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By Jason Michael

KNOW THE TRUTH and the truth will set you free. This past week has been a revelation. The truth be told, there was a moment when I seriously considered giving up and walking away from the independence movement. Not that I would consider becoming anti-independence – not for a moment, I just thought, after an unsettling glimpse into a particular recess of the movement’s imagination, that perhaps it would be better to leave this writing malarkey to people more comfortable with the vision of independence I saw in that place. We don’t all see independence the same way and we certainly do not all see eye to eye on how we should go about getting there. Such variety is good, of course, but there are limits. We all have our limits. One of my own, as I have recently discovered, is the prevalent attitude – how prevalent I don’t know – that about any amount of shadiness, corruption, and dishonesty can be accepted or conveniently ignored so long as it helps get us to independence.

With the very best of intentions I published an article on this site asking, in the nicest possible way, if the All Under One Banner organisers would mind not lying to us again. Manny Singh, the head steward at AUOB, posted to Facebook the night of the Edinburgh march and rally that he, Gary [Kelly], and Neil [Mackay] conspired to mislead those hoping to attend the event, telling them that in an emergency meeting with HES, City of Edinburgh Council, and Police Scotland the police had overruled HES’ position that there could not be a political rally in Holyrood Park. Manny was emphatic in this statement, using the word “lie” a number of times, he was clear when he said HES was “never going to budge,” and that the lie was “for the greater good.” He even justified the lie by saying that “someone had to lead.”

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this was a lie, that it was deliberate and calculated, and that it was the product of a group discussion. Yet, we could have easily gotten past this. In the piece I wrote I acknowledged the success of the marches and congratulated AUOB for what it has achieved. All that I asked was that the guys don’t lie to us again. They are not our leaders. Manny, Gary, and Neil are events coördinators. We must always be given all the facts and given the freedom to make up our own minds – all the time and without exception. We are an independence movement!

In no way was this, as Mr Singh claims, a wee “white lie.” It was a whopper of a lie, and for two reasons; it misrepresented the position taken by Police Scotland – which may be a criminal offence – and it encouraged people to attend under the false belief the ban had been lifted – which may have had serious consequences. If people are going to engage in acts of civil disobedience, as I and many others said we were happy to do, they must be fully informed and free to make that decision, based on all the facts, for themselves. But we could have gotten past the lie. My intention in the previous piece on this episode was to be constructive. Had the organisers accepted this, had Manny accepted this, we would now not be where we are at now. Instead of seeing the merit of this criticism and accepting that people were rightly frustrated and angry with them, the organisers dug their heels in and compounded the lie with denials, abuse, threats, intimidation, and a whole new set of lies intended to bury the first.

Before getting much further into this it is important to address a few concerns. Since first mentioning all of this on social media a number of people have put it to me that I am being “divisive” and that I should not be giving ammunition to the unionists by airing what everyone seems to agree is indeed dirty laundry. Others are concerned that by “attacking” AUOB I am running the risk of bringing down the very people who are getting independentistas out onto the street. These are real concerns and it is only right I answer them.

Glasgow Councillor Mhairi Hunter, commenting online, rightly noted that “these marches self-run to a large extent due to the nature of the participants.” The driving force behind pro-independence marches and rallies is the nature of the participants and not the organisers. AUOB exists to facilitate what independentistas want to do already. AUOB is not convincing them, it’s serving their requirements. Others can do this, and, as Mhairi correctly says, it can be done better. With or without AUOB and with or without these three guys at the helm of AUOB marches and rallies will happen because the movement wants them to happen. We need not lose too much sleep over the prospect of AUOB going under, though it is not my intention to send it under.

What about the airing of dirty laundry? This is the objection that annoys me the most. We are deluding ourselves if we think that by speaking out about Gary, Neil, and Manny’s antics we are telling unionists anything they don’t already know. Everything I am about to say here and more fully hopefully in an upcoming article for iScot Magazine – pending editorial review – was rolling down the unionist Twitter feed – the “yoon stream” – long before the bee landed in my bonnet. The odd thing is, as we have seen from recent discussions, is that none of this is news.

