Self-determination starts with the determination to do things for yourself

Self-determination starts with the self being determined. It begins with the personal decision of an individual to take action to determine the shape of their future, and not to sit passively while decisions are made on their behalf. There’s a lot of talk about when Scotland might have a second independence referendum, or rather, about when the Scottish Government might decide when to call one, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of us should sit back and wait for Holyrood to decide for us. We need to start campaigning right now, because this is our referendum, our future, and it will be decided by our own determination to do it ourselves.

I can understand why the Scottish Government doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to press the indyref2 button. It’s important that those who still cling on to the vain hope that Scotland can remain part of both the EU and the UK have time to process their grief. If we want to get as many people as possible on board with the idea of independence, and it’s important that we do, then the Scottish Government needs to be seen to explore all other options. There are still plenty of people out there who still hope that some other means can be found of preserving Scotland’s EU membership short of independence. Then when the Scottish Government does finally say that it is moving a bill in Holyrood to bring about another independence referendum it can honestly say that everything possible was done to seek a solution that would allow Scotland to remain part of both Unions but it failed due to the intransigence of Westminster.

Those of us with clearer heads know that the chances of the Tories consenting to an arrangement allowing Scotland to remain part of both the EU and the UK are as remote as us sitting down at some point in the future and saying, “You know, remember that speech by Theresa May when she became PM and promised to work on behalf of the poor and excluded, she really came through didn’t she.” The Tories are making vague noises about including Scotland in the Brexit process, but that’s really just them saying that they expect Scotland to trot along meekly to the abattoir of our European hopes.

So while the Scottish Government might have its reasons for not firing the starting pistol on a second independence referendum, there’s no reason why the rest of us have to wait for them. We need to start getting ourselves organised and campaigning now. After all, if we sit back and wait for the Scottish Government to start an official referendum campaign then we can’t claim that it’s a Scottish national independence referendum, it would be a Scottish National Party independence referendum. The indyref2 campaign needs to belong to all of us, everyone in Scotland, irrespective of party affiliation or none. The way to ensure that becomes a reality is for those of us who desire independence to start campaigning for it right now. Then we are the ones who shape the campaign. It becomes a campaign that starts and is led from the grassroots. That’s a real national movement.

This doesn’t undermine what the Scottish Government is trying to achieve. In fact it’s the opposite, it bolsters it and strengthens their hand and increases their freedom of movement. It would put the lie to the Unionist claim that there’s no appetite for a second independence referendum when there’s an active and vital independence referendum campaign out and about in the streets of Scotland. It means that when the referendum finally becomes a reality, the campaign is already up and running, and that will make it far harder for the Unionist parties to dismiss it as an SNP creation as they tried to do the last time.

We gained a wealth of experience and skills during the last independence referendum campaign. We can build on that, so when indyref2 comes along, we’re ready for it. Scottish independence will not be won by any single political party or organisation. It will be won by the sheer bloody minded determination of the people of Scotland who are fed up of being led like cattle. We can lead ourselves. We can direct ourselves. We don’t need anyone’s permission. All we need is belief in ourselves.

If there’s already a local Yes group, join it. You can find out if there’s a local group through the National Yes Registry. Contact Yes2Scotland for details on how to get posters, leaflets, stickers and other materials. Their facebook page is here. Indyposterboy has a great range of posters available free for downloading and printing. You can get them here

If you want a Scotland with radical policies that’s going to tackle the social injustice and inequalities which have blighted our country under Westminster rule, join your local Common Weal group. If there isn’t already a group near you, start one. You can find out more here Or you can start a Yes2 group based around a particular interest, occupation, or hobby.

Starting a local group isn’t as hard as you might think. All it takes it energy and enthusiasm. Or you can get involved with your local SNP, or Green, or RISE branch if you prefer a party political approach.

We won’t win Scottish independence just by sitting at computers or texting on mobiles. We need to get out there into the streets, into our communities, spreading the message to our families, friends, and colleagues. Let’s do this. If we wait for permission, we’ve already failed to achieve independence. Scottish independence is all about the people of Scotland taking control of their own destiny and shaping their own future with their own efforts. We can start doing that right now. Independence begins in the mind, act as though you are already independent and you soon will be, and self-determination starts with the determination to do things for yourself.

Audio link to this article, courtesy of @lumi_1984

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34 comments on “Self-determination starts with the determination to do things for yourself

  1. Steve Bowers says:

    Excellent stuff Paul, I started on Friday 24th June, every customers house I’m in I have “the conversation”

    Some will never change, too set in their ways and there’s not a lot we can do about that but I’m finding more and more willing to listen, especially former no voters who’ve had so much “taken away” ( I’m up in Aberdeenshire and thousands of jobs have gone, carbon capture was binned etc etc) people are now realising those “broad shoulders” do not and never did exist.
    They’re angry about it.

