We are witnessing the rebirth of a nation

Scottish independence

There are those in the unionist establishment who would have us believe that the desire for self determination in Scotland is simply a recent fad, and that it might simply evaporate with the passage of time.  In reality, this couldn't be further from the truth.

How far back you go through the pages of our history is up to you, but scratch beneath the surface and beyond the Daily Mail headlines, and you'll realise that the most recent Scottish independence movement is one that's been slowly brewing for the last 100 years or more.  In fact, even during the period when the Act of Union itself was signed, there was much protest against the union in the first place.

In our recent history, back in the early 1900s, a Scottish revolutionary called John Maclean inspired many thousands of Scots to back independence.

in April 1918, he was arrested for simply making a speech, and for being outspoken against the British state.  He was released in the November of the same year.

While in prison, Maclean took part in a hunger strike, but was force fed, which led to serious health problems, and his eventual death.  He collapsed while making a speech aged only 44.

In 1934, the Scottish National Party was formed.  By 1945, the SNP had began to campaign for a Scottish Parliament, but the independence movement didn't see significant growth until the 1960s.

Winnie Ewing would win the first seat for the Scottish National Party in 1967 in a Hamilton bi-election.

By the 1970s, serious consideration was being given to the idea of independence, when it was pointed out that Scotland's natural resources were being effectively drained by the UK Government.

in the October General Election of 1974, the SNP took 30% of the vote, and 11 seats out of 74 in the UK Parliament.

In 1979, the people of Scotland voted yes in the Devolution Referendum by 52%, but were denied devolution, because the Labour Government at the time decided to make the rules such that over 40% of the electorate would have to vote for it, for the referendum to be successful.

In 1989, the passage of the Claim of Right was another big moment in Scottish modern history.  The Claim of Right was signed by 58 of Scotland's 72 MPs at the time, 7 of Scotland's 8 MEPs and 59 and out of 65 of Scotland's councils as well as numerous political parties, churches, civic organisations and trade unions.  This new legislation meant that it would now legally be for the people of Scotland to decide their constitutional future.

It was the Claim of Right that led to Scotland's eventual devolution, and the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999.

The devolution referendum of 1997 produced a 74.29% yes result for the opening of the parliament and 63.5% voting for tax raising powers.

By the time David Cameron had agreed to legislate for the first independence referendum, support for independence was believed to be polling anywhere between 20%-30%.  It was widely believed that the UK Government expected to win the referendum by a landslide and had not expected such a close result.

Of course, we all know the result of that referendum.  However, what's sometimes forgotten, is that polls in the last few days of the referendum suggested that yes had taken the lead.  And then of course, we saw the the British Prime Minister begging the people of Scotland to stay in the union, and promising further devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament in return for a no vote.  So the question had effectively changed from a yes/no question to - do you want independence, or will you settle for more devolution for now?

On the day of the referendum, the people of Scotland were presented with 'The Vow' which was signed by the leaders of all three of the main English political parties - the Lib Dems, Labour and the Conservatives.  'The Vow' is widely believed to have swung the vote in favour of the union.

Either way, the UK Government's last minute intervention was absolute proof that they knew the number was up - that Scotland was no longer content with the status quo.  The UK Government had been reduced to begging us to stay.  Those swayed by the promise of more powers were always going to demand more devolution eventually.  That time is rapidly approaching.

A couple of years after the independence referendum took place, along came the EU referendum.  52% of the UK as a whole voted to leave the European Union, while Scotland voted massively to remain (by 62% to 38%) and England had voted 54% to leave - a nightmare scenario for the British establishment, and for the union.

Polling for independence began to produce consistent yes results in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote, and as we approach Brexit day, polls are again producing yes results - with 53% saying they'll back independence in the event of Brexit, and 59% saying they'd back independence in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

The idea of Scotland regaining it's independence and taking control of her own affairs is not a new one.  This desire for self determination has been brewing for a hundred years or more.

The advent of the internet and social media has brought about a massive independence movement in Scotland, and one that is growing by the day.

The Scottish National Party has so many members now, that it outnumbers the 2nd largest party membership in Scotland by almost ten to one.  No other political party even comes close in terms of membership figures.  Labour and the Tories have less than 15,000 members each in Scotland.  The Green Party have 9,000.

UK wide, the SNP is now the 2nd largest party in terms of membership with a massive 125,000 members, and the third largest party in terms of seats in the Westminster parliament in London.

On the 6th of September in 2018, 100,000 Scots marched for independence, in the largest march of it's kind in history.  The march followed a season of successful marches, fronted by All Under One Banner - an organisation that plans to keep marching until Scotland achieves independence.  The numbers had got so big that the unusual decision was taken by Police Scotland NOT to release an official crowd estimate for the march - instead an estimate that was made at a council meeting prior to the event was released to the media.  When I contacted Police Scotland to ask why they had not released their official figure, they refused to respond - perhaps orders from above?

So many social media users are campaigning for Scottish independence nowadays, that mainstream media outlets in the UK are even accusing Russia of meddling in the Scottish independence debate, and have accused us campaigners of being robots.  (Last time I checked my circuit board, I was still human.)

When #DissolveTheUnion began to trend on Twitter, the media did their best to dismiss the movement by claiming that Twitter bots had been set up, and that the people using the hashtag were not even human.

When they accuse the SNP of being obessed with independence, they're talking about a million human beings - in the 2015 election, 1.4 million people voted for the SNP.  So when they say that the SNP won't shut up about independence, what they're actually saying is that Scotland won't shut up about independence.

We won't shut up, we won't go away and we won't back down, until we have what's rightfully ours - our right to self determination - our right to be a normal independent country.

This is a movement that has been brewing for a long time.  Scotland will be reborn as a proud, independent nation.

This is a movement that is growing in numbers by the day.  This movement will not end until Scotland declares independence, and I suspect even afterwards, it will mobilise in order to protect and defend that independence.

5 comments:

  1. Majority of Scots support Independence from UK as Brexit Britain prepares for Bourach Day on 29 March 2019 - latest Sunday Times opinion poll

    See full statement from Scotland's Independence Referendum Party
    https://tinyurl.com/yashrv6a

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  2. "When I contacted Police Scotland to ask why they had not released their official figure, they refused to respond - perhaps orders from above?" – interesting. I was at that march and because there were various (some very silly) numbers being bandied around afterwards, I also emailed Police Scotland to ask about the official figure (any march I can remember in England, the Police have always given the official number). I DID get a reply, but it simply referred to the council figure (of 20,000 which was obviously ridiculous). Like you, I wondered at the Police refusal to give a number…

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  3. In the run up to the last IndyRef, we were also threatened that if we voted YES, Scotland would be ejected from the EU. This definitely influenced my vote at the time. I think many previous No voters will have changed their mind now & will vote YES for IndyRef2 - given the Brexit debacle.

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