Ungagged recommends:
Independence Live



Latest Podcast

Wonder women!


Wonder Women!

Ungagged celebrate International Women’s Day 2018

Latest Articles

Where’s the Alternative?



Allan Grogan, co-founder of Labour for Independence,talks about how the left have found ourselves perpetually reacting to an agenda rather than setting one [read more]

Latest News/Ungagged Campaigns

No Place Like Home – But Where is Home When You Are On wheels?

No Place Like Home But Where Is Home When You Are On Wheels? 

Debra Torrance discusses the cultural significance of the Showmen and the threat they currently face from their local council

Latest Fiction

Blake’s Wake by Steve McAuliffe 

Corridors and doors; strip-lighting; more corridors; fast-walking, important walking. Blake was escorted at top-speed. Blake was on his way to see God. [Read more]

Latest Poetry

Mundanus by Teresa Durran

Just think of all those hours where

You weren’t ill, weren’t lost or heartbroken

Weren’t unhappy, weren’t distressed

Nor tortured with words, spoken or unspoken[read more]

Competition Corner

Writing Competition Results

Getting Ungagged contributors to agree is like herding feral cats through a rainstorm, but our panel of judges have finally agreed on a winner for our Winter Short Story Competition [read more]

Ungagged Team


Read our bio page to find out more about us

Ungagged Art








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Have a look at our very talented artists here





Ungagged is a not for profit co-operative, and we rely on the generosity of our listeners. If you’d like to donate us the cost of a newspaper or a cup of coffee, you can do so through PayPal here.


The Gift


Available FREE on iTunes and Podbean

We’ve a real gift of a podcast for you this episode, since “gift” was our theme. Of course, we didn’t all stick to the theme – this is Ungagged after all…

In this episode, Red Raiph will be retelling The Raven, Em Dehaney will be talking about Christmas gifts and not always getting what you want, Chuck Hamilton will be reading White Ribbons For Indy, an article written by the Ungagged collective, and later coming back to read his own piece, The Monkey Trap, Ola’s Kool Kitchen will be chatting about how white supremacists on social media fan the flames of hate and misinformation and Richie Venton will be back with the second part of his piece on the 1917 Russian Revolution. Paul Sheridan will be telling us all about the Diggers movement, Damanvir Kaur will be giving us the latest in the Free Jaggi campaign, and George Collins will be talking about the rise and fall of Empires.

We will also be hearing from Victoria Pearson, reading her short story The Clock Strikes Christmas, An Alternative Christmas Tale, and  Steve McAuliffe with his poem “Why is Tyranny a Dirty Word?”, Debra Torrance will be talking about the Gift of Hindsight, and Ruth Hopkins will be telling us exactly why we should be horrified at Trump referring to Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas”, and Derek Stewart Macpherson will be giving us a whole stockingful of of gifts, talking about the Gift of comedy, the gift of freedom, and the dubious “gift” Trump just gave Jerusalem.

We’ll have all of that, plus music from Blackheart Orchestra, Jackal Trades, David Rovics, Mullen, Joe Solo, Steve McAuliffe and The Mighty Ur, Argonaut,  Sharon Martin,  The Cundeez,  Gallows CircusThose Unfortunates, The Wakes,  Attila The Stockbroker, The Kara Sea, and Robb Johnson.*


This episode was presented by Debra Torrance, Edited by Neil Anderson and produced by Victoria Pearson.

Neil Scott wasn’t able to be in this episode, but he still found time to write a gift for you. Check out his short story A Gift Comes Calling…

And Teresa Durran also just missed out on this pod, so has written a poem for you to enjoy, called Advent.

* All money from Merry Christmas One & All, the Single by Robb Johnson, will go to the Brighton Community Night Shelter & Sussex Homeless Support, so please buy if you can, for 79p, from iTunes

Get yourself Ungagged and let us know what you think of this episode in the comments, or on our twitter or Facebook.


Ungagged is a not for profit co-operative, and we rely on the generosity of our listeners. If you’d like to donate us the cost of a newspaper or a cup of coffee, you can do so through PayPal here.


Building Utopia

Available FREE on iTunes and Podbean

The world is full of doom and gloom, and in today’s messed up world, it’s easy to get bogged down in all the things we as a species are getting wrong. But to build a better world, you need a clear idea of what a better world would look like, as well as knowing what needs improvement. So today on Ungagged we will be exploring ideas of how to build utopia.

We’ll be hearing from Fuad Alakbarov on five ways to deal with tax havens,  Victoria Pearson on how possible it actually is to build utopia, Richie Venton on the 1917 Russian Revolution, Damanvir Kaur, on the campaign to free Scottish citizen Jagtar Singh from unlawful detention in India, George Collins on the unconstitutional neoliberal landgrab happening in Barbuda. Debra Torrance asks what kind of catastrophe we’do need to kickstart a global revolution of empathy, Chuck Hamilton talks gun control in America,  and why he’s unimpressed with Leninism.  Red Raiph ponders World Kindness Day, tax avoidance and inequality,  Sandra Webster* talks about services for children on the autistic spectrum in Scotland, and the role of kindness in building utopia,  Thomas Morris discusses imaginary borders, the nature of Independence, and visiting countries that dont exist, Neil Scott** talks about the proto-utopia torn down in the 80s, Marisa Snider speaks from her perspective as a Native American woman in a STEM field about the need for greater access to the internet on Native reservations, Masta X-Kid talks about the dystopia Trump is creating in Ungagged America,  and Derek Stewart Macpherson will be joining us for the final part of his conversations with his daughter, and the result of the Equal Marriage referendum in Australia.

*you can sign Sandra’s petition here.

**In Neil’s pod, he mentions that you should watch these five videos, in this order: 1: They Don’t Know , 2: Show Me Wonder, 3: Anthem for a lost cause, 4: Rewind the film,  and 5: Heaven.

With music on this episode from Robb Johnson‘s new album, Songs From The Last Seven Years, our very own Steve McAuliffe & The Mighty UrEthical Debating Society, Gladiators Are You Ready, Madame So, Phat Bollard, Colour Me WednesdayJoe Solo, Milton Star, The Cundeez, The Exiles, The Hurriers and The Wakes.

With sound editing by Neil Anderson.



What would your utopia look like? How do we start to build a better world? Think we are all talking utter pish? Get yourself Ungagged and let us know your thoughts in the comments, or on our twitter or Facebook.


Ungagged is a not for profit co-operative, and we rely on the generosity of our listeners. If you’d like to donate us the cost of a newspaper or a cup of coffee, you can do so through PayPal here.