I keep returning to the fact that we are an independence movement, and for good reason. Independence is not simply a political goal. It is a state of mind. We cannot hope to free Scotland if we are slavishly devoted to hiding bad behaviour, covering up misdeeds, and protecting toxic people for the sake of independence. If, for the sake of independence, we are prepared to dispense with the principles of openness and accountability the freedom we gain can and will only be slavery by another name. I can assure you, we have nothing to lose by exposing the truth. In fact, a movement committed to transparency can only be the better, the stronger, for it. In the Church I have painful experience of an organisation that covered-up really bad things for the sake of protecting its reputation, and – trust me – right now it is paying the price for that mistake. On this, I do happen to know what I am talking about. So, let’s not be going down that road. It is short-sighted and will only lead to our destruction.

Right. Back to Manny and the lie – and it was a lie. No sooner than I published my last article than the organiser Gary Kelly was on social media insisting “the lie was the lie.” Oh yes, and it gets crazier. To back this up he offered a fragment of a text purporting to be from the minutes of the emergency meeting with HES, Edinburgh Council, and Police Scotland suggesting the police had in fact overruled HES. This, however, still contradicted the statement released by HES in which it definitively stated it had not been overruled and that the ban was still in place. As it looked like the claim that the lie was the lie was itself a lie, I asked if AUOB would send me a copy of the minutes. The response from AUOB was that no organisation would do that. Another lie. Others began asking about accounts, and these aren’t published either. At this point I rattled off two FOI requests, asking Police Scotland and HES for the minutes of the meeting, but it will take a bit of time before I have these. Not to worry, I received a phone call from Ronnie Anderson – a man who left All Under One Banner describing Gary, Manny, and Neil as “gansters.” Ronnie suggests the minutes are bogus, saying that in his experience Manny in particular has refused to have a minutes secretary. Let’s see what the FOIs turn up.

Then there is the abuse and intimidation. I wasn’t expecting this. It is fair enough to question an organisation. AUOB deals with people. It should know, surely, how to deal with the public. But no, not quite. On the morning I published the first article the AUOB account tweeted that I would not be invited to speak at another event. My punishment for having the temerity to call a lie what its organiser had already and repeatedly called a lie was to be excommunicated from being part of “all under one banner.” I would have to find a banner to get under all on my own. But it turns out I wasn’t alone. Anyone who questions or criticises them is subject to the same ban. It even turns out that the organisers are quite open about their refusal to accept criticism. Neil posted to Facebook:

We at AUOB also do not accept negative criticism of our rallies re any choice of speaker or performer we allocate to the rally. Basically if our rallies are attacked (even by insinuation alone) on the basis of a speaker or act being included then AUOB is being attacked and we shall never submit to such Tyranny.

This has to be a paraphrase of the Braveheart line: “An assault on the king’s soldiers is the same as an assault on the king himself.” Anyhow, that makes me a Tyrant (with a capital ‘T’). It also makes Lesley Riddoch a Tyrant. It was Lesley he was talking about after she refused to share a platform with Tommy Sheridan. Hmm. The tyranny of dissent. Please tell me I am not alone in being extremely uncomfortable with an organisation – one which has voiced its interest in becoming the sole organisational body representing the grassroots of the independence movement – that treats any and all criticism as tyranny and punishes it with immediate and summary expulsion?

Yet, it didn’t even end here. Neil Mackay dropped me a private message on Facebook reading: “Who the fuck do you think you are sad wee man. Nasty vile egotist Prick.” Again with the capitals, and the lack of a question mark was just confusing. When does the insistence that we are not lied to result in expulsion and abuse? When is all criticism treated as tyranny? This wasn’t even just me. I like being unique, but they deprived me even of this. Scores of people have come out on social media to share their experiences of AUOB and its organisers. Someone from Dumfries alleged there was a “divvying out of money” from the collection buckets in a pub after the march in the town, another from Dundee described how the same standoff that was created in Edinburgh happened in Dundee, with a march being organised without any consultation with the city council – an SNP council – and local activists left with the impression “it was about provoking a reaction.”

