Bella Futures

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By Mike Small

Reading this in the Observer, in of these generic “How was it for you?” pieces:

“As a historian I’m now not going to have to write about Britain and Scotland constantly – instead we can stick to the original formula and not need to differentiate between the two countries, which makes life an awful lot easier.” – Andrew Roberts, historian

and

“Devolution – in other words giving power to the provinces is absolutely the right way to go”. – Dame Janet Suzman

and

“One thing that’s clear about the Scottish referendum is that everyone who voted, yes or no, voted for change.” – Joe Anderson

My deep dark despair is turning to a deeper anger and resolve.

If I hear from one more No voter, “We all want the same thing really” or “It’s time to work together” I will explode.

I’m in no mood for reconciliation.

But I want to say three things, quickly.

First thank you for all the messages of support and offers of help, thank you all so much. I’ll reply to you all as soon as I can.

Second, I am busy putting together our proposal for moving forward. There’s no point in rushing it and I want to get it right. I hope you can be patient. Our expanded offer will include training in citizen journalism and social media, a print offshoot, an expanded staff team, more gender balance, news as well as comment and regular events.

I’ll need your financial support to make this happen.

Third. I plan to host a meeting and invite anyone to come and join our team and contribute what you can (be that coding, proofing, illustration, film-making, money or whatever).

More details later in the week.

‘Provinces’ my arse.

 

If I am slow publishing, moderating or replying to email it is because I am busy putting these plans into place but also because, to be honest, I’m ashamed to say, I am still too upset to function properly.

 

 



Categories: Common Good

120 replies

  1. similar feeling here Mike, sounds fascinating and promising. Keep us posted!

    • Mike,

      We Need To start an independant Scottish bank if we are to fight the establishment on the currancy isu. Will any of the groups be taking this idea forward.
      !,600,000. people taking their money out of the corupt establishment banks and placing it in a Common Weal charterd savings bank will really heart them.

  2. Know exactly how you feel Mike. But we’re all still here & we’re ready. x

  3. “As a historian I’m now not going to have to write about Britain and Scotland constantly – instead we can stick to the original formula and not need to differentiate between the two countries, which makes life an awful lot easier.” – Andrew Roberts, historian

    Actually (and it’s not the main point of your piece) but there is something interesting in that. We can see how Ireland has been written out of British history through a process of omission. The Irish contribution to British history has also been downplayed in Ireland (WWI?). It’s interesting to speculate how the Battle of Britain might be retold in a 100 years – or will it be the Battle of England by then?

    • Small wonder I haven’t heard of this historian, if he believes the history of these two countries can be lumped together foot and shoot? He sounds an awfully rigorous historian.

    • There’s a saying that goes something along the line that it is the victor who writes the history of the war/battle and that is what the Britisg Establishment and their media lackeys are now busily trying to do.

      But re-writing history in newspapers and books to cover up how they shafted Scotland will not erase the memories of the 45% who voted YES nor of the others who voted NO because they believed the lies and last minute bribes.

      The fact that it was mainly the over 65 age group who gave NO their majority is a ticking time bomb under the union.

      And the fact that 70% of voters were voting because they believed that Scotland should be governed by Scots in Scotland is another tivking time bomb under the union.

      • I’m glad you mentioned the over 65 age group, I’m waiting for one of the pro-indy websites to do an article on it as I think it’s important.

        So many articles looking to the future, but no-one looking at the stats of the vote and writing about it. That’s surely crazy.

        If we want to have another referendum sooner rather than later, we will still have to engage with the same media and establishment that currently hold No voters attention. Running away, doing our own media and community efforts will only serve ourselves at present, it won’t engage the No voters in any great numbers anytime soon. That’s not to say it isn’t worthwhile, but I don’t know many pensioners in my neighbourhood thinking about credit unions and localism or scouring the internet for the latest news.

        Why has no-one written about the totally tragic consequence of the No voting pensioners ?

        Think about it, statistically grandparents voted no while their children or grandchildren voted Yes. Now we have calls from Westminster politicos to make all future referendum illegal. So the generation who saw off Hitler and fought for democracy could now have inadvertently given away the democratic right of their children (who voted Yes) to ever have a legally recognised vote on Scotland’s constitutional future.

        Potentially, that is a democratic tragedy. Isn’t the threat of this newsworthy or at least worthy of a discussion with your No voting grandparents ?

        Lets engage with our parents and grandparents, let’s talk politics and have some frank, uncomfortable discussions. It has to happen, it’s called being mature. These people, reliant on mainstream media in general, have had the consequences of a Yes vote supplied to them every day, many will not have considered the consequences of a No vote, and when austerity truly bites, they will know all about it.

        So time for some considered, understanding family discussions I think. Thats what I’m encouraging Yes voters to do.

      • As someone over 60 who ponders the terrifying notion of being dependent on the state for my income, health services, caring facilities when I get too old to do for myself – I think it’s too easy for younger people to underestimate the fear of change and uncertainty that is ever present when you have become reliant on the state. When you can no longer get a better job, or start again, when you no longer have control of the very basics of your life.

        If the Better Together campaign did anything – their fear campaign hit that target demographic. I can’t agree that talking amongst families is the be all and end all of grassroots participation in engaging older Scots. In a household of yesses when your 80 something mother says ‘I don’t know about this’ you tend to have a lot more respect for their views than the Labour party. And far less likely to browbeat them.

        How dreary and unimaginative it sounds to me the implicit notion -“ach well, they’ll aw be deid soon ‘n we can get Independence then….”.

        So many comments I’ve read from the Yes camp feeling betrayed by their elders, but maybe we actually failed them with our ageist notions.

        From the polls we now know the poorest (and those with the most to fear from uncertainty) voted YES. So why didn’t poorer pensioners follow suit? The lower than expected engagement in the referendum in Glasgow tells a story I feel. Did they simply not engage…..or did the Yes campaign fail to understand how to engage with that demographic ?

        How do you engage when they don’t generally have access to the internet, an independent press, poor mobility, or affordability of an event? How do they catch the enthusiasm and optimism of their children when the telly is relentlessly their main companion? How can you engender hope for the future, when it is framed in a period when you are less and less able to do things anyway? 5 -15 years, tops.
        If those wishing independence wished to engage with those MOST likely to vote with their families –(likely to have the same values) – then the strategies needed to be much more ‘hands on” and regular …and socially engaging.

