We can do this

Everyone else seems to be doing it this week, so I thought I’d have my own shot at a blog post saying how – in my opinion – we can win the next independence referendum. It’s now looking highly likely that we’re going to have one, a whole lot sooner that anyone expected. I’m no more privy to the inner thoughts of the Scottish government than anyone else, but if pushed to make a guess about it, I’d say that the indyref2 will be called shortly after our new caring and sharing Tory PM cares to press the Brexit button and shares the UK’s excision from Europe with us. That could mean we’re looking at indyref2 as early as next spring or summer. Eek.

It’s still not outside the bounds of possibility that we won’t have another independence referendum. It may just be possible for some deal to be wangled that allows Scotland to remain a part of the EU and the UK, but that’s as likely to happen as the Labour party becoming a united happy force, dedicated to opposing the Tories and not each other. The so-called reverse Greenland would require the active cooperation of both the Conservatives and the EU, neither of whom have shown themselves disposed to look kindly on the idea. The recent comments from the office of the French PM clarified that – that the UK must leave the EU, although France is open to the possibility of an independent Scotland remaining a member. The official position of Labour in Scotland is a hopeful fantasy, but the rest of us need to deal with the real world, and in the real world there’s another independence referendum on the horizon.

First off, we need to remember who the targets are. It is deeply counterproductive for parts of the independence movement to attack other parts of the independence movement for its supposed lack of ideological depth / snarky Bathdom / not being sufficiently left wing or working class / whiney rapperness / smug diminutive reddish caninity / etc etc (delete as appropriate). The only people who benefit from such attacks are the Unionist establishment.

The targets of an independence movement are those in power who oppose independence, not those who have a different vision of what an independent Scotland should look like – those are arguments for having after the event of independence. If you still aren’t able to get to the playground, arguments about who gets first dibs on the swings are irrelevant. So let’s focus ourselves on the British Unionist establishment which blocks the democratic will of the people of Scotland. That’s what independence is all about after all, unchaining the unicorn and unleashing that democratic will. Leave attacking other independence supporters to the Unionists, that’s their job not ours.

The next indyref will be quite different from the last one in some important ways. Next time we will not face a phalanx of 50 Scottish Labour MPs telling us we’re better together with their dysfunctionality. Next time what’s left of the Labour party in Scotland is likely to take a more nuanced position on independence. Next time it’s even possible that some of the mainstream media outlets which opposed independence may be more positive and open to the idea of Scottish self-determination. But we’re still going to face the concerted opposition of the British establishment and the BBC. In fact we may well be looking at an even more hysterical Project Fear campaign next time, as the British establishment knows as well as we do that indyref2 is more likely to produce a vote for independence.

There are lessons to learn from the last campaign. The last campaign was too closely associated with specific policies of the SNP. The independence campaign ended up getting bogged down in arguments about proposals to reduce corporation tax, about NATO membership, and about retaining the monarchy. These are not arguments either for or against independence, they are simply possibilities of independence just as raising corporation tax and ditching NATO and the monarchy are equally possibilities of independence.

An independence referendum campaign is not a party political event. It’s a national event. It cannot be the property of any single political party. Party politics has got us to the point where we can have another indyref, but it’s not going to win it for us. So we need to fight the next indyref on the basis of principle not policies. The principle that whatever happens in Scotland comes about as the result of decisions taken by a government elected by and accountable to the people of Scotland. Independence means that the people of Scotland are sovereign in our own land, nothing more, nothing less. What we decide to do with that sovereign power is for the people of an independent Scotland to decide.

That said, we do have to address some of the specific policies of the last campaign which contributed to the failure of the Scottish national movement to break the chains. The issue of the currency looms large. I’m no economist. I’m no politician either. But it seems to me that irrespective of the economic rights or wrongs of the proposal to enter a currency union with the rUK, selling it to the people of Scotland relied upon the Westminster government agreeing to cooperate with an independent Scotland prior to the event of independence. They’re never going to do that. We cannot go into the next indy campaign being seen to seek favours from Westminster. That means we start from the position of setting up a Scottish currency, and then Westminster requires Scotland’s cooperation in taking on a part of the UK’s humungous national debt. If it was up to me, I’d say, let’s set up our own currency and you can stick your UK debt up your arse. Which is why I’ll never be First Minister.

We need to go on the attack ourselves. We need to point out the disadvantages and uncertainties of remaining a part of a United Kingdom outside the EU where the Tories look like being in power for the foreseeable future, and possibly for decades to come. We need to point out that the economic argument against independence is in fact an argument that Scotland has been impoverished and economically damaged by the UK Treasury and the British state – it is not an argument against independence, it is an argument that we need to get away from those who are causing Scotland such damage as quickly as we possibly can.

