I’m Still Standing…

Look, Scotland!…I’m still standing. I was wrong about the vote and I lost the referendum but I’ve come out the other side unscathed. I remain an independista, an unflinching Scottish Nationalist and convinced that one day, after my time, we will be sovereign again.

The joy of belief is that makes you part of a cause not just a campaign. And you don’t kill a cause. I’ll go to my grave believing in Scotland’s independence.


For now, the argument has been lost. It is a good idea to say that to yourself out loud. No amount of dismay and anger, no number of complaints and conspiracies will change that.

It was in May 2011 when the SNP swept to power that it became clear there would be a referendum. That’s nearly three and a half years for Scots to get used to the idea, to find out the truth, to decide whom to believe and to work out their position.

With voter registration at 97 per cent and turnout at 85 per cent, there is no question of legitimacy or representation. A margin of defeat at 10 per cent is decisive.

This is the clearly expressed will of the Scottish people and I for one respect it. I am a democrat. This is the bedrock of our system and without our support, democracy is diminished. To suggest outside factors may have skewed the result is to denigrate the process. To complain that it somehow isn’t fair is to insult the people. To rage against it is to tarnish the image of the whole Yes campaign.

It hurts, but the only dignified response is to get used to it…more Scots prefer the Union to Independence. I will campaign for independence because I believe it is our birthright and our national destiny and because it is the right way to govern the country but I will do so accepting it is effectively off the agenda for the time being and understanding it is not what the majority want.

I don’t think defeat in the ultimate objective will destroy Yes. It is a ready-made organic organisation, well-researched and committed. It is superbly well placed to monitor any evolving devolutionary proposals and to coordinate joint action in any field of public concern in Scotland. The sheer numbers of individuals makes it a daunting opponent to confront whether you’re the BBC or a retailer deliberately misleading Scots in a popular vote. Yes must live on.

While we remain united, expect the Unionists to do the opposite, ending their unholy alliance designed to keep Scotland a province (and lucky to be so, according to their legal advice which said we didn’t exist at all). As the inter-party factionalism breaks out in the months running up the General Election, we can stay composed and focussed on what they get up to, which I suspect will produce a wave of anti-Unionist sentiment in Scotland likely to damage particularly the carcass of the Labour Party.

Remember, whatever they say about conventions and national agreements to heal and find a way forward, the key figures in the Unionist three-party coalition really detest Yes.

Yes does not behave in predictable political party ways, it is a constant challenge at grassroots level which they can’t handle and refuses to fit into their norm. It is anti-Establishment and it irritates the Hell out of them. Party opponents can be denounced as just another bunch of payroll politicians, but smiling people with Yes badges can’t.

We are civic dissidents.

One thing about our politics is that nobody dies – not directly. I’ve reported from the West Bank, from revolution-torn Eastern Europe and from Belfast. There I met people who literally feared for their safety depending on their vote; people who had to hide when opponents appeared; individuals who had been imprisoned and tortured for their beliefs. We may worry about suicides and broken families from poverty, about lifestyles destroyed and hopes crushed, but a quiet greet at the point of defeat is easier than a bullet in the back.

We have to make the most of what we do have and bury resentment of opponents who exercised their right to believe and to vote their own way. (I was disappointed to hear Jim Gallagher of Better Together on Radio Scotland still talking this morning of No voters being afraid to speak out. He needs an irony check, given the coordinated fear campaign he was part of, and a magnanimity-in-victory injection.)


Lastly, there is a difficult question to be addressed over Alex Salmond. He has led the ascent to the ridge just below the summit but failed to attain the top. There is no saltire on the pinnacle. He has been magnificent in leadership and has spent his adult life leading up to this moment. Today he faces the crushing knowledge that it is not to be. He will not be First Minister of an independent Scotland.

I can’t believe that after this momentous effort, after this life of struggle, he isn’t hollowed out inside. He presented Scots with the richest, best-prepared country ever to seek independence backed by a track record in office at Holyrood – and still the people said no.

So what does he do? Of course he can carry on until the next election in 2016 but if he leads the party into it, does he intend to stay there throughout the term? When does it come to an end for him? When do his loyal lieutenants get their chance? There is a ready-made replacement in Nicola Sturgeon. Does anybody doubt it?

Part of him must surely be saying that his time has gone. This was his moment and it passed. He has an extraordinary legacy and I’m not sure the referendum vote is its high point. For me it is the Edinburgh Agreement when a British Prime Minister came to Edinburgh to treat a Scottish politician as an equal, sign a binding agreement based on a democratic principle and legitimise Scotland as a nation-in-waiting in the eyes of the British state. The handshake between them was the UK saying: Yes you can. Salmond brought the SNP from fringe to heart of government and from hobby to mainstream.

I think there would be a national wave of empathy for Salmond if he declared now that he intended to step aside. It would display modesty and reveal his human vulnerability. His place in history is assured and Scotland would realise that the party was reinventing itself in a new and daring form for a new challenge. (I expect Johann Lamont to step down next month to audible relief). The Unionists wanted to destroy him and his party as credible players in government and they have failed.

Defeat must deeply hurt him but he can walk away head up and chest out on his own terms. No doubt, as the transition cranks into place, there will be recriminations and regrets. It would be best if he insulates himself from it by flagging up the big changes ahead in the leadership.

He has been the master of timing before and I can’t help but think he would capture the public mood by aligning his own position with that of the electorate and acknowledging their verdict.

