Lesley Riddoch podcast: Iceland Special with Katrin Oddsdottir

A short conversation between Lesley Riddoch and Katrin Oddsdottir, a woman whose wonderful ideas made even Lesley say “Wow”. Prepare to be impressed:


Before this podcast was recorded Lesley apparently inteviewed Katrin for the next film in the NATION series, Iceland: the extreme nation. That film is due to be launched next week in Glasgow – if you can afford it, please donate to the Crowdfunder so they can make the rest of the series!


NATION 1 Faroe Islands – the connected nation

I was at the launch of this short movie last night in Edinburgh. Filmed by the super talented Phantom Power and presented by national icon Lesley Riddoch it is, kind of unsurprisingly, excellent.

It runs to 30 mins but it’s such an interesting film the time just flies by. The Faroe Islands is enormously impressive for a tiny nation. The people are creative, inventive and funny (in a gloriously sarcastic way). They have the world’s fastest broadband there!… but enough. I don’t want to spoil the film for you.

Watch it, share it and – if you can afford to – donate to the Crowdfunder so they make make more!

…in other news: Lesley Riddoch on Karine Polwarth’s trump protest song

Be the change you want to see in the world

Be the change!

Re-blogged from Bella Caledonia


Indy Pledge

by Mike Small

A new grassroots initiative just launched aims to “reflect the Scotland we want to be” and sets out simple positive principles with “the intention to encourage people to be mindful of how our actions, in person or online, can impact positively or negatively on the independence movement.”

Be the change you want to see in the worldThis is a really great and overdue move which was kick-started by Carol Gilmour and members of Yes Kelty. It’s precisely the sort of self-organising code of conduct that the movement needs to be self-reflective and mindful of how we organise, how we communicate and how we are perceived by the wider world.

The project was launched yesterday at the re-launch of Yes Glenrothes and with help from Independence Live and Yes Dunfermline a group was formed to create the pledge which speaks to the idea of trying  to “see ourselves as others see us”.

As new Yes groups form – and old groups reform (as is happening all over the country), this is a great way to re-set the movement and to kickstart with new energy and focus.

The intention is to encourage people to be mindful of how our actions, in person or online, can impact positively or negatively on the independence movement.

By signing this pledge, individuals, groups and organisations are agreeing to abide by the following core principles:

  • We are an inclusive movement that values all people equally and does not discriminate on the basis of race, colour, gender, religious beliefs or non beliefs or sexual orientation.We will promote this inclusiveness in all our expressions and actions
  • We work with respect for all people, regardless of our politics or differences of opinion.
  • We are a peaceful organisation and apply peaceful means of achieving independence. 
  • We will promote a positive vision for independence.
  • We will work constructively towards the goal of independence: as individuals and as a movement.
  • We are an open grassroots movement and work with the utmost transparency in our ideas and actions. 
  • We are a broad and diverse movement, and expect individuals to take responsibility for their own actions and contributions to the campaign for independence. 
  • We are the grassroots of an independent Scotland. We believe that a dynamic and creative movement will bring a thriving Scotland, and we want all people to play a role. As we work towards independence, we will enable and encourage fellow members to develop their own skills and talents.

Sign up to the Indy Pledge at http://indypledge.online/

source: Bella Caledonia

Calm yer jets

I couldn’t get my act together yesterday so I never made it to the #HOOP event at the Parliament till late in the day. However, thanks to social media, I got a taste of what I missed. So many beautiful images – all under the saltire-blue sky we always seem to get for big events. Happy, hopeful faces. Folk from every background, from all over Scotland, coming together for the cause. It reminded me of everything I loved about the Yes Campaign.

We need to get ourselves back into that mindset. Hope over fear. Working together for a better future. Grassroots action.

I’m seeing too much in-fighting online again. It really worries me, all the nit-picking and back-biting. We’re supposed to be working towards building a nation – not a cult. We’re all different. Everyone will have their own reasons for wanting Scottish independence. Their own motivations and hopes for the future. And they, as free individuals, are perfectly entitled to that. No indy supporter is better or more worthy than any other. No-one has the right to dictate the politics or beliefs of another. That is NOT our Scotland.

We can thrash out all our other business after Indy. Republic or monarchy? In or out of the EU? Pound or fecking groat? All of these are questions for after we’ve won the prize. For when we have the power to make our own choices as a sovereign nation.

I know some folk are frustrated. They’re tired of waiting. I get that – but what is it they’re waiting for, I wonder? If you want to campaign – do it! Dinnae sit girnin on Twitter. Get talking to folk again. Have street stalls and speakers. Organise big, wonderful events like Hands Off Our Parliament or March for Independence. Organise wee tiny events in your own house to educate your neighbours and family. No-one ever asked permission to have a Revolution.

Personally, I have zero interest in arguing with strangers online. If I disagree with your political or social views I’ll unfollow you. I block trolls without a second thought. I save my energy for real discussions with actual, human people. Folk I have some chance of converting to the Indy cause. Please don’t attack your comrades when they disagree with your favourite new-media source. Save your energy for the real opposition. Please!

Anyway, huge thanks and congratulations to Hands Off Our Parliament for organising that great event. You did guid work you fine folk!

The National Roadshow is coming to West Lothian!


What is The National Roadshow?

“THE National is hitting the road to bring Scotland’s only independence-supporting daily newspaper to our readers in their own local areas – part of a series of new initiatives to celebrate our second anniversary.

Our team is taking the paper to you because we want to meet our loyal supporters in their home towns and give them a chance to have their say on the issues that matter to them – but we could use your help to make that happen.

We want feedback from our National “family” on where you think we should visit and why, and how your local communities can help us organise a meeting and find interesting stories to tell in your area.

