thalestral

Do not offend the chair leg of truth; it is wise and terrible

2,560 notes

actingisreal:

thalestral:

actingisreal:

thalestral:

Glasgow Violence: When Media Bias Goes Too Far 

On Thursday, 85% of the Scottish population turned out to cast their votes in the referendum on independence following days of peaceful demonstrations by Yes voters in the heart of our largest city, Glasgow. 

On Friday, Glasgow was gripped by fear as pro-union fascists rushed George Square, determined to engage in violence and hatred; the loyalists of Glasgow joined by members of the Scottish and English Defence Leagues, and all partly encouraged by Britain First.

Young girls had their Scottish flags torn away from them, women with Yes badges were spat at and called scum, nazi salutes and red hand of Ulster salutes were seen, flares were thrown, and the sectarian edge was on full display with “No Surrender” signs. Assaults were made on those carrying Saltires.

https://vine.co/v/OWPzrhni0Aj/embed

These are not the scenes reported by the BBC news or a number of newspapers who assure us that this was a “clash” between Yes and No voters, following their portrayal of Yes voters as Scottish nationalist mobs who intimidated No voters, despite little evidence to the contrary.

https://vine.co/v/OWU39hp1aJl

In truth, the police had the events of last evening well in hand. Glasgow is no stranger to sectarian trouble (a number of this mob wore Rangers tops), quickly surrounding the group and acting to restrict violence as far as possible as they departed the square and moved elsewhere. Six arrests were made and after a few hours the city was calm once more.

http://youtu.be/t46wPvXpLTs 

But what there was a disturbing lack of was information. News. People in the city and those in the rest of Scotland with friends and family in Glasgow had no idea what was happening. Those on twitter could find no information on whether things had escalated or calmed down, on where was safe and where was not.

https://vine.co/v/OWFlvihxJja

The police described the situation as “handbags”. They’ve dealt with much worse. But to write this off as sectarian violence alone excuses those fascists who travelled to take part. To write it off as only fascists excuses the local loyalists spoiling for a fight.

While the identity of the perpetrators is unknown, the one Scotland newspaper that supported independence – The Herald – had their generator set alight. The Sunday Herald is currently collecting evidence from the night to make a full report in their next edition. 

https://twitter.com/JonCoates/status/513087992106610688

Glasgow is a complicated city with a troubled past, but the level of political engagement across Scotland and within the city during this referendum was unprecedented. And almost entirely peaceful until now. Scotland had shown the world what democracy without war looks like, but while the UK media ignores the dark side of both Glasgow and the union, the international media has carried the most information on events.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152309438961498

That people in Glasgow, Scotland and the UK had to turn to twitter to get the real information of what was happening is incredible. And while photographs and videos were helpful in illustrating the events, there was no control on validity of information. #GlasgowRiots trended through the night despite the situation being over, while many seemed under the impression that it was Yes voters at fault.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10202433758517846

Invoking the spirit of sectarianism there was no doubt trouble on both sides of that particular divide, but the swelling of ranks from fascist groups ensured that it was those bearing the Scottish flag or Yes badges that were in danger.

This was no celebration. This was no representation of No voters. These bigots represent no one but themselves. But the media turning a blind eye to this, or insinuating it is no worse than Scottish nationalists throwing an egg is irresponsible. I had friends hiding at home because they were terrified to go out on the streets without the safety of having white skin, with no idea of when the trouble was over.

There are Orange marches planned today in the city. Hopefully these idiots will stay at home. Please stay safe.

(Photo credits L-R: Jon Brady via Twitter @jonfaec; Cathal Mcnaughton / Reuters; PA; Reuters; Reuters; Herald’; Herald; Reuters; Reuters)

(My apologies that none of the media wants to embed) 

As you can see on the reuters video, one of the young girls has a BRITISH flag taken away from her.

BBC has said that both sides were attacking each other, they didn’t just blame the yes voters (even writing that “Disorder began when the Union supporters fired a flare and charged”).

Moreover, like a proper news station should, they waited to get proper sources and not vines.

Allegedly some of the videos are actually Tottenham riots.

There was no attack on Herald, it was an electric accident at the back of the Flying Duck which is next to Herald.

I’m not saying it’s good that there were any riots, and I condemn both sides but it was slightly more than 200 hundred neds battling it out on a Friday night.

Celtic - Rangers games have more violence.

I agree it should have had more local coverage. 

 

As mentioned originally: “Invoking the spirit of sectarianism there was no doubt trouble on both sides of that particular divide…”

The BBC has now removed that from its write up, as of course this was not about two sides but one group of people as the news is now (mostly) accurately stating.

The videos are not from the Tottenham riots, they are from Glasgow locals. It was some of the unsourced photographs being circulated that were from riots elsewhere. Videos at the scene are credible sources.

Alex Thomson of Channel 4 news has said CCTV footage confirms arson attack on back of Sunday Herald building.

Police Scotland have confirmed there were over 700 people and that more arrests are forthcoming.

More coverage overall would prevent these wrong rumours being circulated. Please do not contribute to the spread of misinformation, that’s exactly what my original piece was trying to avoid. 

I meant Tottenham photos, my mistake.

Still, I’m rather conservative when it comes to news and prefer them not to be vines or tweets, so I’ll will wait for an article or an official press release from Herald about that fire.

Also I believe the event started with 700 and then became a smaller number but that’s what I heard from my friends who were some of the people who decided to go home before the riots actually started, therefore I don’t really want to use it as a source of trustworthy information. 

I’m sorry if I contributed to the spread of misinformation, but it was simply from different sources and before the new information appeared.

