Taking the Radical Road with AUOB 392

The radical road up Salisbury Crags got its name because pro-democracy labourers building it held meetings there to avoid bans within the city of Edinburgh, back in the era of Peterloo. This is precisely where Historic Environment Scotland are banning tomorrow’s Independence rally, and if we accept it we are turning our back on our heritage.

As somebody who has addressed half a million people in Hyde Park, I find the notion that political events may not be held in Royal Parks ludicrously spurious. Holyrood Park is a park – the clue is in the name. We are not asking to occupy the Palace. Where can you hold a political rally if not in a park?

In Stirling, the AUOB march was forced by the council on a route to Bannockburn that avoided the town centre entirely and wandered through leafy lanes to ensure nobody could see the demonstration. What is happening in Edinburgh is still worse.

I have been constantly explaining that we are now in a Catalan situation. The Establishment will do everything they can to prevent a second Independence Referendum, and local authority offices, quangos and media outlets form their outward defensive barriers – before you even get to the Scottish Office, and the dirty tricks that will be played by the UK security services.

The Tories have already announced that Westminster will not agree to another Indyref before 2027. We have a fundamental stand to make on whether we accept that a parliament in England dominated massively by representatives of England, has a veto on the self-determination of the Scottish people.

One day, all supporters of Independence are going to be forced to get their heads round the fact that London is going for the Madrid solution, and we are not going to achieve Independence without using peaceful, non-violent routes which are nevertheless going to be deemed illegal by the Establishment. Making a political speech in a Royal Park tomorrow is precisely the start of such challenges.

Our rally starts in Johnstone Terrace, where my father was born, and proceeds right past my current home. This is my ground and I am, as a citizen, going to stand for my rights here.

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

392 thoughts on “Taking the Radical Road with AUOB

1 2 3
  • Mist001

    HES said in their statement: “However, we have not granted permission for the set up of stalls, staging, branding and other static presence within Holyrood Park.”

    Nowhere have I read other than from the organizers of this march that the rally has been banned from Holyrood Park. HES make clear that events which could be seen as almost commercial ventures (Stalls, branding, etc) haven’t been granted permission.

    So here’s the rub: Which side’s telling the truth?

    • Martin Hannan of The National

      As the reporter who broke the story and has chronicled it ever since, can I just point out – as we have consistently done in The National – that tomorrow’s event has two elements, the march down the Royal Mile and the rally in Holyrood Park. The rally consists of the crowd gathering round the stage for speeches and music with the stalls off to the side, as was the case in Glasgow, Dundee and elsewhere.
      Without the stage and stalls there can be no rally – unless someone has the world’s biggest megaphone – and that is what Historic Environment Scotland have banned.

      • Charles Bostock

        I second MariePaul’s question.

        Martin Hannon writes, above : “without the stage and stalls there can be no rally – unless someone has the world’s biggest megaphone…”

        which gives the impression that it’s all about making the speakers audible to a large audience.

        Well, if that’s the problem, then I can see the point of a stage (although a good amplification system might be even more useful…), but what would be the point of stalls?

        I suspect that the authorities have nothing against a rally but are not prepared to allow a rally into which various commercial enterprises piggy-back.

    • Muscleguy

      They seem to have taken a ban in their rules against their staff being overtly political while working, no wearing your Yes badges as you guide folk around a Palace kind of thing and then extrapolated to NOBODY may do anything political in a Royal Park or Palace.

      Which is a new thing as there are any number of pictures of Tory politicians shot on the ramparts of Stirling Castle etc. As Craig says the Establishment is moving to make us outré. They will not have liked the huge numbers yesterday, seemingly swelled by outrage over the rally ban.

      Someone tweeted that Sarah Smith looked stunned by it all. I expect it is uncomfortable to realise you live in a bubble.

  • Hatuey

    The independence movement needs someone with mettle, Craig, and I think you are that man. I agree with all you say on this.

    I’d have said Salmond but they seem to have neutralised him. And the question of who “they” are remains open for me.

    The SNP are star-struck amateurs. They had 50-odd MPs in Westminster and achieved nothing. How many now, 34? Who cares, we can expect nothing from them.

    This is the new start we need; the traditional route to independence and national liberation.

    We tried it their way. It was a rip-off. The BBC and mainstream media are pumping uninterrupted lies and propaganda into us every day. The whole system is bent against Scottish democracy. Amidst all this they conduct polls and lecture us on public opinion.

    If the SNP had a slither of authenticity, it would recall all its MPs and MSPs today, instruct them to resign immediately, and re-sit the elections on the single issue of independence.

    • Rob Royston

      Agree with every word. The SNP are more interested in Brexit deals than Independence. Their 56 MP’s had all the power they needed but sat glued to the green benches.

    • Republicofscotland


      I’d at least give them until the conclusion of Brexit, and a chance to call indyref2. It’s not easy for a government to run a country and fight on both fronts with one hand tied behind their backs.

      Bear in mind the SNP government are attempting to counter Fifth Column parties at Holyrood and anti Scottish parties at Westminster, whilst trying to run a country without all the levers of power.

      No other unionist branch political party, possibly Greens, is fit to hold office at Holyrood.

      • Hatuey

        I can tell you are keeping up with this stuff, Rep, keeping abreast of developments, reading the papers, following key players on twitter, etc. All the stuff we encourage our kids to do. I don’t really do any of that. I used to do it, but I stopped.

        It’s because I don’t do any of that stuff, that I have clarity. Stand back and think for yourself on say Brexit. You really believe — forget what Nicola says — that it makes sense to wait until we are yanked out of the EU before we have a vote on whether we want to stay in or not?

        This is the crap that Nicola is desperately clinging to. It makes no sense. Zero. None.

        It’s embarassing.

        • Republicofscotland


          Who’s to say Scots will vote to go back into the EU on a full membership, I for one quite like the idea of EFTA. A vote would need to be taken after indy on our relationship with the EU. Though access to the Single Market is a must.

