Tag Archive | Nelson Mandela

Signature

It’s no secret that as someone who is actively involved in politics and has been for over 30 years I have signed my share of petitions on a number of different issues. My signature has supported campaigns on everything from demanding the end of apartheid in South Africa to the right to equal marriage, and the end of period poverty. So when someone asked me if I thought signing petitions mattered and could be viewed as political activism I had no hesitation in saying that it could and I wrote this poem entitled Signature to illustrate the point. I hope you find it an enjoyable and thought provoking read. 

Signature 

Someone once asked me

does signing a petition count as activism 

I told them it did 

they seemed happy with my answer

if slightly confused  

on realising this  I explained why our signature matters

I shared stories I had heard of injustice in South Africa 

when Nelson Mandela was labelled a terrorist 

by Margaret Thatcher

when all he wanted was  his people to have the right to rule their land 

I said that signing petitions was 

a way of raising awareness to make people understand

why things needed to change 

but would stay the same 

If we didn’t sign up to express our discontent .

I explained that this is direct democracy in action

and without this kind of participation 

it’s no exaggeration to  say 

Palestine would still be ignored

the lion rampant would never have roared for democracy 

governments could neglect child poverty 

and remain  inactive on tackling the gig economy.

equal marriage would have remained a distant dream 

and no it’s not the preserve of smaller parties like the greens 

It’s a valuable way of bringing issues from  the fringe to the mainstream 

of changing attitudes over time 

at street stalls or online 

authority knows

the power of your signature.

© Gayle Smith 2017 

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Glasgow Boy 

On day 30 I reach the end of my third NaPoWriMo with a poem in tribute to the late Scottish folk singer Ian Davison who  died on Christmas day last year after a battle with illness.I first got to know Ian at a Songwriting workshop in the summer of 1995 and over the years he became a regular guest musician at the Words and Music event I now host. It is therefore fitting that I post my last poem of this year’s NaPoWriMo in honour of his friendship and his memory. I hope I’ve  done justice to a fine singer and songwriter and a gentleman I am proud to have called a friend. I have titled the poem Glasgow  Boy I hope you enjoy the read. 

Glasgow Boy 

 
A man I knew well 

a friendship formed through mutual friends and music 

Ian was a Glasgow boy 

whose clydeside roots were rooted in internationalism

his socialism flavoured songs 

 written with hope for a better world 

he saw Mandela dance 

and said there was room for us all 

as lyrics told  stories of hogmaney parties 

and the welcome we give to others 

reminding us to have a dram 

and raise a glass to friends and neighbours .

both at home and overseas 

Maryhill or McKinleyville 

it mattered not to a proud Scot 

and even prouder global citizen 

with a mission for peace 

ring fenced by a red heart and a CND membership card 

this was a man who marched in October 1982

and even the man in the Whitehouse knew 

knew the power in his songs 

as did an innocent man 

in the jails of echolon 

on whose case he educated me 

now at last his body free from pain 

I can listen to the Glasgow boy 

wrapped in the warmth of memories 

© Gayle Smith 2017 

Kitchen Of Hate

Hey Readers

I wrote this poem in a state of shock, horror, and disbelief. You see whilst I was tucking in to a lovely meal with good friends some of our most disadvantaged and vulnerable citizens were being refused one of the most basic of all human needs. These Glaswegians were being discriminated against by a far right organisation on the grounds of race and ethnicity at a whites only food bank.

The idea of such an organisation being allowed to peddle their hate in this way is something I find so ridiculous, offensive, and disgusting that it is beyond the comprehension of any decent citizen. I’ve given it the title Kitchens Of Hate I hope you find it a challenging and thought provoking read.

