NE’ERDAY is my UDI. By personal resolution I am leaving the British state, which has deprived me of my European citizenship and treats me as a subject. Instead, I am reasserting my European and worldwide identity as a citizen of the ancient, unbroken nation of Scotland. I cannot change the world alone, but I can start by changing myself.

I cannot any longer be part of Little England. I cannot be compliant with the jingoism of England’s governing class, who want everyone else to be poorer so that they can be sovereign. I dissent from their undemocratic and unaccountable governance, their serial incompetence, corruption, and nauseating presumption. I am determined to live by principles of equity, justice, dignity, respect and compassion.

I also renounce the House of Windsor, and all the detritus of monarchy. Whatever the merits of Queen Elizabeth, “royal prerogative” has become a cover for arbitrary rule. “God Save the Queen” no more, even out of politeness.

I also renounce the British state’s obscene and soon-to-be-illegal possession of nuclear weaponry.

I protest the stockpiling of warheads and decaying radioactive submarines near the homes of two-and-a-half million Scots on the Clyde.

I refuse to be part of Britain’s global weapons workshop, supplying dictators and fuelling murderous, ethnic conflicts.

I call out Britain’s media establishment, including the BBC, which insistently demands to know why Scotland should be independent, without ever considering why not. I challenge the subservience of many in Scottish society, who cling to their status quo privilege and refuse to speak truth to power.

I resist Britain’s sell-out of public services for private profit, and its determination to undermine the United Kingdom’s parliaments. I support every possible collective and individual action to sustain planet Earth as a home for humankind, and the source of diverse life – air, soil and seas.

Some of this is unsurprising: my adult life has been in the midst of Scottish culture and society. I know how much and how often Scotland has undercut its own potential. But the next years will be harder than what has gone before. The British state will not relinquish its hold on Scotland without conflict and repression.

I am prepared to resist by all non-violent means, including civil disobedience. If necessary I would accept loss of liberty as the price for genuine freedom. I shall give unstinting voice to the diversity of Scotland though my storytelling art, without censorship, or deference to institutions that disguise bias as impartiality. I will not be cowed by weasel words – “divisive”, “separatist”, or “nationalist”. Scotland’s cause is inclusive and outward-facing.

I regret the present assault on Scotland’s democracy. Yet I am relieved that pretences have been dropped; that open resistance has arrived. There is joy in joining the dance of defiance. For me, independence is beginning, and I can go forward in the good company of people who delight in freedom and humanity.

Donald Smith


WE are days away from leaving the European Union and the betrayal of the collective will of the Scottish people. Decades of anti- EU media smears and the incitement of an exceptionalist, belligerent and xenophobic brand of English nationalism by wealthy, self-seeking backers like Tim Martin will have condemned us to years of economic deprivation, social unrest and political impotence unless independence is achieved in as short a time frame as is possible.

SNP MPs at Westminster were correct in voting against this insipid travesty of a deal that is worse than Mrs May’s last effort and which recklessly abandons Scottish fishermen and farmers as well as embracing cultural vandalism through the rejection of the Erasmus programme. Tory grandee Lord Heseltine has equated the impact of Johnson deal’s on the UK with the fate of a condemned man who has his death sentence commuted to life in prison. The self-inflicted damage of Brexit upon the people of the UK will still be severe, despite the illusionary relief of avoiding a no-deal scenario.

Constitutionally we are at a historic crossroads. England and Wales democratically voted to leave the EU. Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain. Northern Ireland remains part of the UK and of the EU, with its membership of the single market. It will also remain part of the Erasmus programme thanks to funding from the Republic of Ireland. Essentially, the only nation that did not get what its people voted for is Scotland.

The Union is moribund but will not break up by itself. Groups and individuals that support independence must be proactive in the months ahead to use valid grievances as well as our vision for a future socially democratic country to convince the apathetic or opponents of self-rule.

Future generations will not forgive us if we spurn this golden opportunity to give Scotland a future in which social equality and inclusiveness form the bedrock of our way of life.

Owen Kelly


ON January 1, England, Wales and Northern Ireland shall ostensibly obtain what they voted for in the Brexit referendum of 2016, while the people of Scotland shall still not have entered the “federal state” promised in 2014, nor shall they have retained the membership of the European Union for which the majority voted in 2016.

During 2021, the people of Scotland shall vote for their parliament to deliver an independence referendum. When the result shows that the majority of voters favour Scotland’s right to determine its own future, then, as evidenced by the Anglo-Irish Treaty signed on December 6, 1921, the democratic will of the people cannot be denied, even by a politically hostile, but hopefully now more respectful, Westminster government.

Stan Grodynski

Longniddry, East Lothian