If You Don’t Know By Now

I’m thinking about taking the advice of Unionist friends and giving this up. They think I’m wasting my time because I’m not any good. But the real reason for stopping is altogether different…is there any point?

What more do we have to do to show that, whatever your doubts about independence, sticking with the UK is a mug’s game? Are we really thirled to a country that allows 10,000 people to lose their jobs and many their expected pensions so a gold digger and tax dodger can buy his third massive yacht…do we really owe allegiance to a parliament that knowingly says No to a mere 3000 destitute and frightened children…can we stomach the corruption that allows a cover-up of 96 unnecessary deaths to last nearly 30 years…or the biggest transfer of public money to the richest few in history in a bank bail-out and money-printing exercise…while an unfair sacking can’t be challenged without £500 in cash up front…where landlords are handed billions in subsidies while a majority of young adults can’t buy a home…where we are reliant on foreign governments for energy policy and pile taxpayers’ money into inflated nuclear price deals that last a generation…and a country where promise after promise made to hold us in is cynically broken by a Prime Minister who one day loves us and the next tells a colleague he couldn’t care less if we stay or go?

Whatever doubts exist over a future outside the UK – and there are salient issues at play – have we not reached the stage where the minuses outweigh the pluses. If you’re Unionist by instinct, how do you view the running of Britain today as the various brands of Toryism spit and scratch at each other over EU membership? Is an internal ideological schism enough reason to risk the stability of the country for the foreseeable future? Isn’t that why so many couldn’t risk their vote for Yes – uncertainty over economic buoyancy and yet here it is being threatened on a grander scale by the same people who told us instability had to be avoided?

It was the same Tories who told us our European future was safer in the Union. The Clyde shipyards had only one guarantee – a No vote – something now worth less than it was as the MoD squirms over its reduced and delayed orders. The union men who fronted the No campaign look like suckers now but isn’t that the way it is for us all?

How many times do we have to learn the lesson so many automatic apologists of government never do…politicians lie. Not just mislead by pointing out partial facts that suit their case but dishonestly fabricate and falsify. The list of such crimes against Scotland since the indyref lengthens to removal of the carbon capture project (again), cutting support for renewables and, of course the fast delivery of major constitutional change. The scale of the let-downs reminds us just how rattled the British were and of the depths of their desperation to keep control of us – an odd juxtaposition with their constant narrative of subsidy from England and disregard for claims for more powers.

Is the Unionist answer still: Aye, but it would be far worse after a Yes vote? There are still frigate orders coming, just not as many or as quick and there would be none at all under independence. Is that true? Would a government deep in debt and frantically selling off any utility it can to raise money really upsticks from the Clyde, invest in an English port at a cost of hundreds of millions, search for a qualified workforce, all with only vindictiveness as motive? The naval man who gave evidence to the Scottish Affairs Committee made clear that existing orders would be fulfilled because it was simply too tricky to do otherwise.

It’s true that for the doubters the specific arguments over the economy and currency outweigh all else but, even as they remain sceptical, do they still view the old UK with equanimity? Is it still the powerful political and cultural entity that makes the heart beat faster? Cameron and Osborne have hollowed out the idea of the island nation by squeezing everything that makes life better for ordinary citizens from the threat to human rights, the attack on universal welfare, the deliberate rejection and impoverishment of youth and the feather-bedding of pensioners, the obsessive concentration of subsidy and wealth in the South East, the demonization of immigration and asylum and the Victorian hounding of claimants.

What are the SNP sins that compare? Well, from the Left, they haven’t done enough for the dispossessed and won’t put taxes up. From the Right, they’re Hell-bent on a second referendum. Neither, I’d say, convincing to the traditional Unionist No voter. (They haven’t even got a referendum in the manifesto).

Are Unionists waiting for a gentler Conservatism? Or for Jeremy Corbyn? If the election returns another SNP government there will be many who will finally come to terms with the changed reality of a Scotland determinedly different from the rest of the country and ask themselves if it isn’t also time they got in tune. Supporting the Union means voting for Dugdale, Davidson or Rennie and their scarecrow parties. The days when there was talent and gravitas in abundance are long gone. Just as an earlier generation deserted the Tories (for Roseanna Cunningham in Perth in the mid 90’s and for Blairite Labour) so the remaining core of Unionism will have to decide – thrawn to the end or embrace the new orthodoxy? Those who opt for Davidson do so in the knowledge they are backing the government and scorched earth policies of Cameron. At one time a vote for anything up to 20 Scottish Tory MPs was married directly to the powerful London-based party who had UK-wide popularity. Today there is a single nice but unimpressive MP feeding into a divisive centre. Davidson’s Holyrood troup exists almost exclusively because of a PR system in a chamber they tried to stop happening.

