Friday, 26 September 2014

Referendum Day + 1: Loyalists and Yessers in George Square - 'Scotland, Who AreYou?'

'How these curiosities would be quite forgot, did not such idle fellowes as I put them down.'

- John Aubrey

'Oh roads we used to tread, 
Fra' Maryhill to Pollokshaws - fra' Govan to Parkhead! 

- Kipling, 'McAndrew's Hymn'

'Photography can be a mirror and reflect life as it is, but I also think that perhaps it is possible to walk like Alice, through a looking-glass, observe the puzzles in one’s head and find another kind of world with the camera.' - Tony Ray-Jones

Welcome to my wee photoblog on Glasgow, where we feature the  joys and unjoys of walking and cycling through a fascinating, beautiful and often badly run city. For the blog's origin and a  list of all posts see the  'Introduction' post  -

 Feel free to drop me an email with suggestions, offers of £20 notes etc. The address is I have had to start watermarking the pics as I have come across one big website using a pic without permission - I suppose there must be others.

If you are a private individual and want to use any of the pics for non-commercial purposes please get in  touch and I will usually be happy to say 'Aye' for free - just give the Album a credit. If you want to use a pic for commercial purposes a small mutually agreed fee and a credit will suffice. And you can follow me on Twitter if you wish: Edwin Moore@GlasgowAlbum.

Today is Friday 19 September - the day after  Scotland voted No in the independence referendum - and we are in George Square where it seems there are to be two rival gatherings of Yes and No supporters 

Yes  group over on our right

Few cops about - there will soon be many more

We'll go and see the Yessers

The singer is telling us how many years he has been fighting for Scottish independence. I am afraid I am reminded of Neil Innes saying 'I have suffered for my art. Now it's your turn.'

What will they make of it back home?

Thumbs up!

An orange dug in the Yes camp.  What's it all about wee man?  

Ah, Socialist Worker

Glasgow said Yes. True,  on a 75% turnout. On a bigger turnout, however, Edinburgh voted No by a bigger margin. Salmond and others have been praising Scotland's young voters for voting Yes and booing the oldies for voting No, but it now seems,  according  to YouGov, that it is a myth that  the young voted Yes - YouGov reckons the Young Ones  voted No -

The idea that a majority of the young voted Yes was apparently based on a sample of 14 voters. Much more significant anyway is the fact that  better-off Scots voted No by a large margin - the SNP even lost their own heartlands. There is a myth in Scotland that we are all Jock Tamson's Bairns - laird and crofter united in the kailyard.  The referendum has punctured that zeppelin  of a myth. It will take a long time coming down, but coming down it is. For Robin Wright's  graph of life expectancy and the vote see 
'This is what it looks like when you plot life expectancy next to % vote in the by local authority'

A Yes Bike

We are heading back to the Loyalist corner of the square

The rival corners of the square are equally keen on beflagged toddlers


Lady from the Yessers chats to the Loyalists. At this stage there is some friendly banter going on between the two sides. It won't last.

A jolly BBC lady  chats to the Loyalists. Hockey stick meets flutes 

The Yes lady has a t-shirt with a pic of the coned   Duke of Wellington equestrian statue. For more on the ongoing vandalism of the statue  - vandalism  that at one stage the council actually used to promote the city - see

'We will never Surrender!!!'

'Too many sheep in Scotland' - sadly, a not uncommon malign verdict from Bad Loser  Yessers on we  No voters

'Same shit, different day'

Yes stickers on the ground

'Wrong way!'

'Scotland, who are you?'

'Look at You!''

Springburn Derry flag going up

The press loves infants with flags

A good one, this

As is this one

Here comes the Yes bike

Channel 4 interviewer. Another Bedales meets Bridgeton encounter

Not sure what's going on here. 

