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Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End

Scottish Independence ...

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Well. Scotland has chosen and now must start to build devo max.

The atmosphere here has been electrifying and I am going back to London, sadder that I'd hoped.

Scotland should stand proud for the change it is bringing to the political landscape.. Alex Salmond has proved himself a giant of a politician and there is no one more able or better to negotiate the terms of devo max, in my opinion.

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I am heartbroken. Especially for all the most vulnerable and impoverished. I see Cameron has already reneged on his promise. No surprise there.

Apparently it was the over 65 section of the electorate who stole the hope of the young. Welcome to right wing Britain.

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Meanwhile thousands of union jack wearing thugs riot on the streets of Glasgow attacking anyone wearing a saltire and burning Saltires. For those on facebook the video of about 30 billy boy thugs surround two wee lassies (look about 14), knocking them to the ground and ripping the saltire from their hands will live with me a long time. This is the people Mathieson and the Glasgow labour party cosied up to at the last council elections.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Labour party held a huge NO vote celebration aboard the Royal Yacht Brittania with fireworks and everything, I am sure those wee lights brought some warmth to the cities homeless and those dependent on foodbanks.

I have never heard so many people declare they will never vote labour again.

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Cameron can promise what he likes, his day is done. The future is Boris and Farage and Scotland will most likely end up with less than it has now. English fury and resentment over the Barnett formula and the west Lothian question is being unleashed.

I can't blame Alex Salmond for resigning but wish he had stayed to fight for devo max but he is human and he looked completely heart broken.

The sight of Unionist thugs in George Square was chilling.

Obvious errors amended lol

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Shocking business in George Square. The fascist thugs do not represent the No campaign but they are part of it. Shameful. There were messages on the Rangers facebook page calling for people to come to the square and cause a riot.

I am sad about Alex Salmond he stands head and shoulders above any other leader in the UK today and the only one to come out of the Referendum campaign with any integrity.

Don't know how he got my email address but I got an email from Ed Miliband yesterday – calling for support of the Labour Party.

I sent him this reply:

Thank you for the invitation but I think the Labour party made a huge mistake in not getting behind an Independent Scotland. Particularly as you say you are keen to achieve greater social justice and equality. You have a huge hill to climb in that respect and somehow the aim doesn't fit with your commitment to the vicious policies of our right wing government; serving to create misery for the most vulnerable and resulting in millions of children living in poverty.

if you are ever coming back to Scotland, you would do well not to bring Keir Hardie into your speeches as he particularly disapproved of the out of touch elite MPs. He was so right.

I will never vote for Labour again.

In extreme disappointment that Scotland did not gain Independence and the knowledge that it is unlikely that you will keep your pledges of further powers.

Pat Byrne

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From Women for Independence

By Carolyn Leckie

Those of us who co-founded Women for Independence over two-and-a-half years ago might have imagined a bit of a rest after the referendum.

It's not going to happen. Already, our first post-referendum meeting on October 4 is overbooked. We're seeking a bigger venue.

Despite the result, WFI has been an incredible success. We have become a national network of thousands of women and more than 40 local groups. We have breadth and depth. Many talented, articulate, strong, determined women have found that the space provided by WFI has helped them grow even stronger. We could supply enough talented public speakers to keep after-dinner clubs occupied for a couple of years.

The hope of independence did this. Women saw the point of getting involved. On their terms. All future democratic processes in Scotland won't be democratic unless women are involved.

The No campaign had nothing like us. We are a real, organic, bustling, powerful movement. They had pop-up stands. But we lost, didn't we?

We did. But I think the conservative No campaign, fronted by Labour, has the bigger headache this morning. The detailed analysis of the demography of the vote and the motivations for voting must make sobering reading. Independence is supported by a majority of the population under 55, including a majority among women.

WFI formed with the intention of tackling the well-known gender gap in support for independence.

There is no gender gap in the under 55s. Longer-living older women (with stupendous exceptions), especially the comfortable, affluent ones, weren't inspired by the things motivating the vibrant Yes movement. Reasons given for voting Yes were all about democracy, vision, fairness and equality. For everyone. For future generations.