This is a turning point for Scotland and Alex Salmond has always been ahead of the curve

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87 thoughts on “I’m Still Standing…

  1. Still standing but in a foreign country. One ruled by fear and lies. One where the nearly dead vote to keep their children and Grandchildren slaves.

    Milliband won’t support Cameron’s Devolution plans. The ashes of all the burned Yes votes are still warm and THE VOW is no more.

    • Just what I was thinking but couldn’t have expressed it as well

    • Do not allow divide and rule a place now. Plenty of elderly, including my 92 year old Aunt, voted Yes. Plenty of 16 -17 year olds and all other age groups voted No. If you want to blame anyone blame all the No voters. They all will be bitterly regretting it soon. Don’t listen to their whines.

  2. Derek, someone has sent me 3 videos alleging electoral fraud. Would you like to take a look and see what you think? If so, email me and I’ll email them back to you.

    • Agent provocateur.

      There’s nothing untoward in the clips. One of someone replacing misfiled ballots. One of unsorted bundles of ballots at the end of the reconciliation process parked on a table which was already labelled to receive the No votes LATER, after the actual count. And one of a lad writing something on a piece of paper. Perhaps the total number of ballots in the box.

      Who filmed these clips? It looks to have been a counting agent, but a counting agent’s duty is to intervene if he sees something misfiled or untoward and get it fixed, not to film it covertly, say nothing, and upload the film to the net with baseless allegations attached.

      Someone wants to provoke the Yes people into a destructive conspiracy mindset. Someone does not have our best interests at heart.

  3. Salmond just stood down – pure class that man – and thanks to the ********* No voters we’re getting a life time of Cameron, Clegg, Milliband and Farage et al until the oils gone and none of our kids even remember who Wallace and Bruce were… Jesus wept…..

  4. I hope there is a speedy transition to Nicola as First Minister without the need for an internal vote. The SNP have a country to run and a lot of political capital to make up. Labour will be shown up for the duplicitous lot they are – in fact it seems to be happening already with Ed apparently saying he does not sign top to Cameron Devo-plans. How long did that Vow last? 10 hours?

    Thank you Mr Alex Salmond. You created a chance for the Scottish people to choose a better way to a more fair and just society but just over half preferred to suck at Westminster’s teat. So be it, as the saying goes, “You can talk a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”

    Your legacy will be written not just in how we had this chance of 18th September 2014, but in how the SNP and the people move ahead despite Westminster, and we WILL finally rediscover our country.

    Take a long rest, you and Moira deserve it.

    • I dearly hope that there is no coronation. The so-called “Labour Party” crowned Gordon Brown as their new leader, and avoided a debate about where they were going. it was a disaster for them.

      Sure, Salmond is not a neoliberal war-criminal like Blair, and Sturgeon is not a control-freak PFI-merchant like Brown. Both have achieved so much in the last few years … but despite the good fight fought by the SNP over the last few years, their strategy failed. Much was done well, but it was not good enough, and anyone serious about change cannot afford the indulgence of thinking th.

      Everyone in the indy movement to reflect on what happened, make a critical analysis of their own weaknesses, and critically consider what aspects of the old strategies need changing.

      Sturgeon is highly competent operator. She is probably the best candidate for the SNP leadership. But after ten years of highly-disciplined leadership, the SNP now needs to debate its direction. If Sturgeon is the winner from that debate, she will be stronger for it, and so will her party.

  5. The same request as Teri has made Derek…


    OK, there’s a bit of duplication in the posted videos & I’m not normally a conspiracy theorist but…

    • As I said above, there’s nothing untoward in the clips. There was no significant fraud at the count. (A handful of allegations of personation only.) I was a counting agent and I saw no wrongdoing. The system is such that it doesn’t actually allow for significant fiddling in the ways shown.

      Ask yourself who filmed that (instead of simply asking for the ballots in question to be checked). Ask yourself why.

  6. Derek thank you so much for your great contribution to a great campaign.

    But may I take issue with this: “More Scots prefer the Union to Independence”?

    I have spent the past 4 weeks knocking on doors every day, talking to hundreds of people – Yes voters, No voters and Undecideds. It was quite clear to me that a majority, indeed a substantial majority, of these people would like Scotland to be independent, if they were sure that the transition could be handled without serious difficulty. Too many, sadly, believed that the process of becoming independent was fraught with risk, but they willed the destination all right.

    It is my conviction that only a small minority in Scotland truly wants this union. Many more have accepted it with reluctance, because they just don’t see a safe way to get out of it.

    • I too spoke to many hundreds of people and found one wee pensioner scared of losing her pension who was voting no. I live in the Dundee area, where I expected a landslide YES vote, based on finding only one pensioner voting no. It was a convincing YES (57.3%) however it did not seem to match the fever and the indications of the voters themselves. People have been crying openly here! Was this a calculated divide and conquer tactic from Westminster? When you speak with folks everyone is shattered, it’s like we’ve been time machined back to’79, waking up to find we had voted YES but nobody else in Britain had! How can the country stick together after this one? I’m now thinking that lots of Scots must be lying, before the vote, straight to my face! It’s either that or the suspicion that this vote was indeed rigged. I know which I believe. When the media can predict exactly the 55% win there is something fishy going on – how did they know? And why is their estimate so right sitting in their offices when ours were so wrong from the streets and the people themselves? Respect where respect is due Derek and personally I would have more respect if I believed the Scottish voter actually made this decision.

  7. Fear, lies, smears and threats from the BBC and the MSM – this is not a good basis for “democracy”. Is it coincidence that the demographic of over 65s voted 73% No – in other words, the demographic that still buys papers, that relies on the TV for “news”, that told me that “more powers were on offer, what was I worried about?”

