Martin Hannan: A year on we’ve changed utterly

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On Friday we will mark one year since the referendum. There will be a march through the city on Friday followed by a weekend of political events, and congratulations must go to Edinburgh City Council for the sensitive way it handled the issue of accommodating these events, not least because Glasgow council made a total mess of licensing rallies in George Square.

A friend of mine joked that there should be no marches unless they had been approved beforehand by a referendum of the citizens.

Given how many marches take place here, Edinburgh would become the city of the never-ending referenda. No bad thing, some might say, as last year’s indyref certainly boosted Edinburgh’s international standing.

There is, of course, only one referendum that is occupying plenty minds at the moment, and it is not the one that happened last September 18.

People are queuing up to say a second independence referendum must happen sooner rather than later. I am not one of them. This SNP member has always accepted the reality that the referendum was lost and I personally do not think there will be a second referendum in the lifetime of the present Westminster government – not least because having been scared witless by the last one, there is no chance of Cameron permitting another.

Nevertheless, I am fed up to the back teeth of Britnat trolls and utterly biased Unionist propagandists masquerading as political correspondents who keep repeating the same old mantra – you got beat, so shut up and move on. Their argument is that the Vow is delivering greater powers and that’s what people really wanted. How untrue is that – as Gordon Brown said, the Vow was not delivered.

I could also point out that the margin of Better Together’s victory was pretty pathetic given the overwhelming odds stacked against the Yes campaign – the media, the civil service, big business – but I will merely say that all sides should look at the last year.

Is Scotland not changed? Are we not a politically-engaged nation as never before? Is it not the case, as Nicola Sturgeon has said, that the Scottish people should be the ones to decide when to hold a second referendum?

The Dugdales, the Davidsons and the Rennies of this world say they are all desperate to get back to Scottish issues. Oh no they’re not, because they realise that if they try to fight the SNP on Scottish issues they will be completely doomed, as next year’s Holyrood elections will prove. Far better for them to keep scaremongering about another referendum as playing the Unionist card may just possibly prevent them getting their P45s as party leaders next year.

Most importantly, we had the May general election when 50 per cent of those who voted cast their votes for the SNP, which duly took 56 seats in the House of Commons – equalling the post-war record of the largest number of seats won by a party in Scotland at a general election, and there were 72 Scottish seats and not 59 back in 1997.

Yet it’s austerity business as usual for the Tories, and hell mend the Scots if we try to interfere. And that attitude is the main reason why people are already anticipating a second referendum. Bring it on, but not just yet.

Hibees deserve European glory

Told you the Glasgow papers would not make too much of a fuss over the 60th anniversary of one of Hibernian FC’s greatest days.

It was on September 14, 1955, that four of the Famous Five – Bobby Johnstone had been sold a few months before – led Hibs to a historic 4-0 victory over Rot Weiss Essen in West Germany.

It was the first match by any Scottish club in European competition and of course Hibs went on to the semi-final of the inaugural European Cup.

My old friend Eddie Turnbull, pictured, was the first British player to score in the European Cup, and I relished the tales he told me of Hibs’ derring-do back then.

I, for one, acknowledge their greatness.

Riding makes horse sense

WELL done to all involved in organising the Riding of the Marches on Sunday. By all accounts it was a great success, apart from some traffic difficulties.

There are some who think the Borders ridings are miffed at Edinburgh joining in. No chance, they say, as it’s just another round or 12 to buy on a summer-long carnival.