The excerpt at the foot of this piece is from a Facebook memory of the day 6 years ago we put Scotland’s dragon for independence on the road and indeed the day the Yes Bus team came into being.
We fought hard and we fought well, on the streets of Dundee and district. Mainly in our City Square. We debated all comers and converted many to the cause of independence.
We saw off the opposition in the form of labour’s big red bus and Jim Murphy on his crusade to strike fear into the hearts of our pensioners.
When I look back, I realise we did it all without any assistance from the SNP, in fact, they actually expected us to pay for elements of campaigning merchandise which the Yes Movement stored in the hub in St Andrews Street.
Merchandise, bought off funds raised through the Yes Scotland movement an organisation set up by the SNP as a way of giving the independence movement a separate identity from the SNP.
The only time we saw any politicians was when the cameras were there to photograph and film the Yes Bus team as we campaigned constantly in the city Square and other areas of Dundee.
When the cameras left then so did the politicians. Our only consolation was that we gave Dundee the highest percentage of yes votes in the country.
Ever since the referendum in 2014, the SNP have all but abandoned the cause of independence, with hardly a mention of the word through many of the elections which have taken place since then.
In fact, it was said to me by a prominent Dundee politician that when Stuart Hosie learned that we were arranging an independence rally to be held in the city Square the week before the 2015 General Election he said, and I quote “we can’t have saltires and yes posters being waved around the city square the week before the General Election.”
Yes, that was a direct quote from an SNP member of parliament.
There was the occasion during the referendum campaign that I could see that there was confusion regarding various proposed policies for a future Scottish Government such as pensions, and in particular, monetary union.
At the time, Wings Over Scotland had published a fantastic book called “the Wee Blue Book” which gave very clear answers to all of these questions.
I had the idea that we should get a copy to every household in Dundee.
I spoke to a fellow campaigner, John Gibson, who immediately agreed to share the cost of the project.
I then approached the SNP at their office in Glamis Road as they had the means to distribute these books.
I explained the projects and the reasoning behind it, which was that being on the streets of Dundee most days with the Yes Bus team I had picked up on a need for clarity on certain important issues, the Wee Blue Book was a godsend in clarity and we were prepared to finance the project at no cost to the SNP.
I will never forget that day.
There was a good selection of SNP politicians there, and they listened to what I had to say.
It then took them about two minutes to reject the idea on the grounds that it was their opinion that it would not work.
So, where are we now on the road to independence, well exactly nowhere and many of these politicians that were making these dubious decisions during the campaign are still wielding power.
Therin lies the possible reason we are in a dead-end with a leadership that is caught like a rabbit in the headlights of a car.
Unless there is a complete change of tact in the lead up to the elections next May, with all independence parties going on a manifesto of simply independence, and thereafter, and on a majority, declaring independence, then I fear the British state will begin taking even more powers from Scotland making a future independence campaign virtually impossible.
The implications for what might follow on from that are too awful to contemplate.
27 July 2014
We have the Dragon ready to roll and we are intending meeting tomorrow Tuesday 29 July at Tesco Car park on the Kingsway aboard the Dragon.
We are making this vehicle available to any grassroots Yes organisations for Campaigning for a Yes vote on 18 September.
Also we are to campaign ourselves ,so we want any organisations who wish to make use of the bus to turn up at this meeting and we will get them scheduled in for use of the Bus . there is absolutely no cost implications to any of these organisations.
It would also be great to see any interested volunteers to man the bus and carry out leafleting duties. We only have 7 weeks to go so lets see a good effort by all.