Planning to win

Most of us expect that soon there will be progress. The beginnings of a structure, a base, a central hub which once again a burgeoning cross section of Scotland’s various peoples, the eclectic mix, the advocates of independence, can gather around, can learn from, can feed off, an entity from which we can take heart, resolve and strength.

Who will lead? Who are the key participants? What form will it take? What will the structure look like? What about funding? What about the currency, oil and pension questions? Has any of this stuff been decided? Who knows, but it surely must happen soon.

The hints, the workings of government growth policy groups and think tanks, the saltire-teasing and secret squirrel stuff from various key stakeholders, must stop soon, and the real work must restart.

For the very good reason of learning by past experiences things will need to be done very differently this time.

The re-invigorated official Yes campaign cannot follow the passive, positive in all things, route this time. The principal of total positive campaign beating negative campaign philosophy, that it followed last time ,left it coming up a wee bit short of the mark.

This time an important part of any structure that is put in place must include a team of skilled political operators whose sole task,on a daily basis, is to rebut all the nonsense and crap that comes out of the media. the UK government, unionist politicians, and Fearty 2, the Rehash, with facts, making sure that these rebuttals are as widely publicised as possible, and where they are suppressed exposing who, and what media organisation refused to report the response.

Separate to this, and equally as important, we need to have a media team whose role is to go after the failings and injustices of the Union set up, and the current governmental arrangements of the State (many of the reasons that we see independence for Scotland as clearly the better opinion in the first place). We need to put Unionism under the spotlight, they need to be asked awkward questions, and where this process is seen as being suppressed ,or barriers appear to questioning that would be considered normal in any other democracy, we need to highlight who it is that is putting up the barrier.

This is an area we really need to take advantage of. After all there is so much ammunition to choose from to put under public scrutiny. The UK has one of the worst pension schemes, and lowest pensions in the western world, the UK economically has the worst growth rate in the whole OECD bar none, official poverty rates are amongst one of the very worst in Europe, in one of the richest countries, the UK has the worst statistics for uptake of local democracy around, in fact it doesn’t really do local democracy to any great extent, the numbers of UK citizens surviving on food bank support is at record levels, half of Scotland’s private land is owned by about 450 very wealthy individuals or corporations, entirely unlike any other democracy in Europe, if you live in certain inner city areas of Scotland there is a very good chance you’ll never see pension age, you could go on and on al day with this stuff.

In real terms, apart from being very good, as always, at ensuring that a small minority of very wealthy people remain so, and continue to accumulate influence, power and capital, the UK, and it’s precious union, is pretty much mince at everything else, particularly where it involves public service provision for its citizens. it’s a basket-case, and that is before we even start on the potential economic nightmare that is coming as a result of Brexit.

The task of the official Yes Campaign this time, with our help, should be to make sure more of our folk are aware of all of this. They won’t ever read about it in the papers, or see it on the news, because these outlets are owned and controlled by the small minority who are benefitting from the rest of us not knowing, and acting on, that information.

If we cannae as a movement for progressive change, take advantage of all of that, it will indeed be a failing on our part.

In terms of persuading more of our fellow Scots that a return to self government is the best way forward for Scotland can we stop calling them names like Yoons, Quislings, Traitors, and any number of other such insulting terms?

Where, by any stretch of anyone’s imagination, would we think we’ll ever convince folk who weren’t quite convinced in 2014 to our point of view by insulting or belittling them? We can’t lump former No voters all in the one boat, they are our families, our friends, our colleagues. I’m pretty sure that my sister and one of my closest pals probably voted No in 2014 but that doesn’t make me love them any the less. Let’s stop all of this nonsense now. It only makes the job harder.

By the same token we cannae lump specific groups of Scots into categories either. People are individual, and have individual needs and expectations.

Take pensioners for example. There are plenty of over 65’s kicking around who voted Yes, and No, who have a far wider experience and knowledge of life under long term neoliberal governance than the younger generations have, times of poor industrial relations, living off strike funds, unemployment, looking after a family on a pittance. Scots who have worked damn hard to get where they are now. To treat the aged as just a group is insulting.

It’s too casual an approach to simply develop a case to try and convince wide groups towards independence. We need to look at this closer, and build positive messages that can be used to fit specific questions, specific needs. What would make the life of a single mother on benefits better? What would make a retired farmer in a rural area consider independence? Teachers, health workers, what would help convince them? Small business owners? What were the issues that stopped you voting Yes the last time? Address those concerns. We need to develop a wide range of convincing facts and, let’s face it, sell a vision of the potential, the advantages and the opportunities that independence will bring.

Somebody please press the start button, set the ball rolling, and let’s get on with building the case, and planning to win.

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