The indyref will not be won on social media. Much as it might be fun to argue on Twitter with someone whose ID describes them as NoXXXX on the list of Stu Campbell’s Zoomers, engaging with them is a waste of time. You’re not going to change their minds. The way to change minds is to engage with real people in the real world, and in order to do that successfully we need to produce information in formats that can be absorbed by people who don’t use social media. Some groups and sites have already made valuable contributions there. We need more of it. Social media is immensely valuable. It gives the independence movement a means of communicating, enthusing its supporters, and spreading ideas and knowledge. But we have to take that out into the real world.

Organise. Organise. Organise. Let’s get the band back together. If there’s not a Yes group in your area, start one. Join the SNP, the Greens, Rise, whatever party you feel most aligns with your beliefs and dreams of a better Scottish future. Because independence will only be won through our own work, our own determination, and our own capacity to make our dreams a reality.

Three hundred years ago as the parliament of an independent Scotland was closed and merged into Westminster, it was described as the end of an auld sang. It’s time to sing again, in our many and diverse voices. We can do this.

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72 comments on “We can do this

  1. rowantree633 says:

    Reblogged this on Nigel's Mountains and Modelling..

  2. Rosa Alba says:

    Organise to “reach the parts other beers do not reach” (gratuitous Heineken ad there).

    We need to reach those who do not read Wings or WGD or The National – those who believe the twisted misspeaks and distortions of the television and, less than the Herald or Scotsman, the tabloid press.
    The impact of the Mail & Express with their dogwhistles & its gleeful regurgitating on television MUST be salutary warning and writ large.

    Out there on the street in wee stalls, chapping doors & endeavouring to do as Margo suggested: each of us bring one plus one to the Yes (or whatever word) Party. NB sneaky article in LabourHome by TomHarris.

    It would be helpful if Stu’s books were to hit the floor earlier on in the proceedings – those limited to online involvement might offer help there – but also a lighter, more tabloid, weekly resumé edition of The National would be helpful: free and that which people can distribute by leaving copies lying in Community Centres, hair dressers, church halls, dentists, on the bus.. (a PDF we could print off would have less shiny impact but be an option)

    And proactive attempts to phone in to programmes such as Call Kaye in a reasoned and informed manner – if we pass the screening: a list serve with a rota and weekly briefing. Local radios will have their own such programmes.

    Meanwhile the limbo of waiting while torturous could be spent getting our ducks in a row.

  3. garyjc says:

    I don’t know Paul, telling the UK to stick its debt up their collective arses would get my vote. WGD for FM,its gotta bit of a ring to it

  4. rowantree633 says:

    Agreed – a different approach is definitely needed for IndyRef2 and the real danger to Indy is fragmentation of effort through too many differing Indy groups with different ideals. Grass roots is fine, but some sort of co-ordination at national level is needed, a consistent message throughout – better than the official yes campaign of last time. We need to be smarter next time, not simply doing the same thing again but harder. i agree: address currency straightaway, and pensions too. that was never properly addressed last time until the last week or so of the campaign and by that time it was too late.

    Also, I noticed in the last Indy campaign, that it was easy to group together with fellow Indy supporters and feel we were getting somewhere. The really hard thing to do was approach those who were undecided or against Independence. Door knocking and high street stalls will be doubly important this time round and with consistent messages and identity. However, that is hard to do – facing the public, unsure of the response you will get. I feel it may be easier this time round – sentiment has changed, but no room for complacency.

    I also think that some No voters will be stunned and dismayed at the way in which Brexit and the aftermath has left them in the ideological lurch. I know some have swapped sides, but there are those who voted No and Remain. How do we ease those folks’ transition to an independent Scotland in Europe from a hard pro-UK stance? It has to be done without any superiority or the ‘we told you so’ approach. We have to recognise that when circumstances change, people are entitled to change their minds too and without being made to feel foolish, guilty or that they made a horrid mistake last time round.

    So many challenges for Yes2 campaign. If anything, the stakes are far higher this time round. I for one am looking forward to it.

  5. I’m not sure it’s enough to say “och, we’ll sort out the details after independence” – we’re not even going to be allowed into the playground if we’re going to spend the first half hour bickering about who goes first on the swings. We need a plan first; a rota to ensure that everyone gets their shot.

    It’s up to the Scottish Government to create a roadmap that people can vote on. This should include a draft, interim constitution; various versions of which have been created by different groups and it should not be too difficult to refine.

    Most people don’t want an airy-fairy concept, they want to be sold a vision.

  6. Dan Huil says:

    “That means we start from the position of setting up a Scottish currency, and then Westminster requires Scotland’s cooperation in taking on a part of the UK’s humungous national debt. If it was up to me, I’d say, let’s set up our own currency and you can stick your UK debt up your arse.”


    [Notice how I didn’t include the final sentence of WGD’s paragraph. Well, you never know]

  7. mike bain says:

    yay! – looking forward to seeing you 30/7 george square @yes2indy

  8. Alexander Wallace says:

    Nail on the head. Now is not the time for left, centre or right. I will chap doors with a socialist or a conservative, then argue the toss with them in an Independent Scotland.

