Jenny Lindsay
argues for the need for reflection and (re) organisation.

In the gut-wrenching weekend that has followed the referendum result, social media is awash with people calling for action. A march, a 45 twibbon, another petition, getting back on the horse, wiping away our tears with our feet, marching into the next battle. No rest, folks, we still need to organise, so stop blubbing and think about what you’re going to do, the calls go. Get your groups together and get back to campaigning. Just as many of us who were too ill or unable to campaign in the last week of the campaign felt guilty for being unable to do so, now we are told we must get over this swiftly or interpret it as a victory. So here is my own call for action:

Calm it. And slow down.

That the yes movement still exists is obvious. But we need time to reflect and reorganise. Crucially, we need to think about how we do that. Conversation and communication is key, and I’m not sure that two days after what was one of the most crushing political events of our entire lives is really enough time.

As Laura Eaton-Lewis has pointed out previously, “a campaign is not a democracy.” Our many, varied, brilliant campaign groups in the yes movement were broad coalitions of people working together, and working hard, but with a very specific end-goal in sight. While they should continue, none should continue as they have.

To say this is not to do a disservice to the brilliant work that these groups have produced, often with a serious lack of resources. But for these groups to continue as they have done would be a real disservice to that brilliant work, which was all about fighting for a better Scotland; fighting for change. Fundamentally, it was also about striving to be the change we wanted to see, so it’s about time we started that process.

By necessity, and in some cases by design, these groups are broadly unconstituted, with no real structure, and no elected leadership. Where leaders exist, they do not have a mandate, often calling leadership due to longevity of service, or other undemocratic forms of ownership such as an ability to work 24/7 on the campaign, which in itself is a privilege. Nobody owns a movement, it is built by the movement, and therefore, these groups’ popularity and their platforms were built with the sweat and tears of all of us who got on board. We need to ensure that we are supporting true leadership, or becoming leaders ourselves. We also need to ensure that the democracy we are fighting for starts in our own movement.

The core organisers of these grassroots groups, while dedicated, hard-working and to be fully admired, should therefore take the time to consider how they organise. Before they do a single inch of campaigning, they need to regroup with their actual membership and ask them what they think is necessary. How is the group organised? Who is “in charge” and why? Is the group democratic? Is it actually as effective as it could be? Is it organised in a way that actually allows dissent, and what happens if there is a disagreement in terms of direction? Is it organised in a way that actually allows a plurality of viewpoints? Is it in a way that is truly collective, with everyone’s views being respectfully engaged with? Do you feel valued in your hard work? Because, if not, then something needs to give. Did your core organising group grow or shrink as the campaign progressed? If the former, you’ve a great foundation to build on. If the latter, you need to work out why that is.

Because of the reactionary nature of the campaign, which required quick decisions to be made in the face of serious opposition, many issues were swept to the side “for the sake of the campaign.” That excuse goes away now. There is time. There is. So let us pause. Let’s have a look at who is claiming authorship and ownership of this movement. Let us ask of them what their authority is for this. Ask how boards and appointments are being made in our progressive groups, whether that is in our political parties, in newly forming platforms, or in the grassroots movement.

Thousands of us have joined political parties since the result was announced. This shows that we are desperately keen to get behind a group, or a collective. When we do, it becomes ours. So ask those questions. The power of this movement has been inspiring, and the power that these groups thus have might not be fully realised by those who organise within them. So, to them, I say: you are mighty. And you have a serious amount of power. Be aware of this, and get organising yer organising. Calmly, reflectively, and with clear aims in mind. You have a duty to.

Comments (55)

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  1. davehay2014 says:

    And if the no voters do similarly and rise up against you? Where will this end? From the inside and the outside (as I am both), Scotland looks now like a land thoroughly divided and full of self-loathing.

    1. liz says:

      I don’t give a f*** what Scotland looks like from outside.

      You might be self loathing I am amazed at the brave people, who despite the entire British establishment with outside help from Europe, America, Australia, had the guts to vote Yes even though some of them were scared to do so.

      You can crawl back under your duvet if you want, we on the other hand are invigorated and ready for phase 2

      1. davehay2014 says:

        Liz – your first sentence kind of gives the game away that your following argument will be hollow. I then realised that you actually didn’t have an argument.

      2. Hugh Wallace says:

        Neither do I. I am completely amazed and inspired by the people I know who have thrown off the grief they felt on Friday (I would never have believed that I would weep for a country or for a political ideal) and decided to regroup and carry on.

        As I have got tired of saying to people, the referendum didn’t cause divisions in Scottish society, it simply exposed the divisions that were there. Maybe 55% of the population want to go back to sleep and pretend it never happened but the 45 don’t because we still care about the fact that our country is unfair and unjust and we want to change that.

      3. tartanfever says:

        Dave, fair points.

        It’s only natural that after the referendum we would have to re-evaluate our presence. As Jenny says in her article we have to slow down and think.

