A Force For Good attended the "Maintain the Union" march in Glasgow on Saturday 18 May 2019. It was organised by "British Together", the political campaigning arm of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland.
We Live Streamed the event on our Facebook page and counted the march in at around 1,400 (1,383 to be exact).
Prior to the event, the main issue raised was:
"We don't Need to March. We show our Voice at the Ballot Box"
We understand the sentiment, but it is not necessarily correct.
The fact is, too many unionists do not vote; nor remember to vote; nor can be bothered to vote!
For example, the central belt of Scotland is replete with SNP councillors in areas which should be solidly pro-UK. However, far too many people who support the United Kingdom have not realised there were council elections on that day; or they had forgotten about them; or couldn't be bothered to vote in them!
That's a real weakness in grassroots unionism and loyalism, and it is essential that it changes.
3 REASONS TO MARCH
1. A March helps us to Politically Organise, Mobilise and Energise
In the face of apathy, a pro-UK march like this helps us to organise, mobilise and energise supporters. It helps us to get thinking about elections, as well as referendums.
Such events can help contribute towards an essential "culture of voting" among unionists and loyalists – which needs to be developed. It helps us to realise that "Our Vote Counts!"
Please don't ever think there is no point in voting!
Indeed, there is an SNP MP in power at Westminster today who has been elected on 2 votes over the Lib Dem! (North East Fife).
And don't bother about the fact that your pro-UK candidate or party is not perfect. If you're waiting around for the perfect candidate or party, then that day will never come.
It is a fact of reality that voting, in our imperfect world, is often about making compromises in order to select the least worst!
Remember to vote in the Euro Elections this Week!
In that regard, the next elections are this week, Thursday 23rd May, for the European Parliament elections. The constituency is the whole of Scotland and we elect 6 MEPs by proportional representation. So, everyone in Scotland will have a candidate to vote for.
The SNP is looking to get the 6th seat. You can help deny them it by voting for any pro-UK party of your choice. But please do remember to vote. You don't need a polling card. Just turn up at the polling centre. You'll be asked for your name, address and post code.
And remember that the Scottish Cabbage Party – the soggy Greens – are a separatist and virulently republican party, so please don't vote for them!
2. A March Creates Visual Imagery for the British Union
What people see determines how they understand reality.
Think about how many times you see an article in a newspaper or on the internet about the Scottish independence debate. The newspaper or website almost always uses a picture from a ScotNat event. It is really depressing!
Looking at that visual imagery makes one think that Scotland is awash with SNP and Scottish Nationalists.
Over time, this is demoralising to those of us sympathetic with the unionist position. It makes us think we are in the minority.
Seeing this, over and over, makes most people presume that Scotland must want separation.
However, if we see pro-British imagery then it helps us realise that there are people in Scotland who want the UK to stay together.
It's all about perception.
If we only see Scottish Nationalists, we think they are dominating the scene. We forget that the other side exists. We feel, psychologically, that nobody is speaking for the other side of the argument. We retreat from the scene, and give up...and lose.
Indeed, until AFFG arrived on the scene with our Thin Red Line, that was exactly what was happening. But our regular counter-presence, at their events, is now transforming that perception in the public mind.
3. These Events give Reassurance and Heart to our Side
So this is crucial: Unless the pro-UK side is seen visibly and colourfully – either at our counter-demos, or at unionist marches – then people will come to believe that the other side are the winners.
That is how life and politics works.
The human brain will tend to submit to what it unconsciously perceives to be the dominant side.
If groups like ourselves were not doing what we are doing, it would appear to all intents and purposes that the ScotNats ruled the streets, and that would make most people, unconsciously, just fall for them.
So events such as these, and A Force For Good's Thin Red Line events at the SNP/ScotNat marches are boosting the morale of our side and helping to maintain the union in the hearts and minds of people.
People see such events, and sit up and think "Hello, good to see the pro-British people out there. I had forgotten they existed!"
As a result, this imagery re-invigourates their desire for the Union.
One of our supporters wrote to A Force For Good recently on this matter.