I was going to say this to Grouse Beater privately, but circumstances being what they are, I feel I should do it publically.
If you know me, you know I think the world of my mammy. She was, after all, the first Scottish Nationalist I ever met, and I met her before I was born. She supported Scottish independence even before she met my father.
Mammy did a spell in the Scottish Youth Theatre, (SYT), founded and run as the first artistic director by Gareth. Most of her pals at the time were Labour or Liberals depending on their income bracket – but my father’s sister was SNP. She was instrumental in my mammy joining, Gareth was another.
Back then, Scottish independence was a minority movement, a curiosity at best and a menace at worst. So independence supporters then stuck together. And my Mammy often told me about how much support she received from my aunt, and from Gareth himself, while she was at SYT.
My aunt passed away tragically many years ago. Mr McGillivray, who was mam’s link to Inverclyde’s SNP collective, also passed away.
Gareth is one of a small group of folk who brought my mammy into the Scottish Independence Movement – and, by extension, me. So, if nothing else, I want everyone to know that, through a few degrees of separation, Grouse Beater is one of the reasons I’ve dedicated so much of my time, life, and dreaming for Scottish Independence.
For that, I will be grateful forever, and will never forget. We will get there. Not in time to see it for Auntie Susan, nor Mr McGillivray, nor indeed for Grouse Beater – but they laid the bricks we’ll be climbing to that wonderful nation we dream of.
Thank you, Gareth. I hope we do you proud.
During the period the author talks about I was not a member of the SNP or any political party. That came in 2013 and ended in 2017, a year before the SNP began to implode and lose site of its reason for existing. Back in the day, my motivation was a growing understanding that Scotland was a colonised country, it’s progress suppressed and diverted. I tried to make folks see what I saw and experienced.