Stewart Hosie calls for Yes Alliance



Exclusively to Bella Stewart Hosie calls for a Yes Alliance to contest the 2015 General Election.

Hosie MP, candidate for the SNP Depute Leadership said today:

“I am certain that the best way to make sure Westminster delivers real maximum devolution to Scotland will be to return the largest ever number of Independence supporting MPs to Westminster. I’m equally certain that many of the wonderful, talented people who emerged through the Independence campaign will contest the next election.

While the SNP will be the engine of the campaign and with over 80,000 members it will be a turbo charged one, the wider Independence movement can provide further fuel and momentum to that campaign.

In practice that means looking at ways of working beyond party interests to maximise the participation of those who campaigned and voted for a better Scotland by offering them an opportunity to campaign and vote again for change at next year’s General Election.

I have no doubt that the SNP can and will send the largest ever number of SNP MPs to Westminster at next year’s general election, but if we can build a Yes Alliance, there is an opportunity to do even more than that.

What is also clear is that whether we campaign on a joint platform of maximum powers for Scotland, or select candidates from the range of hugely talented people who emerged through the referendum campaign, the SNP should show the same willing to work with individuals and organisations to make sure the largest number of Independence supporting MPs is delivered to Westminster next year.

It is for agreement as to how formal or informal such cooperation would be, but what a powerful alliance we could deliver to stand up for Scotland. Of course any broad campaign will require approval from not just the SNP but many of the other parties and organisations involved in Yes but it is important that we begin build that alliance now to deliver for Scotland.”

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  1. Donald Morrison says:

    Status Quo not acceptable to the Scottish people ! Devolved powers promised before referendum by Unionist Party’s is a must .

  2. Ian Ketchin says:

    I think that this is absolutely the way to go…Game on!!!

  3. Totally agree Stewart. Personally I think Tommy Sheridan’s idea of all YES people backing the SNP at the General Election in May, is the way forward. However, I’m not sure how the Greens would feel about that. I read somewhere that the SSP had already ruled out Sheridan’s idea. No surprise there right enough. Really hope something can be worked out.

    1. Davy says:

      I’ve only seen the trot sect that calls itself SPS ( NOT SSP ) criticise opportunist Sheridans call to vote for SNP

      1. I could be wrong, think I saw it on Twitter, so may well be rubbish.

    2. Dr Ew says:

      I’m an active Green of 10 years standing and, believe me, there’s huge support for this idea in our party. But let’s get a few things clear:

      1) This is consolidating the principle that independence is about more than one party. Support will stall if the idea becomes dominated by a single monolithic party machine. Do you recall what we were all saying at the doorsteps, on the stalls, in the meetings, the mantra we all repeated throughout the Yes campaign? “This is not a vote for the SNP, this is not a vote for Alex Salmond.” Remember that, because there is a saturation point for support for any one party. Ultimately, independence is best served by a diverse and broad based support – that’s what Hosie and the others have learned from 2014.

      2) Parties do not want to lose their identities or distinctive values. We can unite around a short, clear set of principles – “We will work to maximise the powers of the Scottish Parliament; we agree with the removal of Trident; we attest to the Sovereignty of the People of Scotland.” – something along those lines. Not a complete manifesto – that could never be agreed. Candidates could and should stand under their normal party banner with (say) a ‘Yes’ suffix – Robert Bruce, SNP YES; Douglas Fir, Scottish Greens YES, Carol Marks SSP YES, etc.

      3) The precise targeting of seats will involve compromise. SNP undoubtedly have the members, the money and the machine to put up the most candidates, but it won’t work if it takes all the plums. Scottish Greens – under a Yes banner – have an excellent chance in at least two, possibly three seats that I know of, though I’m not privy to any special polling data. SSP will also need to be given a fair shake of target seats where they have a realistic chance of winning. But if SNP run in, say, 50 seats then that would leave 9 between the others – the others who may include high profile individuals who wish to run under a particular banner – e.g. Jimmy Reid, Common Weal YES, Naomi Mitchison, Women for Independence YES.

      However it is decided there’s another thing that has to be understood – this will only be successful if the ordinary members in any given constituency are prepared to get out and work for the YES candidate even if he/she is not of their party. Without that co-operation on the ground there’s no point. For some that will mean swallowing a whole raft of differences.