        It’s one thing to talk about social justice – but old people have likely heard it all before. As with young children: don’t tell me – SHOW me what Scotland would look like. Be the Scotland that nourishes MY hopes.

        Engaging the intellect may not be the best way to go. Far from being doolally, there is ample evidence that older people’s brains change as they get older. Even in healthy elders their memory is like a hard drive – the more information stored in memory the longer it takes to process.

        The wee Blue book for example, needed to have come out months before the relentless Westminster campaign hit these households.

        Then there is the spiritual factor. The Yes voters would have gained much of their values from their parents. More than any the comments that sang to me prior to the 18th September were the comments from older Scots who stated sentiments like ‘I waited 72 years for this moment.”
        Those voters were clearly still spiritually engaged with their homeland. -but not so everyone.
        Poverty, sickness, loneliness and fear are powerful motivators which are not easily circumvented. If an older person is entrenched on the bottom two tiers of Maslow’s pyramid of hierarchical needs – that is motivating their behaviour, and it is impossible to see the higher ground of self actualization.

        Basic human psychology.

        When my dad was dying, the saddest thing to watch was not his debilitating physical decline, or his efforts just to breathe, his chronic pain or the army of carers and equipment he needed just to function.
        It was his depression, his loss of engagement, his lost humour, and his pall of hopelessness.
        So, when he became wheelchair and oxygen bound – he was introduced to the internet. He was taught 4 basic things – Simple technical processes to get started, email for communication, Google search for information, (including his very own website) and his personal favourite – the one that engaged his spirit more than any other – Google Earth.

        He spent part of his days, mouse on tow, travelling. He had endless fun retracing his voyages in the merchant navy, reacquainting himself with the Panama Canal and the African continent. He travelled to places he’d longed to see, he visited his family around the world. He got excited with life all over again, eager to tell us all about the wonders of modern life, the very things we all took absolutely for granted.

        His whole world opened up again. He saw the possibilities, he saw the potential and he marvelled at the mysteries that young people had at the tip of their fingers.

        He saw beyond his current restriction. The telly collected dust in the corner.

        I’m sure in that state of mind my dad would have been itching to get his hands on a ballot paper.

        When he was finally unable e to get out of bed, an MP3 was loaded with his favourite music and he supplemented his opiate fuelled euphoria with blissful music. He was directing the music for Pavarotti just minutes before he died.
        His spirit was engaged right to the very last moment.

        But it took effort, empathy and commitment. It took a willingness to engage him where he was at – where he could realistically manage -not where we wanted him to be.

        There are so many possible ways to engage dispirited older people with effort, empathy and commitment.

        Regular free lunches in good company are so much more socially and spiritually engaging than a can of beans from the foodbank or worse still, Tesco. Regular manageable events that engage elderly people back into their community, to remind them what pulling together looks like – and what a socially engaged Scotland might look like. Think bus trips out into the Scottish countryside, wheelchair fun runs in the city, and telling THEIR stories of Scotland.

        While they might seem banal and trite to those of us fully engaged – to those whose world has atrophied they are a lifeline.

        Our elders might never live to get another vote for Scotland. I may never see another chance for Scotland to be free. But those who come after will learn a whole lot about their society and what a real socially aware Scotland could do to keep people engaged – cradle to the grave.

      • Great post Andrea, great ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I am bursting with ideas I feel we should move forward with plans as if we won or weren’t cheated.
    Get back to me when you are ready.
    Cheers Joe

  5. Still ragin ma’sel, keep the pot boilin, it’ll do you no end of good.

  6. Further to your cafe idea. Great minds think alike! Something that I have been working on. Time to publish and spread the word. Ta
    http://pastebin.com/8Nxw4Dup

  7. It dawned on me this morning that I’ve worked on a small newspaper and MAYBE that might be useful. It was only for a year. I did an advice column. I’ve also done horoscopes, (chinese and Western astrology) which I hated, but some people like that kind of thing. Heck… maybe we could invent a Scottish astrology! 😉 I do a bit of graphics. A few book covers and such. Mostly photo art. I have health issues (hand nerve damage) so my days as a regular artist (illustrated books) is over now. Oh and I blog – mostly Scottish countryside, peace/anti-war, esoteric. Used to have a pretty big following, but then I took a year off to write a book and everyone wandered off. I’m busy dragging them back! 😉

    if any of that sounds interesting or useful, you can find me on one of my blogs: Books Uncaged or Crow’s Feet.

  8. Keep up the fight. Hope is our Duty. This may be a double post as WP seems to have rejected my last.
    Re Cafe have had a similar thought to spread an apolitical grassroots movement. Perhaps it would be best to keep it low key at first: “A Tasty Idea” http://pastebin.com/8Nxw4Dup

  9. Count me in. I’m an editor but I’ll do anything required.

  10. Mike, Like you I’m still not quite on form. Putting myself though the pain of watching the Labour conference, just had Curran and Darling now Lamont.

    They really don’t get the irony that the No vote was delivered by the comfortable, the small c conservatives and frankly the ‘tartan tories’ in Dundee East, Angus and Aberdeenshire, who normally vote SNP.

    Now Curran plans to speak to the 10 poorest areas that voted Yes, though she’s stating that ‘media’ etc won’t be welcome, plus ca change.

    I only hope those voters don’t fall for their nonsense, the 70% and over who voted Yes in the Dundee areas of Happyhillock/Dryburgh/Fintry/Kirkton and Charleston. All thanks to RIC Dundee, important to note that.

    That’s why I’m still angry, my life is fine, relatively speaking, we, on our side, let these people down.

    I’m not content to simply blame the tactics of the other side, we had faults too.

    Alison Balharry

  11. As they say, a week is a short time in politics. YES voters all experiencing utter dejection followed by a rise in fighting spirit (8000+ join SNP, 2000 Green party and so on) followed by the fear of being divisive (45% badges).

    But there’s a strong sense of the wish to re-group and find the right way forward towards independence. I read Ponsonby’s take on strategy in this piece today – http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/9776-what-campaign-did-gordon-brown-save

    Also Sheridan’s take – that we should all vote SNP, retain the umbrella of the Yes campaign, then declare independence. I do feel that would alienate no voters though, and that’s not constructive

    There’s the issue of government controlled media bias, and whether this undermines the belief that the referendum was actually democratic

    Then there’s the whole spectre of the general election coming up, and where might Labour be placed with English devolution, all of which might conveniently (for Westminster) derail Scottish devolution promises – the most urgent issue, I feel

    There’s a lot to take in, I know I’m not alone in feeling somewhat frazzled at the moment. But, oh yes, still here and ready!