Kitchen Of Hate

Shocked
stunned
and horrified
I couldn’t believe
what I read
the headline said
the was a whites only
food bank
at the weekend
whilst I tucked in
to a lovely meal
in the company of friends
discrimination was taking place
in our city centre
the far right Brits
better together never talked about
during the referendum
were dishing out parcels of ignorance
preying on the most underprivileged
no doubt hoping to recruit
the less politically aware
to their brand of Britishness
which I know my unionist friends
will condemn
no matter how much I disagree with their views
on Scotland’s future direction
I know those serving
at the kitchens of hate
do not, have not, and will never represent them
in the words of George Michael
I say it’s time to listen without prejudice
in this new Scotland
it’s important not to go back to the past
the empire is dead
we have to realise that
the days of apartheid
died with the victory of Mandela
there will be no golden dawn
with the politics of evil
only false ones
national affronts
we can live without
as we move on to tomorrow
and refuse to taste the poison of bitterness

@ Gayle Smith 2016

The Poster Girl For Self Destruct Buttons An Open Letter To Katie Hopkins

Hey everyone. Have just read a disgusting tweet from Katie Hopkins about Ebola coming to Scotland. I am furious beyond belief at this vile insult not only to my nation but to the hard working staff of NHS Scotland. So furious in fact I have decided to write her an open letter to let her know my thoughts. I doubt very much if she’ll read it but it has to be worth a try.

Dear Katie Hopkins.

You do not know me but I know of you through your celebrity status which you gained as a former contestant on the reality TV show the apprentice.

Since then you have been able to maintain your status by appearing on talk shows, and discussions panels as well as writing for a certain conservative minded national newspaper. I have no problem with that and indeed go as far to wish you well in whatever direction your career may lead you. I do however have the sense that you have a deep seated dislike for my country and for the life of me I cannot understand why. Though doubtless you will have your reasons.

I write this letter more in sorrow than in anger that you could take such a cheap shot at my country. Scotland is a peaceful nation and by and large Scots are not easy to anger, though you seem to manage it with quite alarming ease. I know you will probably think you are being funny with your vile tweet on someone from Glasgow contracting the deadly ebola virus but believe me your not. In fact you are treading on very dangerous ground and this time you have overstepped the mark. This is made all the more true by the fact that your latest comment comes just days after my city was devastated by a freak pre Christmas accident and is something I find deeply offensive.

I have to say that calling us names like sweaty Jocks is neither original nor intelligent, this has been a bog standard insult used by the more obnoxious of your country folk for many a year, or even a century. If anything this insult shows a distinct lack of creative thought. My message is if you going to say something make it something that will last beyond five minutes of virtual notoriety or this weekend’s fish and chip wrappers. This idea of originality clearly never crossed your mind when your crossed the line from banter into vitriol

Also I feel I must take issue with your comment on our First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. I must admit I found your tweet on her mildly amusing but maybe not for the reasons you’d like. You see though Nicola Sturgeon may not be the tallest woman on the planet, she is a woman born to lead. I am sure she will if she hasn’t done it already thank the people of England for the care that NHS England are providing for the victim of this terrible disease but mark my words and mark them well! I would sooner have a woman whom you judge to be short on physique running my country than one who is clearly short on manners, decency, and what I call cultural intelligence. Yes Katie I was laughing at you rather than with you. Trust me your kind of playground insults will never get you a show at the Edinburgh fringe.

It is I think safe to say that and many others take very strong exception to your insulting comments on NHS Scotland.
Our NHS staff are just like their colleagues in England, Wales and Ulster over worked and under paid and do not deserve such contemptible comments to be made about them. Now I know you have made many unkind comments on various issues in the past but there comes a time when you have to stop and consider the reckless consequences of your actions.
Surely you must realise the damage it does to your reputation, after all this is not the first time you have courted controversy with your comments on Scotland.

It is I believe beyond ridiculous that you blame Scotland for bringing Ebola to England as the woman who contracted this killer disease, a nurse by the way, had to travel back to Scotland from Sierra Leone via Casablanca which in case you didn’t know is Morocco, and then London which I believe is in England before returning home to Scotland. This however is not a blame game about who gave what to who. There is a woman who has a highly infectious disease which could kill her. We as a family of nations must do all in our power to aid her recovery and stop this disease from spreading. That and only that must be the priority of both the Scottish and UK Governments and I am sure that our First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and UK Prime Minister David Cameron will be doing all they can to make sure this is an isolated case and that this disease spreads no further.