  2. Karen says:

    It’s comin’ yet for a’ that… I think it may be time to rouse the Indy choir again… Can’t do this thing without some fabby singing!

  3. VikkingsDottir says:

    Please. Somebody tell me why we should want to remain in the EU. I need to know. Give me a reason and convince me. I voted Leave, as I voted Out in 1975. The last thing Scotland needs is to be back in that dysfunctional organisation, and if we ever find ourselves in that position, whoever takes us in will have to organise the bail out first. It’s too late for independence. As usual, the Scots are at the coo’s tail.
    If you are going to have a grass roots campaign for independence, you must inform the people first, what they will be getting in to. It will be years of austerity, and being beholden to Brussels. Don’t drag me back in, please.

    • weegingerdug says:

      If you want out of the EU that’s fine, but you need to campaign for a Scottish exit and not piggy back on a Tory one that doesn’t enjoy the support of a majority. Theresa May’s govt is not going to negotiate an exit from the EU that benefits Scotland in any shape or form. Any austerity an independent Scotland will face will be as nothing compared to the scorched earth regime that awaits us as a part of a right wing UK outside the EU without employment rights. Scotland doesn’t need a bail out, it’s the UK that is teetering on the verge of a financial precipice.

      It’s not too late for independence, far from it. Let’s get independence first, and then if you want Scotland out of the EU you can campaign for a Scottish exit negotiated by a Scottish govt which is answerable to the people of Scotland.

      You can’t equate an independent Scotland within the EU to Scotland within the UK, you’re not comparing like with like. Whatever your feelings about the EU, an indy Scotland would have considerably greater freedom of choice than we do within the UK. It’s like comparing the six foot square cage of the UK with the fenceless nature reserve the size of a county of the EU and saying “but they’re both means of confining animals”.

    • Assaf Hershko says:

      Here you go. Start by reading this:

    • Dan Huil says:

      “It’s too late for independence. As usual, the Scots are at the coo’s tail.”

      As usual the Scottish Cringe rears its cowardly wee heid. You vote to stay in the shitty, backward, so-called united kingdom if you want, the rest of us will do what’s best for Scotland and its people.

    • Hi VikkingsDottir,

      Every country belonging to the EU reaps great benefits both social and economic.
      Judge for yourself.

      The UK Unionists parties have never fully engaged in the EU. EU ministers have been derelict in their duty, especially regarding Scotland’s interests. In addition, the UK msm have portrayed the EU, its Institutions and Members as foreign buffoons, who are trying to cheat us.

      This fictional, bullying brit-boy reporting from Brussels, was first seen in articles by Boris Johnson for the Telegraph. He saw this as a great wheeze, with the added bonus, of avoiding doing any serious work. Because of its popularity, particularly in England, his disparaging, reporting style of the EU, was adopted by the tabloids.

      An image of a negative EU has been force fed, for decades, to the UK, from a right wing media who want more power, and the UK’s EU membership, kept them at bay. Not anymore.

      Historically, the way Scotland has been governed and represented, in both Holyrood and Westminster, the EU and Councils, by the Unionist parties, has been to the detriment of Scotland. Instead of serving the people of Scotland, they served their masters in Westminster. Blindly, they take orders from London, whilst ignoring the electorate and their needs.

      By comparison, the SNP are a modern, professional team who are delivering for Scotland. Unlike Slab, Cons and the LidDem ,the SNP aren’t beholden to unionist masters in Westminster, they are beholden to us.

      We have the smartest politicians in Europe, possibly the world, dedicated to making Scotland a success. We have to give them the tools to achieve that. VotIng for an independent Scotland is the only way we can deliver those tools.

      The alternative, remaining in the UK, with an even more, extreme right wing government, as Ukip replace Labour in England and Wales, who have no EU to control them. as they asset strip, privatise and dismantle the welfare state, sounds a scary place.

      Vote for Scotland, vote for Independence.

    • maybe some deprogramming regarding the UK MSM lies regarding Europe?


      It’s a great jumping off point.

      On a personal note and a key factor for me: the EU is actually completely democratic. Every single decision maker is elected – some elected directly by the people (our MEPs), others by the constituent member governments (Commissioners) – but I hope you recognize that the second tier is democratically accountable, and readily changed (through elections).