    • I think over 15,000 have now joined the SNP, over 3000 have joined the Scottish Greens, and over 1000 the SSP (although these figures will continue to grow).

    • I think its not the defeat that leaves us so flat and angry and determined to continue but the manner of defeat. If we had been beaten by 5% with due process having taken place – a fair hearing in the press and an unbiased state broadcaster and less meddling by big business, then I think we all would have crawled away for the next 20 years and thought we had done our best but democracy had spoken. BUT the fact that we were subject to lying, cheating, bias reporting , aggressive main stream, media etc etc makes it feel like we were robbed. Imagine what and how we could have convinced the oldies if we had fair access to their media and journalists actually did their job by investigating claims properly? THATS why we all feel cheated and angry and determined to go on – because we know it was SOOOOO close despite all that against us. A 5% swing – some 150,000 folk and we would have had it.

      • Totally agree. I had a smug no voter saying we should work together it was all fair bla bla bla. The so called debates, where A Salmond was interrupted, as was N Sturgeon. The utter lies told day in day out to the population of Scotland via the media was a disgrace, even had older folk being told by no canvassers that their pensions would stop if it was a YES. In fact I read a post in fb that some who have their pensions with the PO, their pensions did stop prior to the vote, there cards became invalid and gad to be replaced which left some with no money. The dirty tricks and lies and very undemocratic and unjust consequences of a no vote will be felt deeply and cause some real serious hardship. Shame on those who voted no.

      • That is so true, and I think that fear campaign, with the might of the Establishment, the MSM, is what has driven the conspiracy. We have to have empathy because Yes voters know that lies were told, so it’s no surprise they will cling to vote rigging. However, there are some positive signs of now thinking how to organise to return all pro Indy MPs to WM

      • That’s my feeling exactly that’s why I float between raring to go and anger.

        If we had ‘lost’ with a fair fight I wouldn’t have liked it but it could be accepted.

        This vote I will never accept. How could it possibly be legal to offer new ‘powers’ after voting had taken place?

  12. Good news and all strength to our collective and individual elbows. Happy to help with what I can – writing, editing, proof-reading (and even translation – from German and French – if that’s useful; I could keep an eye on what some of the European press is saying)

  13. So glad to hear this, Mike. You’ve done a magnificent job and BC just gets better and better. Haud forrit!

  14. Right now the first step is to get as many ‘Team Scotland’ MP’s to Westminster as possible in 8 months.
    To put Scotland first, whatever the government is.

    Whether that is the SNP broadening their appeal under Nicola Sturgeon..
    Or anyone else who is best placed to win that constituency.

    Let’s not split the vote.
    We need to be focused on influencing the highest amount of devolved powers to Scotland as possible.
    That is what can make the most difference.

    Labour will try to bribe everyone to go back to them.
    Promises of a higher minimum wage, or the same old ‘Don’t let the Tories in again’ appeal..
    We need to remember there is no difference now.. Red Tories / Blue Tories.
    They all worked hand in hand, to keep Scotland down.

    • Perfect

    • Definitely! I’m voting SNP or for a Scottish Alliance, whichever will give us the best representation. And I hope poor Gordon Brown isn’t feeling too bad now, having effectively rescued the BT campaign at the 11th hour – according to the paper today he didn’t even get a mention at the Labour Conference yesterday, never mind a thanks. Everything and everybody is disposable to the WM crew.

  15. It was a Rigged Referendum, you can see plenty of evidence of the voting fraud on YouTube. The London Power Elite, bankers, corporations, multi nationals, run the show and they decided Scotland shouldn’t have Independence, the people are irrelevant. Russian observers from their Electoral Commission also said the vote was rigged. Do you honestly believe that the London Political Industrial Complex would seriously permit Scotland to leave ? Too many vested interests.

    Joesph Stalin ” It’s not who votes but who counts the votes that matters.”

    • The YouTube clip doesn’t work, I’ll try again, if that doesn’t work, YouTube ” Evidence the Scottish Independence Vote Was Rigged? Balderdash! ”

    • The counting was fair – allegations of a rigged referendum count are total tosh, and any sane Scot knows this.

      Ranting about vote rigging will only damage the overall cause.

      • Not so, indeed many people are saying that their ballots were blank on the back, with no voter number or barcode, mine included. The folk giving out the ballots are meant to see the thing folded once you have put your cross in the box of your choice, they are meant to see that the number and barcode before you put it in the ballot box, no such thing happened.

        I do believe that some dirty tricks were played which may well have swung the vote, it would not take much. The other dirty tricks were played by the media, westminster and most of all the red labour rogues. It will all be come out in the end, but for now we have to work out the best strategy to gain our Independence. The no voters have voted to shackle us to london elite the poor and vulnerable will suffer as always.

        I say that the OAP bus pass should be removed from anyone owning a property, as should the cold weather payment, we just cant afford to keep the comfortably off and rich, ( as well as ex pats living in hot countries) in luxury any longer sorry, it is just silly to continue to do so.

      • Sorry Heather, but the vote was free and fair. Really, if Yes supporters end up saying the vote was rigged, we end up looking like mad conspiracy theorists.

        By all means dislike the result, but it was the genuine result of over three and a half million people voting.

        Claiming it was rigged is simply anti-democratic.

        • How can it be a conspiracy theory if you have video evidence? How can you call it democratic when the videos show that there were some very undemocratic shenanigans going on? You believe the UK establishment was going to let Scotland decide whether the UK lost it’s oil and gas industry? The videos may/may not be enough, but they surely merit a full-scale investigation.

      • Greyfriar

        That is absolute tosh, the whole thing was anti democratic. It is not about ‘disliking’ the bloody result, but about the fact that the tactics used by westminster and the media during the so called campaign, ie lying, using scare tactics, repeatedly bringing up issues which had already been debunked and cross examined by experts, ie currency. They stifled debate, controlled what people were allowed to see and hear and they demonised A Salmond and brain washed people into thinking it was his crusade and not about them, the people of Scotland. It was utterly disgraceful and could not be further from a democratic process than had it been run by any dictatorship and totalitarian state. To accuse anyone questioning the way that this was handled as being anti democratic is anti democratic in itself. YES for a better more fair and democratic Scotland!

