Making the beautiful dream walk and dance

There are few certainties in life, only three worth mentioning, death, taxes, and Scottish independence. But whereas the first two will happen in all circumstances, Scottish independence is still something we need to work on. That’s the message of this weekend’s SNP party conference, Scottish independence is not going to be handed to us on a plate, we need to wrest that plate out of the cold dead grasping hands of the zombie politicians of Westminster. We need to make the case for independence to the 55% of Scots who were not convinced the last time.

We’re never going to convince everyone. People who sit on social media copying and pasting graphs which allegedly prove that Scotland is more indebted than Greece are never going to be convinced. They’ve already made up their minds and have an emotional commitment to the Union that is not going to be overturned by facts or logic. Interestingly, these are generally the same people who insist the most vehemently that they’re making a logical and fact-based argument. But show me a person who makes major life decisions based purely on logic and I’ll show you a fictional character from a television sci-fi show. There is a decided lack of pointy ears amongst the zoomiest supporters of the Union, although the jury is out on the number of fingers and toes they might have. Facts and logic are vital of course, but they’re not enough by themselves. We also need to make an emotional case for independence.

There will be another independence referendum, maybe sooner rather than later, and we have the advantage of the experience of the last time to build upon. As someone who was born cynical and has only got even more cynical with age, the happy clappy fluffy bunniness of the official Yes campaign last time seemed to try and counter the inevitable negativity of the No campaign with an unremitting positivity. Next time we need to go on the offensive, and be less afraid to be offensive about the negativities of remaining a part of the UK, Project A’ll Gie Ye Project Fear. I want to see fewer wish trees planted but more wish trees uprooted and used as battering rams to break down the doors of Westminster.

We need to be more explicit and forceful about the downsides of remaining a part of the UK, about the continuing and widening gulf between rich and poor, the certainty of more foreign wars, the waste of public money and the risk to our safety of nuclear weapons. It’s not enough to talk up the positives of an independent Scotland, we must also speak more loudly of the negatives of a UK that is run for the benefit of the financial industry of the City of London. That’s a UK where the BBC weather map shows a literal depiction of Scotland’s place and importance.

One of the biggest errors made the last time was the currency issue. Former governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King recently admitted that of course there would have been a deal on currency allowing Scotland to continue to use the pound, and that video clip should be played on a continuous loop next time round. However the problem during the last campaign was that by punting the currency union issue the Scottish government was depending on cooperation from the British government. While the British government would certainly have cooperated after the event, the very last thing they were going to do during a tightly fought independence campaign was to admit to it.

The lesson to take from this episode is that we must fight the next campaign on a basis of zero cooperation, and that means we start from a position of establishing a new Scottish currency and telling Westminster that we’ll take on that part of the UK national debt that suits us, not the part that suits them. We start off from the position of a Scottish pound, and stick yer UK national debt up yer arse. Then the campaign is fought on the basis of a Westminster that is reliant on the cooperation of the Scottish government and not the other way about.

There also needs to be greater certainty about the constitutional shape of an independent Scotland. The Scottish government needs to start now on developing a consultation process to draw the broad outlines of a new Scottish constitution. A constitution that is based on the sovereignty of the Scottish people, a constitution that states explictly that Scotland is free of nuclear weapons, a constitution that has at its heart the issue of land reform, social equality, and justice. There is no place in a modern independent Scotland for the Highland Lairds and their vast estates bigger than some Scottish counties.

A referendum on the monarchy needs to be a part of the package, and we should not remain with the default case of retaining the Queen. The Queen might be terribly concerned right now about her constitutional neutrality during the EU referendum, but she didn’t have the same consideration for Scotland during the last Scottish independence campaign. She allowed herself to be used by Cameron and the Unionists, and in so doing she lost any claim to the title of Queen of Scots. The next independence referendum should make it plain that the future of the monarchy depends on the support of the Scottish people, or she’s going to be Queen Elizabeth the Last. Shut up or you’ll be put out, Liz.

The dream of an independent Scotland is a beautiful dream, a dream that will not die. Scotland should be a country where access to health, education and childcare should be guaranteed on a basis of need, not on a basis of ability to pay. The massive resources of this land and the limitless talents of its people must be put to the service of the people of Scotland, not to the service of the City of London. We must make this a land which attracts people to come here to make their homes and to contribute to our society, and escape from the British model in which Scotland is a reservoir of labour for the economy of the south.

The dream is alive, we need to make it alive and kicking. We have work to do and with our skill and our talent and our passion we will make the beautiful dream walk and dance down every street in this land. Scotland’s day is coming.

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69 comments on “Making the beautiful dream walk and dance

  1. Coinneach Albannach says:

    “The lesson to take from this episode is that we must fight the next campaign on a basis of zero cooperation, and that means we start from a position of establishing a new Scottish currency and telling Westminster that we’ll take on that part of the UK national debt that suits us, not the part that suits them. We start of from the position of a Scottish pound, and stick yer UK national debt up yer arse.”

    You’ve hit the nail on the head here (although why “Merks” are no longer in fashion I know not).

    And Mrs Purrin can go take a running jump.

