Saturday 2 January 2021

Resistance is not futile


A year ago, my articles had been read by about one and a half million people. It had taken about eight years to reach that figure. I had around 10,000 followers on Twitter and every now and again I wrote something that caught the mood and was read quite widely, but this was rare. Last January I had 28,000 readers. Last February I had 50,000, then things began to take off. Last year I had 2.1 Million readers.

2020 has been a tough year for many people. The long-term economic damage caused by Covid will have an effect on me just like everyone else. But I have been fortunate. I have worked from home since the crisis began. I have not caught Covid and I have saved two hours every day which I used to spend sitting on a bus. Those two hours a day I have used for writing.

Where previously I would write something from scratch every Saturday morning, for the past few months I have been able to write as often as I want. When I wake up and read the papers, if I see something that looks promising, I just write about it. Instead of writing once a week I have been writing every two or three days. Here are my ten most read articles from last year.

1. I doubt I will ever again have another article like Journalism is missing the mood of the country. It ended up being read by 529,000 people.  I wrote it in about an hour and didn’t think it would be more successful than any other article. But everything changed after that. I gained followers. My ranking on Google improved. My ads were worth more.

2. The EU and the Scottish Government just became irrelevant was read by 66,000 people. The fundamental point that is lost on both Scottish nationalists and Remainers is that it was the British Government that bailed us out last year, no one else. The SNP argument is therefore thin, mere spin and contrary to reality.

3. The SNP hall of shame was read by 48,000 people. I don’t remember how the idea came to me. I think I was just curious about how many SNP scandals there were. Everybody kept sending new ones. The list kept growing.

4. Scottish independence just died from Covid was read by 39,000 people. The independence cause has been given a short-term boost by Covid, but long term it damages the argument. Scotland has clearly benefited from being a part of the UK. The counter argument is a mere hypothetical that Scotland would have been fine on its own.

5. The broadcast media has disgraced itself was read by 30,000 people. I think the TV media has done great damage this year by being so hysterical about Covid. It has hindered Government from being proportionate in its response to Covid.

6. Rishi Sunak just killed Scottish nationalism was read by 29,000 people. Scots have responded emotionally to Nicola Sturgeon, but rationally it is Sunak who has done most to keep us going.

7. Go on Mr Blackford cast the first stone was read by 23,000 people. I pointed out that Mr Blackford had no right to criticise anyone else’s journey when he had driven all the way from London to Skye and had made unnecessary journeys in Skye.

8. Rejoining the EU is impossible now was read by 23,000 people. I give all the reason why both the UK & Scotland cannot possibly join the EU again. This makes Scottish independence practically impossible to achieve.

9. The smell of corruption was read by 21,000 people. This article looks at the Alex Salmond Inquiry and the whiff of corruption that infects the whole SNP.

10. The SNP are reintroducing the offence of blasphemy was read by 21,000 people. It was one of the first articles to argue that Humza Yousaf’s hate crime bill would damage our ability to speak freely and earned a rebuke from its author.

Since March 2020 every month I have been able surpass one hundred thousand readers. Prior to that I was pleased to get 20,000. It is a dream for me, and I am so grateful to everyone who reads. The whole purpose of writing is to communicate, and it give me so much pleasure each time one of my articles is shared and read. To write and be read widely is a wonderful gift you have give me. I now make a little from it too which makes the effort all the more worthwhile.

We have a big year ahead. The Scottish Parliament elections may happen in May or be delayed because of Covid. But we need to maximise Pro UK support. I am going to vote Conservative in my constituency but lend my vote to Alliance for Unity for the list seats. I suggest you vote for whichever Pro UK party has the best chance of defeating the SNP where you live and likewise lend your vote to Alliance for Unity with your second vote. We need to put pressure on the established opposition parties. They need to improve, and they need to oppose the SNP. The only way to put pressure on political parties is through the ballot box. The choice is more of the same or the chance for change. It is worth giving this a try. We need no more appeasement, no federalism or extra powers for the Scottish Parliament. If giving more powers was going to lessen support for the SNP it would have done so already. Poor Gordon Brown hasn’t had a new thought since the 1990s and just like John Major cannot admit that he was wrong.

We need to make the argument against Scottish independence. Brexit makes it much harder for the SNP to make the case. Every day we have left the EU without disaster will make the SNP Rejoin argument look less appealing and make independence appear an even bigger leap into the unknown.

Help me and others make these arguments. Don’t be pessimistic. We have great arguments, we just lack the means to communicate them to everyone in Scotland. But our voices are beginning to be heard.

Keep reading and I will keep writing. I now have lot more followers on Twitter. Don’t just follow me. Follow people like @themajorityscot @Jamie_Blackett  @georgegalloway @cultfree54 @mrmarkmillar @2351onthelist and @MalcolmCameron7. There are lots of other worthy accounts too. This is how we are going to communicate the arguments that matter, because the Scottish media are going to give minimal help.

I think we can turn the argument around and gain the momentum on social media that will enable us to win the battle. Keep fighting. Every reader matters. Every tweet counts. You are not passive. You can help. You make the difference.

Resistance is not futile.