Most of us can at least vote with pride and conviction. But how often can you vote with a heavy heart and a reluctant hand for something you know is passing and may soon be gone?

Put it this way. If you haven’t understood the decline of Britain, you’re unlikely to grasp the vision for Scotland. And that means I’m wasting my time.

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72 thoughts on “If You Don’t Know By Now

  1. Derek your time is not wasted. That’s just a fact.

  2. katherine hamilton

    Hi derek
    I agree with you. You are wasting you’re time. But hell, what else are you going to do with it!!
    We all are as exasperated as you, but your curse is to be able to articulate it better than most.
    So, brother, stick with it, because as you’ve said at the end of many posts on here, indy is inevitable.
    Don’t know when. Let’s see how you feel on the 6th May. Big smile, I think, with the summer campaign about to start.

    Keep the faith.

  3. I understand your frustration and you all too accurately describe what many of us feel about where we are. I do hope you can keep on going.

  4. David Torrance and Ian Mcwhirter are used by STV I wish you were.

  5. Keep the faith. You’ve articulated exactly how I feel – but I also believe that Indy is inevitable, it’s when not if!

  6. Derek, You have moved and informed us on many occasions. Your intellect and decency are core strengths but your ability to collate and articulate complex facts and feelings is what makes you worthwhile and vital. Your last paragraph makes it clear why you are not wasting your or anyone else’s time. It reveals to us yet another way to engage, enlighten and guide the (insecure and frightened) No voters towards a decent, more humane future centred here in Scotland.

  7. Your writing is excellent, essential and at least one of my psychological ‘5 a day’. Perhaps the advice your unionist friends are offering is poo?

  8. Unfortunately there are people who will never get it Derek.

    I work with these eejits. I am in a team of people where i am the only one who studies politics outside the MSM screaming headlines. I am the only known independence supporter.

    One guy made up his mind he was voting no the day the referendum was proposed. A closed mind not interested in politics but voting no just because. He had 2 years to study the facts ,but you can lead a horse to water and all that. I don’t think he lifted an eyelid to learn anything about Scotland’s history, the economy, the culture. I don’t waste oxygen on these deadbeats. They are not like me and I am so glad of that.

    So people like Ruth Davidson on the other spectrum know what is going on , and are happy to play the game. The Tories decided after the referendum that they were going to cast Scotland off but retain the parts useful to them. So they gave us the useless bits of taxation that can never be used. They kept the oil and Nuclear bases and the Whisky tax. They are treating Scotland like a company does when it is running down another company it owns. In other words. Damn right they will take any profits and they will keep the assetts. But we can look after the workers, the investment and upkeep.

    Fortunately we have a very clever SNP government who can deal with the worst elements of this nasty government. But for how much longer.

    Eventually we reach breaking point. We need out of this nasty union before Scotland becomes a wasteland.

  9. Heidstaethefire

    Even if you feel you’re preaching to ghe converted, that converted still need their point of view articulated, and still need to be informed and to keep in touch. Stick with it, being an old retired fart with nothing to do would soon lose its charm.

  10. When I look at what’s happening around us I, like you, despair, but then I remember the hope we had during the indy ref and know we can create a much better future. Keep the faith Derek you’re doing a fantastic job.

  11. “But the real reason for stopping is altogether different…is there any point?”

    Sadly, I believe that there may no longer be any point. Your second paragraph detailed much of what is wrong in the UK at present but I think the problem is now much worse than that. I believe that the people of the UK have become inured to all of these stories of political graft and corruption. They have heard too many of them.

    They now accept that we live in a world where politicians freely tell lies, fiddle expenses, get involved in sex scandals, officially sweep these under the carpet and behave in ways that would have caused rioting and revolution before the blessed Maggie arrived at the doorstep of number with her misquote of St Francis of Assisi.

