A Force For Good held a successful "Union Social" in Glasgow on Saturday 17 November 2018. It was attended by 35 pro-UK supporters. The 5 hour event included a couple of hours of our AFFG Team speaking on our Achievements in 2018 and our Big Plans for 2019.
Our Founder and one of AFFG's Directors, Alistair McConnachie began by emphasising the huge progress which we've made this year in terms of Visibility. Our group got seen a lot this year!
That has also been due to the huge progress in our Branding – which is very colourful and helped by the fact that we're keen to use the striking colours of Red, White and Blue (no pastel shades need apply).
Achievements this Year
Alistair listed many of our Achievements in 2018, which included 9 outdoor events, including recent activism on the streets of Edinburgh in the week previously which saw our 'Scaredy Cat Sturgeon' banner mentioned, and Alistair quoted, in The Times newspaper (15-11-18).
In addition, we attended 7 SNP/ScotNat marches where our activists maintained a colourful and strong ''Counter Presence" for the Union.
Several points arose from these events...
The photograph of AFFG and our Union Jacks - which the separatist-supporting Sunday Herald used on 6 May - sent the SNP and ScotNats into meltdown! Alex Salmond led the boycott of the newspaper which was to bring it down 4 months later. While we don't like to see any newspaper go out of business, this nevertheless demonstrated the power of AFFG, said Alistair.
Our Counter Presence in Dumfries on 2 June made us realise that we could not rely upon the Police to count the marchers properly. (The Police released a figure which we knew was around 3-4 times too high.) Consequently we resolved to record the marches and count them specifically. This has been a major achievement this year.
We are able to counter the SNP/ScotNat propaganda directly by providing visible and transparent evidence to the contrary.
For example, we filmed and counted the true figures, below.
Inverness 28 July. Nats said 14,000. Real figure: 3,386.
Dundee 18 August. SNP MPs said 16,000. Real figure: 3,538.
Dunfermline 1 September Knowing we were counting, they were too afraid to release a figure. Actual figure: 491.
Glasgow 15 September. Knowing we were counting, they were too afraid to release a figure. Actual figure: 314.
Edinburgh 6 October. They said '100,000'. Real figure: 12,789.
This is amazing work that we're doing. Please help us keep doing it!
Alistair also took a few moments to address some of the main "objections" to our Counter Presence events, which we occasionally hear from some pro-UK people.
AFFG's Security and Police Liaison Officer was next to speak.
He emphasised how "My priority is your safety". He explained how he co-ordinated with the appropriate Police officers before the event and on the day. This was absolutely essential so that everyone knew what was going to be happening.
Our experience this year has demonstrated that security improvements can and must be made.
Specifically he pointed out that we need more video coverage of our "Thin Red Line".
For example, our Activists suffered 4 minor assaults in Edinburgh on 6 October, but we had no video coverage of any of these incidents. This is because, at this stage, we have neither the equipment, nor the people willing to step up. Acquiring both is a priority for next year. If you are competent to work with GoPro (it's easy), or similar equipment and want to stand with us, then we need you. Please contact us!
More Achievements in 2018
Alistair continued with the Achievements of AFFG in 2018. These included 3 sit-down Interviews with major European news outlets; our major Speech (and piece of Research) in London, "15 Reasons to be Proud of the United Kingdom"; 2 new Leaflets developed and, importantly, the establishment of AFFG Merchandise.
In that regard, one of the Attendees was wearing his AFFG "British Together" Hoodie at the meeting, and he recounted, to applause, that his bus driver had seen it and shaken his hand this morning!
Further to this work, we also maintain a daily Social Media presence. We publish several quality posts each day on our Facebook Page, including at least one "On This Day", British History post, every day, often with a Scottish Unionist angle.
Our Facebook page is an educational tool in itself; and it's important for kick-starting our Online Campaigns - of which it was mentioned that we've had several this year. So next up to speak was our main Facebook Admin.
Our Facebook Growth
Our main Facebook Admin emphasised the extent to which the Page had grown this year.
Since 1 January we've risen from 10,282 "Likes" (people receiving our daily material) to 23,420 as he spoke, and our goal is 40,000 for the end of 2019. Not only were the "Likes" growing, but the "engagement with the Page" statistics were also doing well.
He also spoke about the importance of maintaining the Page as a "Safe Space" for Unionists.
As he said, we don't tolerate aggressive Scottish Nationalists on the Page. This ensures that pro-UK people know that they can comment safely, knowing they will not be attacked by a nasty opposition.