No worries, I’m just keen to keep this as factual as possible - only news with sources :)

———

Today’s edition of The Sunday Herald (the one pro Scottish independence newspaper in the UK during the referendum campaign) has lots more information (cookies may need cleared to read):

Eleven arrests after loyalist No supporters’ descend on George Square

Police investigation into fire near Herald office

CCTV footage shows two men approach the seven-feet tall metal generator in Renfrew Court adjacent to the Flying Duck basement club, frequented by students, and the Atholl Arms bar shortly before 11pm.

Gay councillor targeted by hardline loyalists in square

It shows a heavy-set man approaching Sheridan with clenched fists held above his head screaming: “You can stick your independence up your arse. No surrender. We are the people.”

He then turned on the councillor’s companion and shouted: “Scum, scum, nationalist scum.”.

A second man then joined in the abuse, screaming: “It’s not your f**king country. Why don’t you f**k off? Scotland said no, you f**king poofter. F**k off.”

They’re shouting at us, calling us scum. It’s awful to come here and feel threatened

Loyalist banners began to be unfurled. A young man thrust a Union Jack at me, snarling: “You might want this for later.” Then the square was a sea of red, white and blue.

"Bow to your British master," said one loyalist pointing to the ground before a Saltire-draped protester.

Many of the Yes campaigners were little more than kids of 14 who hadn’t been able to vote, 16-year-olds who voted for the first time. The Union Jackers were older, almost exclusively male and white.

'Time has come to see such displays for what they are and the damage they do'

In the wake of that grotesque bout of loathing, I find myself asking why it should be that the vast majority of decent ordinary Glaswegians and others should be subjected to such an experience. Such displays are not new, but the time has come to see them for what they are and the damage they do. They have no place in the Scotland that most of us hope for and aspire to.

George Square Trouble: The night our readers became reporters

The entire loyalist demonstration had indeed been orchestrated online, it turned out. You sent us the online poster headed “Scotland Said No” asking for demonstrators to come to the city centre at 6pm. The poster was circulated widely by Britain First, the far-right party set up by ex-BNP members, which has a strong following in Northern Ireland and the west of Scotland.

Then you sent us the social media exchanges of various loyalists you had been monitoring online. One read: “Glasgow riots were crazy, absolutely brilliant buzz. Rule Britannia!”

Others talked of going out “slashing c**ts” and wanting “to go to George Square and stab a couple of pencilcases” (slang for students). Another read: “I stabbed a c**t n I liked it”. 

——-

Police Scotland earlier warned more arrests were forthcoming, and confirmed that over 700 people were present at the time.

“Don’t think that because you were not arrested by last night that you will not be caught. If you were involved in any criminality in the square we will identify you and you will be arrested.

"I would ask that anyone who has any information that could assist us with our enquiries to contact officers via the non emergency number 101.”

The right-wing Britain First had encouraged the event on their Facebook page.

There are reports of the people who travelled from England to take part.

Channel 4 News provided some accurate reporting on Saturday evening.

——-


Meanwhile The Times continues to misreport the event (emphasis mine):

Eleven people have been arrested during scuffles between pro-union and pro-independence campaigners in Glasgow’s George Square following yesterday’s referendum result.

After an earlier Times piece about a previous evening was originally mistaken for satire. It isn’t. Via twitter:

The Times states that skinheads in Glasgow were surrounded by police for their own protection from Yes voters.

WHAT THE FUCK.

George Square is now the site of a peaceful gathering with Yes voters and more collecting food bank donations that are greatly needed in the city.


——-

Finally, I would like to remind people to please not share links from pro-independence website Wings Over Scotland. Their popularity has grown once again in recent days, but the blogger behind it is a proven transphobe, with other reports of racism, domestic violence support, and misogyny.

People behind any political movement are capable of being vile bigots. They do not represent the Scotland we want to be in the future.

Filed under glasgow referendum scottish referendum indyref george square glasgow riots bbc bias bbc better together yes scotland food banks transphobia scottish independence

2,560 notes

actingisreal:

thalestral:

Glasgow Violence: When Media Bias Goes Too Far 

On Thursday, 85% of the Scottish population turned out to cast their votes in the referendum on independence following days of peaceful demonstrations by Yes voters in the heart of our largest city, Glasgow. 

On Friday, Glasgow was gripped by fear as pro-union fascists rushed George Square, determined to engage in violence and hatred; the loyalists of Glasgow joined by members of the Scottish and English Defence Leagues, and all partly encouraged by Britain First.

Young girls had their Scottish flags torn away from them, women with Yes badges were spat at and called scum, nazi salutes and red hand of Ulster salutes were seen, flares were thrown, and the sectarian edge was on full display with “No Surrender” signs. Assaults were made on those carrying Saltires.

https://vine.co/v/OWPzrhni0Aj/embed

These are not the scenes reported by the BBC news or a number of newspapers who assure us that this was a “clash” between Yes and No voters, following their portrayal of Yes voters as Scottish nationalist mobs who intimidated No voters, despite little evidence to the contrary.

https://vine.co/v/OWU39hp1aJl

In truth, the police had the events of last evening well in hand. Glasgow is no stranger to sectarian trouble (a number of this mob wore Rangers tops), quickly surrounding the group and acting to restrict violence as far as possible as they departed the square and moved elsewhere. Six arrests were made and after a few hours the city was calm once more.

http://youtu.be/t46wPvXpLTs 

But what there was a disturbing lack of was information. News. People in the city and those in the rest of Scotland with friends and family in Glasgow had no idea what was happening. Those on twitter could find no information on whether things had escalated or calmed down, on where was safe and where was not.

https://vine.co/v/OWFlvihxJja

The police described the situation as “handbags”. They’ve dealt with much worse. But to write this off as sectarian violence alone excuses those fascists who travelled to take part. To write it off as only fascists excuses the local loyalists spoiling for a fight.