    • Marconatrix says:

      A wad croon yon wee ginger mutt. Wad he no bear the grie wi dignitie as nae human iver could? And any we purring beistie would get a good run for its currency 🙂

    • Jim Morris says:

      We own a percentage of the Bank of England, we should be taking a share of the assets as well as a share of the deficit. The Bank of England is a nationalised entity.

  2. […] Making the beautiful dream walk and dance […]

  3. John Edgar says:

    Not only do we need to show UK is toxic, we need to point out that the UK aka England, after all our political ancestors of the 18th century around 1707 took the decision to have us “incorporated” into England,is at this Brexit stage in the process of dissolution. The main players at Westminster are at each others throats. The Tories are split and Labour are “split” in the sense that their leadership is despised by the majority of its MP’s. That is in England. In Scotland the branch parties Lab, Tory and Lib Dem have one UK MP each. So, that fag end of UK unionism is fading faster than snow im a heat wave. Ignore the rantings of the msm and the BBC. They still see just a three party system in a squabble which will all come right due to the miracle of an unwritten constitution and the monarchy – these self evident, pre-ordained bastions of UKism or Englishism. It has not struck the yoonies yet that there has been a seismic shift in inner UK politics and schisms in English politics. After the EU referendum, the inner-English fissures in its body politic will keep on cracking, especially in that main bastion of yoonyism, the English Tory party. The branch, or Scottish twig is defunct having only gained one MP since its wipe out 20 years ago. The prognosis of rise in the fortunes of the red tories north of the Tweed is equally depressing for them and the Lib Dems UK wide are kaputt.English politics has shed its fig leaf of being British at Westminster.EVEL is the start of that.UKIP, or ENGIP as it really is, is another manifestation of the end of Britishness. Cameron’s decision to lance the EU boil in his party has driven the final fatal thrust into the UK. Its leading cheerleader, the Tories, has just de facto and de jure split into two factions with its local party associations in the shires also at war with the centre.
    (Apologies to the dug for using its recent coinages yoonies and yoonism.)

  4. John Edgar says:

    Following on from the above, the Labour Deputy Leader, Tom Watson, has now stepped into the fray over her Britannic majesty’s alleged Brexit sentiments and is challenging Gove to “come clean” that he is the source of the leak to the Sun. As the fechtin continues to smear and countersmear the unelected head of state, what next? More signs of English identity crisis and UK dissolution. The monarchy is supposed to be neutral and never advises one to “think carefully” or indicates a preference!

    • Saor Alba says:

      The Monarchy is definitely NOT neutral as we already know from the independence referendum. The Monarchy is self preserving and whoever has leaked Queen Elizabeth of England’s Brexit sentiments may find themselves at the end of some shit from the proverbial fan.

      Great comments John Edgar.

  5. Marie Clark says:

    Great article again Paul. Aye yer richt, we have to be on the offensive next time,

    !. a constitution.
    2. central bank
    3. the bawbee or merk or Scots pound, whatever WE decide it will be.
    4. tell her madge to take a hike. We don’t need her or her hingers oan.
    5 OIL IS JUST A BONUS. Shout it out loud.
    6. pensions are safe, guaranteed safe.

    That’s just for starters, we all have plenty of ideas to make our country better, and run ow we would like it to be run.

  6. Davy says:

    You win fuck all just standing there and letting the other person just swing at you. And that means it time the SNP took on the media like the BBC/STV, take on the presenters head on when they tell lies and spin, walk the fuck out when its a set-up like question time from Dundee.

    Play the STV against the BBC, if one of them won’t play fair, then ignore them for a month or two, with no interviews etc. Complain to their offical body/trust publicly and very loudly, and make them known to one and all if they are lying and demand a public retraction.

    We can’t do much against the newspapers apart from not buying them, which is a death of a thousand cuts to them, and encourge friends and family to follow suit.

    The union side are never ever going to be nice and fair to us, so fuck them. Fight fire with fire, we have seen their poltitians in action, troughers to the core, ours are better.

    When they miscall us and our country, we pull their earses over their heads in return.

  7. I know it’s a bit controversial, but I would love it if the Scottish Government privatised land. Then the current landowners would have to PRove they managed their estates properly for the good of community of Scotland. Not for the benefit of the shooters who come to the estates to kill carefully bred grouse, and for our wildlife, hares, raptors to be safe from the estate gamekeepers.

  8. Excellent article. The best form of defence is attack.

    A big error last time was Blair Jenkins. He had no charisma and as time went on,and he faded out altogether, I became convinced (paranoid)? he was a River House sleeper. The Indyref2 CEO must be well known, trusted & have some va-va-vavoom,

    We need to expose how the UK press works with leaflets, radio & tv campaigns delivered to every home, detailing who the press barons are and their vested commercial interests in keeping Scotland down. That applies to the BBC as well. I was amazed at hoew little people thought about this – especially NO voters.

    The UK civil service admitted it was not neutral so the Scottish civil service should also not be neutral next time around. We were the mugs playing by the rules while they laughed at us. That’s what an Eton education gets you – learning how to cheat & steal & lie!

    The Scottish Office powers must be curtailed or better abolished before next IndyRef2, especially given EVEL.

    Pensions: need to educate pensioners on guarantees of their existing pensions. It is their children and grandchildren which a NO vote consigns to iold age penury and working til you drop.

    The currency – ditto what WGD says!

