What we need now is Evolution, not Revolution

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We need a new way of doing politics that reflects the maturity that we have developed through our referendum process.

We have found the binary Yes/No proposition desperately inadequate for the complexity of the choice we faced. Divide and rule. Hide the agenda. My anger is not that we voted to remain under a UK flag, it’s that we voted not to give the power back to the people. Whilst we will remain locked in a system that is demolishing our human rights and our society, my hope remains, because unless we choose to let them can never have power over our imagination. We don’t need anyone’s permission, so lets just start building it anyway and let us build it not on binaries, but with depth, diversity, and humanity. Let us not replicate the model that distributes power so unequally, lets not go back to party politics, adversarial posturing and divisiveness. Let’s take our time to build it, and bring everyone with us this time. It can be done, if we can learn from what was most valuable about the YES movement and realise that it is not leadership from above, but individual innovation towards mutual benefit that was our strength. This will be our most productive and powerful tool.

Scotland is now light years ahead of the rest of the UK in terms of understanding our identity and our democracy. It’s going to be long and it’s going to be hard work, but we must bring them with us, and whilst I applaud those celebrating the #45 we must bring the 55% with us too because if we don’t do that, we will always lose. Divide and rule…

We have all become citizen journalists, researchers, debaters and campaigners, we have collectively undertaken a journey which has brought us to a level of political maturity which I don’t think anyone could have predicted. It’s astonishing, it’s innovative, and it belongs not to our ‘leaders’ but to each and every one of you.

As a society we have evolved into something new, something knowledgeable, an information sharing and commentary network which has turned us into something very powerful, and very exciting indeed. We had purpose. We forgot to eat, we forgot to sleep, we were energised by something bigger than ourselves. We became voracious in our consumption of the latest opinion or analysis on the latest development. We researched economic theory, constitutional legislation, social policy, renewable energy potential, and we wrote stories shared our questions and fears, and found the answers amongst ourselves. We have found our own leadership potential and we are still using it in a collective murmuration that is flocking, forming and reforming, in a gathering momentum towards what I hope will be real structural change. We can’t remain in this state of fight or flight, we won’t survive if we do. We need to find a way to entwine these new behaviours into our culture from ground level. Fight or flight is necessary for a revolution, but what we need now is evolution. We need to be the drops in the ocean. We’re facing a political system that’s become a zero sum game and the very thing that’s caused the race to the bottom of careerist politicians and neoliberal consensus, is our insistence on binaries. Yes or No. Labour or Tory. Westminster or Holyrood. Right or wrong. We KNOW the world doesn’t work like that, so why do we keep voting for it? Because we haven’t seen what the alternative might look like, we haven’t been able to imagine it yet. I’m going to propose that we imagine it now, that we make it anyway. We don’t need anyone elses permission to be creative, but we need to give ourselves permission to bring humanity back into politics and put politics back into our lives. How can we make political behavior part of our every day culture? We need to empower everyone. Naeb’dy left behind.

We all know the old adage about anyone who wants to be power isn’t fit for the job. It’s no wonder that the people who most deserve the responsibility are probably those least likely to put themselves forward for such a job. How crappy it would be to be a politician in this current system, how heavily it must weigh on those who actually have principles. Personally, I am affronted and I find it unacceptable that in order to remain in power, politicians have to change their principles in a million tiny ways; they are expected to block vote and there are three line whips where they vote against their conscience, and their constituents. How have we allowed party donors to rule the agenda, and perpetuate a process where anyone with the slightest shred of integrity is hounded out the door? Why do we continue with an antediluvian system that undercuts democracy at every turn? Why is it acceptable that we have a second chamber of unelected land owners and the first past the post voting system… and all of this because we insist on an adversarial system which breaks everything down to an artificial binary which by necessity, turns reason into lies and untruths and ultimately, admits the possibility of only two ‘strategic’ choices between parties whose ideology is now completely indistinguishable.

So lets stop doing that. Lets stop giving our compliance to a system that has tipped into collapse. Lets just start doing it differently, and start being that change ourselves. Lets embrace the possibilities that are open to us today to redefine democracy in a mature, new media world. Don’t tribalise, don’t bring it back to binaries, lets remain complex, remain mature and proudly embrace our multiple identities. Lets bring it back to integrity and humanity. If we REALLY want independence as a process, if we really want ‘All of Us First’, that’s what we have to become. Let us stand as independent candidates, under a ticket that declares a raft of principles that we subscribe to – Common Weal, Green, Compass… stand as a candidates in every election going, and campaign a little every single day by using conversation and honesty, face to face, and using social media to encourage the change that will give everyone the chance to imagine that our world can be better and realise their own power to do it. We can do this. In the old days it would have been a mess and would never have worked, ‘You need a strong leader’ we would have said, ‘You need organisation and discipline to get things done’ we would have said, ‘You have to compromise your principles’ we would have said. None of that is true anymore. We know that self organisation can work just as well, can even work BETTER than old-fashioned top down discipline. We know the problem with binaries, we feel keenly the invisibility of minorities, and we know that consensus politics can work.

It won’t be a mess and it doesn’t need ‘big leadership’. We now have the technology to allows us to hold all that complexity, distribute it, analyze it, open source it.

Imagine, a website that works like the politicalcompass.org but can plot your principles on a graph that shows you the closest candidate to match yours, without you needing the binary thinking of party identity to help you understand who to vote for. Imagine a website that can shows you every candidate, their voting history on every decision, and the upcoming votes that they’re about to take. Imagine a website that allows you to comment directly to them to give them direction and ask questions. Imagine forums where information can be shared, and decisions can be imaginatively prototyped with a virtual community in advance of votes being taken. Imagine a politics where we voted in people who have integrity, who are transparent about their interests and the decisions they’re taking, who are answerable to the people. Imagine we write a constitution anyway… Imagine we declare our communities to be Free States and create our own credit unions, food cooperatives and local currencies (I’ve started with the Facebook Group for the Free State of Portobello and Leith). Imagine we remove our buying power from the banks and big business, and encourage others to do the same. Imagine if we keep having these conversations with people from across the voting spectrum?’

All Of This Can Be Done.

We can rewrite what politics looks like. Instill personal accountability, collective action for mutual benefit, and diverse representation that reflects the many complex and overlapping identities within our society. We have the potential, we have the means, we just need to remember our power and do it.

We will struggle to bring the old with us, their world is one that no longer exists but continues to exert great influence through the dying print media. So we need to get out on the streets, be face to face, evolve hearts and minds together. We are not the 45%, we are not even the 99%, we are the 100% and we will do this together. It’s a long game. We’re only getting started.

So draw up a list, of all the actions you’re going to take, your personal accountability. Be mindful of your complicity in systems that do not serve our interests and shift your allegiences elsewhere. Don’t factionalise, let us be independent and complex. Let us work in mutual conversation towards mutual interest. Let us decentralise, work together and empower others to realise their own leadership and action. Let us consider standing for the next election, or get behind someone who you think should. Not a party, a person. And let us each hold conversations and share and encourage others to do the same. We are the zeitgeist and we all know this is the right thing to do, so let’s do this thing. I’ve kicked off a viral template that was devised with others from the team behind All Back to Bowie’s, it’s a simple graphic and suggestion to help collate the conversations and make it easy for other people to share the movement and hold their own gatherings… it’s your campaign if you want it to be spread the conversation like wildfire and tweet your pledges for action to #whatnowscotland share share share the empowerment… and let us bring them all with us. We are the 100%.

You can download this file and do with it as you will. There is a website whatnowscotland.org which will collate all the tweets that use the hashtag #whatnowscotland so we have an archive of all our ideas. Lets do this thing.

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  1. Thanks for the inspiration. In terms of helping us down south who share a progressive agenda, it’s already helping to see such great ideas and work already being done in Scotland by Yes people. I don’t know how much more you can do for us. I want to be part of a similar movement down here, but as you say, you’re light years ahead. The foundation of the progressive movements in Scotland seems to be solidarity among people who want to make a difference for Scotland. I don’t think anyone else can generate that solidarity for us in England. It may need to happen at a more local or regional level in England because of our population size and greater regional / city loyalties. Some parts of England will be more fertile for this kind of work than others. Once it starts happening organically and taking shape, then we may probably need more specific help. Just thinking out loud. Thanks again. James.