This Ms Hopkins is not a time for petty, political points scoring, it is for acting like adults and solving the problem not mocking the victim because of her geographical location. This is insensitive act which can only cause distress to her family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Did you consider that before your tweet? I think not, extra distress is something they really don’t need at what will be an emotional and difficult time for them.

Having said this I want to make it clear I don’t have anything against you on a personal level. Quite the opposite in fact, because and I don’t know why but part of me really wants to like you. Honestly, it really is true. You see, I like the fact you are a woman who is successful in business,and knows your own mind. It is good that you are a woman with opinions who is not afraid to express them. Too many over years and centuries women in all nations have been told to sit down and shut up So the qualities you have are to be admired and indeed encouraged. You should be a role model for today’s girls and young women. Sadly however you are not and are often like Sarah Pallin held up as a figure of ridicule.

This should not be the case but the tragedy is that it is because you have this alarming tendency to open your mouth before thinking of the potential consequences. You are,I think if such a think is indeed even possible the poster girl for self destruct buttons.

This to me is a real shame when you have chance to be so much more than that. Perhaps you should reflect on your thoughtless comments and make an apology to the people of Scotland, we are after all still part of your United Kingdom or is the kingdom you I believe in and exclusive club for the rich and therefore part of the reason I did not believe we were better together and voted yes for a better tomorrow where we would make the choice to as the great Nelson Mandela says by our hopes and not our fears.
I await your reply, though somehow I doubt if I’ll get one.

Yours Sincerely.

Gayle

Hanging On

Hey everyone. This poem was inspired by my friend Paula MacNicol who when thinking about suggesting a topic for me asked does it have to be political? I told her that it did not but it is perhaps ironic that having asked this question that she suggested a title which inspired a very political poem in which I present a horror story made in a Dis United Kingdom after a scared and scarred Scotland rejected independence. This I believe will be disturbingly close to the truth should we be careless in our duty on September 18th. I’ve given it the title Hanging On. I hope you find it a challenging and thought provoking read.

Hanging On 

Someone is telling me what to do inflicting their ill balanced point of view
boring me and everyone else
about their favourite topic themselves
I’m too polite so I don’t want to say
will you please bolt just go away
I want to say those words
but I can’t I fear they would bring on an angry rant
then they would start a chorus
as more and more they would bore us
encouraging others to join in the mocking
yes this may sound shocking
yet I must sit here
know my place
they would brand me a disgrace for wanting equality
putting the rights of others
first before personal gain
in this society we are taught
not to complain
our master and their friends
will not approve
they will slowly erode then remove
the hard won freedoms for which we had to fight
they will seduce others to turn right
using the language of warmth
to turn up the heat
and make attitudes colder
we need and deserve
something much better than this
but if we vote against ourselves
this will be our collective reality
It is insanity to pretend it will not
a land left to rot
until there is nothing but vacant space
this will be the disgrace of your making
but those who are left will take the chance to dance
when the puppet master finally cuts the strings
we will sing songs not heard for years
the tears we will cry will be of joy not fear
and we will grow strong
but how long we will we have to wait
If we don’t go on this date
It could be a number of years
before another one arrives
meanwhile many seduced by the lies
we will be abandoned in despair
when you march to the right
nobody cars what’s left
fighters may have to cease firing for a while
but we will have sneers disguised as smiles
ready to puncture the gullible
at the first sign of their panic
at not been given the promised
rewards
meanwhile we should remember an imprisoned Mandela
and how whilst in solitary confinement
cast adrift on robyn island
he clung on to his sanity and the belief that truth would prevail
by hanging on to the walls
by the fingernails of freedom

@Gayle Smith 2014

Freedom Faith And Football Girls And Political Correctness Gone Mad

Hey everyone It’s fair to say that May Day Monday is never the biggest attendance of the year at Words and Music. I have to say however that the 16 of us who did attend at a time which traditionally involves trips to the coast and traffic problems enjoyed a highly entertaining evening which contained promising debuts and welcome returns not to mention a surprising last minute choice as featured musician.

