No, not the book of the Old Testament much favoured by many latter-day cherry picking Christians, but the number of people who took to the streets to march for Scotland's independence.
As someone who was present on the march with another family enjoying the chance to support the 'Yes' cause in the Edinburgh sunshine, I feel more than qualified to pour cold water on the bitter reports of the occasion in 'our' press. The Scotsman has long been at odds with Scottish society - it earned the nickname of 'Daily Liar' by Highlanders in the late 1800s due the papers support for the landlords in the Highland Clearances. Even an exhibition by Edvard 'The Scream' Munch in 1932 Edinburgh was disapproved of. These days its not uncommon for the Scotsman to reprint 'news' from the Daily Mail - this article appeared in the Mail on Sunday last week before making it into a gleeful Scotsman the following day.
Sadly, the Herald also joined in snide-fest.
The march itself was a superb occasion. Regarding the numbers, I'd estimate at least 9000. Bella Caledonia deals with issue in more depth.
I did note the predictable comments of Scottish Labour which also bizarrely mentioned that the indy march was but a dwarf in comparison to the 80000 who demonstrated against the Iraq War. That would be the demonstration against.... er, Labour who took us into that illegal war.
On the other hand, it was by far the biggest demonstration in favour of Scottish independence ever. Who would bet against the next one being bigger still?
Numbers are only part of the story though. Myself and other marchers, including some from the continent, were pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming positive attitude on display. Despite people of all ages, of various nationalities and from different political backgrounds turning out, there was a convincing atmosphere of standing together for a common cause. Almost a smug satisfaction that you and your neighbour were participating in a historic act for the common good.
|Some Unionists adopt an Islamist approach.|
This attitude needs to be maintained. The Unionists have nothing to offer but negativity and scaremongering. Their cause is bankrupt. I've yet to here one serious argument for retaining the Union. Have heard various vague mutterings about 'a family of nations' but as everyone knows, any young person flies the coop as soon as they can. I love my auld dear. She's still family. But from my late teens, I've very much enjoyed relating to her as an independent adult.
While its obvious that not all Unionists may share all their views, the only ugly faces to show up on the day came from a small group of BNP or EDL 'football boys' who hung Union Jacks on a tree. Once again the Union Jack represents insularity, ignorance and hate. Just keep taking the rope boys.