    We need TV slots & full page daily REcord adverts for months in advance, detailing each and every broken vow; & every project fear which came true not because we voted YES but because we voted NO.

    Ach I could go on and on.

    We need to strat laying the ground work and doing it asap.

  9. Lizzie56 says:

    Defiantly on the defensive. Last time we let the unionist away with lie after lie as project fear took over. It’s time to defend all our positives and never let the people of Scotland forget what a mess Westminster has made of Scotland for over 300 years. We should make the case more and more that a yes vote is about our society and not all about money and big business. This time we are ready!

  10. […] Making the beautiful dream walk and dance […]

  11. benmadigan says:

    here’s an outline of the Unionist mentality and a call for ideas about how to deal with it. Coincidentally, it could almost be a companion piece to this excellent post of Paul’s.
    I have cited Paul’s post at the end as he has started the ball rolling with ideas about how to combat the UK Unionist mentality.

  12. Margo Sharp says:

    Well said again Paul.
    Pull up your socks and get on with being a proud nation again instead of Wastemonster’s running dog.

  13. macart763M says:

    Yes, I agree.

    During the first referendum, the totally positive campaign was both a revelation and perhaps our Achillies heel.

    That the independence movement and the YES campaign adhered to this approach throughout the entire period is a credit to all who participated, but it was not and never going to be enough against a system that broke every rule, every pledge and every campaign agreement in order to secure their victory.

    Next time and there will come a next time, the discussions of good will, compromise and negotiation get left at the starting block IMO. When it comes to Westminions and their politics, I’m done with compromise, done with reasonable and most certainly done with their ‘honourable’ agreements and their laughable respect agenda. The use of the Civil Service, the lobbying of overseas powers, big business and the breaking of purdah. The relentless use of a more than willing and compliant media to demonise and mislead. THAT is Westminster’s idea of a democratic ballot.

    They wouldn’t know respectful democratic process if it jumped up and bit them on their arse and in the 2014 referendum they were more than given the chance to participate respectfully. Bottom line? The YES campaign worked within the spirit and the rule of the Edinburgh agreement. Better Together and HMG barely glanced at it. The document and what it stood for was an irrelevance to them, a dog and pony show for the populace.

    In short, next time, I want to see both the Scottish Government and the wider independence campaign set aboot them.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Hi Sam, can you email me please.

    • Patience is a Virtue says:

      There was so much ammunition and information which could have been used positively in support of the case for Independence in the months leading up to the Referendum, that never appeared and would have been an eye-opener for those still unpersuaded of the Yes camp’s cause.

      The true picture of Land Ownership in Scotland was never mentioned .. but would sway even the most hardened opponent of Independence when confronted by the reality … a big white board and map, a proper map [not one of those weather maps showing Scotland smaller than it really is!] would be useful prop in any future ‘debate.’ One showing how much of Scotland is actually owned by its inabitants.. a prize to the person who gets the % right.

      There is much that can be done in the interim to inform people…. could it be that, perhaps, in a future Scotland, or even the current Scotland, whilst there may be individual land owners – that everyone may effectively own all the Land and carry a (joint) responsibility for its best use and protection… of course this is driving to drafting / having a written Constitution …imagine that.
      Alex Salmond nearly got a chance to mention a Constituiton in one the TV debates that took place (the one the PM failed to show at to represent the Union).

      Scotland’s positive contribution to Britain and the Union over the centuries … and of course in its defence at Waterloo, WW1, WW2 …. the contribution, and sacrifice, has been immense … and even post Independence….as come it will for a’ that.. the same cross border interrelationships / Treaties/and trade links would inevitably fall into place out of necessity… just that the important decisions, the responsibility.. resides in Scotland…. imagine that.

      Scotland’s place in the world and relationship with it would be enhanced immeasurably, with all the benfits that would bring.

      Also the actual damage inflicted on Scotland, through history and the politics of recent decades imposed from Westminster, we all know too well ..and should get aired (not much was aired in the Referendum campaign) … but more importantly, the Positive case of the Yes movement should be presented, (which in no way = SNP, but the broad church of all and sundry across Scotland… most of the good musicians and artists ..light blue touch paper and retire!.)
      and most of all …the prize of Independence ….of being able to decide on and determine a better future in a truly democratic framework – not in an archaic, manipulated 10:1 imbalance, where even if all our MPs wish something for Scotland, it gets voted down by the overwhelming numbers, by MPs who have frequently never shown the courtesy of attending the debate.

      …… we deserve something better and can all contribute to and imagine something better.

      This May happen.

      • Marconatrix says:

        OT maybe, but the Irish Republic has had nearly a century of indy, and yet their politics seems more like WM than Edinburgh. How will an indy Scotland guard against going down that same dreary road? Does anyone understand what went wrong over the water?

      • Dod says:

        Does anyone have a map of the British Isles from the North showing Scotland disproportionately large? It seems like a small thing but it is just another symptom of the cringe IMO that people accept it as normal

  14. Dan Huil says:

    Our own currency and a referendum 5 years after independence concerning Scotland’s membership of the EU.

    • Coinneach Albannach says:

      We actually need a brace of referenda: The Constitution, The Monarchy, NATO and, as you correctly state, the EU.

