The big day?

Perhaps mistakenly, I have attached a considerable importance to Saturday’s All Under One Banner March & Rally in Glasgow on Saturday. Billed by the organisers as a “march for independence, I have cheekily purloined their graphics style and turned it into a march to end the Union. I somehow think Neil Mackay and his team won’t object. They’ll probably reckon that all publicity is good publicity. No interdict has been served. So, I’ll continue.

Why do I think this event is of particular importance? For a start, all such events matter. To have impact, a political campaign has to be highly visibile – and audible. Post-pandemic, turnout for marches has been disappointing. Whatever the reasons for this – and there may be many – we have to hope attendance will improve. As I say, visibility is critical. These events are one of the best ways the Yes movement has of making a bit of a splash. But numbers are key. A very high bar was set with marches prior to lockdown attracting tens of thousands. The problem with having 100,000 taking part in one march is that subsequent marches have to try and live up to that. Not doing so looks like failure. It is certain to be portrayed by the British media as a sign of falling support for independence.

Saturday’s march is in Glasgow – one of the places where a massive turnout is possible and even expected. We’ve gotten over the pandemic as much as we ever will. (Too much in some ways, but that’s another article.) We’re getting around to the time of year when we can sensibly hope for good marching weather – which might be defined as not too much of anything. Like most Yes activists, I’ve marched in all weathers. But there’s no getting away from the fact that inclement conditions deter many people. Even if Scotland is surely one of the worst places to be a slave to the weather. Saturday looks like being OK, but no more than that.

There is, I think, a growing awareness that something must be done about the factionalism that is splintering the Yes movement and particularly the truly moronic tribal handbagging between Alba and SNP supporters. Of course, there are some who will always consider their personal likes and dislikes more important than Scotland’s cause. Let’s just say that I do not hold such people in any kind of regard. In fact, I despise them. Having said this, I also know there are many folk who continue to take seriously the original spirit of the Yes movement and who see events such as Saturday’s march as occassions on which disputes and rivalries should be set aside for the good of Scotland’s cause. I get the sense that #AUOBGlasgow is being widely seen as a test for the Yes movement. If we can’t get our act together this weekend I fear the chance may not come again.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Saturday is make-or-break for the Yes movement. But the way it pans out will, I think, have significant implications for the way the independence movement develops over the rest of this year. If we can once again become the mass popular movement we once were; if we can’t or won’t reconnect with our common purpose; if we can’t rediscover the knowledge of how to combine, then the Yes movement will not be a significant player in Scotland’s politics. Basically, it’ll all be left in the hands of the politicians along with their favoured organisations and groups. Under Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP sought to take full and total ownership of the independence movement. Saturday is a chance to show that this project has failed. Which will delight many in the SNP as well as those of us who felt forced to step away from the party over the last few years. It will demonstrate that the Yes movement is capable of uniting. Personally, I take the view that the more this prospect worries the politicians, the better it will be for Scotland’s cause.

Think what you would like the march to look like. Now consider that it can’t look like that unless you’re there. I’ll see you on Saturday. Come and say hello.

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14 thoughts on “The big day?

  1. As the “Hellos” are exchanged with you, Peter – would love you to encourage those involved to find me at the Rally after the march to sign their individual “Declaration of a Sovereign Scot.”

    Quid pro quo?

    Signed a volunteer Holyrood livestreamer

    Liked by 3 people

  2. All Under Many Banners!

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the ‘British’ flag, the ‘Union Jack’ or the ‘Butcher’s Apron’.

    I don’t usually bring a Saltire…but I will bring one to wave on Saturday! Not so much as an emblem of independence but an emblem of my cultural heritage. In the same way as an Italian, Indian, Asian, Spanish, Greek, etc., flag would be welcome to be waved in Scotland (and also, why not a ‘British’ flag)…as an emblem of someone’s cultural heritage, I think I could cope with that! What a relief it’s been to my sanity…to have re-framed the emblem that has caused so much colonial pain in the world. Go me! Tomorrow I might invent something!

    I’m looking forward to Saturday!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’ll be there, see yous all tomorrow. If you cant manage the whole march you can still do your bit and set yourself up somewhere along the route and cheer the marchers on.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. They couldn’t have picked a better day if they want to minimise turnout and get as little good publicity as possible.