          As for the actual indy vote, the conclusion of Brexit is a good time to push for it, maximum uncertainty within the union and all that.

          • Clydebuilt

            Definately need to wait until the damaging implications of Brexit are understood maybe even experienced by the voters before holding Indy Ref 2.
            Then Scotland will experience it’s Brexit bonus. . . . A large swing to YES!

          • Hatuey

            And, Rep, I’m happy to have a debate about that. In the same breath, I’d be happy to have a discussion with a battered wife about where she might want to live next and what colour of curtains she might opt for. I’m not trivialising those things.

            But FFS, let’s get the wife-beater out of the equation first.

            You know exactly what my point is, this conversation is a sham.

          • Hatuey

            Clydebuilt, you might as well have cut and paste that from Sturgeon’s twitter feed.

            If we have learned one thing over the last 10 years, it’s that their power to manipulate through the most rigged media in the world is almost absolute. Do you think all their means of manipulation are going to be switched off when we go off the Brexit cliff?

            Trust me, then more than ever it will be “now is not the time”, “Scotland’ is too poor without access to English markets”, “SNP bad”, “give it a few years”, “we need to let things settle down”, “the people are sick of political upheaval”… etc., etc., etc.

            Sturgeon should resign today. When she passed the legislation through Parliament for indyref2 everybody (myself included) assumed she had some sort of plan in place as a response to Westminster saying “no”. Can you believe it, she had nothing? I still can’t believe it myself. That’s the biggest error that anyone on the Indy side has made to date, by a long shot.

        • Jo1

          “I have clarity”
          You have clarity because you don’t keep up with current events? Are you serious?

          You don’t have any such thing. You have ONE aim and that’s it. Independence. Well an awful lot of other Scots, who are also YES, despair of such tactics when there’s so much else going on. It’s all right for you though, you’re in your imaginary world. For you don’t bother with petty items like news! That’s not clarity Hatuey. It’s going around with your eyes shut and your fingers in your ears singing, “la-la-la”.

          • Hatuey

            Jo1, Id’ rather be uninformed than misinformed. But I read a lot, the old fashioned way.

            We can go through as many big events in history as you like, wars, scandals, etc., and see that educated people generally and those who read newspapers are more supportive of government policy than the uneducated etc. There’s quite a lot of research on this.

            It’s complicated. I get things wrong a lot but not as often as your average Joe who loyally reads papers like The Guardian or Glasgow Herald. There’s a reason that these papers are struggling.

            You don’t need to be educated or read newspapers to know that independence is the way forward for Scotland.

            And if you are uneducated or poorly equipped (or even if you aren’t), reading newspapers will probably only corrupt your understanding of things and put you off the idea, just as it will convince you that bombing Arabs for oil is a righteous cause.

            Brexit is a good example. People in England were basically talked into that by the mainstream media. Nobody anywhere is seriously arguing that it will make anybody better off in the next 20 years. In other words, it’s going to make just about everybody poorer. Not the guys who own the newspapers or their partners in “The City”, though, they’ll prosper.

          • MaryPau!

            Brexit surely was not just about being better- off but also about cutting down EU immigration and about self governance, not being run from Brussels. Now you can argue that these were false arguments but they were used and appealed to many Brexit voters. Indeed I heard some voters interviewed inYorkshire who basical!y said being in the EU had not made them any better off.( A new industrial estate had opened up near them on the site of an old colliery and the employers had filled it largely with an Eastern European work force.)

            Several now had considerable communities of EU workers they felt were competing with them for scarce resources. So they felt if they could not be prosperous then by leaving they would at least be in charge of their own decisions not run from Brussels.

            I was listening to a radio show the other day where Will Self travelled round the UK by bus and spoke to local people in depressed areas. He asked several how they voted in the EU Referendum and they all declined, politely, to say. I suspect this was probably because they voted out.

            I thought it was interesting they felt unable to express an open view but the referendum allowed them to state what they felt. Tony Blair’s decision to allow unlimited access to the rest of Europe to the UK jobs market may have pleased employers but it did not benefit many already depressed communities and subsequent governments, failure to send home anyone at all from Europ ,even well able legally to do so, was also noticed in those parts of the country which later voted for Brexit.

          • Republicofscotland

            “and about self governance, not being run from Brussels.”

            Mary Paul.

            Swap out Brussels for Westminster and you get the picture.

            Taking back control doesn’t just apply to England.

          • Hatuey

            Mary Pau!, you are pointing out that Brexit was about more than being better off. I vaguely remember a bit red bus with numbers on the side though.

            There was racism too, though, if that’s your point. Racism always comes with financial incentives though — these things go hand in hand.

            I challenged readers of this blog around 3 months to give me one example of racism anywhere in all history that wasn’t intrinsically linked to an economic motive or argument.


          • Jo1

            “I’d rather be uninformed than misinformed.”
            Both are equally dangerous states.

          • Hatuey

            October 6, 2018 at 01:11
            “I’d rather be uninformed than misinformed.”
            Both are equally dangerous states.

            No they aren’t. Uninformed people don’t wake up and decide to bomb countries that they’ve never heard of. Misinformed people do. They do it quite often.

            I could compile a very long favourable list of things that uninformed people don’t do that misinformed people do do. It would include some of the grimmest activities in human history.

      • Charles Bostock


        “Bear in mind the SNP government are attempting to counter Fifth Column parties at Holyrood..”

        A person of your vast general culture will of course be aware that the expression “fifth column” derives from the Spanish Civil War (more precisely, one of the Nationalist Spanish generals boasted that with four military columns advancing on Madrid, there was already a fifth column of Nationalists within the city).

        With that background, I’m sure that many readers will find you calling the non-SNP parties sitting in Holyrood a “fifth column” extremely disturbing, misplaced, anachronistic and slanderous. As far as I’m concerned, I find your remark as silly as it is shameful. If it is typical of Scot Nat propaganda then the Scots Nats must be getting pretty desperate.

        • Republicofscotland

          On the contrary Charles, General Mola, would be inspired by the antics of Davidson, Rennie and Leonard at Holyrood.