Our plan is to set up a live newsroom in a busy local centre where people can come in for a chat with our editor Callum Baird, our reporters and campaign team, find out more about how the paper is run and give us your local story ideas.

Every fortnight we hope to travel to a different location, set up shop during the day within that community and make sure the next day’s paper is packed full of local news – but we are relying on all our readers to get involved.

At night we want to hold an event where local people and activists can come along to meet our editor and our popular columnists like the Wee Ginger Dug. That’s where you come in! We need volunteers in these areas to help us set it up, get the word out that we are coming to town and encourage people to tell us what’s happening in their area.”

  • March 6 2018: Bathgate

The National Roadshow is coming to Regal Community Theatre at 7pm. The Wee Ginger Dug will be there with his human Paul Kavanagh and The National’s editor Callum Baird.

Sources: here and here

Theme for the Early Days of a Better Nation

I heard another version of this song on TrulyScottishTV yesterday, but I think this recording is so beautiful and moving. It also gies the lyrics so ye can sing along (if yer able).

I’m not usually one to get caught up in the ‘new anthem’ debate but I was genuinely moved by these lyrics. This is exactly the Better Nation I’m working towards:

Hairts that open an hauns that feed
Gie the weary warmth an shelter, gie the hungry broth an breid.

Matt Seattle and David Finnie, I think you made a wonderful thing  :’)


Theme for the Early Days of a Better Nation

Skies whaur eagles are at thair ease
Haud a welcome for wandrin geese;
Hairts that open an hauns that feed
Gie the weary warmth an shelter, gie the hungry broth an breid.

Simmer’s hairst is aa gaithert in
Skimmrin salmon lowp up the linn;
Teemin watters an fruitful braes
Sing a sang o peace, a common weal, the dawn o better days.

Will we be blawn by a bitter wind,
Twistit an torn in a irksome spin?
Are we feart o the higher caa
As the promise o a better nation beckons yin an aa?

We’ll no be cairit dounstream again,
Huntit an herrit, tae dream in vain.
Haud the coorse o oor destiny
In the airly days o a better nation: Scotland fair an free.

Lift oor heids, an oor heirts, an hauns
In the airly days o a better nation: fair an free Scotland.

Copyright – Matt Seattle & David Finnie 2014


Bella Caledonia: Songs for Scotland the Album – a downloadable compilation of ‘aspirational’ songs from across the musical spectrum.

Matt Seattle’s inspiring indyref anthem Theme for the Early Days of a Better Nation gets a classical twist – The National newspaper

Songs For Scotland 2 album – part of a wider project to put Scottish culture at the heart of a renewed independence campaign

You have the right, but also the responsibility #Suffrage100

100 years ago today women (aged over 30 – who owned property) finally got the right to vote. It wasn’t the end of the fight but it was the first victory, and the result of years of activism and sacrifice by many brave women. We owe those women a great debt which we can only repay by using the votes they won for us, thoughtfully and responsibly, every single time we have the opportunity.

Separatists and blue passports

This is a very excellent point! They have been allowed to call themselves ‘Brexiteers’, which makes them sound all brave and swashbuckley, but really their mentality is far more Separatist than Indy folk have ever been. We want Scotland to be an active participant in the world. They want to turn their backs and huddle alone on their wee bit of island.

So, I’ll be calling them ‘Brit Separatists’ from now on.

In related news: Not that they’ll use them much, insular creatures that they are, but the Separatists plan on reverting to a blue cover for their passports.

I’m curious why they believe their blue passport to be “iconic”. I did a very quick check online and found that loads of countries have or had blue passports. I remember various EU states used blue before adopting the burgundy of the EU passport. So, it’s not at all ‘iconically British’. It’s just another example of Separatist lies… or is it ignorance? Who knows (or cares)?

To be honest, I’m not that bothered what colour my passport is. I’m more concerned by how well it does it’s job. Like, for example, will it allow me free movement through 27 other European countries? I like when my passport does that. Also, where it says ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland’, I don’t like that on a passport at all! It should ideally say: ‘Republic of Scotland/Alba’. It can be Saltire blue if you like – that’s awfi pretty – but EU burgundy is nice too.

But none of that even matters. What matters is that it won’t be an EU passport, the only kind I’ve ever had. Instead it will be the pathetic symbol of a small, corrupt and degenerate state run by hateful, frightened, insular people. It makes me truly heartsick to contemplate how my world will be changed and diminished…

Anyway, it’s not happened yet and we still have our own referendum to come. Big congrats to Catalunya on their election results by the way!

Parliamentary conduct

This is an old video (2008) but I just now watched it after a friend posted on FB.

It shows former New Zealand MP, Nándor Tánczos, giving his final speech in Parliament. What he says about behaviour in the NZ parliament applies 500 times more to Westminster. That is a SHAMEFUL place. I hate to hear them baying like animals on the benches.

I watch our Parliament for signs it’s going down the same road. Under former Presiding Officer, Tricia Marwick, our Debates were conducted in a relatively respectful and civilized manner. Recently, I fear that some MSPs have been behaving like nasty, embarrassing children in the Chamber. I think Ken Macintosh needs to knock those idiots into shape.

Holyrood is not Westminster. The Scottish people are sovereign and we expect better from our MSPs. They are elected as our representatives and should act in the interest of ALL their constituents – in and out of the Chamber. I’ve seen tweets from unionist MSPs that I consider to be hate-speech. It sickens me these people aren’t in jail, never mind sitting in my Parliament voting on legislation! Can’t you get them sorted Mr Macintosh? (perhaps Mrs Marwick can give you some tips).