The trouble with Scotland…is that it’s full of Scots!

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19 year-old Haniya Khalid looks back at the campaign and the way ahead, on Cameron’s stomach ulcers, the Queen’s new look, Labour and toast, and the Butterfly Rebellion.

I’ve been rather guilty of lashing out at those of my friends who voted No to Scottish Independence in the last week. I know for a fact that I am not alone in this infantile behaviour. Grief speaks in strange ways to each of us, and sometimes we are unable to channel that negative energy into something pragmatic and constructive, no matter how optimistic our disposition.

However, I’m no fool, although weeping about the loss of what I perceived to be the last chance at self-determination that Scotland had before it became engulfed indefinitely by Westminster’s Blairite convulsions, may seem foolish to many of those apathetic to the Yes campaign’s two year trajectory. And that includes both of my closest, and No voter, friends, a fact that I won’t deny hurt almost as much as losing Independence.

But you can’t suddenly lose something you haven’t had for 307 years, right?

Correct. And that’s what prompts me to say, as I wipe my eyes and get on my feet as per Robin McAlpine’s advice, that here lies the beauty in this tragic affair.

As many of us are beginning to realise, Scotland has gained far more than it has lost-and in fact it has lost nothing and gained more than perhaps even independence would have brought in such a short space of time.

1. We’ve got the mainstream press clutching at straws. That in itself is an achievement to be proud of.

Whether it was the Scotsman’s embarrassing story in the last few days before the referendum asserting that Scottish Independence was, according to nameless intelligence analysts, an ISIS plot to weaken the British state by using former hostage situation of aid-worker David Haines to secure a Yes vote, or the general media’s attempts to dilute the reality of the unionist riots in George Square last Friday by framing them as ‘light banter’ (Sky News), or the bullying of ‘pro-unionist skinheads by Hundreds of Yes supporters who booed them out” (The Evening Times) or, according to the Independent, Unionists burning Saltires, giving Nazi and Red hand of Ulster salutes and committing acts of violence, and as the Sunday Herald covers extensively, homophobia and racism, was nowhere near as consequential as the fact that, as it asserted in its headline, “’Dishonest’ social media users accused of fuelling panic with pictures from London riots.”

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Of course, on the last assertion, anyone who visits the Twitter account of the only user that BBC journalist Andrew Neil leveled said accusation towards, and which the Independent and various other outlets reported on, will indeed see this:

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And then this…

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And also this…

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And most recently, this…

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If this doesn’t cry out troll to an established journalist like Andrew Neil, then the future of journalism is bleak indeed. That or they’ve run out of ideas for believable spin. (It’s important/hilarious to note that user @potbellyman123 seems to reside in Australia.)

And after the arrest of eleven unionists by Police Scotland for ‘various offences including disorder, breach of peace and vandalism” (As reported in the Sunday Herald) on September the 19th, as well as the appearance of many in court for charges of assault, vandalism and abusive behaviour, the emerging videos of unionists burning Saltires or ripping them out of girl’s hands and the homophobic abuse leveled at a young counselor, it’s probably time to remove the inverted commas around “riots”.

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On top of senseless churnalism, we have shoddy sub-editing.

In an interview with Channel 4 last Sunday, outgoing first minister Alex Salmond said: ‘There’s a huge difference between being a public service broadcaster, and being a state broadcaster and I’m not certain that the BBC understand that difference.”

And it is highly important that any new alternative media that is born out of this whole debacle via the collective efforts of any pro-independence groups also take heed of these words.

2. We’ve got Jack Straw clutching at straws

In his piece for the Times, former justice secretary Jack Straw, now Mp for Blackburn, suggests that “We should follow the example of stable federated countries (the US and India, for example) and say: “This Union is now indissoluble.’”

If only Straw, the political beast he is, would mention the difference between these two countries and the United Kingdom. The size and structure, and political ideologies, of the ‘states’ in this country as opposed to that of both the former nations have something to do with how federalism will play out here.  It’s something that will indeed eventually happen, say the experts, now that the catalyst has begun its cycle, thanks to that desperate, last-minute vow published in a tabloid, of all things.

According to Professor Tom Devine at Sunday Herald’s Bloody Scotland conference on Saturday, “The future is either federalism or another referendum – either way, the UK state is dead.”

So you heard it, it’s the old, now they’ve done it, and scared us shitless, let us make sure we never have to take laxatives again. After all, that motion promised in the vow courtesy of the Daily Record for the 19th of September was a day late.

3. We’ve got the Welsh and the Irish wanting more straws

As Iain McWhirter writes in the latest edition of the Sunday Herald: “Voters here were handed a gun to shoot themselves with it. But the gun backfired. It turned a crisis for Scotland into a crisis for the UK state. The entire UK is now in a condition of constitutional ferment, with regions and nations demanding autonomy.”

The Welsh first minister telling the Labour conference to extend home rule to Wales and Northern Ireland, Cameron’s talk of “English votes for English laws” stirring up a hornets nest left, right and centre, and Lib/Lab/Con put under pressure to deliver both the Scottish promise and grant similar pledges across the board as a matter of principle, with Nigel Farage smugly shaking his head at the whole motley crew whilst rubbing his hands with glee from the sidelines , there doesn’t seem to be much hope for this stable, secure, all-encompassing Union.

4. We gave David Cameron stomach ulcers, for which he plans to sue.

In the famous video where Cameron divulges his latest conversation with the Queen, A.K.A Catwoman’s granny, involving a surprising amount of feline behaviour from an 88-year-old monarch (or maybe that’s just what Dave thinks of her), the prime minister of Britain also reveals his gripe with the polling companies: “I’ve said I want to find these polling companies and I want to sue them for my stomach ulcers because of what they’ve put me through. It was very nervous moments.”

5. We also helped David Cameron reveal his true feelings concerning his Queen.

No comment. Most of us are still trying to get over this little sweetheart.

6. Labour is toast. Jam, anyone?

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Labour MP for Aberdeen South, Dame Anne Begg, No-campaigning with Dave McDonald, leader of the National Front for Scotland.

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7. After picking the short straw, things are starting to look up for Scotland. To incredible lengths. You may be surprised.

And so the biggest asset won in the aftermath of this bloodless battle, something that no amount of oil or whiskey or nuclear arms deals could ever hope to counter; the Scots themselves.

That cheeky one-liner from Edward Longshanks in the film Braveheart ironically sums up Scotland’s situation-and Westminster’s predicament.

Yes. Real live Scots. Our former political apathy went to the winds, as 97% of Scottish citizens registered to vote in the referendum, and over 80% of us actually did it. Which effectively constitutes the biggest voter turnout in the whole of British history.

To those of you still disillusioned with the whole debacle, think about what that means for a minute. Reflect on exactly which kind of fearless, northerly, Irn-Bru fuelled force this referendum has galvanised.

It means we are the problem for Westminster and the solution to it.