  • Carol Gilmour

    Bravo Craig
    We will see you there.
    I have a feeling that corresponding will get me put on some sort of list.
    But it’s the right list to be on.
    All the best

  • Richard

    Well said, Craig, though I am unsure when the ‘ban’ was announced. I heard about it then the gathering became a picnic. Stalls and speeches were banned.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        You seem to have serious self-esteem issues, Hatuey.

        I was merely suggesting in a jovial way to Mr Murray that good journalism documents acronyms in full the first time it is used.

        You are incapable of respecting different political viewpoints to your own.

        • glenn_nl

          I dunno about that…. Hatey practically worships Trump, despite his views being entirely opposite to those he sometimes promotes vociferously. Perhaps he’s just a bit confused.

          • Jo1

            Clearly many people chose Trump because they couldn’t stomach the idea of voting for Hillary, Glenn. I can perfectly understand the dilemma! Perhaps the Democrats should explain what madness led them to put her up as a candidate.

          • glenn_nl

            Maybe someone would choose Trump, because they’re too stupid to understand that the lesser of two evils is – ehem – less evil.

            But that doesn’t explain why Haughty periodically writes little tracts effusively praising that ignorant savage Trump.

          • Hatuey

            Glenn, credit where it’s due. We are closer to peace on the Korean Peninsula than we have been in almost 70 years. You should be happy.

            The US economy looks healthier now than it did under Obama. I’m sure many Americans are happy about that even if you aren’t.

            No major war has broken out in Syria. Hillary pledged to impose a no-fly zone over the sovereign territory of Syria and shoot down Russian planes.

            There’s a lot of grim stuff too, like support for Israel. And I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of the Syrian conflict, truth be told. But it’s difficult to imagine that all of that grim stuff wouldn’t have been as bad if not worse under Hillary.

            The problem you have is that you are comparing Trump to some imagined perfect leader who actually doesn’t exist. The choice was between Trump and Hillary, not Trump and Jesus. Attacking me is simply a case of shooting the messenger.

          • glenn_nl

            H: “credit where it’s due

            I’m afraid very little credit is due to you, who appear to know remarkably little about the person who you praise, or Trump himself. The best he has managed to do, is untangle himself from problems he has created (in NK), or not interfere with economic benefits which were already in effect. The worst is yet underway.

            You claimed – in a very RobG type manner (a lunatic who threatened everyone here that they were due to be shot, before being put on trial – he left (or was kicked out) a while before your arrival) – that we were all guilty as sin because of our neglect of the environment. Just this week, remember?

            Did you know, for instance, that your hero Trump has put a science-free climate denialist in charge of NASA? That NOAA was being defunded, a know-nothing coal industry lobbyist was put in charge of the EPA, that various evangelists and billionaires were appointed to high office in positions they should never have been near?

            Just this week, regulations restricting mercury emissions from power stations were eliminated. Industry is being put in charge of government, as a good fascist surely wants.

            A Democratic administration would be feeling pressure from progressives, and environmentalists, and would be pulled in that direction. A Republican Trump-led administration attempts to outdo itself in bowing to demands from industry, the far-right and ultra-Christian ideologues. It’s not just about the person at the top of the ticket.

            Do you not know about any of this? Do you not care, even after that rant of yours? Perhaps I’m wasting my time giving you more than a few words.

          • Jo1

            “the lesser of two evils.”


            You’re joking!

            I am no admirer of Trump but Clinton made her intentions clear during her campaign. A no-fly zone over Syria was on the list! She was slavering at the thought of it. Her veins run with evil!

            Shades of Libya. “We came, we saw…..” (pause for her to chuckle) “……he died.” The woman is an A-grade monster. We should all be very relieved she never made it to the presidency.

          • Hatuey

            Glenn, I can confirm that I don’t care much at all about that stuff. I hope that helps.

            I’m not sure why what I think offends you.

            On a certain level, I couldn’t care less who Americans elect as president. I actually don’t think it would be possible to make a serious case to support the view that it even matters who they elect — they all pretty much do the same things.

            I’m against mining and fracking for environmental reasons. These are highly destructive industries. I regard myself as an environmentalist, even if I don’t think global warming (now called ‘climate change’ because the world didn’t warm) has been proven beyond doubt.

            But don’t let my views on that stuff worry you. I’m definitely not smart enough to understand the science behind it. And I think there are more pressing issues, requiring more urgent attention, whether it’s true or not, i.e. pollution (plastics in the sea, habitat destruction, etc.).

            I gather you’re from the Netherlands? Don’t you have your own problems to worry about over there? I mean, instead of complaining about Trump, couldn’t you be dealing with your own government’s issues, like the fact that your country is one of the biggest tax havens for rich capitalists in the whole of Europe?

          • glenn_nl

            @H: You are a peculiar set of contradictions. If you truly do not care about Trump and his mates, why write moderately lengthy posts in praise of the miserable bastard? Yet here you state several times your disinterest in such matters.

            Anyone interested in the environment in general, and climate change in particular, should surely be concerned that the world’s largest per capita polluter is now run by a regime which is utterly unconcerned about both. Yet you are not. The agencies I mentioned are key to understanding what is happening with climate change.

            (“Global warming” was changed to “climate change” to allow for the idiocy of deniers, who thought a bit of cold weather – somewhere – disproved the entire science of climate change. And the planet is warming – alarmingly rapidly. Just for your information.)

            Finally, the fact that I have written a few posts over the course of several weeks about the US government does not mean that I have no interest in matters closer to home, here in Holland. That is quite a bizarre thing for you to conclude.

    • Republicofscotland

      Are you Welsh Rhys? I see Plaid Cymru has a new leader in Adam Price, who was present in Scotland for the 2014 indy outcome.

      All Under One Banner, AUOB.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        My mother is Welsh, grew up speaking Welsh and learned English at school.