“What’s the joke?” Politics: Beyond Satire

Add your name to our letter of solidarity with Catalonia here


Available FREE on iTunes and Podbean

On this episode of Ungagged, introduced by Neil Scott, Chuck Hamilton will be talking us through two revolutions, Russia and Iran, George Collins will be talking about the changing nature of American political humour, Damanvir Kuar will be giving us an update on the hunger striking Baput Surat Singh Khalsa.

Debra Torrance will be talking about the responses to the #MeToo trends, and why the current climate is not at all funny,  Derek Stewart Macpherson will be talking Citizenship Games, or how a former hot shot lawyer PM got his arse handed to him in the High Court, and Liz Castro will be joining us from her rooftop in Barcelona for an update from Catalonia.

Flavia Tudoreanu will be talking  about the CND, Cllr Graham Campbell will be talking about why the break up of the British State is necessary, and Thomas Morris will be giving us the case for #ThisGuyCan; why our boys deserve a range of male role models to break down toxic expectations boys and young men face.

We will hear from both Teresa Durran and Victoria Pearson on why sexual assault is not a laughing matter. Luckily, with all that doom and gloom, we also have Red Raiph with some things to look forward to!

With music from Steve McAuliffe feat. The Mighty Ur, Thee Faction, Mullen, The Merry Janes, Candidates, Petrol Girls, Argonaut, Kes’ Conscience, Attila the Stockbroker, The Wakes, Guttfull, Babel Fish Project, and Mower.

With sound editing by Neil Anderson.


Ungagged is a not for profit co-operative, and we rely on the generosity of our listeners. If you’d like to donate us the cost of a newspaper or a cup of coffee, you can do so through PayPal here.


Empire of Skulls

Available FREE on iTunes and Podbean

The Ungagged Team talk America, Catalonia, The Tory Party Conference and Scottish Labour Leadership…


With George Collins, Liz Castro, John Andrew Hird, Ruth Hopkins, Debra Torrance, Paul Sheridan, Chuck Hamilton, Victoria Pearson, Steve McAuliffe, Red Raiph, Em Dehaney, Simone Charlesworth and Derek Stewart Macpherson, along with artist Sahej Rahal.

Featuring music from ArgonautBlackheart Orchestra, Frank Waln and Tanaya Winder, The Eastern SwellVictoria Långstrump, The Wakes, Thee Faction, Dolls, Madame So, Gerry Mulvenna, Roy Møller and Babel Fish project.


With thanks to Neil Anderson for his editing skills, and Neil Scott for pulling the whole thing together.

Ungagged is a not for profit co-operative, and we rely on the generosity of our listeners. If you’d like to donate us the cost of a newspaper or a cup of coffee, you can do so through PayPal here.



Available FREE on iTunes and Podbean

On this episode of Ungagged, edited by Neil Scott, with assistance from Neil Anderson, we are talking about moving forward and making progress.

We’ll be hearing from Red Raiph on his thoughts on following the 2014 Scottish referendum, and how he moved on following the result, Victoria Pearson will be talking about why we haven’t yet moved on from having the same old dry and dusty debates, and Em Dehaney will be discussing The Handmaid’s Tale, and why it isn’t so far from reality.

We couldn’t let events in Catalonia go unremarked upon, particularly as there seems to be a wall of silence on the issue, so John Andrew Hird will be getting us up to date on the ongoing situation, and we’ll be having a self determination themed poem from Debra Torrance, Catalan to Cambuslang.

We’ll also have Chuck Hamilton talking about the evolving narratives in the bible, Catriona Stevenson discussing her part in the Scottish Independence movement, Joe Solo on the We Shall overcome event, Neil Scott asks where the Independence butterflies have flown off to, and Heiko Khoo tells us all about how Warner Brothers are trying to stop the Karl Marx walking tour from stopping outside Karl Marx’s house.

Ola’s Kool Kitchen will be chatting with Zia Mcabe of the Dandy Warhols and Derek Stewart Macpherson will be interviewing his daughter, Zoë, in the first of a four part series.

With music from  The Argonauts, Steve White and the Protest Family, Parasite Core, Salvation Jayne, Hands of Blue, Thee Faction, Jackal Trades, Petrol Girls, Joe Solo 
James King and the Lone Wolves and The Babel Fish Project.


Ungagged is a not for profit co-operative, and we rely on the generosity of our listeners. If you’d like to donate us the cost of a newspaper or a cup of coffee, you can do so through PayPal here.


Peace People

Available FREE on iTunes and Podbean

This time on Ungagged we wanted to talk about Peace People, but we nearly didn’t manage it. The Ungagged team has been plagued with illness and injury and sudden busyness, and we were beginning to think this was the cursed pod. We got there in the end though, and we hope it was worth the wait.

We have contributions from George Collins , Sandra Webster, Teresa Durran, Daminvir Kuar, Wee Raiph, Chuck Hamilton, and Debra Torrance, Steve McAuliffe will be performing his poem ‘Son’, featuring music by The Mighty Ur, and we’ll be hearing from Phantom Power Films, presenting Alan Bisset.

With music from Unqualified Nurse Band, Little Fists, Colour Me Wednesday, The Tuts, Frank Waln, Grace Petrie, Steve White and the Protest Family, Gutfull, Roy Møller, and  The Hurriers.

Pulled together, kicking and screaming, by Victoria Pearson and Neil Scott.

Ungagged is a not for profit co-operative, and we rely on the generosity of our listeners. If you’d like to donate us the cost of a newspaper or a cup of coffee, you can do so through PayPal here.


The Great Ungagged Anti-Capitalist Birthday Treat

Available FREE on iTunes, Soundcloud and Podbean

It’s Ungagged’s birthday, and we are so excited to have been going strong for a whole year. We couldn’t do it without the support of our listeners – your downloads, conversation generated from your tweets, facebook comments and comments here, as well as your wonderfully generous donations make Ungagged what it is. It is as much yours as is it ours.

We have a brilliant birthday present for you.  In this pod, introduced by Victoria Pearson, we’ll be hearing from Neil Scott on one of his musical heroes, Steve McAuliffe will be performing his brilliant poem Vampire Limosine, Janine Booth will perform her poem Glaston Tory, and Teresa Durran will perform her poem Natalis.

Sandra Webster will be talking about Hiroshima and her brother, Red Raiph will be talking birthdays, Debra Torrance will be talking about how much can change in a year, and Chuck Hamilton will be talking about his involvement with the Green Movement of Iran.