    1. susan says:

      Thank you for your fine article Laura. I wonder if I might share my thoughts about these ‘conversations’. It feels good to use that word. When I was growing up, I lived up a close, in Paisley, in a fairly politicised family where we had ‘arguments’. Arguments that my dad usually ‘won’. In these arguments you could be expected to be shouted at, belittled, criticised, left feeling that you were stupid, uninformed or that you should just shut up in future. Here are some of the consequences of this. When I now attempt to become involved in a political ‘conversation’ and I sense the other person going into fight or flight mode or feel my own system being triggered, there’s a part of me expects there to be explosive anger around, to end up being browbeaten or that I’ll just need to shut up and be ‘lectured’ at. I am actually a fairly skilled individual in other areas of my life and it is a little bit embarrassing for me to be admitting to this on such an open, intellectual forum. I guess this is the black and white – the all or nothing- the win or lose- victor- loser that this old, archaic way of doing things results in. I would like to grow into someone who can manage this in a more confident ansd skilled way.

  2. SqueuedPerspextive says:

    You all don’t get it – We won.

    Why didn’t the sun choose sides ?
    And Why did no one talk about the money ?
    Why was Swinney not challenging the figures on this and revenue and blah blah blah.

    Because it was a waste of time. Without the legal right to challenge numbers by inspecting the Books there would be no point.Also the other main arguments of Westminster likewise need a legal basis and that legal basis is the Treaty of Union.

    Do you realise how Yes played such a positive campaign and stuck to the rules that when No broke them there were consequences?

    The truth is that the No campaign and their claims meant we had to go the EU court (remember ‘Clear Legal Basis’ ?)
    to get a ruling on-
    “Scotland cant be in the Euro” : Article 4 (we are already a member of the Euro)
    “Scotland cant keep the pound ” : We have our own mint – unless the Scottish parliament repeals Act 14.
    “Scotland cant have a currency union” : We have a currency union under Article 16.
    “Scotland has a £5bn debt hole ” : In order to ascertain our legal debt as per Article 9
    we obviously need a commissioner to total the Amount of the Equivalents as per article 15
    And since the successor is the RBS moving its HQ is in direct breach of this Act!

    The Edinburgh agreement was legally binding so breaches have consequences one of which is article 15 which basically says we can send in the auditors to check its fair. As article 258 of the EU treaty says we can (and we are bound by article 3 & 4) to abide by European Law

    But then you cant tell people the result of the ruling until afterwards – but now the deal has been done –
    Or the inside of the Sun on voting morning might have been pointing out the above Articles and their meaning.

    What was needed was a way to legally and officially sort out what was due according to the Treaty of Union.
    AND That was the prize.
    Go and read the articles of the Treaty of Union and think about the power Scotland has if it can choose when and if to repeal articles (esp 4,9,14,15 & 16).

    1. steve h says:

      Ignore my last reply its me who talking pish

    2. Niall Truklen says:


      I understand you are hurting and I feel for you and your fellow Independence dreamers. And yes, I am sure the campaign energised people and it was very inspiring and it is to be respected by the rest of us.

      The truth is Laura that there is about one more day of real news and public awareness of this thing and then it will fade fast.

      I am your fellow citizen Laura and I do not want you or your comrades to hurt, I am your comrade but this is over and trying to keep the drum beat going will be a waste of your very clear vibrant energy.

      UK Citizen

      1. richard hawthorne says:

        Sorry Niall but you’re very out of touch on this matter. This isn’t the Olympics where everyone chirps on about greater sporting involvement, then after the event it dies a death. This a something that even after the event many, many people are still hugely passionate about. Its a case of lend a hand or get out of the way. The choice is yours entirely of course.

      2. Ian Vallance says:

        Here’s a thought. The Yes camp simply miscalculated, they got carried away on their Socialist nirvana schtick and entirely forgot that there is right of centre feeling in Scotland, and just didnt seek to adequately target this consittuency. (They didnt need to convert many to win?) Just maybe this constituency are not deluded and hoodwinked stooges of Westminster maybe they are just folk who didnt feel entirely comfortable with what they saw as something amounting to at worst an East German future.
        I speak here as someone who voted Yes despite the fact that I didnt buy into Socialist or Scandinavian nirvana, the we’re all so different from the evil English kill the poor types running Westminster (a place I loath) I didnt think the economic numbers stacked up,(oil can pay for everything and we’ll have low taxes as well?) didnt get adequate answers on Europe, the currency, etc, etc all of which I figured were really political hyperbole. instead I simply answered the question on the ballot paper in they way I felt would best serve the country I live in. I tried on a few occasions to point out this error as I saw it to friends in the Yes camp only to met with contempt and even aggression. Someone less sanguine and cynical than myself may have been forced into the No camp maybe

        Given that most folk are perhaps not as cynical and (rational/irrational?)as me It doenst surprise me at all that the 55% result essentially means that the element identified in the polls across the entire campaign as don’t knows turned out to be mostly No’s.
        As I see it what was needed was a recognition that the vote was only really about transfer of power from Westminster to Edinburgh, not building a new society, not ending southern Tory dominance of Scotland, creating a Tartan uptopia etc. Just about giving the Scottish people the right to decide on all matters usually decided on by sovereign states. Any discussion during the campaign on how we were going to exercise these powers was surely at best premature?

      3. muttley79 says:

        So we just give up, and return to the back of the bus, and shut up then?

      4. Illy says:

        Fuck that!

        45% is nowhere near over. 45% is more people than any party has ever had voting for them in *any* election.

        If those 45% stay engaged, and the No’s go back to normal (apathy), we will landslide every election.

        Good luck to Westminster keeping the No’s engaged and on-side, when they start doing their normal thing of ignoring all the promises that they’ve made.

  3. SqueuedPerspextive says:

    If anyone can help identify whether they apply I would be glad of the help – I am no lawyer…

  4. SqueuedPerspextive says:

    I could also do with a time line list who Salmond met with including any visits to the EU

  5. Edwin says:

    Have been reading your articles and I just want to say what you did is very impressive. I’m from a country Puerto Rico who has been a colony for 405 years under Spain and 116 years under USA colonialism. Colonialism is very insidious, very difficult vice to break, it promotes insecurity, fear, dependency and this is very hard to break, but you have obtained that 45% of your people have broken with this. You are almost there, I know it is very difficult to see now, but your country will never be the same, England knows it and the world knows it. I salute you for your contribution on ending colonialism in the 21st. century. ¡Viva Escocia Libre y Soberana!

    1. flit2013 says:

      Well put Edwin. There has been so much written about the dependency cutlure created by colonialism.Paulo Freire had it right that the mindset allowed the coloniser to decide the success criteria of the colonised. The NO vote i.e. dependence, was their choice and not self determination. Sadly we had independence but only for 15 hours – then we gave it right back. But only 200,000 people need to change their mind. Now English politicians and a few Scots from Tory, Lib Dem and Labour parties without any genuine mandate in Scotland are meeting in Oxfordshire to thrash out some vague and incompatible promises when we were told by BT that the Yes campaign had to dot the i’s and cross the t’s as anything else would create insecurity. Oh the irony

    2. Dean Richardson says:

      You should have said ‘Westminster’ instead of ‘England’. The English nation is also under the British yoke. If England breaks free from the yoke (which the British will never allow), then Britishness is finished.

      1. Jonny says:

        Very good point. We are not anti English, but very anti Westminster. We could do well to have a movement start in Northern England, it would help us greatly I feel.

  6. stewartb says:

    Re the earlier references to the Treaties of Union, this is relevant to the discussion today on Wings following the reporting of Jack Straw’s views in The Times about passing into law that the UK cannot ever be dissolved. I am no lawyer, but I think it would be really helpful to get clarity on the legal position of what a majority in Westminster can and cannot do with respect to Scotland’s status in the Union: the implication of some of the posts on Wings suggests it can do pretty much what it chooses.

    1. As I understand it no Government can be tied by decisions of another previous government.Now if this holds true of Westminster it should also hold true at Holyrood,and a new government can hold another referendum as soon as possible,just a thought,not being a lawyer.I also think it is against human rights to make an arranged marriage,is not also against human right to force a people to hold to an agreement that they had no part in making? Like all those who made the treaty of the union,are all dead and though it may have suited them it no longer suits all of us should we be held to their agreement.

      1. neilghani says:

        Doesn’t work like that. WM is sovereign so at anytime can do whatever it likes. Holyrood is not sovereign so cannot call a referendum anytime without power delegated by WM

      2. Illy says:

        Fuck that, Westmkinster is only soverign according to it’s own interpretation of the people’s will.

        You don’t need permission from anyone to hold a referendum, you just need the buy-in of enough people to make it happen.

        Government acceptence helps with the buy-in, but isn’t a requirement for it.