        When you come off the motorway after doing 70mph for hours, it takes a wee adjustment to start travelling at 50mph.

        Remember, the vote only happened a few days ago.

        In the meantime, other things are happening in Westminster as a result of our referendum and we’re all trying to adjust to our new position whilst re-acting to developing situations.

        As for ‘No voters rising up against us’ – I’m not sure why they would feel the need to, they won the referendum, maybe you could explain that a little more.

    2. muttley79 says:

      You are right Scotland is divided. Increasing numbers are now dependent on food banks for sustenance, mostly due to the welfare cuts, were are due to the bankers crashing large parts of the global economy. There is a massive gap between the rich and the poor. One in four children are growing up in poverty, while the wealthiest continue to increase their wealth. If this is not division then I do not know what is. But you were not talking about these things were you?

      1. davehay2014 says:

        I was talking about all things muttley79 seeing as most of my family lives in Scotland and range across the social spectrum. I am fully aware of the situations that many people find themselves in, from poverty, poor housing, inadequate education, poor infrastructure, lack of realistic job prospects, dependency on benefits and charity donations to those who are getting on ok (I don’t know of anyone who is particularly affluent though). My original comment was based post-referendum in that now it seems that people are polarised in thought and possibly deed, but it was also made with my eyes wide open to that state of the nation prior to the vote, so you’re wide of the mark.

      2. muttley79 says:


        Apologies, when I hear the words division in Scotland I think that it is usually a unionist who said it.

    3. Hi Dave, I know of quite a few folks who voted No who are nevertheless actively looking at things they can do too. We need to work together. As for self-loathing: I do disagree with that. People are hungry for action quite specifically because they no longer are. The yes movement was a massive part of that, and should continue. Just… not with folks running themselves into the ground at a time when most are still coming to terms with it, that’s all.

    4. Illy says:

      Where will this end?

      When either Scotland is independent, or when Westminster has humane policies.

      I don’t believe the latter is ever going to happen.

      1. davehay2014 says:

        In the cold light of day now, what prospects are there for another referendum? Rather than becoming divided, surely this is an opportunity to unite and fight to ensure that the latter is forced to happen?

    5. iantm says:

      dave, it is immaterial to me what no voters decide to do, unless it’s to change to a yes of course.

      Why should we give up the aspirations we have for Scotland because others say no?

      The YES Campaign was a joy to be involved in and it grew, the youngsters involved will have their say in the future.

      The one thing I hated was the Nazi invasion by bigots, full of hate and aggression, we are supposed to bow down to that?

      If there is division it is this Right Wing Nazi Sub Culture which causes it, even the NO Campaign tried to disown them.,

      I am not divided from the NO voters, I am detached and would hope to engage with them to find a common ground to involve them in the betterment of Scotland.

      The division lies with the Unionist side,a big part of it’s support, who will not go away, are Right Wing thugs willing to break the law to enforce their point of view. ,

    6. lastchancetoshine says:

      Scotland always been full of self loathing, that,s what we are trying to change.

    7. Donald Marr says:

      The self loathing is allowing ourselves to be governed by those we don’t elect Dave

  2. Patrick Hogg, Biographer of Robert Burns says:

    Well written piece Jenny. I see it very clearly and a strategy is obvious with the election next year on 7th May. Win it under the banner of Yes Scotland, keeping all the activists we have when everyone has recovered. No mad rush to arms. What I suggest is we stand candidates under the wide banner of the Yes Scotland for Independence flag. That would mean the Yes Scotland Team getting round the table with senior SNP leaders to thrash out a strategy. It would also mean that the SNP put country before party and ask even our team of SNP MP’s like Stuart Hosie etc to stand under the YES Scotland banner as a Yes Scotland candidate, not strictly as an SNP candidate. hear this out. It is not about dividing our extant support but consolidating it. The problems are not too insurmountable. Most SNP candidates for Westminster will already be chosen.. If some can put country before party they should not mind stepping aside for a great candidate like Jeane Freeman, Blair Jenkins, Ivan MacKee,,Lesley Riddoch, Cat Boyd and so on. This would show Scotland that the SNP do put country before party. I am an SNP councillor and do not have a problem with it. Some others may have. The aim is to keep Independence as our collective goal

    What we want to achieve is a majority of seats in the May 7th election. That on its own would be a great success. Even better would be an overall total of all votes cast. If we obtain more than 50% of all votes cast, then that is a prima facie case for a Declaration of Independence because the will of the majority is for Independence. If all candidates stood under the simply banner of Yes Scotland for Independence then it would be clear to all who vote for us tat they are voting for Independence. I am sure the MP’s we elect if a majority of seats and votes would then have the legal right under International Law to demand UDI from Edinburgh with the new First Minister. With enough seats won we might even hold the balance of power in Westminster.