No voters were, generally, concerned about their pensions and short-term financial security.

The patterns are unmistakeable. Younger people voted Yes. Progressive people voted Yes. Those who have borne the brunt of free-market austerity voted Yes.

Conservative people voted No. Frightened people voted No. Folk who believed the "timetable for more powers" voted No. Downright reactionaries voted No.

The 45% Yes-voting population are the future. The No vote represent the past. As Bob Dylan sang in the 1960s anthem, The Times They Are A-Changing: "Your old road is rapidly ageing."

Urban working-class people, the excluded, the disenfranchised, voted Yes. Labour heartlands voted Yes. Every single constituency in Glasgow voted Yes. Oh, what a sight at the Glasgow count: Labour being patted on the back and cheered by the Britannica party - an offshoot of the BNP.

There was a No vote that wanted to be Yes. But the No campaign, fronted by Brown and Darling, with Cameron and Osborne lurking in the shadows pulling the strings, cynically pushed the buttons of fear and insecurity. In the most grimly ironic moments of the campaign, some of those responsible for turning modern Iraq into a cauldron of death and destruction pontificated about risk and recklessness.

The abominable No-men wanted folk feart, confused and in their boxes. They especially liked folk who don't use social media. They pulled out of numerous debates, forcing organisations keen to maintain neutrality to cancel. They allowed misinformation to flourish like weeds, including claims that eastern European migrants would face deportation with independence.

Labour fronted this campaign for the UK establishment. They beamed when oil barons and supermarket tycoons warned of disappearing resources and soaring prices. As one Channel 4 News journalist tweeted: "Was the independence campaign a long political suicide note for Scottish Labour?"

The ambition of full national independence will not go away. Not because political types refuse to let it go, but because the 45% who voted Yes, in the most politicised times of my life, won't let it go. And they may well be joined in the near future by many who voted No.

The democratic revival and people-power the referendum spawned won't entertain the suits deciding things behind closed doors. Without the participation of the people in the process of democratic renewal, there will be no enduring constitutional settlement.

Women for Independence won't be disappearing to drink tea and eat cereal. If the Westminster parties are serious about embracing people power, we'll be included in any discussions and negotiations, along with the vast array of grass-roots networks involved in Yes. If there are grass-roots No organisations, they should also be involved.

On October 4, our packed meeting, wherever it can be accommodated, will decide where we go from here. Deliberately, we facilitated an autonomous network of autonomous groups and autonomous women.

In direct contrast to traditional, hierarchical, centralised political party ways of doing things, we didn't say: "This is what we think, agree with us and come join us." It certainly worked.

No doubt we'll reflect on the last two-and-a-half years, what we did well, what we could have done better. We'll discuss the Yes movement as a whole, how the country has changed, and where the country is going.

We will discuss what we are, who we are, and what and who we want to be. There will be many different views. That is wonderful. The days of homogeneity are over.

We will celebrate. I'm not as gutted as I'd have imagined prior to the result. The winds of change are still blowing. The masses are stirred. And the women have risen.

We're confident, capable and co-ordinated. We have commanded social media. We have international friends keen to learn from us.

We are here. And we're not going away.

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What makes me so sad is that we are still left without democratic rights and landed with weapons of mass destruction. Also that the poor and the young voted Yes and the conservative old and better off voted No – plus of course their fascist, racist allies.

I don't think the matter is done and dusted.

Do you think someone should tell Gordon that he's not actually in the Government. :)

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George Square Trouble: The night our readers became reporters

By Neil MacKay

Sunday 21 September 2014

You are the reporters, Sunday Herald readers. Throughout the weekend, your tweets, retweets, Facebook posts, YouTube videos and emails were invaluable to us trying to piece together what was happening throughout Glasgow as loyalist trouble flared in George Square.

We had three reporting staff in the square, along with two photographers. After we began posting live images of loyalists giving Nazi salutes and taunting and jeering a much smaller and more peaceful group of Yes supporters, you more or less took over. You sent our images around the country, and you emailed our news desk and reporters with information on where loyalist gangs were moving in the city and what they were doing.