It means that the 37,228 new members that the SNP has gained in the last five days, and the 3000 that the Green party has, are all numbers that do not smack of those who have easily accepted defeat and now pledge to be subservient to a stagnant system which just over more than half of their countrymen and women chose to vote for.

It means that the genie is out of the bottle, to quote the phrase most widely used to describe the sudden and magnanimous surge in political involvement in Scotland in the last few days, a positive and radical continuation of the pre-referendum landscape, and though we have come to accept the outcome of a democratic vote, we will not go quietly into the night.

This much is clear, in both in the grassroots pro-independence groups such as National Collective and Generation Yes among others, and the pro-independence parties, SSP, SNP and the Green party. Whether its talk between the parties of forming an alliance and run collectively in the next general election or the creation emergence of a new alternative media by pro Indy groups, the will of the Scots, and that includes the will of the people who invested every sinew of their being for the last two years and more into campaigning for Scotland’s self rule, will not stay unheeded, it will not go to waste, and we shall not be swayed by the rhetoric of Darling, straw, Lamont, Cameron and their ilk.

And thus, these are the things we have gained and the things that are now set in motion.

These are the things that should lift the weight from our hearts, and heal the bruises on our butterfly-winged souls, because the butterfly rebellion was never more significant and relevant than it is now. We are still here. We are still breathing, our minds whirring, our hearts beating, our wings ready to launch us up into awesome heights. The kind of heights that those in Whitehall couldn’t possibly be expected to imagine – it was never in the job description.

And perhaps it can be said with almost certainty that in persuading/scaring many Scots into voting No, especially the senior citizens, Westminster and its cronies in the established media started something they cannot hope to finish without facing immense opposition from those it dared to wrong.

Perhaps we can then say, with open hearts, and open minds, that Westminster has just orchestrated the demise of its own beloved “union”, as Peter Arnott so wittily points out: “And, as it looks to me this Sunday night, they might be doing a better demolition job on this blessed Union of Nations than we ever dreamed of. And doing it even faster than we had in mind.”

And now we must come to the negative aspect.

As columnist Iain McWhirter writes in last Sunday’s issue of the Sunday Herald, “The challenge for Scotland after the Independence referendum is to realise what they have won, which is more difficult.”

There are problems with the new self-styled “the45” movement/hashtag/group, which has come to the fore on social media, representing the 45% of Scots who voted Yes to independence.

It strikes of prolonged mourning, the inability of someone to let go of their dead relative’s corpse. And though I understand absolutely why it came into being, and that there must be a time for grieving just as there is a time for rejoicing, I cannot help but think that it has gone on long enough.

And it only became more ridiculous and pitiful after the announcement that all those corporations and businesses that expressed their allegiance to Better Together and its ideology in some form or another were to be ‘punished’ in the form of boycotts by the 45% that voted Yes.

I will explain exactly why it is unrealistic, ridiculous, and morbid.

Among the many things listed as targets for boycott on social media, are various media outlets like the Daily Record and the BBC.

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A. If we stop consuming all the media that we perceive as being biased, then one might as well never read or watch any source of news again-all outlets are biased, that includes the Sunday Herald-it is just biased in our favour. In other words, this kind of thinking does not strike at the root of the problem.

The problem was never that the BBC was biased, a fact that anyone who has watched and understood the mainstream long enough can see. It was that too many fell for it, and continue to fall for it. That it was trusted, and still is by many, and mainstream media in general, as a source of veracity. It’s almost laughable in the 21st century if it wasn’t so painfully true for the majority of the citizenry of the developed world.

What one needs is to consume all media even what is touted as the “British Biased Corporation”, as well as alternative media, to gain a broader-and fairer, more concise-understanding of world affairs. News literacy is the key issue that many of those, in their blind anger and disgust at the BBC, something I understand and sympathise with completely, are failing to recognise

This time it was us who felt the punch, but we must take care to remember that there are people all over the world, whether in Asia, The Middle East, Eastern Europe and elsewhere that are stripped down daily by the monolithic, war mongering, elite pandering establishment that is the fifth estate, in front of our eyes, as the news of their lives are reduced to statistics, or unambiguous actors in the Good vs Evil paradigm.

Towards this kind of media mischaracterisation, we don’t bat an eyelid. We don’t flinch or think what effect it must have for so many to be dehumanised for so long and with such zeal. All that needs to change, of course.

B. Boycotts are not an end, or the aim. They are the means to an end-which as yet, seems undefined.

As far as boycotts and movements who adopt this kind of tactic are concerned, it takes an awful long time for something, if anything to happen-and that’s only if one sticks to it for a certain period of time.

Do you want people to change their bank accounts? Take a possibly longer and more expensive route to work everyday?

This is ineffective precisely because it will peter eventually – it is impossible to uphold something that requires effort without specifying exactly what you are fighting for. Because beside the vague statement that these institutions, big business and corporations will be “punished” for their unethical behaviour during the campaign, by such tactics, that remains unspecified.

And it’s unfair. Remember, we are a first world nation that still requires food banks. A country where a fifth of our people live below the poverty line, 47% of children in Glasgow, and one in five children throughout Scotland. Not everyone can financially afford such ‘resolve’ for a cause that remains a mystery. What exactly will a few thousand or hundred people boycotting M&S achieve?

C. If you want to boycott something, do something that will make a difference-in other words, something that will achieve a specific aim constructive to what an Independent Scotland meant for many.

And an independent Scotland was about a fairer, more equal society, that embraced the diversity and talent of the people , and looked after its weary, its old and its poor. A society that took a clean break from the capitalism-on-steroids that has become the rest of the UK’s favorite fix, and strived for something more conscious and healthy for the betterment of society. And that doesn’t necessarily imply socialism, but a reform of the current system.

So boycott Labour, the party that threw their traditional values of equality and care of the vulnerable straight out of the window and joined with the Conservatives (and the National Front, and UKIP) in their campaign of fear and deception.

Because doing that truly will make a difference, as a member of the electorate. You know that yourself, if you voted in the referendum. Join the 37,228 people who have joined the SNP in the last week alone-many of them hailing from traditional Labour families, a tradition that stops right here-putting it at a strong 62,870 and making this Scotland based party the third biggest party UK wide, its members comprising 1% of Scotland, and one in ninety Scots.

Boycott ignorance and become literate in the way the media works, instead of closing one’s eyes to that which does not appeal to your philosophy.

Boycott bigotry and the lack of critical thinking. Boycott hate and bile and hearsay and embrace love and understanding and documented primary source data.

So who am I to say any of this? Why should anyone listen to me?

There’s no reason.

I am 19 years old. I am a student, at college, of journalism. I was a first time voter in the referendum. I was born in England and spent just under half of my life there, the rest of it in Scotland, and I am neither ethnically Anglo or Celtic or any kind of white European, something that may cause a few to retort that I have no legitimate voice in this debate.