  9. Doug Daniel says:

    The fact Alyn Smith and Ian Hudghton created the Wee Bleu Book for the EU referendum gives me hope that there’s a recognition in the upper echelons of the SNP that it was a mistake not to have an “official” Wee Blue Book the last time. When you think of all the money that must have been spent on shitey leaflets and office space etc, what people really wanted was bullshit-free information. The White Paper was too much for your ordinary punter to take in (did anyone *actually* read it from cover to cover?) and what we really needed was a concise booklet that could perhaps give links to more detailed information online if someone really wanted it. I recall there was a kind of summarised version of the White Paper, but you only ever got a handful at a time when canvassing – we need something akin to the Wee Blue Book posted to every household in Scotland next time.

    But I also agree that we need to be far less prescriptive next time, and far less defensive. If the likes of the Daily Record carry on in the same vein they have since Brexit, then that should help matters, but we need to be far more forthright about exposing the flaws of the UK. The currency sharing idea neutered us a wee bit last time, because it didn’t make sense to argue that the UK was a sinking ship, while simultaneously saying we would be tying ourselves to its currency – we need to be making it clear that the likes of Norway and Denmark show we have nothing to fear from having a Scottish currency.

    Last time, we were telling people why it would be good to become independent – this time, we need to tell them why it’s an absolute necessity. Thankfully, Westminster is doing a great job of demonstrating that for us.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Last time I started writing an A-Z of Unionist Myths, with jokes. But then my partner got really ill and I wasn’t able to finish it. Am going to dig it out and rework it so it can be published in print form.

      • Les Bremner says:

        I look forward to that, especially the jokes!

      • Connor McEwen says:

        Unionist Myths . Now did you know there was a part of a Scottish currency called the Unicorn, that would be fitting for a new currency. Look it up.
        Or the Hardhead, for the Naws .
        Or the Noble which like the House of Lords was costing more than it’s worth

      • WRH2 says:

        I remember that and it was good. You’ll have even more scope for jokes now that the Westminster lot are making such idiots of themselves.

    • rowantree633 says:

      The Wee Blue Book and for that matter, the Wee Black Book is all we will ever need…updated of course. I felt that the former came out a little too late to be of any real value.

      Still got my copy and still refer to it from time to time…

    • rowantree633 says:

      just thinking about all those leaflets on the street stall and in the Yes tent at the Nairn games – one breath of wind and they were gone! This post has just reminded me how bad it was at times keeping the diverse pile of paper together.

  10. John Edgar says:

    We also have to consider defence issues clearly, aspects of armed forces and how we see our role and purpose.
    You will get the usual blimps blaring about Putin et al and how we are all Safer Together etc.
    We must focus on our friends in Europe and learn from Slovakia about Velvet Divorces.
    But above all, we must, as you sais, work with all parties, especially Rise, to pull the Labour vote, or what is left of it.

  11. Janet says:

    Yes Tent has to get bigger!

    Go grab business! Indy in the EU? Gotta be good for business and jobs!

    Be positive.

  12. Willie John says:

    I understand Isle of Man has it’s own currency, which is only legal in the IoM and is interchangeable with the £. So how about an NGO bank to create some dosh for the public to purchase in the same way which could then be spent in participating businesses. Won’t work? Non starter? Well so were credit cards back in the day and now almost all businesses will accept them.

    I don’t have the kind of background, or expertise, to attempt anything like this. David Fishwick knew minibus’s, but opened a bank. And who would expect Jim McColl to become a shipbuilder? So there are those out there who could do something like this – where are they?

    I’m a pensioner, but I’ve a few bob I’ll change for Merks, Bawbees or whatever they get called.

    • Scripts and similar currencies are a real thing and have been over the last few centuries, in the US and in Europe during the ‘Great’ Depression especially. They crop up now and again as local token currencies in towns and areas to help stimulate local businesses. Money needs to move to do it’s job. In 30’s Europe there was an area that avoided inflation by making the currency worthless from week to week, you had to spend it the week you had it, so it didn’t have time to inflate. There are lots of experiments to look at for lessons on how to, even bitcoin has things to teach us.

      It would be fitting for Scotland to produce the first 21st Century currency, given it’s history of financial innovation.

  13. Big Jock says:

    Spot on with the currency issue. Whatever currency we decide on it has to be independent of London control or authorisation.

    We also need to sell independence as a way to provide democracy and legitimacy to Scotland. Independene is not, and has never been about money. The economic argument is shallow and fickle. It’s about democracy, identity,culture,aspiration,belief and collective self worth. No country ever voted for independence to add a few Euros to their savings account. They did it from their heart and soul because it is the right thing to do.

    The money men and money grabbers come and go like snowflakes in the wind. The heart of a nation is the people who care about each other and care about what we leave behind.