While the identity of the perpetrators is unknown, the one Scotland newspaper that supported independence – The Herald – had their generator set alight. The Sunday Herald is currently collecting evidence from the night to make a full report in their next edition. 

https://twitter.com/JonCoates/status/513087992106610688

Glasgow is a complicated city with a troubled past, but the level of political engagement across Scotland and within the city during this referendum was unprecedented. And almost entirely peaceful until now. Scotland had shown the world what democracy without war looks like, but while the UK media ignores the dark side of both Glasgow and the union, the international media has carried the most information on events.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152309438961498

That people in Glasgow, Scotland and the UK had to turn to twitter to get the real information of what was happening is incredible. And while photographs and videos were helpful in illustrating the events, there was no control on validity of information. #GlasgowRiots trended through the night despite the situation being over, while many seemed under the impression that it was Yes voters at fault.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10202433758517846

Invoking the spirit of sectarianism there was no doubt trouble on both sides of that particular divide, but the swelling of ranks from fascist groups ensured that it was those bearing the Scottish flag or Yes badges that were in danger.

This was no celebration. This was no representation of No voters. These bigots represent no one but themselves. But the media turning a blind eye to this, or insinuating it is no worse than Scottish nationalists throwing an egg is irresponsible. I had friends hiding at home because they were terrified to go out on the streets without the safety of having white skin, with no idea of when the trouble was over.

There are Orange marches planned today in the city. Hopefully these idiots will stay at home. Please stay safe.

(Photo credits L-R: Jon Brady via Twitter @jonfaec; Cathal Mcnaughton / Reuters; PA; Reuters; Reuters; Herald’; Herald; Reuters; Reuters)

(My apologies that none of the media wants to embed) 

As you can see on the reuters video, one of the young girls has a BRITISH flag taken away from her.

BBC has said that both sides were attacking each other, they didn’t just blame the yes voters (even writing that “Disorder began when the Union supporters fired a flare and charged”).

Moreover, like a proper news station should, they waited to get proper sources and not vines.

Allegedly some of the videos are actually Tottenham riots.

There was no attack on Herald, it was an electric accident at the back of the Flying Duck which is next to Herald.

I’m not saying it’s good that there were any riots, and I condemn both sides but it was slightly more than 200 hundred neds battling it out on a Friday night.

Celtic - Rangers games have more violence.

I agree it should have had more local coverage. 

 

As mentioned originally: “Invoking the spirit of sectarianism there was no doubt trouble on both sides of that particular divide…”

The BBC has now removed that from its write up, as of course this was not about two sides but one group of people as the news is now (mostly) accurately stating.

The videos are not from the Tottenham riots, they are from Glasgow locals. It was some of the unsourced photographs being circulated that were from riots elsewhere. Videos at the scene are credible sources.

Alex Thomson of Channel 4 news has said CCTV footage confirms arson attack on back of Sunday Herald building.

Police Scotland have confirmed there were over 700 people and that more arrests are forthcoming.

More coverage overall would prevent these wrong rumours being circulated. Please do not contribute to the spread of misinformation, that’s exactly what my original piece was trying to avoid. 

Filed under glasgow referendum scottish referendum scotland decides indyref glasgow riots bbc bias

2,560 notes

Glasgow Violence: When Media Bias Goes Too Far 

On Thursday, 85% of the Scottish population turned out to cast their votes in the referendum on independence following days of peaceful demonstrations by Yes voters in the heart of our largest city, Glasgow. 

On Friday, Glasgow was gripped by fear as pro-union fascists rushed George Square, determined to engage in violence and hatred; the loyalists of Glasgow joined by members of the Scottish and English Defence Leagues, and all partly encouraged by Britain First.

Young girls had their Scottish flags torn away from them, women with Yes badges were spat at and called scum, nazi salutes and red hand of Ulster salutes were seen, flares were thrown, and the sectarian edge was on full display with “No Surrender” signs. Assaults were made on those carrying Saltires.

https://vine.co/v/OWPzrhni0Aj/embed

These are not the scenes reported by the BBC news or a number of newspapers who assure us that this was a “clash” between Yes and No voters, following their portrayal of Yes voters as Scottish nationalist mobs who intimidated No voters, despite little evidence to the contrary.

https://vine.co/v/OWU39hp1aJl

In truth, the police had the events of last evening well in hand. Glasgow is no stranger to sectarian trouble (a number of this mob wore Rangers tops), quickly surrounding the group and acting to restrict violence as far as possible as they departed the square and moved elsewhere. Six arrests were made and after a few hours the city was calm once more.

http://youtu.be/t46wPvXpLTs 

But what there was a disturbing lack of was information. News. People in the city and those in the rest of Scotland with friends and family in Glasgow had no idea what was happening. Those on twitter could find no information on whether things had escalated or calmed down, on where was safe and where was not.

https://vine.co/v/OWFlvihxJja

The police described the situation as “handbags”. They’ve dealt with much worse. But to write this off as sectarian violence alone excuses those fascists who travelled to take part. To write it off as only fascists excuses the local loyalists spoiling for a fight.

