Proclaiming Yes in Orkney

Supporters of Yes Scotland in Orkney received a boost when The Proclaimers took time out to meet them backstage before their recent gig at Kirkwall’s Pickaquoy Centre.

Craig and Charlie Reid chatted with local campaigners shortly before they went on stage and were clearly keen to back the fledgling Yes Orkney group.

The twins, whose songs often carry strong messages about their feelings for Scotland, have been supporters of independence for many years. They can even claim to have recruited Moray MP Angus Robertson - now SNP campaigns director – to the party. That was back in the mid-1980s, when Charlie handed the 15-year-old Angus a leaflet about joining the SNP youth wing.

Asked why people in Orkney should vote Yes for an independent Scotland, Craig Reid said:

“I would say we believe it is a way towards a positive and progressive future. I think the future in the UK will not be driven by us; the more decisions we can make ourselves the better chance we have of becoming a better society.”

There is already a Yes Orkney page on Facebook and anyone interested in the campaign is encouraged to go to the page and “like” it.

Craig was very definite as to what had got the brothers into the independence movement in the first place.

“I would say it was Maggie Thatcher. I think when we were growing up as a family there was always the feeling that it would be nice for Scotland to be in control of its own decisions, but the whole Thatcher era made it important that it should happen.”

And how did he think the Yes Scotland campaign was going so far?

“It is there to be won. It is a matter of how much you want it – and I think the Olympics has shown us a great example of that,” said Craig. Indeed he and Charlie played their own part to herald the efforts of Scotland’s Olympic athletes when they played at the opening of Scotland House, a temporary Scotland HQ in Pall Mall during the Games.

As to the argument against independence, Craig said: “I think the No campaign has been very negative so far; they appear to have nothing to offer.”


  • Since the launch of the Yes Scotland campaign last year, I have travelled the length and breadth of the country, from Stornoway to Stranraer, from Dunoon to Dundee. During the course of my travels, I have spoken to thousands of people at a variety of venues, including town halls, schools, community centres and miners’ welfare...
  • Scotland has the wealth, the wisdom and the will to be a better and fairer country, says Yes Scotland's chief executive, Blair Jenkins.

    Speaking on the eve of the 500-day countdown to the independence referendum, he said: "What we need is the wherewithal and the self-confidence to take our future into our own hands...

  • This weekend thousands of Yes Scotland volunteers have been out talking to voters about how an independent Scotland would be one of the wealthiest nations in the developed world, with the means to make it one of the fairest too. 

  • Yes Scotland today launched the first in a series of major campaigns in 2013 with a rallying call for Scots to 'put their hands up for a better Scotland'.