THE BLOG

We Are Better Together, But Extreme Groups Are Not Welcome

22/09/2014 13:48 BST | Updated 21/11/2014 10:59 GMT

If you posted pictures of Tottenham in 2011 after the London Riots on social media, instead of the scenes in George Square on the 19th September, then you're an idiot. I think the "People Make Glasgow" slogans are a good indicator of that.

However, now that is out of the way, maybe we can realise what we are left with today, as the majority of Scotland voted to remain in the United Kingdom. Many of us celebrated, and I know various were disappointed. Others simply do not care enough and just want to continue with their lives. There is nothing wrong in that.

Yet, the trouble in George Square and Buchanan Street displayed how we are Better Together. Why? Because, an overwhelming majority of Glasweigans and Scots, no matter how we voted, are disgusted by this. I have seen others claim that this is what No voted for - this is the opposite of what we wanted.

Was it a reaction to a Glasgow Yes vote? Quite possibly, but why antagonise a victory by screaming in opposition faces, with racist and sectarian slurs. We got to witness car convoys driving around the city honking their alarms, demanding to be seen and heard thanks to a noise of intimidation. So far it has been reported that those causing violence were members of the Scottish Defence League (SDL), the EDL, Britain First, and the Union Bears (a Rangers supporters Ultras group.)

The SNP Councillor for Baillieston at Glasgow City Council, Austin Sheridan, was subjected to verbal abuse over his homosexuality. He filmed the attack, in which one of the comments was "It's not your fucking country, why don't you f*** off, why don't you f***! You can film me all day, Scotland said no, you f****** poofter, f***off!"

Whilst this happened, some youths thought it was appropriate to bully anyone who did not agree with their views, as several videos have shown, although some indicate they were those attempting to discourage and stop the violence.

Others sang the Famine Song and There's No Black In the Union Jack. Songs about sending Catholic Irish descendants back to Ireland and removing black people from the UK. Have we really went that backward. On social media I know a Muslim was told the No Campaign had every right to celebrate the referendum. However her comment back was priceless. "If you class racism and rioting as celebration I think I've really been screwing up on the birthday front these past few years."

Two months ago we were discussing why People Make Glasgow during the Commonwealth Games. Now we are wondering where this vermin came, or reappeared from.

David Cameron spoke of the silent majority. This is not it. Yes, people reacted on Friday night, but the car convoys were reminiscent of a predator stalking its prey. It was noted a Union flag was pulled from a car and smashed in the rear window of it. Yet, the driver of the car whipped out a hammer from the boot! Tell me whether or not they wished for a reaction. Luckily the police arrived seconds later, but that was not a pretty site to witness.

Gordon Brown urged that we need to unite to make Britain and Scotland better and equal: How are we meant to unite with a crowd screaming "No Surrender" in a victory - and everyone in Scotland knows what connotations that brings.

Let's not get overhyped and make it a moral panic. This was one city, in one night, in a small section. We have been debating about the referendum over the past two years with passion and belief on both sides. Tempers may have flared occasionally, but it was mostly good-natured and never involved rioting. We showed that we could carry on as friends and family very easily.

For every drunk, foul-mouthed youth in the clips shown, you will have someone who knows how to respect other cultures. For every violent clip you saw, there will be one who knows to celebrate and protest peacefully. For every derogatory song you heard, there will be a bunch of educated Scots, who know this is not what we want our country to be.

Which brings me back to my main point. Why are we better together? Because we all want change. We will never get change from those causing trouble in George Square. It is their heads that need changed. However, Westminster needs to look at this possibility. Labour, although mainly Gordon Brown, wish to use the Devo-Max option and give Scotland more powers. The Lib-Dems have even opened up an idea of a Federal system, giving more power to local districts which appeals to regions such as Tyne & Wear and Yorkshire.

The Yes Campaign should be congratulated for the way they ran their campaign. Supporters were out in Glasgow to celebrate the city saying "Yes." Other news outlets have reported it was Unionists and Loyalists that have caused this in the Square. Furthermore, it is interesting to note, the other side are now declaring the news is biased...

Irvine Welsh wrote today: "Forget Bannockburn or the Scottish Enlightenment, the Scots have just reinvented and re-established the idea of true democracy. This - one more - glorious failure might also, paradoxically, be their finest hour" Scotland has once again changed the United Kingdom. We have always held some form of power in it to create change. When Yes took the lead in the Yougov polls, and MPs scrambled up to London, Scotland had already won.

A yes vote would have created mass change and broke up the UK forcing her to change. A no vote is a warning - Scotland is giving Westminster one more chance to fix and sort major issues. If she fails, then we all know the consequences. Cameron and most of the Tories realise this, and surprisingly it is Labour that are sceptical, which could lead to a detrimental effect with the party. And the SNP will scrutinise the legislation all the way until publication.

The rest of Scotland and the UK should not be worried about the violent Loyalists. Nobody takes them seriously anymore. The people who will be at the forefront of change are those who actively took part in campaigning, debating, questioning and volunteering in this Referendum. Alex Salmond may have gone, but the rest of the Scottish public remain. If we can get at least 75% turnout in the next Scottish and General Elections, then democracy will be at least authentic to the public.

And that's a power the public should never have to surrender.