        • Yes, it was disgraceful. But also entirely predictable. Most ordinary people are simply unable to grock how controlled the ‘system’ is. I was amazed when I first started tuning in from afar that two big points being made by Salmond were that people wouldn’t have to pay extra for the BBC so not to worry, and Scotland would go for currency union with the Bank of England still being in charge.
          This is a short article overviewing some conclusions reached by a solid research paper released in 2011 using 2007 database data.
          http://realcurrencies.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/the-few-banks-that-own-all/

          The corporate-international-governmental-military-financial/banking system functions, more or less, as a monopolistic cartel. Any notion of independence that doesn’t in some way break free from that is questionable. However, any modern nation which doesn’t agree to live within that system is no less questionable. These sort of things cannot be addressed or solved purely on a populist level. One can yearn all one likes for a more ‘fair and just society’, or try to mobilize the downtrodden, over-exploited working classes who in theory have the greatest numbers and thus in theory in a democracy should be able to take over and change things, and every once in a while they do succeed in achieving fairly significant shifts (like after WWII with the welfare state after booting out Churchill), but the system remains untouched underneath.

          For example, in America right now, I think it is JP Morgan which administers the Food Stamp program, and other corporations (ultimately owned by the same banking cartel of course) run more and more prisons. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that numbers of food stamp recipients and the incarcerated have sky-rocketed in the States now that they are run as profit-engendering enterprises. More importantly, they are part of the web of control.

          This is not necessarily entirely bad. Throughout human history, large populations have always been organised into some sort of Ruling Elite, Middle/Professional and Lower/Working classes. This is not necessarily bad, although most of the time it has been due to greed and ignorance on many levels and in many ways in all strata. In other words, it is probably fair to say that the idea of a totally just and fair society, though reasonable and indeed admirable, is a fairy tale unless that society is mutually bound to a common purpose or religion which itself is anchored in basic goodness and has ways to curb excess and deficiency. I am not sure that we have much of a tradition of that in the West and suspect the Asians – in days of yore – have a better handle on it, even though today they have been forced to play industrial-mechanical catch-up in order to avoid being entirely colonised and destroyed. The jury is out on whether or not China will return to its Confucian-style roots, which has in the past made some very stable, long-lasting, and relatively fair systems. I read somewhere that when they had over 100 million people (around the time of Christ?), that there were only 15,000 government workers and most Chinese went their entire lives without ever encountering a single one. They still have far fewer than we do apparently.

          In any case, in the modern West, including Scotland, you are up against the machinery of the State, one of whose greatest (deliberately broadcast) myths is the separation of private and public (government and big business), including that the official media like the BBC provides fair and balanced coverage. Yes, they will air debates with roughly equal time to both parties, but the only parties that get good air time are basically Tweedledum versus Tweedledee, neither offering any substantive change.

          The recent referendum was exciting and dramatic because it offered substantive change. And it looked like it might get somewhere so the machinery ramped up. It is quite possible there was vote rigging to help that along. Certainly there was a very poor monitoring system not set up for international or other observers to ensure no questions after which in itself is highly suspicious. But that doesn’t matter because again: that is the system you were up against and everyone should have known that. If they didn’t – and it seems most Scots don’t yet understand that – then you are not ready for substantive independence yet, which is no small thing.

          The Americans fought a whole war about it, and even won on the surface, but underneath, the same banking houses etc. remained in power, having funded both sides. Russia is part of the international monetary order, and even if we end up in war with them, it will be two sides of the same overall body fighting each other with the same cartels in control. Getting out from under them is no small thing.

          My suspicion is that the Scottish Independence movement is possibly going to succeed if and when it understands that it cannot truly break free (indeed much as the SNP campaigned for) but can find a way to get far more decentralised/local control of its own affairs. Can you get control of oil, of interest rates, money issuance, national media, whilst leaving the cartel still essentially in charge? I doubt it. If not, then what can you get and is it meaningful? I don’t know. But that whole issue of dealing with the Money Power has to be dealt with one way or another. Meanwhile, don’t expect the existing powers to play fair. That’s just naive, although typical of most decent, well-meaning people all over the world.

  16. One last time,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oRg-VKuE68&list=UUVEaFSr-jdTa_QE4PPSkVJw

  17. If you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, came from an affluent family, had never had a proper job, counted such people as Rothschild amongst your friends, were a former member of the Bullingdon Club and you now sat in the highest seat in the country, Would you consider using dirty tactics in politics to get what you and your friends wanted ?

    Of Course you would.

    If he is capable of telling his Father in law to buy up land in the path of HS2 2 months before it was announced, then he is more than capable of carrying out massive subterfuge on the Scottish people (and the English for that matter).

  18. Keep your chin up mike men like yourself have woken a political giant were a positive political movement for change 45 and rising ! We can recharge ourselves and creat change via the elections the snp has doubled over 2 days same for greens and SSP you have brought the west monster to its knees we can do it in future and win no 1 can take what we have as a group away from us we have smashed the box we were in and so full of energy they can’t catch us to put us in new 1 ! Keep the faith and keep fighting the good fight and thanks to you for your great effort from every1 at bampots utd our day will come sooner than we think !

    • Indeed it will. May 7th 2015.

      • Patrick thanks for reply what a day for us all and our political party’s wihile labour pledge to cut child Benefits the snp take over the lie dems in the membership stakes may the 7 th is my grand birthday god rest here soul by that time our old will know they were conned and can have pay back vote for it and at same time we can push for Indy again it’s just the beginning for us all and it will be along fight but social justice will prevail a just hope Nichola gets the party leader job and First Lady that would boost the whole country keep fighting the good fight our day will come and we will see our children free of the evil Westmonster !

  19. Mike, you have been an inspiration to us in the Yes camp and we all share the utter horrible dejection and misery of what these B***********s have done by stealing the result from us. So few of us can function properly just now at all, I did think we would lose and take them at the election next year. Base camp established and we can move onwards. We are a fat cash cow for Westminster to milk to death and we are the Empire mindset of Westminster’s phallic world status with nuclear weapons. They (westminster) are in dire straits without Scotland. The day of reckoning for labour in Scotland is 7th May 2015. We need you Mike.

  20. There’s voting fraud and rigged elections in the Third World. So why would we be surprised if it didn’t happen here ? In American elections it’s even worse, they vote by computer screen so there’s no ballot paper, no paper trail.

    JFK only got 100,000 more votes than Nixon in the 1960 Election, there’s rumour of that result being dodgy. And then there’s the Bush, Al Gore election in 2000 and fraud at the Florida count. If the Ruling Elites can assassinate JFK, rigging a referendum is small fry, Scotland is where the UK keeps it’s nuclear bases, so if Scotland leaves, they’ll lose lose them.
    .

