Johnny Foreigner

The First Minister says we won’t be foreigners if we are independent. Speak for yourself, Mr Salmond. Who wants to be part of a country that deliberately legislates for poverty, wrecks lives, campaigns for the wealthy and closes its doors to Scotland?

If it means severing our links with the austerity merchants of London, I demand to be foreign. If it means no more illegal wars, I scream that I am from a foreign land. And if it brings social justice instead of embedded inequality, then call me Johnny Foreigner. I will be foreign to the Little Englanders and proud of it too.


While I’m at it, I am also a separatist. I would be delighted to share our wealth and natural resources with our English neighbours including a share of their debt, but so long as there are governments in Westminster which despise the poor, humiliate immigrants and restrict social mobility – Labour and Tory – I want to live in a different country with a different culture. If that’s a separatist, then count me in.

Did you see today’s advert for the Union? Hundreds of thousands of our fellow Scots are being battered by welfare reforms, low wages, high power bills, cost-of-living increases and job insecurity, with many being forced to get their staples from charity – real living Scottish families in “the greatest Union in the history of the world”, taking home a plastic bag of essentials from a food bank.

This is a direct result of the Westminster government’s welfare attack on low-paid families. According to evidence presented at Holyrood, they often walk for miles as they cannot afford to pay for transport, and many are given items that can be eaten cold because they are unable to pay for electricity in order to cook.

I stopped to speak to a young woman begging outside the subway, sitting uncovered in the rain. She said she was in care, living in a hostel but they didn’t provide food so she needed money to eat. It’s hard to tell how much of this is the chaos of a troubled life and I said there are always agencies, starting with the local authority, who can help. Her answer was that this was the help she was entitled to. It just didn’t come with enough to eat.

This latest outbreak of outrage at social injustice is run by Scotland’s Outlook which finds more than 870,000 living in poverty – presumably the reason the Tories were looking recently at reclassifying the definition – 23,000 using food banks and 20 per cent of our children officially classed as poor. Do I hear a round of applause from our Unionist champions? “The best of both worlds” is the latest catchphrase from the spin machine but I can only think these people are either blind, imbecilic or delusional.

I took a drive today to escape the city and meandered through Bearsden – a new Waitrose is underway, brand new houses at £422,000 to £585,000 – past bungalows and hedges and cars in the driveway, through the hills to Drymen, had a coffee among relaxing locals and then through Killearn with a stop-off to visit the Dumgoyne distillery in the Campsies. This is comfortable private-ownership Scotland, hardly a council house in sight let alone a scheme. It is No territory.

By the time I drove into Tesco Maryhill my vista had changed just a bit. Even on the faces of the people and in the clothes they wear is woven the mark of shrinkage – of health, wealth and opportunity. Two communities miles apart but divided by half a world. Independence can’t solve every problem and, while I shouldn’t say this, it isn’t actually needed at all to solve Scotland’s social problems. At least, it shouldn’t be needed. But we all know without it, this theatre of inequality will play and play through the next Labour government and the one after that. You need political will to transform society and that evaporated as soon as Labour tacitly abandoned socialism under Blair/Brown/Darling. To really affect change you need to make it a cause, not a programme. Having a policy is just a start. You need belief, drive and utter conviction to carry it through and Labour doesn’t know what it believes in any more, let alone how deeply.

To watch them cavort with the Tories demanding with synthetic indignation what currency will be used when they deliberately worked with Osborne to close off the option that works best for Britain, is a bewildering experience for anyone brought up on the idea that Labour’s mission was social reform. I watched an MP I hadn’t heard of before, Ian Murray of Labour, on television and marveled at his quick-fire stream of Tory-inspired invective delivered at such speed that as the half-truths and assertions flowed by, the interviewer could barely correct one. It occurred to me that I haven’t actually heard a Labour person speak about low pay, diminishing benefits and a broken society in relation to the referendum. They DO talk about it when it’s time to turn against the Tories as at PMQs and suddenly all their anti-Scottish collaboration disappears, but it is never part of their narrative about Scotland. I wonder why…

At the heart of the Yes campaign is the demand that we use our new powers to readjust our society and do what all smart small countries do – bring everybody up to the same standard. (Part of the object of the EU, by the way). The evidence is clear that ending poverty and bringing equality doesn’t threaten the bungalow dwellers of Bearsden. On the contrary, it reduces ill-health, crime, squalor and benefits bills and creates a happier, more rounded society for all. Why is that too much to ask for the Unionists? Or are they saying we currently have that in Scotland – a Scotland suffering what the Outlook people describe as a humanitarian crisis?