    2. Robert Louis says:

      I don’t often post here, but do on wings and NNS. Firstly, you really should not assume posters on wings are correct in what they say about the treaty of union. Over the last few days there have been a flurry of grossly ill informed posts on that site (and here I might add), with people posting what I could only describe as utter rubbish, of the very worst kind.

      Secondly the treaty of union is an international treaty in international law made between two countries Scotland and England. As such the actual articles of union, can not be changed by either party, and certainly not by Jack Straw. The articles of union within the treaty were approved by both the English and Scottish parliament via respective and separate acts in 1706 and 1707.

      The only way in which Jack straw could achieve his aim, would be by ending the treaty of union first – which is a move with major problems both legally and technically. However, much, much more importantly, the notion that the right to self determination as enshrined in the UN charter of human rights would be revoked by Westminster, is quite fanciful, even by Jack Straws standards. It’s a half baked idea, with little substance.

      I’m really tired of reading the most godawful hubris both here and on wings and other sites over the last few days, with all kinds of utterly ridiculous assertions being made, as though fact. It s nice for lots of people to speak their minds, but honestly, take a break folks, and give some of these more fanciful, idealistic ideas a rest. Only the SNP are in a position to challenge Westminster right now, as not only are they the current elected Scottish Government (which some people seem to have forgotten), but they are by far the biggest political party in Scotland. Their main goal is Scottish independence, so let’s lend them our support. As an alternative, the Scottish greens or SSP.

      The First Minister has made it clear, that a referendum is not the only way to secure independence, just today. We all know Westminster will not deliver new powers, and so, the next opportunity to act will be the UK general election in a few months time.

      As Alex Salmond is fond of saying, politics is the art of the do-able. A majority of SNP MP’s from Scotland to Westminster next year would send a very powerful message. Some may not always agree with all the SNP policies, but they are on our side, the side of Scotland, the side of Scottish independence.

      1. budgeup says:

        A voice of independence reason at last. Scottish independence is an imaginative construct, and whilst almost 50% of Scottish voters have demonstrated they are sick of condescension, Westminster has peered over the abyss of a broken union and didn’t like what it saw.

        Pressure internally, nationally and internationally will be exerted to ensure ‘Devo Max’ is enacted, which will satisfy most Scot’s and see the decline of nationalism for our lifetime.

        So would independence be better, have the YES voters really lost? They gain an increasing say in their future, underwritten by 55 million English voters whose only demand (perceptibly) is that Scotland keeps out of it’s affairs.

        Zimbabwe is independent, and I daresay that nowhere in it’s, or indeed Rhodesia’s constitution (if there is, or was one) did it say, thou shalt not become a Dictator, but Mugabe slipped quietly into that role, nor is he unique. And were it suggested that could never happen in Scotland, I would consider the inference racist. However I would be the first to agree it was most unlikely, but if the most sophisticated (arguably) democracy in the world can leave the door open to abuse, there is something wrong with the example we set.

        Scottish independence could, and should be a creeping, softly, softly affair, not a mad smash and grab deliverance.

        And whilst the question of self determination is important, other than that, I don’t see much difference between Scotland and England in day to day terms.

  7. Marian says:

    45% voted for Scotland to be independent and if Westminster thinks for one minute that they are going to meekly accept a 55% majority thst was only obtained by Westminster and its media lackeys lying and cheating all the way through the campaign, then they had better think again.

    YES campaigners should now unite to form a political force even stronger than it was complete with streaming TV and Radio and online news to rival and even better the British media in every way to reach out with a message of truth to the people of Scotland that makes it the number one choice for viewing and listening to news and current affairs in Scotland.

    Then this new political force campaigns like never seen before to make Scotland’s Westminster MP’s unionist free. We’ve already done it to the Tories, the LibDems just need one last small push, and now the Westminster Labour party in Scotland are ripe for eradication too.

    Once Scotland returns every MP as one who wants full political and fiscal autonomy we have an unstoppable weapon to get exactly what we want.

  8. I fear it is too late already talk is of stopping Scotland from ever holding another referendum,Scotland is no longer a country,we have been betrayed by greed and self interest.There is one chance perhaps enough SNP members to take the Scottish parliament back Edinburgh,but only if no English MP,s vote against!! Like what the English MP,s want no Scottish MP,s voting on strictly English business.

    1. museumandy says:

      Forget the referendum, we (the 45) do this the hard way – build the Scotland we want then ask the question.

      1. lauraeatonlewis says:

        exactly. we just get on with doing it. we can be plural. we can try working within the westminster system and we can also use the creative approach and just get it done ourselves, self determination at its most simple. we need underdog strategies. they can’t fight that because it has no centre, no one leader organising it and no one person to demonise or bring down. we be everywhere and everyone.

      2. Sean McNulty says:

        I like this a lot.

        Imagine what an independent Scotland would have looked like, and then make it happen anyway.

        At some point the referendum campaign switched for me from being about the result to being about the energy/wisdom/engagement/whatever you want to call it. That intangible thing that’s still in the air everywhere and that has electrified the young especially.

        It’s hard to imagine that a Scotland ten years independent, say, would be having more ambitious conversations than those that’ll happen over the next few months.

        From a selfish perspective, I also just want to keep meeting more Yesser types, and converting decent No types, of which there are many, and having fun, so I’m pressing on. And I say that as someone who until this year had become your quintessential Generation X political defeatist.


  9. jaffamcneill says:

    What we need to do is join the SNP en masse. You can propose as many wonderful new movements as you like, but the realpolitik is that they’re as doomed as all their predecessors. Let’s get together and complete the work of turning the SNP into the radical organisation it should be, anything else is gestural nonsense that deserves the certain death it will meet.

    1. museumandy says:

      Totally disagree, join the SNP if you want it will undoubtedly help. But the job that needs completed is to build a strong, vibrant, prosperous and socially just Scotland.

      If we place that responsibility in the hands of others we get what we deserve. I don’t need a party leader to tell me what needs done, I just need like minded people who want to travel with me.

      1. neilghani says:

        Seems like both strategies are essential and can run in parallel. We only had a referendum because of th SNP. But the referendum was a huge success not because of any politicians, but because people engaged in debating and determining their own future.

    2. Lisa says:

      I agree, to get any real headway, we should collectively use this energy, rather than having several smaller factions who ultimately want the same thing. If we can eradicate Labour in Scotland and replace with SNP MP’s etc, we will have a much stronger position to get the right outcome. However, the smaller groups at grass roots, can also play a huge part in getting the word out, but we need everyone to work together, to make any impact at all.

    3. lauraeatonlewis says:

      I’m actually proposing the OPPOSITE of starting a new movement. I’m saying that it’s already happening, we just need to be smarter and more confident about doing it and open up the conversation and the action to other voices. This action isn’t mutually exclusive of joining SNP or the Greens (which is by far and away more democratic and self-determining in structure). We need lots of strategies and some will target westminster elections, some will be about making things happen regardless. Be the drops in the ocean.

      1. jaffamcneill says:

        I should apologise really, I live in Yorkshire and the sum total of my contribution to Yes was some snarking on social media and walking round Glasgow in a Yes tee a couple of days before the vote. And to be honest I’ve lost interest now that it’s turned from fun with a possible great outcome soon to hard work with success way over the horizon, if ever. I wish you luck to Yessers, SNP, Greens and Radical whatevers, and I hope that anyone who does take my suggestion of joining the SNP has the humility to credit the hard work the party members have already put in, the constituency efforts and the mind-numbing tedium of committee meetings, and don’t suggest major reconstructions like a rename or rebrand just two days in. But then, what would I know?

      2. muttley79 says:

        Both the SNP and the Greens have their positives attributes and their flaws. However, if it was not for the SNP’s activism, electoral successes and cutting edge over decades (particularly from the 1960s to the present), then we would never have just had an independence referendum, or probably even a devolved Scottish parliament for that matter. The Greens have slowly built up their profile and capabilities, but they are still at an early stage compared to the SNP. The RIC and the SSP are just as important as the Greens (although to be fair there are Greens involved in the RIC as well).

    4. Patrick Hogg, Biographer of Robert Burns says:

      Exactly J. Under the banner of the Yes SCotland movement for the general election of May 7th would be the right focus of our energies for now. Win that and declare UDI.

  10. I have absolutely no doubt that the majority of those voting NO would much rather they had been able to say YES. But Big Lie scaremongering aided by the corrupt mainstream media had its well established effect which left them unable to take the risk.

    Already we have heard many say that they themselves were ashamed to vote no, but were persuaded only by the lies and fear-mongering of that pile of corrupta that comports itself as our worthy Lords and Masters.