      That is in complete contract to the UK, especially for Scotland: The SNP currently have 56 of 59 of the Scottish MPs. FPTP does not return proportionate voting (the SNP is the largest party in Scotland, but not at that rate). So Scots are represented almost exclusively by the SNP (which, even if you are in favour of their policies and approach, is not democratic: and they would be the first to agree). Holyrood is much more democratic (proportional representation is apparent in the distribution of seats: even to the extend of giving the Conservatives a major voice in the Scottish Government). beyond our elected members, the House of Lords is entirely unelected, and vastly over-represents English interests and English expectations – even when the peer is promoted from the Commons.

      Based on the actual outcomes of this grand European experiment over the past 40 years, it has delivered significant benefit to all participating* members, and delivers more power to smaller countries and groups through the opportunity to organize on a pan-European basis.

      * it’s fairly obvious that the UK has always been a less than eager ‘participant’. At times it has been actively anti-European. Brexit is merely more of the same.

      • The Soupdragon says:

        Are you sure commissioners can be changed through elections? I thought* they were appointed (as a block) with each one being nominated by the relevant member state, and that they remained in place until they either resigned or came to the end of their term. They don’t change with every election in the member state. (I suppose a party could include recall of commissioners in its manifesto, though I’m not clear whether that would be allowable.)

        *I’ve just checked this, and it’s right. Sometimes they resign (and are replaced by their state without affecting the rest of the Commission, as happened here last month), for instance if they want to contest a party-political election in their state. Otherwise they serve for 5 years.

    • Dointhebiz 1 says:

      Hi VikkingsDottir

      Taking a stab at your name, I’d imagine that perhaps you’re from Orkney or Shetland? I fully understand the concerns from the fishing industry and how they’ve had a pretty rotten deal by our UK gov who regarded them from the word go as ‘expendable’, more recently than that the UK government sent one of their Etonian chums [Lord De Mauley] to the EU fishing talks to argue over further quotas, this guy had to be briefed by our own fishing minister [Richard Lochhead] then HE was told to sit at the back and keep quiet. So you see, Scotland doesn’t even have a say, even on their own industries.

      Farmers on the other hand, benefit substantially from their CAP payments, often making up to 60% awarded to them from the EU, there is NO way they’d get that from a UK government.

      Certain people like to spread the ‘myth’ that we are ruled by the EU, I say ‘myth because that’s what it is, some even go as far as quoting that we have to abide by 60-70% of EU laws, this is a fallacy. Sure! our laws are ‘influenced’ by EU legislation somewhere between 13% – 50% but these laws have to be agreed upon by that nation, they’re not just thrust upon on us, in fact I believe that out of the thousands of EU influences there have only been about half a dozen that were ever rejected by the UK.

      There is nothing to stop Scotland retaining the UK’s membership, but that doesn’t mean that we’re stuck with it forever. IF we find that it isn’t working or we’re having little influence or benefit to Scottish interests, we leave, simple as that. We have our very own referendum and put it to Scots. We could follow Norway’s example and trade through their EEA/EFTA agreement, but at least we’d be in the position to decide for ourselves.

      Hope this helps [slightly]



  4. davidbsb says:

    Our branch is already stirring. I have the flags coming next week. When I get back from holidays I have about 6 ideas for badges. My T shirt has been ordered from the SNP shop – fetching, Scotland map inside EU stars. And I am wearing my YES shirt for the first time since the day we were conned at a concert this Saturday.

    We will have to do this ourselves. Politicians cannot have the passion of patriots.

  5. mearnsgeek says:

    Some great points.

    Kick-starting a wider campaign would deter the reduction of any Yes campaign into “the SNP campaign” and ultimately into “Nicola’s campaign” which is an easier target to hit.

    Mind you, it would a bit of a pisser if the question was “Should Scotland stay in the UK”…

  6. Tony L says:

    Just to add a small opinion as to why the SG is exploring all possibilities right now. Until A50 is ACTUALLY invoked, there IS no change in circumstances. And therefore no justification to push ahead with IndyRef2 as per the manifesto commitment.

    Who knows if the Tories manage to delay this to 2017, some deal might be done and a second EU-Ref proposed, or the original one simply ignored “Due to changed circumstances with the EU”.

    But I agree this shouldn’t stop all YES groups to get themselves up and running. We are closer now than we wee in 2014. But this time we CAN’T afford a No vote.

    • Donald says:

      This in spades. SG have to wait until the process is irrevocable, an indyref2 going off at half-cock because UK wasn’t really leaving the EU would be a disaster.