Incidentally, its worth remembering that Scotland does have some powers to bring into play through housing, industrial, environment and education and the Joseph Rowntree findings are that over the last 10 years alone, child poverty in Scotland has fallen at twice the rate in England.

We need to stay focused on the real prize of the referendum, the power to change Scotland. Just as it isn’t about waving a flag, neither is it about EU membership or currency – they will take care of themselves because the mandate will insist it is so. Currency is a Better Together red herring. That’s why they never talk about breadline Scotland – they are guilty of creating and perpetuating poverty and have no solution. Just as I’m happy to be a foreigner and a separatist, so I’m unmoved about currency union, sterling-shadowing or Scots pound. The only currency that we will need is called Care…Care for each other and Care for our country. That has more value than the Bank of England and it is what has gone missing from the Unionists’ Britain. When the Britnats ask what is our Plan B, the answer is: Our Currency is Care…

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67 thoughts on “Johnny Foreigner

  1. I think I’m in love….

  2. Nailed it beautifully – thanks again Derek.

  3. Once again hitting the nail on the head. This blog is my favourite online reading every day.

    ‘Care for each other and Car for our country.’

    I say we all pitch in together and get a volvo.

  4. George Campbell

    Well said Derek, the poverty of the life chances, material and cultural wealth of poor people is a crime perpetuated every day by unionist rectal orifices. The currency issue is an irrelelvence, we’ll continue to use the pound in our pocket cause they can’t take it from us. Changing Scotland for the better can only be achieved by ridding ourselves of those self-serving unionists in Westminster. The only redundancies to welcome will be those of Sarwar , Carmicheal et al.

  5. Well said Derek. I said on the comments section of the bbc poverty article about this vote not being about me or benefiting me. I am lucky enough to have a decent job and life. Why should I vote yes? This vote is for the people, who are unfortunate enough to live in poverty and not have a hope, to have an opportunity to change their lives. I want a fair country, not a grossly unfair one. Sometimes I feel so ashamed that I never have to worry about my future and I wish people who can afford it wanted to give something back like me and my family. The greed in Aberdeen stinks and I want a country to be proud of. Obviously I got voted down on the bbc because there are far too many me me me people in the UK. I will be gutted for so many people if we vote no

    • totally agree Stephen – albeit my retirement next year may not be a total ‘bundle of laughs’, I shall be better off than many but, I have been waiting since 1967 to have us look after ourselves and have the power to remove (in the nicest possible way) those who do not have the interests of my Country and the Scottish people at the forefront of everything.

  6. Norman Russell

    Another great and hard hitting article Derek.

  7. Man, Derek, how did you keep all this righteous anger under control working at the Beeb?
    Credit for doing it then and letting it elegantly rip now.

    • I sense someone biting his tongue for quite some time. It’s all spilling out now though.

    • How well you make your points Derek and those who contribute in the comments. Me, when I get angry at the injustice I see around me I get angry, I let rip, and I want to do something to help but feel helpless, .Maybe it’s because I worked in the social work profession. I saw so much poverty, so much deprivation, so many families falling apart, relationships at breaking point and there seemed so little that could be done to help them move out of the poverty trap, they were caught in the cycle of deprivation. We had neither the resources nor the political will to help them move out of this trap. But hearing Derek writing so lucidly I know I can help, not in a professional capacity but by continuing my war on the unequal society I see as I drive from one place to another and do what I can to ensure we get the people whose minds are open to change to get out there and vote for that change. Then we can continue to reduce the poverty endemic in many places. They are the people who we can persuade to vote for that change and reduce poverty even more rapidly in Scotland.

  8. Now that’s an argument.

    Nothing else needs adding.

  9. I watched the first half of a paean of praise on BBC last night to the “capital of the world”, London, with its talents and synergies and networks of the most talented people in the world. It was a disgusting, self-satisfied, smirking piece of crap that never asked why London is the apparent success that it is, apart from saying it’s a success because it’s a success. I learned nothing from it, unlike from your article, Derek, which encapsulates why the thought of a No vote in September is dismal, depressing and heart-breaking. Everyone who votes No in September should take it upon him/herself to go and kick a poor person in the face. At least it’s more direct.