      3) All of which brings me to my final point on this: Tommy Sherdian. There is a reason Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon, John Swinney, Patrick Harvie, Maggie Chapman, Carolyn Leckie, Jeanne Freeman, Lesley Riddoch – indeed almost all of the leading lights of the Yes campaign refused to share a platform with Tommy. They knew they couldn’t trust him as far as they could throw him. Most have worked – or tried to work – with him in the past, and they know what he’s like. Great orator he may be, but so is George Galloway – narcissistic, toxic egocentrics both.

      Tommy’s apparent statesmanlike largesse in exhorting his followers to vote SNP was telling: If his very own Solidarity party had doubled or tripled their numbers in the fashion of the SSP, the Greens and the SNP, hands up if you believe his consdiered analysis would have been the same? Leader of Solidarity exhorts his new members to vote SNP? I don’t think so. It was making the best of a bad deal, a desperate ploy to keep himself in the game.

      Supporting Yes doesn’t automatically make you a good guy.

      The Yes Movement blossomed because it tapped into something deeper than any single party could ever hope to find. That diversity, that vibrancy, that community will be difficult to sustain through to next spring but if the 1.6 million voters – and, for that matter, the 75,000 new members of political parties – see that spirit snared by politicos sniping for narrow political advantage, they may just as quickly turn their backs on us all.

      I haven’t even touched on how the Unionist opposition will respond, but they will. For now, let’s focus on this: We have a brief window of opportunity, nothing more. We’ll only get through it if we work together, for one another and with one another.

      Let’s do it, while we can.

      1. Susan Moffat Scottish Green Party, East Lothian says:

        A good measured response to what will be a complex issue. East Lothian Greens have started the discussion. But we are also want to campaign on other pressing issues such as TTIP and fracking/ unconventional gas extraction etc.

      2. Cadogan Enright says:

        It seems to me that an Alliance around our definition of devo-max involves 1. ensuring the Greens and Socialists have a clear run for at 2 least winnable seats each, 2. A clear instruction by the 3 main groups to their supporters to prioritise turning our and work for the YES person in their area regardless of party to allow the YES groups to re-form. 3. Manifesto can include a referendum on full devo except defence etc once the Smith Commission comes out with the inevitable nonsense it is bound to produce – this alliance could even be carried though to 2016 in modified form to take in the list system.

      3. Yup, I agree with all of that.

        My Green ‘Spidey-sense’ is detecting a bit of reluctance on the part of some Greens to countenance a formal alliance. I think many feel that the Greens have made so many advances they don’t want to endanger through the apparent loss of autonomy imposed by such a tactical voting alliance. I hope that they (we) can get over this hurdle as an alliance of this kind is the only tool we now have to combat the new ‘too wee, too poor, too stupid for Devo-Max’ campaign that the MSM and Westminster are now beginning to push.

        I think the key thing in any ‘deal’ is that the 2015 General Election is the target and that it is explicitly clear that it is short-term only. If, realistically, that means Green voters like me voting SNP to get as many pro-indy MPs at Westminster as possible, so be it.

        The pill will need sweetening, though, and that’s likely to be voters knowing clearly that the ‘alliance’ is only for Westminster2015, and that they’ll be able to freely vote for the party of their choice, with no tactical voting implied, at Holyrood in 2015.

      4. tom donald says:

        Thanks Dr Ew, you have summed up the situation very well. I’m one of the people who’s just joined the SNP, and I expect the party to behave as you suggest: I didn’t join to help the SNP, I joined to help in the struggle for Scottish independence.

        The yes campaign was wonderful in it’s width, people from all progressive ideologies (and some not so progressive) working together for a common goal. If we can make the ’15 WM election feel like that too, we can do extraordinary things.

      5. Breastplate says:

        I disagree. Supporting Yes DOES make you a good guy. I believe we should stick to politics and leave the personal and private lives of individuals out of the equation.

      6. tartanfever says:

        Dr Ew:

        ‘This is consolidating the principle that independence is about more than one party. Support will stall if the idea becomes dominated by a single monolithic party machine.’

        However, you fail to take into account that this is not the referendum, it is a General Election an election to a big ‘single monolithic party machine.’ – namely Westminster. Failure to realise that this requires different tactics could equally cause the failure you describe.

