The other day I received an invitation to attend a meeting in the Butterfly Cafe in connection with a proposed march and rally to take place in August., The March is to be organised under the auspices of All Under One Banner. The group who have been responsible for the hugely successful recent marches in Glasgow.
On speaking to who I believe, is one of the main organisers of that group I was made aware that the purpose of this meeting was to elect a committee to decide on the arrangements for the march. I was asked to attend because of my experience with being involved in almost all of the independence related rallies in Dundee, both during and after the independence referendum.
I had a few reservations when I heard of several of the people involved in the initial set up of the meeting as the people have been instrumental in attempts to adversely affect several previous independence related events in the city. However I agreed to attend the meeting with an open mind and hopefully contribute my experience in this area.
There was about 30 people at the meeting and it started by Dom Anderson ,who owns the Cafe giving an introduction and his opinion on the proposed rout of the march., He was of the opinion that the rout was too long and should terminate at Slessor gardens. Now, the strange thing was that although this meeting was to formulate arrangements for the march/rally, the rout had been published on social media earlier that day which kind of negated one of the functions of the meeting which was to elect a committee and make these very arrangements.
Dom then passed over to a group sitting together and one of the group who I think was called Dale Handy ( I could be wrong) gave a speech which consisted of stating that a committee had already been formed and consisted of the people sitting around him. I subsequently discovered that this “committee” had been formed about half an hour before the meeting in a pub about a hundred yards up the road.
The speaker tried to arouse some enthusiasm ,stating that Dundee needed this march and it would go ahead. He further stated that it would go ahead regardless of any “complience”. That rang alarm bells with me as he was basically saying that this march would go ahead whether or not, there was any permission in place or any restrictions Imposed .
The floor was open to speakers and once everyone else had been chosen I was finally given the chance to say something, although I had had my hand up from the start. I mentioned that I had reservations regarding the initial speakers assertion that the march go ahead regardless of whether the proper permissions were in place and asked if the insurance implications of such a decision had been taken into consideration. None of the secretly arranged committee seemed to know what I was talking about. I explained that any insurance in place would be invalidated should the march go ahead either without proper permissions being in place or any contraventions, of the conditions. There seemed to be a general ignorance within this cobbled together committee that insurance was either irrelevant or would not be invalidated by ignoring conditions. I explained that if there was to be a committee voted in ( which seemed irrelevant since this had already happened) then they would have to consider the individual liability aspect of possibly being without insurance on the march.
As this seemed to be going over the heads of the self appointed committee, I went on to ask whether there was a list of speakers or acts, at which point the initial speaker said that Mike Strachan ( partner of Shona Robinson, MSP) was in charge of this. Mike mumbled something about compiling a list and something about a problem with Tommy Sheridan appearing but that he would be there. This was the most hypocritical statement I had heard for a long time as Strachan was one of the main detractors of my decision to invite Sheridan to talk at a previous rally in the City Square two years ago. Yes ,of course Tommy Sheridan should be allowed to talk as he is a supporter of independence ,talks well and has a decent following, the problem will be getting SNP politicians to talk at the event as in Dundee we seem to have a lot of holier than thou politicians , one of which literally ran out of the building an independence event was being held in, when he discovered Sheridan was still there. Ironically the same politician was discovered to have been cheating on his wife in what could be called a Whitehall farce.
At this point in the meeting I decided that I could not have anything to do with an event that was being managed in a manner which could involve law breaking and lack of proper public liability insurance and decided that there could be no involvement of the Yes bus which is a pitty because I had though that with 94 seats it could have been used to take the less well able along the march rout.
It is some time since I have seen such a gathering of stupid people in the same place at the same time and I want nothing to do with any of them, and would suggest the decent people who were there, think carefully before committing themselves to involvement with this project in its present form .
To reinforce my opinion of this so called committee I attach a thread of ‘secret” messages ( there are more) between them concerning both me and several other people connected with the independence movement in Dundee. You can judge for yourselves the mental capacity of those involved even a bit of anti Semitism thrown in. I would suggest none of them apply for a job in MI5.