    The turnout was 85% across Scotland yet the turnout in YES cities Dundee and Glasgow was 75 %. There’s an anomaly there… Plus the two false fire alarms at the Dundee count, yeah Riiight !!! Who are all these Scots who want to be servile to the Queen and the rest of her dysfunctional family.

    When people speak about voting fraud, it’s one thing, but to actually see it with your own eyes, by looking up the clips on YouTube, then it’s a whole different matter, of course it’s not mentioned by the lame stream media. Welcome to banana republic Britain, but then we knew that already.

    • Yeah, but ranting about it isn’t going to do us any good.

      They set it up so fraud would be unproveable. *Of course* they cheated. It’s sodding *Westminster*. They’ve been rigging the system for their own advantage for over 400 years.

      Not enough people are willing to throw away the system yet, so we have to work within it to make any progress. Any talking about something that’s unproveable isn’t goping to help.

      We’re *at least* 45% of Scotland, and if you’re right, much more than that. We mobalise, we maintain the pressure, and we make it clear that half the nation isn’t going to go away and be quiet just because of one vote.

      They want to go back to normal, but normal has turnouts of ~30%. If they go back to normal, and we don’t, then we can get a majority of Scotlands MPs and MSPs from pro-independence parties. And all we have to do to pull that off is make sure that no two pro-independence candidates run in the same constituency. A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation says that gives us 75% of the vote if No returns to normal, and Yes stays active. And then we UDI. Fuck ’em.

      We *want* to use a general election as the decision for Independence, for two reasons:
      1) The election is going to be better watchdogged than the referendum, as the various Tory parties will be keeping each other honest, and they know the tricks better than we do.
      2) The various Tory parties will be fighting each other for votes. I don’t think they’ll be able to gang together the same way we can for a *Westminster* election.

      The first reason keeps the moral high ground and “winning fairly” mentality intact, the second is starting to play dirty. But we’re fighting a dirty opponent, so why should we let ourselves be handicapped?

    • Yeah, but ranting about it isn’t going to do us any good.

      They set it up so fraud would be unproveable. *Of course* they cheated. It’s sodding *Westminster*. They’ve been rigging the system for their own advantage for over 400 years.

      Not enough people are willing to throw away the system yet, so we have to work within it to make any progress. Any talking about something that’s unproveable isn’t goping to help.

      We’re *at least* 45% of Scotland, and if you’re right, much more than that. We mobalise, we maintain the pressure, and we make it clear that half the nation isn’t going to go away and be quiet just because of one vote.

      They want to go back to normal, but normal has turnouts of ~30%. If they go back to normal, and we don’t, then we can get a majority of Scotlands MPs and MSPs from pro-independence parties. And all we have to do to pull that off is make sure that no two pro-independence candidates run in the same constituency. A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation says that gives us 75% of the vote if No returns to normal, and Yes stays active. And then we UDI. Sod ‘em.

      We *want* to use a general election as the decision for Independence, for two reasons:
      1) The election is going to be better watchdogged than the referendum, as the various Tory parties will be keeping each other honest, and they know the tricks better than we do.
      2) The various Tory parties will be fighting each other for votes. I don’t think they’ll be able to gang together the same way we can for a *Westminster* election.

      The first reason keeps the moral high ground and “winning fairly” mentality intact, the second is starting to play dirty. But we’re fighting a dirty opponent, so why should we let ourselves be handicapped?

  21. Coder and general technical guy here.

    Throw me an email, and I’ll do what I can to help.

    (I’ve stopped putting a dummy address in the email field)

  22. Just a quick question:

    Does the word “f.u.c.k” automatically result in comments being moderated?

  23. We have broadcast cameras and other equipment which can be put at your disposal if needs be. We are interested in setting up a progressive video channel and are willing to help out with the hardware to do that. DM @ayetalks on twitter if you want us.

    • Brilliant. We need some educational tv material for people to watch over the next months before the general election……..I would be happy to put together a detailed analysis on the McCrone Report and do a comparison on Goebbels propaganda and Project Fear and how it became Project Hysteria. We need to convince people they were conned and lied to on a national scale. What happened was worse than a gang of thugs breaking into people houses and terrifying them. Westminster state thuggery! darling had one helleva cheek today saying We lost the argument. We won the argument. No camp had zero to argue other than a mountain of lies and fear. I am Old Labour in principles and I have no hesitation in saying Alex Salmond our First Minister was the best leader Scotland has had in my lifetime by a country mile. The others were mediocrities hardly worth the mention. I got his point the last day ‘Now tremble false Whigs in the midst o yer glee; Ye’ve no’ heard the last o’ ma bonnets and me!’ Time to turn Project Fear full upon the Labour party on May 7th.

  24. Wish I was able to help other than contributing a little from my meagre pension.
    Anyways just off to join SNP and cancel tv licence AYE

  25. Well I don’t have a TV licence anymore so that can be reallocated.
    Heard Tam Dayel on radio 2 saying we should abolish the scottish parliament.

  26. If it makes you feel any better, I’d much rather be reading your stuff than the fudging of the Labour Party Conference in my home town.

  27. I know people who have been campaign for Scottish independence for over 50 active years. They once struggled to save the deposit in the handful of parliamentary seats they fought. They kept going and because they did we had the opportunity last week to vote. All thanks to their dedication and effort.

    The YES campaign created something wonderful because we put party politics aside and focused on building a better fairer Scotland.

    Somehow we need to maintain that alliance. Several options are being discussed but I plead for everyone to align in putting a powerful voice for Scotland into Westminster.

    For Scotland we must find a way of putting up candidates against Labour. People who we can all get behind.

  28. thank you Mike.. any way I’m capable fo helping I will.

  29. “My deep dark despair is turning to a deeper anger and resolve”

    There is real and substantial grief around. So many people I know are hurting, angry, frustrated, bewildered. I am been so utterly distracted by this, I cannot think of anything else – it takes up my waking and sleeping hours. I awake to write down ideas that might shift this mire into which we Scots have sunk ourselves – mired with small conservatism, fear and negation of life, denial of dynamism and flourishing. Last Thursday and Friday were shrouded in mist and coldness. It was a good metaphor for the confusion, blindness and short sightedness that won the day. It is as Monbiot says, an astonishing act of self harm and we are the ones bleeding.