    But do not blame the duped, blame the dupers. Our duty is, rather than to vilify them, provide them with hope of salvation after their mistake becomes self-evident.

    No doubt the British Elite will use the Supreme Court and Westminster to make another referendum ‘illegal’. This much I have predicted for years, but it will be much harder for them to deny an elected majority when that majority has made clear that voting for them is a mandate for independence.

    After all, for at least 20 years, they told us we did not need a referendum because each and every election was effectively a referendum.

    Let us take them at their word.

  11. Onwards says:

    “What we need to do is join the SNP en masse.”

    Agreed. And the SNP is getting thousands of new members signing up.
    What we don’t want to to is split the pro-Scottish vote.

    And it’s all very well to have community groups – but politics is about power.

    Everyone can sit around singing Kum-ba-yah, planting trees or whatever.
    It can make a difference on a small scale.

    But significant power comes through political parties.
    They are the ones who decide where the money goes.
    On nuclear bombs, schools, hospitals or 3 lane motorways.

    Right now, the best chance we have for more powers, is to influence the amount of devolution Scotland gets – and aim for a true Devo-Max / Federal solution.
    Realistically, Independence is on the back-burner for now.

    59 SNP MP’s at Westminster have the chance to make a difference – especially if they hold the balance of power. There is no point wasting your vote on Greens or Socialists at First-Past-The-Post elections.

    It might help if the SNP changed their name, to reflect the new politics, and accepted new candidates from the broad YES church.

    To reflect a broad based party campaigning for Scottish interests, but without the baggage of the Nationalist tag. I know the official name is ‘National Party’, but the word is too easily smeared.

    1. Sean McNulty says:

      I assume you’re the same Onwards who posted along these lines on newsnet.

      I wonder if the new name you propose might not be right under your nose: Onwards.

      I agree that ‘National’ is too easily smeared, but ‘Party’ has to go as well. Too 18/19/20th-century, too tainted by totalitarianism and those whiffs of jobs-for-the-boys, top-downism, careeerism, corruption, win-at-any-cost, etc. In a political context the word (if not the reality to which it refers) has few positive connotations at all for me.

      Attributes of ‘Onwards’, then, in the current Scottish context:

      — The strong message of ‘the fight goes on’

      — The attraction for No progressives, who we must win over.

      — The general lack of exclusivity, apart from for died-in-the-wool conservatives and reactionaries.

      — A nice mixture of twenty-first-century logo-like simplicity and clarity and a more old-fashioned classiness and seriousness.

      — It’s simply a beautiful word. It sounds good in pretty much any context, and even just the act of saying or typing it provides a little hit of energy and optimism.

      — Hard to see any future state of affairs where it might look outdated or irrelevant.

      The SNP will never rename itself ‘Onwards’, clearly, but it’s a term that might prove useful as the fight goes on.


    2. Patrick Hogg, Biographer of Robert Burns says:

      Well said Onwards! It is very possible that the SNP and Yes Scotland Team can and might field candidates for the election on 7th May under the banner of Yes Scotland so we do not divide the support of Yes SCotland which came from so many sources. The idea is so obvious to keep the Yes campaign going with all the broad strands we have. This would mean that the G Election would have no candidates under the banner of SNP if people can put Country before party (might not be easy for some). I am an SNP councillor and would always put country before party for obvious reasons. The possible problem is ego. Some SNP candidates will have been selected for each constituency and if this over arching plan was adopted by the SNP if would mean other candidates taking the place of some already picked names. I would suggest for eg that Ivan MacKee, Jeane Freeman, Cat Boyd and Lesley Riddoch would make great candidates. The objective is obvious: a majority of seats for the Yes SCotland candidates and an overall majority of votes making UDI our ultimate goal. We might need around 1.7 million votes on May 7th to get an overall majority of votes cast.

      Onwards: if there were 59 SNP MP’s lected to Westminster we simply declare SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE. No bones about it. If we get the majority of votes overall on May 7th 2015 we have a democratic mandate for SCottish Independence. How we get that mandate shold be worked out asap so the Yes SCotland team can get rallied to take on Team Westminster and their Lying Machine.

    3. leavergirl says:

      “But significant power comes through political parties.
      They are the ones who decide where the money goes.
      On nuclear bombs, schools, hospitals or 3 lane motorways.”

      True. But never forget it’s power-over. Never forget it’s power that corrupts those that wield it. Make sure you also cultivate the politics of another kind of power: power-to and power-with. Besides… not everybody has the stomach for party politics. Why not both?

      1. Onwards says:

        I would say that a political party enacts ‘Power For’ the people who voted for their policies.

        In the SNP’s case, trying to get the best deal for Scotland.

        Just thinking pragmatically.
        We need to gather round the one party that has the best chance of unseating the UK Labour or Tory candidates. For the purpose of putting Scotland first, in any negotiations.

        Community activism is fine, but real political power makes the big differences.

        Having the extra powers needed to add billions of pounds to the Scottish budget.
        That can be invested in better schools and hospitals or green energy.

        It is the difference between being able to BUILD a road, or pick up litter at the side of a road.

        Yes we can do both, but in my eyes at least, one has a far bigger impact to the country.

      2. leavergirl says:

        Onward, government does a lot of bad stuff along with the good stuff. It’s not “the” solution. It can only be a part of the solution. I firmly believe in working through the grassroots. But I also support those wishing to work elsewhere. Just remember… power corrupts. Power wastes resources. Power makes backroom deals. Power lies.

        Otherwise, good luck, of course. 🙂

  12. Dundee said Yes says:

    Onwards- fully agree. Rebrand the SNP something like “Scotland First Group” take the National = Nationalist out and take the party bit out to reflect its a collective. I joined the SNP yesterday, but Id be all for a rebranding.

    1. Dean Richardson says:

      Such a rebranding would need a major publicity campaign alongside it. It’s easy to imagine some one looking at a voting form a few years from now and thinking, “where’s the SNP candidate?”

      1. Patrick Hogg, Biographer of Robert Burns says:

        Does anyone still have Yes posters? Anyone got Yes stickers? Anyone got a Yes badge? Anyone got a nose so close to their face they cant see it? We HAVE the newly branded group who can win Scottish Independence. Its called Yes Scotland. Keep all your posters. Ready for action next year. The SNP can decide to field candidates under the broad church banner of YES Scotland for Scottish Independence. I am in the SNP and I dont want to see an SNP MP going down to that Westminster den of iniquity for another day. I want as many MP’s as possible who can go to Hollyrood and declare UDI because we won a majority of overall votes on May 7th. We have the branding ready and our material are already paid for and made. I am wearing the brand T-shirt – it has a YES on it.

  13. manandboy says:



    In the beginning, The FM said that a positive campaign would always win over a negative one.
    This clearly was not the case.
    Not when you have a huge elderly population.
    No 1 – 0 Yes

    The No Campaign as I understand it, was lifted straight from the Quebec Referendum campaign in 1995 in which No won by a nose.
    The methodology was tried and tested – and successful.
    The IndyRef No Campaign knew that if they did the same as in Quebec, they would win.
    The SNP failed to understand the No strategy, which was to target the elderly
    and as a result did not counteract it.
    No 2 – 0 Yes.

    With a very large elderly population in Scotland, the No Campaign targeted them specifically throughout and particularly prior to the issue of the postal voting forms.
    With relentless scaremongering, the elderly population,
    who are easily made anxious at the best of times,
    were scared witless at the thought of a change of money, remember decimilisation?,
    and threats to their pension
    which for so many is an essential part of their lives and must be 100% secure.
    Gordon Brown had them scared shitless.

    Postal votes arrived. Darling told the people to get them in quick.
    With fear and trembling the elderly obeyed
    and voted to stop these threats to their security from happening.
    800,000 postal votes, 70% of which were No,
    which is 560,000 No votes and 240,000 to Yes.
    It was already over – long before the polling stations were opened on the 18th.
    No 3 – 0 Yes

    The count.

    “It’s not who votes that counts but who counts the votes”

    Labour’s election motto for 80 years.

    With the Labour ‘vote rigging Machine’ spread throughout the country,
    The Yes Campaign did not have the numbers, the experience or the hardline fraud mentality,
    to stop Labour from ‘making sure of the result’ when the count was done.
    It was like lambs to the slaughter.
    No 4 – 0 Yes.

    The FM rightly condemned the No Campaign for spreading a message of fear and threats.
    But he failed, apparently, to understand that that message was precisely what was needed,
    rom their perspective,
    to reduce the huge elderly population to jelly –
    and to cause many more to doubt.

    The Yes Campaign/SNP ought to have countered No’s strategy against the elderly
    with a precise, authoritative and reassuring rebuttal.
    But didn’t.