  15. Tinto Chiel says:

    I appoint WGD and Marie Clark as framers of our next campaign. MC’s Six Points look pretty good to me.

    A central bank which issues its own currency would caa the feet from Project Fear and its spurious economics.

    Boots on, Scotland, for the dream walk.

  16. Ken Waldron says:

    Funny & uplifting as ever! Nothing cynical about you btw: just flaunting a healthy skepticism like a good tan…

  17. katherine hamilton says:

    Hear Hear!

  18. says:

    Reblogged this on Bampots Utd.

  19. Marconatrix says:

    But we don’t have to convert all 55%, we only need to turn one in ten 🙂

  20. MorvenM says:

    I go along with Marie’s 6 point plan too – great post.

    I think the other big mistake we made was over the pensions. By saying in the White Paper that the SG would take on responsibility for pensions in Scotland, we gave Gordie Broon the opportunity to lie about the great big UK pension pot we would no longer have access to.

    An independent Scottish Government would actually start life with NO pension liabilities, as the UK Government has an obligation to pay out to all current UK pensioners, whether they live in England, Scotland, Australia, Spain or anywhere else.

    Pensioners in Scotland paid contributions for years to the UK government for our piss poor pensions, so you bet we’re going to continue getting them.

    I think we failed to anticipate that some of the opposition would be vicious enough to terrorise old people by telling them that their pensions would stop. Of course this would scare some old people who didn’t know their rights – they know they can’t just go out and get another job.

    We need to be prepared for this and all the other dirty lying tricks they played.

  21. Tinto Chiel says:

    Morven: our hub duplicated DWP advice that your pension would not be affected by a Yes vote and handed them out to the oldsters but the “Scottish” Daily Mail and Express had done their dirty deeds and they weren’t for listening to us “brainwashed” activists.

    There is no question pensions you have contributed to must be paid out, otherwise how do all the Colonel Blimps soaking up Spanish sun get paid, irrespective of where they live?

    I heard Labour politicians (MP and ex-MSP) telling old folk they would lose their “pension books” if there was a Yes vote.

    To adapt a jingle, You can’t get lower than a Labour bullshitter…..

  22. Saor Alba says:

    Great post again Paul and some smashing comments from others.
    This is up with your best, although it is becoming very hard to make a distinction of your best in order to identify your very best. However, IMHO, this one is the flagship for the way forward.

    There is no need for dirty tricks and lies; we can leave that to the yoons. However, an aggressive and truthful approach is needed. We have only been truthful in the past, relying on the good grace of others, which was never there and never will be.

    A written constitution for Scotland is needed:

    ” A constitution that is based on the sovereignty of the Scottish people, a constitution that states explictly that Scotland is free of nuclear weapons, a constitution that has at its heart the issue of land reform, social equality, and justice. ”

    Preparations to set up a central bank and deal with the currency issue need to be undertaken early as well.

    You are spot-on. We need to go on the offensive and point out the negatives of being part of the yoons UK or YUK! (As I like to think of it).

    macart’s comments are excellent and inspiring as usual. In my opinion, the yoons’ breaking of purdah was a typically irresponsible and cowardly act of breathtaking scorn, demonstrating a total lack of dignity and a lack of respect for the people of Scotland. The yoon politicians do indeed think that people can be farmed.

    Thanks once again Paul. You keep my spirit high, as does macart any many of the contributors to this site.

  23. Sooz says:

    Excellent stuff. From now on this campaign belongs to us. The people. We were way too accommodating last time because we expected a reasonably fair fight. We didn’t get it and got shafted at every turn – broken promises, Machiavellian tactics, lies, smears and blatant, visceral threats.

    We’ve seen what No means, and No means more of the bloody same and worse. If anyone seriously thinks we’re better together with thousands being driven to despair and desperation by the DWP and the richest laughing all the way to their nearest offshore fund they really must be in the advanced stages of Stockholm syndrome.

    It’s worth remembering that all those threats levelled at us about companies leaving or jobs being lost all came to pass anyway and were clearly already in the pipeline. The plan no doubt was to blame Scotland, the SNP, the ScotGov and the Yes campaign for all those events if we had voted Yes, so as to stoke up outrage and rebellion among no voters. but now that we’re still shackled to the UK it’s as if those job losses, outsourcings and closures are just ‘one of those things’.

    We know their game plan now. They’re doing a re-run of it for the Euro ref.

    Gloves off. I’ll treat all no voters with respect but I will not be pushed into the ditch by Westminster, the media or any other shrieking banshee desperate to hang on to Scotland’s assets.

  24. lanark says:

    Independence is the goal, but hopefully we can be a Republic. I would rather see Mhairi Black (just one example) as head of state one day than one of the Saxe Coburg crew.

  25. JGedd says:

    I always come here to find my own thoughts clarified and rendered into eloquent and sometimes, appropriately pungent prose.

    The SNP could do with a more muscular and robust approach to interviews and responding to attacks. Throughout the referendum, I found it frustrating that the SNP were held within the restraints imposed by the MSM while the No campaign were not similarly inhibited.

    Now we all know that the media do generally treat SNP more roughly than the other side but it seems that the SNP are beset by self-appointed PR advisers who purport to know how the audience will respond. Under their tutelage, it appears as if in many cases the chosen representative is so bothered about demeanour that they are rendered ineffective in interviews.