    • I get really angry at the amount of praise that London gets as if it is somehow a miracle that they are so well off – I know there are poor areas as well.

      They seem to forget that London was an economic basket case in the 70’s but what happened to change that – oh yes, North Sea oil.

      Successive governments then took that oil revenue and spent it only on the SE – that’s why I find it almost impossible to forgive the Labour party cos they all knew about it and kept quiet, whilst watching as Scotland and other parts of the UK were asset stripped and folk plunged into poverty and despair.

    • Kick a poor person in the face AND stamp on a puppy

  10. Unemployment has been used by consecutive Westminster administrations to drive down unit labour costs.This is the only way (in their view) to compete with emerging third world countries.
    They,instead should have been doing what the Germans and Scandinavians have done and that is invest in reskilling and R&D.People in more enlightened countries are treated with care and respect and are regarded as the foundation of their societies and not as an item on the wrong side of a company’s balance sheet.
    We can thank the Victorian culture fostered by the Westminster establishment for this situation and only by separating ourselves from them can we start to fix our broken society.
    As an aside,my wife would like to know if the British Legion will be known as the Foreign Legion after independence…very important consideration apparently.
    Excellent Derek…Thanks.

  11. This is why I am voting Yes.

  12. cynicalHighlander

    Our Currency is Care…

    Simple yet powerful.

  13. Very powerful article Derek. It is amazing that the mainstream media talk so much about the EU and the currency issue, when the Tories are attempting to bring back Dickensian conditions to Scotland the rest of the UK. Given the warnings about a humanitarian crisis in Scotland today unfortunately it looks like they are succeeding. The situation will only get worse with a No vote, as Scotland will then have to face a period of reckoning, with a British state intent on revenge over those ungrateful, rebellious, subsidy junkie Jocks. The Tories, Labour, and their UKIP buddies will relish scrapping the Barnett formula, and putting us on an austerity max spending programme.

    I have been wondering about the MSM for a while, not just in Scotland, but the rest of the UK. Why are horrible right wingers, such as Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, treated like media darlings by the press in England? Farage is seemingly never off Question Time. They represent the most poisonous social Darwinist, extreme neo liberalism form of politics, as you will find in the Western world. It is revolting to see them treated as heroes by the media. They revel in being bastards. With the exception of Eddie Mair, they seem to be adored by the MSM.

  14. “The evidence is clear that ending poverty and bringing equality doesn’t threaten the bungalow dwellers of Bearsden. On the contrary, it reduces ill-health, crime, squalor and benefits bills and creates a happier, more rounded society for all. Why is that too much to ask for the Unionists?”

    I’ll never understand how the well-off don’t see that the problems of the under-privileged affect them too. Bringing everybody up to a decent standard of living and health would do far more to reduce crime than a million bobbies on the beat. Scared of your big detached house with its twin garages being burgled or your BMW being nicked? Well, stop banging on about how much taxes you have to pay and let us get on with some proper wealth distribution so nobody feels the need to resort to crime.

    • @Doug

      The well off probably become affected by hubris, and think they are actually morally superior to the under privileged. Even some middle class people have no social conscience, or any sense of responsibility to society as a whole. The political and economic climate of the last 30 years in particular has been about appealing to individuals to get richer, and not to bother about any wider responsibilities. The cult of appealing to the ‘me, me, me’ crowd has taken its toll on society at all levels. Even a newspaper that used to be notable for its staunch left wing politics, such as the Guardian, has no problem supporting the most right wing government in British history against a democratic, self determination movement in Scotland.

    • Right with you on that Doug. I lived in Copenhagen for 6 years and there was never a time when I walked through any area of the city (often at very odd times indeed) that I didn’t feel safe. Crime there is at the level where 4 arrests at a football match makes the front page of the news. That’s all due to a vastly fairer wealth distribution and welfare system than we get any hint of over here. Sure, it’s not all perfect, and they enjoy having a little bitch about their high taxes now and then, but they all recognise the benefits and are, quite rightly, very proud of how their country handles welfare.

      • I saw plenty of junkies, alcoholics and associated crime in central Copenhagen in the 1980s. I remember staying in a hotel near Tivoli with a massive security system. Even so, one of the younger alcoholics from the streets below broke in, rushed into the crowded bar, and lifted a 40-ouncer before escaping with it. If it’s now changed then that needs to be examined to find out why it happened.