    Hardly a week goes by without some new revelation nonchalance of corruption in government or political scandal, Most of these revelations can be (and usually are) corroborated but nothing is done about them. Pre Maggie many of them would have been enough to bring down governments!

    “Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.”


  12. Oh please don’t give up. We desperately need all our articulate writers to maintain the interest in Scottish politics engendered by the 2014 referendum. We were so close to success then and the continuing exposure of WM corruption by yourself and others working for our next referendum will surely make for a decisive Yes the next time.

  13. It struck me, when the blatant greed of the BHS guy became apparent and he grabbed all the spoils for himself and bought himself a yacht, leaving thousands out of work, that this is the Tory MO. Use and abuse. It’s what Tories do. Scotland is not of any use to the elite apart from it being a playground and a handy oil tap, so they have no compunction at all about squeezing Scotland dry of all possible assets to keep themselves afloat and to hell with the Scots. BHS and greedy bastard owner are the perfect analogy for what’s going on.

    I hope you won’t give up, Derek. You have a way with words and analysis that would make Scottish alternative media poorer without it. Maybe just think about it or have a break away for a short while.

    Although, that said, this week I, like you and millions of others, am sickened by what we see and hear. How anyone at all can be proud or protective of a union that is being so devalued and so battered, and that no longer has a shred of moral stature. For me the crunch, the final, splintering crunch, came when Cameron tried to suggest that taking 3,000 small, frightened children into our country and our hearts would somehow insult other European nations. I saw him for what he was, a snivelling, cowardly, morally bankrupt little man. At that point, I hated this ugly union led by an ugly-hearted party.

  14. kailyard rules

    Again, just SNP x 2 and Forward.

  15. Unionists want all nationalists to stop Derek. It’s what they do!

  16. ‘I’m thinking about taking the advice of Unionist friends and giving this up. They think I’m wasting my time because I’m not any good. But the real reason for stopping is altogether different…is there any point?’

    Two reasons.

    Because someone has to and because you care.

    We all care. Its why we’re here and paying attention. Its why we all got up off our bums in the referendum and hit the streets. Mainly because folk like you got us out there and got us loud about it. You and a growing host of others got online and told us what the mainstream would not. You lifted us when we were down, inspired us, made us think, laugh, cry, rage and share. Put simply, the job isn’t done yet and there are other folk needing brought on board and needing a voice to listen to they can understand and rely upon.

    I’d say that’s the point.

    Oh and, actually there’s a third reason, which is that I’d have Mrs M hunt you down and slap you silly.

    Some hands on Mrs M.

    • Good for Mrs M. I’ll hold Derek still while she does the slapping. No one in this fight gets to quit!! 😉

  17. Mr Bateman please don’t go, we who read your blogs and contribute monthly do it for a reason. You are one of the few who we can rely on to sort out all the drivel in this mad UK…Thank you for helping us see a bit of light in the murky depths of WM.

  18. Don’t let the b*****ds grind you down , Derek . The end is nigh for the Union !

  19. “What’s the Point …. ” agree none Derek

    Other than the many who read your blog , who dont need convinced but do need to know we are not alone .

    Sometimes having a read of this blog reminds me we have talented people out there telling it like it is . Your one of these very rare talents who wades through the rubbish for the small bits of truth.

    I would really, really miss you Derek . That’s the main reason . For 3 years i have enjoyed this blog. and you packing up would feel like i am losing a friend .

    And we still have a job to do my friend …… we’re not indi yet .

    So i can expect another article soon ….?

    hope so 🙂

  20. Oh stop bleeding moaning , Ha Ha , just imagine how Mis Dugdale feels right now with redundancy on the horizon , and the prospect of being replaced by Anus Sarwar oh what an embarrassment .
    I tuned into the BBC program on the Welsh steel plant facing closure , not a mention of the most productive steel plant in Europe , Ravenscraig strangely the tories in Scotland fought tooth and nail to save it contrary to perceived opinion , they were totally shitting themselves about the political fallout because it was obvious Ravenscraig was a price worth paying to save English and Welsh plants .
    This has been going on for years in effect we don’t matter never have , the Labour Party that for years sent dummy’s south to sit and nod ,effectively and very successfully managed to hide the truth that this isn’t a union of equal nations more or less federalism as unionists would have us believe , its a bleeding occupation by a bigger country whose priorities don’t include us , the days of Shipbuilding on the Clyde are numbered under Unionist governance of any colour I might add.