    If this jad jappened in another “foreign” country, the MSM would be bleating about how the vote was stolen by state propaganda.. This is NOT a legitimate result and 1.6 million people know that.

    • Of course it should read “had happened” – that is the problem with touch typing! 🙂

    • If people believe the mainstream media, worry about the warnings of big business of take heed of threats from the Establishment, then they are not ready for independence for they do not have independence of mind.

  8. Remember the spider.

  9. Derek

    In his press conference, Mr Salmond reminded everyone of his grace, passion and courage as a servant of the Scottish people.

    Not one of the cadre of failed chancellors and deluded union flag draped stooges will ever match his presence or impact on the World stage.

    I can’t look at social media today, the trolls will be too busy dancing about as they claim another victory, just as their paymasters kick the ‘Vow’ into the long grass.

    Now, more than ever, we need to pull together.

    I’m going to have a wee cry now. Should I have campaigned harder? Delivered more leaflets?

    • Please don’t say that you should have ‘done more’! Yes ran a brilliant, inclusive campaign and forged in adversity a grass-roots movement which has already changed – and will continue to change – the face and nature of UK politics and Scottish society. One can never do more, in a democracy, than *offer* an alternative; and while for the moment, we are forced to stand still, and to mourn, we do so with more than *1.6 million* others. That is *remarkable*, given where we were in 2011! And better for democracy – and so for Scotland – than a bare win with less than a million votes on a normal turnout. In just a few years, we took Scotland’s independence from unthinkable by the UK to popular in Scotland! Together, 1.6 million of us (after a cry and a good bit of rest) can go on to transform the UK’s electoral landscape (Scotland’s votes only don’t count when we cast them for UK parties!) by next spring.

      What’s needed now is not blame, least of all self-blame by people like you who got us here: it is to keep standing together, to focus now on talking to each other and building our diverse consensus – and simply to be there so the 250,000 people (we need to be the majority) can come to us. Because starting this morning, Westminster is doing the work of convincing people of Scotland’s need for independence *for us*. The waste of *this* opportunity is heart-breaking, yes. But this was never about this year, or next, or the next five. The real power to shape Scotland’s future can only ever be Scotland’s hands – the right tools would have eased the work, but look at what we’ve done bare-handed!

  10. Alex Salmond is a political giant. He joined the SNP in the late seventies, when a much safer, less challenging route could of been found through the Scottish Labour Party. The Unionists in SLAB have been behaving in a disgraceful and hateful manner since at least 2007. They hate Salmond because he showed them up for the mediocre careerists that they are. By contrast, Gordon Brown is a massive fraud. One who has now lied to the Scottish people to get them to vote No. This is a malignant individual. His intervention in the week before the referendum was like him, a fraud, a deceit, and a sign of an man with no moral, or social conscience whatsoever. Iain Banks and Kevin McKenna were spot on about Brown, a charlatan of the first order.

    • I just hope that Brown isn’t allowed anywhere near whatever constitutional changes the Brit parliament implements in the coming months and years. I worked him out as a malignant and vindictive bigot a long time ago. Time for you to start spending more time with your thoroughly undeserved pension, Gordy.

  11. Agree totally (as a canvasser) with Alistair Gray re
    “More Scots prefer the Union to Independence”?
    Project Fear worked on them! Simples
    And when WM renege on their promises we need collectively to attack the Labour party for their duplicity!
    They are lying self serving Bas**rds and the sooner we eject them the better!
    Do that, win a majority (ie 50%) for pro Indy parties for a manifesto mandate to negotiate Indy and finish the job?

    • Anything! At this point, I would do anything to secure a bigger say in what happens in Scotland. The turnout will be much less and if we all vote strategically, ie Greens or SNP all the yesers can change the way, at least in Scotland who’s in parliament. Still without sovereignty in our own land it will be more of the same Westminster policies buffered by Scottish parliament. Because, have no doubt, our parliament will be the next thing they will try and discourage they have seen how powerful we can become and it scared them, enough to employ dirty tactics that were not even legal during the process. Will Scotland do that though given the result of the vote?

  12. I suspect Alex going forces the SNP, and the media circus, to focus on the future and his successor rather on the past campaign. That is what AS wants. He still sees a role for himself, especially as all the Vows now appear to have been jettisoned – their use now over. Dupe the uncertain and the waverers, this was the obvious strategy with the media referring to limited powers,which will leave Scotland worse off, as devo max. They fall very far short of devo max but no journalist would prod exactly what baubles were on offer.

    Felt as I crawled into bed at dawn that AS probably would go, but that did not lessen my dismay and sadness when watching his press conference. Despite all that has been thrown at him, and in the aftermath of the defeat of what he has worked his whole political career for, he was still utterly statesmanlike, towering above all the other UK political pygmies.

    Thank you, Alex and heartfelt good wishes for whatever else you do. Thank you also to everyone else who campaigned tirelessly for a Yes vote in the referendum. Hopefully it will not, in the long term, prove to have been in vain.

  13. What a sad day and it just got much, much sadder with the loss of Alex Salmond. Just turned the radio off as the dreadful Johann Lamont is speaking. I say take down that statue of Donald Dewar, the man who wrote off 6000 square miles of North Sea oil to Westminster on the eve of devolutio,n and replace it with one of Alex.

    I’m away to see if I can move to another country which has independence – Italy.