    The thing is, the media inquisitors are in on this and know that they can provoke and be aggressive with impunity, almost daring their subject to display a natural reaction, mindful of the fact that the subject will obey the rules.

    In the USA at the moment, media and political observers are shocked that Trump breaks the rules invented by the media and yet garners more support. Now obviously we would want our SNP representatives to behave with finesse and sense and not like a saloon bar bully as Trump does, but what’s wrong with behaving naturally and with honesty without being aggressive? Commentators there have concluded with surprise that since he is by nature a saloon bar bully then that is his natural demeanour and a considerable part of the electorate responds to that.

    The SNP could take a lesson from that, in that PR consultants do not really understand the electorate, who are not as uniform in their reactions as they would have us believe. I often wonder when I hear their pronouncements if they have actually met real people. Real people do not recoil in horror from someone putting their case authoritatively and taking issue with an aggressive interviewer when the situation demands. If you sit there and take it, in fact the impression can be left in the minds of the audience that you don’t have an argument that you believe in. Scottish audiences, especially, respond to a doughty fighter.

    Ignore the PR juveniles and trust your honest instincts more in interviews SNP, but channeling Jean Freeman, Philippa Whitford rather than Donald Trump, of course.

    • Clive Scott says:

      Quite agree that SNP MP’s and MSP’s for the most part are far too deferential to MSM/BBC interviewers. Why don’t they preface answers to nonsense questions with “Well, as a craven unionist working for a Britnat propagandist you would say that but the fact of the matter is…….
      You won’t win over the die hard yoons but that is not the point. A more aggressive response will encourage the 9 in 20 who voted YES to get out and win over 1 in every 11 No voters and hey presto 45% becomes 50%.
      Nicola stood her ground well against Andrew Neil on Sunday but not aggressive enough for my liking.

    • jacquescoleman says:

      “someone putting their case authoritatively and taking issue with an aggressive interviewer”

      In fact audiences love to see big-mouthed, big-head presenters being put down.

  26. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Paul – can I add to your constitution?

    I want to see a widening and strengthening of freedom of information legislation together with a total ban on all commercial confidentiality clauses for contractsale involving local and national government and all public services.

  27. Golfnut says:

    Tinto Chiel.
    Gets my vote.

  28. Wullie says:

    Well said Davy, Im sick to death of the SNP taking all the shit under the sun on tv interviews. I want them to be as obnoxious as the presenters and shove the lies back in their faces. The SNP have nothing to lose, they are pilloried no matter what they say. Stop playing England’s game by England’s rules, speak it like the people on the street never mind the intellectual political least look as if you are standing up for Scotland. Show us some fight for gods sake.

  29. Tinto Chiel says:

    “The SNP could take a lesson from that, in that PR consultants do not really understand the electorate, who are not as uniform in their reactions as they would have us believe. I often wonder when I hear their pronouncements if they have actually met real people. Real people do not recoil in horror from someone putting their case authoritatively and taking issue with an aggressive interviewer when the situation demands. If you sit there and take it, in fact the impression can be left in the minds of the audience that you don’t have an argument that you believe in. Scottish audiences, especially, respond to a doughty fighter.”

    You have articulated all my vague feelings of unease about our “holier than thou” gentlemanly approach to all the the goading and injustice of such programmes as QT, JGedd.

    John Swinney is a deeply decent man but he was used as a punchbag. People might think his dignity and polite reticence implies lack of a counter-argument.

    Sometimes Joe Jordan is what is needed (age-related reference).

    • says:

      Aye, If Nicola had responded to Brillo by saying “a 15 billion black hole Andrew, how do you work that out?” it would have been an opportunity to get some facts to light on air, and put him back in his box too.

  30. hettyforindy says:

    Great article Paul.

    Yes we need something else, not a ‘yes’ campaign as such. The last YES just felt too lightweight, too, bbc of old, play nice be very english and bow to the queen.

    No thanks.

    It’s one thing to say what you will do in politics, quite another to convince people to believe you. I think the massive support for the SNP, against all odds, is due to the fact that people can see, first hand, for themselves that the SNP are putting their words into actions, in a positive way.

    We would definitely benefit hugely from a positive aggressive approach. Last time I could see the point to a certain extent, in being as positive and nice as poss, but it was too weak, and the establishment yoons took full advantage. Less of the touchy feely stuff, next time.

    Though the corporate media will always steer things their way, and use their dirty, sleezy lying tactics to full potential, we can outwit them, especially now that many have seen the lies for what they were from the unionists, especially from the Liebour party.

    Where are Darling and Gordy now?

    As for the monarchy, what a backward, outdated, undemocratic, incredibly expensive institution, Scotland can well do without. Thing is these people claim land and castles in Scotland, so will hang on to the death. Land reform, much needed.

    Yes, the next referendum will be very different, it can’t come too soon, maybe, the 24th of June?

    • Saor Alba says:

      At last. A good sensible comment hettyforindy. The SNP are governing Scotland well and the electorate can plainly see this by actions as well as words. We must never forget what they have done and we would never be at this point without them. They have acted with dignity at all times, but I am sure that there is some fire yet to be utilised at the appropriate time. Anyone can be caught unawares by traps from twisted, disreputable and lying basterts. It is not a fault and is all part of a learning curve.

