Port Oot, Starbuird Hame

radicalcat

So this caused a wee bit of a tizzy on Twitter last night. A fair amount of folk were taken aback by it, and you can see why: independence campaigners are no more or less harder-working by their class or upbringing, and might well resent the implication that only those “less posh” do all the hard work. It could also rub those independence supporters who think of themselves as working class the wrong way, if they don’t actively support or work for RIC. I thought I’d wait until I had a read of it before commenting on the piece itself – pull quotes can often read very differently out of context.

The “posher nationalists” quote itself didn’t bother me, mostly because I’ve been accused of being posh for most of my life. But the piece does talk a lot about class politics.

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Long To Reign Over Us

It’s not often I’ll agree with Iain Martin, but this is one of those times. I loved watching Nicola Sturgeon singing God Save the Queen for a few reasons – and they aren’t reasons Unionists are going to like.

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The Rebel Alliance

yesalliance

Nine-tenths of tactics are certain, and taught in books: but the irrational tenth is like the kingfisher flashing across the pool, and that is the test of generals.
– T. E. Lawrence

Scot Goes Pop and Wings Over Scotland have some fantastic pieces on the prospect of the “Vote SNP on the constituency, Another Pro-Indy Party on the list” scheme being promoted by various pro-independence parties. It is natural that the Greens, Solidarity, and RISE (the next stage of the Radical Independence Campaign) would want to promote their own parties, especially in the Scottish elections. I’ve often mentioned my desire for a new kind of politics, a collaborative rather than competitive model where parties work together to make things better rather than the opposition hounding the government for every tiny thing. As such, for a long time I’d been an advocate of the “vote SNP in the constituency, Greens/SSP/Yes Alliance in the list” method for next year’s Holyrood election. However, having read into the actual formula used to calculate list votes, I now realise there’s much more to it than I previously thought.

So is that it, then? Just keep voting SNP every chance you get until independence, and leave the Greens, SSP and other pro-independence parties and candidates to their own devices? That doesn’t sit well with me either. All pro-indy parties and groups worked their socks off to get the official vote to 45%, and they all experienced surges in support following the referendum.

What can be done?

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Totally Radical Dudes

From The Herald:

SCOTLAND has far more committed left wingers than England, new analysis has revealed amid speculation that thousands of Scots were radicalised during the independence referendum.

A detailed breakdown of political attitudes north and south of the border shows more than one in seven Scots fall in to the most radical segment of the left-right political spectrum.

That compares with fewer than one in 10 in England, despite the two countries being broadly similar across the rest of the political divide.

LeftRightSo in other words, a greater proportion of Scots are radical than English?

That’s totally radical.

ric_campaign

We did have a Radical War, after all.

Right?

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Yesmas Ceilidh

I’m still extremely proud of Yes Inverclyde’s achievement during the referendum: if our almost 20 point increase from predicted result (20%) to actual result (49.9%) was replicated in every Scottish constituency, we would’ve walked it. But while the referendum is over, the struggle for Scotland’s future continues.

YESmas

So, I’m going to use my wilderness to for a bit of local promotion. On the 13th of December, Yes Inverclyde is hosting a fundraiser to raise money for the next few months, up to about the General Election period.

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Taking Wing(s over Scotland)

A couple of amazing things happened last Saturday.

It was a grand day for me, and I hope 15,000 other Scots, as we collectively engaged in the biggest political discussion we’ve seen in these islands for quite some time. We were spread across Glasgow, with the SNP Tour in the Hydro, and the Radical Independence Conference at the Clyde Auditorium. To think that the SNP, a party which has been institutionally marginalised by the establishment since its inception, has managed to sell out a major venue to the tune of twelve thousand – that’s a hundred and twenty hundreds* – in 2014 is remarkable. Similarly, to think that RIC, an organisation which only started in 2012, could blossom from the 900 of the original conference to three thousand – thirty hundreds – even as the most popular party in Scotland had a massive congregation quite literally next door, is an amazing achievement.

After the SNP tour, I met up with some of the regulars at Wings Over Scotland. I’d missed out earlier in the year – I was in America – but even though the 2014 referendum is past, I saw no reason not to. I’m glad I did.

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Adventures in Canvassing

Erm, no, not THAT kind of canvas...

Erm, no, not THAT kind of canvas…

It’s one thing to rant online about independence: it’s quite another getting out onto the street and conversing with folk in a public setting. So for a good few months now, I’ve been getting involved. I’ve attended meetings for organisations as diverse as Radical Independence Campaign and Christians for Independence; I’ve handed out leaflets at stalls; I’ve delivered newspapers, and have the ink-blackened hands to prove it. And I’ve had a brilliant time doing so, meeting all sorts of people from all angles of the upcoming referendum, engaging with the people in the area I live in to a degree I never felt comfortable with before.

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Another Scotland Is Already Coming

Radical

I’ve been an SNP man for all my voting life, and I owe it all to my mother. My family are from a very work-conscious background, albeit not necessarily working class, so they were big Labour voters. My mother, however, has been dedicated to the SNP since she could vote. She was there for “It’s Scotland’s Oil,” she stuck through the ridicule for their “paranoia” (later vindicated, and to this day there are files regarding the SNP still sealed for reasons of “national security”), the fractures of Siol nan Gaidheal and the first SSP, where nobody took them seriously.

I was disillusioned early on: I saw what Blair did with New Labour, the Conservatives were the Conservatives, and as soon as I heard Charles Kennedy say he would’ve supported the invasion of Afghanistan (but not Iraq), I knew I couldn’t vote for the Lib Dems in any conscience. The only party which represented my values at the time was the SNP, and I would be damned if I would vote tactically if it meant supporting a war that could never achieve its aims. Right now, little has changed: I’m still an SNP man, and in the event of independence, I don’t know if I could stomach any of the Westminster parties’ regional branches in Scotland continued existence.

But that’s not to say I’m SNP only – on the contrary, I greatly value alternative parties. We NEED them. My views, my values, my favoured policies are my own – but not everyone shares them. So there needs to be more parties which reflect the views, values, and favoured policies of the rest of the populace. The Westminster style is of The Government and The Opposition, a dualistic approach that treats the governance of society like a bitter game. The Scottish parliament is different, despite the best efforts of its Westminster branches: the more reasonable members and ministers work together for the betterment of Scotland.

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