But I voted Yes. I am a citizen of this country. My greatest desire is to be known as Scottish. And I love this land. I would die for it. And I refuse to be demonised-as those of my ethnicity often are -by the mainstream media, once again but from a new angle; as a rabid ‘fascist’ nationalist.

I only speak for myself when I say I was completely heartbroken when the verdict was clear as the results tumbled in, the margin widening and hope crumbling before my very eyes. The crack increased as I wondered into George Square the morning after the results, eyes still sore from complete lack of sleep and numbing tears, and witnessed the taut faces and downcast mien of every person that I passed in Glasgow’s city centre, through Buchanan street and beyond, coming to rest in a small, funeral like gathering in what was to be Independence square.

The heavy dullness as the sky wept with Glasgow and Dundee and West Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire – four out of the six poorest regions of Scotland, the four that all yelled aye, we want change, and we need it the most – was all the more magnified as a lone bagpiper began a melancholy rendition of Flower of Scotland in the middle of Buchanan street, the tears that it prompted to sparkle in the eyes of many who had gathered there a reflection of the joy that could have been in an alternate reality.

But that was and is our reality.

And we’ve wept. And we’ve screamed. And we’ve been childish.

And now it’s time to grow up and make it better, and ourselves better, and this country better, without compromising on our principles.

So, I refuse to be a victim, while at the same time refuse to bow down to Darling and his grey-suited, tie-clad brethren, and I refuse to indulge in the corpse of what could have been.

And I refuse to stay cushioned inside this suffocating cocoon of boycotts and Yes badges and the 45% – a small number, a mean number and a number that outweighs everything that already has been and will be-with our sweat and tears- achieved. And let us not sit back and let the SNP or Nicola Sturgeon or the already established pro-independence organisations, whether affiliated with political parties or not, do the talking. Because for every word they talk, we should be doing.

So, on a lighter note, what do you say folks? Perhaps it is time we spread our wings, and our imagination, our skills, our intellect, our knowledge, our talent, over the whole of Scotland.

Perhaps it’s time for the Butterfly Rebellion: Take Two.



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58 replies

  1. a great article, Haniya – and I completely agree with what you’ve said about taking action that is ‘effective’ (e.g. never voting Labour again!) as opposed to ‘symbolic’ (e.g. not watching the BBC).

    I also feel that if Yes supporters keep clinging to the #45 identity, it’s counter-productive: if we *really* want independence, we need to be able to persuade more of the 55% who voted ‘No’ that another way is not only possible, but desirable. as hard as it is (and heaven knows I’m still finding it difficult to talk to some people who did vote for continuing dependence), we have to keep making the case for independence, especially amongst the doubters, and keep building the institutions and infrastructure (e.g. alternative news/media outlets) that will not only support those aims but will ultimately provide a smoother transition to our longed-for destination.

    onward and upward…!

  2. This is a really terrific article, which sums up a lot of how I feel, even though I am a 50-something Celt, who has lived in Scotland all my life. 😉

    We have built so much, we cannot grab defeat from the jaws of victory. Luckily, our young people have a different outlook!

    We have to make it clear what we expect from the political class. No disagreements between LIb/Lab/Tories can let them off the hook. They achieved a No vote by promising Home Rule/DevoMax/Federalism – so we hold them to their word. Yes voters didn’t believe them, but many voted No because they did – so we force them to honour “The Vow”.

    And you are quite right, Haniya. The “45%” has become exclusive. But the Yes campaign grew as it did because we were inclusive; we didn’t “other” our “opponents” because we wanted them to join us and become Yes. Now is not the time to start doing differently, or we will never be more than 45% – and we need to be the majority!

    We needed a group hug on 19th & 20th, and “the 45%” provided that. Now we don’t need it any more, it’s time to drop it.

  3. I think that, again, people are misunderstanding “the 45%+” thing. It’s saying: “Look, within a reasonable margin of error, *_HALF_* the country wants out from under Westminster Rule, you aren’t alone, regardless of what the anyone will try to tell you.” It’s a support group for everyone who was heartbroken by the result.

    Though if you’re pushing the “Butterfly Rebellion” label, you could have included one of the many excellent graphics for it. I get it: Bella thinks that in the long term, the label “Butterfly Rebellion” will do us more good than “the 45%+” but for once, I’m going to think short-term, and say that a simple “45” or “Yes” is a far stronger logo *right now*, and there are still a lot of people who need the reminder/support group.

    Half the country voted for independence. Let that sink in for a moment: Half. The. Country.

    They’re trying to brush us under the carpet. I’m not going to say that having a variety of logos and labels is a bad thing (because diversity *is* a strength) but I’m also not going to deny people the reminder that they aren’t alone.

    On boycotts:
    Boycotting the BBC has a clear goal: Getting them to be impartial next time. Because there will be a next time. (Not that I think it will do that, but even if it doesn’t, it still saves you ~£100 a year for almost no inconvinience)

    I’m going to end on a quote from when America voiced their “issues” with Westminster rule:

    “No taxation without representation”

  4. Has anybody thought about why Glasgow ,North Lanarkshire ,Dundee and forgot who else had yes majority, and how they were supposed to be staunch Labour heartlands and would follow the party line? All the other areas were the places that they were not sure of,now I may be getting too Machiavellian but if the establishment were certain of those areas toeing the party line then they would not have bothered trying to fix anything they presumed “not broken” so concentrated on the places that would probably ,in their mindset, vote yes so they had to do something there.I now think that they did do something elsewhere.

    • West Dunbartonshire. Clydebank in particular had great figures, probably the best in Scotland, and it was only the town of Dumbarton that let the side down due to a lacklustre, almost non-existent campaign there

  5. Great essay Haniya, enjoyed reading it.
    You are right we need to dust ourselves off and start doing what is right by our fellow countryman/woman, by supporting those of us that find life difficult, donating to food banks etc.

  6. The reason for boycotts is to affect them where it hurts – their pockets.

    If we continue to finance the biased media it will have no reason to change.

    I now have a 45+ avatar with butterflies and I’m sorry if the 55% are offended but they are responsible for us having to continue to live in an abusive relationship, they need to be shamed.

    Shamed enough to want to change and reconsider their reasons for voting No.

    A woman on twitter said the same thing about the 45 but she then wanted support to stop fracking in her area – she needed to realise there are consequences.

    • I agree in terms of boycotts. I have been an RBS customer for several years, but after they decided to interfere in the referendum process and potentially influence votes through fear (whether or not it was intentional is irrelevant – their press officers ought to have anticipated what the BBC was going to get up to with the story. Corporate naiveté is every bit as bad as incompetence or flat out corruption), I decided that I could hit back by removing my custom from them. It’s something I have meant to do for various reasons since 2008, so their intervention (coupled with their immediate announcement post the No vote) was the last straw.

      The banks seem to believe that they are untouchable and can behave with impunity. Well, they can’t do that if they have no customers. If RBS wants to use fear at the ballot box, I’ll fight back using capitalism in its simplest form – the withdrawal of my business. It’s my right to do so as a ‘consumer’, and I know I’m not alone in this regard.

