This has been a huge week for the Yes campaign (an even better one is coming up*) and a disaster for Better Together. But let’s not dwell on the misfortune of others, even if Aperitivo! may just have got as famous as Granita – and focus instead on the good news instead.

Whilst the MoD are chipping-in to help out the floundering No campaign by bombing residents of Ardentinny  – lessons could be learned from the communities of Machrihanish, Cape Wrath, or the Solway Firth (‘Solway’s Silver Bullet’) – there’s a whole other new movement emerging. We will not be bombed into democracy, we will jump into it with zeal and relish. Witness the wonderful arrival on the streets of Glasgow of Generation Yes yesterday (‘Generation Yes: they’re young, they’re fervent … and they’re nudging Scotland closer to independence‘).

As Bella’s Saffron says it:

“We’re not established politically, we’re not seasoned by it all, but our energy is just so vast, it’s all so positive because it’s all about the future. Young people are more informed than anybody thinks and ohmigod we just want to tell people don’t be scared!”

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As this surge of energy ramps up to a new level, in parallel, the No campaign (s) are in utter chaos. As Iain Macwhirter writes (‘Why are Yes so confident?’):

“This is being recognised at least by the LibDems, the shattered remnants of which have been meeting this weekend in Aberdeen. Their ex-leader, Charles Kennedy, has condemned the negativity of the No campaign, and even their current leader Nick Clegg has called for a more “thrilling” unionist campaign – though thrilling and Nick Clegg don’t sit well in the same sentence.

Regrettably, the Liberal Democrat leader then undid the good work by trying to equate Alex Salmond with Nigel Farage of Ukip – calling them “breast beating nationalists”. No-one who knows anything about Scotland could possibly confuse Ukip with a social democratic, pro-Europe party that campaigns for open borders and increased immigration and is called the SNP. Oh, and which voted against the benefits cap last week Nick Clegg supports…The Liberal Democrats used to be guardians of the soul of civic Scotland: PR, home rule, Europe, human rights, gay marriage. They were responsible for many of the early achievements of the Scottish parliament, like free personal care, reform of local government, even the abolition of university fees.

But now locked into the Westminster system since 2010, they have had to capitulate to the logic of the London political elite. They are in many ways a metaphor for what has happened to Scotland. The Westminster connection has ensnared the Scottish parties into a political culture which is alien to Scotland’s social democratic soul. Tax cuts for the wealthy, the bedroom tax for the poor. Hostility to Europe, stigmatisation of welfare, opposition to immigration. These are not the issues that decide how people vote in Scotland.”

Indeed not. Is that really the quality of the Liberals debate, to compare the SNP with UKIP?

This week sees the ally to the energy of Generation Yes, with the launch of the Commonweal Symposium on Thursday. This movement has heart, hand and head, and the Commonweal Symposium will bring together more than 100 thinkers and policy makers to begin writing “a manifesto for a Common Weal Scotland”. It’s a light-bulb moment. It feels as if the dead hand of the old politics is being swept away. Confidence breeds confidence. Hope energises hope.

As Robin McAlpine puts it:

“Scotland is alive with ideas and this is a very significant gathering of people who have a very clear and carefully thought through vision of what Scotland could become.”

It’s interesting to note recent recognition for the sea-change we’re living through in the media too (‘More power to Glasgow’s online journalists’.)  It’s worth remembering that’s a journey Kevin McKenna has gone through himself. It was only a few years ago Bella was castigating Mr McKenna.

A great week and a better one coming.


* top secret project to be revealed by Bella later

Comments (15)

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  1. Flower of Scotland says:

    Yes! Great piece Mike! We can feel the confidence growing, but we are not there yet. We are waiting for more love bombing , whatever!

    Sky gave Alex Salmond time to say that there will be no discussion about the Nukes . They will leave Scotland within 5years ! That’s it . End of discussion. Alistair Carmichael was also on TV bleating ( that was Andrew Neil’s words) about how much money Alex Salmond has at his disposal. They have the resources of the three parties , the msm and the BBC. STOP BLEATING !

  2. Steve Bowers says:

    Just buzzin with all the good stuff over the last few days, these kids are amazing and the Common weal stuff sounds fantastic. My wife and I can’t believe how lucky we are to get the chance to help change a whole country for the better.

  3. Catrìona says:

    What a great encouraging piece to lift anyone’s spirits on a Sunday morning after the clocks went forward! Good for the young people of Scotland – my generation might have voted yes in 1979 and 1997, but it’s this generation that can make a real future for itself and end the bleak quiet desperation that life in the UK brings. Please don’t miss out on this chance.

  4. Reblogged this on Bampots Utd and commented:
    come on Scotland vote yes and end tory rule forever !!!!

  5. MolliBlum says:

    Good on them! Really inspiring to see young people getting engaged in politics — especially on an issue that is going to determine their lives so strongly, either way. It really is their future we’re talking about here, so it’s absolutely fantastic to see them step up to the plate and take responsibility for it.

  6. Alex Buchan says:

    There was a time when Macwirther’s, like Andy Myles and Denis Sullivan, the two senior Libdems he cites, would have adhered to the policy of federalism even though I’m sure he knew that there was very little chance of that ever happening in his lifetime. Those were the days when it was difficult for a commentator like him to openly talk about independence as a viable option. The result was his articles often seemed torturous, but not know. More than anything this tells me that Scotland is throwing off the collective inferiority complex which has held it back for so long. That proud proclamation of confidence in a different future show by the Yes Generation supporters shows how powerful that new confidence can be. It is that more than anything that we need to be displaying.

    The story of the currency union I think brings into focus a lot of different factors. As well as showing how out of touch Westminster is it also shows that the stakes are high. The money markets haven’t moved yet on sterling because they are buying the London consensus that a no vote is guaranteed, but if that changes there could be quite a lot of volatility as this article indicates. For Osborne it isn’t just a yes vote he wants to stop he also wanted to stop the opinion polls from moving in that direction.


  7. Munrover says:

    Intrigued by the promise of a better week to come. Was at the Yes Kirkcaldy event last Thursday – all three speakers were very good, but I thought Mike Small was terrific. Managed to get my mum and dad to come along (both lifelong Labour voters), and they were mightily impressed too. I share the feeling that, no matter the result of the referendum, Scotland has already won. That said, will still be nice to win the actual vote as well.

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      Thanks. Glad to hear you enjoyed Thursday. Watch this space.

  8. Keef says:

    As a youth worker I have to say the launch and the excitement the next generation has added to the YES campaign is really uplifting. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a young person’s face light up when they first realise that self determination is within their power. All they need do is decide in their head it so and – it is so.

    Come on generation YES! give the auld yins that extra ‘oomph’ to bring this campaign to a resounding finish for an independent Scotland.

  9. Astrid Horward says:

    Dear Mike and all of you who support the Yes! campaign: as former Scottish residents (our Dutch hearts still roaming the Scottish Highlands), we are cheering you on from across the North Sea and are keeping our fingers crossed for Scottish Independence!!

    1. BillfaeDenny says:

      Thanks for the support and Haste Ye Back! (I wonder if you would be the same Astrid and partner from the Netherlands who we gave a lift in our car from Shepherd’sbridge in Glenbanchor to their Newtonmore hotel after munro-bagging Carn Dearg on 4.6.2009?)

  10. thom cross says:

    Is this great energy registered to vote: will they come out to vote and will they bring a pal or two to vote?

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      When it’s channeled as in the RIC work into voter registration, yes.

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