  14. Still standing? It’s only half-time, and the No voters are the oldies. They will run out of stamina, or time on this planet, whilst the 16 and 17 year olds will move up the age ladder, having learned from this referendum, followed by a new wave of optimistic CanDo 16 years youngsters. Will the UK deny them a vote in the 2015 general election?
    Me? I’m an Oldie and still standing, ready for the next campaign, the 2015 routing of disgraceful Labour.
    Yes needs to continue as a concept/organisation focus embracing the pro-Indy parties.And the excellent web sites – Wings, Bella Newsnet, Peat Worrier,and you Derek, need to keep going. Form a unit? By subscription?
    Yes its time to transfer from print newspapers to the web. But I insist in a puzzle page!

    • Next step is organisation. Because we need to be ready every single one of us to ride the propaganda of the no’s come the general election!

  15. I am saddened by the resignation of Alex Salmond. He has done a fantastic job as leader of the SNP, and we need a strong SNP to avoid being completely crushed by a Westminster government with UKIP and the xenophobic part of the English populace looking to take revenge on Scotland.

    Personally, I do not think that democracy is upheld by a referendum victory achieved through threats, lies, and promises which those making them cannot fulfill, even if they try to do so.

    The BBC has been a disgrace, acting as though it were the British Propaganda Corporation.

  16. Derek,
    Interesting comment you made about the unholy alliance. I’m sure I heard, earlier today, that Cameron thanked everyone, except Brown and Darling. That’s provincial behaviour if I ever I saw it.
    This thing about ‘No’ voters fearing to speak out is nonsense. They’ve spoken and I hope they understand what is coming from Westminster won’t be any ‘vow.’
    I just heard Salmond is standing down. I can’t see any alternative for him, and Derek, there have been scores of English Kings and other such folk, came to Edinburgh to sign agreements that stated Scotland’s freedom would be guaranteed, then in no time at all, broke all their promises. Plus ça change.
    Keep blogging, big man.

  17. Sorry Derek, but I don’t agree that most Scots preferred the Union. Most Scots were terrorised into remaining in the Union.
    I will never forgive the British media, and in particular BBC Scotlandshire.

  18. We tried the polite honest approach and it didn’t work. We will now be prevented from having another referendum in my lifetime.

    The MSM, BBC are beyond disgraceful and their demise can’t come quickly enough.

    I’m afraid I will no longer be able to watch any news programmes or read any newspapers – the old media is finished for me.

    The OAPs were scared into voting No but I am still angry at them.

    Surely they must know that OAPs living abroad get their UK pension – they have sold our young people down the river.

    I was canvassing, leafleting, and standing outside polling stations in East Ren and we knew the older generation were going to lose it for us there – the bitter twisted scowls on the vast majority when they saw us Yessers spoke volumes – I think that’s why I was always cautious about the result.

    I said it on WoS and I will say it here, the trolls who are banging on about electoral fraud are exactly that -trolls. They are trying to divert us into a meaningless campaign which will go nowhere.

    There certainly was fraud but it was there for all to see, the MSM, BBC and Slab troughers.

    • That is why sites like this, and the others I don’t need to name, are so important, giving us somewhere to gather, support one another, test ideas, and promote strategies. The Westminster election is on the horizon, and no matter how difficult we need to keep in touch, sharing news, links and videos. Going back to the MSM isn’t an option – too many of us have already given up on that. So, Derek, how do you and you fellow political bloggers get together and provide the grassroots with an interactive online news site, and how can that be financed?

    • Indeed I can understand yes people being angry because the whole lying, scheming media and Propoganda from them which has duped the people, has led to this being an undemocratic process for which we will pay a massive price, though the no voters will most likely not pay such a devastating price as the poor, the sick and disabled will at the hands of westminster. I am still angry at the older voters who were scared by the media and westminster, because our young people are the ones that will suffer, it is their future that should have been be utmost in voters’ minds not how much their house price might go down, or shopping bill go up. Hard to forgive that at the mo. I know not all by any means older folk voted no and I met some fantastic oaps when delivering leaflets etc. I hope that the beating from westminster is not too vicious.

      • I think singling out the older voters is unfair and unhelpful.
        I’m an ‘oldie’ but far from decrepit or scared of any threats from politicians and others. There are many I have met who were just plain British. They are loyal to the status quo. Some people don’t move with the times.
        I went out locally with the YES campaigners public address car when a 15 year old boy was doing a brilliant job telling the villagers why they should vote YES. There were all ages canvasing. There were SNP, Labour for Yes, Socialists and Greens and villagers, all working together No ‘group’ let you down, except the media, and the liers from Westminster and their business cronies.

        The saddest thing I saw yesterday was all the young people crying in George square. They were devastated by the result.

    • ‘the trolls who are banging on about electoral fraud are exactly that -trolls.’ We all have our own opinion and I am certainly not a troll and I don’t believe that Scotland did return a no vote! (It may be because in my area we voted YES) You certainly cannot challenge me on that, it is this kind of name calling that helped the dreadful situation we now find ourselves in. I have commented as a socialist on many forums throughout and have met with racism and hatred, don’t really want to have to defend my beliefs here. But as Derek has said I am still standing ready for the next battle slowly chipping away. If that’s trolling then let it be. I, like you, am no spring chicken. However, many times I have had to accept during my whole life yet another person or group of people lording it over me that I have not voted for. As for the meaningless campaign, how can that be? In a democracy, everyone has a say. Let the Scots real views be heard come the general election and pull together to make it real instead of slagging the beliefs and efforts of others who are trying to secure sovereignty for our people among fraudsters and disbelievers lying through their teeth from Westminster. They are the enemy not your fellow voter who distrusts the process and exercises the right to say so!