  • Note  Celtic bag! We shall see more of this chap shortly

The positive, encouraging side of the Yes campaign - our young need to be engaged 


Am not sure, but think the police are getting leery about individuals  moving out of their  comfort zones

Note Yes flag high up - not good idea - easy to damage the monument

Who are we indeed

Union flag seller doing great business

It's that chap again with the Celtic shop bag, now taking pics of Loyalists

Cops good at calming down

For pics of  the Orange  Order laying wreaths at the Cenotaph in 2011 see

One of the ironies here is that the Orange Order in the west of Scotland  asked its members to vote SNP at the last Holyrood election - this was to punish the Glasgow Labour council for restricting their marching routes. The Orangemen were likely to be among the 50% of the Scottish electorate  to vote at that election, which of course gave the SNP its majority, which resulted in the Referendum. As Kurt Vonnegut was wont to say, So it Goes. See

A Mo Farah moment?


The flag seller is asked by the cops for his license to sell

Here it is. All legal. Everyone happy

This entertaining mash up is what resulted  when I merged a couple of pics to try to create a panorama. It's sort of like that Pulp Common People video I suppose, but with flags

More police coming in

I do like the bike

Charm offensive. Aye, that'll win people over

Nothing to do with the rest of the square I think - the guys were just admiring the other guy's flowers and getting selfies with him. As Finlay Currie was wont to say, Aye weel.

The police have noticed that this guy is carrying a  bag from the Celtic shop and have a wee friendly word with him

One of the Loyalists says no problem! They spotted it early on. They find it funny.

'Two teams in Glasgow' muses the chap

Directions, guidance and calmness - our cops at their best

Noisy arrivals

Working men never  hugged when I was a boy (just a few hundred yards from here in Collins St)

The snappers gather for a chat

Dreghorn speaks. Interesting Ayrshire village. It has an unusual octagon-shaped kirk and John Dunlop was borh there. See

A procession of cars has just arrived by the square (on tyres courtesy of John  Dunlop of course)

Trouble flares

The policeman is dealing with the flare and the bystanders 

Really well done - calm, protective and  controlling. This is what you call a good cop.

A discarded Yes poster is found

And is ripped. At least chap takes it away with him

I can hear someone  saying - presumably on his mobile - 'Get down here it's all kicking off'

There are still pockets of calm - people with children are now tending to drift  away from the building confrontation with Yessers

 The Loyalists have the most memorable chants here, notably 


The last proposition is an interesting one, though expressed a tad aggressively - did the Yes campaign lose because they are always going to lose, because what the Scots want is what the Quebecois wanted in their referendum, the last minute offer of devolved powers? Not much chance of a discussion at  the moment, obviously.

The thin yellow line

The perimeter is constantly monitored for breaches and surges

On the phone

There is always time for a selfie

Looking to the sky for the helicopter - much of what is happening in this square and the flanking streets is probably  on CCTV but that's of not  much use  at the moment of course 

Pointing at the Loyalists - you never know, someone may have missed them

Every other person it seems is recording a personal take


Think we'll head home

Flare smoke over the square

Shame on you'

Well gee,  thanks. We live in a democracy and can vote how we want,  and do not require the judgement of others when we make our choice, a situation that seems to  annoy a few people in this square, whatever flag they fly. 

The police are covering the adjacent streets. It's going to be a long night. According to Andrew Neil in this Independent report -
Some of the pics of the disturbances to follow on social media are of the London riots, not these Glasgow disturbances.
For many in the Yes camp the BBC are untrustworthy - the TRUTH  is to be found (shades of the X Files) among the Yes bloggers and facebookers, but I think the traditional media is a more reliable source for what happened

Thank you for browsing, dear visitor. 