While the identity of the perpetrators is unknown, the one Scotland newspaper that supported independence – The Herald – had their generator set alight. The Sunday Herald is currently collecting evidence from the night to make a full report in their next edition. 

https://twitter.com/JonCoates/status/513087992106610688

Glasgow is a complicated city with a troubled past, but the level of political engagement across Scotland and within the city during this referendum was unprecedented. And almost entirely peaceful until now. Scotland had shown the world what democracy without war looks like, but while the UK media ignores the dark side of both Glasgow and the union, the international media has carried the most information on events.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152309438961498

That people in Glasgow, Scotland and the UK had to turn to twitter to get the real information of what was happening is incredible. And while photographs and videos were helpful in illustrating the events, there was no control on validity of information. #GlasgowRiots trended through the night despite the situation being over, while many seemed under the impression that it was Yes voters at fault.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10202433758517846

Invoking the spirit of sectarianism there was no doubt trouble on both sides of that particular divide, but the swelling of ranks from fascist groups ensured that it was those bearing the Scottish flag or Yes badges that were in danger.

This was no celebration. This was no representation of No voters. These bigots represent no one but themselves. But the media turning a blind eye to this, or insinuating it is no worse than Scottish nationalists throwing an egg is irresponsible. I had friends hiding at home because they were terrified to go out on the streets without the safety of having white skin, with no idea of when the trouble was over.

There are Orange marches planned today in the city. Hopefully these idiots will stay at home. Please stay safe.

(Photo credits L-R: Jon Brady via Twitter @jonfaec; Cathal Mcnaughton / Reuters; PA; Reuters; Reuters; Herald’; Herald; Reuters; Reuters)

(My apologies that none of the media wants to embed) 

Filed under glasgow riots glasgow referendum scottish referendum scotland indyref better together yes scotland bbc bbc bias britain first edl sectarianism sunday herald

28 notes

Scotland: United We Must Stand

“Here in these streets are the things that we want: sex and birth, votes and traits, money and guilt, television and teddy bears. But all we’ve actually got is each other. You decide what that means.” – Spider Jerusalem

There are 1.6 million heartbroken people in Scotland today. As folk around the world yesterday joked that they’d laugh their heads off if Scotland became one of the first countries to reject independence, the photos of jubilation at a rejected change seem somewhat surreal – a celebration of a status quo that 45% of Scots wanted to renounce. 
But the real reason behind the heartache is a little more complicated. A couple of months ago, there were few Scots who genuinely believed a Yes win in the referendum was likely. Our preferred option of further devolved powers, devo-max, had been blocked by Westminster from appearing on the voting papers.
The SNP held power in Scotland for their second term, but not everyone who votes for them is a nationalist, not by a long shot – elections are won on policies, not on a notion of independence. At the last Scottish election they earned just over 900,000 votes – a far cry from what would be needed for a referendum win even if all SNP voters supported independence.
But two months ago, something started to change. The grassroots Yes campaign started to grow. People who have never voted before began to get involved. The No campaign seemed to be constantly shooting itself in the foot – their rhetoric so awful that some began to wonder if they were really hoping for a Yes win. And then the government and media in London and the south awoke to the reality that a Yes vote was no longer in the realm of fantasy. 
A slumbering establishment had thought little of the small country up north pondering its future, yet now, suddenly, even the prime ministers job was on the line. As the UK media swung into action, labeling Yes crowds as mobs and a largely peaceful campaign as violent, Scotland began to roar. For too long had the media treated our country like a joke, and now even the BBC was twisting the truth to suit the establishment’s fears and desires. Support for Yes grew, and people began to believe. 
As a country, Scotland is used to disappointment. We lose at almost every sport – especially the ones we invented – and we excel in self-mockery and relishing the stereotypes that others poke fun at. But on this occasion we stepped aside from that, and those used to disappointment dared to hope. They began to believe.
As the BBC once more mangled their coverage of the referendum while awaiting results, and other news anchors continually referred to the UK as England, Scotland held its breath. What was once expected became the unexpected, and on top of heartache many of us feel foolish for having believed change was truly possible.
I am not a nationalist, and I love Britain dearly. But I am a hopeless left-wing who believes deeply in socialism. Having watched the UK slide ever further to the right during my lifetime, and seeing rights eroded outside Scotland that we fully enjoy due to our devolved government – free education, free healthcare and all prescriptions, fantastic mental health care etc – I believe in creating a better, fairer, more equal society for all. But Westminster is so powerful and so at odds with these values, that breaking away seemed like the only option – a move that could spur the rest of the UK to follow suit and topple our elite-run establishment that prioritises the rich and punishes the poor. I am far from alone in my reasons for voting Yes.
That dream is not dead. With a turnout of 85%, the people of Scotland are more politically engaged than ever, and there is a huge demand for a newer, better, left-of-centre party to step up and answer that call. A party unscarred by scandal and greed, and that compliments the Green party in their endeavours. A party from the working classes and underprivileged that speaks for the working classes and underprivileged.
Because many of the people who voted Yes did so for similar reasons. Not for the glory of nationalism or even for a deeply held belief in independence for our nation – but as a frantic grasp towards better political representation and the sniff of a fairer society. And that was where stemmed the disbelief and agitation that anyone could vote against that notion – we shifted the goal posts and didn’t tell anyone our deepest secrets and fears, becoming angry when people didn’t agree with a shadow dream they couldn’t hope to guess.
We cannot trust Labour who align themselves so easily with the Tories and tell lies so well. We cannot trust Westminster who will promise one thing and do another. We need a new class of non-career politicians to fight the cause for equality.
There is also a huge demand for newer, better, media and news sources to arise. The UK media has shown its awful bias, and that bias will not stop at the Scottish border. For anyone outside of the establishment, outside of the political elite and current national newspaper circles, their voices are currently not being heard.
New politics. New news. For the 1.6 million heartbroken Scots, make that your next move. Make this country better, stronger, and more fair for all. Many of the 2 million who voted No will join that cause because all of us who voted yesterday did so with our minds set to the future.
Chin up Scotland, do not punish yourself for daring to dream. 45% of our population want direct change, and the 55% who voted No were never even asked their opinion on changing politics beyond taking the big jump. Many of our neighbours will join the cause.There’s a lot of work to be done now the parties and hangovers are over.

"Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality." - Mikhail Bakunin, 1867.

Scotland: United We Must Stand

“Here in these streets are the things that we want: sex and birth, votes and traits, money and guilt, television and teddy bears. But all we’ve actually got is each other. You decide what that means.” – Spider Jerusalem

There are 1.6 million heartbroken people in Scotland today. As folk around the world yesterday joked that they’d laugh their heads off if Scotland became one of the first countries to reject independence, the photos of jubilation at a rejected change seem somewhat surreal – a celebration of a status quo that 45% of Scots wanted to renounce. 

But the real reason behind the heartache is a little more complicated. A couple of months ago, there were few Scots who genuinely believed a Yes win in the referendum was likely. Our preferred option of further devolved powers, devo-max, had been blocked by Westminster from appearing on the voting papers.

The SNP held power in Scotland for their second term, but not everyone who votes for them is a nationalist, not by a long shot – elections are won on policies, not on a notion of independence. At the last Scottish election they earned just over 900,000 votes – a far cry from what would be needed for a referendum win even if all SNP voters supported independence.

But two months ago, something started to change. The grassroots Yes campaign started to grow. People who have never voted before began to get involved. The No campaign seemed to be constantly shooting itself in the foot – their rhetoric so awful that some began to wonder if they were really hoping for a Yes win. And then the government and media in London and the south awoke to the reality that a Yes vote was no longer in the realm of fantasy. 

A slumbering establishment had thought little of the small country up north pondering its future, yet now, suddenly, even the prime ministers job was on the line. As the UK media swung into action, labeling Yes crowds as mobs and a largely peaceful campaign as violent, Scotland began to roar. For too long had the media treated our country like a joke, and now even the BBC was twisting the truth to suit the establishment’s fears and desires. Support for Yes grew, and people began to believe. 

As a country, Scotland is used to disappointment. We lose at almost every sport – especially the ones we invented – and we excel in self-mockery and relishing the stereotypes that others poke fun at. But on this occasion we stepped aside from that, and those used to disappointment dared to hope. They began to believe.

As the BBC once more mangled their coverage of the referendum while awaiting results, and other news anchors continually referred to the UK as England, Scotland held its breath. What was once expected became the unexpected, and on top of heartache many of us feel foolish for having believed change was truly possible.

I am not a nationalist, and I love Britain dearly. But I am a hopeless left-wing who believes deeply in socialism. Having watched the UK slide ever further to the right during my lifetime, and seeing rights eroded outside Scotland that we fully enjoy due to our devolved government – free education, free healthcare and all prescriptions, fantastic mental health care etc – I believe in creating a better, fairer, more equal society for all. But Westminster is so powerful and so at odds with these values, that breaking away seemed like the only option – a move that could spur the rest of the UK to follow suit and topple our elite-run establishment that prioritises the rich and punishes the poor. I am far from alone in my reasons for voting Yes.

That dream is not dead. With a turnout of 85%, the people of Scotland are more politically engaged than ever, and there is a huge demand for a newer, better, left-of-centre party to step up and answer that call. A party unscarred by scandal and greed, and that compliments the Green party in their endeavours. A party from the working classes and underprivileged that speaks for the working classes and underprivileged.

Because many of the people who voted Yes did so for similar reasons. Not for the glory of nationalism or even for a deeply held belief in independence for our nation – but as a frantic grasp towards better political representation and the sniff of a fairer society. And that was where stemmed the disbelief and agitation that anyone could vote against that notion – we shifted the goal posts and didn’t tell anyone our deepest secrets and fears, becoming angry when people didn’t agree with a shadow dream they couldn’t hope to guess.

We cannot trust Labour who align themselves so easily with the Tories and tell lies so well. We cannot trust Westminster who will promise one thing and do another. We need a new class of non-career politicians to fight the cause for equality.

There is also a huge demand for newer, better, media and news sources to arise. The UK media has shown its awful bias, and that bias will not stop at the Scottish border. For anyone outside of the establishment, outside of the political elite and current national newspaper circles, their voices are currently not being heard.

New politics. New news. For the 1.6 million heartbroken Scots, make that your next move. Make this country better, stronger, and more fair for all. Many of the 2 million who voted No will join that cause because all of us who voted yesterday did so with our minds set to the future.

Chin up Scotland, do not punish yourself for daring to dream. 45% of our population want direct change, and the 55% who voted No were never even asked their opinion on changing politics beyond taking the big jump. Many of our neighbours will join the cause.

There’s a lot of work to be done now the parties and hangovers are over.

"Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality." - Mikhail Bakunin, 1867.

Filed under scottish referendum scotland referendum independent scotland independence indyref yesscotland yes scotland no campaign better together david cameron alex salmond bbc bbc bias ukip snp socialism revolution uk united kingdom great britain scotland decides welfare