  31. mealer says:

    Independence is a process and the third referendum (the first two were on devolution) was a part of that process.We started with a low level of support and our strategy was tailored to that.We are now in very different circumstances and our strategy will develop to suit.Our position on currency may change as may other elements of our strategy.

    It’s also worth looking at things from the Westminster point of view.They started the 2014 referendum campaign with a massive lead and huge confidence that they’d win handsomely.They were happy to campaign against independence,to fight it with every fibre of their being,because they were so sure that they’d win.Next time we will start at a very different point.How hard will Tory back benchers fight to keep us wingeing Jocks in the union if their constituents are telling Scotland to bu**er off?

    If polls show 60% support for independence we might even see Westminster negotiating a settlement then adopting a neutral stance or even supporting a Yes vote.”Securing a new,modern relationship of close cooperation based on mutual respect between our countries”.Nobody likes to be on the losing side.

    We need to win independence.Then have a referendum.

  32. Onwards says:

    “We also need to make an emotional case for independence.”

    Agree 100%.
    Looking back, the positive campaign alone was visually mostly based around the word YES – which wasn’t meaningful enough on its own.

    The project fear case against independence wasn’t just negative – it was DEMEANING – basically telling Scots we weren’t capable of doing a better job of running our own country.

    There is the opportunity to fight against the abusers and the masochism vote – those who seem to rejoice in how useless we apparently are, and how subsidised we need to be.

    We don’t just need ‘YES’ banners and posters and badges – We need a more emotional message. That way, even if some still think we many be slightly worse off for the first couple of years, it’s still the right thing to do for a healthy country.


  33. Sandra Stewart says:

    Brilliant piece Paul, I get fire in my belly reading it.

  34. David Agnew says:

    The reason that the passion for union turns to seething hate? They lost. They needed the vow to save their union. Even then they barely managed to get slightly more than half. Despite all their posturing. Their threats. Their constant traducing of a nation with a long and storied history, till it looked like nothing more than a ned looking for the next giro. They almost lost and had to promise everything they said they wouldn’t give us. Even then they tried to cheat us. The camps are as polarised now as they were before the vote. Nothing really has changed..except everything has changes. The banality of the union was looked at long and hard and found wanting. The pragmatic unionism of Scottish labour was proved to have died sometime ago, and replaced with nothing but union jack bunting. Fear then, was to be the coin of union and that fear wear the banner “Better together”.

    They cannot reconcile the yes voter to being British and accepting the status quo. They cannot bridge the divide or heal the wounds. They cannot do any of this, because the negativity of Better together was their message of reconciliation. In the end that message was nothing more than a clenched fist. They can wear their silly little “One Scotland” badges. Wrap themselves up in Union Flags. Declare that we are “Scotland in Union”. Scream “Obey your Queen” to us. Demand that we be grateful for what little we have and more importantly, the one chant they keep screaming at us is to “Get Over it”. Which seems to mean to forget supporting an Independent Scotland and just be…Proud Scots but and cringe like they do when Westminster cracks the whip. All of this…from the ridiculous idea that anyone who did not vote for the SNP and voted yes for devolution in 1999 were by default, NO voters.

    Scottish labour once declared itself to be the party of Home Rule. Not anymore they’re not. They can never again wear that mantle, if they ever did wear it that is. They blurred the lines between themselves, the Tories and the lib dems, that they looked like one party. They did this so completely that they made their political differences seem like theater. A political lie if you will, to give the impression that we had normal party politics in Scotland. It could be that that was never in their minds or that they believe this to be true. But they gave that impression and boy did it cost them dear.

    They created the circumstances for the SNP to steal their thunder. Despite complete and total support from the MSM. Despite the fear bombs, the hate bombs and the love bombs. Despite the ritualistic “Daily Hate” and “SNP=BAD” scare stories…they still can’t bridge that gap. But then when has slagging of an electorate you have already driven away, ever win you anything but contempt? Ask a Scottish Tory, they can tell you exactly what it gets you.

    Of all the parties who should have known better. The one who lived off anti-tory anger like it was ambrosia from the gods. If any party who should have understood the purpose of a GERS report from the conservative government…it was Scottish labour.

    They once stood outside Asda chanting and smiling at the prospect of an Independent Scotland being humiliated by having to pay more for groceries. They reveled in that insult. Wore it with pride not seeing the price tag attached was far more than a hypothetical can of Asda own brand beans in an Indy Scotland. They stand there still looking like they are chewing wasps and not comprehending the magnitude of the defeat they suffered, or why it happened.

    Better together my arse/

  35. johnny come lately says:

    Good article with plenty of good points in the comments, but I feel that the first thing Scotland needs to do is inform Westminster that Scotland will be holding a legaly binding referendum under international law, and that the terms and conditions of that referendum will be set by the SG. We don’t need agreements from Westminster to decide our constitutional future, and we should under no circumstances allow Westminster to fix the rules of the game next time. Scotland need only abide by international law as to which The UK is a signatury!

