An Open Letter To Ewan Morrison From A Mate

by Kevin Williamson

Dear Ewan

You’re a pal and will still be on Friday morning.  That won’t change.  I’m writing this in the spirit of our friendship.  Don’t worry, there’s no lambasting of you, or any of that soapbox diplomacy nonsense.

You wrote a piece on Bella supporting YES on 5th July then changed your mind less than 8 weeks later.  Fair enough.  Unquestioning support for anything is not useful.  But I am a wee bit open-mouthed at what you’ve now written about the YES movement.

In the spirit of the times YES folk asked you to join in, and get involved in this wonderful and diverse movement for change, but sadly (to me)  you’ve now chosen to caricature and misrepresent us all.  I know because it was me who asked to publish your original piece on Bella and I was the one who asked you to sign the artists letter on 1st Septmember.  So I take this personally.  But only up to a point.  As ye ken.

YES has its flaws of course, like any movement, its raw, its new, and its passionate. Of course there is a partisanship developing on both sides, because passions are running high.  The affluent political classes and their media don’t want to admit that the previously unengaged working classes have been stirred into political thought and politically action.  And yes they can be a noisy and rowdy bunch.  Is that such  bad thing?  That they may not have had “the rules” explained to them by the political elites.  But would you rather we left politics to the drawing rooms of the cheese and wine set?  A box has been opened and it’s not getting closed again.  Yes or No.

But to go back to that article you posted on a NO website, which has now been seized on by NO propagandists of evidence of YES acting in zombielike or religiously cultish way.  It bears no resemblance to my own experience nor the experience of most involved.  With all respect I’ve seen more of this grassroots YES movement than yourself and the folk involved have been amazing.  Creative, inspiring, witty, engaged.  They’ve campaigned in good humour mostly and with no little talent.  Compare these folk with the bitter haranguing tight-mouthed Darlings of the Unionist media.  Just have a look at all the songs, the artworks, cartoons, comedy, poetry, films and homemade banners for YES. They’ve caught the wave of change and ridden it with the wind blowing in their hair and a smile on their faces.

The idea that there is no debate in YES camp is equally absurd.  For example, above is a video from couple of months ago where the two of us talk IDEAS at a Writers event where real debate took place.  Debates like this take place every day.  Bella and National Collective and RIC and Women for Indy and so many others unaligned to any grouping, are a constant reminder that YES is diverse, we debate ideas, but crucially, understand the difference between the vote of Thursday and how we THEN go on to formulate policy for a future Scotland: i.e. through the ballot box in 2016 and thereafter.  You’ve mixed the two up and got yourself in a right intellectual guddle.

Do you REALLY think that our fellow Scots writers like Janice Galloway, James Kelman, Irvine Welsh, Kathleen Jamie, James Robertson, Lesley Riddoch and all the others we know and love have, in your own words, “created an illusion of a free space in which everything you’ve ever wanted can come to pass – overnight”.  Come on!  You know them all well.  Ask them.  Or simply read their works. It is beyond absurdity.  These are not people who think in binary opposites or simplistic slogans.  You know that and I know that. Of course, the SNP leaders have a campaign line to press home – based on the White Paper – but they are not shutting out debate but welcoming it.

On 1st September I asked you to sign an artist’s statement for YES.  We had an email exchange about this.  Since you mention the petition in your diatribe against YES, which includes me, by default, which is why I’m publishing our exchange below.  Its not long and detailed but its a reminder of the way this debate has been conducted. (I’ve taken out the personal details for understandable reasons.)

I know you well enough to know you’ll be agonising right now, part of you thinking what the hell have I gone and done now.  That’s just the way you are.  A good guy who believes what he says, when he says it.  In a few months there’s an equally good chance you’ll be soul-searching if NO wins, except with the realisation you may have inadvertently given additional fuel to their tsumani of lies and deceit.  I know you well enough to know you’re nobody’s puppet or dupe.  You say what you think and enjoy a good provocation.  But this isn’t a literary spat.  The future of our country hangs in the balance.