    From a marketing and organising viewpoint, all the Yes Scotland Facebook pages still exist. All the Yes posters still exist. The badges. The T-shirts. No need to re-invent them. n need to re-brand. Its all there waiting for the key people to refocus our energies. I have crunched the numbers and this could be done. We will not get all Labour MP’s ousted but by God we can shake the ground under them and turn Project Fear upon them for their very jobs. As our First Minster said, ‘Tremble false Whigs in the midst of yer glee; Ye’ve no’ heard the last o’ ma bonnets and me!’

    Or we go to sleep for another generation and scream in angst with Robert Burns (1794) ‘Where is the soul of Freedom fled! Immingled wi the might dead….’ I would rather quote another few lines of Burns
    ‘I pray with Holy fire! Lord send a rough shod troop o’ Hell, O’er a’ wad Scotland buy or sell; And grind them in the Mire!!!. Labour’s day of reckoning must come on 7th May.

    Of course the SNP as a party could try to do all of the above by asking for national support from all Yes Scotland activists but some are still of the view that we are ‘narrow minded Nationalists’. As a member of the SNP I dont know one such person. We have civic Nationalism here in Scotland which is Internationalist at core, a form of defensive patriotism in my view; while the ugly type of ethic Nationalism, that is, a nationalism driven by hatred of other groups, is already rampant in England with UKIP. Let’s win the election of May 7th next year under the banner of Yes SCotland for Independence.

    1. emcclure2013 says:

      I completely agree. I am not a member of any party but am a member of Yes.

      We cannot let the dead hand of Westminster take over and kill our movement off with vague promises, committees, meetings,blah blah.

      I am willing to commit to help although I am unsure what to do.

      I think that’s why so many folk have joined a Yes party as they need someone to organise.

      When campaigning, polling etc with Yes, we were all either in different parties or none.
      We cannot lose that movement.

    2. Illy says:

      The reason I’m against the SNP running as “The Scottish Independence Party” in 2015, is that I don’t think that all the other pro-independence parties would back off for an election.

      I’ve mentioned before that there has to be coordination between the SNP, SSP, Greens and Independents to get them to not contest each other, but to only have one candidate from the Yes movement running for each seat, with plenty of information going around with them endorsing each other.

      A proper “Scottish Independence Party” (under that name) running with the combined forces of all of those would also work, but the SNP has too much baggage to do this alone.

      1. Illy says:

        (Basically, the SNP need to show that although they’re the biggest party on our side, they’re willing to work with the others, and compromise, to get the job done. Egos will need to be bruised, and people will need to accept that. Salmond stepping down also lets us cleanly off the hoop for forgetting anything he said about “once in a lifetime” (which was probably part of the intent))

      2. Illy says:

        No Facebook login, and no intention to ever have one.

      3. davehay2014 says:

        In that case, the smaller parties will need to ensure unity in purpose to achieve independence – will that be easy to bring to fruition? A splintered yes camp would be the worst scenario.

      4. Patrick Hogg, Biographer of Robert Burns says:

        Illy I like what you say but rebranding Yes Scotland is not essential. We know what it stands for. We were all part of it. We have the posters, the badges, the T shirts and so on. rebranding takes while and costs lots of money. The web is full of Yes Scotland groups already. We ask the SNP and Yes Scotland to meet, discus the plan and come to agreement with Country first before party as I outlined above. This can be done. A majority of MP’s and a majority of votes cast overall gives us a legal mandate for UDI.

        Yes there is baggage within the SNP. It began with the McCrone report of 1974 suggesting all British media should brand them as narrow minded selfish Nats. That was done. Done so well that even close friends of us in the SNP still use this brainwashing rubbish.The mud sticks (for some), The hatred and jealousy of the top Labour people towards our First Minister, for being far more intelligent than them and taking over their House of Credibility and winning a majority in Edinburgh has driven them half crazy. They had no argument at all in the referendum campaign. They had no argument in Holyrood for the past few years – just an acid drip of posturing deception to jab at the First Minister that he was a liar every time he opened his mouth. Labour in Edinburgh are a blob of mediocrity beneath my contempt. In Westminster they are invisible men and women. But what unites them is hatred and jealousy of the talent in the Scottish Government. It saddened me the number of people who said to me on the door steps that they did not like Alex Salmond. I asked if they knew him? They swallowed a lie.

        We must convince another 200,000 people to vote Yes Scotland come the May 7th election. And we must never let it be forgotten that labour and their cohorts systematically scared the living daylights out of our elderly as a policy of negativity and fear. A crook would have been arrested for doing this. I left Labour in 1987 and now see them as a gang of thugs who will stop at nothing to keep their dominance animal control of Scotland. Nye Bevan would consider them lower than vermin for the way they have behaved.

        It has to be Yes SCotland for Independence candidates for the election of May 7th. We must stay together and keep the banner of Yes with all parties subsumed under the banner: with country first and party second.

