LET it be heard: loud and tremendous applause for all our bonnie lassies and callants who took the time to vote in local elections last week. Thank you to those who sought to use their vote in the cause of our independence.

The score card has demoted Mr Ross of Moray, and his Tory party, into the third division, and however the English Broadcasting Corporation try to big up Mr Sarwar it is the SNP who now have 453 council seats, giving Scotland yet another mandate for indyref2.

Hallelujah, our bid to be rUK-free just took another positive turn as Northern Ireland have voted for Michelle O’Neill and Sinn Féin. And although there is a way to go – it has taken 100 years for them to get this far – the border poll is closer now than before.

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Before anyone says that that is in the gift of Boris Johnson, he, and we, know that the will of the people must prevail. If you are tempted to underestimate this, imagine yourself as an anti-war protester right now in Moscow, bundled into a grey van never to be seen again. Or a fighter for democracy in Hong Kong, whisked away to a correction camp in mainland China. Or a woman in Afghanistan whose rights have been totally stripped from her by overzealous interpretations of religious text. Or a Uyghur in China, whose freedom to worship has been removed. Or an East German citizen, before the Berlin Wall fell, with no political choice but communism.

We must count our votes, and keep counting them, at all elections and referenda. We need people to know and understand how important their vote is, and teach children to be the voters of the future. All of us who want freedom for Scotland must, each and every day, do all that it takes to gain our independence, and then we must do all we can to protect Scotland from ever falling into the abyss of dictatorship and one-party rule. That should be written into our constitution in indelible ink. The ruling party must be voted into office, by a majority of citizens, at regular intervals.

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Whenever I can, I talk of Scottish independence to people I meet in my daily life and I listen to what they have to say. Often I am amazed by the breadth and depth of the knowledge and engagement some people have. On occasion I am saddened by the lack of awareness and understanding of even rudimentary concepts that some people have; they seem to live in total confusion.

The pandemic has changed the dynamics within certain parts of our Yes movement. The organisers of our great Marches for Independence have split into three. Alba has been created. The Johnson administration has done many things to fire up and anger many Scots who may not have been paying attention before. Whichever way you have started going, my urge to you is that we do unite in one clear, loud and unassailable voice, to let the rest of the world know, and understand, that we will be an independent nation where the people are sovereign and we are governed by those who have been properly elected by us.

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I know there is great unrest within the ranks of Alba, suggesting that the SNP are more interested in the day job than getting indyref2 up and running. I know that there are people who say the SNP are kidding us on about a vote next year. Well I think we are heading for a vote next year, and I am banking on it providing us with our independence.

So my appeal is that every member of our huge and wonderful Yes family put any differences aside. Leave the questions of EU membership and the monarchy until later. For now, let us all commit to talking every day about our wishes for the future of a rich, forward-looking, engaged country, holding our heads high and leading as our forebears so often did. There is method in doing a good day job, for the better the governance the more people are attracted to it. Therefore the more people there will be to vote Yes next year.

Cher Bonfis
via email