    • There’s more than one way to do this Liz, don’t loose heart. A referendum is only one of a few different ways to take the system apart. What will happen when the no’s wake up and start asking “what exactly are these new powers that we voted for when we voted no?” And if they don’t ask, I’ll be asking on their behalf.

  19. Salmonds last act was to quote Gordon Browns new powers timetable,he smells political Westminster labour blood.

    YES taking Glasgow was a triumph

  20. Agree with you 100% Derek – democracy sucks sometimes but I would still rather live in one. As you say it was a decisive result and people did have 3 years to make up their minds.
    If people were frightened into voting No what does that say about them? Were you frightened? Was I? Was anyone on this site? No, of course we weren’t. But if the majority were how can we hope to forge a nation with fearties?

    There was more than enough information out there. If grown people cannot accept that they are being misled then that’s just tough. But to go around claiming widespread fraud (are people really suggesting vote rigging on the scale of 400,000 votes?) or MI5 intervention or whatever seriously undermines all that Yes has stood for.

    This is not the time for self-flagellation. Yes ran a superb campaign and could do little more.
    I am feeling gutted of course. But surprisingly I am somewhat optimistic too. We’ve lost this round but the push goes on.

    I still think we will get independence (or at least federalism) sooner rather than later. In my view Westminster will simply not be able to deliver enough meaningful change and many of those who voted No will perhaps come to regret it. But I don’t see No voters as “traitors” as some would have it. They made a decision – it’s called democracy. I don’t agree with them but it’s done now.

    If Scotland improves as a consequence (which I very much doubt) then perhaps every No voter can take a share of the credit. If it’s a disaster for Scotland (as I fear it might be) then every No voter must take their share of the blame.

    Labour got a kicking in their heartlands – Dundee, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire – so any suggestion of a victory from them must surely be a hollow, pyrrhic one.

    People by nature don’t like change and struggle to see beyond self-interest when push comes to shove. In short, as a nation, we bottled it this time. It’s aye been.

    But over 1.6 million of us have shown differently. We want change and it’s up to us – no-one else – to push for and effect that change.

    So we stand up, dust ourselves down and get out there shouting and screaming for fairness, equality, truth, honesty, justice and tolerance. We actually hold our politicians to account instead of just belly aching about them. We stand outside their offices, we march on their parliaments, we throw them out at elections if we don’t like what they are doing. In short we start genuinely making them accountable.

    Yes must continue as an umbrella organisation – but not as a political party. It should be out there scrutinising, calling out the lies and deceptions, and supporting politicians, parties and organisations out there who still believe in the notion of independence.

    What we have built here with this campaign is a phenomenon unseen in our democracy – we must not let is wither and die. Rather we must feed it and ensure that it grows and becomes stronger.

    Yesterday wasn’t the only day to stand up and be counted. Today, and every other day from now on, is when we truly need to stand up and be counted.

    Perhaps every September 18th we can march through the streets of Glasgow and Edinburgh – 100,000 strong or more – and continue to remind Westminster we’re “no dun yet”

  21. @Derek Bateman and all my fellow Scots, the fight is only beginning. The Guardian reports today that Ed Miliband is breaking his “vow” it states:

    “Ed Miliband will convene a constitutional convention to discuss the future of devolution and power at Westminster.

    The convention will be a form of semi-representative assembly going beyond elected MPs. It would begin before the next election with every nation and region in the country engaged in dialogue with the people about how power needs to be dispersed, not just in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but in England too.

    The Labour proposal is that these debates will bring together MPs and councillors with ordinary citizens. Each region will produce a report outlining a series of recommendations, covering for example: how sub-national devolution can be strengthened; how the regions can be given more of a voice in our political system; and how we can give further voice to regional and national culture and identity.

    This would be followed in autumn 2015 with a constitutional convention to determine the UK-wide implications of devolution and to bring these recommendations together.

    It will discuss the shape and extent of English devolution and what reforms are needed in Westminster, as well as the case for a regionally representative Senate or for codifying the constitution.

    Any recommendations would be debated by parliament.”

    Whereas the original “vow” in the The Daily Record, 15 September 2014 states:

    “David Cameron , Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg have signed up to a historic joint statement that was demanded by the Daily Record on behalf of the people of Scotland.

    The unprecedented agreement was signed after the Record demanded that the leaders clearly explain what they are offering so the Scottish people can decide if it is a better alternative to independence.

    The agreement was brokered by former prime minister Gordon Brown and Scottish Labour. This new pledge means that all the parties with a chance of forming the next UK government have guaranteed the ‘extensive’ new powers will be put on the statute book next year.

    Brown said: ‘We have agreed a timetable for that stronger Scottish Parliament – a timetable to bring in the new powers that will go ahead if there is a No vote. A White Paper by November, put into draft legislation by January.’”

    Scots and particularly my fellow countrymen who voted YES need only realise one thing, take the same energy, stamina and enthusiasm that was displayed in the YES campaign, (that saw literally thousands of Wee Blue Books printed and delivered, that saw rallies and flash mobs across Scotland, Thousands in George Square, that saw energetic and lively debates etc) and direct it towards the Unionists.

    Ed Miliband/Cameron/Clegg/Brown et al made a “vow” if they won’t honour it, PROTEST don’t just stand and accept it, hold rallies, hold flash-mobs, hold debates across Scotland on how the promised devolution will never be delivered.

    If they won’t honour their vow point this out and call for the only alternative INDEPENDENCE!! Hold rallies like those that protested against the BBC’s Nick Robinson and his bias. The YES Campaign displayed great energy and enthusiasm for change, DO NOT LET THIS DISSIPATE.

