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, March 14, 2017


So that's it guys. The time of 'will she, won't she?' is done and dusted. She has. IndyRef 2 is no longer an 'if'. As of yesterday it became a 'when'. 

In the wake of Nicola dropping her bombshell, the airwaves were filled with shouty people from England telling us how we really, really don't want a second independence referendum. It seems London once again knows best. What could the SNP possibly know about the way the Scots feel? 

I am pretty sure most of my fellow travelers on the 'Yes' side of the argument will have been punching the air with relief. Is this the ideal time to fire the starting gun? No, of course it isn't. In an ideal world we would have waited for a year's worth of polls showing a 60% plus majority for our independence. But the world of 2017 is a long, long way from being ideal. The big worry was always the 2021 Scottish Elections and the 'Yes' side losing a majority in Holyrood. And then what? Who knows. A bird in the hand is a hundred percent better than a bird in the bush. Right now we have the ability to take our chances. Of course Indyref 2 isn't about to be any kind of slam dunk, but now is a whole lot better than never.

Yesterday we were treated to a preview of the Unionist line which will become horribly familiar over the coming months. The Scottish people don't want this..... the last referendum was horribly divisive.... you're economy is a joke .... your schools are a joke... your hospitals are a joke .... your parliament is a joke... you're a joke.....

The British economy is a magnificent rolling juggernaut. 

The Scottish economy makes Zimbabwe look like Finland.

They never learn do they? They could have taken the news with dignity, respect and class. Now that would have been a bit of a problem. But they didn't. They were no more able to resist being condescending than a crack addict is able to resist the next pipe. 

Theresa May had the chance to take the news with a bit of statesmanship. It was her big opportunity to look the people of Scotland in the eye and start to punt a positive view of our treasured Union. Instead she did what she now seems to do all the time. She pandered to the Daily Mail.

She sneered and did her mocking headmistress act. Big mistake lady.

Of course the sneering was as predictable as winter snow falling on Moscow. What was rather more interesting was the white faced anger most of them completely failed to hide. Wow, were they ever raging. 

David Mundell was hopping about like a man who had spilled a mug of boiling coffee in his crotch. He was absolutely beside himself. This was probably quite understandable. As Secretary Of State for Scotland he was supposed to be the Tory with a finger on the pulse of the Northern Province. Had he been telling his Prime Minister not to worry, it was all an SNP bluff? And were his ears still on fire from the screaming angry phone call from Number 10 he had just endured? 

You useless, worthless, pathetic piece of shit!!! You said she would never do it! Christ I wish I could fire you..........

And of course David knows he is in for a pretty grim couple of years as the main man in the firing line. And when the Union falls apart after 300 years, his career will be deader than dead. There will be no knighthood and nice cosey seat in the House of Lords for Scotland's last Westminster Tory. He's about to be the fall guy and yesterday you could see it in his eyes.

Theresa May's face also said it all. The anger was in danger of morphing into full on hate. Is this so very surprising? Of course it isn't. Nicola's bombshell was the Prime Minister's worst nightmare for a whole bunch of reasons, none of which she could mention.

Behind the arrogance and the bluster, there must be blind terror in the corridors of Whitehall. The Brexit negotiations look doomed before they start. The EU 27 are going to play hardball over the divorce payments and Theresa May knows she will be between a rock and a hard place from day one. The EU negotiators will demand their pound of flesh and the Daily Mail will do all they can to make sure Britain doesn't pay it. No wonder there is already plenty of talk about the UK throwing a tantrum and storming out of the talks before they really get started.

May knows she has barely a decent card in the hand she is about to play. The shadowy money men who prop up the cardboard cut out party she leads will have already laid down the law. Only one thing matters and only one.

The beloved City of London.

She will be expected to trade everything in exchange for business as usual in the City. Well yesterday Nicola wrenched a few of those cards from her hand. No wonder the Tories decided to grab control of post Brexit fishing and farming policy. Once again these key chunks of the Scottish economy were about to be sacrificed in exchange for business as usual for the City.

Well it ain't so easy now. She might try to buy off the Spaniards with promises of Scottish fish, but her empty offer will be met with mocking laughter. It's not yours to give lady. And if she is seen trying to  sell out Scotland to look after London banks, she will make Independence a near certainty.

Then of course there is the border nightmare. Ever since the Brexit vote, the party line on the Irish border has been problem, what problem! Of course there won't be a problem. The border will remain as open as open can be. Just like the border between Gibraltar and Spain will remain as open as open can be. So how on earth can they say the borders between the UK and EU Ireland and Spain will be wide open but the border between EU Scotland and the UK will be like the Berlin Wall? Well she might try to say it but it won't hold any water.

Another high card is supposed to be the European need for the comfort blanket of the British military in the scary new world of the Donald. All of a sudden throwing the Trident card onto the table won't look so very convincing when their beloved missiles are about to made homeless.

It is about to get a whole lot harder to keep peddling the line about how miraculously great the British economy is, Brexit or no Brexit. A few pesky economists will start to look at what the much vaunted British economy will look like once it loses all of those Scottish exports. All that whisky and oil and beef and timber and fish and...

We may be pathetic and poor, but we export and whole lot more than we import and once Scotland is removed from the equation the economy of the Rest of the UK starts to look like a bit of a basket case. 

Here's a comparison which is guaranteed to piss off the Unionists, not that they are remotely likely to read this. 