    The second thing is postal votes, postal votes, postal votes.
    Scotland cannot go into another referendum allowing (like last time) large scale gerrymandering of postal votes by the unionist parties. Firm rules for identification of persons wishing to vote by post have to be established. A system must also be put in place to moniter the postal vote ballot boxes in council buildings. This can easily be acheived using modern technology. The SG must also make sure that it is the SG, that will have control over the printing and wording of the actual ballot papers. Tight security measures must also be put in place at all times with regards to the transportation and opening of ballot boxes. IMO the counts should take place at the individual polling stations. Westminster must not have any say at all in the running of the next referendum.

    I do agree that the SG and Yes should be much more assertive in a second campaign, but definetly not aggresive or confrontational. The unionist ploy last time was to degenerate the entire campaign by using taktics such as non compliance, blatant untruths, the demonization of both indie supporters and the SG, as well as the shouting down of dissenting voices. If the SG and Yes attempt to counter this using the same tactics, then the entire campaign will degenerate into a slanging match, which the unionists want, and a slanging match will turn everybody off.
    IMO the SG strategy has worked well soo far! It’s slow moving, it’s frustrating, mkistakes have been made, but over the long term it continues to pay dividends. It is also clear, that the strategy appears to be driving the Unionists, the media and the opposition parties up the wall. It is forcing them to stoop lower and lower, and in turn they are now engaged in a self harm exercise. Rather than degenerating the entire debate, the unionists cabel appear to be degenerating themselves. Sorry about the long post

  36. No more Mr Nice Guy, Paul.
    If Gordon Brown re-emerges from his Nice Little Money Lender Earner to lie to octogenarians again that their UK Pensions would be at risk, if Lord Robertson threatens invasion by a joint task force from Russia, North Korea, and the Planet Zircon, if the Self Confessed Liar, Lord Carmichael of Portsmouth, threatens to close shipyards and move BAE work to the ‘better placed’ English yards, and Iain Davidson chairs the Lord Haw Haw Westminster Scottish-the-Basket-Case Affairs Committee (of course they’d have to make him a Lord for that to happen now that we turfed him out on his ear last May along with the other ‘f**king useless’ 40 Hangers On), rUK builds a ‘Trump wall’ from the Isle of Whithorn across to Berwick, and Edinburgh’s banks, money lenders and Insurance Houses all skedaddle South, their pockets stuffed with Scottish plunder, and we are refused the pound, and every European Nation sides with Cameron and Boris, and cancels our 40 year old membership of the EU (aye richt), and NATO tell us to F-off, and the BBC direct a giant death ray Northwards to block transmission of the Great British Shit Off, and our UK Passports are cancelled en masse, and the United Nations send in a Peace Keeping force to quell the Unionist Uprising as brother fights brother, sister chibs sister, in the inevitable Civil War which will follow the vote for Independence, and oh yes, Barrhead Travel ups sticks and moves to, say, Hexham…chunter, chunter, chunter.
    There is much preparatory work to be done; and it starts now.
    Currency, our EU Membership, our actual Expenditure and Revenue figures Up Here, not the GERS/ONS/ OBR/IFS claptrap which is concocted in London for the English Establishment.
    We can do little about the Propaganda Machine that is the Scottish Press and Broadcasters. They have been bought and paid for, or ‘let go’, if they showed signs of having self determination leanings.
    The ground work starts now.

  37. JGedd says:

    Further to my earlier post I would like to point out that I certainly don’t see Trump as some kind of model to follow. I was using him as an example of just how wrong PR pundits are. Time and again during the referendum I would read earnest essays on how to engage with people as if it were some kind of recipe to be followed

    People are complex as we know and when we try to lump them together and find some formula for treating with the many-headed beast or reduce them to categories, it doesn’t work. Trying to read the public is a bit like trying to read the ocean though at least we have science to deal with that, where physics is involved. But PR is not a science.

    Trump has confounded all the rule-makers who school candidate politicians in how to woo the public. That was the reason for mentioning him at all. He is an odious man who either cannot or will not conceal his character. Yet he is now the leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination despite having crossed all the so-called red lines.

    I am as puzzled as anyone else is as to why such an unpleasant human being should attract such a huge following. i have a feeling though that it might have something to do with a revulsion against the whole political circus of carefully groomed candidates following a PR lexicon on how to charm the beast called the public. They might simply be tired of being patronised by rich individuals who pretend to understand the common man. ( Unfortunately, talking like a bar room rowdy does seem to resonate with a significant portion of the public. That’s an uncomfortable thought for all of us including the political class. We should worry perhaps.)

    Anyway that’s just my opinion, it’s not a scientific conclusion..(Sorry for the second long post. I admire people like Paul who can be so concise yet eloquent. )

  38. Tedious Tantrums says:

    I think we need to take the argument to the No camp. How did UKOK win without providing any real evidence of the benefits of being in the UK?
    I’m all for getting things started such as the development of a real, modern constitution. Get the ne done and then publicise it e everywhere, mostly down south.
    It would also be advantageous to remind people that the Queen isn’t a Queen, she is just a citizen of the EU, like the rest of us since she signed it all away.

  39. Guga says:

    The Wee Ginger Dug has got it spot on in just about every regard. However, he forgot to mention about another referendum we need to have after independence, i.e. on membership of NATO (a.k.a. the North American Terrorist Organization.