      As regards the #45 (or #45+), I don’t see it as about mourning the loss of the referendum; nor is it about ‘shaming’ the 55% who voted No. Shaming never has any sort of positive effect and, as such, is completely counterproductive. Rather, #45+ is about being inclusive and moving forward. It’s effectively an extension of the Yes campaign and needs to be there to provide at least some sort of focal point for where we want to go next. I understand that some people see it as having (coincidental) Jacobitist connotations, but it’s not going to be an uprising in that way. Derek Bateman said earlier this year that he expected Yes to live on in some form, and #45 sprang up pretty quickly and, in the same way as the wider Yes movement did, in a spontaneous fashion. It’s up to us in that part of society to hang on to each other and to bring No-voters with us on the next steps Scotland takes towards independence. Because when ‘the Vow’ is seen for what it really was (a great big lie), there will be a re-kindling of the move towards independence and hopefully a snap referendum which we will have more of a chance of winning.

    • # liz – Well, Haniya! What an inspiring article! Your summary was an emotional boost for me to continue the fight and it brought tears to my eyes. The only thing I disagree with is your forgiveness of the powerful industries and businesses who thought fit to enter a political debate in order to influence the result. This to my mind is the corruption of democracy. We have little commercial clout in Scotland, but I feel that the little we have should be used to sting those who sought to engender insecurity and fear in our population for their own or their masters’ ends.
      You say that such boycotts and protests will only fade and diminish over time. Already, I shop at Lidl , Aldi and Morrison’s, so no change there for me, but anyone who changes their shopping habits very soon gets used to the new environment and generally sticks with it. Anyone who changes their bank is likely to stick with the change for many years. There are always alternatives. These companies must learn that interfering in democracy hurts their shareholders. Maybe they will desist next time.

  7. Thank you so very much, heart wrenchingly true, I’ve stood back up n I’m ready to fight on x

  8. I am a fifty-something Scot, born in Helensburgh. This is a town where the Yes vote was only 19% due to being a largely Brit colony full of pompous, conceited military types from south of the border with high levels of self-importance.
    I am left-of-centre politically, but not far left, I was brought up a protestant but was horrified by the pseudo Prods in George Square with their knuckledragging, dumb ‘loyalty’ (for loyal see subservient and obedient – dogs are loyal and we are not dogs).
    I work for the state in a decent paid profession and could be described as lower middle class. Many like me voted No because, well, they were alright jack; they had their fat pensions and enjoyed their free prescriptions and bus passes and basically couldn’t care less for people queuing up at food banks and child poverty. For them two hols in Tenerife and a new Vauxhall Astra every two years is where its at.
    Although the yes campaign was full of chattering class people who talked about fairness and were outraged at any mention of war or rather, military campaigns abroad, most of the above-mentioned couldn’t care less.
    They still shop at M&S, buy Jaffa oranges and will take no part in any boycott of Israeli goods because, well, the other lot (as one individual said to me dismissively) are worse.
    Many commend our events and there was a lot of positives. However Palestinian flags at Yes rallies put a lot of these people off because the independence campaign was about Scotland and Scotland alone. A bystander told me that an independent Palestine would probably be run by religious fanatics who repressed women and homosexuals and killed all opponents. I could’t argue.
    Our campaign should have appealed more to the vision of a more prosperous Scotland. Many people up here are every bit as selfish and materialistic as down south and we should have considered that more.
    We should have considered more the I’m alright Jack’s for they represent mainstream Scotland and it was them who beat us in the end.

    • Great points, all of the people who I know who voted No. including my elderly relations, had this attitude of we have never been so well off, free prescriptions, free bus pass, index linked superannuated pensions, “Fought for by the trade unions” giving them 2 and 3 holidays a year. They just don’t care about their grand children who cant get a council house, as they did and lots still live in, Or have a job with decent working conditions, security, or living wages. They make me sick with their selfishness.

    • Couldn’t agree more. It was “Middle Scotland”, conservative with a small “c”, that lost us the vote, not the unfairly maligned pensioners. These are the people that need to be convinced that their own financial self-interest will be better served in an independent Scotland.

      As they say, it takes all kinds, and many of those kinds are short on social conscience.

  9. A really excellent article, something that should be acted on, we just need to believe in ourselves.
    If we were a thorn in the side of the Unionists, then the thorn is becoming barbed.

    One thing that troubles me, Blair Jenkins, who has openly told the press the “BBC ARE NOT BIASED”
    He has said this before, but before the real media war was waged against us. He troubles me with this,
    as everyone of us has never been in doubt it was indeed the case, it was there to be seen, every day.
    A mole? or someone looking after his future job prospects?, I do not know the answer but I do know that it does not feel right, not at all.

    • I don’t think it’s as dramatic as that – Jenkins knew that the “BBC Bias” stuff plays well to people who were already onside, but it doesn’t do much to convince others.

    • Agree with you 100%,always had a gut feeling this guy might be playing for the other team,seemed to be less enthusiastic and unemotional about our cause,my instincts were telling me integrity was something he didn’t hold in high regard.

    • I agree Les! I was indeed very angry last night by Blair Jenkins interview. When I was leafleting I kept asking what is this crap of a YES paper are we putting through doors! A more mealy voiced individual I have ever heard. I have been a member of the SNP for 38 years and still cannot see any attributes at all in Blair Jenkins being in charge of YES. HE lost us the referendum and is now making sure his career is on the right path! I’m disgusted!

      However, thank you Haniya for a thoughtful essay. I boycott some stores and the BBC because it makes me feel better.

      I sometimes feel I’m flaying around, not knowing how to cope with the devastation of the vote. It’s hard on us folk who have fought for an Independent Scotland for well on 50years!

      • Yes, that’s right. Let’s starting eating ourselves alive. That’s the best way forward. Let’s try to find The Enemy Within. Blair Jenkins lost us the Referendum? That’s disgraceful.

  10. Hanyia,
    You have every right to your voice in this debate. You are a true Scot.
    I welled up with pride and admiration at your inspired and insightful writing.
    I agree with your comments about being media savvy. I watch Al jazeera, RT. BBC.” I do draw the line at the Murdoch news” and I read all types of printed press. Know your Enemy has always been my maxim!
    Regarding boycotts you do have a point but you must realise that people have very few direct action tools at their disposal. It made a massive difference to the fight against apartheid. If nothing ells it will hurt these organisations and dose send a message, that we will not take this from them. You mention, What do we do? All change bank accounts? I am pushing forward with an Idea that Scotland Needs Its own Independent Bank run with a common weal peoples charter. 1,600,000 Yes voters take their money out of the zombie banks of RBS. HBos. and deposit it with the new Bank. That would be a truly great day for Scotland.
    Their are people working hard to make this happen soon.
    I agree wipe your eyes Scotland there is work to do! We can take our independence by removing our dependance on any of their corrupt institutions. We must and I hope will set up viable alternatives.
    Finally as a 3rd generation Labour voter with family ties to Labour going back to the 1900s I say this,
    If you only take part in one positive action in your life PLEASE PLEASE BOYCOTT and SMASH THE LABOUR PARTY. I have no words to describe them.
    At least the Tories are proud of who they are and believe whole hardly in their ideology.
    You are an inspiration and I am sure that I will be reading much more from you in the future as a journalist. Keep to your principals and good luck

  11. I believe most people in Scotland will blame the Labour party most when the so-called “vow” is not delivered; and it certainly will not be delivered in the form espoused by Brown and Darling.
    The referendum results in Glasgow, N. Lanark and Dundee etc bodes well for the destruction of the Labour party as a force in Scotland. The 2015 election must see Labour punished in Scotland for their hypocrisy and duplicity. The 2016 election will be the coup de grace.

