Showing posts with label yes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yes. Show all posts

Thursday 30 March 2023

100 Years of Scottish Independence Activism

Months before the Great War, Westminster passed a Homerule for Scotland bill 1914, at the time Ireland was also agitating for home rule.

1) First there was the Home rulers – Keir Hardy, a founder of Labour, a miner turned journalist, Cunningham Graham, John McLean. 

2) Then there was The Poets (late 1830s) – Hugh MacDiarmid, Hamish Henderson, Edwin Muir,

1950s National Covenant for a Scottish Parliament, which 2 million signed; 


3)  The Intellectuals 1960s – third generation, Stephen Maxwell, (theorist), Gavin Kennedy, Tom Nairn (political theorist), Isobel Lindsay, Margo MacDonald, 


*Yes majority vote Referendum 1979, not accepted by Westminster


4) After came The Activists, the fourth generation – Alex Salmond, Winnie Ewing, Mike Russell, Nicola Sturgeon, John Swinney, Cunningham. Knocked doors, manned stalls, leafleting, marches, 

With a message of hope they eventually won power in Holyrood. 


*Mini-parliament 1999, Referendum 2014.with yes vote at 45%

*The thirteen year old UK Supreme court (set up by Blair 2010) dared to compare Scotland to Quebec, when all Canadian “provinces” have the right to hold a referendum on any subject under the Canadian constitution. Reducing Scotland, as one of the founding nations of the UK union, as less than a province. 

Margo MacDonald

Winnie Ewing & Nicola Sturgeon
Jim Sillars

(**George Kerevan failed to mention the very significant and important grassroots YES movement around the INDYREF vote 2014 building momentum around the exhilarating, hope-filled debates for a better future and our independence.) 


5) Yes Movement - alongside vigorous diverse hard working activism, creative arts, discourse, and online activism, consists of Believe in Scotland, the National newspaper, Common Weal, 

With the Intelligentsia, academics, and journalists - Tom Devine, Lesley Riddock, Ruth Wishart, George Kerevan, Alan Bisset, Kevin McKenna, Gerry Hassan, Ian Bell, Stuart Cosgrove, more.


Foreign-owned media and press is another major factor.


John MacLean
Hugh MacDiarmid

Cunningham Graham - First elected socialist and a founder of both the Labour party and the SNP

John MacLean – revolutionist and educator

Ramsay MacDonald – first Labour Prime minster, fiery advocate of Scottish self-determination.. Home rule – meant Scottish sovereignty within the British empire

Intellectuals - traditional values of community and love of ideas with radical reconstruction of nation.

Devolution of political power to localities, local control of land and recourses.

Cunningham Graham

Thanks to George Kerecan’s recent article The National –
 Four Generations failed to win Scottish Independence. Will the next”  He asks “why are we still propping up Westminster… and what is to be gained from playing within the Westminster rules of the Anglo state for yet another lost generation?”  “The latest generation activists have all but exhausted constitutional avenues within the arcane, anti-democratic British prison of nations, for achieving Scottish statehood.”

I’m surprised Sunak defends Northern Ireland's sovereignty rights – but not Scotland’s. How is this democratic?


What next? We must stop viewing Scotland in Westminster rear view mirror. I'm so tired hearing that Scotland – CAN'T – because matters are reserved to Westminster. 

Independence is a process and journey.

And start seeing Scotland as its own free nation. With its own story to tell. The baton is now being passed to a new generation, 


How will they respond?

Ramsay MacDonald

Four Generations failed to win Scottish independence. Will the next?  What is to be gained from playing within the rigged rules of the Anglo state for yet another lost generation? Scotland: we are only on our knees because we refuse to stand up.



Saturday 27 February 2021

Believe in Scotland

Indy Winners 2021

Believe in Scotland - Led by Gordon McIntyre Kemp: Group independence winner 2021 and Business for Scotland -

Lesley Riddoch – individual indy winner, broadcaster, journalist, and activist. -

Important films on the success of similar small indy nations – Faroe islands, Iceland, Norway, Estonia.


-National newspaper -

Encourages debates from both columnists and readers letters. Several quality contributes and offers a voice for those. 


AOUB marches  -

Voices for Scotland -

Progress Scotland -


Details of Scots Indy

Young people support Scots indy by 75 %, 

making Scots indy inevitable. 

They see little if any benefit to the union.


Currency. We must have a Scots pound right away and run both currencies side by side, 

Trade: 60% England, 19% EU, 20% elsewhere. 

Ireland’s trade was mainly with England, now its mainly to the EU.


The union of 1707 was a trading treaty. England went back on this deal and has therefore illegally broken this treaty multiple times. 