      • Thanks, Doug. Great name, by the way. I’ve only visited Copenhagen for a holiday once, but I went for a big, big wander, got myself completely lost at times, even when it was dark, and at no point did I feel even remotely worried that I was going to get jumped or anything like that. Absolutely no self-conciousness at all. Compare that to some parts of Scotland, where I’d be wary of walking through some places in the day, never mind in the evening.

    • Great article, and yes Doug and Muttley, my thoughts as well, the selfishness of many, though by no means all of the well off, is disgraceful and instead of blaming westminster and demanding change they do actually blame the poor for being poor. It is easier and convenient for them, as my son said recently about some family who live in Australia and who are very well off but who have become quite conservative in their attitude, “the money and the sun has blinded them”. It is a case of I am alright jack and if you aren’t it’s your own lazy fault!
      I detest that kind of attitude and it is world wide, brrrr.

  15. Bravo sir, may I stand by your shoulder

  16. I too watched that travesty of a programme about London last night. After the first twenty minutes or so I had to turn it off. I wanted to smash that smug bastard Evan Davis in the kisser (and I’m a pacifist). I say this as someone who lives in comfortable circumstances and who has a son living and working in London with his fiancée who between them earn £100,000 a year. I’m yer typical No voter.

    Except that I’m not, I am a fervent Yes campaigner (and I’m pretty sure my son would vote Yes too if he lived up here). It’s a bloody disgrace what this union has done to us over the last forty years and it’s a crime that, in what would be the eighth most wealthy country in the world, we have so many children living in financial, cultural and educational poverty.

    The time has come for us to regain our self respect and seize this opportunity and anyone who votes No has a big burden on their conscience.

    I’ve found that when people try to argue currency, the EU, debt, etc. with me, I think of the following scene from JFK,

    “X: That’s the real question isn’t it: why? The how and the who is just scenery for the public. Oswald, Ruby, Cuba, The Mafia, keeps ’em guessing like some kind of parlor game, prevents ’em from asking the most important question: why? Why was Kennedy Killed? Who benefited? Who has the power to cover it up? Who?”

    The currency argument, etc. is just the scenery for the public, it stops them asking the fundamental question, ‘Would we be governed better as an independent state and why are the Westminster Establishment determined to stop us?’

    The answer to both those questions is obvious.

    • Great scene and acting from Donald Sutherland. Who killed Kennedy? Probably senior CIA (not an official CIA op), along with their Anti-Castro Cuban and/or Mafia buddies. I like going off at a tangent…

    • “It’s a bloody disgrace what this union has done to us over the last 40yrs”
      Aye, make that the last 400 and more years (remember Oliver Cromwell’s pillaging and rape of Scotland ?.)

  17. I think young Derek is beginning to warm up … looking forward to ‘Bateman Unleashed’ !!

  18. Andrew Sinclair

    Another excellent piece. One tiny correction – it’s the Glengoyne Distillery, and they do indeed make a fine dram there. 🙂

  19. Aye Derek, a fine analysis written with passion and eloquence
    Mair power tae ye, man

  20. Excellent again Derek, as with the others I wait your every next analysis with ‘Bateman’ breath!

    But can I say that I’d be in your No camp by simple application of your demographic criteria. But I’m not. I’m in the Yes campaign for many reasons and not the usual blinded patriotism. I’m in it for the unleashing of a wealth creation engine which has been subjugated for 50 plus years by successive career seeking stooges in Westmimster. I’m in it because I’ve lived in insignificant countries like Switzerland where I’ve sat with worker bees and ate the same daily ‘menu’ because we can all afford it and there is no stigma in doing so. I’m in it because it’s the only future. I hope it’s a Yes because if not not sure what the future is for our nation while shackled to the beast that is London. I feel sorry for the rest of the UK. But then Scottish Imdependance will only be the start I suspect.

  21. That is an absolutely brilliant article, Mr Bateman! Not only politicians but men and women of the cloth ought to take a leaf out of your book. We are so fortunate to have someone with your ability to voice our thoughts and feelings – and with such eloquence. Once again, thank you.