32 notes

Scotland: An Undivided Nation
The upcoming Scottish referendum on the 18th of September has been the political potato of the year. It is only in the last month that the UK government and UK media alike have awoken to the realisation that far from being a stale packet of crisps, this issue is the veritable hot potato of the decade.
It’s that very change in direction from the UK establishment that has finally seen anger reach as far as Scotland. For many of us, we have family and friends who plan on voting in different ways, neighbours here and in England with different opinions, and a smattering of both Yes and No posters scatter our streets and fill our letterboxes. Yet despite all of that, there has been no mass splitting of our nation, no huge division that will be insurmountable, no country in turmoil.
That is the reality that the newspapers and media seek to hide. We are shown footage of the Orange Order, a religious supremist order, marching in Edinburgh and told that this is simply thousands of No voters spreading their message. A larger gathering of thousands of Yes voters in Glasgow is simultaneously ignored, and instead a handful of people on another road shown as representation of their movement. I find myself turning to photographs on twitter to find the truth, in the UK(!).
Newspapers carry doomsday warnings of nationalism in Scotland being similar to the bigoted UKIP, a party that has near constant trouble with allegations of racism, homophobia, and misogyny. The Scottish Nationalist Party has run the Scottish government since being voted into power in 2007, re-elected in 2011. Their primary goal has always been independence, yet a great number of voters have chosen this party for their left-of-centre and socialist policies.
Similarly, not everyone who votes Yes is a Scottish nationalist. Just as not everyone who votes No is a UK nationalist. A large part of Yes Scotland is made up by the Scottish Green Party for example. But I’d argue that the overall referendum campaign is not, and should not be, about party politics. The Scottish government as they are now will not be supreme leaders of an independent Scotland. In that regard independence is just one step, not the end of the story.
I have always described myself as being Scottish and British. I have many friends in England. I’d love to visit Wales. But the UK is already broken. The poor are being pushed further into poverty while the rich are given ever increasing privileges. Tax dodgers are ignored while all benefit claimers are tarred as being cheats. The vote I cast towards the UK general elections are essentially meaningless. This is true of much of the north of England too, and further decentralisation would be to the benefit of many.
There’s no guarantee an independent Scotland would be any different. But history points towards the north of the UK being far more to the left than the south, and London continues to march further to the right. At least with a smaller government, our votes would count.
Originally there was to be a third option to float between Yes and No, a further devolvement of government. This option was vetoed by the UK government, yet now in a panic they claim that a No vote will lead to exactly this. Had that been an option from the beginning things may have turned out very differently.
But arguments about oil, currency, taxes, and pensions have been swept aside by the anger over the bias within the UK media. This bias was formerly the punchline to numerous jokes, it being well known that Scotland was almost completely ignored by the UK media, our sports heroes named British until they started to lose and miraculously regain their Scottish identity.
That joke has this month ceased to be funny. As the UK media obsess now over Scotland, running scaremongering headlines that are easily disproved, likening the SNP leader to the North Korean tyrant, and rolling out a mess of No campaigners that include the rape-apologist George Galloway.
The BBC reports on No campaigns and ignores the Yes, or paints the latter as fanatics who practice violence and abuse upon the former. They re-edit their videos to cover up their own bad practice in assisting in a treasury leak, and cutting out answers to their own questions. (The BBC bias is hardly new, with the broadcaster falling from grace earlier in the year due to its terrible coverage of the Gaza conflict.)
All of this demonstrates that the BBC is not for the people of the UK at all, but a puppet of the establishment. And in doing so, they insult everyone in the UK.
The newspaper bias was expected by all – both Yes and No voters alike. But the anger over the BBC turning against our country has led to various No voters I know changing their mind and stating they will now be ticking Yes.
The rhetoric that the BBC and the UK media would have you believe is that Yes voters say their opposition are traitors, and that No voters are living in fear for stating their opinions. This is complete mince. My family contain both Yes and No voters. My friends circle contains both Yes and No voters. My community contains both Yes and No voters. Both choices have their own risks and benefits.
Voting Yes is a valid choice. Voting No is a valid choice. Being a dick is a different kind of choice.
There are arseheids on each side. There will be arseheids throughout our history. They are the minority. Any political campaign is at risk of being hijacked by those with ulterior and poisonous ideologies. The Wings Over Scotland website, a popular pro-independence website, is run by a transphobic eejit. The No campaign have found themselves represented across these islands by the bigoted Orange Order and the ludicrous George Galloway. But both campaigns as a whole, on the ground, have not been anything other than engaged and passionate.
If you feel unable to speak out about your opinion, it’s time to change your friends – not feel pressured to change your mind.
The negativity being shone upon Scotland this month does not come from within. It comes from an establishment suddenly startled out of smug slumber to find itself at the epicenter of an earthquake.
The Better Together campaign has done its cause no favours, and in fact has probably drawn more people towards Yes than Salmond could ever have dreamed possible. But the politicians do not represent the people, the public, who have made their decision one way or the other. That public, in its entirety, should feel utterly insulted by the low standing in which the UK media and government holds our small country.
There is no lasting division. There is no country-wide split. There are no mobs. This is no rammy. There is a DISCUSSION. And there will be a vote.
And whatever way the chips fall, the establishment will never again rest easy. Its lies and desperation are visible for all to see. And perhaps now all of us in the UK are sensing a future where no establishment is wanted or needed.
They have everything to lose. We have everything to gain. It begins in Scotland. But all of us are watching. And learning.

Scotland: An Undivided Nation

The upcoming Scottish referendum on the 18th of September has been the political potato of the year. It is only in the last month that the UK government and UK media alike have awoken to the realisation that far from being a stale packet of crisps, this issue is the veritable hot potato of the decade.

It’s that very change in direction from the UK establishment that has finally seen anger reach as far as Scotland. For many of us, we have family and friends who plan on voting in different ways, neighbours here and in England with different opinions, and a smattering of both Yes and No posters scatter our streets and fill our letterboxes. Yet despite all of that, there has been no mass splitting of our nation, no huge division that will be insurmountable, no country in turmoil.

That is the reality that the newspapers and media seek to hide. We are shown footage of the Orange Order, a religious supremist order, marching in Edinburgh and told that this is simply thousands of No voters spreading their message. A larger gathering of thousands of Yes voters in Glasgow is simultaneously ignored, and instead a handful of people on another road shown as representation of their movement. I find myself turning to photographs on twitter to find the truth, in the UK(!).