        She went to Bristol University, married an Englishman but seemed to negotiate Welsh names for the children in return for spending married life in England. She did not teach her children to speak Welsh, which made taking our grandparents to see their relatives in the heart of Welsh-speaking Carmarthenshire a very boring exercise. Six hours for an eight year old understanding nothing….

        I have never lived in Wales, holidayed there a lot growing up, lived in Scotland for six years as a young man and sensibly emphasised my Gaelic roots when integrating into the hard drinking, Thatcher-hating environment of 1986 Glasgow. I voted for Roy Jenkins even when he was ousted by Gorgeous George in Glasgow Hillhead. Back then, no Scots had any problem going climbing in England during the midge season from late June to late September! I met plenty of hard working ambitious young Scots eager to move out to Milngavie and Helensburgh without ever mentioning any tendencies toward Maggie-appeasement.

        I am not a nationalist of any colours intrinsically, but note the fundamentally different societal opinions on community in Scotland and England.

        I do not think the Scots can be independent within the EU, but that is for them, not for me.

        I would never wish England or the Uk to be annexed by the Us and I do not wish London be the base for a Us version of the East India Company.

        Quite frankly, I would rather Nato broke up, as only the Us inputs into policy.

        There are a lot of reasons for me to not join the Labour Party, all of which centre on behaviour of people, not abstract political opinions and philosophies. I grew up knowing viscerally that there is nothing unique about the working class (if there were, beating up a mild-mannered bright boy for no good reason would never have happened) and I have never ever felt guilt about not being born into it. I have been treated shamefully by many people espousing fairly authoritarian left is good, right is bad emotional hegemony and by chance the people who treated me rather better might be badged as better specimens of conservative with a small C.

        I see no reason to ignore the experiences of my life…….

        • Rowan

          @Rhys: for me the irony is that only the so-called ‘hard left’ understand Marx’s 3 Laws of Capitalist Motion, to borrow a term from Isaac Newton (or maybe Hari Seldon in Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” trilogy). The important law is the third, and it is a law of entropy, just like Newton’s: the increase in value of capital equipment per worker as jobs get more industrialised, leads to the gradual decline of the rate of profit towards zero, which is achieved with total automation. This occurs because of a logic that only dialectical materialists (who are upside-down Hegelians) can understand, unfortunately. I think I understand it. I can see why empiricists reject it.

          • Hatuey

            Rowan, please explain how dialectical materialists are upside down Hegelian.

            I’m all ears.

          • Herbie

            “explain how dialectical materialists are upside down Hegelian.”

            It comes from the observation that Marx turned Hegel “on his head”. Hegel’s dialectics were Idealist. Marx’s were Materialist.

            “The important law is the third, and it is a law of entropy, just like Newton’s: the increase in value of capital equipment per worker as jobs get more industrialised, leads to the gradual decline of the rate of profit towards zero, which is achieved with total automation.”

            Capitalists are of course well aware of this.

            The implication for peeps is problematic, to say the least.

          • Hatuey

            Herbie, thanks. Although I don’t see that anything is upside down. Both were essentially describing change, whether it is in the realm of ideas or material.

            I suppose there’s the question of what drives change itself, ideas or materialism. Maybe it’s in that sense people would say Marxism was upside down, with everything determined by the mode of production etc. Even so.

            On automation, I thought the simple Marxist idea was that it would result in more and more people becoming unemployed. Wasn’t that the antagonism that would ultimately result in capitalism bursting asunder? I assumed the driver of that was greed and increasing profits rather than diminishing profits.

            I liked Marxism but I was glad when it was over. My lecturer’s last words: “at the end of the day, someone’s got to clean out the chicken coup.” I always thought that was a funny thing to reduce it to. He was a bit of a renowned expert too.

          • Herbie

            “Herbie, thanks. Although I don’t see that anything is upside down. Both were essentially describing change, whether it is in the realm of ideas or material.”

            Yeah. It’s just a phrase that someone coined. Not meant to be taken too literally.

            “I suppose there’s the question of what drives change itself, ideas or materialism.”

            Big question.

            “On automation, I thought the simple Marxist idea was that it would result in more and more people becoming unemployed. Wasn’t that the antagonism that would ultimately result in capitalism bursting asunder? I assumed the driver of that was greed and increasing profits rather than diminishing profits.”

            Something like that. But the point about automation is that once its competitive advantage begins to decline then profits are trending down.

            Then you’ve got all other sorts of problems with overproduction and so on.

            Unemployment will be a big problem too.

            Massive unemployment in a time of plenty. And no resolution to it.

            “I liked Marxism but I was glad when it was over. My lecturer’s last words: “at the end of the day, someone’s got to clean out the chicken coup.” I always thought that was a funny thing to reduce it to. He was a bit of a renowned expert too.”

            Sounds as if he’s speaking dialectically. In some eternal dance with his Other. Cleaning up, that business can begin again.

    • Makropulos

      I was wondering myself.

      Automated Urinal Obviously Blocked?
      Arrogant Ukranian Obversely Battered?
      Anal Urgently Ordered Beforehand?

      It’s a world of acronyms and google doesn’t help much.

  • Republicofscotland

    Eventually radical measures will be required to dump the union, even UDI if necessary. Puigdemont was first seen as a nasty separatist, now he’s in the running for a Nobel prize, albeit behind the premiers of North and South Korea, who saw that coming?

    Back in Scotland the road to independence is littered with toom tabards and self loathing treacherous bastards, who’d see their own families suffer economically to retain this unholy union.

    There is a long list of establishment figures, beginning with councillors, educational figures, judicary gentry etc, who do not want the status quo to change anytime soon HES, is just one of many, although, it’s not to say everyone working for them feels the same. A HES spokesperson said at least 25 members had cancelled their memberships, if the AUOB stalls are denied access, I’d imagine that figure will rise steeply.

    Greig Brain, a man who had to fight the Home Office tooth and nail, so his family could remain in Scotland, said of HES in the National newspaper, will it (HES) ban access to Arbroath Abbey in 2020, the 700th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath, which was a political act in itself.