    If the Unionist promises of more powers were genuine and were delivered after a NO vote, this I could tolerate, but the “vow” was a lie pitched at voters. It is self-evident that many NO voters will undoubtedly have voted that way in the belief that the “vow” of more powers is genuine, that being the case the result is based on a lie. WHY SHOULD ANY SCOT YES OR NO ACCEPT THE CURRENT SET-UP ON THE BASIS OF A LIE THAT OF MORE POWERS, I WILL NOT, CAN NOT AND WILL NEVER ACCEPT IT AND NOR SHOULD YOU!!!

    If even half the 1.6 million Scots who voted YES take to the streets because of Unionist lies, it will sure as hell cause the establishment a massive headache. If we convince enough NO voters and Scots that they were lied to independence will be unstoppable.

    I wonder if you would be willing to help organise such a protest Derek? Or maybe you know those in the YES Campaign/Bella Caledonia/National Collective who are capable of organising such things seeing as they are beyond me?

    (Sorry about the excessive caps, but I feel it helps emphasise my point).

  22. “The Labour proposal is that these debates will bring together MPs and councillors with ordinary citizens.”

    That’s their job FFS. Is this english liebore’s big idea, a school project that grants oiks like me a chance to speak to mighty civic figures? Granted it’s one stage further than the secret group behind Calman, but this is pish.

    AAARRGGHHHH!!!! No excessive caps are what we need. I want to climb stairs with leaflets, write positive and hopeful guides, helping people find answers whilst peacefully making logical arguments. And listen to people, listening a bit more, then listening more until we have a balanced and united sense of forward motion.

    I should be starting my/our own site to harness the joy of Yes, but if someone’s already started, our logo could be Bruce’s spider and our aim YES2.

    Let’s meet up next year in George Square for a spontaneous independence dance.

    • YES2 that! but could we Dundonians meet in Dundee, and could the YES2’s from Inverness meet there …and can we have a bonfire to burn the effigy’s of the deceitful lying hopeless politicians? I just love spiders! I’m right there with anything that carries the momentum and excitement of the iScotland campaign to reality. Keep us informed.

  23. Derek, I’m looking to be here reading your excellent articles as long as you are. An appalling day today. You simply have to absorb it and use it as energy to keep on.

    I don’t want any independence supporter to fall to the depths of our opponents – their political leaders or the thugs dragging their knuckles in George Square.

    i also enjoy reading other comments on the site. Keep it up.

  24. Derek, a few posts ago you tried to backtrack on some of the less gracious comments you have made on this blog. Perhaps you were referring to you calling no voters quislings or traitors? Perhaps it was the time you clumsily tried to draw comparisons between Scotland and
    Palestine? I can honestly say that since I started visiting this blog i have lost track of all the nonsense you have posted so only you will know exactly what you were referring to. At the time I was tempted to point out that it was too little too late, but I held my peace and thought I would wait until the no vote was confirmed. Well it has been confirmed now and salmond has fallen on his sword before he was stabbed in the back.

    I first visited your blog because I read somewhere that this was meant to be a site where reasoned debate existed. How wrong I was. As I see it this site is basically you spewing out propaganda to a bunch of people who would be lucky if they could find a single original idea between them. You are like the pied piper, you spew out your nonsense, they post fawning comments to boost your ego and you then charge them a subscription fee for your wine club. You must have a nice little earner going here.

    I did try to engage you in debate and (while you did go along with it for a while) I got nothing but abuse from your disciples. This must have rubbed off on you because you went from at least trying to have a sensible debate to either refusing to engage or even resorting to abuse yourself when you had no response. You played to the gallery of adoring fans, intelligent debate went out the window and the propaganda and brain out nationalism was ramped up into overdrive. It was almost like over time you adapted your blog to what the converted wanted to hear. They wanted you to feed their paranoia and justify their prejudices and you did that in spades.

    When I realised that this supposed intelligent yes blog was in fact at times little better than wings over Scotland I knew the yes vote was going to lose. No ideas, no ability to question what your leaders were telling you and just the same old ad hominen attacks against those you disagree with over and over again.

    So it’s over now and you are never going to get another chance. I’d like to say, “unlucky” but you know what? I can’t because as far as I am concerned you and your followers got the defeat you deserved.

    And like that he was gone…

    • well got all the bile out of your system now ? on other sites your comment wouldn’t see the light of day and in your twisted logic everyone who contributes to the dialog here is an idiot and while you try and push for a equally stupid reply because thats what you get off on is in it the whole referendum was stolen by a compliant media and a government establishment who would do anything to secure victory

    • Hi, Thanks for your view. Congrats on victory. You too are part of the story. We’re all still Scots. (If you don’t respect the output there is no need to read it. I’m sure you can find a more intelligent site elsewhere to suit).
      Yours for Scotland. Derek

    • Thanks for the laugh, Jings. This is surely a joke, can’t believe your are serious about this website.

    • Jeez…get her!

    • I think you’ve missed the point Jings, all here in Scotland must now deal with the aftermath of a failed YES vote not just those who voted YES. I would hesitate to speak for all but mostly all of those who comment here have resisted the urge to ‘name call’ when someone has posted a view that does not match their own. Thank-you very much for your post Jings but if your only intent was to deride us for our views, you cannot hurt us more than we have already been hurt. Your obvious hatred for our campaign is the reason we will carry on, because we fight the real enemy we fight the ones who’s propaganda has made our fellow Scots (like you) think your own countrymen are the enemy. We accept the decision but it doesn’t mean we are going to stop campaigning for a united iScotland!