    Our legacy will be the nation we left behind, not a few quid in the bank.

  14. Paul says:

    Spot on, as per usual! Let’s make the march and rally on the 30th the beginning of the push for #finalindy. We’ll be there too 🙂

  15. Jane Phillips says:

    Excellent article as always, Paul. Just before reading this, I read that the Common Weal has already started talks with the New Economics Foundation post-Brexit and have a policy paper ready to publish on Scottish currency. Hopefully this is a sign things are really moving already. Also, I have felt for a long time – and was going to raise it with the Summer Initiative, which has been rather overtaken by events – that we needed some kind of regular publication to hand out, promoting the benefits of an Indy Scotland. Your idea about a weekly digest from the national is a good one.

    • Clive Scott says:

      Doubtful of The National, with its regular sniping at SNP, being a useful No voter conversion aid. I rarely buy it now having been an enthusiastic buyer for the first few months. Also, its general tone is ever so worthy and I cannot see it ever grabbing the attention of those for whom politics is very far down their list of priorities.

  16. arthur thomson says:

    Right on the button Paul.

    Indyref2, when it comes, will be the real deal. I have always taken the view that a second battle would be needed, under a new leader and learning lessons from the first.

    We are on the cusp of winning back our independence and ensuring that, in future, the life chances of a child born in Scotland will be the equal to any child across the world, That is what is at stake No more Scottish children born into a state of subservience.

    There has never been a more just cause and in 300 years there has never been a better opportunity to realise it.

  17. […] Wee Ginger Dug We can do this […]

  18. Macart says:

    Yep! Pretty much in full agreement Paul.

    A huge miscalculation last time out IMO was our reliance on the opposition countering a reasonable proposition with a reasonable response. No, they went whole hog for fear, uncertainty and doubt. They had no reasoned case for maintaining a political union. They certainly couldn’t defend the record, actions and conduct of successive governments, therefore deconstructing the case for independence by any means up to and including outright misinformation, smear, demonisation and intimidation became the preferred route.

    They still have no positive case and they will still fall back on the same tactics they used previously. How and ever, this time they’re going to be a little short on credibility and ammunition. They’re also going to find, I suspect, that some of those they counted on in both the international set and the business world may not be so onside this time round.

    So no, for take two, I’m not feeling particularly reasonable or concilliatory myself. A central bank and a pound Scots would suit me just fine as a starter for ten. Telling their government and lobbyists to butt out of our conversation would be another on my to do list. No more A4 reports or bullshit releases by an agenda driven SASC, Treasury wonks, right wing think tanks or Whitehall CS. Staying OUT of Scotland’s conversation, means exactly that.

    This time round we take the fight to the opposition campaign on our terms. We make it clear they shattered or fudged every pledge they made throughout indyref 1 and that has consequences.

    We’re also beyond debating with self righteous, metrocentric media commentators or died in the wool unionists at this point. It is an exercise in pointlessness and a waste of time and resources. We’ve got better things to do. Namely clean up the shitty mess they dumped on us from a great height and that mess is going to take a truck load of industrial bleach to clean up.

    As for HMG? They had their victory and they were given the chance to come good. That’s all they had to do. THEY chose not to.

    Instead their politicians chose to punish throughout the Smith talks and Scotland Bill debates. They chose to use our government and electorate as whipping boys throughout a general election, bogey men to manipulate the wider UK electorate. Their broad shoulders turned out to be cheap shoulder pads which crumpled under the ongoing weight of austerity ideology, costing thousands of jobs across all sectors. They chose to implement an EU referendum which has resulted in the current constitutional and economic crisis. A result which the Scottish electorate were assured could never happen… Scotland taken out of the EU against its will. A cornerstone of BTs campaign ‘the only way to ensure Scotland’s place in the EU… vote NO’.

    In all instances, they chose poorly.

    You can’t mislead an electorate on such a massive scale and expect there to be no consequences. So its about that time.

    • Gail Hughes says:

      That is where I have thought the Yes campaign made a mistake. They underestimated the hostility of the UK establishment and went into the debate thinking at about putting the facts to the voters and then implementing the result in everyone’s best interests. Instead the proposals for Independence were treated as almost a declaration of war.

      • Macart says:

        I don’t see it so much a mistake, more accurately a miscalculation. The tone and approach was done for all the best possible reasons as far as I can see. The opposition, knowing the weakness of their own position used the YES campaign and Scottish Governments more conciliatory and far less aggressive stance against us. The YES campaign were continuously on the back foot defending every facet of independence itself. HMG fed the BT campaign ammunition, the unionist parties were allowed unimpeded air and column space and the media saw to it that the airwaves and news stands were flooded with a continuous stream of unchallenged misinformation and negativity.

        There was no thought to challenge aggressively or attack the opposition campaign on our part. The tone was designed to encourage friendship, openness, inclusion and a positive vision about Scotland’s future. As I say a worthy and much to be commended attempt IMO. Even with the impressive array of resources ranged against us we still managed to take twenty points of a thirty point lead out of them.