      5. I will say, that I thoroughly disagree with this. I think it is undemocratic. The Yes movement was and is diverse: as are the political parties (and individuals!) that supported independence. To condense that all into one group is, to me, highly undemocratic. And, for the bulk of those advocating a yes, it was a chance for true democracy that swung them to Yes. It was the plurality and the possibilities; the many different opportunities for Scotland; the many differing ideas and the vibrancy of the ideas that activated this country into realising the opportunities for real change, and real democracy. That shouldn’t be lost. I could agree with the SNP on independence while snorting in disbelief at some of their other policies; recognise the greatness of a lot of the content from groups like National Collective, while also cautioning some of the other voices given a platform. Centralising this movement would be, for me, not only unfeasible, but wholly undesirable.

    3. george says:

      Some very interesting points to be made there i myself am centre left with a strong leaning toward the green agenda this was my first vote in 30 years and we were robbed but the mistake westminster is making is thinking we are defeated and will disperse i for one am more awake than ever before and am going to join the SNP for one reason that we get the majority in parlimnent and delcare our independence and even then i wont fall back into apathy never again and me like many others are now in this for the loing haul whcih might be a lot shorter than we all think thanks to Mr salmond hinting at a declaration of indy whcih as i see it is the only way forawrd now we cant wait another 20 years to right this injustice to democracy i have had enough like so many of your readers here and i am not giving up we need to not only leave this unequal union we need to tear it down as we leave to allow true democracy to flourish we also need to nationalise the BBC scotland as their interference in the indy referendum was totally bias shamefully scaremongering the BBC has shown to the people that it is just a tool used by westminster to instill fear and hate into the masses so long as it server the UNIONS agenda i dont want to be part of this union that hates ethnic minorities immigrants who allows the the 1% impoverish the 99% for their on selfish ends this UNITED KINDGOM is a farce when you have to threaten people’s pensions savings and even their homes if we are better together why are unionist mobs attacking yes supporters in glasgow they won for gods sake (even though a lot of scots think it was rigged at the polling stations) and now the BBC makes it look like its yes supporters that are the thugs this is too much… i bloody live there and i saw for myself who these violent animals were thery were unionists with a nice mix of rangers unionists BNP ornange order supporters and of course our nasty little Scotland National Front this was a coordinated attack on innocent peaceful Yes supporters who’s only crime apart from voting yes and being there was to make a massive donation of food to the local foodband.

      What happened to journalistic ethics in the UK have they no shame.

      1. george says:

        Sorry for the typos but i think you all get what i meant well i hope you did

      2. Patrick Hogg, Biographer of Robert Burns says:

        Jenny. I was arguing that we keep Yes Scotland going as it is towards a Declaration of Indy in May 2015. Not create a new party. This is not impossible – if we achieve a majority of seats and a majority of overall votes cast then it is a just and legal claim to make.

        I was not proposing we centralise anything or make anything undemocratic..Yes Scotland for logistical organising systems info reasons is already centralised so is the SNP. The only true way as I see it that Yes Scotland can be a major player in the election of May 7th is that the SNP and Yes Scotland talk, discus a plan and come to some agreement with an overall approach where all candidates are fielded as Yes Scotland for Independence under that banner. I am proposing no changes whatsoever to Yes Scotland’s approach as we employed it in the campaign. Zero. It was amazing. One objective as before – Independence. One focus of all our energies as before: Independence. The main drawbacks here are obvious. There might not be a desire for Yes Scotland talent from all the groups to stand candidates. What I am suggesting is that the SNP candidates already chosen stand aside for the Yes Scotland ones who come forward such as Lesley Riddoch, Jeane Freeman, Cat Boyd, Blair Jenkins, Ivan MacKee and so on. If none of them are interested in this plan, then the idea falls flat. It would mean SNP would have to put country before party.

        Im sure our aims are the same and objective the same and the last thing I want is for the Yes enthusiasm to fade. As an SNP councillor I introduced myself at doors as a Yes Scotland campaigner first and foremost and was delighted to canvas with SSP members (et al) and politically energised people from our communities. That has to be kept going.

        I have huge faith in our First Minister and Depute and their team and all the Yes Team so will cease my ranting on here and look forward to playing my part in winning the election of 7th May 2015 for Scotland’s future back in our hands!.

  3. Illy says:

    No self-loathing from this side.

    Maybe you’re talking about the people burning their own nation’s flag in celebration of the result on friday?

    Divided is right, but I have friends who voted no, and they’re still my friends. (They were even nice enough to back me up with the “don’t talk about politics” stand in our hobbies (Someone else was trying to be an ass about it))

    So I don’t think it’s anywhere near as divided as some would have us think.

    1. davehay2014 says:

      The people burning their own flag certainly loathe something – I have never got close enough to one of them to work out what though. I’d say everything.

      I was talking about people pointing accusatory fingers at others in their own society who voted (or who might have voted or who fall into a certain demographic of potential voters) with views opposite to their own. I’m talking about friendships falling apart as I am currently seeing – not all, but some. Families struggling to cope with division in their own ranks.