  22. Cag-does-thinking

    Talk about hitting the nail on the head………

  23. Excellent piece. If you are looking for reasons for the Labour Party to be blind to the problems within society, then look no further than Helena Kennedy’s article in the New Statesman.
    My own view is at

  24. Hear, Hear and Hear, Hear again!

  25. Checking through the on-line stories in the Scotsman I came across this piece entitled “Labour has lost its way” by Hugh Reilly from 3rd March;

    Here’s a flavour of the article

    “…….Anas Sarwar, deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party, claims LFI is an SNP front. He has his finger on the pulse and refuses to believe that ordinary card-carrying party members are seriously teed off with the direction taken by the leadership. I think it’s outrageous that anyone could dare question the working class credentials of privately educated Mr Sarwar, a man who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with 45 other Labour MPs outside the Commons debating chamber when a vote to repeal the hated Bedroom Tax was defeated 252 to 226. It is probably a source of great comfort to him that recent polls show a mere 20 per cent of Scottish Labour supporters are dissatisfied with Ms Lamont’s leadership. Furthermore, only a quarter of Labour voters do not reject independence outright, a trifling figure Mr Sarwar would doubtless say was within the margin of error………..

    Labour activists and voters are beginning to waken up to the fact that Lamont’s attacks on universal benefits, her failure to oppose nuclear weapons on the Clyde and her obfuscation on the council tax pose a real problem in a post-referendum Scotland, whatever the result. A once progressive political party should not be seen to be dragged kicking and screaming on the road to accepting fiscal autonomy and control over how Scottish society cares for its most defenceless citizens.”

    Usually if you look at the comments below the line in the Scotsman they are just horrendously banal shite. However this was not the case (largely) after this piece. There was even a link to the Scott-Buzz website which had an article entitled “The strange case of a £500k pay-off to Glasgow ‘poverty campaigner’” You’ll get this at;

    Makes interesting reading.

  26. stephen mcbride

    Excellent article Derek, many good points to fight the no er’s & explain to the don’t knows. thanks.

  27. Please, please, keep them coming. Can you do a Podcast of your articles ?

  28. You have a voice that speaks for many of us Mr Bateman. Your blog is a little island of sanity in a world gone mad.

    It is only the possibility of independence from westminster that keeps me sane. I cannot even contemplate a No vote…

  29. Care is our currency. I’ll be using that phrase in my campaigning. Another, credited to Robin McAlpine, “England has nothing we want, we have much that England wants”.

    Oh, and another thing. By all means accept “the odd invitation” to speak at a meeting, but with your blogging you get more bangs for your buck. So please, no letup on blogging.

    Reading this article – as a bungalow dweller, I’m not so much angry as determined to campaign to the limit of my energy for a Yes vote. The misery being visited upon our people cannot be allowed.

    And I couldn’t give a damn about what currency we will use or what it will be called.An independent Scotland’s currency will be a strong currency backed by substantial natural resources. Don’t just take my word for it, go and read the McCrone report, hidden from our view for 30 years.

  30. George Alexander

    Another great article from Derek, however I would disagree with some aspects in regards to Bearsden. Believe you me as someone who moved to Bearsden at aged 10 from Easterhouse I can tell you that there are many working people who have struggled to afford a home in the Bearsden area in the hope that there children can get access to a superior standard of education (most schools in Eat Dumbartonshire are highly regarded) and even though my parents are “bungalow dwellers” I can guarantee that their home is worth nowhere near the 400 to 500k. Frankly in Bearsden there is a massive divide between the wealthy areas of Bearsden Cross and other areas such as Westerton and the divide is often based on identity. That is to say most Yes supporters in the Bearsden area are from working class backgrounds who have moved into the area whilst the No supporters, for lack of a better term are often wealthy Englishmen who move to Scotland to take jobs in our civil service, academia and business world. Infact when a few friends of mine from the Courthill area of Bearsden(the only remaining area in Bearsden that provides council homes) were discussing Alasdair Gray’s settlers vs colonists they laughed and said that they’d known that for 20 years.

  31. Very well said Derek! This is why when people say “I’m a proud Scot” I reply, sorry, but I’m not. I’m ashamed to be a Scot, living in a country with so much wealth but so many people in poverty and without hope. Now there is hope, A YES vote can be the start of a new beginning for all the people of Scotland. Oh, and by the way, my demographic is definitely the profile of a NO voter, but I am a YES activist and that I am proud of.

    • I’m not sure that everyone in places like Bears den are No supporters at all. People with any wit, no matter where they live, can understand that widespread poverty means nobody is doing that well. We are all affected by disgusting statistics about poverty and disparity in incomes. Okay, there are alcoholics hanging around Copenhagen’s Central Station, but the fact of that doesn’t negate the statistical evidence of the success of Scandinavian social and economic policies. Nor does it mean that the UK’s approach would be adopted by any sane, civilised new country.

