Why has Scotsman’s ill-informed art critic condemned thousands of peaceful Indy marchers?

‘It turns out that social science has a lot to say about which protests are likely to be effective. My research shows that social movements can indeed create long-lasting political change.’ (Mazumder, Harvard, 2017)

‘Flag-waving populists’ are harming the cause? Does she mean those many thousands, women, men, young, older, peaceable, smiling, dog and bairn-accompanied, marchers at AUOB events in every town across the country? It seems she does.

Are they ‘populists?’ Really? Aren’t populists, these days, generally thought of as right-wing, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, militaristic, chaps, like UKIP, Brexit? As for the Indy marchers, aren’t they often opposed to nuclear weapons, wars, migration, poverty, fracking and in favour of a more equal society?

Do street marches harm good causes? What about the UK suffragettes or civil rights marches in the US and Northern Ireland? Did they reduce the chances of emancipation? What about #MeToo or Black Lives Matter? What about the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong? The latter have become quite violent. Does Waddell condemn them? What about the climate change protests this year in the UK? Waddell does seem to allow that these might be a good thing:

‘[W]hat a fitting day last week’s mini heatwave made for a climate change protest.’


Is the Scottish independence movement the only one in history where street protest is wrong?

Wait, maybe, Waddell knows something. Maybe there is hard empirical evidence for her headline? She does have an MA (Hons) English Literature with MLitt in Modernities from the University of Glasgow with a focus on William Carlos Williams. Williams was a left-liberal (like Tony Blair?) who lived quietly in the US unaligned with any party or movement. I guess he didn’t go on any marches inspiring Waddell to do the same?

Seriously though, I can find lots of scepticism about the effectiveness of street protest but also some suggestions that their effects are often less evident because they take time, as with the suffragettes but none that they actively harm movements. More important, however, there is evidence that peaceful, articulate and organised protests, as in the AUOB marches can ‘create long-lasting political change.’



8 thoughts on “Why has Scotsman’s ill-informed art critic condemned thousands of peaceful Indy marchers?

  1. I have not looked at the Scotsman site because I do not want them to get any income from advertisers for ‘hits’ on the site, so I do not know what the ‘tone’ of the article is. Extending the principle of charity to Ms Waddell, it is likely that the headline was written by someone in the editorial team to slant perception in favour of the Scotsman corporate stance of ‘independence baaaaaad’.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Can’t think of anything less useful than a literature degree focussing on William Carlos Williams. Maybe the young woman in question is letting her creative faculties roam free with her ‘reporting,’ to get some creative writing use out of her pointless degree.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. We’re talking the Scotsman here , nuff said . Don’t read or subscribe to that Unionist rag , but if it was marching with the butchers apron flying in the breeze I’m sure that would be absolutely the right thing to do according that luvvie !.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wonder if the Hootsmon found room for this good news story from Scotland (carried on the Scottish Legal site – but the beeb Scotland website managed not to carry it): Link and snippets below:


    Independent charity Crimestoppers has received a record number of reports from across Scotland over the past year.

    There has been a 6.3 per cent increase in anonymous tips sent to Police Scotland, to 14,534 and a 45 per cent increase over the past three years.

    There was also a 39.5 per cent increase in arrests, to 738 while 13 people were arrested and charged with murder/unlawful killings.

    Angela Parker, national manager for Crimestoppers Scotland, said: “This is an impressive increase that shows how people are putting their trust in our charity as a way to pass on crime information whilst remaining 100 per cent anonymous. Always.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I bought the Scotsman for two decades when it was an excellent Newspaper of Record (1970 onwards).
    Now it is little more than a vehicle for a certain Edinburgh Tory councillor (Svengali for Ruthie) for his line in Brit Nat agit prop and creeps like Brian Wilson who helped cheat miners out of parts of their pensions.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Do we think Laura Waddell might be busy sharpening her pencil to do a coruscating exposee of Pritti Patel’s Home Office’s attempt to deport/imprison (for 6 months) a wonderful young Glaswegian/Taiwanese medical doctor from her hugely appreciated medical work in Liverpool? (No – probably not). Huge congratulations to everyone who signed the petition and helped shame Pritti into dropping her plan to deport/imprison Dr. Chiang. Link and snippets below:


    The Home Office has reversed a decision to order a young doctor to leave the country.

    Mu-Chun Chiang, who has lived in the UK for 13 years, was told that due to an “administrative issue” she had to leave or face up to six months in prison.

    A petition calling for the 27-year-old to be allowed to stay in the UK has received nearly 40,000 signatures.

    The Home Office said it had reconsidered its decision and granted her leave to remain.

    British Medical Association council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said it was pleased the government had “finally seen sense”, adding that “the strong public reaction goes some way to showing the absurdity of the Home Office’s decision to initially deny a visa”.

    Dr Chiang said previously: “I was worried because we were already understaffed on our ward and leaving all my friends would be really heartbreaking.”

    The doctor, who is originally from Taiwan, lived in Glasgow from 1997 to 2002 with her parents, and she returned to the UK in 2006 to study.

    She received a letter on Friday stating her application had been unsuccessful and she “must leave the UK now” or she would “be liable to be detained and removed”.

    She applied for a new working visa in August but it was rejected due to a Home Office rule stating that an applicant’s bank balance cannot drop below £945 in the 90 days before an application. (Wasn’t it the Irish genius Oscar Wilde who identified the flaw in knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing? – worth a read Home Secretary).

    The Home Office said it changed its decision in the light of additional evidence supplied by Dr Chiang.

    We’ve GOT to get OUT of this place and Take Control of Scotland’s in-migration policy. Truly the Westminster lunatics have taken over the asylum.

    Liked by 1 person

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