The Mob Rise Up new song and video
As all that is solid melts to air and everything holy is profaned...
I enjoyed the event in Wigtown tonight, which I was covering on a freelance basis for the local press.
One criticism: I wish you'd found a Scot to chair it. I was fortunate enough to be born & brought up in Glasgow, where we're all pretty gallus & sure of our identity. But for the past 30 years, I've lived in rural Scotland. I've noticed that in each rural village I've lived in, there was a common phenomenon. At…just about any public meeting the greatest proportion of floor-time was taken by people who were English. Entirely the fault of Scots who've been willing to sit back and let others take charge, I freely admit… I have a theory that this is a major contributory cause of much of the inferiority complex & lack of confidence which Scots undoubtedly have, and which was highlighted in tonight's debate…I'd add I'm in no way anti-English. I just feel that in raising our country's self-esteem (as we urgently need to do), it'd be nice to redress the imbalance that has been building over recent decades (indeed, ever since it became easy to buy a very nice house in Scotland by selling a very mediocre house in the London area)…
It's no surprise that 2014 is the year the SNP has chosen for the independence referendum," the Scottish poet Professor Kathleen Jamie wrote in the New Statesman after visiting [Bannockburn]. She is one of 10 Scottish poets invited to contribute inscriptions for a monument at Bannockburn, "exploring the significance of the Bannockburn battlefield to people today". "In some fantasy," Jamie said, "they perhaps imagine the 'independence' debate is akin to that gory feudal battle, which happened somewhere between a bog and a housing scheme, under the A91".
Except it is, surely, fairly surprising that the SNP should have, by its choice of date, actually encouraged those naturally sympathetic to Scottish self-determination, among whom I'd include myself, to understand a yes vote as primarily a statement of bellicose, English-phobic nationalism. It's as if the coming referendum on the EU had been carefully scheduled for the anniversary of Waterloo, in 2015, to be preceded by a whole year's celebration of beer and wellingtons, roast beef and Shakespeare…[Observer 22 October 2013]
The key to understanding Scottish modern history is to grasp the sheer, force, violence and immensity of social change in the two centuries after 1760. No country in Europe underwent a social and physical mutation so fast and so complete. Tidal waves of transformation swept over the country, Lowland and Highland, drowning the way of life of hundreds of thousands of families and obliterating not only traditional societies but the very appearance of the landscape itself. Only England underwent change on a comparable scale. But in England the industrial and especially the agrarian revolutions- the annihilation of the peasantry and the flow of population to the new industrial cities- were a more gradual process. The unique feature of the Scottish experience is its pace. [Neal Ascherson ‘Stones Voices’ 2002, page 80]