I have almost pressed “publish” on this post two or three times today ….. I guess if you are reading this I have pulled on my Big Girls Knickers and hit the button.
Only because indirectly this is about politics (small p BTW) and the last time I even mentioned the referendum up here I was hit with all sorts of anti-English B*****t. That’s what it is really – horsey doo-dah!!
Whatever your politics we can still be friends – we are much bigger and better than that …………….. but such a Constitutional Issue playing out live every day and having an teenager in the house is too big a learning experience to pass up. Modern and Media Studies being played out live every night ….. this they will write books on in a few years time.
So Sunday afternoon saw us in “Commonwealth City” … not to cheer on all the athletes having such a great games but “doon by the waater” along the Clyde River for what was dubbed “The Peaceful Protest” ….. which is quite appropriate alongside “The Friendly Games” I think.
First thing we spotted were all the boats rigged out in their Commonwealth Colours – there is going to be a flotilla of boats sailing down the Clyde soon and I hope I am near a TV when it happens as its a wonderful sight to see all the flags fluttering in the fairly brisk breeze (well it’s still Scotland in summer after all )
This wasn’t a Party Political thing ….. it was an afternoon of poetry, song and speeches ….. gently reminding the BBC that we are not that happy about the quality of the broadcasting happening up here. Three sets of Academic research have now proven the bias in BBC reporting and to be honest we are more or less resigned to it now after the last couple of years. Not to say we are accepting … just resigned that they don’t intend changing any time soon.
This is not just about the referendum BTW – but in the quality of new coverage that we get on issues world-wide ….. from Crimea and Syria right through to the Gaza conflict … and one guy who was very het up about “World Cup bribes” but I really don’t know enough about it to comment.
So not a militant afternoon of crowds and shouting ………… nah! we were much more tuneful in our singing To be honest the protesters were a mixture of family groups – eating bananas, drinking from flasks of tea and singing along with the bands.
No Clydesider Reds here I’m afraid.
Another gratuitous picture of the Flags of Nations …………… and the lowering grey clouds about to chuck rain all over us. they are so bonny all together aren’t they? …….. they remind me of patchwork.
As you can see – most of us came prepared for a wee shower …… summer in Scotland is still synonymous with shorts and cagoules
Right in the very middle is Tommy Sheridon ….. Socialist to the core!! I confess that I don’t agree with ALL his politics ….. but he gives a wonderful live speech. You can’t fault his passion and his skill in bringing a crowd along with him. His message is “Bairns not Bombs” and I don’t think on this site that can be construed as too political.
Not when he was followed later by people like Mark Coburn who has raised over £5000 for the Greater Maryhill Foodbank by cycling 500 miles in 5 days.
The day ending by the lovely lady from Maryhill Foodbank launching an appeal for another local foodbank that has shut its doors as it has run out of food. The protesters dug deep and filled her bucket with loads of paper money …. DS1 contributed a £10 note all of his own which made me very proud.
But there were loads of Saltires and loads of YES flags ………….. and there were Disability Groups and Women’s Groups and Aid Workers and Food Bank Organisers and “English Voices for Yes” and loads of of other Yes and No voters all just having a good old Scottish Grump about the poor state of our “State Broadcaster” See that lass there – that “ordinary woman” …… she organised the rally. she got the permission of the Science Centre next door to let us use their wee bit of green grass, their toilets, their Starbucks and their bins.
She liaised with the “Polis” …………. most of whom were very funny young lads over from Stirling for the day, who sang along and nicked our tablet and were a credit to Scottish Bobbies all over. Love a smiling Bobby I do ….. mind you aren’t they getting young looking???
In fact we ended the protest by being presented with bin bags from her handbag and picking up all the litter before we left …….. we are SUCH rebels ROFL!!!
Everyone got a number to hold up to get an ariel photo – to prove how many of us there were actually there. Well by the time we got home the BBC was reporting that there were 400 of us ………………….Erm!!! I got 888 and I wasn’t nearly the last one in. There was 1207 there and about 1500 watching in love on the internet …………. not bad considering the swimming was on telly.
BTW 888 is a very lucky number in Chinese Numerology ….. my Chinese Grandma told me its called “Money Bags” and means that I am due a period of prosperity. “Its about bleeding time” I told her …. “About bleeding time”.
DS1 was pleased with his too …… he recognised that its been 300 years since a rather famous battle up here that is fairly significant to all that is going on. I was just pleased to realise that he has been listening to his History lessons Erm!!! Apologies!!! But flags fluttering in the wind get me every time …..see the shiny hump in the background? That is the Science Centre so you can see how close we were.
Met a pal manning this banner ………….. asked him if he had met with any “Anti English” sentiment when he has been out campaigning. Oh how he laughed!!!! I shall take that as a no from him then! He would know as he is an active campaigner going around knocking doors. Nice to hear no-one is picking on my pal though! And the rain came down … funny and warm …. not used to this heat wave we are having up here I can tell you. We are used to our rain being stinging and cold and flying at you horizontally. This gentle, balmy drizzle makes us feel like we are abroad on our holidays.And I came home with gifts ……….. these are actually for Andy who comments on here … they are lapel badges from one of our favourite sites. A place online where we go to find out facts to counter the News Feed from Auntie Beeb.
Looking forward to heading back to Glasgow on Wednesday to go to Hampden and watch the athletics with him and the boys.
So DS1 has been to his first “protest” although it was nothing like the “Ban The Bomb” marches I went on as a student … or even the “Gay Pride” marches I organised later. It was all very polite, very civilised … and very, very tuneful.
So I leave you with the wee six year old lad Gabe who grabbed the mike and led us in a lovely rendition of “Will you Go Lassie Go” again to close the proceedings. Not a dry eye in the house I can tell you
And what did my son learn? Well he learned that politics is people – not men in suits on the telly. Its about ordinary people standing up for what they see as unjust and instead of sitting at home shouting at their telly come out and gather together to make a point.
Will yesterday change the world – probably not. But it has changed the worldview of one lad in Scotland who I hope goes on to do great things because he will carry with him the idea that people are important, that the disadvantaged need our support not slagging off. That every voice can be heard with respect and that slowly hearts and minds change as they begin to question what they see, they hear and they believe.
Now that is a lesson worth giving up a Sunday in front of the sport for!