    To continue to complain about scaremongering through lies
    from the No Campaign was to miss the point –
    Yes/SNP should have poured much much more energy into protecting the votes of the elderly .

    Much more could be said about these issues
    and probably will be,
    but right now, we are where we are.

    But if, whatever comes, the Yes Campaign fails
    to learn from it’s failings in not taking sufficient care of the elderly vote,
    while not neglecting any other grouping,
    then quite possibly
    the same thing could happen again.

    1. Valerie says:

      Great analysis. Those older people who voted Yes, were the exception, the fear did work on them. I reckon another third voted No due to the late promises, and its said another third voted No for sentiment. I think this is a great article, as I came to the referendum 6 months ago, and became quickly energised doing my research and checking. This is another thing that distinguishes us from No – we know some of the systems, and the characters, their CV. Many No voters just became angry at being engaged, refused to be open, remained entrenched. E.G.. Salmond is lieing, tell me what are the lies – cue anger. We have to accept there are a great deal of right leaning people in this country – I knew who would vote No from their lack of concern for others, and their wails of benefit scroungers previously. Any strategy should at least consider what you do, as they will be threatened and angry by any socialist, so I can’t really agree with the nobody left behind.

    2. DreadUK says:

      Condescending little man. Whilst not “elderly” (I am 57) and the many “elderly” friends I have are far more aware of their rights and responsibilities than 16 and 17 year olds, in fact, more than most 30 – 50 year olds.

      Few “elderly” people are scared, cowed or intimidated by governments or indeed fanatics. Most apply a considerable thought and experience to their decision making process.

      If this is the attitude of the YES campaigners, no wonder they couldn’t make a cohesive case to persuade people to vote for independence.

      And just for the record, I support the concept of independence for Scotland. I am a Scot, but not a resident therefore had no vote, this time. I supported the NO campaign on this occasion because hope, desire and bloody minded defiance is not enough to overcome the simple concept of businesses economics. Scotland, like any other country, is a business, ignore the practicalities of that and the business will fail.

      But there is unlikely to be another referendum in our lifetime in my opinion. Westminster has come out this with a very bloody nose. Questions will be asked internally as to how they came so close to losing the union. They realise there is a groundswell of nationalism, not just in Scotland but in Wales and NI.

      The problem the Scot’s have is that with the necessary devolution of powers that Westminster realises it must accomplish to stop this ever happening again, more attention will be focussed on Holyrood, and their failures. The cause of nationalism will be stopped in its tracks as Holyrood itself turns into just another Westminster.

      This marginal referendum was an opportunistic attempt by the SNP to grab power in a small window of opportunity. My belief is, few in Scotland actually trust the SNP as a credible political party only having once achieved control of the country in 300 years. Had the SNP more faith in their own longevity, and a second term achieved, the people of Scotland would have been behind them by a large majority. Smash and grab politics rarely works but in this case it may have damaged the SNP, or any branded derivation thereof, beyond repair.

      But more importantly, and the best thing that emerged from the referendum, was the turnout.

      There was not a country in the world that wasn’t envious of an 80%+ voter engagement. In my opinion it has energised British politics and exposed the underbelly of entrenched governments, and it should not be seen as merely a consequence of a desire. It was the reason for that desire and grew as people recognised there was an opportunity, rightly or wrongly, for independence.

      The referendum may have been ill timed, ill conceived and ill executed, but it was, almost uniquely, a peaceful appeal for independence. That in itself will intrigue the Middle East in particular and hopefully act as a beacon for peaceful politics rather than violent confrontation. It has also started a fire under British politics that will reverberate round the political world.

      This referendum may have been, on the face of it, a Binary affair but the global repercussions may multiply into a far more complicated calculation.

      1. muttley79 says:

        I find your post bewildering. You say you support Scottish independence, and then say you supported the No campaign. The SNP is only 80 years old. But you make reference to them having achieved power only once in 300 years? This is an absolutely ludicrous remark! The SNP were founded in 1934, and the Union began in 1707, so really not far off 250 years after the Union was formed! You also say that the SNP should have achieved a second term. Their victory in 2011 was the beginning of their second term in office in Scotland! You also say something about a power grab by the SNP. They stood in 2011 with all the other parties, and won a majority in a PR system that was designed specifically to prevent this from occurring. So how on earth was this a power grab? You sound like a unionist who is pretending to be an independence supporter.

      2. budgeup says:

        I do support Scottish independence, but not at any cost. Had you bothered to read my whole post you wold have seen me describe this campaign as ill timed, ill conceived and ill executed. Consequently, I supported the NO campaign because I believed it was wrong, at this moment in time.

        And how many elections been conducted in 80 years, how many opportunities did the SNP have to engage the population of Scotland, but it didn’t. I was wrong in my precise description of the SNP tenure, but they were contiguous thereby barely discernable from a single term. And whilst the Scottish Labour party was established in 1888, it took another 50 years for the SNP to appear.

        The power grab I refer to is the referendum. Having existed for 80 years, and with a 6 or 7 year tenure, the party is barely credible yet thought it could march Scotland into independence. I have maintained throughout that this campaign was more about Alex Salmond than Scotland which has been confirmed by his resignation. So much for loyalty.

        As for being a unionist, yes, on this occasion I was because all I saw was half a country riding a wave of hysterical nationalism whipped up by Salmond himself. And as you have opened the door, I would describe you as a blind nationalist with nothing but your own selfish desires at heart.

  14. Evelyn Pender Eadie says:

    I am one of what would be called elderly. I hate that expression. Age is only a number. I may be 46 years older than my 21 year old daughter (years didn’t stop me then!) but in nothing else. All my life I have dreamed of an independent Scotland, in charge of our own destiny. I have seen the broken promises and downright lies from the politicians. I wept bitter tears when I realised the small minded people without vision had won.b
    However, you are correct. Like me, some of my friends voted Yes. However too many voted No because they were afraid of their pensions being eroded. These people had worked hard while bringing up their families and no way wanted to or could afford to lose any of their hard earned pension. I tried to make them understand that their pensions wouldn’t necessarily be safe if they voted No. They didn’t believe that.
    The older voters should have been specifically targeted.
    What happened to feel the fear and do it anyway? We would still be living in caves if mankind hadn’t grasped opportunities.
    We must be the only nation on the planet to turn down the gift of independence.
    However all my children voted Yes which fills me with hope and gives me the will to work at grassroots level towards the next referendum. There must be another.

    1. lauraeatonlewis says:

      You are an inspiration, thanks for sharing your experience. We have to work with the power we’ve got (what little of it with the bulling don club wagging the dog) and do our best to help empower others.

  15. Abulhaq says:

    Actually it sometimes is about symbols. The 1.6 million independents will still have the union flag and a UK passport to remind them of those who chose to stick with dominatrix Britannia. Acting as a thorn in the side it will goad into further action. The referendum is history. So strategic errors were made. There will never be need for another. Pro-independence parties dominating the Edinburgh parliament will be enough to signal to London that UK time is up. Lets jump to it!

  16. pattie says:

    Thanks to all those fantastic social media sites like bella caledonia, wings, women for independence for their amazing work. This is how most of us were able to inform ourselves and move from undecided to yes. They shed light on the media bias which 6 months ago I wouldnt have believed possible but has been absolutely confirmed. As an english person living in scotland I became passionate about the vision for a fairer greener democratic country as did so many friends (many who were not born here) and the opportunity to create that. The nationalist argument against the campaign was infuriating as it seemed like the only thing that was reported on, so I wholeheartedly agree with other posts that suggest a rebranding of snp e.g social democrats or having 3 new parties snp, greens and one that captures the wider yes vote to replace tory, labour, lib dems as scottish mps in westminister. A name without scottish in the title might also give courage to other cities in england and elsewhere to start up the same. I also understand the concern about splitting the yes votes but think a one party state is never ideal. Anyway whatever happens…. will be following closely the 45, what next, bella and other sites which managed to overcome disappointment and maintain momentum as more change has to happen within scotland first to have a stronger clearer message that reassures the no voters that scotland can go things alone… if we are ever to have hope of having this opportunity again (and winning it). For, I dont think its just the media you only have to look at comments on ‘no’ sites to see its a lot more complicated than that….

  17. fionamacinnes says:

    We need do both, build the socially just society on one hand but also be pragmatic about the power we need for the stuff we still cant change. Keep the disparate dialogues going of course but standing as independents will only split the solidarity vote for socially just leaning yes parties. All need to pick an established party that supports yes and focus on the 2015 UK election. Stay united around yes.