    We must be done with this not fit for purpose union, even if it means less talking and more action.

    • iain

      The logic of nobel peace prize awards is impenetrable so i suppose Puigdemont can’t be ruled out

        • iain

          No, I’m quite obvs asking why the Catalan guy warrants a nobel peace prize. Or is it the one in medicine you’re saying he’s in the running for?

          • Republicofscotland

            “I’m quite obvs asking why the Catalan guy warrants a nobel peace prize. ”

            Well, I’d like to see you come up against a fascist state and still manage told organise and hold a peaceful and democratic referendum, where the voters were beaten, tear gassed and shot with baton rounds for wanting to decide their future.

            Give the guy a freaking medal I say.

            You however don’t appear to get the concept of democracy, or the dangers that some have put themselve in to obtain it for their people, pity that.

          • iain

            Yep and as soon as he was at any personal risk he took off and hasn’t been seen there since.

          • Republicofscotland

            Well, Iain, there’s not much he could do banged up as a political prisoner in a Spanish prison. That would’ve surely been his fate, whereas now he could receive a Nobel prize for spreading the Catalan’s plight throughout Europe and beyond.

      • Paul Greenwood

        Austen Chamberlain won it 1925 and Gustav Stresemann 1926 which is probably a reason Neville his half-brother pursued a course likely to lead to nomination……but 1938 it went to Nansen International Office for Refugees

  • Bob Costello

    I feel the problem we face on the seemingly difficult road to independence is the present leadership of the SNP who have painted themselves into a corner with their endless “conversations” they need to wake up and start offering a proper road map to independence, after all , that is what they are there for.

    • Republicofscotland

      “they need to wake up and start offering a proper road map to independence, after all , that is what they are there for.”

      They have, the 2014 White Paper and the Growth Commission 2018, report both outlined go and sustainable ideas on independence.

      I think Bob, you must be referring to Westminster, who devised Brexit on the back of a fag packet over two years ago, and of late appointed a famine minister for when we leave the EU.

      We must ditch the ball and chain that is Westminster once and for all.

  • Hatuey

    When you look at how other countries achieved independence, you usually find a leadership calling for things like general strikes, boycotts, etc. Not in Scotland though, not with the SNP. And there’s no reason why a general strike and day of protest wouldn’t work here with at least half the country on-side.

    Brexit is the economic equivalent of the Sommes for Scotland. English generals sitting with their treasure safely stashed in tax havens give the order, the SNP sergeants blow their whistles, and over the top we go.

    The SNP sergeants assure us that after the battle, once they see how it pans out, they are going to offer us a choice on whether we continue to fight or not.

    Who concocted this crap?

    • Herbie

      The original plan was an EU of the Regions, splitting the states of the EU into smaller components, the better to manage from EU Central.

      So, the Blair period is one of Regionalisation. This translates into a reasonably fair wind for Scotland’s independence.


      That was then and now is now.

      States are reasserting their power within the EU, as Atlanticism seems to be fading under Trump.

      An EU of the Regions is not a priority now, so that fair wind is gone, and states will probably want to be consolidating their affairs.

      Particularly, the UK.

      So, yes, Craig’s absolutely correct. Things have changed.

      • Hatuey

        “The original plan was an EU of the Regions, splitting the states of the EU into smaller components, the better to manage from EU Central.”

        I disagree with that. I used to be very pro-European, and from that perspective what you say here is all wrong.

        The original plan, assuming you’re talking about the Treaty of Rome (1957), was ‘ever closer union’. I think it’s widely understood that they intended or hoped to fully integrate at some point, which today would be described as federalism. Anyone who says federalism was sprung on Britain is full of it.

        What you are calling regionalism and describing as a means of achieving better control, was originally conceived as ‘subsidiarity’ by Delors and it was intended to address the perceived problem of centralisation. It was a solution to centralisation, not a means to it, in other words.

        I wouldn’t advise getting conspiratorial about this either, there was a definite measurable sincerity in it. And it did result in decentralisation of decision making in many areas. It was hugely successful and it contributed massively towards re-energising the integration process in the 1980s, leading ultimately to the creation of the single market which Thatcher was instrumental in.

        • Herbie

          OK. I shouldn’t have used the phrase “original plan”.

          I’m simply referring to the regionalisation plan itself and how things have changed since, making this plan redundant.

          On your other point. Despite how it was sold, I think that regionalisation of the member states will always lead to more centralised control.

      • Charles Bostock


        “The original plan was an EU of the Regions, splitting the states of the EU into smaller components, the better to manage from EU Central.”

        That is entirely incorrect.

        The notion of a Europe of the Regions was not on the agenda until the Maastricht Treaty of 1992, a mere 35 years or so after the Treaty of Rome.

        Actually, to say “in the agenda” is not quite correct, because the notion – as consecrated by the creation of a “Committee of the Regions” in the Maastricht Treaty – was a sop to those who wanted the Maastricht Treaty to bring the EU “closer to the citizens”. That process, by the way, included the adoption of a Protocol on subsidiarity.

        • Herbie

          “That is entirely incorrect.

          The notion of a Europe of the Regions was not on the agenda until the Maastricht Treaty of 1992, a mere 35 years or so after the Treaty of Rome.”

          Yes. I’m referring to when Regionalisation emerges.

          I’m making an argument about a before and a now.

          It doesn’t matter to the argument when Regionalisation emerged, just that it emerged at some time in the past and is now redundant.

  • Swede

    “Catalan situation” you don’t mean a few urban filthy rich elite, bourgeois criminals and their middle class brats “Miami Cubans” banging pots and pans trying to secede against the will of the many do you?

    • Hatuey

      No. We mean the refusal to allow a democratic vote. Just as it’s being refused in Scotland. These people who go all over the world asking people to kill and die for democracy are suddenly dead against it, right in their own back yards.

      Strange thing this democracy.

    • Republicofscotland

      The Catalan people have their own language and culture, which under UN Charter, they fall into the Right to Self Determination.

      The alternative is to remain part of a crypto-fascist state.

