Don’t Haud Your Breath

When I see the words ‘Think Tank’, my mind being what it is, I picture Robin McAlpine, of the Common Weal, floating about in a huge cylinder of highly charged liquid with electrodes stuck to his cranium and connected to a large display screen flashing up, to the sound of a horn and clapping every few seconds, phrases like “Here’s how we reduce poverty”….” This is how to create real jobs”….”It’s time for a co-operative bank in Scotland”………all that sort of good and practical stuff.

Not quite as dynamic perhaps, but worth a mention all the same, is the head of another Think Tank ,the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), who was quoted in one of the Sunday’s this weekend as saying the Scottish Government lacked a “genuine commitment to the UK so it’s up to Unionists to present options for Scotland’s EU future if they want to protect the UK.”

Ok then, let’s hear them………. No, didn’t think so.

This suggestion does seem implausible bearing in mind that one month after getting the Disunited Kingdom into the biggest fankle it’s been in since Tony and George Dubya went hiking in the desert, the forces of unionism at the moment still haven’t the first of the first clues about where they are going and how they are going to get there, but as far as they are concerned, we’re going with them, no two ways about it.

That being the case there is a certain inevitability about what is going to happen sooner rather than later, despite the First Minister making valiant efforts to be seen to be doing all she can to protect Scotland’s place in Europe (the new UK Government will undoubtedly work hard to stymie her efforts). We will be hitting the trail again as the grassroots juggernaut of Indy 2 yawns, stretches, flexes it’s knuckles and gets its game face back on.

As part of the preparation for this, if it’s not already happening, the leadership of the now 120,000 strong party of government in Scotland (very many of whom who are strongly committed grassroots activists) needs to be reaching out to the likes of Women for Independence, the Radical Independence Convention, the aforementioned Mr McAlpine and his people in floaty tanks, Patrick Harvie’s Scottish Greens, and several other interested and enthusiastic advocates of self-determination.

One won’t succeed without the other, and we know that the tactics deployed as part of the next surge of Project Feart in response will undoubtedly be to revert to simply substituting Nicola Sturgeon for Alex Salmond in the ‘Independence is nothing but an SNP pet project’ campaign in the media. They are doing it already, they’ve never stopped doing it, so the sooner the grassroots campaign gets re-mobilised the better.

Is it time now too, in terms of organisation, to start thinking about a head of a Working Towards Yes 2 Campaign, crowdfunded, even just temporarily for a 12 month contract? Someone to pull all of the strands together and provide a bit of direction? I’m sure if the call went out to fund such a position monies could be found to employ a suitably capable, and adaptable, individual. I suppose, at this stage, the difficulty with that would be who would propose and arrange the appointment.

Anyway, we can try waiting with baited breath for the unionists to come up with options to ensure Scotland doesn’t lose its place in Europe, or we can take steps ourselves to ensure that we don’t. I know which option I have faith in.


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