I think I get you Ewan.  A wee bit anyway.  You think about stuff, examine it, adopt or reject things, change your mind at the drop of a hat, use all sorts of Googled information to justify it.  But that’s your way.  You’re as likely to embrace Ayn Rand one minute as Karl Marx the next.  It’s why your writing is so exciting and unpredictable. Except the stakes here are so much higher.  If a Tory/UKIP alliance gets in next May, as the polls this week suggest, we’ll be lucky if we can find a single person in Scotland who voted NO.  Scots may be horrified at what they did, when they had the chance to get out of the UK and build a beautiful democratic Scottish alternative.

For the British establishment it’s win at all costs no matter how Orwellian the lie and they will latch on to anything to save their bacon.  They’re frightened right now, frightened that us, the unruly Scot,s may have had enough of the UK state’s bullying, intimidation, poverty, food banks, privatisation, lining the pockets of banks, and syphoning off the wealth created by the people.

I love the fact the British establishment are frightened right now. They can’t control people’s hands in the polling booth. You’ve given the Jim Murphys and Gordon Browns of this world succour; the same people who dropped bombs on defenceless children in Iraq and then cried like babies when some complete daffy threw an egg at them.  They’ll be laughing behind their backs at you if you change your mind again.  All they want is to add to the lies about YES. Then its job done.

Remember this Ewan, the people embracing you right now – for crude propaganda reasons – aren’t you’re real pals. They don’t give a shit about you. They don’t know anything about your history, your restless search for knowledge, nor your wonderful writing.   I’ll still be here, mate, still your pal, two Caithness lads, through rough or smooth, Yes or No.  That won’t change.

Stay strong and keep thinking my friend.

All the best, Kev

 

*****

 

WHAT DO YOU RECKON MATE?

KEVIN WILLIAMSON, SEP 1st:

Hi Ewan

I’m helping my pal Jenny at National Collective who is putting together an open letter from writers and artists who support Indy. The accompanying statement’s below.

I ken your critique of leftism and Indy, which is fair dos, but have a read of the wording and let me ken if you’d support it. No worries if not, but if you wanna be included let me know within next 24 hours!

Aw the best, Kev

“We believe that Scotland can, should and must be an independent country. We believe that Scottish culture will flourish come what may, but believe that political independence will give the people of Scotland the opportunity to build a better country, both socially and politically. We believe that our culture is shaped by how we choose to ‘do’ politics, and believe that democracy is always better served with power closer to home, giving the people of Scotland and their elected representatives the chance to address the difficult issues that Scotland has to face as a nation. We understand there are uncertainties, and we embrace them. We understand that a yes vote is not a panacea to solve all Scotland’s ills, of which we know there are many. We are not voting yes because we think Scotland is better than other countries. We are voting yes because we do not believe it is any worse. We are voting yes because we have imagined a better country. Now, we want to build it.”

Signed…. (add name)

EWAN MORRISON, SEP 1st:

Hi Kev

I wish I could do this and it was clear cut but things have taken a turn recently. Not to go into too much detail, *******, where ****** has ******* is a big ******* employer and a big conflict zone over Indy. Vandalism has occurred in ******** over the vote. Violence threatens to grow.

I’m going to duck out and continue studying the economics of this for the next three weeks. I won’t be making any public statements one way or the other. I’m saddened by this turn of events.

I’ll see you soon. Best wishes man.

Ewan

KEVIN WILLIAMSON, SEP 1st:

No worries mate.  Keep thinking!  My worries about REAL violence is all from the Loyalists & OO.  But even that may not happen.

Catch up soon?

Kev

EWAN MORRISON, SEP 1st:

The fucking orange march . There’ll be blood this year. It’s going to be bad. Yes vote will probably win on the back of farrage visit plus march.

KEVIN WILLIAMSON, SEP 1st:

Hope not but these folk will be wounded if Yes wins. I put piece on Bella today pleading that YESsers stay well clear of Farage and OO events.  Vitally important we dont get involved with those lot.