  12. Really well written. Most readers will agree with everything except what you say about boycotts. A boycott of the media culprits will make a difference. You mention childishness. The suggestion that people should not stop watching the BBC, paying the BBC or reading the Daily Record is the only childish part of your article. We can all withdraw our economic vote, refuse to offer currency to corrupt institutions. A butterfly flaps its wings and causes a storm. Bhot acha shukriya Hanlya jee.

  13. Inspiring article, love the positivity, much needed, the tears still well though, the thought of that lone piper on the day after, enough. Music can stir all the emotions, not just sadness and loss, but love and joy and hope and more too.

    Many can, but not all can look hyper-critically and suspiciously, furiously at the mainstream media, many have not and will never learn to do so, even if more could, alternatives are unavailable to them.

    An interesting read, just when you thought you could trust some media: http://bsnews.info/whats-wrong-channel-4-news/

    We need a heavyweight pro-indy weekly if not daily newspaper, shorn of celebrity, of sport and such cruft, but with humour and wit and with deeper insight, we need news programs on terrestrial digital tv available to all, or we will not reach that essential still bedazzled audience. There need to be penalties, possibly even legal ones, exposure and ridicule, for politicians, for media who/which lie, and which serve corporate or elite ends over public service and duty.

    As a parallel string to our bow, as important, the enhanced devolution must include broadcasting and media regulation. It is mainly through the BBC’s penetrating reach the that vile but well-protected creature that is the Labour party, can become naked and vulnerable.

    As our message is that of truth and honesty, we need no scecrecy, no backroom deals and conspiratorial handshakes and nods.

    Boycotts do have their place, they are for individuals to enact, personal acts which for many are no inconvenience, having little enough means with which to consume, nor the will to, in the thinking part of them, the hollow consumerist ethos is not there. We question not just particular purchases, but also the necessity of any substitute or comparable purchase in its place.

    Anyone not just disillusioned but sickened by New Labour, since a year or so after their election in 1997, an election which after such long and such awful Tory rule, felt like liberation, but the Thatcherite beast was not slain, it had multiplied. Iraq came after and ComRes figures estimate a million dead over the course of invasion and occupation, to add to at least a million, including half-a-million children under 5 directly killed by a decade of sanctions, and around six million refugees and incalculable numbers of mained and permanently disabled, and the permanent legacy of depleted uranium residues. Labour were re-elected for lack of any alternative, the SNP grew. Then in the final years, of what looks certainly now and thankfully the last ever Labour government, when Brown was PM, the still credulous expected some token nod to socialism, help for them directly or for others some salve for their consciences as stark inequalities cleaved people apart, something for the many instead of the few and he not only disappointed them, us, he almost snuffed out that flicker of hope.

    It is back though, a warm inextinguishable glow is felt again, enough to see us through a short winter, a season not dark but often beautiful itself, until the warming, life-giving and the first rays of spring rejuvenate and energise.

    Have to run now.

  14. Thank you for your thoughts Haniya. Yes you are a true Scot. I agree with almost all you say, with the provisos made by David above. At the same time I think it is really important that we don’t underestimate the ability of the BBC and media at work in Scotland to literally brainwash people. Yes, as David says, know your enemy but experience tells me that I must beware of being seduced by their illusions. I listened, read and viewed just a sample of the output from the British media during the indy campaign and I, a supporter of independence for the past 60 years who has read widely etc, found myself being perplexed by some of the trash they put out. That was exactly their purpose – to muddy the waters. I support a boycott of the British media. I support a campaign designed to expose them as charlatans who disseminate not news but propaganda. I do not recommend the credentials of any alternative news media because I don’t have any knowledge of how honest they are. So where does that leave me? It leaves me in the position where I have to use my critical faculties and my life experience to assess what is likely to be true and what is not. On that basis I support any attempt to set up new alternative media. I will then observe their behaviour and take whatever I consider I safely can from them to help me to understand and participate in the world. I know that they will, of course, be or become biased but I will also know that they are starting from a starting point that I approve of..

    • Well Said Arthur, One of the wonderful side effects/consequences of this whole media war against the people of Scotland I hope will be an awakening of millions of people to the power and corruption of our press.
      Can I just say here well done the people of Hong Kong another oppressed people finding there voice.
      I fear for them!

  15. Thank you everyone for your kind words and constructive criticism and insights, it really means the world, and I will take time to reply to everyone soon. Meanwhile, hmm. It seems the hyperlinks that I inserted into this didn’t translate into the final copy. That might be my little mistake. To clear things up, “This little sweetheart” for Number 5 refers to that incredibly scary picture making the rounds by JimllPaintIt. Just a bit of horror there to mellow the mood. 😉

  16. Enjoyed your essay, a good read. I agree that we have to lift ourselves from the despair that followed 18 September. However, I feel, like Anne above, a rally point was required for the wounded and weary. The 45 ‘whatever’ was good to keep communication with like minded people going. In fact I feel the YES voters needed to reach out to each other, in order not to lose the feeling that had built up over the past two years.

    The fear I have is that people will give up. Some will retreat into the shadows once again, probably lost forever. The unionists will gauge the upsurge in Scottish (Yes) party membership as an independence bounce, that will soon wane along with the summer as we go into a long winter. They hope we will soon just be a memory to be reminisced over Burns suppers. So last Hogmanay.

    What we do need is a standard to follow, even just a word, that will keep this ‘alliance’ together. Otherwise the enthusiasm we witnessed will disappear into the ether. All that will be left are the few diehards who will have to shout louder into an ever increasing wilderness.

    The media has now moved on, like the day after Christmas, it feels like a burst balloon already.

    So I hope people better than me can come up with a new rally point to keep us together, then expand to include more people and get the momentum going again. Holding westminster to account is a real start and will keep some groups together. I am sure after the SNP conference in November, we will have a First Minister, who will ensure Scotland is not put back in it’s box. Without a hashtag/standard to keep all of us together how many will have gone gently back into that goodnight before November?

  17. There are so many positives to take out of your article, Haniya. I’d like to draw on two of the main points you raise though.