    1. lauraeatonlewis says:

      YES. Like the Yoko Ono YES. Yes and independence at all levels of behaviour.

    2. Patrick Hogg, Biographer of Robert Burns says:

      Perfect. If we can get the SNP to field candidates under the Yes banner for May 7th 2015 then we are on our way. This ill take some soul searching among the SNP and its chosen candidates but by putting country before party it is a real possibility. Win the election in 2015 and declare UDI if we have a majority of MP’s and majority of total votes overall. This can be done!

    3. SqueuedPerspextive says:

      Go look at all the changes that are being brought into place the Repeal by EU court of the Act of Interpretation 1978 – go look
      Go look at the Scotland act 1998
      It has tons of implication for us all
      – 73 constinuences in 8 regions
      – into the UN
      – we get our own navy

  18. liz says:

    We must find a way to bring the Yes indy groups together under one cause and crowd fund the one group.

    I have know idea how that can be achieved but it has to come about.

    BTW Bella could you organise some #The 45 posters or something similar as it was suggested that we don’t want to exclude the folk in the 55% who believed liar Broon and his cohorts.

    That man must never be legitimised in our new Scotland.

    Also I see from some headlines that the guardian has become all democratic again, hypocrites, this paper must also never be legitimised again.

    1. Patrick Hogg, Biographer of Robert Burns says:

      Perfect. If we do it under the Yes SCotland banner with MP candidates picked from various groups not just the SNP. This can be done for the May 7th election if we put country before party. Dont split the vote: nuite under Yes SCotland with one policy: independence. A majority of votes on May 7th would be a mandate for Independence. Time for Blair jenkins to speak to senior SNP people and get the plan thrashed out.

  19. Alasdair Frew-Bell says:

    Alex Salmond may be resigning but no signs of resignation before the vow breakers.

    1. SqueuedPerspextive says:

      Go look at all the changes that are being brought into place the Repeal by EU court of the Act of Interpretation 1978 – go look
      Go look at the Scotland act 1998
      It has tons of implication for us all
      – 73 constinuences in 8 regions
      – into the UN
      – we get our own navy

  20. lancekleon says:

    Don’t worry there’s still hope for Scotland. Meanwhile US is pretty much hopeless, Republicans actually bent down to Democrats.

  21. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    It’s all about forcing another referendum. However that must be demanded from the people via grassroots movement NOT the SNP or any other political party. We will give them the order when to fire the gun!

    That in itself is a process. We will have to build consensus with all. From business to charitable organisations and everyone in between. We convince the majority that we can only build a fairer more prosperous society with the normal powers of statehood.

    This will take a few years, but let’s not kid ourselves. The brutal cuts that will come may be the catalyst required as any minor tax powers would only serve to tax us to high heaven that most cannot pay. The British state will never agree to another referendum. The Scottish Parliament will have to call a consultative referendum (however referendums are all consultative) then possibly declare UDI and take our case to the UN.

    1. Patrick Hogg, Biographer of Robert Burns says:

      We are not waiting a few year! Focus on the General Election of May 7th. See above.

      1. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

        God I hope you’re right Patrick!

      2. SqueuedPerspextive says:

        Go look at all the changes that are being brought into place the Repeal by EU court of the Act of Interpretation 1978 – go look
        Go look at the Scotland act 1998
        It has tons of implication for us all
        – 73 constinuences in 8 regions
        – into the UN
        – we get our own navy

    2. nevermore says:

      Absolutely spot on. It is entirely in our hands now. Watch the 3 stooges tell you its all over for a generation or even a lifetime(!). Truth is, it’s all over till the “Vow” goes down the pan, till Catalonia shows they’ve learned from our betrayal, till the UK EU referendum says “no” . Watch the demand for another indyref then. Good luck palming that off, nawbags! (Sorry, still too upset to be civil…)

  22. Ian Davidson says:

    We can’t pin our hopes on another referendum. Westminster won’t allow it. Already Jack Straw has implied it should be made illegal. If the SNP lose their majority in Holyrood it will be inevitable they’ll pass a law to stop it. The SNP can’t hold a majority for 15 years or however long it would take. Not with the PR system.

    We have to take the initiative now. Jim Sillars has already outlined his plan for an “independence mandate”. Basically this means the SNP (and potentially other Yes parties) would stand on an independence platform in 2016. If they won a majority on that basis they’d declare independence. Simple democracy in action and it takes the initiative away from Westminster.

    But we need to do this now. Sturgeon is a moderate and though she has her heart in the right place she’ll go down the “referendum in 10-15 years” line that Salmond has already alluded to. We need someone in charge of the party who subscribes to this idea (not Sillars himself as he carries too much baggage). If we don’t do this by 2016 the anti-democratic elements in the No side will use the law to derail our movement.

    It has to be done now and if Sturgeon isn’t the person to do it we need someone else. The SNP conference is coming up shortly and we need to make sure we’re organised. We don’t need to convince the electorate here – the polling has already shown support for the SNP shooting up after the referendum – we need to convince ourselves. Let’s get everyone onside and do this by the time of the conference in November. It’s time for radical immediate action, not putting things off for decades.

  23. John Devlin says:

    Are u a pseudonym for naill ferguson? Begone troll!

  24. David Fullstone says:

    Ok I have been drawing up an action list all the way along the campaign and don’t know if you will find this of use but here goes. This is primarily about change. I keep seeing various key terms and ideas associated with the entire process but due to the nature of effective change management it has during the recent events been very haphazard, reactive rather than proactive and generally instilling more fear. I work down South as an Oracle contractor and my degree is in IT. I would love to some day be able to come home to Scotland but there is an unbelievable difference in the job situation between the North and the South. As part of my degree I studied change management and at first I wasn’t that keen as I’m a hard core technician but after a while I started getting really into it instead of just trying to pass the module simply because it made it so obvious to see why so many ventures fail and people end up chasing their tails. I studied John Kotter’s teachings and his 8 step process can be seen best on the youtube movie at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxtF4OXzhyI The start is an introduction and the important part starts at 2:37 It is a great way of ensuring you have the entire picture. Many people leave it to common sense but just like project management this only works effectively for smaller projects and change.

    1. Establish a sense of urgency. Well I could see what they were going on about regarding Scotland being better at making decisions for Scotland but this and the other factors weren’t really that sense of urgency that would hammer the fear factor, the true enemy of change.
    2. Create a guiding coalition. Due to a lack here there was more of a reactive putting out of fires than a proactive blast. The guiding coalition should have right from the start had expert accountants on the case finding a way to simplify in hard core terms rather than the constant putting out of fires that ended up happening. Dealing with Faslane also was an area that should have had an expert rather than shouts that its best to get rid of it. As an ex soldier I managed to persuade a lot of no voter by simply explaining that the days of the cold war were over and even if Pakistan or Iran were to attack they would want to take out the areas that have nuclear weapons first. I then pointed out (CREATING THAT SENSE OF URGENCY) that with Faslane all you had was a top IS terrorist target and the potential of having yourself and your kids cooked at several thousand degrees.
    3. Develop the Vision and Strategy. This was all over the place and should have been clearer laid out in a concise manner.
    4. Communicate the vision. Again not very clear. As an Oracle contractor in the heart of England’s financial sector I would have explained that as with any independent country the finance radiates out from the capital giving that same effect we see radiating out from Westminster. It’s great to say there will be more jobs generated but people need to know why or else they think its just MP speak.
    5. Empower employees for broad based action. This is something I did see a lot of. Everyone was trying to get everyone else involved it was great.
    6. Generate short term wins. people are scared and short term wins really help. Having business members come on board is great but it was left till late when many had their minds made up. As an example from the fear camp I heard about RBS etc and from the YES camp I heard one day about 300 businesses signing up but who were they?
    7. Consolidate gains and produce more change. Right ok this was done to an extent but done badly. The fear camp was allowed to gain the first foothold over currency that would staved off it proper accountants had been on the team. Right near the end I heard Alex say what are you going on about we now have three plan Bs. What were they I never really heard them?
    8. Anchor new approaches in the Culture. Someone mentioned this earlier the SNP should include the word YES whenever they can make it a way of being something they associate with the SNP. Repeat and say the same thing from different angles ensuring that people also remember what people did after the vote.

    Now this can be expanded on and I typed this out quickly but for me the campaign was a bit of a Change management cliche. I watched the first debate and heard Alex ask Alistair if he had stated that we would have to drive on the right side of the road. I mean come on was there even someone who knew how to tackle something like this on the guiding coalition? i started to come together at the end but by then the fear was to deeply embedded for many and the sense of urgency simply hadn’t been established. Yes Scotland can decide better about Scotland’s affairs but this is not a sense of urgency.

