The Big Wee Book Of "We Told You So"
In August 2014, a matter of a few weeks before the referendum on independence for Scotland, and fuelled by justifiable anger at the half-truths, propaganda and outright lies being peddled by the 'No' campaign and its supporters in the totally pro-Union print and broadcasting media, the Rev. Stuart Campbell of Wings Over Scotland published The Wee Blue Book, a compendium of fully-sourced facts about the issues around Scotland's freedom.
In a remarkable feat of organisation, hundreds of thousands of copies were distributed in the space of a few weeks right across Scotland by volunteer activists, in an attempt to make sure that everyone could read the other side of the debate untrammeled by the condign and shameless prostitutes of what passed (and still, to a large degree, passes) for 'free and independent media' in fair Caledonia.
The result of the referendum, of course, was a small but sufficient margin for the wretched 'Union' which left the people of Scotland, amongst other consequences, easy prey for the gleeful extremism of a far-right government which they, the sovereign people of Scotland, had comprehensively rejected...again. But the fact that it had got so close as to cause panic amongst the proponents of the status quo was in no small way a tribute to the reach and effectiveness of The Wee Blue Book and its small army of proponents and distributors.
Today, on what would have been the first day of a new independent Scottish state, Stuart Campbell and his team have published The Wee Black Book, detailing much of what has happened in the eighteen months since the referendum, pointing out to what extent the warnings of the pro-independence campaign have proven to be correct and (perhaps more significantly in the long run) how so many of the warnings and threats of the Unionists have also come true, but under the 'Union', with Scotland being largely defenceless to stop the process, and how so many of the promises and vows made by the increasingly desperate and hysterical Unionist political, business and media establishment have not merely been left unfulfilled but treated with utter contempt by those who made them once they had their desired result.
The book is in many ways a depressing read, showing how easy it still is - at a time when a large proportion of the population has access to a wider range of sources of information than those provided by corporate and state outlets - to scare or gull just about enough of the population of a country to get them to vote against their best interests.
But in another way, there's an inspiration or two to be picked up from the book: firstly, that even on the first day of its availability it has been downloaded thousands of times, and will no doubt find a wider audience (especially, one hopes, amongst those who might have voted 'Yes' in 2014 but who got scared off); and secondly, that initiatives such as this, allied to the totally ridiculous, ignorant and arrogant behaviour of the supporters of the 'Union' in the interim - be they politicians, self-described pundits, alleged journalists or very-wealthy-but-nonetheless-unaccountably-touchy kids' novelists - mean that in the next referendum campaign (the timescale for which I will not guess at for fear of putting my usual mockers on the thing), the obfuscation, the dissembling and the screechings of doom from those who claim to love their country but who nonetheless wish to see it governed permanently from another country with an increasingly divergent outlook will be far less credible even that last time and, ergo, far less effective. Book As Inoculation Against Uni-bollocks, in short.