Tae Bauldly Gang

I have to say I’m loving today’s front page of The Sun:


Star Trek Beyond, a new Star Trek film, will be released in 2016 – the year of the Scottish General Election. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.

Issues with the paper itself – not to mention the very serious matter of the wrong Enterprise in the lower left corner – aside, it’s a nice sequel to last year’s edition, as well as a little nod to how Star Trek, Scotland, and the SNP coincide a couple of times.

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From 2007 to 7 Days

Going through the scotexec Youtube channel is most interesting.

Here is the election and speech of First Minister Alex Salmond.

It’s poignant to note that several of the people present for the 2007 election are no longer at Holyrood, and will not be contesting next week. None of the people who led the four main parties in 2007 will lead them to the election on the 5th of May. The leaders of the three main Unionist parties – Jack McConnell, Nicol Stephen, & Annabel Goldie – all left, two in 2011, the third this year. They are all now members of the House of Lords. The former First Minister Alex Salmond will not be a feature of the next Scottish Parliament’s chambers either – but rather than retire to a comfortable future in the House of Lords like his three counterparts, he went south with 55 other champions of Scottish independence to the House of Commons.

Inverclyde’s politicians are saying goodbye, too. Duncan MacNeil, who has represented Greenock & Inverclyde since 1999, has retired. Ross Finnie, a party leadership candidate who contested Greenock & Inverclyde but was elected to the West Scotland list, failed to be elected in 2011 after 12 years as a member of the Scottish Executive cabinet. Only one elected MSP, who has contested Greenock & Inverclyde twice before, is contesting this year. He has already represented this constituency in his capacity as a West Scotland MSP. He lives here. He loves this place.

One week left.

Stuart’s website

Stuart’s Twitter

Stuart’s Facebook page and profile

One Week of Campaigning Left

Stuart McMillan talking support for people dealing with alcohol problems.

While there are still 8 days to go until the polls open, most of the 5th of May will be spent getting the vote out and ensuring everything goes smoothly. That means we really only have 7 more days to actually campaign – canvass, deliver leaflets and newspapers, man the stalls, hold the shop, and so on. As I’ve said before, I’m concentrating on our campaign, not those of other parties, but discussions about some SNP policies have been occurring on social media. Stuart himself has seen fit to respond, and I have reposted them here (some party names changed to protect the innocent).

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294 – 276

Refugees Welcome

That was the vote yesterday for an amendment to the Immigration Bill.

A high-profile campaign for the UK to accept 3,000 child refugees stranded in Europe has failed after the government narrowly won a vote in the House of Commons rejecting the plan.

MPs voted against the proposals by 294 to 276 on Monday after the Home Office persuaded most potential (UK government party) rebels that it was doing enough to help child refugees in Syria and neighbouring countries.

The amendment to the immigration bill would have forced the government to accept 3,000 unaccompanied refugee minors, mostly from Syria, who have made their way to mainland Europe.

You’d think there’d come a point where you finally become jaded. Acclimatised. Used to it. This is what that party does – it washes its hands of its own humanity, when it isn’t trampling its own people into the dust. It’s never a shock. Never a surprise. But that never quells the emotions – the anguish, the fury, the resolve. It stings, it aches, it burns away at your guts and your soul. Every. Single. Time.

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One Overriding Aim

One Overriding Aim

The aims of the Party shall be:

(a) Independence for Scotland; that is the restoration of Scottish national sovereignty by restoration of full powers to the Scottish Parliament, so that its authority is limited only by the sovereign power of the Scottish People to bind it with a written constitution and by such agreements as it may freely enter into with other nations or states or international organisations for the purpose of furthering international cooperation, world peace and the protection of the environment.

(b) the furtherance of all Scottish interests.

Constitution of the Scottish National Party

Sometimes it’s nice to know that I agree with Unionists on some things. For all the whispers about the SNP “backtracking” on independence, that they “never really wanted a majority/referendum/independence at all,” that it’s all about money and power and influence, it’s good to know that our most determined ideological opponents are fully aware that independence is always foremost to the SNP. Scotland in Union, Unite Against Separation, and all those other organisations who view independence as a profound existential challenge are all too aware that presenting the SNP as “soft” on independence is more dangerous to their cause than to ours – for after 80 years campaigning, no one can seriously claim the SNP are not truly dedicated to Scottish independence. Especially not now, where we are so very close to tipping the balance.

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A Sight for Sore Eyes

From Stuart McMillan’s site:

“This is good news for those with visual impairment who like to use social media like Twitter”, said Stuart McMillan, SNP candidate for Greenock & Inverclyde, commenting on a new feature which allows users to include descriptions of photographs on Twitter.

This move has been welcomed by disability charity RNIB who said that this development would open up brands and businesses to millions of new people.

Twitter’s latest accessibility change empowers blind and partially sighted people to digest visual content easily and provides a way for brands and businesses to engage with even more people. As the screen reading software that blind and partially sighted people use to follow social media can’t read pictures, users with sight loss might miss out on a lot of content.

The change relies on Twitter users inserting captions to any images they load onto Twitter.

Stuart McMillan, former Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Visual Impairment, added:

“This is great news for people with visual impairment, making Twitter more accessible.

“Images are the central point of many social media networks so it’s great that Twitter have recognised the particular needs of those with visual impairment.

“Although the change relies on those uploading images to insert captions, there are over 2 million people in the UK living with sight loss and this should encourage many businesses to expand their customer base by making this small change.”

Stuart has been the convenor for the Cross Party Group on Visual Impairment for a while now, and in the event he’s elected, it would be good for him to continue in that role.

As a person who uses glasses who works in the visual arts, I’m always interested in discussions about visual impairment. I’m also mindful of family members like my grandparents, whose eyesight isn’t as sharp these days. My grandfather in particular does not do much physical work for the SNP and independence movement, but he is very active online: anything which makes it easier for him to find, read and digest information is most welcome.

Just like prescriptions, the SNP have committed to keeping eye tests free and universal: in England, you must fulfil certain criteria. When it comes to something as important as sight, I don’t think there should be means-testing: the SNP agree.


Stuart’s website

Stuart’s Twitter

Stuart’s Facebook page and profile

When Our Ship Comes In

It’s getting more and more difficult to restrain myself as crewman of the good ship S.N.P.* Greenock & Inverclyde. I set out this campaign for sunny shores, promoting the positivity of the SNP, spreading the record of captain Stuart McMillan. We were to ignore the maddening music of the Sirens, no matter how much we wished to challenge their assertions and taunts: all they were intent upon was to tempt us to crash our precious ship against the hidden rocks beneath the surface.

Easier said than done. “Forth Road Bridge!” “State Snooper!” “College Places!” “£5/7/10/15 Billion BLAGOLE!” “Unquestioning Cult!” “Separation Shuts Shipyards!”


Separation Shuts Shipyards. I could rant and rave about the duplicity, the betrayal, the double-dealings of other parties who assured Scottish voters that only a vote for the Union could protect jobs, guarantee contracts, safeguard livelihoods… only to watch as everything they claimed would happen with a Yes vote happened anyway. The “Separation Shuts Shipyards” one stings – because when the shipyards looked to the broad shoulders of the UK for aid, time and time again, the UK simply shrugged.

Yet there’s little that could be done ranting: what can be done to help? We know – because when the shipyards looked to the Scottish government for aid, the Scottish government did not shrug.

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