    1. SqueuedPerspextive says:

      Go look at all the changes that are being brought into place the Repeal by EU court of the Act of Interpretation 1978 – go look
      Go look at the Scotland act 1998
      It has tons of implication for us all
      – 73 constinuences in 8 regions
      – into the UN
      – we get our own navy

  25. leavergirl says:

    There seems no way to add comments to whatnowscotland.org. I don’t tweet. What now Laura? 🙂

  26. This is very interesting. However I think you need to factor in that Yes Scotland was leading the campaign whilst the policies were that of the SNP government. This created, to all intents and purposes, a split leadership, which no doubt did cause occasional problems. Blair Jenkins, the campaign leader is not a politician, thought to be an advantage in a world where politicians are not trusted, though he was up against an intensely political, and tribal, campaign from the unionists. Perhaps this was a mistake. On the other hand, it was Yes Scotland that set up all the local Yes groups which co-operated with other groups and mushroomed into a massive grass-roots, bottom up not top down campaign, reliant on raising their own funds to work their own areas.

    You write of lack of experts. But the Scottish Government has many experts and can call on many more, whether accountants, economists or defence experts. So no lack of them or their advice. The hostile media utilised the same narrow band of so-called experts, all of whom supported the No side, and many of whom had an involvement with the Labour party.

    And finally, and perhaps if you had actually been here it would have been more obvious, but the Yes campaign was working with a media, both print and broadcast, that was totally hostile, either giving events no coverage or so manipulating coverage as to make the reality unrecognisable such was the slant and spin put on it. So achieving coverage for information, or counteracting misinformation became almost impossible. Had it not been for social media, the campaign and its outcome would have been very different.

    It is easy to point the finger from afar, without having had an involvement with the campaign. Theory is just that, but doesn’t always run to form or produce the required results in real life, especially where politics are concerned.

    1. muttley79 says:

      Yes Scotland’s biggest success was in the creation of a genuine, grassroots movement for independence. Up until 2011 the SNP was largely the independence movement (although there were non aligned supporters and cultural figures as well). However, in the last 2 years a popular mass independence movement has been created. This is an very important development. The SNP could only take the process so far. It needed to be more broadly based and this has now been achieved. The trick is to keep it going and to develop it. I reckon the reason we failed to get over 50 per cent is that we came up against the full might of the British state and its aligned corporations and international allies. In the end it was just too formidable. However, I think a lot of lessons will have been learned, and we can collectively improve significantly over time. There is still institutions and organisations in Scotland that we have to confront and either win over, or neuter sufficiently, the threat they pose in their opposition to independence.

      1. SqueuedPerspextive says:

        Or was it all the changes that are being brought into place the Repeal by EU court of the Act of Interpretation 1978 – go look
        Go look at the Scotland act 1998
        It has tons of implication for us all
        – 73 constinuences in 8 regions

      2. budgeup says:

        Oh for Gods sake man, don’t you get it? It’s over. Westminster has learned a valuable lesson and powers will be devolved to Scotland to ensure this never happens again. They came within a whisker of the union being broken up, do you imagine they will let that happen again in our lifetime?

        No, powers will be devolved and Holyrood will become the focus of Scotlands political ire. Most voters will accept ‘Devo Max’ and support for independence will recede into background noise, as it was years ago.

        You are already a dinosaur, you just don’t know it yet because you can’t see further than the end of your nose.

        “There is still institutions and organisations in Scotland that we have to confront and either win over, or neuter sufficiently, the threat they pose in their opposition to independence.”

        Sadly, your statement is a damning indictment of the independence movements attitude, or at least your approach, “win over or neuter” echoed by the media’s description of the YES campaign as one of bullying and intimidation. Indeed towards the end, even Swinney described the SNP as Totalitarian.

      3. Onwards says:


        “powers will be devolved to Scotland to ensure this never happens again”

        I think exactly the opposite will happen. Westminster doesn’t want to devolve real power to Scotland in case it can compete successfully, and grow the economy to a point where independence looks like an easy step. Federalism would be one small step away from independence, so we will never get that.

        Instead we will get more limited powers, such as the ridiculous powers to vary income tax in isolation.
        Voters will soon realize it isn’t anything like Devo-Max, and it will look like broken promises.

        Demands for Scottish self-government come in waves.
        The first devolution referendum failed, before passing with a large majority second time around.

        I think the same will happen with independence – people won’t make the same mistake twice.

        And the pensioner question has an element of truth to it.
        Traditional media is dying out slowly, as is the bedrock of union support in older pensioners who mainly get their news mainly from them. Not all old people voted for the union, but a very high percentage did, and it isn’t unreasonable to suggest the 2 factors are related.

        Independence will happen eventually, simply because the powers and status of a nation are better than those of a region.

      4. muttley79 says:

        @DreadUK/ Budgeup

        There is nothing in your posts that suggests that you are an independence supporter. Your faith in the British establishment is very touching for a so called supporter of Scottish self determination. Why do you have this faith in them delivering for the people of Scotland?

      5. budgeup says:

        Other than I state that I am an independence supporter.

        Because you don’t like, or agree with what I say does not diminish my belief in nationalism at the right time. Clearly, this was not the right time.

        So stop finding fault with everyone else. It was the SNP’s fault that Scotland din’t get independence, no one elses. You didn’t do enough, you didn’t work hard enough, your promises we’rent convincing enough, your leadership wasn’t credible etc. etc.; whichever way you look at it, you failed to do what you desperately wanted to.

        If a company goes bust no one blames the people that didn’t buy from it, they quite rightly blame the company and its management. How can you expect success when your leader holds a gun to the head of your nearest ally and demands currency with menaces. How can a campaign like that be trusted? If your leadership were sophisticated and experienced enough they would have anticipated the media turning against them and pre empted it, but they didn’t, they merely screamed foul play like the children they were exposed to be when Salmond denied selected media access to his resignation announcement. What a petulant brat.

        This whole affair should tell you something more about yourself than others but the bleating and whining continues. Man up, admit it was your fault and stop deceiving and misrepresenting the 45% that voted for you.

        Physician heal thyself.

  27. CJK says:

    For all the insightful positive and progressive views I read here and everywhere that was/is a Yes destination there are two things that are not being clearly expressed.
    1. It was only because it was binary that we had a chance to win.
    2. As a broad coallition what we had in common was independence as the route of easiest access for what we were all really doing which was rejecting Westminster and all that it stands for both in contemporary and historical terms.

    Independence still remains the most likely route but not through some positive evolutionary process of the good and decent. There are those who will feel they must move that agenda forward and I applaud their vision and the stamina they will require. However there is a greater need for a constant and forensic critique of all that Westminster pretends to do and actually does. The work of Bella, Newsnet and Wings Over needs to be multiplied in intensity and multiplied in dissemination through all online platforms. We have to exceed the mainstream medias saturation and constantly showcase the lies the connections the greed and deception. We need to provoke the democratic crisis that is still waiting to happen and be prepared to exploit the opportunity when it arises.

  28. SqueuedPerspextive says:

    Or was it all the changes that are being brought into place the Repeal by EU court of the Act of Interpretation 1978 – go look
    Go look at the Scotland act 1998
    It has tons of implication for us all
    – 73 constinuences in 8 regions

  29. tartanfever says:

    There are some excellent comments here coming from a positive, thought provoking article.

    Lots of new ideas, the most inspiring of which must be the idea that we just go ahead collectively and create the society we want. Whether that is by creating a coherent media outlet, credit unions or community groups doing whatever localism they need to. There are plenty of great examples throughout Europe we can learn from.

    However, I don’t see the need to dismantle the ‘Yes’ movement as it currently stands just yet. It was by no means a failure, we came within 6% of a victory (or 5% plus a vote or two). That in itself is a wonderful achievement. I predict in the coming months that the predicted failure of the ‘new powers’, wrangles over the West Lothian Question, further economic bad news and the promise of massive cuts will lead to many No voters thinking twice about their decision.

    Wouldn’t it be useful if we still had a recognised campaign that these potential new supporters could turn to for advice ?

    Even if we just use the ‘Yes’ name as an umbrella, pretty much as it has been for the last two years, would that make it easier for new converts to be able to find one contact point from which you can then find out about the individual or local groups ?

    Maybe the first thing we should do is collectively do a leaflet drop along the lines of ‘ for future reference: please keep’ and then list the web addresses of everyone ? Or maybe do it when some bad economic news about further welfare cuts has just broken along the lines of ‘we’re still here, fighting for a better future’ ?