As is now traditional I kicked off the night by reading a poem to welcome the gathering to the family table which is and ever shall be the wee back room at Sammy’s.

With this month’s event being held on the day which celebrates international socialism I decided to start with a poem for peace hope and a vision of a world without nuclear weapons titled Tights Before Trident.

This poem was inspired by a discussion at a post National Collective social where the force of nature that is Margaret McLaren McCabe and I were talking about independence as one does at National Collective events and I said that the price of tights was more important to the economic well being of a future independent Scotland than wasting money on lethal killing machines which no sane leader would ever use.

Once I had started the night with my poem from the legally blonde school of economic theory it was time to welcome the first of the programmed readers. This month that honour fell to Pamela Duncan who read us a play on the theme of change. This was not only entertaining it was also thought provoking in what will be regardless of the referendum result a year of change for Scotland.

Following Pamela to the stage was that genial giant Paddy Hannrahan. Now as regular readers will know Paddy is an excellent storyteller especially when regaling us with tales of South Africa but he does tend to go on a bit and this month was no exception to his usual rule. I do have to say however, I did enjoy his tale on ancestors and how the rainbow nation the late South African president Nelson Mandela had hoped to build is still a long way from coming to fruition. A reminder to us perhaps that when it comes to nation building, patience will be a much needed and necessary virtue.

After Paddy it was the turn of Susan Milligan to take the stage and in a set of three poems she started with her weakest and ended with her strongest. I have to say I’ve never really liked it when she tries to do accents as she did in her opening poem which was a tribute to American singer Curtis Stigers as shall we say I do not believe it’s in her more obvious range of gifts. Undaunted however she followed this up with a poem on going to the Rocky Horror Show before finishing with by far her strongest poem of the evening Sweet Sensation. This poem was in my opinion not only Susan’s best poem of the set it is one of her best ever. Right from the start it evokes memories of growing up in the 1970’s and the atmosphere created was so tangible you could almost taste the sweets as you walked down memory lane into the sweet shop.

Next up was a new face to Words and Music Paula Khan. Paula was she said a Sammy’s virgin though you would never have guessed had she not said.
In her debut set Paula performed two poems A Walk In Braehead and the outstanding To Girls Who Long For Dead Poets.
Both poems were sharp, incisive and a liberal sprinkling of wit in all the right places. This is a poet of whom I hope both I and Sammy’s will be seeing a lot more.

The same can also be said of our next reader and fellow debutant Shaun Moore. Sean performed two outstanding pieces to mark his arrival on the Words and Music stage A Slice of Life and a poetic story on the horrors of the Clutha tragedy and the triumph of the Glasgow spirit even in the most difficult of circumstances.

Lesley McKay was another poet who focused on the positive message of hope over fear though her poetry with the exception of Rupert Wins An Award focused on her African experiences and TIA This Is Africa, and Be The Change, showed Paddy Hannrahan the way to tell the story of this continent and give it a sense of place without all the rabbiting on.
Next up for our entertainment was the ever ebullient John McGlade whose tales of monologue for Radio Scotland and The Last Gardener were both funny and thought provoking with an edge only John can provide.

As John sat down it was the turn of a relative newcomer Alistair McIver to step up and tackle the Better Together campaign slogan The Best Of Both Worlds by giving it his own unique treatment and subsequently tearing it apart with a powerful and passionate performance of a poem which hit the mark with deadly accuracy.