  32. Great article. You should think about taking up writing for a living!

    In case of readership sense of humour failure….this was a joke!

  33. Passionate article Derek, many thanks.

    A few people her mentioning the ‘London’ programme last night. I couldn’t bring myself to watch it.

    Could anyone tell me if they mentioned any of the following. These statistics I’ve just spent 5 minutes looking up on the internet, so with massive BBC resources, surely they would pick up on the following. I’ve included the links for everyone to look for themselves.

    London’s population in 2012 was 8.3m – got that from Wikipedia, Scotland 5.3 m

    London’s latest unemployment rate is 8.1% (Scotland 7.1%) – got that from the Office for National Statistics, downloaded the latest job figures released a couple of weeks ago, PDF format.

    Looked up Local Housing Allowances (housing benefits) in an area of London. I put in Ealing, the page that came up gave me various rates covering most of London.

    Put in the same search for Glasgow, the page that came up also gave me rates for Renfrew, Inverclyde and South Lanarkshire.

    What can I conclude from these facts:

    (I’m taking an average that 60% of the population in the working age group, the rest being OAP’s or children and students)

    London has 403,380 unemployed (8.1%)

    Scotland has 225,780 unemployed.(7.1%)

    (Certainly ball park, Scotland has just under 200,000 unemployed, so I’m within 10-12%)

    Now taking the lowest housing benefit available (shared accommodation)

    Greater Glasgow’s rate is £65 (most expensive)
    Inner West London is £102 (most expensive)

    Therefore, even on the simplest of calculations, and saying that say 50% of the unemployed claimed basic housing benefit:

    London receives – £20.57 million pounds on housing benefit.

    Scotland receives – £7.34 million pounds on housing benefit

    Yes, London does have a larger population, but even increasing Scotland’s figure proportionally up to match London, say 60% increase in population or £4.4m equivalent , Scotland still comes in at only £11.74m compared to London’s £20.57m

    Was any of this mentioned in the London programme ?

    (NB. The housing benefit rate I used is for ‘shared accommodation’. It is actually the nearest that London and Scotland come closest, with only a London increase of roughly 80%. The other rates based on number of rooms, see London rates rise to 200-300% of the Scottish equivalent)

  34. Excellent once again Mr Bateman!

  35. Another brilliant article, Derek.
    There’s no sense in “sweating the small stuff” just yet- currency, Europe, defence – they’re just things that the Unionists are using to try to distract us. Let’s get the constitutional issue sorted first, then play with the politics.

  36. I agree Derek.I appreciate the game Salmond is playing trying not to frighten the horses etc.However most of the bedrock of the Yes vote do want a new identity.We reject Britishness as we are ashamed of it or feel apart from it.Of course this is about culture and identity.Otherwise what is nationhood?A business agreement? The reason why 45% of poor people want independence is that they are at the coalface of bankrupt Britain.Whereas the Bearsden and Morningside luvvies care not about nationhood or fellow country men.They have been Thatcherised and want to see a pound sign on the ballot paper not an aspiration for their nation.I could scream at these people who want personal answers to how much money they will have.Its crude and shallow and I would rather they didn’t vote either way as its not a vote for something they have the emotional capacity to appreciate.I also heard Blair McDougal talk about the currency like this was a game of one upmanship rather than the future of our nation.A message for Salmond.I am a lifelong SNP member but I reject Britishness,the Union flag and the royals with the class system.That’s what we have fought for all these years an end to British imperialism ,greed and inequality.

  37. Yet again you hit the nail on the head. We are foreign to Westminster because our views of a caring, free and just society are almost completely ailien to them and the privilage they represent.

    I loved your take on their favourite word separatism. There are times when it is good to have a seperate identity, it is after what makes us unique both individually and collectively. Nowhere is this seperate identity more needed than in the debate on the NHS and privitisation as England moves further to the right wing agenda of corporate privitisation I am proud to say that it is due in no small part to the policies of the current Scottish Government that our health service is stronger and in better shape than that of our neighbour.

    I am proud that it is the separate identity which Scotland’s Government has always valued which has resulted not only in the passing of the Equal Marriage (Scotland) Act but the third biggest majority in favour of this groundbreaking equality legislation anywhere in the world.