        With equal press coverage and a more aggressive presentation? I seriously doubt we’d be anything other than concluding independence negotiations and three months into our shiny new statehood today.

        On any second attempt though? We ask the questions and they defend their actions. We give Westminster and the media no wiggle room. We challenge everything they say and do. A common shout from our ranks should be – ‘but you said…!’ We remind them of every promise, every pledge they made and ask them why they should be believed… ever.

        • Sandy says:

          Agree exactly with what you say there,Macart. Every time they open their mouths they should be shown up as the liars they are, no mercy.

          Another interesting aspect of project fear 3 is who, exactly, do they have to lead it that has any credibility?

          • Macart says:

            I understand Cameron is thinking of moving to a wee highland but n’ ben for his retirement. 😉

            Seriously though? I genuinely can’t think of a soul that would carry enough weight. Even Darling needed the massed ranks of the media and full access to HMG resources to lose twenty points.

      • benmadigan says:

        the brits consider demands for independence from the UK as insurgency – and deal with it as such.

  19. On the currency… an independent State can use any currency it damn well pleases, and EU membership doesn’t take that away. Anyway, we already have our own currency, in a manner of speaking: we can keep the (Scottish) pound, we can keep it on par with the English one (if we want to), we can let it float on the international markets any time we like, we can have it shadow the euro.

    There are many things Scotland can do, but the choice will not be ours until after independence. He have a competent government. We do not need to listen to the Usual Suspects screaming and doing and squawking and quacking about plans for the currency.

    • Alastair Gunn says:

      At the moment you can regard Scotland, in currency terms, of living in the halfway house between Stirlingisation and a Currency Board. So I’d start from there and move as rapidly as possible to a full Currency Board – i.e. a Scottish Pound where all the denominations of notes & coins exist, but are fully backed by Bank of England currency thus maintaining a 1:1 peg. (Since most of the currency isn’t going to getting exchanged back to Sterling, some of those reserves can in fact be invested in things like short-dated Treasury notes thus meaning the UK government be paying interest to Holyrood!)

      Once you have a full currency board it’s then a much simpler thing IMHO to decide to let the currency float rather than maintaining the 1:1 peg. Since one of the expectations, not to say *reasons*, for independence is for Scotland to go it’s own way on various issues ultimately I would expect the Scottish & rUK economies to diverge sufficiently that the peg would no longer be considered desirable anyway.

      This is the path that the Irish Free State / Republic of Ireland went down, it seems to have worked out okay for them.

      • Edward Freeman says:

        My thoughts pretty much exactly, Mr. Gunn. A 1:1 peg is the obvious point to start, and the democratically elected, properly representative government that we will have will naturally be able to change that if or when the situation arises. I would just stress that we don’t actually need Westminster’s cooperation to set up our own currency arrangements, though of course it would be nice to have it. At the moment I’m past seeing any sort of sense emerge from that place, though, so I’m not counting on it.

      • emmylgant says:

        Pegging a Scottish currency to the pound sterling assumes that £ will stay stable and not go into free fall as the UK faces its demise. It assumes a strength and resilience that the economy of the UK doesn’t have.
        Is it wise ?

  20. Robert Graham says:

    yep the English signed the I.O.U.s they can deal with the problem if they start as they will ,pissn us about , a sustained protest outside the BBC that will be covered this time by European media outlets because lets face it the bbc wont as we saw with their estimated crowd figures of previous demos they wont do us any favours . the SNP need to cause as much discomfort to interviewers on live links go for the bbc mouth peace make it personal they are not our friends so why be nice to them .

    • punklin says:

      Please, Robert Graham – and for everyone in future indyref campaign – stop saying “English” to refer to UK govt/opposition forces. I’m English (by origin) and couldn’t be more ardent and active in campaigning for indy. It’s unionists we are against, never English

  21. FM says:

    Paul, many thanks.

  22. Gavin.C.Barrie says:

    Good read Paul, the English Establishment will do what they always do, lie and seek to divide. “On my word, as an Englishman” is a sardonic Middle Eastern response.

    I despaired during Indyref1 when people would lamely accept DevoMax, with defence and foreign policy remaining at Westminster. Defence – Trident? Foreign policy – Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria?

    At Westminster we have 56 pro-Indy MPs, and just three pro-union; we have a pro-Indy majority at Holyrood; and we have voted +60% to remain in Europe. That looks like a full house for independence to me.

    And we now have an ultra BritNat Prime Minister bestowed upon us. Elected? Naw.

    I might just have sufficient academic knowhow remembered, to consider/know that an independent Scotland will prosper economically. And sufficient life experience to know that the Establishment will only ever act in their own selfish,vested interest, and no political tinkering, such as a federal UK state will resolve their attitude.