We’ll also hear from Richie Venton on the 10th anniversary of the onset of the economic crash, George Collins will join us for a chat,  Paul Sheridan talking about people not having confidence in their own abilities, Derek Stewart Macpherson reading us his letter from Australia, and brand new Ungagger Ola from Ola’s Kool Kitchen will be joining us. We’ll also have an IndependenceLive.net interview with SNP MEP Alyn Smith.
With music from The Wakes, Hands of Blue, COAST, Velodrome, Dactylion, Baby Seals, Thee Faction, Joe Solo, Jackal Trades, Roy Møller, Thunder on the Left, Stuart McFarlane, and Ms Mohammed.



Ungagged is a not for profit co-operative, and we rely on the generosity of our listeners. If you’d like to donate us the cost of a newspaper or a cup of coffee, you can do so through PayPal here.

The Hidden Pod…

Available FREE on iTunes and Podbean

On this “hidden” themed Ungagged we’ll hear from Em Dehaney, on the hidden hate uncovered by Brexit and Trump, Victoria Pearson will be discussing the extraordinary situation unfolding in Rojava, Syria,  Chuck Hamilton will be giving us the 4th part of his Meaning of Life series, George Collins will be talking about the hidden culture of indigenous Americans, Debra Torrance will be talking hidden disabilities and hidden agendas, Sarah Mackie will be fact checking Theresa May’s claims about nurse numbers in the NHS,  Richie Venton will be chatting about the High Court descision regarding tribunal fees, and Neil Scott  will be discussing the rise of the right wing in traditionally left wing online spaces.

With music from The Empty Page, Phat Bollard, James King and the Lonewolves, Birdeatsbaby, Guttfull, The Eastern Swell, Girobabies, The Wakes, Those Unfortunates and Nervous Twitch.


Ungagged is a not for profit co-operative, and we rely on the generosity of our listeners. If you’d like to donate us the cost of a newspaper or a cup of coffee, you can do so through PayPal.


Small Acts of Resistance

Available FREE on iTunes and Podbean

Summer and the time is right for dancing in the street… and getting wet.
And protesting the most socially right wing Government since the last one, supported by the bigoted DUP.
Having said that, one small act of resistance at the ballot box has saved many a fox… and perhaps hopefully changed the political landscape.
Podcasting, livestreaming, facebooking, tweeting, instagramming all acts of resistance you have seen and you have taken part in or you have come across online, adds to a narrative of change. Progressive change.
The right mastered the use of the TV – that was too costly for you and I to have our own channels on… that passive screen in which you can do nothing but watch and accept as truth.
The internet is a game changer. A place we can resist with our voices and our thoughts and our disgust at the way the billionaire controlled media reframes what is going on to keep their faces deep in the trough of what our misery produces.
Ungagged is one of those small acts of resistance. Listen and get involved.

On this resistance themed episode of Ungagged, introduced by Neil Scott, we’ll hear from Debra Torrance, Red Raiph, Steve McAuliffe , Victoria Pearson, Chuck Hamilton , Sandra Webster and John Andrew Hird.

With music from; Birdeatsbaby, Mower, Mishkin Fitzgerald, Killer Bob, Marshall Chipped, Derek Stewart Macpherson and The Babel Fish Project,  and Sarah Mackie.



Ungagged is a not for profit co-operative, and we rely on the generosity of our listeners. If you’d like to donate us the cost of a newspaper or a cup of coffee, you can do so through PayPal here.

We Shall Not Be DUPed



Available FREE on iTunes and Podbean

On this episode of Ungagged, introduced by Neil Scott, Em Dehaney and Debra Torrance both discuss the Grenfell tragedy, Tommy Ball talks about the former state of Yugoslavia, and John Andrew Hird will be making his Ungagged debut with a piece on how the left is uniting in Euskadi.

We’ll hear from Red Raiph on the night of the long knives…for the Tories, Derek Stewart Macpherson gives us part 4 of his Spin Cycle, Damanvir Kaur discusses the continued political prisoners in India and Chuck Hamilton gives us an American perspective on the UK General election.

With poetry from Joe Solo, and Janine Booth, and music from Jeremy Corbyn at Glastonbury, The Acid PunchJoe Solo,Thee Faction,Civil Unrest: Desert Storm,Independent Intavenshan,Radioactive Bones,San Fran and The Siscos ,The Screichs , Roy Møller and Sporting Life , and Tim Hall.


Ungagged is a not for profit co-operative, and we rely on the generosity of our listeners. If you’d like to donate us the cost of a newspaper or a cup of coffee, you can do so through PayPal here.



GE2017: Kick Out The Tories


Available FREE on iTunes and Podbean

On this Pre-Election special, we’ll have Derek Stewart Macpherson with the first part of his Spin Cycle series, John McHarg talking about voter choice, Richie Venton on the choices socialists are facing in this election, and we’ll be hearing from Nick Durie about how this election proves the YES parties have failed to integrate movementism into their political practice.

Victoria Pearson will be reading her poem Another Revolting Peasant, Amber Heathers will be talking about an election in an age of uncertainty, and Chuck Hamilton will be giving us an American perspective on the UK election.

We’ll have a magical poem called Invocation from Steve McAuliffe, Debra Torrance will be talking politics and football, Fuad Alakbarov will be talking about the election and ex Derry British Army Commander Eric Joyce will be talking about Corbyn, the IRA, Martin Mcguiness, Trident and Iraq.

Red Raiph will be talking GE2017, Teresa Durran will be on newswatch, and we’ll have  Sandra Webster discussing dystopian sci-fi and the elections.

With music from Mark Little, Joe Bone & The Dark Vibes, Captain Ska, Robb Johnson, Joe Solo, Deux Furieuses, Derek Stewart Macpherson and Zoe Macpherson, Husky Tones, Argonaut, Kes’s Conscience, Madame So, Dream Nails, and The Wakes.



Ungagged is a not for profit co-operative, and we rely on the generosity of our listeners. If you’d like to donate us the cost of a newspaper or a cup of coffee, you can do so through PayPal here.

All we Are Saying…

Available FREE on iTunes and Podbean



On this episode, introduced by Neil Scott,  we’ll have the late, great Ron Mackay talking utterly opposing war, Simone Charlesworth discussing fox hunting, Steve McAuliffe’s Spin Cycle, an election night broadcast, Em Dehaney performing Richard Wall’s poem Strong and Stable and Fuad Alakbarov will be speaking about the NHS.

We’ll also have Red Raiph, reminding us to Get the Tories Oot, Teresa Durran will be talking about Making a Difference, and Chuck Hamilton will be telling us The Meaning of Life, Part 2.

