I wear two hats when I write this blog of mine. First and foremost, I manage a small charity in a small Scottish town called Dumfries. Ours is a front door that opens onto the darker corners of the crumbling world that is Britain 2015. We hand out 5000 emergency food parcels a year in a town that is home to 50,000 souls. Then, as you can see from all of the book covers above, I am also a thriller writer. If you enjoy the blog, you might just enjoy the books. The link below takes you to the whole library in the Kindle store. They can be had for a couple of quid each.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


So in 48 hours we will know the result. And of course, it will be one way or the other. ‘Yes’ will mean euphoria whilst ‘No’ will be an alarmingly deep pit of sadness.

In a way, I am writing this blog for my future self in 20 years time, assuming of course I’m still kicking about. Maybe I will also shove these words in front of some grandchildren.

Like many thousands of others, the last few months have been extraordinary. I know with absolute certainly that I will new know anything like this again. It has been once in a lifetime in every respect.

Oddly enough, the emotion I am feeling now reminds me strongly of the way I felt in the early hours of the morning of 26 May, 2005. I was sitting in a Turkish hire car on an empty car park outside the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul. Only a few hours earlier, Jerzy Dudek had saved Andrei Shevchenko’s tepid, nerve-ridden penalty and against all sensible odds, Liverpool had become the Champions of Europe for the fifth time. By 4am all the wild craziness of the night had finally melted into silence. My two sons were fast asleep and the world had suddenly become a very quiet place that provoked a moment of reflection.

As I sat staring across the litter strewn concrete, I knew that I would continue to make the fortnightly trip to Anfield for as many years as I could make it. But I also knew that nothing would ever be quite as good again. It couldn’t be. The Miracle of Istanbul was once in a lifetime thing and it would never be matched. It could never be matched.

Playing a small part in the magnificent ‘Yes’ campaign has been another once in a lifetime thing. I have never engaged in politics before and I cannot imagine ever doing so again. Like most people, I am no fan of Party Politics and I find it impossible to imagine ever wearing anyone’s rosette.

Before the Referendum, I would never have believed I would ever become an active part of any political campaign. Well, I guess that is proof positive that you should never say never.

The world has become a much worse place during the course of my 53 years on the planet. Certainly Britain has become much, much worse. George Orwell’s stark vision has largely come true as a tiny elite has achieved an iron grip on more or less everything. Before the campaign, I would never have believed that the 99% still had it in us to get our act together to hammer away at the towering walls of the Establishment.

Well I was wrong.

We have had a go. An almighty go. And I feel immensely honoured to have been able to play a part in it.

The Referendum campaign has revealed the depth of the forces of the Establishment. We have forced them to break cover. Now they stand out in the open and we know exactly who they are.

Most of the time, there have been few surprises. For the sake of future generations, here is the list of those who broke cover to prop up the Status Quo.

All three main political parties plus UKIP.

The civil servants and think tanks who rely on the Westminster gravy train for their final salary pensions.

British Embassies across the world.

The Military and the vast parasitical corporations who feed off the MOD.

Big Corporations.




The whole of the printed media with the exception of the Sunday Herald

 Celebrities angling for Knighthoods.

If anyone has ever wondered how on earth it has been possible for the richest 85 individuals in the world to accumulate more wealth than the poorest three and a half billion, then I think the Referendum has offered a clear insight into how they have managed it. The 1% has only been able only get as rich and powerful as it has become by having a vast power machine at its beck and call.

The ‘No’ side have had the kitchen sink at their disposal and my oh my have they ever thrown it at us.

The ‘Yes’ side on the other hand has simply had people. Lots and lots and lots of them and it has been my great privilege to have been one of them.

The appalled fury of the Establishment shows just how certain they were that this kind of thing could never happen any more. They were obviously quite convinced that they had driven us down forever with their zero hour contracts and ever shrinking wages and the rolling 24 hour celebrity obsessed pap they use to brainwash us into drooling submission. They thought they had earned the right to play us for mugs forever.

Well. Not quite.

Against all expectations, it has turned out that Democracy has had a last gasp of life. Democracy has been like the bad guy in a Holywood psycho movie. You know how it goes. The maniac is shot twenty five times and smacked around the head with concrete and there they lie on the floor looking like they are deader than dead. The hero turns to his rescued wife and his cute rescued kids and then all of a sudden, and against all medical science, the nutter leaps back to his/her feet brandishing a meat cleaver. Well in this case democracy has played the part of the supposedly dead nutter. The Establishment must have thought they were safe forever. Sure, we have elections every few years but they don’t matter. All of the parties have been well and truly bought and paid for. They all look after the interests of the 1% in return for non-exec directorships and a seat in the House of Lords. 

But for a few heady weeks everything has changed.

People have found a way to find their voice and the Establishment probably haven’t felt this scared since the General Strike.

We were supposed to have been muzzled, but we have discovered new ways of making ourselves heard and rediscovered old ways of making ourselves heard. The packed meeting halls have been a throwback to times which we all thought had been long lost. The brilliant use ‘Yes’ has made of the social media has all but neutered the massed ranks of the mainstream media.