    There s no way that Scotland should be a member of this organization as we do not want to be involved in the continuous illegal wars, invasions, annexations and resource exploitation of the war mongering Americans and their war criminal leaders.

    Why should Scotland expend its blood and gold on behalf of a nation which thinks it has every right to rule the world, and force other nations to act in accordance with their wishes? This is why Obama stated that the Americans sometimes have to twist the arms of countries to make them do what we (the Americans) want them to do.

    The war criminal Obama and his ilk may state that Americans are “exceptional” but what he means is that they are the new “master race”. His various tame poodles, including the likes of the war criminal Cameron, may acquiesce to America’s demands, but he has no right to drag Scotland into America’s desire to rule the world.

    The Empire and the Raj are long dead, regardless of what the English government thinks, and an independent Scotland should not be involved in perpetuating English myths, either on behalf of the English or for the benefit of the Americans.

    Another very good reason for keeping out of NATO is the membership of Turkey. That country is ruled by a near dictator who is also a war criminal, an homicidal maniac and a genocidal maniac but who still receives the support of NATO members. Any nation that supports the likes of Erdogan has no concept of truth, human rights or natural justice.

  40. Daisy Walker says:

    Awfully well said WGD, as alway, loving the comments too.
    The BBC is still the biggest problem.
    And spot on to the person who said, first win indie then have the referendum.

    From a practical point of view, I would love to see the yesers pick one subject at a time and flood their areas with info about it.

    And I see no excuse for the SNP not to be making full use of billboards, they have the money to do so now.

    And lastly, how many yessers have cars – these are mobile billboards.

    As I’ve said before, not going away, not giving up and aye yes for aw that.

    • Dod says:

      Nicola, and Eck, aren’t stupid. We are closer to independence than ever before. It’s a step now rather than a leap. The organs of the British establishment have my undying enmity but I still have hope for my kids in the future. Hope over fear.

  41. barpe4 says:

    So many excellent comments on this brilliant article ,about how we need to position ourselves for the next referendum.

    Hopefully the discussions in the summer will encompass all these suggestions ( ‘hardening up’ responses to BBC interviewers; the organisation of the actual ballot etc) as well as having answers to currency and the like.

    Thus far the SNP have chosen a careful path, I’m sure they will know what they are doing when the time comes – they must have learned an awful lot from last time!

  42. Jan Cowan says:

    For the first time ever, the A9 from Thurso to Helmsdale was blocked in September. It just happened to be the night the POSTAL VOTES were being transported further south to be counted. This meant they had to be taken via the only other route – through the lonely straths from Melvich to Helmsdale which are made up mainly of sparsely populated hunting estates.

    We were extremely suspicious at the time and now that the Argyll and Bute monitors have shown how the referendum vote was swung in the union’s favour it looks as if we were right to be suspicious.

  43. arthur thomson says:

    ‘Project A’ll Gie ye Project Fear’.

    I’ll sign up to that.

    But we have to ALWAYS be on the lookout for the sucker punch. Diversity and a preparedness to adopt a range of approaches is what we need. We were too much of a one trick pony the last time – though it almost worked.

    Lots of good comments. And @JGedd – I am sure that nobody thinks you were in any way promoting Trump.

    Yes I think we need to more assertive from here on. Simultaneously we have to take full advantage of the quiet spoken like JS. There needs to be a tension in our approach. Our opponents must be left wondering whether we are going for points or for a big hit.

  44. Gavin.C.Barrie says:

    “What if we lose?”, I was asked many times during Indyref. “Then it’s only half-time, we review our game, reflect on the referee’s attitude and respond in the second half”.

    This article, and the comments do seem to confirm that attitude. My Dad watching me playing football advised me to play harder. ” There’s no sense son in playing in sannies, when the other side are wearing tackety boots”. Another of his gems was, bring your own referee, meaning in boxing terms, a knockout punch.

    We were lied to, and there was no referee. learn from it.

  45. Robert Graham says:

    I agree with a lot of the posts here , being nice and pleasant in a BBC interview doesn’t and has not worked , All SNP interviewes need to up their game especially on a live feed that can only be cut and can’t be edited to suit a UKok agenda , Each interview is a opportunity to get a point across not what the BBC want , a bloody punch bag as been seen recently , stop bloody apologising , they interrupt well bloody interrupt them ,make it personal , go for the BBC stooge who is asking the questions , if they are unsure of the reaction they are going to get like walking out and giving the reason while doing so , this won’t be edited out as they will try and make it look as bad as they can for the SNP representative , but the reason for ending the interview will still hang there , play by their rules we loose, use our own we have a chance , be unpredictable , bloody well annoy them , they are trying to extract a story we’ll make sure our version is heard not their twisted perverted one . End of rant bedtime nite .

  46. punklin says:

    Yes, yes, yes….BUT fighting talk in BBC studios etc isn’t really the point.

    We have to persuade past No voters to change their minds.

    I’ll stick with charm and persuasion- not ‘cos I’m a softie but I want whatever is most effective in achieving an independent Scotland.

    Psychology before fists.

  47. Col says:

    Last weeks disgraceful show by the unionists regarding the GERS figures was surely a missed opportunity also to turn their argument on its head to reflect the true situation we are in here in the union.
    We need to keep asking why after 40 years of a huge oil bonanza is Scotland’s economy doing so badly?

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