After Alastair’s rallying call to think of the future it was Audrey Marshall who returned us to the present as she gave us a reality check, and in the finest Scottish tradition destroyed all hope of optimism by declaring the she was just a miserable sod. I hate to tell her, but I will even at the risk of her considerable wrath but I disagree with her on that. I just believe that when it comes to her view on the world she simply tells it as she sees it. Her first poem this month was Pocket Book a moving story of the events of World War 1 without any of the sickly stench of manufactured sweetness the British political establishment are trying to create. This was followed by Clouds a brilliantly moving poem with lots of fantastic and very powerful imagery and she concluded her with 4.45 a poem for her beloved Hibernian. Yes Audrey like me is a football girl, there is however one important difference between us, I support the successful team in Green and White.

Talking about things which don’t have a lot going for them Jim Ewing read a poem on the scare stories of better together during the independence referendum campaign. The poem which is subtlety entitled 10 Good Reasons to vote No. Funny but it ran out on reason after number 7 and showed that Better Together are running out of ideas long before the end of the campaign. It seems to me that to paraphrase a well known TV programme I don’t watch and never will they believe the only way is fear. Jim however doesn’t believe that, he believes as I do that the only way is faith and as if to prove the point he gave a plug to the faith and unbelief event he runs on the last Saturday of the month.

Talking of things are last, it was time for the last poet before the bar break. This month it was Linda Grant who took us there with a set of three poems Living With Myself, Tears Of Joy, and One Of Those Days after which we all headed down the stairs for a much deserved refreshment.

Having assumed without confirming that Dennis Oliver would have been our featured musician as we had spoken about it in April I realised that since Dennis hadn’t turned up for which I take full responsibility that this could leave us short of a featured musician especially since our regular stand in for such emergencies Andy Fleming had sent me a text to say he would be unable to take his usual place at the table. However all was not lost as I had a Plan B and this involved giving someone a wee surprise they hadn’t bargained for.

The someone in question was Susan Milligan and when I summoned her by saying can I have a word with you now. Susan being a sensitive wee soul asked what I have done wrong now? I told her to relax as it wasn’t what she had done wrong it was what she could do to add to the enjoyment of the evening and if she was up for the featured musician slot then the tenner was hers for the taking.
After thinking it over for a moment I am glad to say she accepted the challenge and without giving too much away just let’s say it won’t be the last time she’s featured musician at the club.

Having completed our negotiations Susan returned to her seat with a secret smile which I know something you don’t know but your going to find out later. That however was for later now it was time to commence the second half of the evening with our featured writer.

This month the spotlight shone on the man once described by the brilliant young poet Kevin P Gilday as the Cumnock Curmudgeon Jim Monaghan. This is a poet I always enjoy listening to, you see Jim is not just a poet he’s an award winning poet having won the Festival of Politics slam at the Scottish Parliament last year and also the rhyming optional slam Champions League slam which was organised by the aforementioned Mr Gilday.

Jim started his set with a poem on younger people in which he reflected back to his own youth with a well crafted piece which showed humour warmth and empathy. Still in reflective mood his next poem was the heartwarming What I Got For My Birthday’s in which he takes on a tour of his life from early childhood till now and I have to say I find it both an interesting and enjoyable journey.

It has to be said that those of who are lucky enough to call Jim a friend know that he has a very definite set of political views and one thing he cannot buy into is the wha’s like us school of Scottishness and identity politics are not something he feels comfortable with. Indeed in his poem Jock Tamson Girns he reminds us that we really are just the same as any other nation and that in his opinion and I have to say mine is something we should be celebrating.

In his next poem Political Correctness Gone Mad Jim takes aim at those who say that hard won rights are no more than political correctness. In this poem he reminds us that these rights were not given by a benevolent government but had the result of campaigns some of which went on for many years and the gains made should not be lightly dismissed just because some in the press have a very different agenda to that of social progress based on cultural diversity. Now maybe I might be wee biased here but I believe in there are echoes of the speech made during the second world war by Pastor Martin Neimoller first they came for the communists. This poem was I think a fitting reminder of what may day is about and why it is so important to celebrate it.