  21. I can sympathise with Derek – I felt like packing it all in during the month of December 2014. It was only then that the implications of a no vote sunk in…

    And then I hit the history books and read up on the long struggle of the SNP to get to that stage, the setbacks and disappointments, the shattered dreams, and how easy it would have been to give up.

    I looked at the characters of the people involved. Jim Sillars gave up his seat on the Labour gravy train to campaign for what he believed in.

    Sturgeon and Salmond could have taken the easy route in politics and joined Labour. They would have risen rapidly through the ranks: councillor, safe Westminster seat, maybe even one of the big cabinet jobs. All the while getting the soft soap interviews from the Daily Record.

    But they chose the harder route, and all the scorn and ill-will that was heaped upon them for believing in Scotland…and look where they are now…

    We won’t lose with people like that amongst our ranks.

    And then something else occurred to me: nearly half of Scotland had voted to leave, and in the aftermath, alarm bells should have been ringing in London, but not one Unionist lifted a finger to save the Union. They had gotten lucky this time…

    And I knew then the Union was finished. The glue that bonded Britain together: welfare state, sense of union, place in the world, was unravelling at a rate of knots.

    That’s when I knew Scottish independence was only a question of when, not if…

    Scottish culture has awakened, Holyrood is a permanent institution in our lives, and the gulf between Scotland and the rest of the UK is as wide as it’s ever been…

    I won’t blame you if you walk away, Mr Bateman – you’ve done your bit for the cause, and anybody that says otherwise is an idiot, but me?

    Well, I’ll keep battling away…

  22. Agree with most of your comments however re Hillsborough not so sure that the establishment in Scotland wouldn’t look to cover up as well…but keep up the good work!!

  23. smiling vulture

    SNP starring the UK treasury in the eye.,was highlight for me

  24. Stuart Macdonald

    All of the above.

  25. Alasdair Macdonald

    Mr Bateman’s summary of the flaws in the union is excellent. I hope I am wrong, but my reading is that he is bewailing the failure of unionists to see what is so obvious. Of course, it is obvious to me as someone who supports independence, but the question which seems to be causing Mr Bateman to tear his hair in frustration is why some otherwise intelligent decent and fair minded people do not acknowledge that the union is a busted flush. However, only a small number of them have to change for YES to win. I think the tide is turning, perhaps might even have turned. The Hillsborough decision is another example of how when decent people persist, they win in the end. It has been a long haul and will continue to be, through the referendum, the General Election, with the Scottish elections next week, the European referendum next month and the council elections next year. Even the Lords is talking about a federal UK. “the centre cannot hold; all is changed, changed utterly”.
    Mr Bateman will be there on Independence Day!

    • Alasdair Macdonald

      Aaaaargh! Predictive text!!*#€$*\~!
      My second sentence should have been “I hope I am NOT wrong, ……”

  26. Those I know who voted cling on to anything that justifies their vote oil etc or just don’t believe that Scotland is a Nation

    BBC bangs on about loss of oil revenue and corporation tax with out pointing out that those revenues go to WM.
    As long as those proud Scots have a kiddy on football or Rugby team actual real sovereignty doesn’t mater they believe the myth of “extensive powers” ” most powerful Devolved ” because the media doesn’t question or compare jersey IoM any American state and they just don’t care.
    And that sadly is the truth

    • The lie of Scotland’s oil running out has been that same lie circling our airwaves since it was discovered.

      Get those you know to look at this clip from an episode of QT in 1987. Get them to listen to Denis Healey telling Alex Salmond that the oil is running out and that the Scottish people will suffer terribly if Scotland became Independent. Get them to take this in. Let their tiny heid’s explode wi the revelation that that same lie is still doggedly used time and again today, let them wonder why it didn’t run out and hasn’t run out and isn’t running out…

      Maybe a spark of realisation might penetrate the ignorance then…we just need a few more to ‘see’ through the thick smoke of Unionist lies that have engulfed their perceptions and we have to keep working away at people…in whatever small ways we can.