      I remember all to well the miners’ strike of 1984 and the way the Thatcher government, aided and abetted by the police and special branch managed to create divisions in what was a close-knit society with a common sense of purpose and unity. The result was that the strike failed, the pits closed and still to this day in those communities there are people who used to be close either through family or friendships or just through work who no longer speak to each other.

      My concern is that this could happen in Scotland. Things have been said that cannot be unsaid and forgiveness is a hard process, particularly if a society remains polarised. The area I lived in at the time was like a police state and when it was over and people could move freely again, those new-born divisions lived on and are still felt today.

      1. Hugh Wallace says:

        Sometimes friendships come to an end for good reason. I am quite comfortable with the fact that I am now ex-friends with people who voted No because the reasons they did so appeared to be primarily out of a sense of ‘I’m all right Jack, I don’t give a flying F about anyone poorer than me’. On the other hand I am still very friendly with countless friends and relatives who voted No because they did so for other reasons or their importance in my life (especially relatives) outweighs other matters. What I have discovered during this campaign is more about myself and what values matter to me. I have to be true to my values even if that means shedding a few friends along the way.

      2. tartanfever says:

        Dave, you have to understand that families did vote in specific patterns according to hopes and fears – and that happens in all elections across the world.

        Surely to ignore voting patterns if they are clear is to miss an opportunity to discuss in a reasonable manner ? If people are afraid to discuss these issues with members of their own families in a rational fashion then that is a reflection of family dynamics as much the pressures of a referendum vote.

        To ignore what has happened and make it a taboo subject is not healthy. Keep it rational, keep it caring, I think there are huge insights to be had from some honest discussions.

        Less of the finger pointing and more understanding.

      3. MBC says:

        The thing is though that the issues weren’t always that clear in the way that the Miner’s Strike was. A lot of people were confused, others were ignorant and denied access to real information for one reason or another. Mostly we agree about the same shared values, but disagreed about who or what was most likely to deliver them. Thus it is possible to forgive quite a few Noes as people who simply got things wrong. It was folly, not malice. But with others there is more polarisation. There was one friend I have totally fallen out with, but then we weren’t that close anyway, and she is a very bigoted person. A Britnat, but refuses to see this. Another neighbour I have also fallen out with because I have come to see her deep and commited unionism as imperialism. But others I can forgive for their folly. One friend admitted to me today that she bitterly regretted having voted No. She had been bullied by her father into voting No because he kept ranting on about economic fears. But her son (16) voted Yes, and is heartbroken. I have taken some solace from the fact that Lord Ashcroft’s poll of 2000 people showed that only 27% of Noes voted No out of an affiliation with the UK. For nearly 50% the principle reason was fear about the £, EU, banks, pensions – not disloyalty to Scotland. Project Fear worked, people weren’t necessarily shallow, there were terrorised.

  4. I strongly feel that part of the problem is that most people, either through lack of interest in politics, understanding of economics, or easy access to unbiased resources, made up their mind without full awareness of the truth and problems, or considering alternatives at all. It is easy for us the politically engaged, to research and campaign etc – but there is a whole section of society who is under-informed or misinformed due to the propaganda style media we have. And many have closed their minds to any attempt at reasoning, persuasion etc.

    However, with a daily newspaper, with all the popular appeal style of the tabloids, there is the opportunity to gently and subtly inform and educate in bite-size pieces – a sort of politico/economic understanding by ‘stealth’. This newspaper should definitely not have a political slant towards Yes parties – we are already decided and don’t need it as much (though we should support it). It should be aimed at the main No demographic that believes we are “too wee, too poo, too stupid”. If we can get people to understand what the threats to our society are, the strengths and all issues – then all the Parties have to do is present the alternatives and options available.

    The question is whether within our collective, there are enough contributors in terms of funding start up (perhaps using crypto currencies, donors, investors) for the space and equipment, and then writers, analysts, photographers etc who are willing to commit time and effort at probably very low rate of pay until the project can be made self-funding. Perhaps we could attract some sympathetic top-end journalists to contribute (even if only an article or two per week) under pseudonyms so that the reputation for truth, trust and impartiality can be built.

    1. fermerfaefife says:

      personally – I think you should bide your time , the main stream print press is struggling – I bet that some of the local rags (eg Fife Free Press) could be bought out at some point – maybe even the herald or Scotsman could be within reach of some of our wealthier supporters like jim McColl or Brian soutar. The advantage with them is that they already have the readership of the demographic we need to target. Would an oldie pick up a new pro-indy paper or the Sunday Post ? I rest my case.

