I’M a bit of an old cynic when it comes to politics. I’m not easily impressed. But the sheer magnitude of Saturday’s event left me stunned. It was huge!

But it’s not all about numbers. Mood matters just as much. Gatherings like this have character. They have something akin to a personality. If Saturday’s gathering was a person, they would be cheerful, amiable, enthusiastic and determined.

READ MORE: Portrait brings pets of well-known indy campaigner ‘back to life’

They might also be described as a bit impatient. Perhaps even a little angry.

This is, of course, a personal impression. But what I sensed from that crowd on Saturday very much accords with the mood I have been finding as I speak with individuals and groups around Scotland. There is a palpable sense of a tipping point having been reached. A growing sense of urgency. The impression is of people having decided that the time is right. Of people resolved to act.

Unlike some commentators, I do not see this as a problem for the SNP. On the contrary, I reckon it is precisely what Nicola Sturgeon has been hoping for and planning on.

No doubt the size of the turnout on Saturday does put pressure on the Scottish Government to use its mandate for a new referendum.

No doubt that pressure is the greater for the mood of impatience and urgency. But such pressure is discomfiting for politicians only when they have no plan.

Stress can be harmful where there is pressure without control. Nicola Sturgeon is in control. She has a plan.

Being in control, Nicola Sturgeon can harness the energy of those thousands who marched on Saturday – as well as the thousands more who were there in spirit – and use it to power Scotland’s final drive to independence.
Peter A Bell

IF ever confirmation was required in relation to pro-Union media bias against the indy movement, then last Saturday’s All Under One Banner march in Glasgow was it. Ironically, there would have been plenty of coverage had it been one man and his dog, or if we had succumbed to the taunts from the very few pro-UK demonstrators on a couple of corners.

And then on Monday a certain BBC Radio Scotland morning programme used an hour to discuss “when not if” for the next indyref. Whether even-handed or not, the presenter appeared to do the usual with phone-in contributors: enabling a rammy with little steer to constructive debate. Nothing new, nothing to see, move on.

However, I don’t think it’s the in-your-face media assaults with tired, old, repetitive mantras (once in a lifetime; you’ve had yer referendum, what about the pound) we should agonise over, but the more subtle wooing we are subjected to: royal weddings, royal babies, patriotic TV programmes and major-release films recalling the First and Second World Wars, pulling together, stiff upper lip, leaders of world renown and repute, all the way back to 1066 and all that.

Programme-makers don’t need to understand our different historical backgrounds north of the Border, nor attempt any serious analysis of the seismic shift in political thinking and engagement that has occurred in Scotland.

Just so long as the powers that be commission such (indirectly) pro-Union work, it will be made and shown. Many of us will leave it, not take it, but there will always be an audience to ooh and aah, and succumb to a sense of even false, imagined nostalgia.

If we cannot command the airwaves, nor all become programme makers, perhaps we can reignite the very public grassroots movement that took us from 25% to 45%. We know we never went away, so is the time right over the summer to get public: to take our tables and chairs out to festivals, gala days and events, as well as marching and meeting when we can, stoking the fires of enthusiasm and reaching out to new recruits and converts?

Perhaps we should start a push with BBC and STV – telling them we don’t want a 3:1 split when there are programmes and panels about indy: one SNP, Labour, Tory and LibDem. We want a 50:50 balance with grassroots involvement acknowledged and represented.

It’s not politicians who’ll carry the day – voters will. After all, who pays the license fee, responds to adverts and votes? It might be a problem for them if there was an attempt at a serious viewer boycott of any programme that didn’t have that 50:50 balance, political and gender.

But whichever way we continue to make our public presence more obvious, it has to be with the inclusiveness, humour and patience shown on that march. It has to be with mutual support of writers, bloggers, video diary makers, indy TV set-ups, all helping to negate the soft touch, drip-drip of propaganda – for that’s what it is – combined with the blatant ignoring of the indy movement. And worse, the dismissal of the indy movement on the false premise it’s a one-political-party phenomenon.

No-one said it would be easy: many countries have had to fight for their independence. That is not our way, the ballot box is, but the end product is the same: an independent nation, recognised as such across the world.
Selma Rahman

I WAS one of the tens of thousands of people who marched through Glasgow on Saturday. I marched because, as the majority of people I spoke to also felt, we are reaching a critical moment in our nation’s history.

Brexit, austerity, power grab, rape clause, Windrush, Vows 1, 2 and 3 and Labour’s unelectability have convinced many more people living in Scotland that now is the time for a renewed Yes movement. This movement needs to focus 24/7 on persuading those who are not yet convinced that independence is the only way to achieve the kind of country we all need and want.

It needs to continue to be a broad, outward-looking and inclusive civic movement. It needs to be strong in the face of an increasingly strident, minority, ultra-Unionist movement which seeks to intimidate the rest of us by saying we “had our say” and we are “no longer entitled” to have our say.

The Scotland I know and love will have its say because we can be so much more than we currently are. The Scotland I care passionately about will have its say because we are withering on the Westminster vine whilst our people, resources and now our very brand and identity are eroded.

For me, the crude attempt to use Brexit as a cover for dismantling devolution and our parliament is the final straw. We need independence now more than at any time in our history, before it is too late to save our future generations from a post-Brexit, right-wing, insular and élitist future.

As so many said during the march: “We’re here for our children, for their future.”
C McLean

HAVING attended the amazing All Under One Banner independence march in Glasgow on Saturday, I was intrigued to read George Kerevan’s call to action (“March shows the Catalan Effect is taking hold – and that a people’s push for indy is way forward”) in Monday’s National.

George points out that if half a million English people marched to a similar end in the centre of London it would change the news agenda and the politics of the UK, and no doubt he is correct. He then goes on to suggest further activism, including linking hands across Scotland, teach-ins and blocking the M8.

Whilst such home-focused activism may or may not be effective (and we could no doubt argue at length about the merits), I wonder if we are aiming our protests at the right target, given the march of 80,000 barely warranted a mention in the UK media.

If our beef is with Westminster, should we not take our physical protest there? We may not be able to achieve similar numbers in such a distant location, but surely we could muster a few thousand to gather outside Westminster and let them know directly what our concerns are? More importantly we might have an opportunity to demonstrate to the English people that our nationalism is something they need not fear.

If we want to get the attention of the London media, and they will not come to us, then perhaps we are left with no option but to go to them.
Stewart Robinson