    THE #45

    I share your unease in terms of the 45% banner – indeed, was stating so from the ‘day after’ – but it serves an important purpose at this time. There remains a live, concerted media effort to banish the referendum from memory; to pressurise people into “moving on”; to accuse those who don’t agree of being “anti-democratic”; and to cajole people into abandoning long-held political beliefs and cherished principles simply because they lost in a single plebiscite. There is a naivety amongst many who voted Yes, who seem to think that most of the mainstream media have now dropped their shields and gone back to the fields, so to speak. This simply isn’t the case, as is exemplified by the ongoing campaign I describe. There is a danger that the movement, which far too many kid themselves on doesn’t have a reverse gear could, if not fizzle out, at least diminish in size and influence – setting the agenda back years – and some in the media wish to propagate that drift. Having a temporary banner to rally around at least allows pro-independence campaigners to set a temporary bulkhead, buying themselves some relief while our more creative forces try to reach a consensus on where to go next. So long as we move on sooner rather than later, it will be forgotten about.

    While I supported the early efforts to assemble around the #45 banner, I encouraged those behind it to focus their efforts on creating a new forward looking and exclusive banner as soon as possible. The #45 should be a placeholder and nothing more and I’ll go as far as to say that I’m a little concerned that some seem to be adopting an over-prideful and sentimental attachment to it.

    But what concerns me a little more right now are signs of vested self-interests amongst some ‘Yessers’ coming to the fore. It’s true that most of us don’t want to say goodbye to what was created during the past two years. But it’s also looking more and more the case that some of the more prominent spokespeople within some groups don’t want to risk saying goodbye to their prominent roles, and already there are signs that they’re seeking to enhance their profiles at the expense of the wider Yes movement and, indeed, the constituent parts of that movement that they’ve, prior to now, represented. I have a warning for them: one skill that has become well practised amongst most of those who voted Yes is the ability to spot a sanctimonious *&^%$ from a mile off. Anyone who seeks to capitalise in this way should be wary of that fact. They could become irrelevant faster than they imagine.

    Getting back to my main point, I agree that it’s already past time we dropped the #45 banner, including all it’s derivates (plus, +, UP, etc. etc.). At the same time, I have my suspicions about those who preach progression and/or reconciliation while not so subtly hinting that they have the best ideas for moving forward and the best banner under which to do so. That won’t work. Those who want to claim their place within the movement during the next phase need to first of all start by consulting the wider movement. The remnants of Yes have made early efforts to do this without issuing proclamations and other groups who supported Yes would be wise to do likewise. Should we see fractures emerge because some wish to put their own personal interests ahead of those of the people we’re supposed to be standing up for, I predict that their political careers will be less successful than they hope and certainly less successful than they would be if they stay the course. I could cite historical context but I’d rather not at this time.

    In conclusion, I think all of us need to engage with each other for a little longer before anyone can claim to have harnessed a movement or even to represent a large body of opinion. I don’t even know what the large body of opinion is in the party I’ve been a member of for some years but I look forward to finding out!

    BOYCOTTS

    Moving on to the issue of boycott’s, on this issue and this issue alone, I think you underestimate the power of corporate activism first of all but, more importantly, you misunderstand the aims.

    No one is foolish enough to believe a small activist lobby in a small northern European polity can take down the might of Walmart (ASDA), or the banks, or the BBC, but if we first look at ASDA, for example: ASDA is a commercial entity, not a political think-tank. The problem with the argument that businesses should have been able to speak out during the referendum was that it assumed individuals or boards were entitled to political representation. They aren’t and they should never be. Individuals are entitled to a voice. Individuals who’re senior employees of businesses should be allowed to voice their opinions on the strict understanding that they are speaking on a personal capacity. Otherwise we’re getting dangerously close to the situation that threatens to develop in the U.S. (and now Europe in light of proposed trade agreements) whereby corporations may come to be viewed as “citizens” and not merely citizens but some type of “super-citizen” entitled to disproportionate political representation. Then again, in terms of what we saw during the referendum, it may be the case that we’ve already arrived at that destination.

    This is not simply an issue of grudge against those who disagree with us. This is about sending a very strong message that this type of corporate interference during political campaigns isn’t acceptable in any shape or form. We’re admittedly a tiny speck in the big picture but, nonetheless, there is nothing ‘radical’ or ‘misguided’ about setting out a stall in what may become the next great political conflict of our lifetimes, that of ‘ordinary’ people versus sociopathic corporate brute force.

    But if that’s a little too hysterical an argument for some, let’s get back to basics. ASDA exists to make money. Given what we saw a few weeks back, I’m not going to give them the benefit of the doubt that their Corporate & Social Responsibility policies are designed for any other purpose than to serve as a branding exercise to further enhance profits. Any public position they adopt must, therefore, be based on their internal risk analyses i.e. “what is likely to be most advantageous to our bottom line?” You don’t have to starve ASDA out of Scotland – as if re-enacting a medieval siege – to force them to reconsider their future conduct. You just have to send them a strong message by showing them that the kind of behaviour they displayed will hurt their balance sheet and other companies will be less likely to repeat their mistake.

    At least, so goes the theory, but in light of the news we’re hearing today, which is that they appear to be on the verge of being granted a government contract based on the roll-out of a highly dubious policy – one that sounds an awful lot like that rolled out in certain communities in Australia, for example – one might argue there is even better reason not to grant them your custom. If there proves to be substance to this story, I really won’t be standing for any lectures from anyone saying I should “let it go” – “stigmatisation” wouldn’t begin to cover it.

    THE BBC

    Finally, to the BBC: I have mixed feelings to some extent. I can look at journalists and presenters at the BBC I admire and rate highly. I’ve always been a huge fan of Brian Taylor. James Cook was an absolute standout across the entire media spectrum during the referendum. Many others did themselves credit while some (Hi Kay. Hi Jackie) were utterly appalling. Some, meanwhile, seemed to almost vanish from the scene without explanation, including Isabel Fraser who has been a superb anchor for the BBC over the years.

    Overall, there was a major failure at editorial level. This failure was profound if we look at London, but no one at Pacific Quay can hold their heads up high either. It is completely unacceptable to force people to pay to fund an organisation that is obviously and overwhelmingly hostile to their interests, so I fully support anyone who wishes to legally boycott the BBC. At the same time, I won’t condemn those who continue to use the service or, indeed, engage with it. There are reasonable cases to be made for doing so. I just don’t happen to agree with them. I follow a few individual journalists because I’m interested in their personal, unedited, points of view but I won’t be sharing anything that comes from the BBC and to those who share with me, I snort in derision. The BBC, in my opinion, abuses the reputation enjoyed by its many good journalists by piggy-backing off the content they produce (which IS usually fair, balanced and impartial), publishing outrageously biased articles and unscrutinised state propaganda alongside. I’m no longer willing to devote any time to an organisation that behaves in this way. Everyone else’s time is, of course, their own but, in the same way that it isn’t unreasonable to argue that engaging with the BBC is fine, I don’t think we should be implying – even indirectly – that those who choose not to are being small-minded. The BBC has had a long time to get it right and has failed and people have every right to be fed up.