      • MJ

        “The Catalan people have their own language and culture”

        Other differences include the fact that they are of economic significance and have at least one decent football team.

        • Republicofscotland

          MJ and Moocho.

          It’s all about the money, but no mention of cuts to immigration in the UK, well England anway, when it’s all about the money.

          £1 billion + to the DUP, for a few votes, its all about the money. Look closer to home before you mention its all about the money.

          Actually it may well play a big part, but like the Scotland with the Gaelic language, of which attempts were made to reduce it drastically, (thankfully its making a comeback) Spain has attempted to phase out the Catalan’s language. So I’d say it’s about the culture as well.

      • Moocho

        It’s all about the money for the Catalans, they feel that they generate it and Madrid steals it. fine, but imagine if london took that stance

      • Charles Bostock


        Then that would apply to Kosova as well, right? Glad that we can agree on that.

        As for Spain being a “crypto-fascist” state, that is simply nonsensical. Argument should eschew facile sound-bites.

  • Julia Laurie

    Could not agree more Craig. If we do not stand up for Scotland now, future generations will never forgive us. The situation is going to become really nasty, and we have to be prepared, and face it. I believe the grassroots are ready for this, I hope the SNP are too, although many in the grassroots movements are starting to doubt it! I think you are the man to lead us.

  • pete

    As an Englishman I probably shouldn’t be expressing a view on Scottish independence, however I support the idea, of course I can’t vote on the matter – I suppose, rightly so. Which brings me to the argument that was frequently aired in the main stream media that the SNP MPs should not have the right to vote in the House of Commons on issues that only affected the English, it was stylised as having an unfair advantage.
    Now, from what Craig says, it seems that we also want to limit what the Scottish Independence folk want to say in their own territory about their own governance, this is clearly absurd, so I would certainly support any non-violent action people wanted to take in order to get their views across, even if this became classed as an unlawful assembly. I find it difficult to believe that if they were arrested and prosecuted that any jury would convict them for just expressing their view.

    • Rod

      I think the fracking protesters who’ve recently received custodial sentences far in excess of what would be considered normal in a proper society might not agree with you, and they were just demonstrating their views in a lawful assembly, so I could believe it.

    • Republicofscotland


      How do you feel about a poll done in England where around 30% of the people would gladly dump Scotland if it meant keeping Gibraltar?

      Spare a thought for Northern Ireland, the same poll showed 36% would gladly dump them to keep Gibraltar.

      The union, is coming to an end, but we can still be friends. ?

  • Millsy

    The SNP comes in for a lot of flak , some of it deserved admittedly , but too many seem to look on the SNP as the driving force of independence . Wrong ! Yes , up until very recently it was the stalwarts of the SNP who kept alive the dream of an independent Scotland – but no more .
    The unionist establishment would like to maintain in the Scottish public’s the idea that it is only the SNP that is agitating for independence – it suits them to have one target , and one that is vulnerable to criticism from London and its denizens in the media . As the Scottish Government the SNP is an easy target when so many of the levers of power are still held in Westminster . Holyrood gets blamed for each and every ill that befalls Scotland ( real or imagined by the hypocrites in the Labour/Tory ranks ) so the more people equate the SNP with independence the better for ” Better Together ”.
    Unfortunately for them there are now too many disparate strands of Yes campaigners pushing quietly but remorselessly for change . The independence movement – the clue is in the word ‘movement’- will not be diminished simply by attacking the SNP , or attempting to besmirch the names of prominent independence champions like Salmond .
    Even the overwhelming unionist press ( and the BBC ) propaganda ,anyone ? – have become less effective since 2014 as new outlets for Scottish opinion have been seized upon by a population starved of access to news that is not filtered through the butcher’s apron . The reviled ( by unionists ) Wings Over Scotland has become a lodestone for unionist rage as it exposes so much of the distortions and downright lies printed as ‘news’ in the MSM of this country .
    Things are changing . Attack the SNP , but that alone will not silence the growing discontent in Scotland with the status quo . The AUOB marches have shown that there is a groundswell of opposition to the subservient position allocated to Scotland and its people for the past 300 years in this ‘union’ . Change is coming , change is inevitable . Embrace it !

  • nevermind

    Since the imprisonment of peaceful protectors by a vested interest judge in Lancashire, it is now becoming obvious that the Tories want to stifle descent and legitimate protests.

    So why should the SNP feel obliged to pull par with them?
    And what about gathering on Arthurs seat instead, overlooking Holyrood from above? I know its a bit of a chuff to get up there but the sight of thousands waving flags, maybe with a few fireworks, should keep their minds occupied and the police exercised, if they are told to bother.
    good luck with it, a bit too far for me to come.

  • David

    Craig… surely you are not going to compare the violence meted out to the Catalans with simply being told it will be 2027 before another vote ?

    To claim that you are now in a Catalan situation is simply not true, and further more its frankly a bit insulting to the Catalan people who faced significant violence just to have a vote.

    • Jo1

      I must agree David.

      Having seen what came to pass in Catalonia I too am uncomfortable with inappropriate comparisons. The National has done it, Bella is doing it and Craig is as well.

      It’s not helpful.

      • Charles Bostock

        I also agree with David. But you have to understand that Craig is more of a polemicist than a human rights defender and his period in the FCO taught him how to press the right buttons.

    • Republicofscotland


      The Tories are now comparing the EU with Soviet Russia, because they can’t get their way. I wonder whatthe language would be from the Brexiteers, and the British government if the EU told them they couldn’t vote to leave until 2027?

      Still the Claim of Right in Scotland supercedes any PM’s opinion or Labour leader from Islington. The vote will go ahead regardless.

  • N_

    I have been constantly explaining that we are now in a Catalan situation.

    We’re not.

    The Establishment will do everything they can to prevent a second Independence Referendum

    Will the “establishment” stop the minority SNP government moving for a Scottish general election so they can try to get a mandate for another independence referendum? Why not find out, rather than complain that nationalism isn’t getting a fair hearing?

