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.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Quite a picture isn’t it?

It jumped out at me on Referendum Day and I hooked it onto a tweet. ‘Let’s hope this is the perfect image for tomorrow morning’. A couple of days later Twitter let me know that the tweet had bounced here, there and everywhere and many thousands had admired the view of a Skye dawn.

Maybe that is indeed the way things looked up on the Isle of Skye when the dawn sun lit up the world on the morning of the nineteenth.

But of course there was no ‘Yes’ to be found anywhere.

Friday was as bleak a day as I can remember. Hope had lost and fear had won. The British Establishment had rolled back the years and found a way to keep its subjects under the heel.

My first instinct like many was to disown anything resembling politics for ever and a day. We had all done our best and in the end the odds had been too heavily stacked in favour of the Status Quo.

By Saturday morning anger took over as Twitter was filled with images of the George Square Neo Nazis wrapped in their Union Flags.

Disgust and anger flowed through my fingers into a somewhat nihilistic blog. I can’t say I cared much about the tone. And when I hit the ‘publish’ button, I did so with little expectation. Over the course of the campaign, readership of my blogs had risen steadily from the low hundreds to the high hundreds to the low thousands.

But I was certain that this blog would be of little interest to anyone much. This would be a few hundred bitter and angry words hurled out into the wilderness of an online world which had moved on.

Was there still anyone out there with the slightest interest? Probably not. It didn’t seem to matter much.

Publish and be damned.

At first it seemed like my instincts would be proved true.

But then things changed. The last three days have been extraordinary. I have been delighted to see that many of the leading lights in the grass roots campaign have vowed not to go away. By Saturday the idea of the ‘45’ had mushroomed into something that was not about to go away either.

By Saturday evening over 3000 had read my blog.

Sunday was a day of Westminster ugliness. Sunday was the day the Westminster Establishment turned in on itself and started to rip itself apart like an attack dog gone rabid.

Sunday was a day of green shoots as the ‘45’ realised that the future was still there to be won.

By Monday a spectacular surge in membership had taken the SNP beyond the Liberal Democrats and UKIP to become Britain’s third largest party.

By Monday evening over 7000 had read my blog.

By now there was feedback. Taunting voices from the ‘No’ side told me to get over it and get a life. They were gloatingly convinced that September 18 2014 was the day the war was lost, not just a battle.

But other strands of feedback were rather more encouraging. Several people volunteered to help out filling food parcels as a way to get over things. The local ‘Yes’ branch e mailed me to let me know that several members had decided to do the same. Could I come along to a meeting next week?

And all of a sudden there were green shoots everywhere.

Derek Bateman vowed to continue the fight and promised to be back in the game soon with news of a new online media show.

Reverend Stuart penned a magnificent blog on ‘Wings over Scotland’ which had the look and feel of a parting shot. But the next day he was back with a beginners guide on how to stop paying your BBC licence fee without getting on the wrong side of the law.   

Tommy Sheridan showed the pragmatism of a natural guerrilla leader by urging his army of followers to close ranks behind the SNP for the 2015 General Election as the best means to deliver the hardest blow to those who lined up alongside the forces of the Establishment.

By now the air waves were filled with voices from all corners of England expressing their rightful disgust at the fag packet panic of Cameron and Milliband and Clegg. Not in our name!

And by the end of Monday night over 10,000 had visited my angry words. It was suddenly very clear that not many of the ‘45’ were willing to be put back in the box. By now Twitter was filled with remorseful ‘No’ voters trying to come to terms with what they had done as our Westminster rulers showed their ugly side. All of a sudden there was no more love bombing. Instead we had public school voices from the shires of England letting their well heeled votes know that they would have no truck with the keeping of the ‘Vow’.

History tells us that this kind of fallout is nothing new. Time and again the British Empire won battles against those who were striving for their independence. Time and again London managed to win these battles, but in every case London lost the war all the way from America to Ireland to India to Palestine to Kenya to Hong Kong.

And so it will be for Scotland.

Slowly but surely, all of their lies are unravelling. Already there are many who deeply regret their decision to be a part of the 55.

So what do we all do now?

In my book, the ‘45’ will need to be a resistance movement for a while. We have plenty of playbooks to follow. George Washington and Mahatma Ghandi and David Ben Gurion lost a few battles on their roads to freedom. They dusted themselves down and served out their time in British prisons and then they got back on the horse. They found ways to make a nuisance of themselves. They became a constant thorn in the side. They picked away at London’s weak spots until the men of Empire ran out of energy.

This is what all successful resistance movements do. They identify the weak spots. And then they attack them. Thankfully don’t have to start blowing up the railway tracks feeding overstretched supply lines like the men and women of the French Resistance.

But we can become a complete and utter pain in the neck. We can follow the lead of the Americans and Indians and Kenyans who went before us. We can make such a nuisance of ourselves that we will not be worth keeping.

So where do we start? Well I think Tommy has it right on the nail. Those who sided with the Establishment are incredibly vulnerable right now. Somehow they have to find a way to persuade the ‘45’ to forgive and forget in time for the General Election next May.

We must not let them.

Scotland is already more or less a Tory free zone. We used the legacy of Thatcher to clear the decks. Now we need to do the same to all of the parties of the Union who sided with big business and the banks.

Next May, we have the chance to clear Scotland of the parties of the Union. We can deprive them of their power bases. We can make Scotland much more than a Tory free zone. We can go a step further and turn into a Union free zone. ‘45’ is easily enough to achieve this. If the ‘45’ stay united, then we will be more than enough to send the whole lot of them scuttling back over the border to London.

In my book, the best way to achieve this is to show some solidarity with the millions of disenchanted Englishmen and women. We need to get in the faces of the Unionist candidates and make like a dripping tap. We need to demand that they give their solemn word that they will abstain from ALL votes that do not affect their own constituents. And we need to demand these assurances again and again and again until they want to scream with frustration.

They have no right whatsoever to help drive through the privatisation of the NHS in England whilst at the same time boasting to their own people that things up here are different and better.

The people of England deserve our full support on this and by giving our support we will open up gaping wounds in the parties of the Union. Will they all still be so keen to keep hold of Scotland if we succeed in expelling them?

I think we should do all we can to make sure that every Unionist candidate is put through the ringer next spring. Let’s make them publically hang their true colours from the mast. Will they be allowed to promise their constituents that they will do the decent thing and abstain from all votes that affect only the English? Of course they won’t. Their party machines will not allow them. They will try and change the subject and dance around the issue. We mustn’t let them. We need to pin them up against the wall and keep them there.

And then we need to vote them out.

All of them.

The last few days have proved what an Achilles heel this issue really is. Not one Scottish based unionist has even begun to make any kind of believable case for why they should have the right to vote on English matters.

We can solve the West Lothian question on behalf of the people of England by voting them all into oblivion and making sure that the 59 MP’s from Scotland only ever vote on issues that affect their own people.

And the people of England will thank us. They will become our allies. Let’s never forget that almost all of them hate the Westminster stitch up every bit as much as we do. Hell I know this better than anyone. I’m a Lancastrian and an honorary Scouser.

So I’m with you all the way on this one Tommy.

First we focus all efforts of driving out the parties of the Establishment in 2015.

Then we need to fill our own Parliament with a majority who represent the living, breathing dreams of the ‘45’.

And then we win.

Just like the Americans and the Indians and the Kenyans and the Israelis and the Irish won.

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they come to fight you, and then you win." (M.K. Gandhi)   

1 comment:

  1. Rousing post Mark, thank you. I who has never been a member of any political party in 50yrs have now joined the SNP.