Use the Mandate

It is estimated over one thousand people turned up to support Hope over Fear. Now in its firth year. With only a couple of hours to spare yesterday afternoon I took myself along to George (Freedom) Square to gage the mood of the people and hear what others had to say. Before I had even stepped down from the train I met a couple from Cambuslang who were also on their way to the rally. However, as we emerged from Glasgow Central we noticed vote leave campaigners. Elderly mostly but there were a couple of youngish folks. To be fair they weren’t making that much of an impression. If anything, people were cursing and swearing at them as they passed airing their views but not prepared to engage in any debate. And of course, there were the odd one or two who were disgusted by all the saltires flying around. Their national flag grating on their nerves but we all know what those types are like.


As we continued along past Ingram Street, we could hear the crowd and hear the voice of Tommy Sheridan, the face of Hope over Fear, an acquired taste as he is not everyone’s cup of tea. Sheridan was introducing the bikers who were revving it up for independence as they roared around the square. I parted company with the couple I met on the train and made my way around the square. There was a sense of excitement but also a sense of frustration as we verge ever so closer to that cliff edge of Brexit. People, saltires blowing furiously in the breeze, perfectly matching the mood of some in the nation who have come to realise that we are nearing that fork in the road and becoming angrier and angrier with our elected leadership who would rather take themselves down to London to let everyone down there know how they feel and leave those of us home to contemplate what is going on.

If we are not careful we could find the independence movement split right down the middle. Those of us chomping at the bit for Nicola Sturgeon to use the mandate and those who exercise caution. Divide and rule that is always the motto.

The rally was much like it has been in the past, a mix of music and speakers, who entertained the crowed who may or may not have been chilled to the bone as the cold wind blew. Yesterday’s rally was the second, as Saturday saw several people take to the streets in Inverness. Actively getting out to make our presence felt and show those who may possibly be flagging that the independence movement is very much alive and kicking. And have been since 2014. Much to the annoyance of some who would rather we all just climbed back into our box, closed the lid never to darken their unionist streets again.

That is not going to happen. We may flag a bit and the numbers may seem down from last year’s marches. But we have only started and to be fair, the weather was blowing a gale. These next days and weeks will tell us all we need to know regarding where Nicola Sturgeon stands. Will she use the mandate given to her by the people of Scotland or will she continue to push for a peoples’ vote, we will know soon enough I expect.