I Give Up…

Sometimes I don’t know why I bother trying to blog. Contributors do a much better job than me.

‘While it is extremely unlikely that any supporter of an independent Scotland will be swayed from their belief by the gathering, marching and proselytising of the Orange Lodge, there is always a chance that a change can occur in even the most fervent unionist.

My mother was a member of the Orange Order and the Eastern Star. My father was a Worthy Master in the Masons and both were members or the Church of Scotland.

Both signed the National Covenant my father wore his kilt throughout his life and both wanted home rule for Scotland yet had a loyalty to a sense of Britishness brought about by the society they grew up in. Slowly the trappings of unionism dropped away and both became staunch members of the SNP..

Sadly both are now gone although my mother got to see a Scottish Parliament before she passed on. But what did they leave? Children, grand children and great grand children all workers for our Independence and a legacy of hope for the future. After the referendum seeing that I was visibly upset my thirteen year old grandson said to me  Don’t worry grandpa, we’ll get Scotland free for you.

Let them march, gather, talk, hate and fear.  We have something much greater. We have hope and love and we will prevail’

Thanks to Mosstrooper

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49 thoughts on “I Give Up…

  1. Hi Derek

    I don’t disagree with you that people can change. However the Orange Order are not people they are an organisation. They are a vile brand of protestantism. Maybe it’s my Catholic background that makes me so angry about them. I gave up religion some time ago but still believe in God.

    I have never looked down or hated anyone because of their religion. I don’t agree with religion having said the aforementioned.

    What I despise is organisations who’s sole purpose is to divide our nation. The Orange Order are peddling myths to the media. It’s all spin and lies. In order to change the next generation we need to send a message that religious division is just wrong. The end of the Order cannot come soon enough!

  2. “Don’t worry grandpa, we’ll get Scotland free for you”…

    What a fantastic story Scotland is. I hope we get a happy ending, we deserve it

  3. You need to keep the blog going Derek, not just because the articles are informing and at times entertaining but also in order that contributors such as Mosstrooper can have their say.

    You can learn as much from the contributors as from the articles. Cheers.

    • Couldn’t agree more.

      Its thanks to blogs such as this that so many exceptional voices are being heard.

      • Steve Asaneilean

        I’ll second that – please don’t stop Derek – we need you to help us cut through the undergrowth so we can better see the path ahead.

      • Really hope you weren’t being serious when you said that about giving up blogging! Maybe I don’t say it often enough or loudly enough, but your blogging is so insightful, so sharp, and so much appreciated by me. It’s a real service to the nation.

        You have the rare skill of opening up the debate, sharply identifying the key issues. What prophets used to do, by just hitting the nail on the head, speaking right to the core of the issues, and providing a mirror to the people to reflect on their condition and on their responses to issues affecting them.

  4. This to me highlights one of the saddest aspects of our fight for independence, the many who were also fighting but have passed away or may not live long enough to see their dream become reality, such as Margo MacDonald and so many others including my wee granny.

    I just hope that Alex Salmond, who has fought the longest and hardest of most of us, lives long enough to see it through… And perhaps becomes the first president of the Republic of Scotland 🙂

    • I doubt that you were trying to make me cry today Derek, but i did. I had a wee snuffle for you and all of us who felt gutted to the core on 19th September, Those weans who only just or didn’t quite have the vote then WILL deliver one day. One day. 19th September is memorable to me not only for the torture of having to sit through a pre-arranged weekend family get together of mixed yessers and naws, with a big fat elephant taking up most of the room, but for the horrors of the George Square riots and the stiffled unionist media reports of it. To get back on track a bit Derek, I love not only that you blog, and not only that you can stimulate a mass of commentators to disagree with you and still come back for more, but I love that you make me think and question my own beliefs. For now though, the spectre of 19th September in George square looms much larger than the hope of a “changed” orange order. I really want to be wrong!

    • Amen to that In my lifetime too please

  5. Ah Big Jock, but the point Derek’s contributor was making is that all organisations are made up of individuals, and not all of them agree with every detail the organisation stands for.

    Individuals don’t only stay within organisations and blindly follow the herd. They also *leave* organisations when they decide it’s not for them. The evidence is there in all of us who ever belonged to a church or faith and have left it to go our own way.

    The Orange Order might prefer us to look at it and see the combined force of its massed marches. We, however, can choose to see each individual with ears to listen and minds to think.

    Individually they can be reached and change can happen.