    2. Ash Burnett says:

      The funding question is one that I’ve been trying to find about about since Saturday (I was too much of a mess on Friday), though from a different perspective. I have had a monthly direct debit to Yes Scotland for the past year and a bit. I’m looking for something to switch this sum to, and I’m sure there are likely to be a great many others like me too. And while so many are cancelling their TV licenses, might there be an appetite among some to crowd fund the equivalent, or part thereof, into an impartial media project?

    3. tartanfever says:

      I couldn’t agree more with your first paragraph, thats exactly what I came across time and again throughout the campaign.

      1. MBC says:

        But in response to the next general election being a campaigning field for ‘Yes Scotland’ the beauty of that idea is that it would not be an independence referendum. Therefore a lot of the disengaged would not bother to turn up to vote, whereas they were panicked into turning up to vote No in huge numbers at the referendum. So there is a great opportunity to get those Yes votes out and unseat all those Labour MPs that have stood in our way.

        For instance, there are 7 Glasgow Westminster seats, all Labour. 190,000 votes were cast for Yes, and 160,000 for No. But at the 2010 General Election each of these 7 Labour MPs barely scraped 20,000 votes a piece. So if we really got going in Glasgow and got all the Yes voters out to vote Yes Scotland, plus the others that were too flaky to turn out, we could unseat them.

        Imagine, getting out Margaret Curran, Ian Davidson, Anas Sarwar… what a scoop!

  5. MBC says:

    I think standing as Yes Scotland at the next election is an excellent idea if the parties can agree to field the very best candidates in each constituency most likely to secure the vote and activists are prepared to work their socks off. I like the sound of Yes Scotland as a name and we all know what it stands for. In a lot of places like Glasgow it probably stands a better chance of election than the SNP, but in other places it might be better if SNP candidates stood because SNP are strong there.

    Have been looking at the Glasgow Westminster seats, Anas Sarwar, Margaret Curran, Tom Harris, Ian Davidson, etc., and they all have absolutely stonking majorities, but on fairly low turnouts. It would take an earthquake to unseat them, but the SNP are so far behind them in second place that I wonder if they would really have any chance here, even after the excitement and fury of the referendum?

    1. Patrick Hogg, Biographer of Robert Burns says:

      Absolutely perfect MBC!!!! We have the marketing brand already we have the badges the stickers in our cars and the T shirts we so proudly wore. Yes Scotland won every constituency in Glasgow so that means we are capable of taking out every labour MP in Glasgow! This can be achieved. And it will be an earthquake. Their day of reckoning cometh.

      Even Stuart Hosie MP who has a majority for the SNP could stand under the banner of Yes Scotland for Independence if that was palatable to the SNP. I am a member of the SNP and would always put country first before party.

      Here in North Lanarkshire we will plan to take out all 4 Labour MP’s. In my own area of Cumbernauld we will unseat Gregg McClymont. Project Fear will turn on them. having taken around 58% of the Yes votes in his constituency we will award him with a P45 on May 7th. I will have a mock P45 ready for him at the count!..

  6. Whilst I agree that standing under the YES banner is ideal, we have to be pragmatic. We have 8months to the GE next year and need to have candidates/policy in place. There is the opportunity to run with the SNP fielding the majority of candidates, as they have the best chance of unseating Labour. We can have other candidates standing with a pact that we only field one YES candidate. All could stand under their party/independent with the tag of “one Scotland”, “YES Scotland”, or whatever added. The SNP already have the party machinery in place to co-ordinate a campaign. We would need the best candidates in place Sillars, Fox, Riddoch, Freeman et all. Let’s stay united and play the long game. It’s coming yet for aw that!

    1. Patrick Hogg, Biographer of Robert Burns says:

      Bang on Frank. I will await and see what the SNP and Yes Scotland team decide. Country before party always! Btw I always thought the election would be the time we SHOCKED the Westminster establishment and Labour for the precise reason that they will not expect it…………

  7. JWil says:

    There has been an uplifting spin-off from the referendum. It has put Ed Miliband on a sticky wicket and I have the feeling that the Labour party would have been better of with an independent Scotland than the catastrophe that beckons them.

    There are two elections coming along. Both are a threat to Labour. It would be good to have a host of SNP MPs returned to Westminster, to put the cat among the pigeons, followed by a significant win in the Scottish election for the SNP. The complete demoralisation of Labour would be just reward for their sins.

    Note sure if using, ‘The 45’, as a name for a new movement is wise. It has some connotations that would allow the media to have a field day.

  8. Derek Henry says:

    It is time for reflection

    In my view the SNP was a victim of their own success. The polling figures suggest that no Scottish Government have been liked so much after being in power for so long. The reason for this is because nobody knew if they had the skills to run the country and yet they have done a sterling job.

    It is ironic that it was the silent majority and some SNP voters who lost the vote for independence. They became too comfortable and were in fact protected by the SNP. Even though the cuts from Westminster have been eye watering. The SNP still manged to give free subscription charges, freeze the council tax and free care for the elderly which must have helped the silent majority and the over 55’s.