Everyone who challenges them is subjected to personal abuse. Friends of mine in Wishaw, a mother and daughter, were dragged through the muck and called all sorts of names for months by AUOB organisers for the crime of questioning the routing of a bus from where they were to Bannockburn. The screen shots of this abuse reveal a disturbing and frightening picture of what and who these people are. Not even former members of the group are safe. Neil Mackay – who seems to be the hitman of the operation – was reported to the police, after being deemed unfit to lead the organisation, for making threats against the family of former organiser John Mellon. In an email that was sent to me this morning Neil writes to Mellon:

I’m sick of you through and through and stop contacting me and stay away from me or else. I look forward to the news one day you have shat yourself to death in an old grubby care home, won’t be long now. Fuck off.

Neil has to get at least 15 bonus points here for artistic impression. Cursing one’s enemies to shit themselves to death in a nursing home takes quite a lot of thought. This wasn’t the only report to the police about Mackay. AUOB former member, Ronnie Anderson, was forced to go to the police after he and others were threatened with physical harm if they did not hand over the accounts when the group split over what Anderson described as “the gangster takeover.”

Well, here it is folks – here’s the dirty laundry. This is not a “spat,” as some have said on social media, to be dealt with in private. This isn’t even a difference of opinion. I don’t know these guys. I have never met them – well, apart from Gary, briefly, in Edinburgh. I have never had a discussion or an argument with them. If I’m honest, thank God I haven’t. This is far more serious. All of this is already well known to the unionists and it is only a matter of time before all of this is burst right open by the unionist press. In fact, a friend who works for a nasty tabloid has suggested that this is now “in the pipeline.” Is this what we want to keep under wraps for the sake of the reputation of the independence movement? Really? If there is one shred of truth to any of this, and if it is fully exposed in the mainstream media, we are all going to suffer. The whole movement will suffer.

What I am suggesting – and that it be done with all haste – is a full inquiry into this operation. Not the marches, not the rallies, the speakers, or the participants, but the people running it. Something stinks to high heaven and I for one want this dealt with. This is an organisation on which the reputation of the movement rests. If AUOB is to continue we should know the full truth of what has been going on, its leadership should be open for election, its accounts published, and all its communications open to scrutiny. “Tick tock,” we like to say – well, the clock is ticking. But this wouldn’t really be complete without another lie. Gary Kelly, responding to my question about Neil’s recent behaviour had only this to say: “Neil isn’t on the AUOB team bit spoke in ages he does his own thing [sic].” I know that’s a lie.

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71 thoughts on “Something Stinks

    1. Agreed.

      If this is true, it could even boobytrap both SNP and everyone who marched.

      Its too late to deny it or hope it goes away. Once a member of AUOB wrote that post, the damage is done….YES can either get out in front of it or wait to see how large the damage the Unionists can extract.

      If you leave it, once it breaks, the potential smear stories would be relentless…it would make Michelle Thomson sorry saga look like a children’s party.

      The only way is to be strong.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. First class article, Jason. You have managed to convey what an uncouth, untrustworthy and quite frightening bunch of people these three are. Let’s hope people in the independence movement pay attention and learn.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Don’t let the bullies from AUOB stop you from continuing your writing (both on your blog and in iScot). There is something wrong with them that they can’t accept criticism – especially when they have (initially) admitted they lied to everyone who was attending the Edinburgh March. I look forward to your articles in iScot and your blog as I’m sure many others do – just keep up the good work and know that there will be many people like myself who support you

    Liked by 5 people

  3. This is very worrying and I agree with you … it STINKS ! We have to be transparent at all times no matter what otherwise we are going to sink as low as the Unionits et al . Alba Gu Bràth 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Good grief! That’s enough to put anyone off participating in their events! Just supposing that lie had backfired & HES had called the police, who in turn decided that the March into Holywood Park was a public order issue, would those in the Park have ended up with a charge against them? That could mean the loss of jobs for teachers, nurses, carers and many others. Not acceptable! Especially not without knowing that that outcome was possible. Sorry you are being harassed, but you are doing the right thing. And thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Well, this is an eye-opener. I had suggested trying to resolve this in private until such time as it became necessary to bring it into the open, but I see that time has passed. I didn’t appreciate the full extent of this until now. Previous comments fully rescinded!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I’m behind you 100%, Jason. What really annoys me about this is that there was no reason for AUOB to lie. If they’d told the truth we would have still had the rally at the end. The BritNats are going to love exposing this fiasco and I just bet that AUOB is being looked into right now by them.