  6. The OO were born out of fear of a militant Church of Rome attempting to reinstate Roman Catholicism. Their attachment to the Monarchy was as a guarantee of their religious freedom. This is no longer a guarantee whereas a written constitution would guarantee this among many other benefits. And we will only get a written constitution with independence.

  7. Lovely post from your contributor Derek so keep up the good work to inspire others.

    With the appalling Orangefest taking place in Glasgow tomorrow it got me thinking about symbolism of flags and reaction to them. Born in 1950, I was brought up to respect the union flag. In the cubs and scouts the union flag was treated with a reverence which I accepted as the way things were and thought it was normal and at the time would have been upset if it were to be disrespected. However, since my political awakening to an independent Scotland in the late sixties the union flag has progressively changed meaning for me to the point where I find it troubling when I see it flying anywhere in Scotland much in the way that many unionists, even the mythical patriotic variety, are troubled when they see the Saltire flying.

    There is a petition in progress at Holyrood, supported by Mike Russell, MSP, concerning the use of the former Scottish ensign on private boats in place of the official red ensign. The Scottish ensign has the Saltire in place of the union flag in the upper left quarter, the other 3/4trs of both ensigns being red. The Scottish ensign was in use up until 1707 and it was never withdrawn but simply fell out of use. There are a small though increasing number of boat owners who have taken to wear the Scottish ensign on their boats despite the terms of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 that threatens an enormous fine and/or imprisonment for not flying the Red ensign (or one of the permitted variants of it). There will be one more boat flying the Scottish ensign this season. However, this does upset many boat owners who see it as provocatively anti-British rather than an assertion of Scottish identity.

    I worry that this is little different to the way the Orangemen feel when they are expressing their identity – I hope it is but are they just as troubled, perhaps to the point of being enraged, at the sight of a Saltire as I have become with the union flag?

    • Got to agree.
      When I see the Union Jack these days,I see it as the flag of England and a symbol of England’s dominance of Scottish affairs.
      Not good for the blood pressure!

    • Similar to you Clive maybe a generation or so later. C of S background , Brownies , Guides with the union flag , RBS family bank , TV – BBC , daily paper , Daily record ( although not for the football news).
      Don’t go near any of them now and funnily enough neither Alex Salmond or Nicola Sturgeon have anything to do with that. These institutions did all that by their own actions.
      Been lucky enough to travel a wee bit and privileged to be taken to a temple and hugged by strangers in an Italian chapel, come home and say to friends from abroad, let me show how my (ex) church allows people to represent them – the OO? No.

    • I know what you mean. I’m just in from the village gala day, and two of the floats were smothered in union flages. One was themed to VE day and the other to the royal baby. Also one of the marshalls (last heard gloating sotto voce that at least the SNP didn’t get this constituency) was flashing a mobile phone with a union jack cover.

      Frankly I had to turn away. Especially when the VE day one won, over an absolutely fantastic effort themed on the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland. I really can’t bear to look at that flag any more. The sooner it can be relegated to meaningless status the better.

    • Union flag:butcher’s apron!

  8. Don’t you bloody dare give up.

    I’ll haunt you. 😉

    My own upbringing isn’t too dissimilar to your own and spookily on seeing my face and that of Mrs M on the morning of Sept 19, both our teenage kids said their generation would get the job done.

    Its a big wide world and we all have differing views and approaches to anything and everything under the sun. Its against human nature to agree on every single issue, we’re no robots after all.

    What binds us is what matters and in this instance its a burning desire to see that our kids don’t have to finish what we started. We want to ensure that they’ll be too busy building a new independent Scotland’s future.

    • Just clocked the quote mks. 😀

      In which case my upbringing wasn’t too dissimilar to Mosstrooper’s, but the sentiment remains the same nonetheless.

      You keep on doing what you’re doing Derek.

  9. I agree Derek.

    Your blog has been inspirational to all of us. I disagree with you about this subject. However we are all together for Scotland. Not divided just confused about why we still have a bigots club taking over our city.

  10. Derek,
    Please don’t give up,we need your continuing observation of the British state and its perfidious ways to be exposed on your blog.
    We must persevere because the Westminster Tories are still expecting us to cave in and accept London rule.
    To quote that late Scottish MP, “We shall never surrender,we will fight them on the blogs…..”

    • dennis mclaughlin

      Thank the Gods for my Hebridean upbringing!.
      GCC is having a last hurrah before the curtains come down in 2017,Mathieson should be ashamed of his council’s conduct.
      Derek,your readers have expressed their views on your blog….so don’t you DARE stop!