With music from Woodie Guthrie, Roy Møller, Kes’s Conscience, Atilla The Stockbroker, The Dolls, Thee Faction, Gladiators Are You Ready, and John Lennon.

May’s Day Celebrations

Available FREE on iTunes and Podbean

In this episode, Mark Little will be leading us in 20 seconds of hate, we’ll hear part one of The Meaning of Life according to Chuck Hamilton,  Teresa Durran will remind us that seven weeks is a long time in politics, Joe Solo talks about how optistic he is feeling in the run up to this electionRed Raiph reminds you that if you vote Tory, you’re a Tory, Artist Taxi Driver shares his poem on the zombification of Britain, Nick Durie discusses “nationalism” in the UK, and Victoria Pearson asks people to think carefully before throwing the vulnerable people under the Brexit bus.

Neil Scott will be giving us a short reprieve from the election by talking about the red Elvis, Debra Torrance talks Scelection scelectrix and playground politics, Steve McAuliiffe gives us a #fakenews Conservative party political broadcast, Eric Joyce draws parallels between May’s brexit mandate and Scotland’s independence mandate, George Collins discusses his part in the struggle, Simone Charlesworth talks about staying engaged in politics, despite voter fatigue, and why the Scots are the most political aware country in the UK, Mara Leverkuhn talks about the importance of nagging with people outside of your echo chamber, Derek Stewart Macpherson gives us the Hitchhikers Guide to Local Elections,  and we have an Independence Live interview with Roza Salih and Euan Girvan.

With music from Joe Solo, XSLF, Marshall Chipped, Pilgrims, Roy Møller, Steve White and the Protest Family, Thee Concerned Citizens, The Hurriers, The Tuts, The Exiles, The Cundeez, Gerry Mulvenna, Wilde Sammon, and Dean Reed.


If you love Ungagged and want to help support us financially you can donate to us HERE – we are a not for profit and meet running costs ourselves,so even 50p helps us massively.

Fight The Power!

Ungagged take on the USA…


Available FREE on iTunes and Podbean

On this episode of Ungagged, presented by Neil Scott, we’ll hear from Chuck Hamilton, on how we sold our revolution for a pair of trainers, Em Dehaney, talking about how she has never been to America, but America is in her, George Collins, and Eileen Eddy of Radio KRFP talking about cultural and political imperialism.

Red Raiph asks just what exactly happened to that Big Onion,  Debra Torrance casts her mind back to the 80s and finds that we’ve not come along very far. Simone Charlesworth makes her debut on Ungagged, jumping in at the deep end with a brief history of Sarin, and Steve McAuliffe presents his poem America First.

In this episode of Ungagged we are joined by guest speaker Priya, who volunteers at Umbrella Lane in  to tell us about the current laws in the UK regarding sex work, and why she thinks the Nordic model is dangerous.

With Music from XSLF, The Babel Fish Project, Argonaut, Joe Solo, Bratakus, Dolls, IDestroy, Bugeye, and Lilith Ai.



(Produced by Victoria Pearson, edited by Neil Scott and Neil Anderson)


From No to Yes

Available FREE on iTunes and Podbean

The Ungagged team give their view on the Scottish Referendum, Brexit, George Galloway, the Unite elections and much, much more!

If you enjoy Ungagged – please help us meet costs by donating the price of a cuppa via Paypal HERE

On this episode, hosted by Neil Scott, we’ll have Christopher Graham, Nick Durie, Eric Joyce, Derek Stewart Macpherson, Debra Torrance, Victoria Pearson*, Ruth McAteer, Teresa Durran, Chuck Hamilton, George Collins, Paul Sheridan, Red Raiph and poetry from Steve McAuliffe, with an Independence Live chat between Eric Joyce and Steven Purcell 

With music from The Wakes, Girobabies, Stuart McFarlane, Kes’ Conscience, Babel Fish Project, Roy Møller, Sharon Martin, Dream Nails,  James king & The Lonewolves, Husky Tones, Argonaut, Victoria Långstrump, Joe Solo.



* CORRECTION: In her piece “Don’t Be A Twitter Lemming, Think For Yourself”, Victoria states that Iain Allinson currently earns £27k per annum. The correct figure is in fact approx £36k. V would like to apologise for the mistake, and thank Mr Allinson for pointing it out and clarifying the figure.

Loud Women

Available FREE on iTunes and Podbean

On this International Womens Day special of Ungagged, we’ll hear from Amber Daniels  on the progress of women’s rights, and why International Women’s Day is still needed, Ruth Hopkins with a #NoDAPL update, Debra Torrance with a Dear John letter, and Ruth McAteer on women finding their voices.

Nick Durie  will be speaking about women in community groups, Red Raiph  will discuss racism, Victoria Pearson will talk about the different struggles we face under the current system and some of the forgotten women from history. Mara Leverkuhn will be discussing what she sees as the problems of feminism, and the struggle we should really be focusing on, Eric Joyce will talk about women in the media, and  Steve McAuliffe  will share his poem An End to Time and Motion.

We’ll be hearing from new contributor Teresa Durran with a piece on the Icelandic strikes in 1975 and how they link to women’s marches today, as well as special guest speakers Daniellé Dash, on trying to achieve your dream, Em Dehaney on how feminism is not a dirty word, Zareen Taj, secretary of Muslim Women’s Association of Edinburgh talking about uniting communities, and about the toxicity of Prevent, and Natalie Washington on the journey to becoming yourself, and how  everyone has an equal right to be wrong.

With music from The Babel Fish Project, Dream Nails, Madame So, Gladiators Are You Ready, Fight Rosa Fight, Argonaut, Deux Furieuses, The Ethical Debating Society, Little Fists, Nervous Twitch, Petrol Girls,  Fightmilk, GUTFULL, and The Potentials.


As always here on Ungagged we don’t always agree with each other, but we do respect each others right to speak, and to be heard.

If anything on the pod made you want to shout, get yourself onto the comments section, or onto our twitter, and get Ungagged.

The National Health -Curing The Walking Dead


Available FREE on iTunes and Podbean


On this episode of Ungagged we will be hearing from Victoria Pearson, Red Raiph, Debra TorranceGeorge Collins, and Nick Durie on the subject of national health, Dr Bruce Scott on free association, and Eric Joyce on bad chemicals. We’ll have Neil Scott with a piece called “Happy 40th Birthday 2000AD, some of your dystopian characters are in power,” Chuck Hamilton commenting on both Standing Rock and the NHS, and an Independence Live interview with Simon Malzer from Inform Scotland.