    When Labour were in charge of the Scottish parliament the council tax rose which affected pensioners the most and people were having to sell their houses to take care of their families in care homes. The SNP protected the elderly from Tory and Labour cuts and yet I don’t even think they recognised this.

    Maybe if the timing was different and say the referendum was held after a Tory or Labour government had been running the Scottish government for a few years. Then the outcome could have been different.

    As for moving forward. For me it is obvious the grass root movement should foreget about indpendence for now and pull together and organise for Home Rule. The next referendum that is put in the SNP manifesto as a mandate should be Home Rule. This is only 2 powers away from full independence. Again with reflection if this referendum had been YES/NO for Home Rule then I’m sure we would have won and we would be so close to the goal that most of us want.

    So we need to calm down and keep quiet for a while and come up with a strategy that will get us a Home Rule referendum over the next few years. One of the ways that we can do this is use the extra powers scenario to move this forward. We will definately not get the powers we want in this new deal after a consensus has been met by all of the establishment parties. Therefore, we need to highlight what we were given and show how this falls short of what we need. I’m sure there are a large percentage of No voters who would also like Home Rule and will join us during this campaign and it would be a great way to help the healing so that we become more united. it will also give us a chance to educate more NO voters on the economics of Home Rule and what that means.

    Let us come up with a strategy and campaign that will give us a home rule referendum that is not rushed and thought through.

    Also we can’t ignore the poor regions of Scoltand that voted for the first time like Castlemilk for the YES campaign or we’ll be no better then the establishment parties. Our work should carry on there on a full time basis and not just turn up when we need the votes.

  9. Derek Henry says:

    If you really think about it.

    Gordon Brown told millions on TV that we would be getting Home Rule.

    It’s obvious we won’t.

    We keep quiet until then and then use that as our rallying point afterwards and bring everybody together to fight on this issue.

    Should the Scottish people have what was promised to them Home Rule YES/NO.

  10. Steve Bowers says:

    Lots of very interesting stuff on here, much food for thought, if anyone’s interested I have set up a site, I want it to become a peoples lobbying group for the Scot Gov, feel free to come along and join in ( I’m hoping my son can kep it going cos I’m off on hols tomorrow morning )

  11. caperash says:

    As long as you remain tethered to the BIS-City of London financial system, it’s pretty much all a waste of time. You have to go for full independence but next time – in about 10-20 years – do it right having internally organised a broad-based Independence Campaign that is not tied to any particular political party or administration. This is not an easy thing to pull off. You need a combination of fast media (twitter, blogs) and slow media (weekly newspapers) and solid organisation – actualy meetings with actual people and larger, occasional conferences. And after all that, a clear platform with clearly stated goals all of which can be summarised in ideally no more than 3-5 points, ideally one (independence), but the 3 could be something like: 1. Political Independence 2. Currency Independence. 3. Funded media and other cultural institutions.

    You can start with the third using private contributions to get them going. A Yes Independence Party with weekly magazine, blogs, town meetings for example, can organise a whole lot of stuff without necessarily running for office in the current (unsatisfactory) partially devolved system. As an organised Party without parliamentary (but perhaps other) Representatives, perhaps with an annual Conference with Regional Representatives etc., you can harness organised, clear, articulate influence around 1-3 key issues and thus bargain with existing Parties like SNP and Greens for your votes. And by not fielding candidates for the current system, when the next Referendum happens, you won’t get sucked into partisan arguments nor perceived as political partisans. I personally think that if SNP had not been leading the charge on this one that quite a few of the No’s might have been persuaded but unfortunately too many of them regarded this is a typical political campaign, albeit about a specific, and more important than usual, issue.

    All best from Cape Breton!

  12. BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!! The Establishment were never going to allow a YES win but win we did judging by the positive momentum I’ve been witnessing. Last Friday seems like years ago because so much has been achieved since then. See what happens when you allow a voice to a people who have been silenced and have suffered for too long because of a small minority of ruthless, greedy fuckwits. This is no comparable uprising but a demand for what is just, right and proper and hopefully will be presented in a dignified and unified communication that is understood by one and all. There is no going back now so get used to it Westminster, you had better get your house in order if you want to retain any modicum of plausibility. Though if I had a say Westminster should be demolished or converted to housing for the homeless or at least as a monument to independent thinking. Here we go, here we go, here we go………….!

  13. Marconatrix says:

    First we need to realise that different people will recover at different speeds, and that some will be up and down for a while. Second, I know from experience, admittedly with much smaller projects, that when a ‘big tent’ movement gets stalled there is a real danger of fragmentation. People with different aims can work together as long as the outcome is broad enough to include them all. But as soon as the New Jerusalem seems unobtainable, the tendency is for each element to try to salvage its own particular piece of the action from the resulting confusion. A movement can quickly dissolve at that stage, even if those who oppose us don’t start playing Divide and Rule, as they most probably will. I’m not myself too keen on leaders, but at this stage some strong clear leadership is probably essential to hold things together.