      And Derek, dinnae gie up…we need you.


  27. Should read those who voted No

  28. Of course it is worth carrying on – what else would we do? It’s not as if no progress has been made in the last 10 years, is it? Come on, of course it gets harder the closer we get. The final hurdle is always the hardest. Do we give up at the final hurdle because “Och it’s really too difficult, and the people are no listening”? Ay right.

    Pennies are dropping around Scotland everyday. Many NO voters do get it, some even got it in 2014, but they just weren’t ready. It can be a painfully slow process at times, but when we get impatient, let us remember those hardy souls who kept the flame, the dream of independence burning back in the 1960s, when no one wanted to know. We owe it to them to keep going, if nothing else.

  29. Bateman is to the independence debate what bacon is to eggs: they’re made for each other.

  30. Don’t give up! We come here to read your blog because we need to read intelligent, focused articles on the current politics of Scotland. Where else, other than in a few Indy blogs, can we get our fix of insightful analysis. We have no Scottish media reflecting back our lived experience.

    Very occasionally, a film or documentary or history programme will slip through the net. But the landscape is pretty bleak. It would be so much bleaker if Derek Bateman wasn’t painting his pictures with words.

    Soon we will be independent and able to set up our own broadcasting network. I would expect you to be at the helm!

  31. Derek, every single day I’m out canvassing at the doorsteps, or talking with a member of the public, I find myself amazed at how little of the information which we all take for granted has filtered down into the public consciousness. I still meet people who’ve never heard of the McCrone report; who are still under the assumption Scotland couldn’t keep its oilfields at all; who never had any idea about the main issues. Pensioners who were told that they would lose their pensions altogether; migrants who were warned that they would be immediately deported; young families who were advised to stock up on food to brace themselves against an upcoming economic disaster.

    I sometimes get immensely frustrated when I see poll after poll showing half or more of Scots voting against independence – but how can we expect anything else, when so many of them simply don’t have access to the facts and truth and are constantly bombarded by a media and establishment telling them otherwise?

    There are many people out there who can be brought over, even after all this time. If you still feel like packing it in because you’re exhausted, or fed up, then I wish you all the best – but please don’t pack it in because you feel you’re not making a difference. You are. We all are.

  32. Perhaps this is the time where we pick you up and steady you, as you’ve been doing for us. You’ve been able to articulate the argument when we’ve been frustrated and lost for those words faced with the scale of the job ahead. The deluge of deceit from Westminster is never ending, and each day seems worse than the last. But what’s been awakened won’t go back to sleep – it’s impossible. And with the full weight of establishment and it’s despicable media against us, look what we managed to achieve. Cried for days post referendum. Mum said, “What you crying for? I was up lampposts on your Grandad’s shoulders under cover of darkness, fifty years ago, putting up signs for a candidate we knew no-one was going to vote for! 1.6 million people just voted for independence. Dry your eyes, get up and get on”.
    And Mum’s always right. (We need you).

  33. A brilliantly heartfelt piece. Just how I’m feeling. But we must carry on. For the sake of the people.

  34. we are now at the locked gates of independence, a good pair of hands and some bolt cutters will unlock Scotland from it’s own self induced slavery to FEAR !

  35. But aren’t Stella McCartney’s Team GB uniforms nice ?

  36. Please do not give up I love your blog, it cheers me up knowing we have such amazing folk like yourself fighting the battle, of course they want you to give up, they are hoping we all give up but we must not then they have won,we will get there in the end xx

  37. You’re not wasting your time.

    Even committed independence supporters continue to require information, encouragement and reminders of what has been and what will come. Every time you publish an article you reinforce the case for independence, and you help to sustain the momentum which Scotland gathered in the run up to September 18th. You encourage me, and that means you are encouraging others, too.

    If there were no more voters to be convinced of the case for independence then we would be there already, but we’re not. Every time you post, you defy the main stream media misrepresentation, you defy the lies and the smears and the bullying, and we – all of us – we need that. I don’t doubt that your readership is largely composed of those who already support independence, but not all. If your incisive, passionate writing changes the mind of one, or five, or ten, or fifteen people, then your time has not been wasted. Indeed, in the run up to this election your writing has influenced my second vote. When swithering and wondering what to do, I looked to your writing, and to that of the wee ginger dug, for trustworthy analysis.