    Personally my Yes sign is still on the tree at the top of the driveway. All the other Yes signs have been taken down in the village as expected because they are posted on council owned lamp-posts, but mine remains. It’ll stay there and here’s the reason why.

    I’m going to mention pensioners here, so please don’t fly off the handle ! We have to talk about our parents or grandparents as statistically, this is where the vote was lost, or more appropriately we failed to convince the electorate. Under 65’s voted Yes – it’s an undeniable fact and if we are to persuade our parents and grandparents to vote Yes, we have to engage with them. This is my experience;-

    I have a number of pensioners in my street that voted No, some because they vote Tory and always have done, some because they feel primarily patriotic towards Queen and country before politics and some that were concerned about pensions, savings and the general upheaval of independence.

    I’m not going to argue against any of these reasons, they’re all valid. However, a common theme that I could discern was that all of them receive their news via the mainstream, a combination of a paper and the tv. None of them use the internet for reading the news, even though most of them own a laptop or an i-pad.

    This naturally led them all to question only the Yes side. Whenever I spoke to them I constantly heard nothing but doubts about this, fears about that etc. Not once in two years did I ever hear a doubt from them on the consequences of a No vote, it simply didn’t enter their vocabulary.

    But now the shoe is on the other foot. Now the cuts will happen. Now the reneging on promises will take place. Now the No campaign are in the spotlight. When those cuts happen, they will most likely affect this group of people as much as, if not more, than many others.

    They all have and use free bus passes.

    They are reliant on medical services much more than younger age groups.

    They receive visits from local health workers and other council services – from the free library delivery service to garden uplifts and everything in between.

    What they don’t equate is that many of the services provided to them at no cost are actually because of a pretty decent SNP welfare policy. When those cuts come in delivered by Westminster hacking our budget and they find themselves losing those free entitlements (or having to pay for them) then the consequences of a No vote will hit home.

    To get to the main road, my neighbours have to walk or drive past my ‘Yes’ sign on the tree. I’m sure at present they might laugh at it, or think it sad that it remains there (it’s only a small A4 size, not a huge banner, not exactly in your face) but as time goes on and the months pass I think the mood may change towards it. It will be a little gentle reminder that just might sow a seed of doubt into those heads.

    I failed to persuade those people, my neighbours, to vote Yes. So did their children and grandchildren (who statistically would have seen a Yes voters in their family).

    Maybe that says more about our society and family connections than anything else. At present I can’t help wondering if the vote would have been different if we hadn’t reached out and said ‘ it’ll be alright grandpa, regardless of your concerns we’re her to make sure you’re alright. We’ll look after you and see to your needs. just have a little faith and we can do this’

  30. Laura says:

    It’s “let’s”, not “lets”! Interesting thoughts about binaries and essentialism here. I wholeheartedly agree that we decided to give up the power, but many in Scotland have now seen first-hand how the power can be brought back to the people. Friday was a difficult day, but we’re already beginning to look on the extraordinary engagement that this process has engendered. I think many Scottish voters have already mentally left Westminster politics behind.

  31. Kenny says:

    The suggestion in the article that we should stand as candidates for election under a number of different banners just seems like a recipe for disaster. We have to remember that while the Yes campaign was a model of this type of politics that this just doesn’t work in a regular election as we will just end up taking votes off each other.

    We have to remember that it was the SNP who won the right to hold this referendum and competing against them in many constituencies will just split the vote and hand victory to unionist parties. We need some kind of cooperation under the Yes banner to ensure that pro independence parties are not splitting the vote.

    In my mind the quickest route to independence is (presuming that the British government go back on devo max) that the SNP/Greens/SSP? stand for the next election on a clear manifesto pledge to declare independence and all Yes voters get behind them. If they gained more than 50% of the vote the Parliament would not need another referendum.

  32. Brian Fleming says:

    Postive talk above of strategy for the Westminster election in May, but let’s not forget the last Westminster election, when the SNP was effectively marginalised by the exclusion of Alex Salmond from the TV presidential-style debates. The Unionist media HAS to be neutered for Scotland to have any chance.

  33. Brian Fleming says:

    On the need for ‘evolution, not revolution’. Evolution has been said to be faster than devolution. Let’s hope that’s the case.

  34. Roddy Gillies says:

    Think a lesson should be learned , If you / we cannot beat them , Join them !!as Ian Vallance cannot see or refused to see how the over 65s were bullied and we were ALL lied to , We MAYBE should ALL become lying Arseholes , bullying , scaremongering mmmmmmmm but is that not breaking the English Law , should the over 5s that were done to on there own door steps and over the phone , not step forward and have them prosecuted, Is this not what we are encouraged to do should we observe this in the work place or any part of life

  35. Iain Hill says:


    There is so much wild nonsense being talked at the moment about the nature and extent of prospective devolution to Scotland, and possibly by extension to the remaining parts of the fading UK, that it may be worthwhile to tease out some of the aspects of the debate. Otherwise, deliberate obfuscation may succeed in dividing and confusing us , to WMs advantage.

    First, we are experiencing a headlong dash on to peripheral questions of structure, and English votes for English laws. (Like most of those who voted Yes, I think EVFEL is necessary and legitimate, just like SVFSL in Scotland. End of story. The furore has been created deliberately by WM interests as a panic smokescreen to divert us from mature and complex discussion. Also to upset Labour, but they can surely redress that by abandoning their unpopular policies and reconnecting with working class people).

    Each constituent part of the UK needs its own parliament. That implies the addition of one (or more) parliaments for England, the exact number and configuration to be agreed by English people, and not imposed by WM diktat.

    The powers to be devolved must be subject to negotiation with each country (this may be difficult, if we note on one hand the wild statements of Brown regarding “home rule” and contrast these with the pathetic and unagreed initial offerings by the WM parties in their so-called “vow”). The important thing is that each country should test the ultimate powers on offer against the needs and goals expressed by its citizens. If it does not already know these, then a major, wide based consultative exercise is required.

    I can only speak personally, and in a limited way for Scottish opinion, but proposals for Scotland will need to answer the following:

    Does it give the right to opt out of illegal/controversial wars of choice if the country’s parliament so decides? (See Iraq III last week. SNP MPs voted against strikes).

    Does it give substantial and effective financial control to the country’s parliament (the recent and entirely bogus debate over threats to the Scottish NHS is a clear example, with Unionists attacking the SG’s “cuts” while knowing full well that the overall budgets of which these are simply partial reflections were already being cut, leaving no options. This is an old WM ruse, of which I have has direct experience since at least the 1970s).

    Does it give the country parliament effective power to redress the balance of equality in the country (eg a wealth tax, other taxes on property, new taxes, differential rates of tax, restrictions on offshore avoidance, and potential avoidance by moving to England. Welfare and job creation schemes without reference to England’ s schemes)?

    Does it give powers to restructure parliament (eg residential qualifications for members, limitations on tenure, recall, tighter expenses schemes)?

    Does it give powers to reject increasingly authoritarian legislation from WM and substitute more relevant Scottish legislation (including immigration)?

    Does it give control of broadcasting and the media to the local parliament?

    (Only a first draft, and others will wish to propose their own tests, I’m sure. )

    Returning to the more general discussion, the referendum debate was tarnished by a great number of WM scares, all later largely disproved. WM also kept up a barrage of malicious comment concerned to present a picture of a Scotland requiring subsidies and lackIng resources. Within days of the referendum (indeed, remarkably quickly) this became embarrassingly obvious (eg upward revisions of oil figures, possible new oil discoveries, fracking licenses, as well as the truth relating to receipts and payments to the Treasury). This was shabby in the extreme, and must be countered in any future election by an independent and non-partisan published audit of Scotland’s resource prospects, also discounting other speculative scare stories, to ensure that voters always have the fullest possible authoritative information before they choose. (Indeed, some think the Electoral Commission should already have done this).

    Imagine for a moment that all of these proposals can be successfully implemented. Do we then need “the great, imperial parliament” at WM? Certainly not in its current form. Politicians cling to power like limpets, but most of WMs outdated attitudes, customs and egos must go.

    Instead we need a national chamber, drawn simply from members of country parliaments, to act as a lightweight superstructure, to deal with matters of common interest (obviously defence and coastal/environmental protection. It could bid for more, if agreed by the country parliaments, which should ultimately decide). In this chamber representatives should debate as equals, tho obviously it would be weighted for country size. It would be part time and work always on the principle of subsidiarity ie taking only those decisions which could not be taken at lower level.

    If Federated Britain (not copyright) really wishes to make it as a 21C state, dumping its post imperial delusions, let’s do it!

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