    I don’t want you to give up writing for the cause but will understand if you do.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I believe John Mellon may have mentioned me to you in an e-mail today.
    AUOB don’t like questions and are perfectly happy to threaten or abuse people who do ask questions.
    When this venture start they were advised by me and others to constitute AUOB properly .
    To get a proper accountant if they intended to collect/raise money from the public .
    To publish accounts and to be totally transparent .
    Your assumsion that the authorities are looking into this organisation is correct.
    They were warned that if they became succesful they would come under scrutiny from the establishment.
    The establishment doesn’t want 100,000 plus and rising on the streets so AUOB will be stopped.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Jings. With friends like these the Yes movement doesn’t need Unionists for enemies.

    Please keep doing what you’re doing, Jason, even if that is airing this dirty laundry for all to see. Because it needs to be seen & dealt with.

    If we Scots can’t gain our independence by being honest to ourselves we don’t deserve to be independent.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. What a read that was. In Edinburgh i was the silent yes protester infront of the unionists for the whole march getting an earfull from both directions about what they thought off each other. When some pictures of me standing still were posted i was accused of many things. From being MI5 agent to a dumpling and total arse etc. When i got round to explaining who and what i was about that thread just vanished leaving me in no doubt about what i had done was wrong. In the group leaders eyes. Jumping the gun whilst the gun wasnt even loaded. Thanks for your comments and you have my full support against some very nasty people. Its the marchers and thier attitude and behaviour that should win the day. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great piece Jason. I have left groups, stopped supporting bloggers because of lies. I will not have my name associated with anything that is not transparent. This won’t stop me showing up to marches of my choice. That choice needs to be made with the full knowledge that I am legally allowed to march. If that permission is not there then again I will make my own judgment on whether to attend or not. I see so much, so much has been shared with me. I keep quiet for the greater good. I admire you for standing up and having a voice regarding this matter. As the old saying goes, when one lie has been proven the person however truthful they have been in the past becomes a liar.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I find myself more than a little concerned about this article, and exacerbated by a post to auob where a lady was asking pertinent questions about the organisation. Given the nature of the reply, it was clear that she needed some support, and I asked about a Constitution, name of office bearers and which company were auditing the accounts. I too had read on posts about beer money, but this issue seems to have been dropped. It doesn’t have to be this way! There’s nothing unpatriotic about having a properly constituted group, with an independent set of auditors. It is also germane that this lady noted that some£5K had been collected in Edinburgh, yet the foollowing week an appeal for more cash was instigated for the marches next year.
    But here we are comrades… where to go now?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi there. I think there are so many power games going on within the YES movement. The people in AUOB you speak of seem very skilled organisers and publicists. Such people are often, shall we say, abrupt with folk who disagree with them. I guess it goes with the territory. I don’t like any of it and won’t be associated with it.

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  13. What you’re writing here is very disturbing and could have long term negative implications for the wider Yes Movement. The last thing we need now, especially because we’re winning, is for this to be swept under the rug.
    I agree 100% that there needs to be an open investigation into AUOB and if what you say is proven fact, we ourselves need to air it. If AUOB are to continue I also agree they should be open, accountable and elected.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Jason what you have written today and in your past blogs is extremely concerning , my wife and I have been on 3 marches and loved the inclusiveness and cameraderie of all participants, we cannot allow these fantastic events to be a source of division and ridicule .
    If as I presume AUOB are a registered charity within Scotland they can and should approach the Scottish charity commission for a voluntary inspection and investigation into their finances and expenditure , this should allay any fears of contributers and participants of the veracity of the organisation .
    As for any bullying or threats or harassment of individuals asking relevant pertinent questions , the 3 gentlemen must also realise that in organising these admirable inclusive events ( for which I thank them ) they are acting and behaving as ambassadors and examples of the independence movement .
    In organising these events these gentlemen MUST be squeaky clean and above reproach , any deviation from being honest and open will ALWAYS lead to accusations and suspicions

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AUOB in not a charity they where a registered private ltd business, say where as appear to be developing a habit of dissolving the business and have never published accounts!