    Your writing is at the forefront of the Scottish citizen’s media, the direct, tangible and unprecedented response to the great democratic empowerment of Scottish people which was the true victory of the referendum. You and those others who do what you do represent everything that we need to keep a hold of if we want a better country and a better world. That cannot stop. We need you. Please don’t stop writing.

  38. A great part of middle class Scotland voted against independence because it cost them
    nothing to do so. And whether they believe in Greater England or not it prevents democracy
    in Scotland which is what they want.
    However come 2017 and with it
    – possible EU exit
    – Labour loses access to Local Government budgets and ability to buy votes
    – London Housing crash (increasingly predicted)

    then where are they ?. London housing crash precipitates Sterling crisis and interest rates rise
    to protect it (and the City of London). Then they will squeal like stuck pigs and will Westminister
    won’t help (cf earlier nineties Lawson boom&bust) so that will leave Holyrood as the only salvation.

  39. Those who remain voting for obsolete parties in this election, shall be left behind by the tide that is nearing our shores! It is coming and we will be forever changed like it or not! Change is coming!

  40. Another thing to go in your list: the Tories’ sustained deconstruction of the NHS, as exemplified by the junior doctors strikes this week – imperfect as it is, it’s still one of THE reasons for living in the UK.

  41. Steve Asaneilean

    Keep going Derek.

    It’s only through people like you, me and everyone else who reads and comments here and elsewhere that what we all want – independence for Scotland – can actually come about.

    Have hope all ye who enter here – paradise found.

  42. As far as I am concerned the unionists are the minority. Look at the projected seats for SNP and Greens and it’s pretty clear.

    The problem is that the unionists control the media. They also speak in unison and as if to speak for the majority. Yet they don’t. The majority of Scotland would be quite comfortable having indi 2. If you listen to the media Scotland is against it.

    That’s just garbage. But they put the message out often enough, that even pro indi people start to believe it.

    So the noisy I’ll informed unionists can rattle their skulls as loud as they want. We are winning this. Dugdale is toast, she still doesn’t get Scotland. We are not wedded to the Union. She would hope we were because Slabour backed the wrong side and lost their entire core support. That’s why they won’t change. It’s only the truth Brits left in Slabour. The Scots have deserted them.

    We are winning Derek. The louder they protest the weaker their position.

    We are the new normal, they are the past.

  43. There’s no doubt you sometimes feel as though you are banging your head against a brick wall, but for every no voter who obstinately buries their head in the sand, there are two who who will eventually see the light of day and cross the line. Don’t forget the sacrifices others have made for the cause. Willie McRae gave the ultimate sacrifice. Alex Salmond has withstood unjustified vilification from far lesser mortals. We all have suffered the slurs and manipulation of the establishment and their media sidekicks, but the goal is just around the corner. The winning post is within sight. All that is required is one final push and we require all our weapons primed and ready for the final charge. You are one of those weapons. This isn’t the time to give up. That is exactly what the unionists hope for. Let’s not give them the satisfaction. Time for us all to roll our sleeves up. My 85 year old father expresses regret that he might not see the day. I hope that we can prove him wrong.

  44. Please don’t give up (though I feel you have your tongue in cheek )

    I do enjoy your blogs , from a good writing perspective , though I find your broad brush strokes (like the second paragraph) make rousing points , but don’t stand up too much practical examination .

    Are we not going to have investment banks in iScotland , if we do they wont lend to the wrong people , who cant pay them back and they wont collapse , and we wont need to bale them out etc

    Just how is that going to work practically ? 2/3rds of Scots own their own home after all , so most will have had a mortgage from a bank at one time Banks lent willy nilly , House prices went up , people borrowed and consumed more , as a result , ,,,,,,, then the music stopped .

    Most of Europe had some kind of property crash when the banks collapsed , Ireland . Portugal , Spain et all had severe austerity , and their economies have never quite recovered .

    years after the crash the European central bank , is buying up bonds , and using QE , to stimulate demand in the economy .

    the UK , USA , Japan , and now the Eurozone , have all “printed money ” , so its hardly a problem unique to the “union ” .

    Central banks “blow up bubbles ” , cause share prices , commodity prices to rise , since “rich ” people have their assets in “things ” , they have got even richer .