EWAN MORRISON, SEP 1st:

Very very wise. They’ll want a fight. Don’t deliver it

****

 



Categories: Commentary

57 replies

  1. He’s lucky to have you as a friend.

  2. Thanks, Kevin. You’ve expressed my thoughts very well, and with dignity. Though I’m not sure I can be so forgiving given the timing of publication of Ewan’s piece. I’ve been very quiet throughout as I’ve not had the energy for such active involvement, but I respect those grassroots people – on both sides – who’ve been out trying to make a difference and connect with many who’ve felt disenfranchised for years. When I read Ewan’s piece it felt like an unwarranted and unnecessary betrayal of hardworking campaigners.

  3. Oh dear – just when such mighty hacks as Michael White were tweeting the letter Ewan promised not to publish – it turns out he’s quite the flipflopper.

  4. I must say that I feel let down by Ewan’s change of mind and find it hard to fathom how he can place his faith in continued Westminster policies.

    However, I am originally from Caithness as well and, in the past couple of days, I think that my mum and sister are now confident Yessers, so all is not lost.

    The future WILL be ours, with or without Ewan’s vote.

    Go Scotland!

  5. I must say that I feel disappointed in Ewan’s apparent change of mind and his willingness to cast his vote in favour of continued Westminster rule.

    The opportunity that has been placed in front of us is enormous and is one that I have waited most of my life to grasp.

    I travel the world in the offshore business and everywhere I go, Scots are at the forefront of getting things done.

    Scotland WILL succeed, with or without Ewan’s vote.

    Go Scotland!

    PS I too, am originally from Caithness and, in the past week, I think I have managed to convert my mum and sister to confident Yessers so we are still 2-1 up 🙂

  6. I admire his willingness to state what a significant number of people are thinking. How dare you claim the high ground regarding attitude?! I’ve seen more NO posters defaced than YES ones (come to think of it I haven’t seen any of the latter). Obviously these are generalisations, but you cannot possibly claim that it’s like some Woodstockian Utopia in the nationalist camp! All of us who legitimately want to vote NO feel very disturbed about the constant accusations of scaremongering whenever we pop our heads up to speak. It’ll be what it’ll be, and I hope our grandchildren can forgive us either way.

  7. At least I know where the Yes “cult” comments that LibLabTories have been making since last night came from.

    He’s lucky to have you as a friend, Kevin, because, TBH, he sounds lke a right prat.

  8. I read his letter last night, and despite being largely silent through these events, was moved to write this reply, which i posted on the wakeupscotland site but it hasn’t been approved for moderation (unsurprisingly).

    Dear Ewan,

    thanks for your thought provoking and sincere articles, it’s one of many wonderful and inspiring voices that have lit up what I see as being a gradually building chorus of people living in Scotland articulating themselves and setting out their hopes and fears.

    From my own experience as someone who initially followed the ‘debate’ with detachment as someone who has spent much of my life abroad in search of the opportunity I’ve never been able to find at home, I can only say that I’ve been gradually swayed into the Yes camp, and that this has been a long process.

    The televised debates, the one-sided and blinkered press, has been woeful, truly appalling-a zero sum game with each side trying to give as little to the other as possible. Yet I’ve had amazing conversations with people from cabbies to estate agents all trying to get to grips with the issues at hand and becoming engaged, finding their own voices to talk about unfamiliar things. It’s inspiring and gives me hope my kids will be born to find opportunity on their doorstep instead of in another country.

    I think the problem with a lot of what you articulate, is that this is a referendum, not an election. Independence isn’t Socialist, it isn’t Labour, it isn’t Tory, it isn’t Green.

    Yes spans political parties, and ideals. The Wee Blue book goes out its way to articulate that on some issues, solid facts just can’t be given, and when the issues being discussed are such fundamental things like Identity and Freedom, it’s hard to debate, especially when the other side wants to focus solely on the material, on the economical. It’s a leap of faith, whichever way you cut it, and its for each person to make the best choice they can as to whether Scotland should be ‘an independent country or not.’

