‘STOP the world, Scotland wants to get on”.

I think that Winnie Ewing (below) will be well chuffed that her great rallying cry for the independence movement is now very much in motion. Because Scotland is now on the march and very visibly so on the global stage. Work commitments kept me in Pakistan this week, and it gives an excellent perspective from which to offer these home thoughts from abroad.

It’s the rest of the world that is watching Scotland, that is waking up to our potential while our nearest neighbours try to ignore and flatten our achievements. Coverage of the All Under One Banner march in Edinburgh this past weekend is a case in point. Across the globe, newsrooms recorded the incredible sight of 200,000 calm and positive Saltire-waving protesters marching through our capital city in the biggest show of support for independence yet.

The National:

International commentators praised this peaceful protest and marvelled at the numbers, indicating a groundswell of support for the independence cause and a palpable shift in the balance between No and Yes. RTE, Ireland’s main broadcaster reported on the event with possibly one of the fairest and most succinct analysis of this phenomenon, while newspapers in Germany, the Netherlands, France and Catalonia recorded the day for posterity.

Meanwhile, in the mainstream UK media, it was very much a case of “nothing to see here”. Blink and you’d have missed any mention of the march.

Heaven forfend they’d record such positive support for constitutional change and independence in Scotland, although, let’s face it, 200,000 people are hard to ignore, and can hardly been seen as some sort of rebel fringe.

The MSM certainly don’t hesitate to cover other large-scale protests outwith Scotland such as in Hong Kong or this week’s Extinction Rebellion demonstrations in London. These demos seem to top their news, why don’t ours? Could it be that certain sections of the mainstream media think Scottish independence marches just aren’t very sexy because there’s no anti-social or violent element to sensationalise? Or is it just blind indifference? As ever when it comes to media bias, “Auntie” BBC provides the case in point.

Whether it be UK network or world service news, their “London calling” hypocrisy knows no bounds. Top of the BBC network on Saturday was Hong Kong with the accompanying narrative that the multiple police arrests of violent demonstrators shows repression. Top of their news on Monday was Extinction Rebellion, with the accompanying narrative that the multiple police arrests of peaceful demonstrators shows that even the famed London Bobby patience was finally exhausted.

READ MORE: AUOB Edinburgh: History in the making as 200k march for indyref2

To get anywhere on the BBC running order you seemingly need to smash a few windaes or blockade Trafalgar Square.

However, this just isn’t the way of these independence marches. They’ve more of a carnival atmosphere, a family day out, a warm and hopeful procession of people with their eyes on the future, ready to set their own agenda. The independence movement is starting as we mean to go on, setting the bar higher, aiming for change through peaceful means.

AUOB have carved out their special place in the independence movement. Initially regarded with suspicion by a few in the SNP leadership, they now have the tweeted support of the First Minister no less and, woman of the moment Joanna Cherry MP as their star speaker.

It’s not the first time that Scotland represents the grown-ups in the room. Just look at the current state of our politics at Westminster; if it wasn’t for the SNP, the UK would be careering towards a No-Deal Brexit cliff edge, with no plausible or practical intervention from the opposition parties.

While Jo Swinson (below) stays perched on her high horse about Corbyn as caretaker PM, and Labour dithers on their Brexit stance, the SNP are the only party to have the courage of their convictions and the ability to rise above party politics in the search for cross-party consensus on stopping Brexit.

The National:

Not to mention upholding the rule of law with the Cherry case on prorogation at the Supreme Court. Of course, it’s never been more clear that the independence movement isn’t just about the SNP. But even beyond party politics, activists arguing for independence are searching for a respectful dialogue on our future.

The AUOB marches are a shining example of a forward-looking movement for change. They are also an incredible feat of organisation and group positivity. To gather together 200,000 people, get them moving in the same direction, marshal them into the Meadows to listen to some inspiring speeches and music with no issues is no mean achievement.

Regardless of the cold and wet, nothing could dampen the marchers' spirits last Saturday, warmed by the prospect of independence within reach and the chance to continue to build our nation into a progressive and inclusive contributor on the world stage.

Looking at the crowd on Saturday shows just how diverse contemporary Scotland has become; all the generations represented, new Scots and old, and even real footie fans searching for something better to get excited about than sordid sectarianism.

A great hotchpotch of society, a mixter-maxter community, a nation that welcomes refugees, that values its immigrants, that wants to protect its young, its elderly, its disabled and vulnerable citizens, to honour the hard work of pensioners and to reward the efforts of its young people to become future leaders and innovators.

READ MORE: It’s 2069 ... here’s why those marches 50 years ago REALLY mattered

A mongrel nation indeed Mr McIlvanney, woven into the great tartan of Scotland.

These marches symbolise hope, they symbolise self-belief and a new-found confidence. There’s been a sea-change in how we see ourselves and how we envisage our future, one where we can make our own decisions on how to create a fairer and more equal society. The international press recognises this; it takes that distance to understand what is happening, that objectivity not blurred by cultural cliche and Unionist stereotype.

And this recognition symbolises something else that’s very important, it shows our internationalist spirit, it shows that we’re searching for something beyond the narrow confines and prejudiced traps of our current constitutional and political environment.

Scotland is shedding its hauden-doon skin, we’re shaking off our chains. We are looking out to the world and the world is looking back. I think Madame Ecosse will approve.