With music from Girobabies, Gerry Mulvenna, Roy MøllerThose Unfortunates, Joe Bone & The Dark Vibes, The Eastern Swell, St Christopher MedalDefences and Here are The Young men and the Argonauts.



The Bard and the Bastirts…

Available FREE on iTunes and Podbean

On our Burns themed podcast:

Max Newland on the anti-Trump protests in Idaho, his fears and the difficulties in reaching those who are supporting Trump and working together to create a better politics.

Victoria Pearson on the political gobbledegook doublespeak now legitimised by May’s Brexit and Trump.

Chuck Hamilton raging on what is going on in Neverland and May’s visit… and his hopes for Scotland.

Mara Leverkuhn on the hijacking of the Labour Party and the Scottish Labour Party – (Mara mentions this link-

http://momentumunofficial.freeforums.net/thread/70/nec-hijack-paddy-lillis )


Debra Torrance recites one of Burns best.

Steve Macauliffe in a tribute to Burns tells us of Liberty – do or die.

Paul Sheridan, lead singer of the Wakes, on what Burns means to him.

Wee Red Raiph tells us about the less painful burns night and no fond kiss and a wee poam for Trump…

With music from – The Babel Fish Project – Ae Fond Kiss; The Wakes -Venceremos; Jackal Trades -Need the Character (s);  The Hurriers – Faith to Fight; Kes’s Conscience – Fluid; Guttfull -Arsehole; Husky Tones – One Good Reason.



 Start times are approximate

The Great Sweary-ing In

Available FREE on iTunes and Podbean


The theme for our first podcast of 2017 is Hope and, as usual, the Ungagged team have come up with a vast array of different interpretations.

In this episode Max Newland reminds us that the tide always goes out before a tsunami, Debra Torrance talks about the hopeful start to 2017 in Scotland, and Andrew McPake asks what the real aims of unionism in regards to Scotland are and we have an update from Ruth Hopkins.

Joe Solo talks about the erosion of hope through the politics of despair, Chuck Hamilton reminds us that white + poor does not = bigot, Matt Geraghty discusses hope in hopeless times and Victoria Pearson urges us to fight to regain our home ground in Hope is a Revolutionary Act.

We have Steve McAuliffe with his poem Rejecting Soma,  Oor Raiph, Eric Joyce,  Tommy Ball and Allan Grogan also talk about hope, and we have music from Husky Tones, Chess Smith, Pilgrims, Argonaut, The Babel fish Project, Victoria Långstrump, The Agitator, Dream NailsThe Kara Sea, Colour Me Wednesday, and Thee Faction.



Keep an eye on our twitter and facebook over the next couple of weeks for Partially Ungagged – bitesize pieces of this pod for when you’re in a hurry!

An Ungagged Christmas Gift For You!

Available FREE on iTunes and Podbean


In this bumper festive episode, Roy Møller interviews Stiff Little Fingers singer Jake Burns, Chuck Hamilton talks about what Jesus would be like were he around today, Red Raiph treats us to anite afor chrismas (Scottish style), and Victoria Pearson fixes the rip in the fabric of space-time to restore normality before 2017.

Debra Torrance discusses the redistribution of reality, Fuad Alakbarov speaks about Syria, Amber Daniels asks us to consider those without this Christmas and  Steve McAuliffe treats us to his poem Toasting the Bloody Queen.

Matt Geraghty talks the joyless joy of commercialmas, Mara Leverkuhn discusses the Snoopers Charter, we hear from Beinn Irbhinn with a message from Kazakhstan, and John McHarg tells us the true story of the time he ended up in a jail cell in San Phillips, Mexico.

With music from Attila the Stockbroker, Steve White and the Protest Family, Roy Møller and Sporting Hero, Victoria Långstrump, Frank Waln , Argonaut , The Kara Sea, David Rovics and The Wakes, Jackal Trades, and Thunder on the Left.



Start times for individual pieces will go up tomorrow.

Looking Backward…



On this equality themed episode we have Debra Torrance speaking about the iniquity of lack of action on tax avoiders and the punitive measures on the sick and disabled, Julie Bindel talking about surrogacy, Amber Daniels discussing gender inequality and a confession from Victoria Pearson.

Tommy Ball tells us his Reasons to be Fearful, Chuck Hamilton speaks about Bellamy and his descendants, Sandra Webster  updates us on the fight for her local children’s ward, Eric Joyce discusses transgender  equality, Allan Grogan asks ifor we are sleepwalking to the abyss, and Thomas Swann talks about anarchist organisation, social media and cybernetics.

Featuring Red Raiph, and with poetry from Steve McAuliffe and John McHarg, this episide has music from Jackal Trades, Roy Møller, Derek Stewart Macpherson, The Ethical Debating Society, Bastard Killed my Rabbit, Suzen Juel, Grace Petrie, Desperate Journalist, Thunder on the Left, Effa Supertramp, Bratakus, and the Wimmins Institute.



Ex Manus Capere

Listen here,

Or… Download FREE on Podbean and itunes


In this episode Debra Torrance talks about what emancipation means to her, Matt Geraghty asks if democracy in the UK and USA is a punch in the face or a kick in the shins, and Ruth McAteer speaks about independence for disabled people.

With Victoria Pearson talking about remembrance, Red Raiph on Halloween, and Matt Carr from One Day Without Us talking about the planned day of action on February 20th in protest of the dangerous rhetoric surrounding the migration debate.

We’ll also hear from Chuck Hamilton, Eric Joyce, and John McHarg and have some poetry from Steve McAuliffe.

With music from Blossoms, John D Revelator, The Hurriers, Colour Me Wednesday, The Tuts, Milton Star, The Girobabies, Steve White and the Protest Family, and Thee Faction.

Ungagged Producers: Neil Scott and Victoria Pearson; Editors, Neil Scott and Neil Anderson. Backing music in Red Raiph‘s piece used with permission from bensound.



Wonder Women!

Available FREE on iTunes and Podbean

We have a whole heap of goodies coming up for you on this International Women’s Day special episode of Ungagged.

Get yourself Ungagged and let us know what you think of this episode in the comments, or on our twitter or Facebook and, if you love what we do and want to help keep us going, consider chucking some change into our hosting costs fund on PayPal.

On this episode, introduced by Victoria Pearson, first time Ungagger Jessica Maybury is coming on to talk about the repeal the 8th movement, Sandra Webster will be discussing carers and nurses, the backbone of our health service, and Debra Torrance will be talking about the plight of the showman who are being forced from their homes because their land can be more profitable for the council without them on it. You can read Debra’s piece here.

