Much kudos and credit must go to the Scottish Government. the Scottish National Party, for their pragmatism, following a short period of stocktaking and reflection after the recent General Election, in resetting the pace of the forward motion of the path towards independence.
I’ve read several articles recently critical of others who have written something not dissimilar to the sentiments expressed in that first paragraph, articles suggesting the wider movement for an independent Scotland taking a bigger part in our journey to self government implies criticism, sidestepping, and an undermining of the SNP.
I would argue that this is not the case. Since devolution the SNP have done an incredible job on a political level in raising the profile of self determination, and championing a social democratic independent nation as increasingly the prime and most credible option for a Scotland moving forward in the 21st century.
I have no doubt the SNP will continue to do this under the stewardship of their highly capable leader.
However, they cannot win independence alone, and Nicola Sturgeon knows that.
There is no point in scheduling an independence referendum when you are not entirely confident that you are going to win it. It is indeed possible that we are only going to get one more good shot at this, so we need to get it right.
In my view I think we must continue to learn from the manipulation our unionist opposers perpetrated in 2014, and still do. Independence is not a party political issue, and if we let the British State, and it’s media, treat it like it is, without challenge, by us clearly demonstrating widely spread enthusiasm for self determination, other than just in the sphere of Scottish politics, we will never win.
The unionist strategy has always been to marginalise the whole subject of Scottish independence and undermine it in the wider Scottish population by depicting it in certain ways, by channelling and directing it, metaphorically speaking, into ever decreasing sized tunnels
They present it thus, Firstly, dismiss any possibility of Scottish Independence being seen as a widely held concept by containing it (the first tunnel) as a proposition put forward solely by a previously fringe localised political party, it’s all about that party, and a lust they have for power (the power we keep). it’s all their idea, no one else in Scotland is remotely interested in self government, everybody else thinks all of that stuff should be left to us at Westminster. We know best. See what a great job we’ve done for three hundred odd years.
Then they guide their depiction of Scottish independence down into an even smaller tunnel. They individualise and personalise. It’s Nicola Sturgeon’s independence referendum, it’s a “blow to Nicola Sturgeon’s secret Indy plan”, it’s “Salmond’s currency question scuppers his independence vanity project”.
We’ve all heard it several times from fellow Scots plugged into the British Brainwiping Corporation and the traditional print media. “I couldnae vote for independence. I cannae stand the idea of it being a one party state run by the SNP. Nicola Sturgeon never shuts up about independence. Get on with the day job”.
It is drummed into them incessantly by the media, these messages stick, and form opinions. The idea that an independent Scotland will have the governments that it’s people choose, and certainly not always the SNP, doesn’t even register. The State media’s messaging sees to that.
Further than that, as part of this marginalisation, pushed down the smallest tunnel, one with no exit, the State depicts us, the advocates of a confident progressive independent Scotland, as wacky, off the chart, extremists. We are vile, we are to be despised, we are to be approached with caution and humoured until the doctor arrives to sedate us with a jag, we are full of hate, particularly, and above all else, for our neighbours to the south, and we can easily be proven to be so by randomly sampling the late night comments sections of social media forums.
The Scots who are fed all of this nonsense, and who aren’t unionists for other reasons (which is fair enough if they are, they are entitled to be, it’s their country too) are the people we, the broad Indy movement, the eclectic mix, with all our diversity, need to convince . More of our folk need to be able to see the vision that we see, see the opportunities we see independence providing, see the benefits we see of Scotland being an outward looking progressive small nation.
The SNP cannot do that. What they can do, when the time is right, is unlock the gate politically to let independence happen. Without them we’ll never manage it, but without the Indy movement being demonstrably about something much wider than politics, or Brexit, we’ll never grow self-belief enough as a nation for a referendum to be successful.
In 2014, learning as we all went along, off the cuff, almost like in a pop-up style, with high levels of positivity and confidence generated for a concept which had several imponderables, with hearts filled with hope, vigour and an energy to succeed, in a country not known for its ability to generate widespread public confidence in anything, other than that it will rain tomorrow, we very nearly did it. We very nearly did! Imagine what we can do with some organisation, clear strategies and a concerted positive communication campaign?
At the end of the tunnel there will be a bright blue sky, and a future where Scotland will be looked at as a beacon of hope for others to follow. It’s going to happen.