    To me, there’s no debating that question. There’s no conflict. We’re a fantastically wealthy nation, yet there is poverty and deprivation in every corner of it. I’m no bumpkin, I’ve lived in Cuba, Holland, France, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the USA. This is wrong, and it’s so fundamental, and so basic, that I don’t see how you can question it. Could things get worse? Possibly. Could they get better? Undoubtedly.

    The debate you want, that you’ve not found present, I believe will arrive with the cross-party committee that will draft a constitution after the referendum, and the elections following. Then, political, economic and social systems will be espoused, developed and compromised upon. The Scots have form in drafting constitutions, we have the proven expertise of functioning in Government at high level, we have the strong Institutions and laws to hang it all on, and we have a population that is impassioned by the ideas and issues at hand. I can only believe that this is a recipe for success, regardless of how many billions of barrels of oil remain in the sea.

    We’re being asked to vote without any certainty of what arrives after a Yes. We know what happens with a No. More of the same, more poverty, more cuts, more standing speechless as private interests fill their pockets and decamp to tax havens to hoard it. Look at the Royal Mail sell-off, or the number of MP’s with shares in private healthcare companies. It’s rigged. It’s ours, it’s being stolen, and soon we’ll wake up in a country that’s as ghetto-ised as the USA.

    Yes may presently be hopeful, it may be naive, it may be crudely expressed, it may be tentative, it may be risky. But it’s not a political party, and it’s as much a product of your voice and aspirations as those of the people you find lacking in the ability to engage with the debate you seek. Your voice will be equally represented in the Scottish Parliament elections by proportional representation and a system that encourages coalition rule. Can you say the same about Westminster? About elections that will see the Tories bow to UKIP and risk taking us out of Europe? Or force us to endorse a New New Labour that’s as torrid as the last? Witness Boris spunk a 100 Billion up the wall on an airport nobody wants or needs, so that his private enterprise buddies will fund his Churchillian moment in Downing Street? Another Iraq, another war?

    I’m voting Yes without fear, bolstered by the many voices expressing a simple, fundamental desire for change and for fairness, safe in the knowledge we have the compassion, skills and resources to make the country thrive and prosper for the generations ahead in a way that it is unable to do so now.

    Please, don’t let this be another 1979 for fear of Trotskyites, Tartan Tories or whatever clique may rear it’s head, we can vote for the party we want and the policies we choose, surrounded by the voices of the people that live, work and die surrounded by the vital realities of the choices they make instead of insulated by fear and powerlessness.

    Sincerely and respectfully.

    • Im surprised this wasnt published – its a very fair description of your position. However from where i sit you have missed one crucial fact – the plan we have to vote on is total nonsense. It’s simply naive to claim (as you will) that a yes vote is not a vote for the SNP’s white paper. There is no other plans on which the negotiations with WM are to be conducted; the SNP are the independence movement. There maybve some extras bolted on but the main plan and the main vote is for Salmond’s plans. If you really believe that Salmond, who becomes more like Napoleon with every passing day, is going to let anyone else run the negotiations, then I fear you may be beyond the pale in terms of logic. I see the whole yes movement as more akin to the storming of the Bastille than any democratic movement. The demo outside the BBC, the countrywide vanadlism of signs and my neighbour’s car, intimidation of journalists as described today by ITV, are just illustrations of your new Scotland. France took 30 years to recover.

      • Pish and bluster.

      • Jim – you make my case beautifully – thank you.

      • It makes me sad you praise my ‘fairness’-praise I’m appreciative of-then follow it up with the self-declared ‘fact’ that the white paper is ‘total nonsense’ and ‘the SNP are the Independence movement.’

        Voters from all political creeds are supporting Independence, that is fact.

        The SNP’s white paper is presented as the starting point for a discussion. That is fact.

        Salmond has already invited senior political figures such as Darling and Brown to sit on the post-referendum advisory committee should there be a Yes. That is a fact.

        The negotiated separation of Scotland from rUK will be long, difficult and highly contested. That is a fact.

        We have the skills and knowledge to meet that challenge. That is a fact.

        We might end up with our own currency. We might not. Any kind of negotiation has to start from a position of ‘what’s the ideal’ and by signalling that you’ll accept less, you’re never going to get more. That is a fact.