    A production line facility of A3 posters responding to the distortions and lies of MSM and the BBC that we can display on street stalls etc. might be ideal. Few No voters will stop to talk was my experience, stall displayed A3 photo rebuttals of MSM/BBC lies may help.

  23. Shamurr says:

    I’d start on a clean slate, so I wouldn’t give them any of the debt THEY racked up either. We’ll already get poorer rates etc being a new Indy country. Also, I purchased some Wings wee black books for the very purpose of getting some facts out there. Going to start leaving them in various places.

  24. Ian Shaw says:

    Dont know if anyone else has seen this. Indy2 war has started already from a strange source. Check out http:www.euronewsweekly.com/3.0.15/leapy-lee/139798-be-careful-scotland

  25. ians1320 says:

    Paul, Dont know if anyone has brought this to your attention. It would appear the war has begun and from an unusual source. Does anyone remember Leapy Lee? Check out http://www.euronewsweekly.com/3.0.15/leapy-lee/139798-be-careful-scotland Ians

    Sent from Samsung tablet

  26. Bill Purves says:

    An independant Scottish government will set all taxation, collect all taxation and spend all taxation as it sees fit.
    Answer to all indiref 2 questions.

  27. Jan Cowan says:

    All sounds great to me. We’re ready to start. Thanks Paul and Ginger!

  28. Greg says:

    Rather than a co-ordinated Yes movement I think I prefer all the differing parties and organisations loosely affiliated to the Yes banner. SNP/Greens/RISE is always what gets mentioned as a way of showing the diversity, but then there are more, presuming the ones who stopped will start up again:-

    LibDems for Yes
    Scottish Conservatives for Yes
    Labour for Independence
    Business for Scotland
    National Collective
    Muslims for Yes
    Women for Independence
    Poles for Yes
    Lawyers for Yes
    Christians for Yes
    and loads more…

    It’s not even a cert that all SNP voters are Yes, many voted No but vote SNP as the most efficient at running Holyrood. In reverse some Labour voters voted Yes, but come elections again go back to Labour.

    I don’t think enough people saw the true diversity of the Yes movement, and as we further realise we want Scotland to be diverse and outward looking since the EU referendum, the diversity of all groups seeking independence should be highlighted.

    I like Scotland’s Story by the Proclaimers – suggest that be one for the soundtrack. Also, I like the idea of lots of different coloured flags rather than multiple saltires to reflect that diversity – maybe small saltire in the corner.

    But mostly hard work, and face to face chat, understand why they voted No last time round.

  29. Excellent article and comments; can I suggest on the currency question that you all have a look (if you have not already) at the Independence Live event yesterday with Iain Lawson, the Estonian honorary consul in Scotland who was a target of the Daily Record over the weekend. Here is the link: http://livestream.com/IndependenceLive/IainLawson?origin=stream_live&mixpanel_id=1424dccc6d46c-03bbf05714b5f78-7e6a1335-13c680-1424dccc6d691&acc_id=11628805&medium=email
    I live in Flanders and although except for visits to Scotland I can’t do much practically; I do have some past experience with dealing with the UK media. Paul, I will send you a direct e-mail, just to let you know my thinking and past dealings with the media; to see if I can be of some help.

  30. Iain says:

    On your point about speaking directly to people rather than focusing on Twitter etc, one of the organisers of the hugely successful campaign for a Yes vote in Ireland’s referendum on equal marriage talked about a tactic they adopted during a visit to Scotland during Indyref 1.

    They were in Inverness and saw a woman with a placard saying “I’m voting Yes. Ask me why.” After seeing a number of people talking to the woman, they decided to try the same in Ireland, and speak to family, friends, workmates and neighbours. By personalizing the question, they felt they were helping undecided voters to think for themselves.

    It worked spectacularly well.