The next poem the Secret Millionaire offered Jim’s take on the TV programme of that name he then read a found poem Lies About Iraq, before moving on to TV Heaven, to another found poem When I’m 54, then Book Of Proverbs, another trade union poem Pie In The Sky, which I have to say is an exceedingly good poem before finishing a brilliant set with his calling card and my personal favourite of his United Colours Of Cumnock. This set was in my opinion one of breathtaking quality and shows why Jim Monaghan is a poetic tour de force whose work is educational, empowering, and entertaining in equal measure.

Talking of entertaining Words and Music has had a habit over the years producing the occasional surprise and this time the surprise was that I had a trick up my sleeve when I introduced Susan Milligan as the featured musician.

As I said earlier I thought I had booked Dennis Oliver but I should have confirmed so I’ll arrange with Dennis for sometime later in the year as I always look forward to hearing him play and love his laid back style. However that’s for another night and I have to say Susan was an excellent stand in especially when you consider she took it on at very short notice

Susan was full value for her very well earned tenner and performed eight songs in her 20 minute slot and demonstrating her versatility with a wide range of choices. These included the Kate Bush classic The Man With The Child In His Eyes, and songs from the 50’s and 60’s such as Sailor, Where The Boys Are, Till I There Was You and Yesterday.
This was I am sure just a sample of her work of I am I bound to hear more over the months and years to come. In fact I would say this even more than her writing is where her real talent lies.

After Susan it was time for the penultimate reader of the evening. Michael McLaughlan is a less frequent than I would like him to be, however when does make it along he makes an impact and he does so with the quality of his poetry and This Beauty, and Stupid Fuckin Words demonstrated not only the quality of his work but also the depth of his range. This man is a serious poet who deserves to be recognised as such and I for one always enjoy listening to him read.

By now we had reached the end of the night and it was my duty to bring the evening to a close. I performed a set of five poems. I started by reminding those present not only what we were fighting for by celebrating May Day but also by what we were standing against by reading Self Service Cafe which was my rant against the Westminster government benefit cuts.

Next up was something completely different and The Promise Of Summer has long been one of my favourite poems as warns mothers not to be too judgemental on their daughters or their friends but instead to rewind the camera of their minds to a time when they were the age the girls are now and enjoyed the good times summer brought them.

Bearing in mind my impending trip to Edinburgh I read a poem on the national question which I know is a favourite of my Edinburgh based friend and fellow poet Matt MacDonald. The Quilt not only talks about why I support independence but the circumstances which have brought this opportunity about and my hope that should we in the yes campaign win the vote as I believe we will that it will lead to an improvement in relations between a new more confident Scotland and the remaining nations of the UK as we finally what I have always seen the unionist Blame The English cringe.

Next up I read The Champagne Socialist which I think is I timely reminder to those in political parties who claim to be socialists but are more interested in serving themselves the luxury lifestyle they crave than the serving the voters who elected them to represent them. I wonder if this little rant will ring any bells for the likes of Sarwar, Brown, or others who should know better but don’t.

I followed this up with my final poem. Mother Hen. This one tells the emotional story of me not being able to be a mum but still being treated like an emergency one by some of my younger female friends particularly in the LGBT and traditional music communities and it was only fitting that it was this poem which brought the curtain down on another excellent night of words music mayhem and comradeship in the wee back room. A night where we proved that freedom, faith, and football girls were part of a great night out and see if anyone tries to tell different it’s political correctness gone mad I tell you it’s political correctness gone mad.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle XXX

A Very Rosy Future In The Westminster Garden Of Thorns Only If Your Living In The Land Of Make Believe

Hey everyone As London’s favourite fantasist Danny Alexander has a very special role to play for the No Scotland campaign in the run up to September’s independence referendum. You see Agent Danny has the task of convincing the more gullible and less politically aware amongst our number that once there is No Scotland we can simply get on with being British and we can all be Better Together.