We have a bit of a women travelling theme this episode with first time Ungagger Seanna Fallon sharing her personal experiences as a solo female traveller, Teresa Durran, who managed to record despite jet lag and being full of cold, talking about her recent trip to new Zealand, and Thomas Morris talking about some of the remarkable female travellers he has met as a backpacker.

No Ungagged episode would be complete without Red Raiph, so he’ll be along to share his thoughts on International Women’s Day,  Chuck Hamilton will be talking about women who are his heroes, and another first time Ungagger, Nelly Neal, will be talking about the reality of teaching for women.

Em Dehaney will be sharing a fabulously furious feminist rant, Brian Quail will be talking about his incarceration following his disruption of the trident nuclear convoy, Derek Stewart Macpherson will be asking who holds the (literal) power, and George Collins will be talking Brazilian jujitsu and Kenyan politics.

We’ll have all of that plus Neil Anderson and friends performing the winner of our winter short story competitionA Lefty Winters Tale, by Anthony Franksand music from Steve McAuliffe & The Mighty Ur, The Wimmins Institute, Petrol Girls, Dream Nails, Madame So, Grace Petrie, The Kara Sea, Ethical Debating Society, Desperate Journalist, The Tuts, Sharon Martin and Gallows Circus.

With thanks to  Neil Scott, for pulling the whole thing together.


Ungagged is a not for profit collective of volunteers, and we rely on the generosity of our listeners to meet hosting and advertising costs, as well as help us fund the campaigns on our news page. If you’d like to donate us the cost of a newspaper or a cup of coffee to help keep us going, you can do so through PayPal here.


No place like home – but where is home when you are on wheels?

Debra Torrance

No place like home – but where is home when you are on wheels?

The shows, the carnival, the fairground integral parts to a gala, the Highland games, a village fete and important part of Scottish communities; essential components to local economies. What are the shows?

The flashing lights and ringing bells, the stall holders calling out to come to their stall. “Hook a duck, every one’s a winner!”, “Can you ring the bell? “Have a go!” The smell of candy floss, toffee apples, donuts. Hotdogs? Hamburgers? You aren’t sure but the smell of fresh fried grub makes your stomach ache even though you already had your dinner.

You wait though because you haven’t been on the big rides or in my case the sticky wall yet. You stand in that circle drum, everybody laughing, knowing what is coming, it starts off so slow. Turning a wee bit, the young boys look determined, ready to perform acrobatics to impress whatever wee lassie they are winching. The speed picks up, the floor suddenly drops away and the boys flip upside down, everybody starts screaming and laughing. The force of the spin has pinned you to the wall, you are trying to look around, someone to your left looks awfy peely wally, are the gonna…? Aw naw!

Wean’s running about with plush toys, their bounty’s won at different attractions. From shooting galleries to hammers; small and large to test your strength. Hook a ducks; a children’s favourite. Can you knock over skittles with a throw of the ball? Can you throw a ring round some whisky?


The annual Glasgow holiday is even called the Glasgow Fair. Where for generations Glaswegians went doon the water to Ayr, Rothesay, Troon, Saltcoats and other seaside towns. And every year there was a carnival in the Glasgow Green. A summer celebration, I don’t think i ever missed as a child.

I even have a jigsaw of me and my niece as wee tots on a big green helicopter, on a roundabout. It was the winter carnival though at the Kelvin Hall. This has now moved to the SECC and is better known as the Irn Bru carnival. Where it is still tradition to go with the family between Christmas and New Year.

With fairgrounds being so popular in Glasgow and the West, it should be no surprise that…

“An estimated 80% of show people are Glaswegians, living in about 50 privately-owned or leased yards in pockets to the east, south and north of the city.”

The community of folk who travel and operate the fairgrounds all over Scotland are facing ever increasing difficulties. Show folk have intrinsic links to their yards, carnival sites and surrounding communities. Although the nature of business for the modern showman has drastically changed from 100yrs ago, many still travel with their wagons to various towns and villages often occupying the same routes at the same times for many years. These businessmen and women operate in all aspects of trade, diversifying and settling in communities, some have coffee shops and catering businesses, some have property portfolios and 9-5 jobs.

But the thing that unites them is their community, their inherent sense of belonging, their language and perceptions of self, they will remember the carnival differently from me. They might remember the smell of diesel and the “put put” of the generator, (lighting set for the well versed). Showfolk will remember the hard work, the long build ups and pull downs, gathering with their friends and attending dances, the weather when they had to get towed by a tractor and moving to the next town or village.

Imagine being able to go to work where you can meet up with all your family, your extended cousins and aunties, kids you used to go to school with. It would be such a privilege to work a wee kids Ferris wheel that your great grandad also operated, imagine having that connection and sense of belonging. It’s so beautiful and should be treasured.

As a punter going to the carnival means different things to me than it would a showman. But I can clearly see the deep and varied traditions, I can appreciate the art of the stalls and could endlessly stare at the vintage graphics on display. But i am surprised to find that this amazing culture has no official status or protection.

Even though a distinct and unique culture, showmen aren’t afforded the same status as Irish travellers or Romany Gypsies. Fairground sites where showmen can also park their wagons alongside their valuable machinery are rapidly disappearing. Static year round yards where showmen can be secure in the knowledge their children have a stable and consistent education are rapidly being eradicated.

Showfolk face discrimination like many minorities, one story I was told that broke my heart was of a young kid going for her first day at a new school, her classmates made her feel welcome so much so that they invited her “to come throw stones at the gypsies”. At her own home, her own people.

The lazy stereotyping of the general population also doesn’t help. An increasing amount of show children are doing well at school, attending university and of those who don’t continue in eduction have a hard working ethos instilled in them from being part of a family business from a young age.

The fairground community is a vibrant, hardworking, complex part of Scottish society. The skills, knowledge and history so connected to Glasgow that in the Museum of Transport there is a whole display dedicated to Showfolk, their vehicles, their homes and the history of the fairground.

What now is seen as a trendy lifestyle choice, living off grid in eco friendly homes, maximising space and storage, the showfolk of Scotland have been doing for centuries, such as conserving water, recycling and up cycling. Although a modern chalet is more akin to a modern semi detached new build than an off grid earthen shed, Amazing Spaces and George Clarke should check out some of the innovative chalet design in various Glasgow yards.

Showfolk take such pride in the appearance of their stalls at a carnival, imagine the pride they have in their homes? Showman’s yards are like many estates within Glasgow, some immaculate, well maintained, tidy properties others not so pristine. Rides, trailers and machinery vital to their livelihood, kept close by for security purposes. They are nice places, where everybody knows your name , would help out in any situation and somewhere I’d want to live. This is a throwback to traditional Scottish Communities where every neighbour knew everyone on the street. Everyone knows everyone. If they don’t know you they ask “Who do you belong to?” and quickly a connection is established.