  31. ScotsCanuck says:

    Paul …. in a word ….. AYE

  32. I’m keeping my powder dry on this one, Chaps and Chapesses.
    Gordon Brown’s lie and fearmongering deliberately designed to frighten frail pensioners who earned their pension within the UK must be publicly debunked, live on TV.
    If you retire to Spain, Canada, France, or Australia, then the rUK will continue to have an obligation to pay your UK State Pension in full, even in Independent Scotland.
    WE need to confront that pernicious little Tory Wummin Davidson on her oft repeated and never challenged by Glenn Campbell and his ilk vindictive threat, that England would somehow ‘punish’ (and presumably she would be in the vanguard of the English Avengers, good ‘patriotic Scot that she isn’t) by ceasing to trade with us, ‘turn our back on our biggest market’, I believe is her latest utter guff, so they won’t buy our beef, fish, timber (we supply 70% of England’s needs), oil, gas, IT products, whisky, spuds, and so on. In the midst of exiting the EU, England (forget all this ‘rUK crap’, it is, according to The Queen’s Eleven sectarian Murdo Fraser, England and its ‘Territories’.) will stop buying our Harris Tweed, Edinburgh Rock, and Still Game out of spite? The woman’s an idiot.
    What about them frigates then and the £200 million refurb of BAE’s Scotstoun Yard?
    Or the 1000’s of HMRC staff sacked Up Here and their jobs moved to Boris Johnson’s (remember him?) leafy ‘Burb of Croydon?
    Or Trident?
    Or the £30 billion cuts to Welfare and Health and vital Public services? Or the privatisation of the Health Service?
    and so much more.
    No detailed White Paper the next time. Go for the jugular as Lord Darling troops north and prattles on about Better Together. Will Gordon clunk his way into Clydebank Town Hall this time?Let me know , please. I want to be there in my home town to greet him.
    The best form of defence is attack. We must destroy every myth, threat , and lie propagated by
    a MSM who will go down with the Unionist ship, subsumed into the US as the 51st State regardless.
    I doubt that there will be 13 Scottish Referendum Papers from a compliant Uncle Tom
    like Iain Davidson and a dozen Unionists this time.
    No EU with which to threaten us. They can keep their precious free falling fucking pound.
    They can get their £200 billion Trident penis extension out of our country.
    No more Mr Nice Guy.
    We must refute the lies, publicly, on live broadcasts, and stop playing catch up to the tidal wave of lies threats and naked aggressive treachery from the MacDougalls, Davidsons, Browns, Darlings, and Dugdales of this nasty little Unionist world,who will pop up like weeds in the garden path, down which they will yet again try to lead us.
    This time it is war.

    • Les Bremner says:

      Jack, you are spot on, it is war. No country has ever left the vampire grip of Westminster without war. May-Mau, Indian Mutiny, Burmese Uprising, American War of Independence, etc., etc. spring to mind. This time for us it must be war, only this time it will be bloodless and legal.

      • Les Bremner says:

        That doesn’t look right now that I see it. That last word, ‘legal’ doesn’t mean that the others were illegal. What I meant was that we will do it using the Law, and do it with oratory, persuasion, logic and dignity — but forcefully.

        • It is a bloodless war, nevertheless, Les.
          It is not hyperbole to assert that the very existence of the Nation of Scotland is at stake here.
          We have Mundell ‘being open to’ and the ubiquitous but defeated at the polls Ruth Davidson popping up like a chubby Murphy all over the place telling us that we cannae have another Referendum.
          Democracy and the wishes of the citizens of Scotland take second place to Scots born Unionists who seem perfectly at ease with 85% of their UK front loaded with English citizens votes over ruling our democratic choices.
          It is war, there is no other word for it.
          If the Usual Suspects in the Media persist of lying on behalf of their English and US Masters, who own our media lock stock and barrel, including the ‘National’ sop, then, No More Mr Nice Guy, name and shame them.
          Brown lied. Darling the Socialist took his reward in the form of a job with the Money Men and ermine, Margaret Curran and the ‘Fucking Useless’ Forty have retired on nice index linked ex MP and Ministerial Pensions, after serving neo Liberal Blair and Brown so well and crippling Scotland, and well, David Bowie’s deid noo.
          I cannot countenance remaining in the UK, dragged out of Europe, and stand by as a Tory Government for whom we did not vote for another 15 or 20 years strips Scotland of its culture values, and social democrcay, if I live that long.
          It is simply a fight to the death, in many cases, quite literally.
          If MacDougall, and Mc Tiernan and Murphy and Tom Loser |Harrs FFS re-emerge from the Unionist murky mire and recommence the Project Fear guff, we must viciously attack every lie, threat, and bully boy tactic.
          This is war.

    • Sandy W says:

      I think you’re looking for ‘lawful’, Les?

      The threats that England will stop trading with us can be even more easily debunked. If an independent Scotland is part of the EU, rUK will have to trade with us the same as the rest of the 27 EU states. Discrimination against Scotland will not be possible for them or they will be shut out of the rest of the European market that they desperately want a free trade agreement with.

  33. Richard Coates says:

    As a former no voter ( no, please don’t throw garbage at me!) won over to the cause of independence I don’t know how useful it will be for me to share my thoughts and feelings from that time. The dug is probably right to say that the battle cannot be won on social media ( unless perhaps communicating with people you already know). If there is anything that hardened my resolve to vote that way it was abusive trolling on the no sites ( I never bothered to read the yes sites back then). Of course, supplemented by misinformation from Auntie and other neoliberal press. If there was anything that made me waver it was yes voting friends who gently explained a positive vision of independence. I was asked “is there anything that would make you change your mind?” I said, well maybe if Britain voted to leave the EU but that won’t happen. It did. It is not just that I have also seen Westminster for the sham it is in this last month and that much of England is quite rightly rebelling but in a xenophobic backward-looking nationalism and if it comes to it I would rather be part of a welcoming, forward-looking nation.
    In the end you will catch more flies with honey than with vinegar – if you will excuse the expression.

