Saturday, 23 August 2014


Munguin, Tris and Tris's mum had the pleasure of spending the early part of Saturday afternoon at Club 82, as guests of the Dundee United Social Club, along with another 60 + people who had come along to hear three speakers talk and answer questions on independence. 

It must be fantastic to have the ability to keep a room's attention for an hour and a half on a Saturday afternoon, with a match against Ross County getting closer by the minute (in the end a 2-1 win for United!!)

But Stewart Hosie, Allan Grogan, Duncan McCabe and chairman and MC, Stuart Fairweather, did just that.

Stuart introduced the afternoon reminding us all that the last date for voter registration is 2nd September. Important to remember that if you haven't registered to vote, you must do it by that date, or you will lose your vote. Particularly important for first time voters and 16/17 year olds voting in the referendum.

Each of the speakers then talked for a few minutes.

Stewart Hosie talked about how successful the Scottish economy was, but how many more jobs we could create if had the power to use the tax system to our advantage.  He reminded us that the oil was a bonus; that in fact even without it we could be a successful country, but with it, we had the opportunity to use this bonus to Scotland's advantage. He pointed out that Scotland and Iraq were the only countries in the world with oil and no oil fund. Norway hadn't started their oil fund until 1996, and 18 years on there was an embarrassment of money, which brought in more in interest that the oil itself.
Allan Grogan (Labour) talked about the shame of a very rich country with food banks! He gave horrific statistics about how many kids lived in poverty; how many people had to use food banks, and then had to return some of the food because they couldn't afford the electricity to heat it. 

The British establishment were the separatists. They had made this the 4th most unequal country in the EEA. And they blamed anyone but themselves and their rich friends for the mess the country was in. Lazy dole scroungers, immigrants, sick and disabled people... And more cuts were coming down the line... but we could still afford Trident. 

Duncan McCabe from Radical Independence spoke of the shame that 49% of Scottish pensioners had trouble paying the electricity/gas bills in the supposedly 6th largest economy in the world. He deplored the fact that since 1979 the divide between rich and poor had widened every year and he shared a list of world league tables in which Britain was always relatively far down the list... like equality; happiness; human development. He compared that with the fact that the UK was in the top 6 of arms traders. 
There was a lively questions section at the end with all the speakers contributing. In a short article like this I've had to leave out so much of what was said, and I won't deal with anything like all the questions here. 

But it is worth mentioning that the BBC and its bias were talked about, as was the possibility of fiddling of postal votes.

The BBC was just more or less written off. Nothing they reckoned would change it. It was the state broadcaster doing what the state needed it to do. The newspapers were largely English owned big business in league with mainly the Tories. Nothing would change that.

As for ballot stuffing, it was felt by all the panelists that there was sufficient scrutiny involved that that wouldn't be a problem and all three expressed no worries at all about it. I think it was Duncan who said... "look, they have the telly, we have an army of foot soldiers winning arguments on the doorsteps. 
Throughout the discussion three representatives for three separate organisations agreed on fundamentals and disagreed on some of the finer points.  But as they pointed out, this is not a party political election. This is a referendum on who runs Scotland... Is it people living and working in Scotland, or is it people from Kent and Sussex. 

The time for individual policies comes after the 2016 Scottish General Election when we elect our first independent government.

Someone congratulated Stewart Hosie on being the one man here who was working flat out to get rid of his own job.

He responded that, as Winnie Ewing once said: "We didn't go to Westminster to settle down; we went to Westminster to settle UP!"

Munguin's thanks to the organisers of the event (Bruce McLaren, I think) and the hosts, and to Andy Clark for inviting us. A positive and inspiring afternoon.
Over a million signatures now, but if you haven't signed it...


  1. Do you think that the penny will drop, for the Nicos. It's not about party politics, but about where we are governed from. I hope so, for their and the rest of our futures. We are going to win this, a positive cross party/ grass roots campaign; the likes of which Scotland has never seen before, can not be beaten. Could never be beaten, by a negative, lying, two faced campaign.

    1. I hope in the last few weeks of the campaign that that might occur to some people JimnA.

      We will win.