    A Scottish general election sounds like a good idea for the SNP anyway, given that it lost its majority and has to be propped up by the Greens. This is unless they’re scared of losing even more votes and prefer to blame “London”, “the establishment”, “the media”, etc., for the fact that their main political aim has been rejected, and continues to be rejected, by the Scottish people. Perhaps they’ll be blaming George Soros and Hillary Clinton next?

    Total voteshare in Scotland for the three main Unionist parties:
    Scottish general election 2016 52%
    British general election 2017 62%

    No mandate. End of.

    • N_

      I should add that I would support holding another independence referendum if there were a mandate for one.

    • Susan Smith

      Yawn – Losing a majority in the Scottish parliament is no big deal as the voting system that was used to prevent any one party getting a majority ( 73 constituency seats by first past the post and 56 regional seats by a form of proportional representation that penalises the winners of constituency seats). As a result the seats reflect the parties share of the popular vote, and far from “propping up” the SNP, the Greens are working with them sometimes, and sometimes not, which is what the other parties should do. The SNP majority in 2011 was not supposed to happen. In 2016 the SNP won 59 of the 73 constituency.

      Anyway, not all supporters of the other parties are against independence. The SNP lost votes in 2017 because if it’s consistent support for the EU.

    • Republicofscotland

      “Will the “establishment” stop the minority SNP government moving for a Scottish general election so they can try to get a mandate for another independence referendum? ”


      As usual you haven’t a clue, they already have a mandate.

  • Hatuey

    “You try your best but if the food is taking longer because the kitchen is understaffed, and we’ve got extra tables and you’re expected to give every child an animal balloon and do magic tricks at the table, it just becomes ridiculous…”

    The above sums up industrial relations in Britain today. Yesterday’s strike by Mcdonald’s workers and others represents a glimmer of hope but don’t be surprised if it gets snuffed out very quickly. And when it does, the BBC won’t tell you a thing about it.

    Funnily enough, I didn’t know a thing about this strike and I often buy Mcdonald’s coffee. It wasn’t until I approached the drive-through yesterday that my passenger told me about it. Of course, I didn’t go through.

    I’m not a socialist, I actually think capitalism has a lot going for it and shouldn’t be judged on its abuses, but I would never, ever cross a picket line.

    Pay the workers a decent wage, you miserable bastards.

    • Loony

      No-one is going to pay people in McDonalds a decent wage for the simple reason that what they do is useless. Any attempt to raise wages will simply result in job losses – and no-one will care because they add no value and provide no useful service.

      If you don’t like this?- tough. You should have thought through the consequences before you elected to have the foreign man do all of your work for you.

      • Hatuey

        McDonald’s profits are measurable in the billions — $1.9bn in 2017.

        The staff that you describe as useless played a central role in creating that profit.

        I won’t comment on your racist/xenophobic climax.

        Why is it that bitter hate-filled morons like you are always thick? Zat one of those correlations?

        • Loony

          The irony is incredible.

          You are too bone idle to do any meaningful work of your own – instead instituting a “third way” of modern day slavery. You rely on overt threats of violence in order to force foreigners to provide your energy requirements. Like a third rate card shark you bribe and trick the poorest of the poor into supplying your food, and you treat China like a giant coolie camp to provide for your insatiable demands for manufactured trinkets.

          Anyone that points out your rapacious and amoral exploitation of the entire world is suddenly branded a racist and a xenophobe. Your bizarre lies may serve a short term obfuscation purpose but it does nothing to hide the vast scale of your exploitative immorality – and all because you are simply too bone idle to provide for yourselves.

        • Andyoldlabour

          The workers from MaccyD’s, Wetherspoons and the like want to be paid £10 per hour.
          That doesn’t sound unreasonable until you realise that scientists with masters degrees are actually working in R&D in the South East of England earning less than that.
          The reason for this is simple – employers can quickly and easily ask agencies in Eastern Europe to send over a never ending supply of staff who will work for that.
          £10 per hour is £20K per year roughly calculated, and there are many peoplewith degrees and other professional qualifications who are now earning that or less.

          • Sharp Ears

            AnyoldLabour Immigration was discussed in QT last night. and its effect on the supply of labour and wages.

            Poet George was up against that awful right wing Oakeshott woman and some capitalist called Claude Littner. Gauke was on the panel – u/s as usual plus Emily Thornberry.

            On Twitter – https://twitter.com/bbcquestiontime/status/1047973721691119616 and below

            and on the iPlayer – https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0blwgh7/question-time-2018-04102018 20.30in
            David Dimbleby chairs debate from Canary Wharf. On the panel are justice secretary David Gauke MP, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry MP, businessman and right-hand man to Alan Sugar on the BBC’s The Apprentice Claude Littner, spoken word artist, musician and social activist George Mpanga, also known as George the Poet, and journalist, former political editor of The Sunday Times and political writer for The Daily Mail Isabel Oakeshott.

            Other questions on ‘austerity’ and ‘knife crime’. At the end, ‘waving not clapping’.

            Next week – Edinburgh and then Guildford.
            BBC Question Time
            Next week we come from the floor of the @Scotparl as part of the Festival of Politics happening at Holyrood. Find out more here: https://bbc.in/2O9bN11 #FoP2018

          • Dom

            This doesn’t seem like a site for promoting the musings of self interested professional liars. Are you serious?

          • Republicofscotland

            Add in that after Brexit, it is more than likely hard fought for workers rights, will be severely weakened by the the introduction of the British Bill of Rights.

          • Hatuey

            Andyoldlabour, doing what Old Labour does best, I see, selling the workers down the river on the basis of some spurious crap.

            Most Mcdonald’s staff work part time, if you care to look into it.

            Thank God the hypocritical bastard Labour Party was rumbled in Scotland.

        • Loony

          McDonalds do not feed people.

          They have successfully relied on the defense that their products do not constitute food in any number of court cases.

      • Charles Bostock


        Your first para is correct IMO.

        But re your second, I don’t think that there are that many immigrants working at MacDo’s.