        Unfortunately, for the purposes of the referendum, this has been incredibly prohibitive of meaningful discussion as the No campaign has instantly vetoed the idea of currency union in principle of gazumping the result, and it’s backfired. That is a fact.

        At the next election, and hopefully the first election in an Independent Scotland, I’ll be voting for Patrick Harvie to form the center of a progressive coalition formed of the Greens, Labour and the SNP. That’s a fact.

        On the subject of ‘intimidation’:

        It’s been happening on both sides, and it’s quite mild. I got spat at yesterday by Rangers fans because I’ve a green ‘Yes’ badge. I’m not going to wet the bed over it. I’ve seen houses with Yes signs egged, signs torn down, put back up, torn down… If you think this is unhealthy or extreme you live a very cosseted life. The stakes are high, the belief strong, and I’d rather people were vandalising political signs out of passion than gravestones or phoneboxes because they’re bored.

        Comparing Salmond to Mugabe or Scotland to the Weimar Republic has been greeted by International spectators with ridicule, and the BBC has to answer to the Scottish Public, as well as the rest of the UK, how exactly it has met its charter because it’s been a disgrace.

        Only today, on the eve of the vote, and when all the propagandising has served its purpose, are we starting to see any real, factual and sensitive analysis. I’ve friends working at the BBC who are horrified by the agenda they are being forced to discharge by men in suits who’ve come up from London. Save some of your outrage for them, and ask why if 50% of the population supports Yes, about 3% of the press does. It’s a status more befitting Zimbabwe than anything Salmond’s done, that’s a fact.

        • Carol thats a very crafted if rather long reply. As with most yes campaigners you choose to ignore the facts and say it will all be ok after a yes vote. Well i beg to differ. The plan that you and all your type now say is only a mere suggestion was was heralded by the SNP in Nov 2013 as Scotland’s Future. It is THE PLAN – there is no other plan.. This is what one A Salmond will use to negotiate the seperation – no other plan exists. i know that you all like the idea that your movement is multivarious – what with Partick Harvey promoting Green sissues, A Salmond increasing oil extraction estimates to the nth degree, Gay and Lesbains support on one side and Souter damning them on the other. This to me is just confusion. Your ideas are not far short of ridiculous but we will only find that out if you win. So secretly i hoep you do – I look forward to watching as the promises you and others have made to so many millions of citizens turn to dust. Then I trust you and all your type will have the good grace to stand up and say sorry we got this so wrong. This is not intellectual game – You are playing with peoples lives.

  9. Think his mirror might crack when he next looks into it.

  10. Thanks Kevin for this article. Having watched the excellent SAU discussion, I am of the opinion that Ewan is a bright, articulate, but confused individual. WE can only hope that he can sleep easily with what the No camp do with his endorsement.

  11. Hi Kevin. Hope yer weel maun. When we meeting up for a pint sometime soon? (Couldnt be bothered writing anything about a fairweather scribe who jumps ship – not worth it). Geeza bell or email soon.

  12. “Vandalism”? “Violence threatens to grow”?
    I wonder what his plan is to stop us being involved in another Iraq?

  13. The only comment I’ll make is that Scotland is Britain and when you refer to the British you include Scotland. If you’re going to be derogatory at least be factual too! Replace British with English and Britain with England.

  14. The level of intellectual debate on this site is low – no wonder he decided to get out once he realised just how shallow all you guys are. Like all the nat propaganda sites WoS abd BfS to mention just two, you are simply peddling the lies handed to you by the SNP. I hope you win on Thursday, then the lies will be revealed as such and come 2016 we can have a democratic election that puts Scotland back into the Union – with you nats shown up for the liars you are and finished for good. The result of the ref does not mean that Scotland will automatically become independent – there could well be legal challenges and it will take a minimum of 3 years to negotiate a settlement – so this will not be completed by the Scottish elections in 2016 – despite what your GL tells you. A no win will simply leave you all crying foul, blaming everyone from Obama to JC for the next 10 years when we will have to go through the whole nonsense again. Of course if all your promises are genuine then it will all be fine – so a win win for all. Vote yes for a better Union.