  34. Puzzled Puss says:

    Many thanks for another inspiring article.

    Next time, the blueprint for independence should assume that we’ll get absolutely no co-operation from Westminster on any issue. We should rely on our own resources and our own good sense!

  35. John Edgar says:

    Agggh! Just listened to the BBC Court correspondent re the Queen and Theresa May. It gets worse by the minute.
    Creating a sense of drama where none exists.
    Everything spun out to make it sound important.
    A correspondent earlier said that she May goes on through the “back” door instead of the “black” door at 10 Downing Street!!
    How true!
    No mandate on Scotland.

  36. raineach says:

    YesMarchmont has held 2 stalls at Middle Meadow Walk Edinburgh and will be there this Saturday 11am

  37. jcd says:

    Macart July 12, 3.59

    “This time round we take the fight to the opposition campaign on our terms. We make it clear they shattered or fudged every pledge they made throughout indyref 1 and that has consequences.”

    Great post and bang on of course but in the absence of virtually ANY ability to use real mass communication how is that going to be done? Leafleting, canvassing, setting up stalls etc is not only essential it’s great but MASS communication it’s not. The SNP seem either afraid or unwilling to take on the BBC and its blatant anti-Scottish bias. Perhaps they’re afraid of being “branded” as anti free speech or some such bollocks, doesn’t appear to bother Trump too much he attacks the msm in the US quite frequently and heavily and it’s not doing him much harm. (although his poll ratings have dropped recently but that’s nothing to do with his attacks on the msm)

    btw I’m not a Trump supporter just pointing out that open criticism of the mainstream media needn’t necessarily be damaging to a cause. Anyone with half a brain nowadays knows that all msm is biased in favour of ruling elites and against the interests of ordinary people.

    At risk of sounding like a crank with a peculiar obsession about billboards, I’ve tried to get people talking about the idea of using them to promote positive statements about Indy, or to get people to think about awkward questions that unionists don’t like to be asked, like if Scotland is an economic basket case why is Westminster so desperate to keep it, to use only one example.

    If we’re going to win indyref2 we need to stop just talking about how to reach out to the general public beyond online and start actually doing it.

    • Macart says:

      The meeja, our main pain in the erse problem.

      The BBC is protected by the state and state legislature (Westminster) which retains competence over all matters broadcasting. In reality you’re not taking on the BBC, but the state itself and there we have the problem. The whole freedom of speech malarky aside, as a party to the treaty of union and bound by both democratic mandate and legal legislation, its technically Westminster who should reproach the BBC for any perceived breech of rules.

      The SG if you’ll recall did indeed put together a dossier, held an inquiry presented their findings to the relevant bodies and those bodies did precisely… SFA.

      Even if they could get past that little road bump and haul their ass anywhere near a court, the BEEB have bottomless pockets, our government doesn’t. And that leads us neatly onto…

      …Corporate media (dead tree). The recourse is basically the civil courts for defamatory or misleading commentary and no one, not individual, not party, not even a government has deep enough pockets to take them on. Your government would be tied up for years burning through tax payers cash, a party could empty its coffers and as an individual the massed ranks of the media would crush you like a bug financially. There are exceptions to every rule of course, but that’s why they’re called exceptions.

      Even HMG walks softly round the corp. media and for good reason.

      IMO there is only one way to beat them and it’s the long haul route. We turn our back en masse, walk away from them, starve them of attention and/or funds. Set up our own media pour your cash and support into that (as we are doing already). Its not the ideal. Its not easy and its not right that we’re having to do this, but until we’re a nation state with full control of media legislation, broadcast and otherwise, then we are where we are.

      Now our new media has made a helluva start in the past few years and there’s a good base to build on, but yes I fully agree with you, get creative and loud on the commercial marketing and publishing side. Billboards, more mass produced documents like WBB 1&2, published, printed and distributed way earlier in the campaign period, SG versions of same. Online advertising, telly adverts as well as TV specials (we’ve got the talent). The SG/Yes campaign could fund documentaries and special programmes. As part of any campaign slots could be booked in advance with commercial channels.

      NO MORE TV DEBATES. Organize surgeries with big name pulls in towns and cities in major venues. Make events out of appearances, talks, music, stalls. Literally a travelling roadshow.

      It’ll be hard, no question, but not as hard as closing that thirty point gap from last time out. 😉

  38. Susan Stewart says:

    Great article. By the comments, it’s fair fired people up. 🙂 Can I suggest we start fundraising NOW. Have the Celidh now and bank the profits, get the indigo sites up and running now for different aspects we’ll need, like a printing fund, postage fund, billboard fund etc. LiveIndy (or is it Indylive) needs to set up another donation site, because they are going to be busy Betty’s. We know it’s coming quicker than we’d imagined, so let’s start working now.

  39. Craig Sheridan says:

    Excellent as ever. Think you meant “equally possibilities of [the Union] independence.”

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