      Being Scots, we must be one foot over the abyss before we make a decision in our own best interests.

    • Illy says:

      I was just about to say this myself.

    • Marconatrix says:

      Indeed the likelihood that May will simply backpeddle and endlessly delay Brexit until a stitch-up can be arranged or the matter simply dropped, means that Scotland needs to get IndyRef2 in at some point before the Brexit pot goes off the boil as it were.

  7. Walter Hamilton says:

    I hope Nicola is just using the result of the EU referendum as a way to extract as much from Westminster than any real commitment to joining a cartel of banksters known as the EU.

  8. Macart says:

    I posted this elsewhere today, but it seems reasonably on topic. It also appears that both Mr Carlaw and Ms Dugdale are a wee bit nervous of the current route of travel. According to Mr Carlaw, who has written to Ms Dugdale to propose an anti referendum coalition, there is absolutely ‘no justification’ to propose or hold a referendum. No justification… I suspect that Mr Carlaw would find ‘no justification’ acceptable regardless of how appallingly Westminster government behaved towards Scotland’s electorate.


    Just clocked the lead story in the SH and dang, but they do love to have at least one SNP bad line in there. Yeah, apparently the SNP are delaying somehow over Brexit.

    Y’know I get it, sometimes there is a danger of putting heroes on pedestals, giving them super powers they don’t actually have (sarc). It needs to be remembered that above all else the SNP are a party of GOVERNMENT and bound by the rules and remit of government. The difference between them and other political parties, as far as I can determine, is that they serve. Its not a party before people credo. Its not power for powers sake or systemic career before service that we see in Labour or the Conservatives.

    Every statement I’ve heard them issue on the subject of Scotland’s sovereignty has been to reaffirm the sovereignty of the people, that the parliament and government of Scotland exist to serve the will of the Scottish electorate, whatever that may be, or wherever it may take them.

    The frustrating lack of knowledge and process we face in many isn’t all that surprising. Look at what has been missing from basic historical education for decades, the blanket orthodox narrative media coverage. The information has always been there, but quite deliberately never taught or referred to. Look over here, not over there. That’s a helluva mountain to climb on its own.

    I don’t expect a party of government to serve independence on a plate for Scotland’s electorate. That is NOT their job. It’s not for them to grant. As a government, as our public servants, their job of delivery starts when WE tell them its what WE want. When it comes to expectations? I only expect one thing above all else from the SNP government. That they hold the gate open for the Scottish electorate and leave the decision in our hands. If they can do that, then act on our wishes that’ll be heroic service enough for me.

    Right now they have done everything required of them by remit and by law. The Scottish electorate expressed and delivered a mandate on the EU. As our government and party to the treaty of union they have served notice to the UK parliament of the Scottish electorates wish as a partner. They have set up a commission and advisory board to explore methods and routes to retain partnership of both unions. They have set about drawing up legislation for a new referendum bill in event no such route is possible and they have sought the council of relevant parties in the EU and UK governments as required by office.

    Now, near as I understand it, until such times as Article 50 is triggered the Scottish government can take no further action on any conclusions reached by their advisers. Why? Because until Article 50 is triggered we have NOT been taken out of the EU against our wishes. All the preparatory work the Scottish government can and are required to do, they have done.

    As the SNP however, they can and will initiate the new summer campaign for independence and the various non affiliated YES groups can start getting the band back together. There is a delay right enough, but its not one the Scottish Government has any control over. At this point there’s only ONE place to look for folk desperately and deliberately playing for time and its not Holyrood.

  9. benmadigan says:

    no justification for a referendum – same message is being relayed in Northern ireland

    As regards timing of triggering article 50 – conservative party chairman patrick mc laughlin said it would be triggered before the next election and he wasn’t expecting an early election. 2020? has anyone told the EU yet?

  10. Saor Alba says:

    No matter what, I have no desire to stay in the dysfunctional UK.

  11. I see the Herald’s at it already. Sir Ian Wood, gazillionaire oil tycoon, says No to another Independence Referendum and reportedly peddles the lie that as well as economic uncertainty we’d face long and protracted hurdles to try and perhaps fail to become a member of the EU in our own right.
    He would say that, wouldn’t he? You couldn’t quote a bigger member of the London/SE Establishment than this man. Yet he puts his trousers on one leg at a time like the rest of us.
    Ours not to reason why, ours but to do and die, and go gently into that dark night that is English Imperialism, as a conquered people.
    He’s filthy rich of course, and his opinion is worth more than the will of the Scottish People. His fortune is assured as long as there are Red Blue and Jaundiced Tories rewarding the rich and destroying the lives and social fabric of the rest of us.