    So much as I sympathise with your morose summary in paragraph 2 , I do take a different view from it , (though i can see where you are coming from )

    Dont give up . 😉

  45. I think you need to change your friends, Derek. Giving up is exactly what Ruth, Cameron and the unionists want. The more people who give up the easier it is for them to win.

    Take a deep breath, stop watching TV and reading papers and make some new friends with a more positive attitude,

    • Exactly! With friends like these who needs etc. Cheer up, the good weather’s on its way and Scotland’s heading towards independence FAST! Just talking with neighbours the other day about the great change in the Highlands. Once upon a time the SNP hadn’t a hope and now the opposite is the case. The unionists are on their way out.

      So, enjoy the lovely Spring sunshine when it arrives and help us romp home to victory!

  46. I’m so impatient to leave this rotting Union I’ll use patience to try and persuade others.

  47. “And you still can hear me singin’ to the people who don’t listen,
    To the things that I am sayin’, prayin’ someone’s gonna hear.
    And I guess I’ll die explaining how the things that they complain about,
    Are things they could be changin’, hopin’ someone’s gonna care.

    I was born a lonely singer, and I’m bound to die the same,
    But I’ve got to feed the hunger in my soul.
    And if I never have a nickel, I won’t ever die ashamed.
    ‘Cos I don’t believe that no-one wants to know.”

    NEVER stop singing Derek

  48. I’m finding it increasingly difficult to have any unionist friends, and I certainly wouldn’t listen to what they advised me to do! The diehard unionist has his/her fingers in their ears (and their head up an anagram of same).
    Others are changing, and listening, and there are some I have pointed in your direction and who follow you and believe in you. For their sake, and mine, don’t give up. For what it’s worth, I don’t think you will.
    Remember what Gramsci wrote in prison about the pessimism of the intellect and the optimism of the will. Perhaps old Italian Marxists are not your thing, but he certainly makes a good case for fighting on for you beliefs against whatever odds.
    You do good work. Please keep going.

  49. hard to look on the bright side of life when we see the wm corruption, injustice and british on every advert, programme, stamp, food label…talk about mind games with the populace…why cant the naysayers be rational and see the wm corruption/ injustice/ media manipulation for what it is…a load of crap and dangerous at that…i feel like scotland is like a delicate plant that keeps getting entangled in the weeds of wm, and sapping the strength out of every positive we have in this land…time is of the essence to get the hell out as my late dad would say, a brighter and more positive country for our young..if not asset stripping and wasteland will be all thats left due to our peoples fear factor and lack of vision..help us derek, we need you…

  50. But the real reason for stopping is altogether different…is there any point? With respect Mr Bateman it seems to me that you appear to be struggling mentally as in thinking am I doing any good. (If not then I apologise unresevedly). However to answer the question, yes there is a point as to use a quote attributed to Edmund Burke “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Your contribution is immense and even if only read by the converted i.e. yes/independence supporters you (and others) give us the encouragemnt and evidence with which to argue our part. May I suggest taking a complete break, recharge your batteries come back stronger and again to quote Edmund Burke “Never despair, but if you do, work on in despair” and “Our patience will achieve more than our force”. Having said all that sir, what is most important is your own health and the health of your family and if you do decide not to continue then please know that you do so with the respect and heartfelt thanks for all you have done so far.

  51. Graham Christie

    Derek the communication skills you show in your blogs are the reason you must continue your writings. Most of us can’t do this and rely on people like you to keep the faith. So don’t you dare give this up!

  52. Your writing offers one of the last refuges for the sane. Do not stop, please.

  53. I couldn’t bear it if you gave up. Please don’t ever give up. I really appreciate your writing. It fair cheers me.

    As to why people are not yet won over – there are some people whose minds are just clammed shut. I have a friend who explains her position as, ‘it’s just that I’ve always been for Labour’. The fact that Labour is no longer Labour makes no difference to her, she just doesn’t get it. I like her, but if we ever talk politics I get blazing mad at her stupidity and intransigence. Sometimes she will come out with a slightly better argument, ‘it’s just that I think it’s better if we stay united’. That at least has a morality to it, though why you would want to stay united with a cheat and an abuser and suffer for no effect is something I can’t seem to get across. There is no morality in masochism. Masochism is not a virtue. Other Labour die-hards just hate the SNP and will not see anything positive there. Again, minds closed shut.

