This is an amazing sight. I’d like you to just take a moment and look around. Make some eye contact. Did you ever think you’d have so many comrades? It’s easy to feel alone when you’re challenging the status quo. But right here, in this room, there are thousands of people who are fighting on the same side.
Two days ago, more than half of referendum voters chose fear over hope.
However, 1,617,989 people saw through the intimidation, empty promises and outright lies of the No campaign. They rejected the constant negativity of the mainstream media and chose to seek out the facts for themselves. They chose to believe in their own ability to build a better future. Many chose to participate in the democratic process for the first time, after a lifetime of disillusionment and exclusion.
Working class areas are the areas that voted Yes most overwhelmingly, and they are the areas that Westminster politicians want to ignore. We will not let them ignore our neighbours, our fellow citizens, our friends.
We may have lost this referendum, but we have won unprecedented levels of engagement, inquiry and appetite for change. We may have lost the battle, but we’ve won the reason to keep fighting.
Tonight’s Yes event was a huge success, with around 200 people coming out to hear RIC speakers Robin McAlpine and Cat Boyd (along with Deborah Walters of Labour for Independence and Prof. Bryan MacGregor). Video above of Robin’s talk, and below of Cat’s talk. Many thanks to the Yes Aberdeen folk who organised the event, to all the folk who came out, and of course to all the speakers!
by Amie – from her speech at the Seaton public meeting, 26 June 2014
Thanks very much for giving up part of your evening to come along, as let’s face it, there are other things that you could be doing with yourself but instead you’ve chosen to come here and we appreciate that. It means that you WANT to find out more. It means that you’re not apathetic about the future of your country. And it is YOUR country. Not the government’s country, not the bankers’ country, not the rich folks’ county — YOUR country.
I only took an interest in Harry Potter when the third film, The Prisoner of Azkaban came out. I like Alfonso Cuarón. It was a pleasant surprise. I got The Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber Of Secrets on DVD to catch up. I didn’t read the books though. Didn’t want to spoil the films! I was excited when Goblet Of Fire hit the cinema, and sad but entertained when it all ended with The Deathly Hallows Part 2.
Today, I was really disappointed to read J.K. Rowling’s essay in favour of a No vote on the heels of a £1 million donation to the No campaign. As a friend pointed out, she is entitled to vote as she pleases, and that’s fair. She’s also welcome to make a contribution to the debate, but Rowling’s reasoning troubles me. She frequently discusses her experience as a single mum on benefits – the very benefits that Westminster is cutting and demonising. Could she have written Harry Potter without the welfare state? Could someone in a similar position do it now? Probably not. I want to focus on the issues she raises though. Without making any personal attacks, I want to highlight some inaccuracies and offer some alternative opinions.
I was delighted when I heard there was a non-party-political movement with a title that included the word “radical” – I could feel something at last that might interest me that was different from the usual pot hurling political debacle.
Radical. I did initially wonder if it was code for some horned devil political party I’d never heard of, so I went to find out for myself.
The speaker was Pete Ramand, talking about his book Yes: The Radical Case for Independence. What I saw was a young man with great ideas. Someone who had clearly done his homework and thought it through. The part of his vision that excited me most was a constitutional assembly housing many different viewpoints, where our voices will be heard above the main political rhetoric.