My other barking wee blog is

(Cartoon by Katherine Grainger created for the St Wilfrid's Hospice annual Charity Auction 2014. No connection with my Scotland book - I just like it) 

Reviews of Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know


'I love it - I'm giving this copy to a friend and buying another for myself' - Darren Adam, Presenter, Radio Forth, 17 November 2008

‘It’s a great wee book’ – Stephen Jardine, introducing Edwin Moore on Scottish Television’s Five-Thirty Show

'A fantastic book' - Scott Wilson , talk 107 Breakfast Show host 

'A great read' - Dougie Jackson, Drivetime host, Smooth Radio 105.2


'Despite its apparently humorous format, this is a serious and extensive dictionary on all things Scottish; from Jean Redpath to Lorne sausage, from Flodden to the Corries. Is particularly good on history and minutiae. There's a useful chapter on famous Scottish legal cases and another on literature. Excellent' - Royal Scottish Legion, Feb 2009

'This is the ultimate Scottish reference book' - Waterstones Christmas catalogue, 2008

'This is a fascinating look at the history of Scotland: its languages, politics and great achievements, from its origins in the ancient landmass of Laurentia 400 million years ago, to devolution and Billy Connolly. Edwin Moore has collected a thousand important facts about this beautiful country, covering Scottish history and culture, correcting misconceptions, and examining the mysteries of haggis and bagpipes with insight, warmth and impressive attention to detail' - The Good Book Guide, November 2008

'This is a recipe for revealing how horribly ill informed you are about your country. Although, if you are skillful, you can nod sagely as you read some new fact and mutter 'Ah, yes!' as if recalling the information from your excellent schooling. Where else will you find a real recipe for making haggis from scratch side by side with a potted biography of David Hume; a section of the Declaration of Arbroath and the curiously touching fact that Lulu was only 15 when she had a hit with 'Shout'? The whole thing is of course, silly - but oh so addictive.' - Matthew Perren, i-on Glasgow, December 2008

'. . . well crafted and witty' - Bill Howatson, Aberdeen Press and Journal, 18 October 2008

‘While most of Edwin’s entries are entertaining and scholarly – he writes like a Scottish Bill Bryson – it is when he takes an interest in the backwaters of history, the details lost down the back of the sofa, that he is at his best’ – Jack McKeown, The Courier, 27 October 2008

'History, it is said, is written by the victors. Trivia, meanwhile, is written by the guys with the smeared spectacles and the breathable rainwear. The first discipline is linear and causal; to quote from Alan Bennett’s play The History Boys, history is “just one f****** thing after another”. Things look different, though, when viewed through the prism of trivia. The past is reduced to one big coleslaw of fascinating facts that in their randomness tell a more mixed-up tale entirely.
The first approach leads to big, frowning books by the likes of Tom Devine and Michael Fry. The latter results in small, cheerful books such as Scotland: 1,000 Things You Need to Know, Edwin Moore’s valiant attempt to navigate the more trivial contours of enlightenment and clearances, crown and parliament, dirt and deity.
Moore proceeds from a sincere and controversial first principle: Scotland is really a rather pleasant and interesting place. . .As a work of popular scholarship, though, it’s in a different league to the Scottish novelty titles that get stocked next to the bookstore tills as potential impulse purchases, those little handbooks of parliamo Caledonia and regional braggadocio, such as Weegies vs Edinbuggers.' - Allan Brown The Sunday Times, 21 September 2008

'In his book, Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know, Edwin celebrates all that sets us Scots as a race apart - our language, law, flora, food, and of course, our people. From our poets, architects and inventors, to our artists, entertainers and fighters. But he doesn't shy away from the more unpleasant aspects of our history. . .' - Robert Wight, Sunday Post, 14 September 2008

‘We think we know all about William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and the Union of the Crowms. However, according to Edwin Moore, author of , Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know, we’re still in the dark about many aspects of our history and culture. . . The Big Issue looks at 20 of the most astonishing examples of secret Scotland.’ – The Big Issue, 18-24 September 2008

'What's the connection between Homer Simpson and Larbert, and why are generations of lawyers grateful to a Paisley snail? Need to know more? Author Edwin Moore has gathered 1000 facts like these about Scotland in a quirky new book. Brian Swanson selects a few favourites. . .' - Scottish Daily Express, 13 September 2008

