CommonWeal are starting a ReBuild initiative to address how we move forward post-coronavirus.

Here Mary McCabe tells us her thoughts on the subject:

There are two schools of thought about the world post Covid-19.

One: Plans to overhaul the system or to reform the constitution are navel-gazing. We must get back to where we were before considering radical change. If we ever do…

The Other: The place we were before, with the UK Government sacrificing Health and Social Care in England on the altar of profit, prioritising jingoistic wars over the war on poverty and ignoring the suggestions of the Scottish Government to take a different route was how we got in this mess. 

We must find a new way.

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Paisley’s Radical Uprising of 1820

Mary McCabe, co-convenor of our P4Indy National Group writes:

Many of you will have heard of the Radical Wars which swept across West Central Scotland in the early 19th century and which culminated in the 1820 Scottish Uprising. This is a little-known episode of Scottish history, with the reports of what happened suppressed at the time and to some extent suppressed ever since. 

Because 2020 is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bonnymuir and the trials, executions and transportations which followed, there had been lots of plans this year to stage commemorative events in local communities. These have mostly fallen foul of Covid-19 and the lockdown. 

The aims of the Radicals were political as well as economic and included better wages for weavers, the universal male franchise and independence for Scotland. The play is performed (there are folk-songs as well as drama) by senior citizens. 

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The Declaration – the letter of Liberty

Yesterday, had things been otherwise, I would have been up in Arbroath celebrating the 700th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration. I’m sure that many of you would have been there too. And I’m sure that at some point we will be there enjoying a belated gathering.

In the meantime we have Lesley Riddoch & Charlie Stuart to thank for this film about the Declaration. And also to thank Patrick Doyle for the original score.

You can find out more about the making of the film in Lesley’s own blog post.

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Podcast #3: Two Closes, a Referendum & Much More

Continuing our Podcast Series, this is part 2 of the interview with Mary McCabe on IndyLive Radio. It was recorded on 18 Dec 2019 with Val Gauld and Marlene Halliday.

In this one we cover :

  • how Mary came to write her novel “Two Closes & a Referendum”
  • was the referendum really as divisive as it is sometimes described?
  • what was meant by “once in a generation”?
  • Sir John Curtice’ recent views on Scotland going forward
  • writing letters to newspapers
  • when is a mandate not a mandate?
  • post-general election how are we feeling?

Here it is. It may take a few seconds to get load up. Patience is a virtue 😀

Missing EU Already Rally and Vigil Jan. 31st


(We’ll be back)


31st January 2019     5-7.30pm and 10-11pm

Outside Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh

Thousands will gather outside the Scottish Parliament on “Brexit Day”, January 31st

to protest against Scotland being dragged from the EU and to call for a second independence referendum so Scots have the chance to re-join the European Union as an independent state.

More than a dozen Edinburgh-based groups are urging Remain voters and Yes

supporting Scots to join them at the “Missing EU Already” rally outside Holyrood

from 5pm -7.30pm on Brexit Day 31st January. There will also be a candlelight vigil

outside Holyrood between 10-11.30pm

The rally will be entertained from 5pm by musicians. Speakers start from

5.30pm, compered by writer and journalist Lesley Riddoch. The line-up includes Joanna Cherry MP, Tommy Sheppard MP, Ellen Hofer, artist, activist and German/New Scot and more to be announced. Musicians include Andrew Gordon and the Bells. During the candlelight vigil there will be a light show to commemorate Scotland’s forced departure from the EU and an “Au Revoir” farewell march with an EU flag display, plus 20 stalls, a catering van and mobile toilets.

The event is being organised by the Edinburgh Yes Hub and is

supported by the Commonweal, English Scots 4 Yes, Pensioners 4 Yes,

Musselburgh, Inch, Gracemount, Craigmillar, Midlothian, Morningside and Marchmont Yes

Groups, Edinburgh Women for Independence and the Scottish Independence Foundation.

Joanna Cherry MP said;

“At the 2016 EU referendum and at every election thereafter the people of Scotland have voted to remain in the EU. On 31 January as the British Government drags us out of the EU against our will it’s important that we come together in Scotland’s capital city to show Europe & the world our desire to be an equal member of the EU family of nations.”

Tommy Shepherd MP said;

“On 31st January, the debate on Brexit ends – but the campaign to get the power to determine Scotland’s own future relationship with Europe begins in earnest.”

Journalist Lesley Riddoch said;

“A large turnout in Edinburgh will represent Scots and also

millions of Remain voters across the UK in a much-needed riposte to the tasteless

triumphalism likely to happen as Boris Johnson celebrates Brexit in London. The SNP won a clear mandate for a second independence referendum to let Remain-voting Scotland choose its own future. Scottish campaigners will not go away, until that mandate is fulfilled.”

Organiser Mike Blackshaw said;

“We decided to call this demonstration because Scots must show our resolute opposition to this theft of our European identity. Scotland benefits from EU membership and has a lot to give back.”