    1. I wondered about that too, not a good idea to pick a date when AUOB can be sidelined in the news , as would probably happen anyway but the Coronation makes it easier.

      Looking at the BBC and STV websites, not a mention of AUOB march anywhere as far as I can see. BBC able to find time to mention amount Sturgeon spent on SPADS last year.

      SNP branches should call for an emergency conference to reset things – if only they were able to communicate with each other without going through HQ.


      1. It’s another supposed Indy march hijacked by another activist group. You can see the placards “Not my King”, and as the National put it:

        The All Under One Banner march travelled from Kevingrove Park to Glasgow Green, where a number of pro-republic speakers will give speeches at a rally.

        WTF has republicanism got to do with Indy, specially since the only republic possible at the moment – is a UK republic? Are we supposed to get excited at the idea of that and stay in the UK to support it?

        There seems to have been a good number there – without that divisive agenda there could have been at least 5 times as many there.


      2. BBC did put it on their website but a few hours later, and it was on also on Radio newscasts.
        However, I have been especially angered by The (Glasgow) Herald, who had, and still has in their intro heading “hundreds” join Indy march.
        While they go on to say thousands took part, the heading alone is what many will see.
        That has become one real anti Scottish rag in recent times.
        The numbers were over 20 000 in fact, and took half an hour to go by.

        It went right past my window, and I have the Saltire, and YES posters up for good measure. But I did notice those “Not my King” banners. But it was mainly all saltires, and not too much about the new King. Here in Glasgow most were for Scotland, and Independence.

        I have commented on the timing the other week.
        Peter Bell tells us the date was likely set before the Coronation date was announced, but I still think having it maybe the following week, might have had greater impact.
        However, we hope there will be another Glasow Indy march with due publicity well in advance for more folks to go to it.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m going to shove this here if it’s OK, as if I shove it on other blogs it might get deleted as it doesn’t fit the piper’s tune or something. Whereas at least Bell would be far more likely just to be obstreperous.

    There’s some total garbage (as usual) going on in the media about the next GE and UK Parliament. Considering the way polling has gone already in 7 to 8 months since Labour “stormed into a 40 point lead” or whatever, for an election probably 18 months in the future, the SNP are pretending to drool about a practically non-existent chance of a hung parliament and them having 45 MPs to swing the balance while their drooping support means it could be less than 20 and even back to the 6 they had before 2015. Yousaf is not popular, nor does he appear to be pushing Indy at all. Anyways, here’s some Edward Lear Nonsense from the media:

    SNP would ‘drag Labour to the left’ if hung parliament” (Mhairi Black – and who actually cares as we want OUT of the UK, not changing its direction).

    Labour dismisses talk of coalition as SNP and Lib Dems look towards hung parliament

    Scotland is absolutely vital to Labour’s 2024 election hopes

    The Owl and the Pussy Cat went to see in a beautiful pea green boat” (I made that one up).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would agree, as would most of us in fact, there is some wild thinking on the go.
      Tho the mush about Labour needing Scotland to win Downing Street is just a never ending fairytale. But still both Labour and most in Media still keep it going.
      SNP MPs would be wise to avoid making comments about what they might expect from Labour.
      Have they not learned from 2017, when they had their shopping List set out well in advance, and lost MPs as a consequence, and then again in 2019, and Labour lost badly in England.
      As you say above, we don’t want SNP to try drag Labour to anywhere, we demand SNP go all out for Independence.
      And this talk of demanding a Referendum, just what if it was a hung Parliament, and SNP could make a difference, and help keep tories out of power, but labour still say “No”, and opt for Minority Government. What then does SNP do?
      Apart from the fact, we shouldn’t be asking London permission for anything.

      The present First Minister is clearly little different from the last one. The unfortunate thing about him, being he simply doesn’t seem to care!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I thought about what the march could look like…. and was able to be there … and it looked better than I’d anticipated! I was actually pleasantly surprised to see that it got any mention at all on the BBC.
    It was also interesting to notice the almost total absence of union flags and bunting etc on show in the centre of a major city (about 50-odd people in George Square as I returned to the station I think) .
    This was also the case in the village where I live, where there is a small core of union-flag and sometimes marching band folk who had stuff in their gardens but not intrusively…. otherwise, no real sign of anything of national significance going on.
    I hope this really is a sign of a reinvigoration of energy, focus and purpose.
    Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

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