  11. Caroline Crawford

    I agree with all the above sentiments Derek. I don’t usually reply to the blogs but as I’m living in Italy I must admit to relying on your sensible and thought provoking blogs to keep me updated. Please don’t despair. We need people like you and I will come home one day to an independent Scotland to trade in my passport for a Scottish one.
    Forget about Orangefest, like you, my family are mostly Orangemen and women and I can love and hate them all in the one sentence. But the difficulty with this forthcoming event is the legality of it. To me it is an incitement for religious bigotry which is illegal. Glasgow City Council should be ashamed for allowing it. But the cynic in me says that this is a deliberate act by an embittered labour group who can’t let go. Please hope people stay away and “keep the heid”.

    • I agree wholeheartedly about the idea of staying away. Remember, if the shops are empty because of the Orangefest, the shopowners won’t like it and will make their feelings clear to the Council. I suspect they have more clout than the citizens.

      If you do have to shop, how about a day trip to somewhere else? Edinburgh, perhaps?

  12. “Don’t worry grandpa, we’ll get Scotland free for you.” goosebumps and a wee tear in the eye. Let’s keep up the good fight, we can still do it for them.

  13. George S Gordon

    As I’m from a bluenose background (but no longer a Rangers supporter) and a long-time atheist, I really enjoyed reading that.

    There were no Orange Order connections in my family that I know of, but I encountered a few funny handshakes at Ibrox from pals of my Dad and Uncle. I did think it was a bit odd to be shaking hands with a schoolboy!

    Worth noting that, in those days, I don’t remember anyone in the crowd waving Union flags.

    I do recall trying to cross through an Orange Order march when rushing to catch a train at Queen Street Station. I was held back by the police – for my own protection I think.

  14. Derek I have written some code that, should your blog detect that you are about to throw in the towel, will send long, snake-like tendrils out from your keyboard and pin you to your chair.

    You were being tongue-in-cheek, I know. Here’s my chance to say I love reading your blog. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I disagree, but I always appreciate your ability to unpick something so that we can see the warp and weft and argue about it.

    Mosstrooper: ” We have something much greater. We have hope and love and we will prevail!” On the nail.

  15. Charles Kearney

    Although totally appalled and saddened at the result of the Referendum I managed to keep a Stiff Upper Lip, it was, however, my 12 Year Old Grandson who burst into Tears on being told the result the Morning after. Am I bitter? You better believe it, but, like your Grandson, mine will remember and ensure that Independence is inevitable.
    With one Foot in the Grave and the other on a Banana Skin, I begin to fear now that I will not see it, however, the fact that I have never seen so many protests against any event like those against the ‘Orangefest,’ on Face Book, Twitter and Media etc., reassures me that a Majority of People in Scotland want a United Nation to go forward into the future with all of this Tribal Nonsense securely in our Past!

  16. VikkingsDottir

    Derek, and anyone else,
    I’ve been shocked by the number of people complaining about the event that will take place in George Square on Saturday, saying it should be banned and all that. I don’t agree.
    I was brought up RC and I recall as a child, seeing a march and complaining about it to my mother, whom I was with at the time. She was a devout Catholic. She stopped me in my tracks and said ‘This is a democracy and we have freedom of speech and the right to demonstrate and these folk have the right to march. You can’t stop them just because you don’t like it.’
    She was right and although I agree with a lot of what your contributors have said, we would be in a sorry state if we could stop people expressing themselves just because some of us don’t like it.
    You’re not giving up the blog Derek. Your country needs you!
    (That’s you telt.)

  17. Orange Walks were banned in Kirkcaldy in 1971, OO fought it but have only done one or two since then but banned from the centre of town. My brother in law is the Grand Master of one of our lodges and they do a lot of good with fundraising to take pensioners on day trips. We are fortunate in Fife that in most, both Catholics and Protestants live amongst each other and respect each others faiths, during the auld firm games friends wore their green and blue tops, sat in same pub if not at game and bantered with each other. I know there are nasty loyalists, unionist Orange marchers in Fife who shame the county, they are the ones that turn up at SDL marches wiith their pals in the EDL. I see it as the individual that has the massive problem, have numpties for parents,grandparents that taught them hate for Catholics that was passed down and this is what we get in abundance in Glasgow and surrounding areas but we should never forget there are those in OO who have taught their kids to accept others religions and to lay to rest as much as they can the bitter, rotten past or William of Orange. We can but hope more and more teach their kids to shrug of that bitter hate spewed out still in sectarianism and shoved in the faces of Catholics in those vile marches. Scotland will always have this stain until more and more folk who are proud protestants teach their kids to be proud in other ways in my opinion. Time to bury this kind of Orange parade where its an excuse for many thugs to physically or mentally abuse Catholics. Glasgow just has to look to other parts of Scotland to see how Catholics and Protestants have evolved and do Scotland proud of being inclusive….its up to the people of Glasgow who can do so much pride to the city then drag out sectarianism that cancels out all the good in the city.

