Yesterday the mighty All Under One Banner brought the march and rally to the ‘yes’ town of Oban. But it had not been plain sailing. In a move by Argyll and Bute council, that could only be described as sabotage. The council tried to impose a “Series of eleventh hour ‘errors’ with the intention of causing chaos.” However, with a twelve O’clock deadline approaching the Council backed down as AUOB’s Neil MacKay explained: “Victory for the independence movement! Today @argyllandbute have backed down from their ridiculous penalising conditions that they sought to impose on us in an attempt to scupper the rally at Mossfield Stadium tomorrow.”
In a video link Mr MacKay, went on to explain: “…it was for the access to and from the stadium were limited, so it was impossible for us to host the rally. We made contact with a number of political ally’s and also petitioned the council ourselves, all last night a number of phone calls…made. Oban was buzzing with outrage at this discrimination. Well we’re absolutely delighted to announce that today with the twelve O’clock deadline that we gave them, they got back to us at 11.53, and they’ve given their full permission, all those penalising conditions have been removed and AUOB Oban is good to go, power to the people, all the way Scotland.”
You really cannot make it up, we are told constantly that there is no appetite in Scotland for a referendum on Scottish independence, but we have councils actively trying to scupper any attempt to hold a march and rally. Could it be that, the unionist council, (although to be fair, Glasgow is SNP run) do not wish those who are yet to make up their mind to be confronted with huge crowds sporting saltires. Talking of our national flag, it seemed to have been removed from Argyll and Bute council building for a short time and replaced by the flag of the union. Perhaps those inside were trying to prove a point. Could just imagine some not so bright spark taking that decision, “Put the Union flat up…that’ll teach them to decent on our town.” The saltire was back blowing in the breeze later though. No doubt at home among the thousands of others which descended on the town. Proudly carried by those who wish to see Scotland free from Westminster rule unlike the unionists, so few in numbers that they had to hold two flags each, to make it seem like there were more of them. You know, just in case a journalist from the Herald on Sunday turned up, camera in hand with the zoom so far in it would look like there were a great many.
First estimates put numbers of those who made their way by ferry, by bus, by coach, by car, by train, by motorbike, by any means possible stood at between five and seven thousand, which seemed to trigger Rosie hates the SNP (SNP are not Scotland) as tweeted: The true figure is 1757. This is the number the organisers told the local authority would be attending…it is shocking that Scotland is riddled with those who tell blatant lies propped up by a gagged media. Once again the real figures are substantiated by video.”
Poor Rosie, perhaps she needs her safe space, especially if she watched the march on independence live, just because a number is quoted doesn’t mean that is the official figure. The numbers in Galashiels were considerably more than quoted on the day and that was a police estimate. Perhaps Rosie was refereeing to the rally part of the AUOB Oban as a torrential downpour had many take shelter; only the diehards remained for the rally which kicked off in style by Angus Smith and North 56, followed by speakers Ian McCubbin the first.
“Friends, activists, fellow social democrats, I feel the time is right, it’s our time, we have the resources, the passion…I want it for my children, for my friends’ children, and for all of you. I want to live in a country where we all matter, where we can all be the best we can. I want to live in a country where decent values, where corruption; including corporate corruption does not pay. I want to live in a country with decent laws, no zero hours contracts. I want to live in a country with continued free tuition for higher education. I want to live in a country where the National Heath Service which is proper and just and helps everyone. I want to live in a country with a nationalised rail network. I want to live in a country free from nuclear arms. I want to live in a country where the National Investment Bank, where investment wealth from oil and other resources is put to good use…wait a minute I think we’re just about in that country. I count only three we don’t have. What do you think? How do we get to this final bit? Through independence, now is the time to take our cause further.”
Ian is not wrong, we are practically operating independently, we are thinking independently, gone is the mantra of we are too wee, too poor, and too stupid to run our own affairs. Now we are in real danger of having Boris Johnson as our unelected Prime Minister, someone who thought nothing of supplying a friend the address of a journalist he wanted to beat up. Someone who thinks nothing of spouting racism. Someone whose words have kept a young mother in jail in Iran. The status quo that many voted for in 2014 does not exist anymore, there are many no voters coming to yes and some not quite there yet who need help as eloquently put by Brendan O’Hara, MP for Argyll and Bute.
“…I think people are open to hearing that positive message. Those that we just missed out on in 2014. They want to hear what an independent Scotland could be. Because all of those things that we said to them could or would happen have come to pass…day in and day out we hear from people who are on that journey from no to yes. They’re on that road from…regretting or having fallen for the lies that they were told in 2014. They are now on that journey to joining us and that’s why we’ve got to be for every part of Scotland, because Scotland is far bigger than just the large towns and it’s just as important that the smaller communities, the villages have that positive message and I think that people are open to hearing that positive message. Those people we just missed out on 2014 they want to hear what an independent Scotland could be. Because of all those things that we said to them could or would happen have come to pass, all those things that were dismissed as us scaremongering have come to pass.”
They certainly have, almost from the day control was handed back to Westminster they have squandered it, thinking in their arrogance that they could do with us as they pleased. The people of Scotland made the decision to remain in the family of nations therefore they must go along with everything that Westminster do. Not on your nelly, power is on loan to Westminster and will be taken back at a time of our choosing.
I know of many who have gone from voting no in 2014 who are now committed yes voters. The political system in the United Kingdom is broken. Many have had their eyes opened. Many see now what we saw back then. Westminster is full of public schoolboys and girls, who have no regard for their welfare, who see them as commodities there for the specific purpose of taxation. Who disregard what is in front of them, what they are told endlessly by their constituents. It has taken a while for people to realised that the political system does not work for them. It works for the corporate elite, as well as the ruling class.
The time is now, we must take our chance, All Under One Banner do a fantastic job in getting the visuality of the movement out there, bringing it to Cities, towns and villages. The unionist political class can shout and scream that there in no appetite for another referendum if they wish. The corporate media can fail to report the true numbers. However, people have eyes, have minds, have questions of their own. Those who believe what the media tell them must question what is in front of their eyes; a massive movement with our own national flag blowing proudly in the breeze. Not a nationalist movement by any means. Other flags are welcome. Those who question our flag waving are the very people who do not question the Union Jack flying from their public buildings, or on produce grown and sold in Scotland. Scotland may be in a union, for now, but that does not mean she had to give up her flag. I would rather have a saltire represent Scotland than a Union Jack. Another march and rally gone, now on to the next. Ayr, a place close to my heart.