    It must be great to always think that you know what’s best for the plebs, despite themselves.
    Keep it up, Herald.
    We’re long overdue for a Borin’ us Mone ‘too poor’ pout while she flashes her assets at us on US owned cable TV, or in a swim suit in the increasingly salacious bums and fitba’ pages of this once ‘quality’ Dead Tree Scroll.
    There’s a wee attempt at a ‘divide and conquer’ piece in the reportedly Pro Independence Sunday Herald. The grassroots SNP Members and Yes groups are champing at the bit, while the BAD SNP are dragging their heels.
    They wish.
    As Paul quite rightly points out here, we have never gone away.
    Preparatory work can begin now, and gather momentum over the coming weeks or months, until May Johnson Fox and Davis finally get round to Exiting the EU, and Self Determination is our only option to remain within the EU: as the continuer state, Sir Ian Bags ‘o’ Money Woods.
    We’re going nowhere. England and Wales are. Sir Ian is welcome to join them.

  12. brianmlucey says:

    Those EU concessions?
    Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament and ex Belgian PM said today:

    “A deal with these conditions would be unthinkable. It would allow the UK to expand its already very favourable position: keeping the best parts and ridding itself of the obligations that come with it. EU Governments would be mad to agree to such a deal and I can tell you: the European Parliament will never agree to a deal that ‘de facto’ ends the free movement of people for a decade,while giving away an extra rebate in exchange for all the advantages of the internal market.

    What would stop other countries from asking the same exceptional status? Do we really want eurosceptics elsewhere in Europe to invoke the British example of ‘having their cake and eating it’? Everyone can see that this position is irresponsible because it’s not sustainable in the long run.

    The only new relationship between Britain and the European Union can be one in which the UK has an associated status with less obligations but equally less rights. And if this is not feasible, the fall back position will be an ordinary trade agreement between Britain and the UK

  13. mealer says:


    Nicola has stated repeatedly that she won’t call a referendum until the Scottish people demand one.

    And who is going to lead the opposition?

  14. Jan Cowan says:

    Great piece, Paul! Essential to be well prepared. This time we win!

  15. brianmchugheng says:

    I still think there is a real chance of a quasi-remain situation being painted as a Brexit by Westminster. Their delay in activating article 50 is precisely to give them time to formulate such a scenario.

    They will have to disguise it well enough for England to buy it and it will be a gamble for them. If they don’t get it completely right, they could make both Scotland and England very angry populations.

    In the mean time, I think politics is going to get extremely boring, repetative and tedious until early next year.

    • Brian, unfortunately the Three Mexiteers Johnson, Davis, and Fox are in charge of the negotiations.
      They don’t give a flyin’ feck about Scotland, or Northern Ireland , for that matter.
      They are imperial Little Englanders, all with dubious political and social histories.
      We have returned 56 WM MPs who have Self Determination emblazoned on their Battle ‘Bus, a record third term for the SNP in Scotland, backed by a pro Independence Green Party, yet, our media are obsessed with the election of a Labour Party leader, who are an insignificant little protest group with one MP Up Here, and he tactically voted into the seat by genteel Tories and Lie Dems.
      Thank the Chief that NS, the Holyrood Administration, and a strong YES Collective are fighting our EU corner.
      I refuse to let some SE Oligarchy make my decisions for me any more.
      The Union is dead, and the putrid corpse is beginning to whiff in the humid July ‘heatwave’..
      As Finance Houses and global businesses close up shop in England, and English and US owned MSM continue to lie that Brexit has had no impact on their economy, the Little England mob, cheered on by the 6 million ‘we voted Brexit, why don’t you go home’ UKIPpers, will be thrown out of the EU through their sheer arrogance, and we shall have no option left but Self Determination and continuing EU membership in our own right.
      The Blue Red and Jaundiced Tories have gone all quiet Up Here. They have no authority to speak on reserved matters like this of course.

      Besides they are mostly on holiday or in Dugdale’s case, on an all expenses paid Neo Liberal indoctrination course paid for by the US State Department, from which she’ll return, a Born Again Clinton or Trump neo conservative One World Order convert. I hope she brings back a New Jersey stalk of rock for her fellow Better Together conspirators, Ruth and Wee Willie.
      Corbyn is determined to smash Tony Blair’s New Labour, and the Blue Tories have morphed into an Ultra Right bellicose Establishment Oligarchy.
      Far from boring methinks.

  16. STEVE DAVIES says:


  17. fintaann says:

    Really interesting

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