  14. Philip says:

    In other circumstances I’d be inclined to nod and murmur in agreement with what is obviously a sensible, well thought-out call for reflection. Unfortunately, I don’t think it recognises the time constraints we face.

    The campaign for the 2015 Westminster general election started two days ago, the beginning of the party conference season being considered to symbolise the starting gun. There are eight months until the vote.

    The various “Yes” supporting groups need to meet with each other and discuss how they should go forward. A significant rebranding exercise may be required. These groups will have to have internal discussions amongst their members to decide what their objectives are and how they best deploy their resources. Indeed, before such decisions can even take place, many need to formalise their internal democratic structures. And all of this takes time.

    So, let’s for the sake of convenience assume that a month would be needed to sort out all of the above. Let’s also remember that the last month of any campaign inevitably descends into sound and fury. In truth, there are only really 6 months of solid campaigning available. Yes – and until any branding decisions are taken, that is how I guess we have to refer to the wider movement – is already traipsing behind the Westminster parties who have already entered campaign mode, and needs to move quickly.

    There’s a temptation to believe nothing can ever go back to the way it was before; to imagine that the level of engagement we saw will now become the norm; to imagine that deep disdain for politics is a thing of the past. And that’s because we’re too wrapped up in our own bubbles. Yes, there are so many positives to take from the campaign but we have to remember that we lost and we have to remember that, as individuals, we all deal with grief in different ways.

    For many of us, our resolve has only been strengthened. For others, deeply depressed with the outcome, there may be a drift towards feelings of hopelessness, despair and, ultimately, disengagement. Many of the former are huddling around placeholders, desperately crying out for leadership, for a fulcrum to assemble around. And therein we find danger. Boundless enthusiasm and passion coupled with a high degree of political naivety has already led to negative press aimed at misguided and ill thought-out campaigns and banners. The retained passion and enthusiasm of these people needs to be harnessed and channelled, lest the real message be obscured by labels of “cranks”, “conspiracy theorists”, and “democracy deniers”. The revote petition and upcoming demo, for example, are an embarrassment to our cause.

    We are all thankful to groups such as National Collective for the wonderful contributions you’ve made throughout the campaign. We won the vote amongst a certain strata of the population thanks in no small part to your efforts. And we know many of you must be exhausted. But we need you, and groups like you, now more than ever. Especially you though. After all, who better to teach these groups how to organise properly and to present a clear, positive message?

  15. Philip says:

    Apologies. I had meant to write “groups such as Bella’ and National Collective”. It was lost in the editing :S

  16. Trish says:

    I’m in Canada, however there were many discussions here amongst people of Scottish birth and descent and those with family in Scotland who would get the vote and there was intense interest here in the outcome. Many here have ties to Scotland and we paid close attention to the campaign and on election night, many of us with fervent hopes for a Yes. Many times I was dismayed when I heard “My heart says Yes but my head says No.” Seemed there were many people who WANTED to vote Yes but for some reason, they couldn’t find enough logical reasons to do so. So what was it in their heads that had them voting No? Seems to me that if you could figure that out and address it, that would allow you to get more of those voters onside and preach to the unconverted, not the converted…you already have the converted.

    One woman I spoke with here told me her relatives in Scotland were voting No because they were concerned about their pensions. When I posted that on someone’s Facebook page who is a passionate campaigner for a Yes vote, others were surprised because don’t they know their pensions are safe? The vote would say that no, they did not get sufficient assurance. So what do you do about that? The very basics of Maslow’s Hierarchy says that people need to know they will be able to eat and survive. If the youngest of Scotland voted predominantly for Yes, how do the younger in Scotland assure the older that they will be taken care of in an independent Scotland? It’s not enough to just say you will, there needs to be some meat behind that on the part of those who will have the power to make that come to fruition. Would those voters have gone Yes if they had better information, more assurance?

    The stand taken by some businesses and the whisky industry needs to be considered also, it would seem. Many businesses came out in favour of independence but it was a surprise to see the Grant family of Glenfiddich and Balvenie not only coming out in favour of No but putting substantial dollars behind it. One could say this is greedy self-interest and that might be partly right but I think it would be a mistake to dismiss it on that account and not look at it deeper. An independent Scotland needs a healthy business economy. So, what needs to happen to convert a No vote to a Yes vote for someone like the Grants who aren’t owned by interests outside of the country? I have to admit, these seem like valid concerns for large businesses and businesses in general.

    Are there other issues that weren’t adequately addressed and had those with hearts wishing to vote Yes but who ended up voting No? Maybe I’m too far away to have seen if these things were adequately addressed but the vote seems to say they weren’t? And if not, it would seem it won’t matter if you get all the Yes parties to field one candidate per voting district, if the No voters can’t be persuaded to change their minds at the next independence vote. Or is that out of touch with what’s really going on in Scotland?

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