    Other than those few objections, I have to say you wrote a superb article. It’s extremely encouraging (not to mention quite humbling) to see such eloquent words and intelligent thoughts coming from a 19 year old Scot. It bodes well for all of us. I’ll look forward to reading more from you in the future, I hope.

    • It is a great article, Philip, and so is your comment. Found myself applauding your points right the way through. Excellent stuff.

    • * “exclusive banner” should, of course, have read “inclusive banner”

      • Thats wonderful Philip, well said.

        Impartiality is a very simple principle, but difficult to sometimes get right. However, when you have a Director General new to the job and includes the line ‘ it will be difficult for the BBC to remain impartial over the Scottish referendum’ in a speech (not a journalist directing a question) but actual words he has written, mulled over then decided to publicly articulate ( just over a year ago), alarm bells should have been ringing loudly.

        Then to discover that the BBC are secret paying members of the CBI and have paid to them in excess of £250,000 of public money since the early 80’s is frankly, unacceptable. To support a right wing, pro business lobby group and publish their reports in BBC news broadcasts makes it even worse. To then reinforce the claim of ‘impartiality’ on news reporting, what do the BBC end up doing ? Resign their membership ? Apologise for this mistake ? No, they move the subscription payments from the public BBC expenditure to the profit-making corporate entity of BBC Worldwide. This is frankly ludicrous.

        I simply cannot understand that anyone with a fair sense of morality thinks this is acceptable and therefore they should continue to pay a licence fee.

    • It’s of the essence for any long-term movement that it will have different parts -and needs to, to remain diverse and contributive! As long as these parts commit to working together, why shouldn’t they consolidate right now? ‘On-message-ness’ has been a stifling force in politics. No-one wants independent Scotland to be a one-party state, so why should working towards it be? If former civic Scotland was prono we need a new one, and it should be diverse. People should have choices about what they work on and how – the formation and relative popularity of distinct groups now is part of the democratic process, which long-term will harness more energy than any single group alone.

      • I don’t disagree, DR. My concern is that individuals are acting without broad base support from the groups they purport to represent and are doing so in haste because they’re worried they personally will run out of oxygen and drop off the map. There are some things that need to happen within those groups before spokespeople grant themselves the right to say what those groups plan to do next. They’re quite entitled to publicise their own thoughts but I’m not so sure they should still be doing so under the guise of the movements they represented pre-18th September – not yet. The democratic structures of some groups need to be looked at and reinforced if necessary. Within some groups there is very little accountability to the people who help them justify the level of exposure they get.

        When I speak of fragmentation, I’m speaking of the danger of fragmentation within those individual groups if they feel their spokespeople are taking liberties without securing a mandate from ordinary supporters. That would weaken those individual groups, cause splits and, hence, weaken the wider movement. It’s a story that’s played out many times over the decades. So it’s not that I’m trying to suggest everyone falls behind a single ‘party line’, not at all. I shouldn’t need to add that diversity of opinion was and is one of the great strengths of the Yes movement.

        I’ll be surprised if we don’t see some signs of unholy alliances forming during the next few months. I’m watching one or two people who look suspiciously like they’ve started to prioritise career building over alliance building. In the interests of not adding fuel to the fire and helping to bring to life the very thing I’m warning of, I’ll refrain from naming those I suspect. Because I do hope I’m wrong.

  18. After reading this wonderful article, I can see that a star has been born in our world of journalism. It’s people like you, Haniya, that fill us with hope and pride. The future of Scotland is absolutely in good hands with people like yourself rising up. Keep going, and well done.

    • Thank you very much for the overwhelmingly kind words. I hope what you say is true and my generation can help make this country a place to be proud of as those before us did and are most definitely doing as we can see from this website alone. Saor Alba!

  19. I’m a Yorkshire woman. I’ve worked and raised a family in Edinburgh. I’ve lived here 25yrs. I refused to be labelled ENGLISH when in history lessons and visits to the sites of the battles, I learned the truth, which was that ENGLAND is the hated Establishment.
    I, like the rest of the 45% watched till 5.30am then went to bed tired, despondent and simmering. Was told of the result by my NO voter son ( I was the only person in my family who voted YES and put the posters up in my Windows – they are still there). He didn’t gloat, he was very kind and gentle. They voted NO because of lack of information and naevity.
    Then it hit me – the Establishment were never going to let us win even with the blinkers on. They must’ve seen this coming though else why throw in George Brown at the last minute? Westminster knew it’s time was over and Alex Salmond gave it and all it used to supposedly stand for, a way to bow out gracefully.
    So, CAMERON, blame your stomach ulcers on something else, can’t think of anything? How about KARMA!!!

    • Does that mean that all 50-odd million people living in England constitute the Establishment? You should be aiming your guns at Westminster, Whitehall, the mainstream political parties and their media lackeys, especially the BBC (who all obsess with Britishness, never Englishness). A lot of English people were on the Yes side in the referendum, in case you’ve forgotten, so don’t tar us all with the Establishment brush.

      • I think between the lines that’s what she’s saying, Dean Richardson. She’s recognising that the issue is the social class system. And she’s from Yorkshire, so like a good Scot she says it as it is.

  20. Fantastic bit of writing, Haniya, don’t ever see anything like this in the Daily Wotsits! Agree about boycotting labour, we can make them feel the pain we felt – our gift to them – and it would clear out a lot of clutter from ScotParl at same time. I tried all the twibbony things on twitter profile but decided to be free of labels for now. You made a lot of good points, very uplifting and inspiring, just what a lot of us need at this point.

  21. I really enjoyed reading this and agree. We’re now in the phase of everyone ‘doing just one little thing’ to ensure the country moves forward rather than hoping the political Yes people do it.

  22. Great article and summarises how I feel. The future of Scotland is too important to be left to the political Yes people alone.

  23. We need to work together. Clever slag-offs of the 45 and the boycott hardly help. Tell me again why I shouldn’t decide I won’t do business again with Asda, Next, John Lewis and Sainsbury, the lying Westminster supporting bastards who are happy to take my money and crap on our independence?

    • I’m not telling you to do anything, nor am I slagging off the 45%-if you read what I say: “And though I understand absolutely why it came into being, and that there must be a time for grieving just as there is a time for rejoicing, I cannot help but think that it has gone on long enough.”

      I’m only offering some constructive criticism of the way some of the movement is currently working. Everything is your personal choice. Boycott the sky if you wish. 🙂

  24. Nice article. Don’t agree with your views on the media though, yeah it’s biased we know that. I can handle a little bias, but the BBC is sinister – remember Paedophile cover up? I’m sorry, but I don’t think it’s ‘unfair’ to boycott companies, it’s unfair that these companies and media outlasts blatantly lied to us to scare us into staying in the union for their own selfish reason. And now they have their wish – war in Iraq and Syria, benefits cuts, fracking, gagging act, benefits payment cards…. When these companies are using lies and misinformation to scare people into remaining in a union that demonises and punishes the poor, rewards rich criminal bankers, destroys our land by fracking, goes to war, these companies deserve to be boycotted. We aren’t just being ‘sore losers’ by clinging onto a name- the 45 and boycotting companies. We are a movement, a rebellion.