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    2. They are not registered, they are a Ltd company charging AUOB marchers for security. They have refused to answer questions about legally required public liability insurance, so if anyone is injured in a march, even by accident ie tripping on a flag or another foot etc they won’t get a penny…

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  15. We get lied to all the time by the Britnat media and the Britnat politicians. Not happy to be lied to by anyone in the Independence movement. AUOB must learn the lessons from this. Act like decent people. No lying, threats or insults – please.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. It is hard sometimes NOT to be paranoid but as they say, even if you are, is doesn’t mean they’re NOT out to get you. At times like these I wonder how deep the UK Security Services are in the YES movement and let’s not kid ourselves that they haven’t have deep moles in the movement for at least the last 20 years.

    Think about what people are doing, or what is suggested by certain people at YES meetings, and reflect on how badly some ideas and actions would undermine the Independence movement. I’m not accusing anyone of anything, just keeping an open mind. Trust someone by what they DO not just on what they say.

    We are at another critical point in our path to Independence, which I think WILL come. I’d just rather it was sooner than later – I’m getting on in life!

    Liked by 3 people

  17. AUOBScotland Ltd. Incorporated on 2nd July 2018. It is a private company limited by shares. Shaun Francis & Mandeep Singh are the two officers/directors responsible for the company and hold 50 of the 100 shares each.
    Published accounts up to 31st July 2019 are not due to be filed by 2nd April 2020.
    The model Articles of Association [the rules by which the company must refer too] which were adopted at incorporation include
    PART5 Administrative Arrangements (50) No right to inspect accounts or other records. Except as provided by law or authorised by the directors or an ordinary resolution of the company, no person is entitled to inspect any of the company’s accounting or other records or documents merely by virtue of being a shareholder.
    This is normal and is the go to for most, if not all companies of this structure.
    Many VCO’s and community organisations also adopt this structure and can negate PART 5 by way of an ordinary resolution which allows members, shareholders or anyone to look at documents and records. The resolution will state clearly the extent that the organisation is prepared to go in terms of transparency. Published accounts do not tell anyone much and it is the documents and records which give the details.
    Same goes for minutes and how decisions were arrived at.
    Many VCO”s community groups and ‘charities’ currently operate under this ‘No right to inspect accounts or other records.’
    I myself have experienced this lack of transparency quite recently with a ‘community charity’ when I questioned them and despite being a ‘member’ discovered there was nothing I could do about it and I had no right to look at anything other than published accounts ;o(

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  18. Neil Mackay.

    I used to have him as a friend on Facebook. He posted more than a few opinions, anti Muslim variant if memory serves, and I binned him. I don’t put up with that shite from anyone. And that’s about the last thing I knew about him until hey presto he’s one of the triumvirate. I don’t know the other two at all, although I had a social media conversation with Manny Singh through a mutual friend that betrayed a few funny ideas on immigration which, I must admit, I did find a bit odd given his own ethnic and religious background.

    The marches are enormously successful and I don’t think the organisers really take a huge amount of credit for it. People will march if an event is publicised, it’s that simple. Oh, they organise the marshals via volunteers and liaise with authorities (although apparently not as often as they’d have us believe.

    I have no difficulty believing they lied about permission for the Edinburgh rally, not when they said as much themselves, getting arsey about it after admitting it seems a bit mad to me.

    We do not need doubts over who organises rallies or their motivations. With that in mind, I absolutely support your bringing this up. We cannot have dubious practices in our movement. People MUST be beyond reproach or as is blatantly obvious we can all be attacked for allowing them into positions of authority. I’m sure the unionists are loving this, but hey, fuck them. Their entire leadership is one of arseholes.

    If people are attacking you for doing what is right, in my opinion that just proves you’re doing what is right.

