Daily Archives: September 5, 2014


Speaking Date Availability

I am available again for Yes meetings on 15, 16 and 17 September. Invitations welcome through the contact button above. Happy to go anywhere I can do good. My St Andrews speech a week ago has now had 75,000 views on Youtube.

It is symptomatic of the way this campaign has gone that I can find nothing online from the No camp which has had one fifth as many views, with the solitary exception of the PatronisngBTWoman video, which has massive views from people making fun of it.

Miliband was in Blantyre yesterday where his every bodily function was breathlessly reported by Severin Carrell in the Guardian – but even the Guardian could not pretend his audience in the “Labour stronghold” amounted to more than “dozens”. I am told it was under fifty. Better Together support on the ground has simply evaporated. What they rely on is that the massive output of mainstream media and the authority of the Westminster parties will have sufficient impact on their key demographics – pensioners, and housewives in a 1950’s sense – to shore up a residual no vote of the easily scared. My challenge to people to identify any Better Together gathering of more than 300 has been met with resounding silence.

Television has been wall to wall Miliband lately, and the BBC in Scotland seem to have simply abandoned their obligation to give equal broadcast time and treatment to both sides. Presumably many of the New Labour hacks who control Pacific Quay realise that their behaviour has made a Yes win a career threatening situation for them, so at this stage they see nothing to lose.

If independence is achieved it will be down to a popular movement and not to any politician. Indeed, if one person has to be singled out, I would say the Rev Stuart Campbell has made the most decisive individual contribution in the campaign. If Social media has beaten the mainstream media, the central rock around which millions of flowers have bloomed has been the Wings over Scotland website. This has a significantly larger daily readership than any newspaper in Scotland. The Wee Blue Book I found everywhere, including copies already available in pretty well every pub I entered, as I toured the East Coast. Over 400,000 downloads of the PDF have been made and 250,000 copies centrally printed, as well as a number of private initiatives which had already obtained professional printings from the PDF. Conservatively, there are over half a million hard copies out there, as well as all the reads online. In a population of 5.2 million, that is a major impact.

When we close down BBC Scotland and create a new citizen based, cheaper and more arts-oriented organisation in its place, let’s put Stuart Campbell in charge. Some state-funded drama and arts output seems to me commendable. State funding of pap entertainment is not needed – the private sector can do that perfectly well. State funding of “journalism” which investigates nothing and never challenges the establishment must be stopped.

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