  25. Excellent article. Though i’d disagree slightly with your assertion that “Boycotts are not an end, or the aim. They are the means to an end-which as yet, seems undefined”. Certainly, the most important boycotts are those with an end in mind – BDS, Apartheid etc. In comparison with those boycotts, a boycott of the BBC is quite obviously symbolic and of meagre importance in the grand scheme of things, for want of less crass a phrase. What I would point out though is the power a largely symbolic boycott can garner – for example the boycott of the Sun in Liverpool. I would never ever seek to compare the reasons for the boycott of the Sun and a proposed boycott of the BBC – it goes without saying which is a man-made tragedy of horrific proportions and which is a political event, disappointing to many but brimming with positives – but it is more than arguable that the ugly stain left on the Sun to this day is largely down to the constant reminder the boycott served. Newspaper stories and stances are forgotten too easily and perhaps the Sun’s filth about that event might have been forgotten – clearly never by those affected by the tragedy – but by the average Sun reader had the boycott not served as a permanent reminder of its behaviour. I would say that that boycott has raised a great deal of awareness about media behaviour and third-party complicity. That a boycott largely symbolic in action did, whether intended or not, raise awareness about exactly that “News Literacy” you highlight the public’s need for, I think shows that a boycott of the BBC has great potential for such a defined end.

  26. Haniya I really enjoyed reading your thoughts post referendum. Imagine how upset you might have been if you had been waiting for the opportunity to vote for Independence …for 40 Years…. … 🙂

    Can’t agree with you about boycotts though. Boycotts from consumers can and do change outcomes. The BBC wasn’t simply biased – it was a tool of the Westminster government to control the information voters received – thereby manipulating the results.

    When I was 16 (44 years ago) I visited a battery chicken farm. it distressed me so much I couldn’t eat eggs for a very long time. Later when I moved to Australia and was making the buying decisions for my family I decided that I was prepared to pay almost double to ensure that the hens who laid the eggs I would eat – were living free range. I couldn’t but them in a supermarket back then. Most o my friends thought I was nuts. However as more people become informed about this industry over the last 20 years, the price of free range has dropped to a level that reflects the fact that more people want it. It is now only slightly more expensive that factory eggs.

    Most recently due to public demand – several of our fast food chains (McDonalds and Subway) have made a commitment to free range eggs in Australia.

    so, one part of the industry which requires cruelty to mass produce is slowly being put out of business, whilst more humane ways of doing business prevail.

    Such is the power of consumer choice.

    Boycotting is a legitimate consumer power. – and one that can make a profound difference to business conduct.

    Ordinary people have so little individual power – but we are all blessed with being able to choose – which bank, which shops, which newspaper….which multinational corporation ….

    It is a time honoured way of ‘conscious’ consuming – whereby the business that tries to fob of an inferior product will lose market share.

    This is exactly the reversal in fortunes that needs to happen to gain independence. When you decide that you will act independently for YOUR reasons – not swayed by cost, convenience or intense marketing – when you put your money where your mouth is you are FREE to choose.

    This is not how we consume normally.

    With 1.6 million consumers out there that is a huge opportunity to flex your independence muscles…

    Just look at the power of the SNP – in just two short weeks.

  27. Thanks, Haniya, for a great article. I’m dazzled by the passion and spirit that so many young people are bringing to the cause and your piece is an excellent example of that kind of spirit. I hope you’ll write loads more as you offer challenges and new perspectives.

    Two points, and the first is that I differ with you on the subject of boycotts. Whether they’re used individually or en masse, they are a tool for change and awareness and for making a personal statement about how and where you spend your money, or which regimes / beliefs / ideals you choose to support.

    Back in the late 70s and early 80s there was a student boycott of Barclays Bank because of their close ties with the apartheid regime in South Africa; by the mid 80s Barclays had pulled out because the student customer base was one they couldn’t afford to lose. Boycotts drive the message home and change behaviours while raising awareness on a very public stage of the reason for the boycott. Same with Nestle and their baby milk, and, on a wider scale, their statement that water is not a human right. Same now with those boycotting Israeli products.

    As for the 45, the grouping has its place and will probably continue either until it outlives its usefulness or it merges with other groupings. While the campaign lasted for a couple of years, many people have been yearning for independence for decades, their whole lifetimes, in many cases this yearning spans generations, and it’s not a loss that can be easily put aside. For many it is as real a grief as a bereavement of our dearest friend, and grief doesn’t have a cut-off date. We all deal with it in our own way.

    I remember a woman – probably in her 90s – who came up to me where I was manning the polling station with a couple of others. She was dressed so beautifully in blues, and a hat, and new shoes and perfect hair and perfect makeup, and she raised her hand and said “Now is the time. Now is the hour.” She’d been waiting for independence since she’d been a girl. That is one lady I suspect will find the result hard to deal with, and maybe for quite a while.

    The movement will evolve and is evolving even now. We are reforming. Regrouping. It’s that energy that will gather everyone in, and will make us cohesive again, but it’s only been 14 or so days since the result. As a movement I think it’s kindness to take care of those who need time, and important to keep the momentum up among those who are already up. In a sense, we’re a microcosm of the kind of society we want to build: one of respect and fairness. 🙂

  28. A great article Haniya. You are the future and it is bright. I hope we see more inspiring, honest articles from you. If there are many young people as engaged and intelligent as you there is cause for much optimism.

  29. People are power. And 80,000 is an awful lot of people.

  30. Reblogged this on invisible ceiling and commented:
    My post indy-ref piece on BellaCaledonia.org.uk

  31. We have been fighting to retain and repatriate our sovereignty for 1000 years, one referendum will not stop that, it’s just another step in the road. As for boycotts, that’s not what we are about – yes is about the positive, yes2 Scottish produce, yes2 Scottish companies supporting our sovereignty, yes2 , yes2 ………….

  32. I’m not so sure that being unpleasant to no voters – even if they ARE your (ex-) friends, is necessarily childish. One swanned into my home the other day, grinning, saying, “God, I’m so PROUD I voted no!” And he knew full well my own stance.
    But as I reeled off the list of broken promises, the facts behind the funding cuts and the issue of yet another war, his face fell – for a few seconds. “Well, it doesn’t really affect me. I’m doing ok.”
    My next words are not printable here, but they rhymed with “Suck” and “Toff.” And he did – suck toff – and I’ll be more than happy if I never see his inanely-smirking visage again.
    Call me childish if you like. It doesn’t change the fact that people like that will always be rissoles dragging us down.

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