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    1. Peter Mac You are not wrong there with Mackay Racist&Sexist postings , more than once I took up those issues with him but the Acolytes see no wrong in anything negative & damaging to the image of Auob from Manny/Neil/Gary/Bruno. This issue is long overdue & cant be hidden from the Grassroots movement , Thanks Jason for exposing Auob leaders .

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    2. Neil Ian Mackay IS sexist and racist (and I have to say, very proud of his opinions being as such) – just ask the people he was at college with that got to know him! If anyone does their homework and interviews his previous friends, previous family (violence included) and others it will become a no-brainer.

      Just for the record. I am an Indy voter all through and through, and always have been; but I’m sure Mr Neil Ian Mackay would and will mark me down as a Loyalist/Unionist as he does with ANYONE that calls him out.

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  19. Thank you for the heads up Jason.

    Scotland WILL be free.

    But it needs to be a freedom based on honesty and integrity.

    Lies do not serve anyone well. This needs sorted.

    The Independence movement is better than this and WILL need to be constantly self monitoring to stay honest and fair and to always be the Independence Movement we all want it to be.

    THAT is how we make our way to the Scotland we all hope for =)

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  20. A most informative read. Somebody had to write this article, and I am glad it was you Jason, as you have personally experienced the abuse and also have the journalistic skills to combine this with the experiences of others to produce this authoritative article. I write as someone who made a small contribution to the AUOB crowdfunder last week, but am now wondering where my money has gone. But this is the least of my worries. Hopefully your article will bring matters to a head and some sort of resolution to this wholly unsatisfactory situation can be found.
    And the reaction of the three AUOB co-ordinators will be most intriguing.

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  21. When AUOB first appeared, I do believe that the organiser of previous years’ marches and rallies (John McHarg?) alleged that he was subject to threats and intimidation if he didn’t submit to come under the one banner with these guys and Sheridan. Disgustingly, I am sure he alleged that his family was also being targeted. He may even have said that he had to move house, but I may be wrong. When I read his posts describing the above I wasn’t having anything to do with AUOB. The marches have been organised, however, and I have attended two of them, not because I support AUOB, but because I support independence.

    The lies surrounding the Edinburgh march really annoyed me. I would have gone anyway, because no organisation is going to tell me I can’t go for a walk through a public park. I would have left my two young children at home, however.

    Yes, something definitely stinks within AUOB.

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  22. Well said mate it’s like everything else in this fucked up world, the lure of power and importance generally attracts the gangsters thieves and rodents first

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  23. There is no harm in an organisation washing its dirty linen in public, where problems arise is when an organisation is never seen going to the Laundry.
    This is always the problem with unofficial movements. Because they have to be run by big egos they are sensitive to criticism.
    I didn’t see the point in the lie. We were always going to get into the park – not to have would have been as risk to public safety. Whether there was a permitted rally or not didn’t really matter, as many of us never got near the stage.

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  24. I volunteered as a steward at the time of the early Glasgow march where they clashed with GCC over the number of stewards required and planned to take my grandchildren along. The “training” was fairly minimal and I was concerned (as an RGN) about medical cover – or lack of it – and decided not to go. Soon after that, I began to see the very public, very personal, unprofessional posts about internal struggles, financial mismanagement etc. and my unease grew. I recommended to friends that if they really wanted to go (and the marches are incredible for their participants and the boost for the movement) that they keep a wary eye open and perhaps not take children. I was tempted, again, to go to Edinburgh but the row with HES etc. just concerned me that this march may be the one where it all goes wrong. Thankfully it didn’t, but Manny Singh’s post boasting openly about lying just shook me to my boots.
    The good will and good nature of participants and volunteer stewards etc has meant that so far, these have been fantastic events. I still have real fears that, as the marches grow to critical mass, something will go wrong and the lack of really professional infrastructure in the background may turn a crisis into a disaster. I really, REALLY, hope I’m just being a pessimist, but in the meantime, I need a bit more reassurance before I put myself or my family at risk.