So imagine living somewhere for 37 years, establishing roots, having a short term lease throughout that tenure precluding you from investing in it, you become more of a maintainer or caretaker than an owner of that place. Moving into it as a dump. A black site, unsuitable for anything else so the council lets you park on it. But you still have to pay rent, council tax and have a licence to occupy. Then out of the blue, just because that place you have lived for all this time, is now trendy, you have to move. What are your options here? Move your kids from School, depart from your friends in the local community? Will your neighbour you have parked next to for 37 years be beside you again? Your next site will not be in The West End, nor will it necessarily be in the South side where you are but most likely the alternative will be in another black site – ghettoised in 2018.

Why write these thoughts you may ask, well this injustice is happening now to people in Glasgow, because when it comes to it they are people, like you and me, being told to move because that bit of land is now worth more to the council with them off it. This has happened in Patrick, Vinegar Hill to name but a few and it is now happening in Govan. The two adjoining yards in Govan, the Stringfellow’s and Johnstone’s are being closed, the council not allowing their lease to be renewed. The papers heralded the new development without initially reporting the impact on the people. The occupants for nearly four decades are being evicted. With limited options of another location. To be geographically displaced is one thing but when you think about what their options are most likely to another black site, not desirable (at that time) and without their ties to the local community and possibly their established businesses in that area, not much of a choice really! Will this be owned or will this be leased? If they do get somewhere else is there really any certainty over the future of showfolk and their established roots in Glasgow…

Not everyone who identifies as showmen travels with the fairground. Elderly folk retire to these yards and continue to be protected and looked after by their community.

This also goes hand in hand with other economic influences affecting showmen such as inconsistent licensing regimes across Scotland, all of which threaten their economic well being and way of life.

Oooh Jeremy Corbyn…Poorly Paid Agency Workers Aren’t Just Migrants

Brian Finlay
This post also appears on Brian’s blog

Like many on the left I was optimistic when Jeremy Corbyn became the leader of the Labour Party. I was happy to see him fend off the centrist Labour MPs such as Liz Kendall and latterly Owen Smith to be the leader of the opposition in Westminster. I was hopeful that the UK had a leader of the Labour Party that believed in the scrapping of our Trident nuclear weapons and ending Austerity.

I find myself wanting to cheer him on but get disappointed when I hear him acknowledge the ‘will of the British people’ in the 52/48 EU referendum to end freedom of movement. I got even more disappointed when Jeremy Corbyn stood on a manifesto, in June 2017, which supported the renewal Trident nuclear weapons; outvoted by his own party to do so. I lost all faith when he addressed the Scottish Labour Party conference this week and delivered a speech which blurred an issue of poorly paid agency workers with migrants coming to this country.

This has pandered to the controlling of mass immigration narrative which has been made to be a major factor for the working condition woes in the UK which is completely unfounded. Poor pay and working conditions are stagnated and driven down in the UK labour market because the National Living Wage (NLW) is low, precarious work is unregulated and jobs are being deskilled because of automation and centralisation of power structures.

Agency workers in areas such as manufacturing and hospitality sectors in the UK have historically been accepted and normalised. In fact, organisations such as Amazon and Ryanair still use agencies to staff their business. Different organisations use agency staff to different extents.  Amazon has both their own employers and agency staff working in the back office and on the warehouse floor alongside each other. This allows them to quickly increase their workforce to the business needs and when workload demand increases. Ryanair has a slightly different approach, where their cabin crew and customer service staff are from agencies and their pilots are employed by Ryanair. This is known as marketisation where different specific areas of an organisation can be tendered out to an agency or in some cases third party companies; this is common with cleaners or maintenance for example.

These types of working arrangements can cause huge problems for employment relations and attempting to collectively mobilise staff to strike, or collectively bargain, as employees all work for different organisations or agencies and have unique terms and conditions of work. This fragmentation of the workforce dilutes any power the collective employees may have had to strike and means that, where trade unions are even acknowledged within the organisation, the strike will only impact on a small section of the business and have limited impact on the organisation’s ability to function and produce profit. It is important to acknowledge this is not accidental and organisations have adopted marketisation for this reason to ensure the employer holds the power and prevents, as much as possible, strike action taking place and it allows them to tender out parochial, specialised or in some organisations low skilled job roles. 

I believe this is the issue that Mr Corbyn wants to address in relation to his speech at the Scottish Labour Party conference but what he did, which may be unintentional or possibly not, is talked about this issue in relation to cheap agency workers migrating to this country from abroad. I was shocked to see these words come out of his mouth and sounded like dog whistle politics of mass immigration driving down the wages and quality of work in the UK. He has previously stated that with the EU referendum result he would want to see the end of free movement of people because of ‘genuine concern over immigration by the electorate’ but, as a socialist leader, he should be standing up and arguing the case for free movement. Moreover, he should be specifically highlighting areas of the country which need immigration to continue to function such as here in Scotland. We have a declining population numbers overall and an ageing population, we have an urgent need to attract immigrants. By closing the door to the single market we stop the free flow of people from the EU and speeches like this could make us seem unwelcoming. The underpaid agency worker issue could be policed with the legal framework we already have; regardless to where that worker has come from.

It has been known, since the debate of introducing the National Minimum Wage (NMW), that the offer of meals, refreshments and accommodation from an employer can be offset from an employee’s wages. This means that if an employer is paid the ‘National Living Wage’ (NLW) they can have accommodation and cost of meals taken from their pay packet resulting in the employer having to part with less money to the employee. This type of working arrangement can be occupied by anyone not just workers from abroad. These types of adverts exist on Gumtree every summer for remote hotels in the north of Scotland and such like. The fact is agency workers are already protected under UK employment law to receive at least the NMW under the UK Governments Rights for Agency Workers. I do believe that a threshold should be put in place to ensure agency workers are not paying over the cost price for in-work accommodation and meals. A comprehensive framework is needed to ensure that employees are receiving company perks at production cost incurred to the business and the employer is not pocketing additional profit by exploiting agency workers in this manner.

