Proposal for Management of Yes Movement

Over the last few months I have felt the passion and the commitment amongst the Yes supporters ramping up with every event that took place.

It was hard not to become very optimistic over the prospect of indyref2 happening imminently. Then Nicola Sturgeon delivered her speech on 31st January 2020.

I felt totally deflated. I suspect that this is also what many others in the Yes movement have been feeling.

From the comments already appearing on social media there appear to be two camps – one which will refuse to accept any comments whatsoever which they construe as being negative about Nicola Sturgeon. They are urging patience and charging everyone to work hard to convert no voters and wait until we have enough support so that we can persuade Boris Johnston to grant a S30. The other camp is feeling very let down that indyref2 was promised for 2020 and now that is looking extremely unlikely. They are also very concerned that they longer we wait, the more time the Brit establishment has to come up with dirty tricks to prevent us ever getting another referendum.

I have been a member of the SNP and an active campaigner for independence for over 50 years. So I am not about to give up on the SNP now. Nor do I want to encourage any division in the Yes ranks.

However, I do feel that Nicola has an awful lot on her shoulders. She is managing the governance of the country and doing it extremely well. She is an excellent manager. However, I think that her other role of planning the strategy to take us to independence should be shared with others from the wider Yes movement.

I don’t think that this is unreasonable to suggest for the following reasons:-

• Given that we are polling over 50% (I believe this to be conservative) we have around 2 million supporters in the wider Yes movement.

• From the numbers that take part in Yes marches, I would reckon that we have around 300,000 activists in the movement.

• While it is recognised that the SNP are the party of government in Scotland and have been the leading organisation and political party for independence over the last 60 years plus, the membership make up less than half the number of Yes activists.

• We have some extremely capable politicians, astute minds and passionate orators in the wider Yes movement. There are many natural leaders among our numbers. Scotland always has had a wealth of talent in all fields and it is no different today. We have an abundance of people perfectly capable of leading and contributing to our drive for independence.

The achievement of the SNP in getting us to this point has to be acknowledged, however, the SNP does not own the cause for Scottish independence, nor do they have any divine right to dictate to the people of Scotland. The Scottish people are and always will be sovereign.

My proposal is that all parties and groups in the Yes movement put forward delegates to form a Yes convention.

There are numerous diverse groups that make up the Yes movement. I have listed some below along with some of the more prominent and very talented people we have in this movement:-

Scottish Greens – Patrick Harvie

All Under One Banner

Scottish Independence Convention – Maggie Chapman

Common Weal – Robin McAlpine

Young Scots for Independence

Pensioners for independence

Solidarity – Tommy Sheridan, Pat Lee

SSP – Colin Fox

Wings Over Scotland

Women for Independence

Labour for Independence

Business for independence

Lesley Riddoch

Craig Murray

Peter Bell

Iain Lawson

Ian Chisholm

Martin Keatings

George Kempick

Elaine C Smith

This list is by no means exhaustive and I apologise for any omissions.

As mentioned, the convention would comprise delegates from all groups as well as SNP MSPs, MPs, MEPs, Councillors and party members.

It should also be open to members of other parties who genuinely wanted to advance the cause for independence.

The delegates would then elect from within their number a committee to act as the governing body for the entire Yes movement and a leadership group who would act as spokespersons for the movement.

This committee would not be a talking shop but would develop strategy and drive the fight for independence forward.

This committee would not have the remit to interfere in the affairs of the Scottish Government but would help to take the pressure off Nicola Sturgeon and allow her to proceed with the good governance of Scotland.

This committee would also help to create a bit of breathing space between the Yes movement and the Scottish Government which given the current situation regarding Derek Mackay, would be no bad thing.

This new organisation would be driven by the single issue of delivering independence.

I believe that this would be a truly democratic way to take the cause for independence forward. Everyone in the movement would feel engaged and included and would have their voices heard.

There would be unity in the movement and the ensuing passion and determination would strike fear into the hearts of our opponents.

We would look to engage our young people, our elderly people and generally people of all ages.We would ramp up the passion and take to the streets in a campaign of non-violent direct action, including strikes, boycotts and other acts of civil disobedience. This is what many prominent Yessers have been advocating.

The Scottish people are “champing at the bit”. They are waiting to be led – led all the way to independence. The support is there, just waiting to be harnessed and fired up. Anyone who says differently is being deliberately misleading.

We went from 28% to 45% in 2014 (that is if you refuse to accept the possibility that postal votes were rigged, in which case it would have been close to 50%).

We are now starting from a (conservative) poll of 52% before the campaign even begins.

Doing nothing and sitting back and allowing the SNP to dictate the pace will end badly. Rest assured, Boris Johnston will not be sitting back and waiting to see what the SNP’s next move will be. He and Cummings will as we speak will be plotting to shut down all significant powers of the Scottish Parliament and integrate Scotland as a region of their vision of the new British Empire.

Let’s do this. Let’s get organised and drive this movement forward.

I would genuinely welcome as many views as possible on this proposal – even if you think that this idea is a non-starter.

Scottish Independence

The way forward has become much clearer.We now know that it has come down to a direct contest between the SNP and the Tories; independence versus the union; Scottish versus British.

The toxic tories have gathered up the unionist faction from the bones of the dying Labour Party, Scottish branch. They have also harnessed the orange order, Scottish Defence League, UKIP and all other assorted extreme right wing bandits and assorted hornswogglers. This now gives us a very clear indication of our enemy. The enemies of the people of Scotland. They have amassed about 25% of the vote at the council elections and that is probably a reasonable indication of their peak expectation.

We have now got to get them very clearly in our sights.

We have to make the General Election very firmly about independence because our enemy will certainly try to demonstrate a case for staying in the union.

The SNP must put independence front and centre.

The gloves must come off. We have got to fight hard because our enemy will fight hard and employ every dirty trick in the book.

We are fighting for the future of our country and for the welfare of the Scottish people. We owe it to our children and to their children.

Failure is not an option as the consequences will be dire.