This however presents a problem for Danny you see as Iain McWhirter points his excellent article in this week’s Sunday Herald Memo To Danny Alexander The very things that make London rich makes Scotland poorer. This is something Danny and his friends in the south or to more precise Westminster seem totally unable
to grasp and believe me they need to if they are to have any chance of keeping Scotland in the UK even on a temporary basis which by the way is as good as it get for the supporters of a union which has long since passed its sell by date.

The idea that Westminster can send some hired fools with accents to talk down to the people of Scotland like some distant colonial governor general would seem ridiculous to someone who lives in the real world rather than the bubble of the Mother of Parliaments.

It strikes me that Team Apathy one of my many new names for the forces of darkness are getting just a wee bit too up themselves and once we have removed their heads from their own backsides, it strikes me this bizarre collection of sharp suits and dull minds need to be taken down a peg or two. I mean I don’t know who they got to write their best seller on how to win friends and influence people but obviously whatever genius came up with their campaign had no experience of doing either and lacked the ability to start now.

McWhirter correctly says ‘all this finger wagging and no means no rhetoric may be counter productive for better together’. Why? Because it gives the impression that the better together campaign is led not only from London but from the City of London and the idea that Scotland can or should be bullied big business cartels in the name of millionaire or indeed billionaires on the boards of private companies will not sit too well with many in Scotland whose preferred position in any football, hockey, or rugby team would be somewhere on the left. Indeed we have seen another example of a Labour and trade union stalwart, and former chair of the |STUC Bob Thomson declare for independence. To see Labour in coalition with the Tories on this was the last straw for a man who had fought the Tories all his political life. Bob Thomson may be the latest principled Labour man to nail his colours to the Yes Scotland mast but something tells me he won’t be the last. If Better Together are not at least beginning to get nervous that there all about Alex narrative is now well and truly busted then they are quite clearly not intelligent enough to deserve to win our future.

Not that I think they can win the future I believe they are going to get thumped. My reason for this belief is a simple one with a message of hope at it’s core. This message is brilliantly delivered by McWhirter who says in one sentence with a brilliant and deadly clarity that ‘a campaign that is based almost entirely on fear is campaign that has lost the argument’ This is something that unionists will need to get their heads round and quickly and yet it is something I don’t want to them to get their heads round because the more they fail to see the problem the bigger our landslide is going to be. So forgive me for being so brutal as I don’t want them to wake up and smell the coffee no I want them to sleepwalk all the way to hell. The idea that we can somehow have a very rosy future in Westminster’s garden of thorns is one I would find laughable if the prospect didn’t terrify as much as it does.

You see as far as I am concerned better together do not have a campaign they are an organisation and to those who not as active or politically aware there is a fundamental difference. A campaign no matter how large has or tends or tends to have a series of active local bases a presence on the street of teams willing to talk to the people it needs to reach. An organisation, especially a multi national organisation such as better together sees no need to do so preferring to intimidate those it seeks to hold within its sphere of influence by issuing frightening edicts or statement designed to scare to people in to doing what they are told. I wonder how many people can see the difference between this model of behaviour and the demented delusions of project fear. It is no coincidence the unionists use this tactic they need you to be afraid or they will not be able to continue their raid on Scottish resources.

Make no mistake for the unionists this is personal. Many of them have amassed huge personal fortunes and set up family dynasties thanks to their connections and this does not just apply to the Conservatives in fact in Scotland i would say it applies to the Labour Party to an even more significant degree. Indeed there are now many traditional Labour families whose members are often promoted to jobs way above their capabilities or intellectual levels in politics or the media or for the less talented city council chambers all over the country. Believe me these people are just as complicate in the mugging of Scotland as any etonian millionaire. If there one thing the comrades don’t want it is a system based on genuine merit.

The fact however is that in different parts of Scotland this system has benefited all parties including Danny Alexander’s Liberal Democrats but the fact of the matter is that though of our opponents may point to some examples of this very system working within the independence movement they cannot deny that it is primarily the unionists who benefit from and established political class and a culture of remoteness which sends a message to the voters that politics is our business now please get on with yours. This is the challenge the yes campaign has to overcome and to break these power structures will not be easy. However it can be done and especially at a time when Scotland’s influence amongst the London chattering classes has never been weaker and in the event of a no vote will be diluted still further.