  25. One little piece of food for thought – twiceas mmany people in Scotland voted for independence yesterday as voted for the current Westminster Government. Hey ho.

    • With hindsight I think the silent majority were the guys who said ‘I need more information…. I just don’t think now is the right time… bla…bla’. The plan was always to vote no, but they just wanted to close down difficult discussions. Will we get a better breakdown of voters?

      I’m in Edinburgh’s New Town and we are all now better together and more British than before (with the exception of my rebellious Yes friends that I’m so proud of).

      Big big thanks Derek.

      • I am in Stockbridge, where the no voters have been scowling at us before the vote, could not bring myself to go out today. The silence is still palpable though…a very sad day for all of us YES people. Pangs of hope still remain that all is not lost. Possibly in denial.

  26. So if Cameron welches on new powers and blames Milliband, will the scots electorate take it out on scots labour? What has Cameron to lose, 1 m.p? Cameron must see this as an opportunity to turn scots labour voters against their party.

  27. Too much self-pity on here.

    In its long history, Scotland has only once taken on the might of a nation state in a pitched battle and won. It was a lot to expect us to repeat the experience.

    This is not Flodden. A 45% vote in favour of independence is not a catastrophic defeat. It’s actually a powerful lever.

    We need to learn to fight clever, as our ancestors did. Sow and expose dissent among our enemies. Work to continue to make Scotland a different and better country.

    The fight-back has already started. I hope, Derek, you will join in.


    • Kininvie

      Thanks for the link. I think everyone who had anything to do with the Yes campaign should read it, make a mug of tea and sign up to add to the common weal after realising just how much each of us can do.

      Then tell everyone they met, spoke with, listened to, flirted with and argued with on the campaign to read it and to keep working towards the change we want to see.

  28. You’re right David. It would be something of slap to win say half a dozen seats off Labour and send a larger cadre of SNP mps to Westminster, I can almost imagine the baffled look on Camerons face as well. In reality its much more likely that disillusioned voters just stop voting again

  29. The day the music died.
    I don’t think in the years to come you will find one soul who will admit to having voted no.
    It will take a good few drams and a river full of tears to get over this.
    Scotland the Brave. Aye, right!

  30. Alistair Donaldson

    I’m proud of what has been achieved over the past few years. I’m so proud of what Alex Salmond has achieved on our behalf and I’m sorry to see him stand down now, but what was the alternative. I’m sorry for the deluded who could not stand up to be counted and I’m one of the older generation who are being blamed for this apparent failure, but would argue that perhaps you should look to the cosy “middle classes”, these “I’m all right Jacks”. I know a few! However, now is not the time for blame – they merely succumbed to an onslaught of threats. Onward and upward and don’t forget to cancel your TV licence.

  31. I’m a (Now ex) Better Together campaigner, been campaigning since it was formed. I’m also a long time lurker on this blog, which I must say is a good one even if I fundamentally disagree with it.

    I’ve always felt that the main weakness of much of the Yes campaign was that it saw itself as a movement as opposed to a political campaign. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve heard Yes campaigners wax lyrical about how wonderful their public meetings were, how strongly they performed at debates, the wonderful reception they get at their public stalls, etc. Then there’s the myriad of Yes groups that sprung up all around.

    The reality is that none of it matters. Outside of the usual suspects, nobody cares about the perceived intellectual rigour of the Common Weal. Nobody cares about the creative energy of the National Collective. Nobody cares if you win a tedious public debate as most people have better things to do with their time than attend one. Yes public meetings were never anything more than vanity exercises for the already converted and a waste of important time that could have been spent on more effective methods of campaigning. As for public stalls, the reality is that votes are won and lost not by the few people who stop, ask questions and take literature, but by the far higher number to people who simply walk past without even making eye contact.

    I never treated my campaigning as even resembling a movement. This wasn’t something I chose to do because I thought it would I’d have a great time. I ensured that every single action I took throughout this campaign was aimed towards achieving my goal of keeping Scotland in the UK. I can tell you that I was not alone in this approach. That is why we won. My only regret is that we didn’t win by a much wider margin.

    • Hi, Sounds a bit Wise After the Event, no? You do personify the No campaign, though. Said nothing. Didn’t engage. Scornful of people’s involvement. No excitement. No passion. Sounds like dead, cold-eyed cynicism which chimes with stories of lies on the doorstep. I don’t want politics to be like dried prunes. Its about people and the impact of Yes has been more invigorating to society than the No victory.I notice you dont actually articulate what you were campaigning FOR. Keeping Scotland in the UK – for what purpose? I hope our politics never descends to the stygian depths you describe.Derek

  32. The Daily Record who promoted this ‘vow’ – held to account
    Brown who promoted this and who already has broken his ‘vow’-held to account
    The BBC for the deceitful , skewed broadcasting- held to account

    Nope and there is no mechanism to do so.

    For the people who voted No and I appreciate this is your democratic right, you must also realise , you must now take responsibility for your vote.
    Having given your support to Westminster , will you now expect the Scottish Govt to protect you from Westminsters austerity measures or should the ever tightening Scottish budget be aimed at those in our society most in need ?

    Finally Derek, one close to your heart. For any Scottish Rugby fan, who stands at Murrayfield and sings ‘ Flower of Scotland’ please remember this- we are laughing at you , our proud Scots , laughing.