Newspapers carry doomsday warnings of nationalism in Scotland being similar to the bigoted UKIP, a party that has near constant trouble with allegations of racism, homophobia, and misogyny. The Scottish Nationalist Party has run the Scottish government since being voted into power in 2007, re-elected in 2011. Their primary goal has always been independence, yet a great number of voters have chosen this party for their left-of-centre and socialist policies.

Similarly, not everyone who votes Yes is a Scottish nationalist. Just as not everyone who votes No is a UK nationalist. A large part of Yes Scotland is made up by the Scottish Green Party for example. But I’d argue that the overall referendum campaign is not, and should not be, about party politics. The Scottish government as they are now will not be supreme leaders of an independent Scotland. In that regard independence is just one step, not the end of the story.

I have always described myself as being Scottish and British. I have many friends in England. I’d love to visit Wales. But the UK is already broken. The poor are being pushed further into poverty while the rich are given ever increasing privileges. Tax dodgers are ignored while all benefit claimers are tarred as being cheats. The vote I cast towards the UK general elections are essentially meaningless. This is true of much of the north of England too, and further decentralisation would be to the benefit of many.

There’s no guarantee an independent Scotland would be any different. But history points towards the north of the UK being far more to the left than the south, and London continues to march further to the right. At least with a smaller government, our votes would count.

Originally there was to be a third option to float between Yes and No, a further devolvement of government. This option was vetoed by the UK government, yet now in a panic they claim that a No vote will lead to exactly this. Had that been an option from the beginning things may have turned out very differently.

But arguments about oil, currency, taxes, and pensions have been swept aside by the anger over the bias within the UK media. This bias was formerly the punchline to numerous jokes, it being well known that Scotland was almost completely ignored by the UK media, our sports heroes named British until they started to lose and miraculously regain their Scottish identity.

That joke has this month ceased to be funny. As the UK media obsess now over Scotland, running scaremongering headlines that are easily disproved, likening the SNP leader to the North Korean tyrant, and rolling out a mess of No campaigners that include the rape-apologist George Galloway.

The BBC reports on No campaigns and ignores the Yes, or paints the latter as fanatics who practice violence and abuse upon the former. They re-edit their videos to cover up their own bad practice in assisting in a treasury leak, and cutting out answers to their own questions. (The BBC bias is hardly new, with the broadcaster falling from grace earlier in the year due to its terrible coverage of the Gaza conflict.)

All of this demonstrates that the BBC is not for the people of the UK at all, but a puppet of the establishment. And in doing so, they insult everyone in the UK.

The newspaper bias was expected by all – both Yes and No voters alike. But the anger over the BBC turning against our country has led to various No voters I know changing their mind and stating they will now be ticking Yes.

The rhetoric that the BBC and the UK media would have you believe is that Yes voters say their opposition are traitors, and that No voters are living in fear for stating their opinions. This is complete mince. My family contain both Yes and No voters. My friends circle contains both Yes and No voters. My community contains both Yes and No voters. Both choices have their own risks and benefits.

Voting Yes is a valid choice. Voting No is a valid choice. Being a dick is a different kind of choice.

There are arseheids on each side. There will be arseheids throughout our history. They are the minority. Any political campaign is at risk of being hijacked by those with ulterior and poisonous ideologies. The Wings Over Scotland website, a popular pro-independence website, is run by a transphobic eejit. The No campaign have found themselves represented across these islands by the bigoted Orange Order and the ludicrous George Galloway. But both campaigns as a whole, on the ground, have not been anything other than engaged and passionate.

If you feel unable to speak out about your opinion, it’s time to change your friends – not feel pressured to change your mind.

The negativity being shone upon Scotland this month does not come from within. It comes from an establishment suddenly startled out of smug slumber to find itself at the epicenter of an earthquake.

The Better Together campaign has done its cause no favours, and in fact has probably drawn more people towards Yes than Salmond could ever have dreamed possible. But the politicians do not represent the people, the public, who have made their decision one way or the other. That public, in its entirety, should feel utterly insulted by the low standing in which the UK media and government holds our small country.

There is no lasting division. There is no country-wide split. There are no mobs. This is no rammy. There is a DISCUSSION. And there will be a vote.

And whatever way the chips fall, the establishment will never again rest easy. Its lies and desperation are visible for all to see. And perhaps now all of us in the UK are sensing a future where no establishment is wanted or needed.

They have everything to lose. We have everything to gain. It begins in Scotland. But all of us are watching. And learning.

Filed under scottish referendum scotland independent scotland independence indyref referendum yesscotland yes scotland no campaign better together david cameron alex salmond ukip snp socialism revolution uk united kingdom great britain scotland decides welfare

29 notes

Psychiatric drugs are doing us more harm than good

My studies of the research literature in this whole area lead me to a very uncomfortable conclusion: the way we currently use psychiatric drugs is causing more harm than good. We should therefore use them much less, for shorter periods of time, and always with a plan for tapering off, to prevent people from being medicated for the rest of their lives.