  18. Robert the Bruce and the spider spring to mind never give up

  19. If you have the time, Google the history of the Orange Lodge/Order. I did, It’s an “eye opener”. Also the history of William of Orange, ( King Billy ). You just could not “make it up”.

  20. Derek, I know why you bother! Because you are bothered by Westminster Rule! And we bother to read your blogs for the same reason! You’re welcome!

  21. By stopping the marches in Glasgow, we would not stop bigotry. But we would send a message that the majority support each other against the morons in our society. That’s why it’s wrong to allow these parades. They are hate filled, scary and degrading to a modern nation.

  22. GavinC Barrie

    Ex – Provest Michael Kelly, aye him, declares that the protests against OrangeFest are protests against Labour and Glasgow City Council.

    Any port in a storm I suppose. Eh Michael?

  23. I always look forward to reading your updates. Please don’t give up.

  24. Derek

    Was never your biggest fan when you were on the BBC (sorry but that’s how it is)- but really like what you’ve done since leaving and I check the blog daily for updates- being disappointed if there’s not anything new. Today’s was great- not because it wasn’t your words but the sentiment that came through was telling. Think about the message from that post and what it means for the future of Scotland from where we are. I’ve got grey hair and my belief in Scottish Independence isn’t for me, it’s for my children and, if I’m lucky, grandchildren et al to be. If they believe in Scotland then we must reach a place where independence will happen.

    Re the OO. Surely they should be allowed to congregate- free speech for them and a reminder to others of what can happen through intolerance and hanging onto a world moved on. For me they represent the UKIP view from the past- mainly ‘they come round here and they steal our jobs’ as Brian McNeill would say. Whether you like it or not, it’s part of our history- not all that long ago either- and let’s recognise this, see fewer people celebrate it going forward and come out the other end and still allow the OO to have their congregation after independence as they’re part of where we come from.

  25. It never ceases to amaze me how much history often turns 180 degrees. Most orange men would be shocked to the core to learn that King Billy was fighting on behalf of the Pope at the Battle of the Boyne.

  26. I hope Glasgow City Council bus lane contraventions rocket, – Where’s George Square ? ” it’s no far mate just drive through that Nelson Mandela Square “

  27. And you know the best thing? in less than 3 years Mosstrooper’s grandson can vote in referendums 😉

  28. If you want images of Nazi parades in Scotland beamed round the World then fine.

    If you want people to come and visit or invest then the OO and their followers need to be exterminated. Just like the NF and assorted fascist groups.

    Freedom of speech is one thing. Freedom to inflict your bigotry on other people is not.

  29. dont you dare stop how willi find the truth to to pass on to no voters every day i look for your blog big d

  30. Please keep your blog going Derek, don’t dare give up !

  31. Must be something in the air, ‘cos when I was reading about Mosstrooper’s grandson, my eyes misted over.

  32. We need your Blog and Bella and Wings and the National et al. To debate and share yes but mostly to help educate. Somewhere to point family and friends when they have mentioned something about the MSM that has made them wonder what is going on.

    Somewhere we can easily find images of the Bully Boys on George Square 19th September 2014 and 6th June 2015.

    The only way is to ignore them and their silly behaviour, apart from perhaps pointing out the funny fancy dress to the kids. Yes, make them behave and not intimidate or be abusive, but leave it up to the Police.

    Oh, and don’t forget to tell the Grandchildren about the Pope ordering the bells to be rung when Billy the Mercenary beat the rebel priests. Oh and aye, a long time ago, long long before Google and Wiki, looking for something to annoy a friend in the Pub, I found this in a Library:- “King William, a good Soldier, was however small in stature, effeminate, large breasted and terrified of that Horse”.

  33. Heh, I take it you get the jist by this point Derek? 🙂

  34. My parents met collecting signatures for the Covenant in the early Fifties. Very little religious background and diverse attitudes in the next generation. Enjoy the blog Derek. Keep going with it.

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