  33. Not at you Derek, I mean the fans who voted No – still laughing

  34. Are we lying dead on a battlefield? No. Are we robbed of the power of communication? No. Are we ready to fight another day? Hell, yeah.

    Come Monday we regroup. We plan. All those No voters who were conned at the last moment into believing that a No vote would get more powers for Scotland – many will join the fight.

    We are reeds, We bend in the wind but we do not break and we remain rooted in our principles.

  35. So, what to do?

    Support the only newspaper that was willing and brave enough to represent the opinion and desire for the truth of over 1.6 million people in Scotland.

    Scotland needs this paper now more than ever, we need to support any media outlet that can deliver the truth and ask questions of those who represent us.

    Let’s not despair, instead let each of us in our own way – big or small, do something positive.

    So, I’m going to buy the Sunday Herald from now on.

    Derek, thank you for all your blogs and interviews, please don’t stop!

  36. You were a bit conned Scotland. That said there is a lot more at stake. NO would likely have won regardless of the concessions.

  37. Thanks so much for all you have done. Please don’t stop. We need folk like you more than ever. It still hurts.
    The best to you.

  38. Reports on BBC Radio Scotland this morning suggest that Gordon Brown has been appointed in some sort of Governor General role. It is reassuring to know that our future has been entrusted to one of the Big Beasts of British politics.

  39. Some interesting things are happening.


    Also I have a contact in Helensburgh who is setting up a professional media broadcast company.

    check out Kendomacaroonbar on Wings.

  40. Just read Robin’s article in Bella. Great! No more weeping. Keep moving forward. There’s much to be done and with determination we’ll achieve our aim.

    NB The point about walking on to the pitch with the confidence of a winner is most important.

  41. Thanks to Derek and everyone on the site for being there for the last two years, spent yesterday shedding a few tears.

    Got stopped by a Japanese TV crew and nearly burst into tears when the journalist asked me how I felt about the result (bit embarrassing for a west coast male). They asked about the “new awards” from David Cameron and before the question was finished my asnwer was a simple “It won’t happen’. Anyone who believes that powers we get will be anything other than a compromised mess to allow Johann Lamont to save face while not pissing off the “home” counties is wrong.

    So now is the time to hold fast, to regroup, to analyse every promise, threat and alliance they made to win this and throw it back in their faces.

    We proved we weren’t Too Wee, we proved we weren’t Too Poor, lets prove we’re not Too F###ing Stupid.

  42. Derek – “Yes” didn’t lose the argument they lost the referendum – in exactly the way many of us said they would: with your former professional colleagues bludgeoning the Scottish people into submission with lies and falsehoods. I have voted SNP for 40 years but in light of this undemocratic political stitch-up I won’t be voting SNP again. In fact I won’t be voting again unless I am putting a cross next to the name “Yes Scotland”. You seem to move in influential circles. Make sure the big chiefs know that facing hard reality isn’t just for us foot soldiers.

  43. “With voter registration at 97 per cent and turnout at 85 per cent, there is no question of legitimacy or representation. A margin of defeat at 10 per cent is decisive.”

    No it isn’t. A swing of just over 5% – well within the ‘marginals’ definition for WM elections would have brought a YES vote.

    The numbers game is encouraging for the next time – as next time there will be.

    The demographics are simple – sound and persuasive arguments that reduce the fear factor in the over 55s and can convert 150,000 people provides 75% of the solution. This is not unachievable with over 500,000 over 65s alone. Now we know how the fear factor works we can reduce it. Five years of austerity may deliver that constituency anyway.

    Getting another 10% turnout in the poorer working class areas is the other half. Had Glasgow delivered another 30,000 Yes votes with a 85% turnout, Edinburgh and Fife 20,000 then we already have an achievable result.

    Now there are other voting segments that need to be persuaded that democracy is better than hegemony and plutocracy.

    Middle class ‘I’m all right Jock” areas need to have their unenlightened self interest (or disinterest) questioned. At the most visceral level they need proved that their wealth and comfortable lifestyles are not under threat and may be enhanced by iScotland.

    Business hates democracy as if people have power they may even use it – yet business ethics need questioning. In Germany the Mittelstand is very heavily financed by not for profit and co-operative banks. A Scottish Sparkasse then becomes a lever for self determination.

    The biggest obstacle is the very large wall of the MSM and BBC – as they are soaked in establishment values to the point of being unaware of their own biassed editorial paradigms. I expect even Jim Naughtie thinks he is even handed.

    Yet realism is necessary. You simply cannot reach everyone. I was told by a rabid and gloating NO voter yesterday that Scotland had just been saved from bankruptcy: Salmond was mentally ill and was only waiting for a YES vote to build himself a palace.
    “Too puir, too wee, too stupit ?” I asked. “Not too wee or too puir” he said – but without any irony whatsoever , “definitely too stupit”.

  44. Is a printed newspaper a possibility? There seem to be a few free newspapers that survive ok , The Skinny being one. With crowd funding, subscriptions, a few sympathetic millionaires it should b possible. It should b remembered a fair portion of voters never went near the Indy websites or even went online

  45. Irene Heidenreich

    the yes did a great job you made so many aware of the treachery that is going on unfortunatly fear took over so many and they have to live with that the future is still ahead do not give up do not give in to fear who knows what lies ahead stay Scottish always

  46. Civic dissidents. Can I quote that, Derek? Thanks to your work here, I’ve been blogging and intend to go on. I don’t have your perspicacity nor your gravits but I try. My blog’s at http://self-determined.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/settled-will-or-unsettling-testament.html in case you want a peek.

  47. Not sure it was fear Irene – never underestimate the opposition.

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