    • Interesting to see you trotting out the line that a democratic mandate wont be binding. That’s a very very dangerous thing to say. As for the idea that the intellectual debate on this site being low – I won’t credit that with a response but the idea that we ‘are simply peddling the lies handed to you by the SNP’ is so moronicaly laughable you’ve made my day.

      • Its not a trotting out a line – its a fact in law. Do please look it up. If for example in the most extreme case we get a 50/50 split – yes only needs plus one vote to win. So are seriously suggesting that a mandate of one vote out of a possible ~ 4m is a democratic mandate? WM has discretion to refuse this (alhtough i doubt it would) but there would almost certainly be a legal challenge from many disperate parts based on the legal argument that Parliament as we now know it was created in 1707 and cannot therefore dissolve itself under internatinal law. Re the intellectual debate or lack there of – why not try me on one of your more challenging ideas – dont run and hide behind ”moronically laughable” – surely you can do better than that? I was a yes voter before Nov 2013. The plan you are voting in is total nonsense. If your plan made economic sense, with the mass manipulation of the internet you have achieved, you would have won this hands down. Do please tell me which one of the B/C/D/E options we are likely to be using when the deal is signed?

      • BTW Bella D Michael Marra died in 2012 so having him here supporting your cause is a bit weak and rather direspectful of a great talent.

        • At our recent Songs for Scotland concert in Glasgow his family made a special point of clarifying his commitment to independence as anybody who knew him would appreciate

      • Whilst I accept absolutely the wishes of Michael Marra’s family – did he get to see the plan being presented to the people of Scotland? – No. Have you replied to a single one of my queries? – No. And you wonder why people question the legitimate democratic credentials of your site and all other sites like it. Come on, surely you can do better than that – we are after all talking about the future of our country.

    • And the level of intellectual debate has just risen sharply with this well-written unbiased piece of research. Based on ‘facts’ that only the ‘no’ camp have access to.

      • Like your friend Bella D you fail to engage in any debate. Your plan makes no sense – if you cant work that out for yourself, and many dont have the tools to do that – just look at the cross section of intellect that is telling you so – from Greenspan to Branson. How can you claim that either are in the pockets of the Tories? Why vote for complete nonsense?

      • Oh dear – is that it? Is that the level of debate we have to endure? Richard Branson is no intellectual – he left school at 16. However what he is one of the most successful self made businessmen of all time. Greenspan is a highly regarded hands on economist. there are many many more who call your plan foolish. But you just plough on regardless. Try to engage with an argument – try to answer my question on currency. You may well win in which case you need to be sure – completely sure – that the plans as outlined by Salmond have at least a chance of succeeding. Tell me please which one makes any sense? I get the self determination, the getting a Gov you vote for. What i dont understand is voting for policies that the vast majority of experts agree are nonsense. BTW publishing private emails is illegal.

    • Well said Robbie! The YESNP are a lying hate mob who are totally against free speech unless it’s what they want to hear. Salmond should be ordered to condemn the kind of mob rule we saw against politicians opposing yes. Well done to Ewan Morrison for having the guts to move away from this hatred. Blood will be spilled yet you wait and see. Say No to Salmond’s Communist movement.

  15. Ewan Morrison’s politics are all over the place. I was really unimpressed by his article on this site endorsing independence. He gave some pretty selfish reasons for supporting independence and his message was incoherent. He’s not much of a novelist either. I suppose he’s got himself a fair bit of publicity from this, but I don’t have a lot of time for people who change their politics all the time. This isn’t some kind of game, it’s about the future of Scotland. These people don’t know how lucky they are. For us to even have this kind conversation in a peaceful, democratic manner is an amazing thing. You’d almost think they want Scotland to be on the verge of violence to satisfy their feverish fantasies. I seem to remember Morrison talking a lot of pish about James Kelman in the Glasgow Herald a few years back too. Somebody throw an egg at the boy to keep him happy.

