Reading for Indy…..

A common cry is “There’s not enough information”. I don’t get this as the indyref is filled with information. The YES campaign in particular has an overwhelming amount of information available. Most of it however isn’t on the mainstream media. It’s scattered through websites and blogs. Some are excellent and factual ( and some are brilliantly analytical ( and some are full of the thoughts of people who care, people with passion. So here’s a list of the sites I visit regularly, but the list is growing all the time as more people become the media. If there’s any you think I’ve missed, feel free to comment and let me know. OK so this is a very YES list, but all you need to counterbalance it is BBC Scotland and the rest of the mainstream media…… J


And then there are books. Luath Press ( deserves praise for publishing a whole series of books on the Independence theme. A hat tip to Pat Kane for giving me a suggested reading list. I’m still working on it. Here’s a few I’ve read:

(The best bit of all about reading books like these is that they’re not bogged down in tit-for-tat claim and counter-claim about economics or the single “point of the day” which the MSM has decided to jump on)


Blossom by Lesley Riddoch

A great book. Easy to read and fascinating too. Lesley takes us with her on her journeys around Scotland to show us things which we are already capable of and which have happened on the ground. Sadly, in many cases the weight of bureaucracy and officialdom has stomped on the good which was springing up. But the point this book emphatically makes is this – Can we do it? Yes we can! And this book gives example after example of people who have taken responsibility for events in their areas and are making things better. This is an inspirational book because it shows how much ordinary people doing extraordinary things can achieve. The challenge from “Blossom” is to sustain these feats and build on them.


Caledonian Dreaming by Gerry Hassan

This book challenged me on some of the assumptions I’d made over what and how things could change in Scotland following a YES vote. Gerry Hassan has done a massive amount of meticulous research for this book. I marked many sections of it to come back to and read again. Not a book to read lightly, it deserves quiet time a bit of concentration and thought. It’s brilliant though, because it made me think and challenged my preconceptions. It dispels some popular myths around how Scotland changed during the “Thatcher” era. Gerry Hassan lays bare how Scotland is actually run just now, and just what might need to change following a YES vote in September.

If you read only one book before September 18th, make it this one.


Arguing for Independence by Stephen Maxwell

I’m still reading this one, as I type this blog post. So far, so very encouraging. The subtitle for this book is Evidence, Risk and the Wicked Issues. Stephen Maxwell lays out the cases for Independence in a logical, analysed and thoughtful manner. He covers:

  • Democratic
  • Economic
  • Social
  • International
  • Cultural
  • Environmental

All cases are presented in a factual manner with sources listed. Another thought provoking read.


The Common Weal by The Reid Foundation

This is next on my list.



Anyone got any other suggestions?


One thought on “Reading for Indy…..

  1. Andrew,
    I have just finished Jim Sillar’s “In Place Of Fear II” which is a short publication that can be read in a weekend and outlines his suggested policies for an independent Scotland on a variety of issues. Worth the read.

    A couple others I read recently would be
    “Road to Referendum” by Iain MacWhirter, excellent for those who want to find out more of the history
    “The Poor Had No Lawyers: Who Owns Scotland and How They Got it” by Andy Wightman, brilliant, a must read on land reform but not for the casual browser
    “How We Should Rule Ourselves” by Alasdair Gray (of Lanark fame) & Adam Tomkins, tiny wee book with some strong arguments and emotive ideas
    “The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone” Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett, not specifically about Scotland but the best book I have read on politics and economics in a decade which explains one of the main reasons why we are having the referendum, inequality.

    On the shelves waiting to be read
    “Blossom” by Lesley Riddoch, “Arguing for Independence: Evidence, Risks and the Wicked Issues” Stephen Maxwell and just ordered on your recommendation, “Caledonian Dreaming” by Gerry Hassan.
    Gordon Darge


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