'The palm for Christmas-stocking books seems to have passed recently to popular science, with best selling titles every year such as Why Don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze? This year there has been a gallant attempt at a historical fight back. Scotland: 1,000 Things You Need to Know(Atlantic Books, £12.99) asks (and answers) such post-turkey questions as ‘How many kings of Scotland died in their beds?’, ‘Who on earth decided that the Declaration of Arbroath was the cornerstone of modern democracy?’ or ‘Why is iron brew spelled Irn-Bru?’ Mark Mazower,History Today; The Best of History in 2008, December 2008

'A real treat for the serendipitous Scotophile' - Reginald Hill

FROM THE INTERWEB (on the new paperback edition)
Book of the Month, May 2010
'Whether it's Scottish lochs or Enlightenment philosophers, the facts of the devolution referendums or the mysteries of Irn-Bru, myths will be debunked and truths revealed in this light-hearted but rigorous overview of Scottish history and culture.'

Also available for download on Amazon's e-book store is my 100 Brief Encounters

Here are some reviews of the print edition (published by  Chambers in 2007) -

Edwin Moore's quirky collection of a hundred encounters between (mostly) important historical figures is a gem of a book. Where else could you get concise enlightening accounts of Henry VIII wrestling with Francis I, Geronimo surrendering to General Miles, Ernest Hemingway presenting Fidle Castro with a fishing trophy or (as seen on the books cover) a baby faced Bill Clinton shaking hands with John F Kennedy. A marvelous 'little window on human history. ' - Dominic Kennerk, Waterstone's Product Planning and Promotions Co-ordinator (From the Waterstone's 'We Recommend' list for 2008)

Witty, light and packed with information -- The Sunday Herald

In 1936, in the wake of winning a clutch of gold medals at the Berlin Olympics, the great athlete Jesse Owens was snubbed by an imperious leader, on racial grounds. Popular belief would have it that the leader was Hitler, who is said to have stormed off, furious to see a black man beating European athletes. In fact the man in question was President Roosevelt, who worried that paying attention to Owens' triumphs might be a vote loser. Although Owens and the German Chancellor never talked, Owens claimed that Hitler greeted him with an enthusiastic wave. Such near-misses, shakings of hands and ships-in-the-night meetings are the subject of Brief Encounters – Meetings between mostly remarkable people, a likeable new book by Edwin Moore (Chambers £7.99). Flicking through the index, you will find some expected encounters (Dante stares at Beatrice, Corday stabs Marat, The Beatles strum along to a Charlie Rich record round at Elvis's house), and the book's intriguing and memorable cover shows a baby-faced Bill Clinton manfully gripping the hand of JFK. But Moore has navigated past some of the more obvious collisions, collusions and confrontations of history (there is no Dr Livingstone, I presume) and much of the book's pleasure derives from lesser known incidents.

Inevitably, some of the accounts of earlier meetings are somewhat sketchy but Moore offers some piquant speculation, laced with humour (the book is tagged Reference / Humour, rather than History and this feels right, but the book, though wry and opinionated, never stoops to wackiness). I was intrigued to discover that, though Attila the Hun did die on his wedding night, it was not in drunken and lecherous debauchery, as his enemies maintained, but supposedly because he was generally a simple and clean-living man who had a few too many which brought on a particularly bad nosebleed.

Moore's book is full of such tales – it would be wrong of me to steal the tastiest morsels of his research and pepper this article with them, but look out for a subsidiary reason for the Gunpowder Plot (too many dour and powerful Scots in Parliament); a great meeting of great beards, as Castro wins the Hemingway prize for sea-fishing; Dali bringing a skeptical Freud round to the art of the surrealists; Buffalo Bill's wife claiming an aged Queen Victoria had propositioned him; Oscar Wilde getting a kiss from Walt Whitman, while Walter Scott was more taken with Burns's charismatic eyes. This is an enjoyable and vigorous rattle through some fascinating and believable yarns. My only quibble is that it's a little on the short side – let's have Volume 2 please Chambers! - Roddy Lumsden, www.Books from