It is my belief that as the referendum date draws the treats from Westminster high command will increase dramatically in both number and ferocity. Scotland must not buckle under these tactics of the tyrant. It is time to stand strong and face the fear. The unionists know we can call their bluff and believe me it terrifies them far more than their non existent campaign will ever scare us. This is an organisation so confident of victory that as McWhirter states in his article they haven’t even bothered to make the case for its continued existence. As he goes on to state ‘ a few platitudes from David Cameron in his Olympic speech about Team GB and Nelson Mandela does not amount to a reasoned case or claim of right’. The arrogance of these people would be truly staggering were not so death defyingly stupid.

Contrast this with the more balanced approach of the yes campaign. Far from counting our chickens in terms in terms of winning the fight for our country we always stress the importance of every individual yes vote to each voter we meet on the campaign trail and that their vote matters because they do. I believe that by engaging with the people in the street we are offering a far more positive vision of a representative people’s democracy than the Jack Horner finger in the pie nonsense mashed together by a group of people with nothing but self interest to bind them together.

It also interesting that McWhirter gives Owen Jones his character by referring to him as ‘question time’s favourite tame lefty’ This is undeniably true, Jones is certainly the darling of the Westminster chattering classes but he would do well to remember the old saying once quoted by Malcolm now Sir Malcolm Rifkind who on describing a political opponent reminded him that ‘those whom the gods wish destroy they first call promising’. I think Jones may realise the power of that remark sooner than he thinks especially and there is a delicious irony in this if Labour actually do win the 2015 general election. This could be the end of the beautiful connection between Jones and socialism as he realises that if he wants a seat at the court of King Milliband he will need to sell out his beliefs lock stock and principle and trust me he will do it without a second thought or even a first. After all the alternative is a lifetime in the political wilderness on the back benches. As for comments on Scotland and more particularly on the First Minister they are at best weak and ill considered rants based sorely on the fact that Alex Salmond is not a member of his party. Now I hate to remind Mr Jones but which party was it that ended tuition fees and the right to free personal care and ended means tested prescriptions? It wasn’t Labour the so-called workers it was the SNP led by Alex Salmond.

Oh and whilst I’m giving Mr Jones a lesson in contemporary Scottish politics I think I need to ask him who it was who said that Scotland was a something for nothing society and was wildly applauded the by the Conservative Government for doing so? Not sure are we Owen? Well for your information it wasn’t Alex Salmond or anyone else in the SNP for that matter. It was your own party’s Scottish leader Johann Lamont. Well I use the term Scottish with caution as I don’t think she likes it very much and I use the term leader very loosely as it is my considered opinion that she couldn’t lead the queue for a bus. If this is the best your party can come up with to lead Scotland I suggest you may be in far more trouble than you think.
Thank god I believe there are others who can do the job better even if at the moment their voices are not being heard.
Yes such is stifling suffocating impact of the union it is actually destroying the one party who are supposed to speak for the people.

This more than anything else shows to me why the union cannot continue. Believe me this is no partnership of equals this isn’t even a partnership if it was we wouldn’t be having a referendum because we wouldn’t be needing one and Danny Alexander wouldn’t need to come up to wag his finger and talk to us like we’ve been naughty school children for daring to the question the teacher about the state of the emperor’s suit but when all is said and done that is his job. Danny Alexander is chief fantasist for the union and desperately trying to sell a product deep down even he must know isn’t worth selling. However he will continue to flog the dead horse of perceived unity as it is in his interests do so if even if it is not in the interests of his nation. He has the air of an actor appearing in the last episode of a programme which will not be recommissioned and his dream of a very rosy future In the Westminster garden of thorns is only credible to those who are living in the land of make believe.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X