Organising to win


I must admit that amidst all the traditional broadcasting, print and social media reporting, and impact, of the splendid day that was Saturday’s march for independence in Glasgow I may have missed seeing any responses or feedback to Robin McAlpine’s weekly column piece last week “We must start a campaign now – or accept that it isn’t going to happen”(3 May 2018l Commonspace).

In his column Robin advocates for ‘a professional non-party Yes organisation to drive support for independence now’. This in the same week as a non-party Yes march attracted the highest number of Scots on to the streets since the Iraq conflict.

Anyone who reads this blog will not be surprised to hear that I agree wholeheartedly with Robin’s sentiments regarding a structured funded non-party professional organisation, a public face for the Yes movement, with the benefits I think that would bring, (it’s a recurring theme revisited several times on itisintruthnotforglory).

I also agree that we should be getting started on this now, without delay.

I do disagree however with Robin’s view that if we don’t commence a campaign now we won’t be able to do so again until after the 2021 Scottish Elections. There’s a lot of water to flow under the bridge between now and then. Who could have predicted the political events in Scotland and the UK of the last four years.

Anyway, if you haven’t seen it, here is Robin’s article. An interesting read. via


3 thoughts on “Organising to win

  1. We had a “professional non-party Yes organisation” for the first referendum campaign. While that campaign should not be characterised as a failure, we did not achieve our main goal. Doing the same thing all over again doesn’t seem like a particularly good idea.

    A hierarchical management structure is precisely what the Yes movement does not need. It is not starting from scratch. It is now a mature political mavement. It is organic and distributed. What it needs is better networking, not top-down leadership. And the networking is already improving daily. The fact that All Under One Banner can organise an event such as we witnessed on Saturday 5 May proves conclusively that the Yes movement is functioning at a very high level. Don’t try to fix what isn’t broken.

    But the Yes movement is quite separate from the Yes campaign. The Yes campaign most certainly needs to be run by a professional organisation with a solid record of success in running political/electoral campaigns. Now, where might we find such an organisation? Isn’t there already an example of an organisation that has won every campaign it has been involved in for the past ten years?

    What kind of insanity might prompt us to reject what is arguably the most effective campaign machine in Europe at this time?

    Why would we put all all our effort and resources into a new, untried organisation when we already have what any sane sober and sensible person would recognise as the ideal agency immediately to hand?

    Why would we give our backing and support to an untested leader who will only become the target for a British propaganda campaign which has hitherto been unable to lay a glove on the Yes movement?

    Why would we decline to to use the organisation which provides the effective political power that the independence project absolutely requires in favour of some new entity which cannot possibly provide any effective political power at all?

    Some in the Yes movement need to make a choice between partisan prejudice and commitment to the cause of restoring Scotland’s rightful constitutional status. They need to decide whether their distaste for the SNP outweighs their desire to create a better, fairer, greener, more prosperous nation.

    The Yes movement urgently needs an injection of hard-headed pragmatism. The SNP is the political arm of the independence cause. There isn’t time to replace it with something else which, in any case, will be just as distasteful to just as many people once it takes shape.

    The SNP is the lever by which we will extricate Scotland from the Union. Nicola Sturgeon is the fulcrum. The Scottish Parliament is the solid ground on which that that fulcrum rests. The Yes movement is the force which must be applied to that lever.

    We have all this. What we need is the good sense to use it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. On the whole I agree. Trouble is, the longer the SNP wait for the ‘right moment’ to go for Indy again, the more people will get itchy feet and be inclined to jump the gun, while others will conclude that the SNP have sold out to the status quo, and are content to administer the Scottish Region as diligent loyal servants, no doubt with some longing to be “kicked upstairs”. I do most sincerely hope this can’t be the case, but at the same time it’s easy to see how some, who not without reason distrust any and all politicians, are bound to feel this way.

      So c’mon, Nicola and crew, give us a Sign, a Sign!


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