You sent us images and footage of them fighting, terrorising ordinary people and spreading disorder in a city which until Friday night had been a carnival of fun and hope, not a carnival of hate.

Where throughout the week students, office staff on their lunch breaks, and families had sung Caledonia and Labi Siffri's Something Inside So Strong in George Square, by Friday night the songs had become chants - including "You had your chance and you f***** it up" - screamed with menace and hate, and interposed with singing of Rule Britannia. The heart of Glasgow had gone from Woodstock to Belfast in the space of just one day.

And you told us what you thought of this. This was the dark face of Unionism, you said again and again in messages on social media. This was Scotland's shame. This disgusted and repelled you. You - the 45% - responded to our requests for information by liaising with each other online and getting the information to us when you could.

And then you decided to act not just as reporters but as investigative reporters. We had heard that the loyalist violence was being co-ordinated online by a hardline group with connections to Northern Ireland. So, we used social media to ask you to help us find out if this was true - there was too much chatter and activity online for any one news desk to check every lead - and you helped us.

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 Facebook postings from ordinary Rangers fans, horrified at what their fellow fans were planning. One read: "I am a Rangers supporter. The Rangers pages have been drumming up support to riot at George Square all day. It's disgusting. I am ashamed of them."

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". One post from a Rangers supporters' club called on members to gather at "17.00 on the street behind the Louden [bar] and the Bristol Bar on Duke Street". It went on to give a "map route … to all cars", and instructed followers to go to "George Sq for a party".

You then identified to us a group of Rangers football fans called the "Vanguard Bears" as being the organisation most involved in the "aggro", as people dubbed the violence online. By Saturday morning, multiple sources were confirming that the Vanguard Bears were the main instigators.

Last year, Police Scotland said it had received complaints of a "death list" posted online by the Vanguard Bears of individuals its sees as being opposed to the club.

The Vanguard Bears, which has close links with loyalist groups in Belfast, posted an image showing journalists, politicians and people involved in football, including the face of late QC Paul McBride - a prominent Celtic supporter and friend of Neil Lennon.

The Progressive Unionist Party - a Northern Ireland political party affiliated with the loyalist paramilitary group the Ulster Volunteer Force - also met with the Vanguard Bears supporters group last year to discuss opposition to the independence referendum.

On Thursday, the day of the referendum, the Bears group posted an image of Britannia alongside images of Alex Salmond's head on a spike and the severed head of Nicola Sturgeon. Yesterday it posted a statement online reading: "Our voice is on the rise, we must by actions, not words or political soundbites, ensure our Union is defended."

As Friday night wore on into the early hours of Saturday, you, our readers, were even able to keep our reporting staff out on the streets informed about events at our offices. Two men started a fire by the generator which powers the offices of Sunday Herald, The Herald and the Evening Times. Soon you were tweeting images of the fire and asking if we were all OK. We were - though we were out of action until early yesterday afternoon because of the power outage caused by the fire. Police are now investigating.

You also retweeted the numerous threats and vile verbal attacks made to our members of staff in order to name and shame the loyalists trolling them online. Your support was much appreciated. On you went, overnight and into yesterday, thousands and thousands of tip-offs, leads, pictures, videos, screen grabs and support. You became an integral part of the newspaper.

During the independence campaign, we tried our very hardest to give you the voice in the media you wanted and no-one else was giving you, and you repaid us over the weekend by becoming our eyes and ears - and joining in and becoming a part of the voice of the Sunday Herald. And for that, we thank you from the very bottom of our hearts.

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That's horrendous, samsc. Utterly sickening. Ironic that Jim Murphy's egging provided him with ammunition to declare the street of Scotland unsafe and brand the Yes campaigners as dangerous.

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That's horrendous, samsc. Utterly sickening. Ironic that Jim Murphy's egging provided him with ammunition to declare the street of Scotland unsafe and brand the Yes campaigners as dangerous.

Indeed, even when it turned out the egger was an ex labour party member who had a fight with him on twitter

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