly is – then it is surely worth the relatively small effort – sacrifice, if you will – of putting aside personal animosities, policy agendas and partisan loyalties for a year or so in order to win the prize.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Isn’t the “easiest” way to do this is by separating the SNP from the current administration in Holyrood so it becomes the “managerial wing” of the party. I say this, only partly in jest.

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  3. Protest against Boris Johnson? You may as well protest against bad weather and too much cabbage in school meals.

    Seems to me that a march (hopefully) signals that a (hopefully) large number of people are sufficiently motivated to do something about the current situation. Which, right now, means venting their anger against parties which are keeping us in this union in the upcoming council elections, without exception.

    As for materials, well you have this blog and a lot of ears which will be in one place and (hopefully) receptive enough to actually want to do something. If they really want the Tories out of power then there’s only one option.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. To all indy supporters: if a march has been organised attend and play your part to convey to the audience* what it is about (*not the marchers, everyone else). If other organisations can produce placards and co-ordinating chants so can you, just do it. If other marchers can make attempts to mitigate the counter-productive contributions so can you.

    Here are some ideas for starters (join in with your own please):

    Print off, large bold font laminate, punch 2 holes & thread cord so they can ‘wear’ it, chorus of Hope Over Fear (no need to point out the limitations of that song – its popular, easy to sing, upbeat, it will do) , or anything lots will join in with. Must be easy, 2 or 3 lines max.

    Drown out stuff we dont need: blow a whistle, get your dug to bark, get a speaker and make up a playlist with anything upbeat and related to self-determination & toxic relationships, etc

    Insert your own ideas here:

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I agree the removal of Johnson matters not to a jot to Scots for another anti-indy PM would just be put in place, Neil Mackay expect at least 5,000 folk to attend. To be fair to Mr Mackay did say in the article that the march was also for independence, I’d imagine using Johnson’s terrible behaviour is a smart way to get more people to attend as feelings are running high, and the story of the BYOB party is still live in the news.

    However.

    “Neil Mackay, from AUOB, said public feeling was so strong about Johnson’s Downing Street party that the group did not have time to give authorities the required 28 days’ notice.”

    Oops, I foresee Glasgow City Council (SNP) knocking the march on the head, or a possible Manni Singh scenario in the offing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Next Saturday is the 15th of January. In case anyone hasn’t noticed the medicalisation of society, in Scotland outdoor events with an attendance over 500 are illegal until 17th Jan. If anyone thinks 4000 are going to turn up after the 17th, there needs to be a system in place to note people’s ‘vaccine passports’, or it would be illegal.

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    1. The march is not THIS Saturday (15th) but NEXT Saturday (22nd).

      I think the dubious legality of the event is quite purposeful. A form of civil disobedience. If we genuinely want Scotland’s independence restored than we damn well better get used to the idea that we may have to push against the laws that hinder us.

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      1. “If we genuinely want Scotland’s independence restored than we damn well better get used to the idea that we may have to push against the laws that hinder us.”

        I couldn’t agree more, however how to motivate folk to do so is the crux of the matter I think.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Agree. First to establish exactly why they are not currently motivated. I’ve heard various theories as to why but none entirely plausible to explain why the numbers on marches have taken such a nosedive.

        Liked by 1 person

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