Scotland population  5.46 (8%)

Wales population 3.15 (4.7%) 

Northern Ireland population 1.89 (2.8%)

England population 56m (84%)

Therefore England is way too big for any kind of radical federalism a proposed by the Labour party. At the time of union Edinburgh was the second biggest city in Britain and Scotland’s population was 1m England’s 5 m.  

The EU. 

Scotland has for centuries had stronger links to Europe than England and voted by 62% to stay in the EU. Scotland has its own distinctive culture, history and language and is the oldest nation in Europe. 

Federalism. This population chart shows so clearly WHY any kind of federalism will never work in the disunited and over-centralised UK state.

England    Scotland    Wales    Northern Ireland
Class Issues.  Class is also an issue over Scots indy, as those from elite private schools tend to believe their middle class status is protected by the union – as history tells them. But this holds back the rest of the country as studies show. 


YES Challenge -


Reformation is a crucial part of Scots history, and helped to lay the roots of the rise of the west. by making personal responsibly a virtue. 


And the interpretation of the bible by ourselves, rather than a priest. This led to improved education in which Scotland led the way, with its university traditions. To take responsibly for our work ethic, self regulation and perseverance. Our own agency. 


The novel and poets took up this idea also. That not only kings and queens mattered, but that the lives of ordinary people had an effect on the backbone of society too. As empire has declined, the reasons for the union has disappeared also. Scotland sees the many other newly indy nations of recent times across the world and wonders why not us too? I watched all these small nations enter the Glasgow stadium at the Commonwealth Games 2014 Glasgow, and wondered too. 


Thursday 15 May 2014

**The Scottish Enlightenment

**The Scottish Enlightenment ** I have been busy researching the 'Scottish Enlightenment' – and there is so much to be proud of with figures such as David Hume and Buchanan.  I studied Higher History at school in Edinburgh, where we studied the Tudor and Stuart kings and 17th century European history - and yet I NEVER heard anything of the 'Scottish Enlightenment' until my son studied philosophy here!  I was astonished to hear of the connections between the Scottish Enlightenment, the Declaration of Arbroath and the American Declaration of Independence. Which seriously makes me question why we only learn of the dull and duller kings and not the great thinkers, creators or inventors?
It is a journey of the roots of liberty and of radical political thought, the Arbroath Declaration of Independence (1370); Scotland's Education Act (1496 and also 1616) which meant everyone should be taught to read the Bible and was revolutionary thinking - all helped to pave the way for future democracies. In France Voltaire said "we look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilization," 

'The Scottish Invention of America, Democracy and Human Rights': The History of Liberty and Freedom from the Ancient Celts to the New Millennium (2004). By Dr. Alexander Leslie Klieforth and Dr. Robert John Munro. 1300 BC to 2004 AD.  The book is the first historical analysis of the doctrine of the 'consent of the governed'  by the medieval scholar John Duns Scotus (c1265-1308), the Scholastic Theologian and Philosopher of the Friars Minor, the Franciscans, and derived from 'Celtic' traditions of rule amongst the Scots. The authors write that the roots of liberty originated in the radical political thought of the ancient Celts, the Scots’ struggles for freedom, John Duns Scotus and the Arbroath Declaration (1320), a tradition traceable through the writings of Buchanan, Knox and Frances Hutcheson and a tradition that influenced Locke and the English Whigs theorists and our Founding Fathers - Jefferson, Madison, Wilson and Witherspoon.  

The book is an alternative to the traditional Anglocentric view that freedom, democracy and human rights descended only from John Locke and England of the 1600s.  John Duns Scotus, studied at Oxford, Paris, and Cologne, major centres for scholars of Western Christendom.  In the Scots adoption of his ideas, they were not alone and they shared a larger heritage. They also state that there was a rich exchange of ideas in the 17th century between the traders of Norfolk, Flanders, the Duchy of Burgundy, North Italian Cities, Cologne, Hamburg and parts of the Hanseatic League.

Key Figures - John Duns Scotus (1290s), Frances Hutcheson (1694 – 1746), David Hume (1711 – 1776), Adam Smith (1723 – 1790), John Locke (1632 – 1704)

Scotland showed that through education for all we developed an enriched and enlightened country where reasoned thought held sway rather than brute force. Scotland was a world leader in medicine, the sciences, law, education, philosophy, economics, engineering and more. The culture was based around knowledge, books, discussions and rational thought.     

I attended an informed talk on the Scottish Enlightenment by top Scottish historian Tom Devine - The Road Ahead. He talked of - 'The Land Divided The Sea United'  - My Blog here -

We stand on the brink of a momentous decision to restore our voice again.