    It is also good to be separate from the petty, narrow minded, United Kingdom Independence Party and their perniticous politics of position backed up only by the poverty of policies they parade in the name of the past. Believe me when I say that I have no time for their culture of pandering to prejudice and the scapegoating and blaming of the ‘other’ in which they have a tendency to over indulge. So, if admitting I have these fundemental differences from our neighbours makes me Julie Foreigner the mini kilted sepratist then l’ll gladly wear my tartan tights and make a stand for fairness.

    Best Wishes
    Gayle X

  38. Derek, good stuff. Next time you are going for a spin… head south. East Ren to be precise. Newton Mearns and Barrhead have just a reservoir of broken promises between. Its those at the bottom of the hill who need inspired to vote in 200 days time.

  39. Brilliant stuff. A better future is possible

  40. I’m already partly a foreigner. I carry a black passport with a silver fern on the front. After March 2016, or before it is possible I want to be first in the queue for a Scottish passport. Then I can let my UK one expire and not have to worry about it again. I want to fly into Heathrow and go into the UK and EU passport holders line as an EU passport holder.

    I’ve been made to feel like a foreigner too, in London. During the Rugby World Cup when Jonah Lomu ran over Mike Catt in the opening game we wore our All Black shirts to the pub on a Monday night where we went every Monday night. The publican clocked us and threatened to bar us as though rugby shirts are a cause of strife. Since we were often the only people in his poxy pub he relented but we felt unwelcome so shortly after found somewhere else to go.

    I have never been made to feel a foreigner here in Scotland while wearing my All Black shirt.

  41. Like so many others have said before me Derek, you have nailed the argument beautifully. It makes me more determined than ever doing my canvassing/leafleting, trying to persuade people that Yes is the only way forward for our country, and it’s people. Please keep going.

  42. Excellent article Derek. I live on the outskirts of what you described as a No area. I’ll be voting Yes and some of the people I know will also be doing so. Believing that the Union is beneficial for any part of the UK other than London is wilful ignorance. Remember there is no status quo if you vote No!! I really do hope my fellow Scots seize this opportunity turn the country around not necessarily for my generation but for the forthcoming generations. They deserve better.

  43. Margaret Brogan

    This piece of writing has been on my mind since I read it last night. It encapsulates all the reasons that I am voting and working for a Yes vote. Nothing needs to be added to it.
    I have been trying to find a contact email to forward it to the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, she appears to have missed this side of our campaign. This can only make her better informed.

  44. Muscleguy – I wore my South Africa rugby top in NZ. Now that’s how to start an argument in a bar! I have also seen a Brazilian refused service in a London pub when England were playing a football friendly against Brazil, however I took it to be (not very funny) banter from the barman.

    Derek – good article, I have had the same arguments before – why do we need independence to tackle land issues, social inequality, etc? It seems to me that while it is theoretically possible to tackle these issues under the union, losing the union would be losing a huge dragging inertia to reform that currently must be overcome to do any small thing.

  45. YES cares, NO scares.

    And in more ways than one.

  46. This was a beautifully written piece, but I’m just not convinced that Alex Salmond’s government are up to the task of running a independent Scotland

  47. By their arrogance and ignorance HMG & the establishment are opening up fault lines in the union into chasms which will never heel and will lead ultimately to separation, and in the not to distant future. The mask has slipped we see you, warts and all. You cannot brow beat, frighten or bully someone into liking or respecting you, all you achieve is resentment, revulsion and ultimately rejection. HMG BT & the establishment have set this train on its way and they will live to regret it they are on a dead end line. They think a NO vote will be game set and match! How short sighted and stupid.

    If you want to be respected and have true friendship then you need to earn that respect and work damn hard to keep it. You have to work with people not against them, be positive not negative. HMG & BT are hell bent on showing the daft jocks who the boss is, most of us know who the boss is and will be and it sure as he’ll isn’t you lot in Westminster.

    None are so blind as those who do not want to see!

  48. Iain Anderson

    Derek, couldn’t agree more with your sentiments.

  49. Whoa there Derek! The BBC and the newspapers are suffering increasingly catastrophic declining audiences and circulation. If they are too stupid to see that they are doing it to themselves, who are we to stop them?

    Rather than ranting and railing we need to be out there calmly, steadily countering their lies as fast as they come out. Techniques and answers are what we need – when we are not out working for YES!

    Mind you I AM tempted to take a red marker to some of their posters outside the local shop. An arrow with a not in the right place would satisfy me.

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