    • Scotland has been here before many time: From Strathallan’s Lament by RB

      In the cause of Right engaged
      Wrongs injurious to redress
      Honour’s war we strongly waged
      But the Heaven’s denied success!

      In this case it was hysterical propaganda and fear-mongering of our elderly that sneaked it for the enemies of Scotland. payback comes on May 7th for Westminster labour.

  30. No need to be ashamed to say you’re too upset to function properly; it’s perfectly understandable. I’m very upset and I don’t live in Scotland – I live in Wales. Of course that gives me even more reason to be upset, the way things are going post-referendum. It’s sad that so many ‘No’ people think they ‘won’. They don’t know what they’ve let Scotland and the rUK in for!

  31. Mike, not much to say really other than your site was instrumental in IndyI and will be instrumental for IndyII. I need to add another line of advertising to my wee van!

  32. I struggled on occasion to find ‘authoritative’ sources on the economics of iScotland to back up our vision, but maybe was looking in the wrong places. A bit frustrating in the face of all the ‘by the City, for the City’ stuff from likes of FT that the opposition were throwing at us. Please can we consider co-opting some eminent economists and getting their stuff out? Or maybe folk can point me to those if they already exist. I’m still having the argument with my dad for example …

  33. It’s heartening to read of future plans, Mike. A bit of focus will be very welcome. I’d like to help where possible: graphic design, signage and a wee bit of sound production. Just say the word.

    The work of yourself, and the extended Bella team, has played a valuable part in what has felt like a political awakening in recent times. Thank you.

    “If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.”

  34. I will offer technical help too. Used to be responsible for infrastructure for some high-profile, high-traffic news websites.

  35. Hi folks,

    Just to say the whole question around independence for Scotland(and now everywhere else?) has gone global and looks like it’s here to stay.It’s stirred up a hornet’s nest.
    I’m personally just getting over the extreme exertions my body,mind and soul have just been through.And we got to appreciate the gratitude we owe to the really epic efforts made by the likes of Bellacaledonia,WOS,Newsnet,Wee Ginger Dug- and there are many many more to whom we owe a incalculable amount of thanks.Don’t know where I’d be right now if they weren’t available but it would be a dark place.
    But like ‘THE DARKEST HOUR IS ALWAYS RIGHT BEFORE THE DAWN ‘we have awoken a sleeping giant questioning of how this place is run and how it’s gotta change-RIGHT HERE-RIGHT NOW
    We need to re-energise and regroup,find direction and take up the call once again to bring a new breathtakingly realtime demand for how the future’s gonna roll once we got some more energy back into our frazzled systems.
    Even though I was gutted the last couple of days,today I am totally astonished,but at the same time gladdened at the turn of events,gobsmacked even!
    The genie seems to be out of everybody’s bottle and that is very positive as for perhaps the first time in a long time there is now an understanding that normal everyday people can and will be able to make a difference.
    I also believe that ‘the 45%’underestimates the YES voters who took part in the vote.
    I don’t accept their figures.
    Please everyone do me a favour.Sign up to the petition for a legally observed recount of the referendum votes.Do it now!There is nothing to be lost by challenging the concept that a majority YES vote was manipulated and rigged.
    The more people who want it (1.6 million for starters plus the NO’s who are already regretting their vote) ,the more likely its gonna happen.Then we can have an honest result.I simply cannot accept that we were only 45% and I’m not going to.Isaid a month ago that the powers that be will never allow us to take their golden goose away and I think that’s whats happened.Just like 1979!!!!
    As I said we have nothing to lose.Just do it! The petition is already being reported down south in their rag media and will keep the fire burning.
    We also gotta legally challenge the duplicity of the 3 Stooge’s and the Queen for their untimely and blatant disregard for the rules of the referendum and the 28 day condition.
    Especially as it is now trending in all the parts of the media in England ffs!!!!!!The earthquake has arrived and it’s growing arms and legs all over these islands.
    .Not quietly slipping out of sight ,never to be seen or heard again

    Instead of crawling back into our wee box it looks like we’ve burned all the boxes.HA HA.YOU COULDN’T MAKE IT UP.

    • Personally I don’t think a recount is the way to go.

      If papers were replaced then they will show No anyway and it will further legitimise the vote.

      I don’t doubt there was fraud but it will have been subtle enough not to be found.

      There were things done in the public eye which need exposed such as the lies spouted continuously by the BBC.

      Also in what other election would politicians be allowed to offer new powers AFTER the vote had started/

  36. The worst aspect of the no is how we are now viewed abroad. I can assure readers of Bella it is not a pretty sight. Those who rejected independence have made us a laughing stock. We have just got to correct this monumental cock-up.

  37. Take your time Mike, make the right moves.

    Rushing in would be pointless. Play the long game.

  38. Hope we can try to get a satellite/cable tv channel up and running. We can raise the funds for sure. If we can get the progressive indy message out to those voters with no access to the net, we’re onto a winner. We could learn a lot from Russia Today.

  39. Hey Mike I am Software Engineer Count me if you need any help.

  40. “a print offshoot”

    This. A newpaper might be a step too far, without a deep pockets investor, but at the very least we should aim for a Scottish ‘Private Eye’ or current affairs type magazine on the newsstands – weekly or fortnightly.

    Online bloggers could contribute content in return for ads for their sites.

  41. I am new to social media and would subscribe to a free press but i would like a paper copy so i could pass it around others like me . Good fortune in your endeavors.

  42. You lot need to take a step back and breathe. Any sort of hope and optimism you may have, is twisted with bitterness and a narrow focus that borders on derangement.

    Why not put your focus into something worth fighting for — social responsibility does not have to be tied up with nationalism. The world is full of suffering, pain, people who need help. Pouring resouces, energy and passion into this is only diverting your attention from true suffering in the world and truly contributing to humanity.

    What really gets me is how much time and energy has been displaced…you are clearly intelligent people, but just work yourself into a rut by narrowly defining your happiness/sense of purpose by whether Scotland is independent or not? Just baffling.

    Or if you insist on pursuing this nonsense, why not develop an intelligent economic vision which does not, at best, tie yourselves to the government that you apparently despise?

  43. Re ‘Fed up with lies’ 2nd video link and yesterday’s news of Rockefeller foundation off loading investment in fossil fuels. Is this a coincidence? Coincidences don’t sit well with me. ‘New World Order?’ Maybe we’re just not counted as part of that. Dispensable except as fodder.