I wonder how long it will take for these tools to be taken away? Will the men and women in control of Twitter and Facebook and YouTube and Google continue to provide the online tools for a 21st Century rebellion? Or will they join the ranks of the Establishment and take those tools away?

In my bones, tomorrow feels like it might be the last chance we will ever get to break the hold of the 1%. If the Establishment succeeds in frightening enough people into obedience, I fear our one off chance will have come and gone. The loopholes will all be closed. Never again will a leader make the mistake David Cameron made with such arrogance and ineptitude. He was the very epitome of an Establishment man who believed in his own publicity. His privilege made him feel invincible. He was completely convinced that the battle had already been won. He was certain that the 99% had lost all capability of mounting any kind of threat to the iron grip of the 1%.

Well. You were wrong on that one Mr Cameron.

They say the result is too close to call and who could disagree. What is easy to call is the fact that tomorrow’s vote looks a lot like it will be the last chance saloon. If the Establishment win, they will take steps to make sure they are never threatened again. We will have lost our one and only chance of making a better world by casting votes in polling stations. They will never give us this chance again. I think it is fair to say that they will have learned their lesson.

If they win tomorrow, there will only be one road open to break the stranglehold of the 1%. To travel that particular road, the 99% to will look to men like Trotsky or Castro to take the lead. Such a road is invariably very dark. When the 99% take that road, lots of people end up dead.

An awful lot of hope will die on Friday morning if the Establishment prevails. Scotland has had the chance to show the world how to break the grip of power in a wonderfully peaceful process which hasn’t seen a single person arrested. If we fail, millions around the world will lose another notch of faith that the world can be changed for the better without the use of guns and bombs. If we lose, then more and more will look to the likes of ISIS for their inspiration.

History proves time and again that it is ultimately unsustainable for a very few people to own everything whilst the vast majority live ever harder lives. Marie Antoinette suggested the 99% should eat cake. The 99% chose instead to have a revolution and when they won it, they beheaded the men and women of the 1%. A bit like ISIS when you think about it. When things went too far here in the Seventeenth Century, we had our own revolution and chopped off Charles the First’s head. Just like ISIS.

If we fail to capitalise on this magnificent show of grassroots power, the road will open up to the men of violence to take the lead.

And it won’t be pretty.

In 1984 Orwell wrote ‘If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.’

But it never is forever. In the end the people who keep getting stamped on can stand it no more and they bite back like a million abused dogs.

History teaches that the rule of any 1% will always end eventually, but it usually takes a vast amount of bloodshed to make it happen. Up to date case studies? The Gaddafi family in Libya? The Assad family in Syria?

Maybe tomorrow we will succeed in breaking the stranglehold of the 1% without a shot being fired. If we do, then it will be a mighty achievement, especially when you consider the massive forces that have been mobilised against us.

Tomorrow we can give the rest of the world the message that democracy can still work.

If we lose, then a dark time will become darker. The 1% will have proved that it is capable of frightening people into clinging to the status quo even though the status quo is rubbish. They will indeed have managed to get a majority of turkeys to vote for their version of Christmas.

Well, here’s a final note for myself in twenty years time. Here is an account of one person’s effort kick down the wall. I have been just one small voice among hundreds of thousands. I hope my future self will realise that my present self is in no way, shape or form blowing his own trumpet here. This is just a record of an extraordinary few months when so many of us found a way to dare to hope. I think I managed to play my part.

So hello posterity. Here a list of the efforts of one of the thousands and thousands of little people who in the heady days of 2014 found a way to take a tilt at a few windmills.

Speeches to 10 town hall meetings, one of which found its way onto YouTube to be watched 5300 times.

4 debates, one of which was on BBC Radio.

28 blogs read by 20,000 people.

A book called ‘Toxic which at this point has been read 7000 times and listened to 5000 times.

So there you are, my future self.

That was the bit you once did in the long lost summer of 2014 when hope crawled out of the cracks.

Did we win?

Well you know the answer to that one. I don’t. But I’ll know tomorrow. We all will.

I will wrap up with a great quote I heard yesterday. Kat Boyd, one of the Radical Independence activists who has made a name for herself on the campaign trail, was being interviewed on Michael Greenwell ‘Scottish Independence Podcast’.

Michael asked her if she thought we were going to win.

She replied “I am a socialist and a feminist and my dad supports Albion Rovers. I not really used to winning at anything……!”

Well Kat, maybe this time.

Maybe this time.


  1. Mark I am an admirer of your work and thank you for all you have done in the Referendum. I think the polls are flawed, they have missed out a vast array of the population. the ones who have not voted for years or at all. They had no history for them to work on. Instead they have continued asking the same socio economic and age related groups. Therefore they have the same answers. I think we are winning and if there is no fiddling we will be an new Independent Nation on the way to full Independence.

  2. Fingers and everything else crossed that you are right. I completely agree by the way.

  3. I am far from religious but dear God, PLEASE let the sun shine tomorrow.