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  25. These organisers can not be educated people. Name calling, put downs, and using gutter language would not be used by people who had knowledge of human relations or leadership. This is a great disappointment to me. I marched in Edinburgh and was delighted with the event. I’m glad you exposed these people. I’ll seriously consider disassociating myself from AUOB.

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  26. I agreed with you on your original article about the lie, and i still agree with you, AUOB has got to be transparent, and open to public scrutiny and have to listen to what people are saying without going in the huff and being nasty.

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  27. Jason

    Just a personal message of support.

    You have chosen a very difficult role. One which very few will thank you for at the time….but it is an essential part.

    No one likes hearing their faults and in fact most react like children of alcoholics or abusers…Blame the messenger not the perpetrator.

    I support your efforts and understand if/when you can no longer carry that baton. It is personally draining to be “that person” and it always comes with a large degree of personal exhaustion. Please look after and protect yourself as a priority. If at some point, you need to step back and be an ordinary independence supporter again. it will then be for someone else to pick up that role. Personally, I hope that day does not come as you will leave big shoes to fill.

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    1. Tol, from the very bottom of my heart – thank you! This was not an easy few days. There was incredible pressure to stay quiet, even from the best of people. I was losing sleep. In the end I just sat down and wrote it. Thank you for those powerful words of kindness and support.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Interesting to read about this I had no idea. The last thing the independence campaign or movement or whatever we should call it, needs, is for people to throw abuse like that, their response to any concerns should have been civil, and nothing less. The Independence movement is civil and peaceful, those who organise events fail us all if they do not themselves act in a civil and peaceful manner.

    I will be keeping an eye on what AUOB say and do from now on.

    Keep writing your blog, maybe some would rather you didn’t, so a good reason to carry on. We can’t all agree all of the time, but it’s always good to have as many views and insights as possible imo.

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  29. Imagine if we had that 100.000 marchers in Edinburgh with no rally at the end. No one would have been in any rush to finish, as a result far more people [possibly undecided & previous no’s] would have witnessed that massive turnout. At the park thousands would have still sat down and eaten their picnic, maybe more would have enjoyed a game of Croquet or we could all have played some Unicorn games. And those not happy to hang out for a while in the park would have natural dispensed into the local cafes and bars, chatting to one another about the movement to be overheard by general public. There would be no moaning by anyone about who gets what slot on the stage, as no stage. No massive expense on said stage, so instead the crowdfunding could pay for ads and leaflets. The marches could be more like parades and far better include the watching public. Does anyone really think that the speakers going over and over the things we all already know honestly does anything to help add to our No’s?

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  30. By the sounds of it these clowns may well be interested in independence but I feel they are more interested in making a name for themselves and creaming cash out of innocent activists.

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  31. No surprise there with this bunch of mavericks. Everyone has seen the picture of them all standing in a crowd with their buckets of money. There are machines that can count money yet they do it manually. The other lies they tell are the size of the crowd but that issue has been taken good care of by A Force for Good. Also on the TORY SCUM banner by AUOB there is a logo portraying to be from a banned group thrown out by the SNP. One really must be careful what company one keeps. Look out for fireworks with the new Indy begging bowl group coming up. Filled with the opeople deserting AUOB like a sinking ship. Not before time.

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  32. I have unfollowed and blocked them on twitter today, thinking of what they have said to those asking questions of them, it’s a very bad response and damages the Indy movement as a whole, perhaps it’s deliberate who knows. Stranger things have happened!

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  33. Yes, better to clear things up from within than have the press wetting itself writing about how it hasn’t been done. Better to be honest and open.

    I don’t think it will be very long, if it hasn’t started already, before the ‘dark forces’ try to polarise the movement and we see ‘counter demonstrations’ from ‘useful idiots’ suitably whipped up into a frenzy by Her Majesty’s Press…

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  34. we must have the courage to expose those whose only intention is to make money from those ordinary folk who desire Independence and to defend those who are abused by those ”criminals”

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  35. To abuse a journalist who supports Independence and a journalist who spoke at their Edinburgh Rally was in short criminal these journalists for Independence are as rare as hen’s teeth and it was their biggest and stupidest mistake as now they have gone viral and people can now see that ”something indeed stinks”!

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