The desirability of agency workers, from my extensive research in the hospitality sector, has reduced in the last ten years due to the adoption of zero hour contracts (ZHC). The use of these contracts, which contributes massively to in-work poverty and degradation of the power held by the employee in the UK, gives the employer similar flexibility benefits they traditionally had with agency staff. The use of these types of contracts rose by 300% in 2015-16 and is most common in service sector work. The ZHC is also more attractive as they do not have to pay agency fees. Agency fees can be particularly expensive and could cost the employer double the hourly rate than it would be to have their own employee but it did give the employer to stability of staff ‘on tap’ but this can now be achieved through ZHC’s. The use of ZHC’s as a method of employment tends not to suit skilled manual labour or specialised jobs which may amount to agency workers in these fields; for both indigenous and migrant workers.

The European Union is looking to change laws and regulations to migrant temporary agent workers which may not match ‘our’ values. There have been multiple treaties and policies that the UK has either managed to not sign up to or negotiate progressive changes at the ratification stage. Jeremy Corbyn talks of these potential EU developments in employment policy, which we won’t be part of as we’re leaving the EU if he gets his way, but neglects to reassure the audience what domestic levers could be used. I found the speech to be clouded and he was confusing incredibly important issues with migrant labour when it really didn’t need to be; as it’s an issue across the entire UK workforce.

It is clear that  if Jeremy Corbyn genuinely wanted to help with this issue he could have dealt with it without referring to migrant agency workers. I don’t feel it was appropriate or relevant to do so, especially with all the misinformation and falsely created tension around immigration. I do feel it was opportunistic and yet he chose to make that speech in one area of the UK where we are crying out for migrant workers to come and join our workforce in Scotland. If Corbyn really had an understanding of what Scotland needs he would back Scotland having all immigration and workers’ rights devolved to Holyrood. This way we could see the end exploitative precarious working conditions and set an immigration policy that reflects our values and our needs for the future.

Weesht For Indy – Not…

Weesht For Indy – Not…

I am part of a political group that agrees to disagree on pretty much all of the razors of political analysis that cause splits, tantrums and forked tongued statements.  Ungagged is a website and political podcast that has pretty much every left view somewhere in its archive, said by people ranging from Trotskyists, Tankies, Blairites, Anarchists, Greens, Nationalists – all from the left spectrum of politics.

We respect the fact that others going to sometimes say, organise or promote an aspect of left politics we don’t agree with on the podcast, or written on the website.  And the fact that quite a few of us are from different parts of the world with different experiences, or different parts of Britain and Ireland, with different experiences, or different parts of Scotland with different experiences, informs us, rather than divides us.

My political background is as complex as anyone’s, but to summarise it, I was brought up in Northern Ireland in a protestant/unionist community and found myself at odds with that community.  I read literature and had experiences in Northern Ireland that convinced me the UK was not conducive to equality – in any way or aspect – and when i moved to Scotland I became involved with left and pro-independence politics.  I was a member of the SSP EC in the late 2000’s; co-opted again during indyref, and elected again onto the EC, twice. I left the SSP in late 2015.

I don’t see independence as a tactic.  I don’t see independence as being about my identity.  I don’t see independence as an income stream. I see independence as a way to break a state that at present is reinventing its imperialist past as somehow glorious – a state that is “dripping with blood from head to foot.” A state that is a key block, still even in its weakened state, in the curtain wall of capitalism.  A wall that hems in the poor and working class, while the rich and corporate world can fly free, borne on wings built with our bones, fueled by our blood and fed to obesity while we starve.


There is an attitude in the Yes movement at present of, “disagreement is not healthy,” or “don’t challenge people – we are all on the same side.” I loathe that. That is nonsense, and designed to shut down debate, just as those on the left who prevaricate and hide the analysis they share within their particular cult shut down debate.

In order to come to agreement as to what sort of Scotland we are fighting for, we have to disagree, hone our arguments etc. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis.  And both those who tell us to shoosh for Indy, and those who hide their true analysis and hide behind their moderately successful tactic of the past independence referendum are, mistakenly in my opinion, really doing their best to stop education through engagement.  They are building walls to a synthesis of feet on the streets, together, during the next campaign.

“Shoosh for indy,” seems to be the order of the day, not “unite the diversity,” though many of those telling us to wheest cry, “why is the movement not as accepting of difference as it was between 2011-14?” and,  “Why cant we all just raise a flag of truce and deliver a saltire to each door?”

I strongly disagree with some people who want independence, or those who at this juncture feel it is “a good tactic.” I strongly agree with some others.

Some I disagree with, I would trust with my life. Some who seem to “agree with me,” I really trust no more than crocodiles resting just below the water.

And this attitude is coming from all sides. If you criticise the ultra nationalists careering around social media, expect to be trolled. Raise points about people making money (rather than raising funds for expenses) from independence, and you are a traitor. And criticise some of the left “analysis” and you are accused of all sorts.  Let’s not, however class all of those we disagree with in the same category. For example, I have recently seen criticism of Darren McGarvey after his interview with Owen Jones. I don’t entirely agree with Darren, but I totally respect the guy (I honestly went from a position were I didn’t rate him, to once having met him, perhaps “getting him,” to now feeling, as a teacher concerned with ACES, the guy is pretty cool). He is absolutely honest in what he is saying… Which is where I get annoyed by some other folk who write about or speak about, independence or social change or socialism -their hiding behind words and “analysis,” as if those words and analysis are objective and self evident. Hiding behind analysis as “objective,” is deceiving (and in some cases this is exactly what the writers and speakers intend). All analysis is subjective. Darren never pretends his writing or words are anything other than his opinion or experience.

The pretence at objectivity from left individuals and small organisations is breathtaking.  And the pretence that what some of them are doing is for the common good is just damned depressing.  The narcissism of some just makes me want to run as far away from some of the left in the independence movement, but Scotland an the independence media being so small, they seem to be everywhere.

The great thing about the Yes movement between 2011 and 2014 is that it was allowed to shift and expand and then it took on a life outside the original Yes Scotland “diversity plan.” After September ‘14, there were statements and manifestos drawn up in our name, without our input; read out in halls and we were all expected to cheer.

I am a democratic radical socialist. And I am not part of a cadre or vanguard or group with vested interests in how the campaign takes shape and is run. I have always, within the movement and when I was in a political party, spoke my mind and called out dishonesty and worse.

I, like many, have views about what should happen post indyref. And I, like many, have views on how we should as campaigners and activists, be represented in the press, and on political bodies growing up within the movement. And at the moment there are far too many self appointed spokespeople for me. Few of whom speak for a movement of butterflies, and a majority of whom seem to want to stick the butterflies in boxes and tell them to shoosh for unity etc. while they tell us what to think.

To argue, to disagree and to call out tactics and vanguards and manels and pyramid schemes seems to cause great ire.

The people who do are the ones I trust.