  44. The massive plus is the 1.6 million, the 45%. A public display of energetic support for independence on a grand scale comes immediately to mind. The “demo” needs to morph into a “manifestation” of our commitment to changing the status quo. The people in the streets in such numbers as have never been seen before in this country would send a message to the political class more powerful that ticks on bits of paper. Indie is only half out the closet. One more push!

    • The Catalans, also considered “thrifty” do this. All that’s needed is online networking presence (already there), some of our time, train/bus fare, petrol, printed Ts, badges and any other agitprop material you care for. Minimum expense compared with setting up printed newspapers. Who reads the weird things these days anyway. A Million Scots? not impossible.

  45. About reconciliation. I thought that the service of reconciliation at the High Kirk of Edinburgh was out of order. Truth is required before reconciliation can take place. There has been no public and national exposure of the truth about Cameron’s and Westminster’s behind the scenes manipulation, nor the violation of the Edinburgh Agreement. The promise of new powers for Holyrood which, was a violation of the Agreement and illegal, then followed by the claim that there were no new powers promised, when the violation of the Agreement was pointed out, and the claim that what was promised was a timetable, needs to be publicly dealt with. They continued to talk out of both their faces. They kept saying that new powers were promised, yet when challenged said that there were no new powers promised.

    I’m not angry at the NO voters who were duped. I don’t need to be reconciled to them. I’m furious at Cameron, the Westminster government, Brown (shit is brown) et al for their warfare against Scotland. I cannot be reconciled with them until the truth is exposed, they repent, and have a new vote. Just as we were conquered in 1707, we have been reconquered. Sovereign for a day, we gave our sovereignty away and voted to be ruled by our neighbouring nation. We did it because of threats, behind the scenes manipulation, false promises, bribes, and hypocrisy. Reminiscent of 1707! Surely all this needs to be exposed and the perpetrators tried in a court of law, justice meted out to them, and a new vote held. Why isn’t the Scottish Government taking action to initiate this process?

    Would we get justice in a UK court? In a country in which parliament claims to be absolutely sovereign, it’s a dictatorship by parliament where the people are not sovereign? we probably need to go to a European court for a fair hearing and for justice to be served. Only when the perpetrators confess, and repent by ordering a new vote, can reconciliation with them be achieved.

  46. Mike, the Establishment were never going to let us win, they couldn’t destroy all the votes though so what they left was a clear indication of possibility. Without Bella etc there would’ve been no info whatsoever. We all appreciate the monumental effort you put in with your colleagues. Fear not what you and Soapy awoke will never slink back to its cave to die, it’s felt the soft Scottish rain on its face and breathed in the Crystal clear air. When the sun came out it sat on a moss covered rock, looked to the amazingly lit fir lined scenery and declared, this is home I’m staying right here. Now let’s have an explore and see how I might need to maintain my new home. Get yourself a proper rest Mike you can’t go on on half depleted batteries and a battered psyci. It will all still be waiting for you when you get back, but you’re no good to anyone in this state. We did actually win by the way but not as we would’ve liked, and you have to admit we weren’t ready for it anyway…….bit like expecting a baby but on the day it arrives nothing prepared, it doesn’t take long to gather everything you need though and you would be amazed at how generous people are when they know you need assistance.

    • Huh? What?

      “Never going to let us win”? Of course not. They wrote the rules and ref’d the game. We got 45% on the score card in *spite* of that, and next time we can try to control the rules better. And not let them ref it.

      “Not ready for it anyway”? Yes we fucking were! We were ready for it 300 years ago, we were ready for it 30 years ago, and we were ready for it last Friday.

      I get the depression and the need to rationalise things. I really do. But thinking like that means that either you’ve given up hope, or you’re a plant. And make no mistake, Westminster *is* hireing plants to sap our will.

      So we fucking well shove all their hipocracy in their faces! We have the numbers, they have the money and the channels. So they can control the message.

      Which means we need to build our own channels before we go for round two. *We* rig the rules of the game so they can’t win, and we get a ref we can trust.

      Who was it who said: “It’s not the vote that counts, but who counts the votes”?

  47. Can you count suckers?i say the future is ours if you can count.
    Sorry about that ,i just like that line. 1.6m for yes.We get 100,000 people £5 a head
    we have half a million, £5 per week for 1 year = £26 million
    We support the indy sites keep them online but we have to get them offline too.
    The story of the referendum must be told to all offline.
    The yes movement must keep going.

    I agree with a comment made earlier,the Wbb was great but it came late,i remember posting a comment
    somewhere asking if we yessers were only talking to ourselves and being brushed aside,i was worrying that
    what we were all seeing and hearing online was not getting to the older voters.

    Something special has happened in this country,i did not expect to see it in my lifetime.
    I am tired,just came off a nightshift and am rambling a bit,gotta get some of it out though.

    We lost the vote because we were not prepared enough,even though the campaign was long even i
    did not know what was happening until around april and i remember watching debates on youtube
    in halls all over the place,it was fantastic….i remeber thinking if everyone is seeing this stuff we can
    win it…but of course they were not many of the vids had low viewing figures.

    Most important point the snp and yes campaigners were presenting thier case in a dignified and
    professional way, as time went on the no camp knew they they were in trouble so they chose thier
    moments to create a sh*t storm of fear lies and intimidation.

    I believe the 1.6m votes for yes is remarkable when everthing is cosidered.

    There is a reason why although we are all heart sick at the result we cannot belive we lost,its simple
    we did’nt.

    We are a hop skip and jump away from putting this right,it is going to take a few years but we have to
    get up and running as soon as possible.

    Just my thoughts at the moment, i am raring to go

    thanks for reading……….

  48. Claims of vote rigging, blaming the elderly, blaming non Scottish voters, calling for a UDI, talk of Anglo Saxons under the heel of Norman overlords (you might as well talk about druids and fairies)….

    ….if some of the comments on Bella over the last few days are anything to go by, the 45 will soon be the 28 or the 29 again….some people just don’t seem prepared to accept that there is not a clear majority in Scotland for indie at this point in time.

    I understand why people are disappointed and I share that disappointment – though I never really believed we would win I have to say.

    The focus should be on trying to articulate what “New Powers” we need and why. We are in a new situation and should be trying to articulate what we think is indispensable for Cameron to be true to his pledge. For example, a fully independent Scottish TV broadcaster MUST form part of any More Powers deal as far as I am concerned.

    That and working on the issues which are truly international: the environment, nuclear disarmament, as well as calling the Scottish government to account on more land reform.