1942. Hitler has taken the gamble to end all gambles and invaded the Soviet Union. His beloved 6th Army has reached Stalingrad and the Generals tell him the best option is to by pass the city and keep blitzkrieging their way to the oilfields. Instead Der Fuhrer can't resist a the chance for a toe to toe slugfest. And of course it all ended in tears. The 6th Army was doomed from the get go. They were totally reliant on supplies coming in along hundreds of miles of rail tracks. And every mile of this over stretched supply line was vulnerable to attacks from the partisans who were hiding out in the forests. Stalin had no such problems. His supply line from the factories he had shifted east were just as long, but there were no partisans to blow up the trains. In the end the 6th Army ran out of bullets and food and warm clothes. 

Well, the hard Brexiteers have chosen their very own Stalingrad with the same blind arrogance Hitler showed seventy years ago. And yesterday they had their first supply train blown up. We are the partisans and they know only too well they don't have the spare troops they need to deal with us. Instead they will pour everything into the Stalingrad of the Brexit negotiations whilst we wreak havoc behind the lines.

No wonder Mundell looked like he was ready to throw up. No wonder Theresa May looked like a woman who was dreaming of sending one of her treasured nukes to Edinburgh. 

The nightmare just got serious. After four hundred years, the sun is about to finally set on the British Empire. One by one the jewels in the Crown have slipped from London's grasp. First it was America. Then India. Then Hong Kong. And now the very last colony is about to fly the nest. 

And being angry won't be enough to make it stop. Hitler was angry every time some poor sod brought him the news that another train loaded up with new tanks had been blown to bits in the back end of the Ukranian nowhere. 

So he ranted and screamed until the spittle ran down his chin and onto his jacket.

And then he lost.

It is 310 years since we were bought and sold for English gold. I think it is high time for us to join all the other countries of the world to have walked away from London rule.

Don't you?

Yesterday Nicola added her name to a long and distinguished list - George Washington, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, David Ben Gurion, Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, Eamon De Valera and many, many others. London was every bit as angry at each and every one of those men as they are with Nicola now. London mocked them and threatened them and rubbished them. And it made not a jot of difference to the remorseless march of history.

Where better to finish this particular blog than with the magical words of Mahatma Gandi.

'First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you then you win'

Too bloody right we will.       


  1. Well said Mark, this time we will win!

  2. Got to agree with the above two posts, fantastic bit of writing!

  3. Brilliant but will they understand it or us I fear not, and then we'll be gone and they'll ask what did we do to make them leave? Read your history books folks the answers in there.

  4. Brilliant. Will share the hell out if this.

  5. I'm getting too old for all this stuff. I find it hard to agree with anything anymore. I disagree with with Brexit. Idisgree that the UK economy is in rude long term health. I disagree that the break up of the EU is good for my children. I disagree that the UK leaving doesn't make that more likely. I disgreee that the the Worldwide drive to the divisive force that is Nationalism is anything other than potentially cataclysmic. I disagree that Trumps election will turn out to be not that bad. I disagree that this a balanced or helpful blog (any reference or comparisons with Hitler and Nazi Germany need really careful consideration- the irony is that the rush to Nationalism played a major role in his ascendancy ) I disagree that Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May are that different.

    1. Hi John. Sorry you feel so down about things. Thanks anyway for the considered comment. I am not a journalist so I have no responsibility to be balanced. My blogs are merely my feelings, and in this case as you can see my feelings are strong. I don't consider myself a rabid nationalist. I was born in England and lived there for the first 36 years of my life. We are a mixed race couple and we headed north to escape the growing racism south of the border. I am a survivor of the Hillsborough disaster and 15/4/1989 was the day my dislike of the British Establishment became total and permanent. The xenophobic poison which is spreading through my old stomping ground of Lancashire breaks my heart. Sadly England is heading down a dark road. Scotland has the chance to be a much kinder place. I am determined to do my bit to make it happen. The Hitler stuff? I hope you'll forgive me that. I am after all a pulp fiction writer with 25 books to my name so I do tend to claim artistic licence at times!

  6. Thanks Mark My guess is there are many topics on which we would agree. Im not objectionable by nature though I struggle not to have a view. I have a friend I treasure who is a strong Scottish nationalist and I understand his pain and his motives are always good. I struggle with the wider picture and the general rush to let's concentrate on how we are different rather than what makes us human. I guess I'm both too old and still an idealist...

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  8. And the bottom line remains. If we are a country and a nation we should take full responsibility for our own affairs and our own behaviour. No more. No less. If we do not we are not a country. This is our final decision.


  9. And the bottom line remains. If we are a country and a nation we should take full responsibility for our own affairs and our own behaviour. No more. No less. If we do not we are not a country. This is our final decision.


  10. Will, I wholly agree with you Let us hope that those living in Scotland, all of whom I consider to be Scots if they have chosen to live here, have the courage to take the responsibility of independence. It is not going to be an easy win.
    Good piece Mark. Keep up the good work, and by that I don't just mean the writing, but also the great work you do in the South West of Scotland. Out of interest, do you get any feeling for what your immediate English neighbours in Cumbria are thinking or saying about Scotland possible becoming independent?

  11. Love her or hate her, at least Nicola is trying to establish Scotland as a country in its own right and avoid the continuing milking of our resources whilst condemning us as unfit to govern our own futures. To all of the Sturgeon haters I say just can vote her out of office for perhaps/hopefully a better leader (views depending) come the first independent voting day sans the UK. Independence doesn't necessarily mean the SNP run Scotland, there will be many, many parties whoring for votes if it happens and a vast majority of them will be the same ones who didn't think we should leave the union in the first place, that you can be sure of.