  • Thomas Brotherston

    Fancy a seat in Princess st for just long enough for the world press to get there. Then the world will find out just how monumentally stupid Histrionic Environment Scotland truly is. They will also get to see who the independence movement is. It might also serve as a wake up call to our first minister as she appears to be blithely unaware of our existence as well . Maybe she believes Scotland’s Three Craws (Davidson!Rennie and Leonard)
    when they craw” naebody wants another independence referendum) except that is if it’s about Brexit or a People’s Vote tae change wur mind, the Scots not being a people efter aw.

  • ChristopherJ

    Cairns-based Scouser, Craig. You are an inspiration to all of us, mate. Grandather was a cooper from the north, he’ll be there with you all

  • Trowbridge H. Ford


    Can anything be mire stupid than the British public going bonkers over Theresa May’s dancing at the Conservative Party Conference, thinking that dogs are dumb. and the GRU is even dumber.

    The PM was deliberately looking frivolous to offset that she is a mean, conniving bitch, dogs need to be treated like humans rather than birds to bring out their true abilities, and the GRU has been ganged up against by the developed world’s intelligence community in the Machiavellian hope of finally bringing down that Russian regime.

  • Loony

    It is nonsense to suggest any parallel between Catalonia and Scotland.

    The unity of Spain will be maintained and any and every price will be paid to ensure this outcome.

    Conversely no-one cares about Scotland. There will be no mass protests on the streets of London demanding unity – no English villages will be dispatching its citizenry to attend pro unionist demonstrations. No English riot police will descend on Scotland to crack the heads of Scottish anarchists and Scottish communists. None of this will happen for the simple reason that no-one cares.

    • Ottomanboi

      You may think that, a few in corridors of power see things rather differently. In 2012 Chatham House warned about negative consequences.
      The UK ceases to exist without Scotland. That change would effectively have a bearing on the prestige, presence and ‘clout’ of the residual state on the world stage; a third of territory, substantial territorial waters, 5.5 million citizens and revenue will go. The shock would be significant, all the more so if as you maintain ‘no one cares’….until it’s too late of course.

      • Loony

        There are no corridors of power in the UK – only corridors filled with looters.

        Those that you like to think are in power could not care less about the UK – that is why they are desperate to become a colony of Germany opposed only by those who wish to become a colony of the US.

        The Scots also seem desperate to become a colony of Germany – so what exactly does Scottish independence achieve beyond the fact that Merkel will need to meet with 2 separate groups of English speaking lackies.

        If you want to escape this nihilistic outcome then you need to rely on the people. There are signs that the people intend to demand that they leave the EU. There are no signs that the people care one way or the other about Scottish independence.

    • Republicofscotland

      Another one who can’t see the woods for the trees.

      In 2014 when a poll showed yes ahead, dozens of London’s civil servants were dispatched to Scotland to turn the tide.

      The media and all the press backed them up and the Im ashamed to say Scottish Daily Record went one step further and concoted the lie filled Vow promising this and that if we voted no.

      David Cameron, then PM, yelled outside Downing street, “Don’t go Scotland, Lead Us” the very next day after no had won David Cameron appeared once more outside Downing street, promoting Evel, English Votes for English Laws, the job was done, no neec to lie and pander anymore.

      • Andrew H

        Talk is talk, I’m sure they’ll send civil servants again. But these guys don’t carry sticks. The English campaign against the Scott’s will be one of propaganda. Patriotism is something my parents did.

  • Ottomanboi

    The SNP could well be deemed part of the ‘Establishment’; it has operated its own brand of orthopractic government for long enough to merit the label. The so called ‘radicals and hot heads’ and those who foresee a Catalanization of the Scottish case for independence will get short shrift from the ideological health and safety police guarding the virtue of the party.
    However, AUOB is a trend which could relax the iron grip the party has exercised over the public face and character of Scottish nationalism. These times of British/English identity neurosis call for less compliance with antique and politically charged systems of ‘legality’; they call for imagination and thinking beyond the conventional confines of the British ‘box’.
    The real fight for freedom and truth in Scotland may be just beginning. Take advice from Ibsen’s Dr Stockmann ‘do not wear your best trousers’.

  • Golden Retriever

    Dear Craig … and I mean that for exposing the complicity of the United Kingdom Government about torture.

    However, I’m not so sure about your support of the Catalan oligarghy, which you comment upon often. That doesn’t mean to say I support Madrid either.

    The Catalan Police were trained in Israel. I haven’t yet ventured deeply down the Catalan Rabbit Hole, but it would appear from initial investigation, they are a Zionist entity.
    OMG … am I anti-Semitic for uttering such words, according to the new definition of anti-semitism?


    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Think about the Mediterranean Dialogue, what Catalonia was doing about it, and why that Germanwings plane was crashed into the French Alpes..

    • N_

      Catalonia is one of the richest areas in Spain and portraying Catalan nationalists as plucky freedom fighters against “Francoism” is cock.

    • Sharp Ears

      ….’the Catalan police were trained in Israel’ So are some of the Met. That was revealed in Jean Charles de Menezes’ inquest.

  • N_

    The president of Interpol has gone missing.

    Previous heads include Reinhard Heydrich, the main architect of the Nazi holocaust.

      • Charles Bostock

        Nonsense, in the sense that Interpol between 1940 and 1945 kept the prewar name but was not the same animal as either before or after the war. Most of its members withdrew during the war years. Not to mention this is to slander Interpol, which is no doubt N_’s objective

  • Jack

    Wicked warmongers in France bemoan that Syria get defensive weapons! You cant make this twisted worldview up!

    “France notes with concern the delivery by Russia of sophisticated anti-aircraft capabilities for the benefit of the Syrian regime,” Agnes von Der Muhll said.

  • Charles Bostock


    You’ve probably heard the saying “if you wish to kill a nation, kill its language”.

    With that in mind, do you speak Scots Gaelic? And if not, do you intend to learn it?

1 2 3

Comments are closed.