  16. Kevin Williamson,

    While I largely agree with you about Ewan Morrison’s views regarding the campaign – if the YES side had been having a two year debate instead of focussing on winning, YES would be nowhere in the polls, – I can’t see what’s to be gained by publishing your email exchange here, even edited.

    What people exchange by email should be private, and to publish the emails doesn’t seem very fair. Besides, you made your point eloquently enough in the open letter. The video, on the other hand, is interesting.

    Anyway, I hope this page doesn’t turn into a long line of comments denouncing Ewan Morrison for his democratic right to change his opinion about indie, even if I don’t agree with him there.

    If people go on to use this post to lay into him, it will only serve to prove the same point that Ewan Morrison is making…which surely nobody wants.

    Cheers.

  17. I can go along with most of this but a Tory/UKIP alliance winning the next general election? Must have missed that poll.

  18. I know you feel a bit betrayed by this guy but I think you should have ignored him until after the vote.

    I had never heard of him until this and the BT lot will use this as a coup.

    I see it is now trending on twitter – he is one person but has now been given more publicity than he deserves.

  19. Oh Kevin. I love you for this.

  20. I suggest that Ewan has a look at the video of Loki speaking. Look and learn Ewan. There speaks a man who has integrated humanity, art and political understanding. .

  21. I remember having a bit of a toing & froing with Ewen a few months ago after I had commented on a few of his articles- I auggested at the time that he hadn’t made up his mind fully & I wouldn’t be surprised if he would end up voting no- so I can’t say I’m surprised at this information; nor am I surprised at his derogatory comments concerning YES voters, as he sprinkled his articles with a variety of snide remarks that I thought were largely unfounded & in no way accurate of the overall campaign- all in all it has been a tremendous advert for the civilized goodwill of the Scottish people.

  22. The guy is an observer of things that happen and thoughts people have had. He doesn’t need a political framework to restrict him. Why on earth should he support any side at all?

  23. Did you have Ewan’s consent to publish his emails? If not, that’s appalling behaviour on your part, Kevin.

  24. I would very much like to know which comments Ewan is referring to when he says ” I noted that 5 out of the meagre 20 comments I received berated me for either not having decided sooner or for having questioned Yes at all. Another said, and I paraphrase: ‘Well if he’s had to mull it over he could easily switch to the other side.”
    I’ve read the comments and can’t even see the one he ‘paraphrases’, let alone the berating of questioning Yes at all. Most of the criticism is precisely what he says is lacking, a critique of his actual political views on how we should function post-independence.

  25. In fact the only person discouraging disagreement for strategic reasons was Ewan himself
    “This on the left would do well to at least talk in more business friendly ways for the time being rather than putting on this anti-business demonstration. It makes no strategic sense to scare Scottish businesses away from a Yes vote”

  26. Kev, Kev –
    Your friend is right …
    This Yes movement just doesn’t make any sense – LGBT under the same umbrella as Brian Souter who funds anti-gay organisations, Green campaigners planning a future based on oil revenue, honest people dreaming of a brighter future who will be dumped if/as soon as Salmond crosses the finish-line first, you publicly lambasting your friend for his change of opinion.
    The scales have fallen from his eyes and, in a democracy, Ewan is perfectly entitled to his opinion.

    The worst thing about all this is the introduction of enmity where there was none.
    I hope you’re prepared to stand up and be counted if your hopes come to pass.

    DF

  27. What is that question again? Should Scotland be an independent country? – yes or no !

  28. A true patriot would recognise and acknowledge that a nation, any nation, so divided is not ready for independence.

  29. I’m a Yorkshireman and I hate being lumped as English. I’m sick of the southerners running my life too. So good luck to you. But I am afraid of ever going to visit Scotland again (and my brother lives on the banks of Loch Ness). There is so much hate in the campaigning. Would I be safe in Scotland I ask myself.

  30. Steven – no. I’m not sure you would. I’m a midlander but lived north of the border for 7 years. Until this month I’ve had no issues but I’m now genuinely worried about the reaction on Friday. I’ve been told on more than one occasion recently to f’ off back to my own country & driving home tonight I locked my doors as there was a stand off between the two camps.
    The language be used is anti-English & being English, that means I’m no longer welcome in the place where I live regardless of my voting intentions. Just speaking could get you verbally attacked for where you were born which is a sad sad situation.