    Others still believe we are too wee, poor, stupid, and have just never been politicised.

    And those are the hopeful ones.

    The ones who are truly hopeless are the comfortable middle classes with zero conscience or Scottish identity. They are just too comfortable and self-serving to care about anyone or anything but themselves and instinctively they feel that major change is a risk to their comfort, so why take the risk?

    I think it is like a bell curve though. Though we may not feel we are making progress, we are, bit by bit, voter by voter. There will come a point when the wall suddenly crumbles and we will be through.

    Meanwhile we just have to stay the citrse and keep pushing.

  54. “You cannot be serious”

  55. Haud gaan Derek. Stay the course with us till election at least. Best wishes.

  56. You are a marathon runner who has hit the wall. After reading your posts for so long now, I know you want to cross that line and to do that you need to keep pushing through the pain you are experiencing at the moment.

    The more information a person has, the more likely they are to be a supporter of independence. You are one of the generals that supply the rest of us with that information and thoughtful insight so that we can get out there and keep chipping away, bit by bit.

    All of us here support you and understand the way you feel. It was never going to be easy so keep fighting the good fight.

  57. Give this up. The clarity of what you say is staggering. Don’t stop. It is voices like yours that fuel people like me.

  58. If you’re listening to Unionists, you’ll always get down. A war of attrition is taking place and we are all susceptible to the grinding effects. Be of good cheer! Almost 45% of the population voted for Independence, 50% of the population voted SNP at the 2015 General Election. I’m expecting the same a week from now (and maybe more). As stated above, don’t let the bastards grind you down. And don’t listen to Unionists, we all know what their agenda is. Remember this?


  59. I was waiting to see what the Scottish GE brings. Sometimes I get the impression that Scots do have the remarkable ability to not hold onto their advantage.
    Get the ‘prize’ then see what we can do with, however there seems to be a move to divide up the prize before we’ve got it.
    The first sign was the No voters who didn’t use that vote to get as much as possible within it. Instead going for less than was available before.
    I would think the Tories in Westminster are laughing at their willing fools in the Labour party. Their weakness was shown for all to see after the Ref and in the GE, spectacularly in Scotland, and as an eye opener in England.
    I doubt the Tories will ever sit in awe again, as when Brown went on about “prudence” and “no more boom or bust”.

  60. Bugger (the Panda)

    Tell you what Derek, if you quit this field of battle you will never a get another bottle of Burgundy from my Private Cellar.

    No idle threat!

  61. Please don’t give up, Derek! We need youuuuuu…!! You are so articulate and able to put facts down in such a clear way – in a way I can’t! And quite frankly, it’s writing such as yours that keeps me from throwing the towel in myself! I get so frustrated, so angry, so totally disgusted with the MSM and with the tory/labour/liberal parties and the lies they tell! And it’s only blogs such as yours, ‘Ginger Dug’ etc. that remind me – that is EXACTLY what the Unionists want! For me to get so frustrated and angry and disgusted that I just give up…

    Well, I’m not! I’m nothing if not stubborn! I know that Indy is a ‘when’ and not an ‘if’! And I want to be part of it! You yourself have done so much to get us where we are – the papers don’t give us the information we need. YOU do!! I don’t know what I’d do without people such as yourself giving me my daily dose of facts, rather than the fantastical fiction that come out of the mouths of the unionists!

    My Mom used to say ‘nothing really good EVER comes easy’. Mom was an amazing person with an amazing ability to see things clearly – much as you do. Please don’t let the beggars get you down!! Take a break if you need to. God knows you’ve earned one. But remind yourself – Indy supporters never quit!! They just strategically step back, re-evaluate and come back with more facts! Could you imagine saying to yourself, “That’s it. I’m done.” Then seeing Kez or Ruthie staring at you from a photo on a tweet, smugly smiling because they frustrated one more Indy blogger into giving up?? Arrgh!! Nooooooo!!!!

    Hope you will not give up, Derek. But should that be your choice then – thank you for all the info you have given us over time and for all the pushing you did to get Independence as far as it has gotten. Best wishes to you.

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