    There are a whole host of things we can do to make Scotland a better country within the UK with the distinct possibility of another referendum ahead in the future…

    As for Jim Sillars and Tommy Sheridan, thanks for the memories, guys, but time to make way for new faces….

    • Given that the vote was set up to make rigging impossible to prove, do you *really* think that Westminster didn’t do it?

      Seriously? You’re going to be *that* naive?

      But I agree, we need to accept that even if they rigged the count, it won’t do us any good, because we can’t prove it.

      We *can* prove that they cheated in other ways though: The “purdah” period, the BBCs “impartiality”, not following through on what they did promise when they broke the “purdah” period…

      And if we can keep everyone who got involved involved for the next two years, we can make *every* election into a call for independence.

      Remember when British Labour stopped accepting that an SNP majority was a mandate for Scotland to become independent? It happened about when they realised than an SNP majority was actually a possibility.

      They play *dirty*.

      They’re infiltrating, in order to destroy us from within, and encouraging the violent types, because then they turn us into another Northern Ireland, who they can marginalise.

      • No, I haven’t seen any evidence that the vote was rigged at all, and to make these claims detracts from the democratic victory which was the 2014 Scottish referendum.

        Jim Sillars lost us votes with his “day of reckoning” line and he will lose us more sympathizers if he carries on banging the drum about the vote count. If the Scottish govt has okayed the vote count, I see no reason to dispute it.

        We lost the 1979 referendum, and yes, there were plenty of dirty tricks then too, and yet we eventually did get a Scottish parliament not even twenty years later. We should keep that in mind. One generation ago we didn’t even have a Scottish parliament and we have come within a 5% swing of winning independence in under twenty years. That is huge progress.

        You’re not going to become independent on a technicality, so all of the discontent should be challenged into something positive instead of anger and complaint.

        What would our menu of “more powers” be if we could write that menu? We can make still make our voices heard on a number of specific things. The Tories may well prove more generous than Labour on the extra powers; they have every reason to, because the more powers they devolve up here, the more powers they can devolve to English MP’s in England …which seriously weakens Labour’s ability to govern in England.

        Personally, I’d rather we win indie ten or twenty years down the line with a 65% or 70% majority than have won last week with 1% or 2%….

        …the first step to winning the next referendum is to get over losing this one.

      • Sorry to drop into your conversation. I read elsewhere you have comms/ computer skills. Yes this will get dirty. In the Occupy movement we had secure servers behind firewalls in Iceland. Password protected access using encryption and a VPN. Until the45 have this network _real_ Comms cannot be open.
        I’m no expert. I would look to your local Tech community to get secure comms. ASAP. The lidless eye x5 are watching 😉 Have no doubt of that. Pending that secure VPN New e-mail accounts. Twitter DMs & pastebin. Delete after copy and paste. Better still word of mouth!
        Confidentially brobof (twitter handle) follow I’ll follow back 🙂 Meanwhile added value:
        http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sbirdf share and enjoy
        Hope is our duty! Occupy the Media _/\_OTM

      • Sorry to drop into the conv. (Twice possibly. got bounced and wiped by wordpress login)
        Yes they will play dirty the lidless eye – all five of ’em are watching. Recommend you get a tech team together. ASAP
        In Occupy we had a front page SHTTP login. Password protected then encrypted messages in a VPN. Servers based in Iceland with a hefty firewall.
        Probably need something better now!
        Once we can securely communicate it has to be innocuous. Or word of mouth!
        eg http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sbirdf care to follow?
        Be seeing you (Prisoner applies)

      • I’m with Illy all the way. You are spot on. Thank you.

  49. “Those who rejected independence have made us a laughing stock”
    Don’t be too sure about that. The Danish channels were in doubt that Salmond and Scotland were the true winners, and that London had capitulated to the will of the Scottish people.

  50. sorrrrry. That should have read “were in no doubt”

  51. The SNP is apparently on target to be a big membership party. Its new members and activists will revivify and transform it. We live in interesting times. May they continue to be so.

  52. I’ve been involved in a long post referendum discussion on a popular forum, what I have gleaned is that there is much common ground between some yes and no voters, a statistically significant number of contributors from both sides would have chosen devo max if it had been on the ballot, there must therefore be an overlap in attitudes between many and as long as Devo Max or Home Rule actually happens the burning desire for full independence may cool quite a bit. I agree with Douglas’s posts above and also find it highly unlikely that any voter fraud occur, it would be far too difficult to rig a vote where every ballot counts as compared to one where the result in one key state or constituency is the casting vote (as is the case with Florida), besides the result was very close to the opinion polls predictions so that removes suspicion too. Time to be patient 45% is a pretty good result, I remember the days when SNP voters were routinely ridiculed as hot headed cranks.

    My Dad has voted SNP since the sixties, and is a republican to boot, but he voted no, due to unconvincing economic policy. Independence at all costs is not appealing when many feel that more powers for the Scottish Parliament were inevitable at some point and a gradualist approach would work out in the end.

    • Your Dad is an ass, sorry. What does he want, perfection? A White Paper is only a statement of what a government intends, the reality is often very different and would take on any criticisms that were meaningful. 70% of those voting Yes gave as their primary reason the principle of self determination. And so should your Dad. Only 20% voted Yes because they thought we would be better off.

    • more powers inevitable at some point? independence would have been the game changer in that respect, bizarre reasoning.

  53. Well, Mike, am sure you are considering this but one thing is to expand from blog to website. Also to solicit funds in the form of modest monthly contributions. Blog can be attached. Classifieds area (more income but also community involvement). Consider 4-page spread in Sunday Herald (comment in the Phoenix article) for mainstream presence and also bringing the mainstream into your process. Use media as resource for coordinating town meetings/lectures/education and so forth, all accessible in website archives. Channel influence to develop key issues for political process and create leverage with existing politicians and parties without being aligned to any particular one. Start with information, but with activist/practical bent, rather than pure intellectual/theoretical content alone.

  54. Mike, My Dad wasn’t worried about being worse off, he was worried about the vulnerable (amongst whom he spent his working life) being worse off and I suppose he has mellowed with age and just doesn’t get so angry anymore, I haven’t heard him rant about The Queen for ages.

  55. I hope you guys are considering working with Derek Bateman…….am loathe to use the phrase “pulling and sharing” but you know what I mean…….

  56. I’d like to give Dame Janet Suzman a sharp kick in the “province” of her arse

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