    • So sorry to read about your negative experiences, V. And about your fears, Steven. Your experience, V doesn’t chime with mine. I live in Glasgow, and have lots of English friends here. I also have an English daughter-in-law near Alloa, who works in Stirling and has received no negativity. She’s got a posh Buckinghamshire accent too, and works in the public sector. My son works at the moment at Grangemouth with an English company and English workmates. He’s reported nothing negative. Perhaps there are small pockets of neanderthals here and there, but nothing as opposed to the huge number of Yes voters who have a truly inclusive view of society.
      And this is not to downplay anyone’s right to feel hurt, but my Irish husband lived in London in the 80s when anti-Irish feeling from the English was at fever pitch, and I’m afraid that there are those pockets of neanderthals in England too. In fact, I’ve met the French version them when I lived and worked in Paris. So let’s not get all this out of perspective.
      And as a last point, as a woman, I’ve lived my life putting up with a section of communities in various countries using language that is ant-woman. 50+% of the world population is female. I hold my head high, and get on with my life with dignity.

      • Magi I have lived and worked here for over 30 years and i can confirm that most Scots do no like the English. im Scottish but was raised in England. Despite running several of my own companies up here and employing many Scots over the years, English people are genreally not welcome. Some will show it although for most it is kept hidden. We will leave if there is a yes vote. What has happened in the past few months will lead to trouble whichever way the vote goes. If No win then the expectations amongst the million or so of voters ‘persuaded” by RIC to help take Scotland back, will be dashed – and they will want some answers as to why. If yes wins then once all of the SNPs promises turn out to be lies they will again want answers as to why. Either way as Jim put it there will be a day of reckoning. im afarid your comaprison with Irish in london during the troubles is not relevent – they were killing people as were the Bristish army. We have not got to that stage yet.

        • My oh my, Rob. I can assure you that my husband never killed anyone! Nor did millions of other Irish people. Also, the racism the Irish experienced in England was rooted much further back than the Troubles.

          I can only conclude that you are mistaking people having problems with you as being down to your Englishness, when in fact it’s down to the fact that you can come out with such outlandish views.

          Of course, I defend your right to hold such views. Just as I defend my right not to like those views and to express my distaste. That’s not being anti-English.

          • I see you have a bit of the Irish humour in you. Of course i did not mean or say that your husband killed anyone. The point is that the Irish situation and Scottish one are not on the same level – the UK doesnt have troops stationed in Scotland to keep the peace and Scotland wasnt forced into the Union. I do wish they taught history better nowadays. My experience is mine – not yours and my experience suggetsts that Scots dislike the English.

      • I’ve been talking to my English brother who lives on the banks of Loch Ness and has adopted Scotland to the point of wearing a kilt! He and his wife have lived as popular members of the village for years – he plays a full part in local life. During the campaign they have been faced with a lot of hostility from neighbours and are really worried about their safety in the future as a result. They seem scared by it all.

      • I’m the Irish husband referred to on this thread. I don’t RECALL killing anyone in the eighties, but come on, it was a long time ago. You can’t expect me to remember every trifling incident. Besides, I was under a lot of pressure at the time. Oh, you know. The usual stuff. I don’t want to bore you.

        But here’s the reason I’ve decided to go public. I’m Irish. No point denying it. That voice! I could listen to it all day. But I was born in Birmingham, so I’m also English. And I had the great honour of following the legendary Andy Stewart onstage after his final rendition of Donald Where’s Your Trousers. Inference? You don’t have an experience like that without SOMETHING rubbing off. Let me put it this way: I’m Scottish by inclination.

        So here’s my suggestion. Whatever way the vote goes, there’s a great deal of healing to be done. Truth and Reconciliation sort of stuff. And I might just be the man to bring people together.
        I mean, look at that pedigree. Plus I’m told that with the right sort of padding, in the right sort of light, I could pass for Desmond Tutu.

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