I hate how black and white they always make this issue seem.
There is nothing wrong with being on meds for the rest of your life - if you need it - for your heart, blood or liver. So why not the brain?Yes some people only need them for a short period of time, but those with severe chronic depression may indeed need them for the rest of their life - so what?
Yes, the medications may be overprescribed but people should NOT downplay the fact that for many they are needed and do work. There is enough stigma already.
If I did not take my medication I would not be able to function. If I did not take them long term I would not be here today.
The fact we do not know exactly how they work is why so many types have to be tried and why for some, nothing will work.
But do NOT put sick people off from getting the help they need when the illness itself is so stigmatised in our society.
And might I add, when so many doctors don’t have a bloody clue about mental illness.I was very very lucky to be diagnosed as a student by a doctor with a great deal of experience with patients with mental illnesses. I am very lucky now to be doing well enough that I can argue with the doctors who fail to ask the correct questions and recommend harmful advice.I have severe depression, every day, every hour, every minute. Many people would never guess. Some days I might even forget. Other days I struggle beyond the basics of getting up and out of bed. My depression is manageable thanks to medication and therapy. Not one or the other - both.
Invisibles illnesses are not imaginary.

Psychiatric drugs are doing us more harm than good

My studies of the research literature in this whole area lead me to a very uncomfortable conclusion: the way we currently use psychiatric drugs is causing more harm than good. We should therefore use them much less, for shorter periods of time, and always with a plan for tapering off, to prevent people from being medicated for the rest of their lives.

I hate how black and white they always make this issue seem.

There is nothing wrong with being on meds for the rest of your life - if you need it - for your heart, blood or liver. So why not the brain?

Yes some people only need them for a short period of time, but those with severe chronic depression may indeed need them for the rest of their life - so what?

Yes, the medications may be overprescribed but people should NOT downplay the fact that for many they are needed and do work. There is enough stigma already.

If I did not take my medication I would not be able to function. If I did not take them long term I would not be here today.

The fact we do not know exactly how they work is why so many types have to be tried and why for some, nothing will work.

But do NOT put sick people off from getting the help they need when the illness itself is so stigmatised in our society.

And might I add, when so many doctors don’t have a bloody clue about mental illness.

I was very very lucky to be diagnosed as a student by a doctor with a great deal of experience with patients with mental illnesses. I am very lucky now to be doing well enough that I can argue with the doctors who fail to ask the correct questions and recommend harmful advice.

I have severe depression, every day, every hour, every minute. Many people would never guess. Some days I might even forget. Other days I struggle beyond the basics of getting up and out of bed. My depression is manageable thanks to medication and therapy. Not one or the other - both.

Invisibles illnesses are not imaginary.

Filed under depression mental illness medication

12 notes

In stories, the bad guys almost always know that they are in fact the bad guys.

In real life, most people try to avoid falling into that role unless circumstance or lack of options demand it, and yet for those to whom those constraints are of the least concern, the role of bad guy is eagerly and ignorantly occupied.

The rich, the powerful, and the privileged. Those coasting through life with the gameplay set to Easy mode, furiously denying how easy their life is while actively working to keep the gap between them, the rich, and us, the poor, as wide as possible.

The country that I am from, the UK, has a rather socialist bent. We have free healthcare, a welfare system, a public broadcasting and news service, and a sharp history of class warfare and struggle. The further north you climb, the more to the left the compass swings - from a capital city enamoured with Conservative politicians, to Scotland which boasts more Panda bears than Tory MPs (2 and 1 respectively).

The Conservatives are ever the bad guys, from the ridiculous David Cameron of today, to the tyrannical Thatcher of the ’80s, and back through time to every politician that opposed improving the rights and lives of the working classes and the disenfranchised. Our art and culture is fuelled almost entirely at times by hatred for the oppressive upper class and the way in which they singlehandedly rule our country, depriving others of power or the ability to invoke change.

They are hated. And yet, for not being right wing enough, greater cesspools of so-called humanity gather popularity, spouting bile of less subtle racism, sexism and homophobia. We loathe those in power yet wish to be in their shoes, to be them, to be near them, to be noticed and given small privileges so that we may look down upon others ourselves.

They are the bad guys and always have been the bad guys. They always will be the bad guys. The greatest trick Capitalism ever pulled was making us believe there was no true alternative. That this way of living and producing and exploitation is not great, but that it’s better than the alternatives. That the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer, and those who allegedly represent the latter will be from the same pool as the former, trampling over their constituents for a whiff of power, and we will strive to be in the middle classes to join that elite, leaving our brothers in the gutter. There is no equality.

Our government cares more about subsidising the rich and their enjoyment of murdering pheasants, than the benefits they take away that result in the murder of their peasants. They deny there is a poverty problem as people starve to death, insist that the ill are fit to work as they die days later, and that benefit fraud is the ultimate crime when millions more is lost in tax evasion. 

At the turn of the century there was a feeling in the air of change, of a shift in culture, a movement within our perception of reality. The underculture had stretched and growled throughout the decades - punk, riot grrrls, the underground, the internet bringing all the freaks and geeks together and showing their true numbers for the first time.

The moment passed and terror came upon its heels, and then a greater terror still - the spectre of 1984 come to life and Orwell’s worst predictions come true. The freaks retreated, putting out their message still in art and culture but with a feeling of resignation - that only escapism could be found, not any real movement of change.

But there were thrashings of resistance still. An Occupy movement that the world press couldn’t understand. Anonymous fighters in a digital war that the world press couldn’t understand. Riots from the oppressed and furious around the world - misunderstood, labelled as villains by the rich and powerful. By the scared and privileged.

2013 came and went and there was still no end of the world. No doomsday. The Tories are back in power and the poor are being oppressed. Nothing ever changes.

But everything always changes. The freaks are still here. And we will not be hunted.

What would happen if everyone who wanted change, everyone who had had enough, everyone who is tired of the persecution and the defeats, EVERYONE, put down their keyboards and took action. What if we put aside the lethargy and apathy that those in power so rely on and made our stand.

Pick your weapon. Be it action, words, art, music, tweets or organising. 

Don’t give up.

Fight.


(Images from The Invisibles by Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell)

Filed under classism uk tories ukip invisibles