        It could also be said that as the Green Party in Scotland currently have 0 Westminster MP’s then what exactly are they sacrificing ? It could be that by working in a coalition with the SNP and other parties that while the Greens may not get any Scottish seats, they could find themselves in a position of great influence through a realistic Scottish ‘Devo max’ coalition.

        I’ll place a £50 bet with you here and now that of the Greens decide to stand alone in 2015, they will gain absolutely no seats to Westminster.

        Remember, MP’s have to adhere to a party line, instead of demanding candidates which are unlikely to win seats I would have thought the greatest influence the Greens could have would be at the policy stage in that coalition, ie – writing the script that Scottish ‘devo-max’ MP’s have to read from.

      7. Annette says:

        Yes, I agree. An alliance seems like a good idea, but it can’t be an alliance for the purposes of Green propping up SNP; they’ll have to support us as well.

      8. CarolB says:

        Oh Yes, Dr Ew. I agree with every word you said here. An Alliance is definitely the way to go, but those who are in this for their own ultimate benefit can see that too, and will come along for the ride until they reach their stop. We must be wholehearted in supporting our fellow travellers, no matter that we have some fundamental differences of opinion, however, we must be wary of being too gullible.

      9. Eddie says:

        I agree. If we diverge into party politics the YES campaign will be playing into the hands of Westminster. They survive by dividing and ruling. The time for party politics is after we achieve our goal, until then we MUST stick together or we are lost. There must be only one YES candidate standing at each constituency. Also if the YES campaign start infighting we are in trouble. There will obviously be different views of what we are after in an independent Scotland but these arguments are for later.

      10. Cristeanmor says:

        My difficulty with your proposal is that I am already concerned with the fragmentation of the Yes movement. A few minutes on Twitter points to numerous groups of activists 45this and that and a quick look to the column on the right of this page will produce many more. I’m inclined to feel that the Yes voters indicated their preferences in voting for one party in the referendum and may be willing to do so again. I don’t think we have time to form anything new to act as an umbrella for all.The SNP did that job in the referendum and I doubt if anyone feels that it was in any way detrimental to the cause.

  4. See You at the Anti-Bias BBC Rally this Sunday guys at 2pm! says:

    Brilliant news – way to go! Keep the synergy of Yes together as much as possible. The Movement is a movement and is still live and kicking. So many talents came forward. Top in my eyes were Jeane Freeman, Lesley Riddoch, Iain McWhiter, Blair Jenkins, Ivan MacKee, Carol Fox a handful of other great activists and the amazing actors David Hayman and Brian Cox.

    1. oldbattle says:

      How do give some or all of the following a chance of a seat in 2015/16: Maggie Chapman, Carolyn Leckie, Jeanne Freeman, Lesley Riddoch, Cat ???? (RIC), DR Philippa Whitford, Elaine C Smith?

  5. Brendan Tierney says:

    Is it worth considering a modern version of the Declaration of Arbroath which can be signed by any party wishing to join theYes Alliance as well as all those people of Scotland who would support this approach?

    1. drawdeaddave says:

      Loving that idea Brendan

    2. Juteman says:

      Superb suggestion Brendan!

      1. Laura Dunbar says:

        …for so long as a hundred of us left alive, we will yield in no least way to Westminister dominion…Sounds good to me!

    3. MBC says:

      I think that’s a great idea. Maybe even a Scottish Constitution?

      At Eidsvoll, in Norway, 17th May, 1814, leaders of the Norwegian independence movement met to frame, and sign, a Norwegian constitution, based on the US constitution some years earlier, asserting Norway’s right to self-determination, and on what principles a future Norwegian state would be governed. This Constitution Day is celebrated today as Norway’s national day.

      But in 1814 they had yet to achieve independence. Formally, they were still ruled from Denmark, and still part of Denmark-Norway, in what remained of the voluntary Kalmar Union of 1397. An opportunity to break away from Denmark had however presented itself after the defeat of Napoleon, because Denmark had been forced to take the French side. Norway had therefore been dragged into an ‘illegal war’ by Denmark and had suffered greatly from the naval embargoes.

      The fact of having this statement helped to get international recognition for Norway’s case, and though Norway did not succeed in getting complete independence, she was able to get home rule, with Sweden acting as a military protector.

      But the constitution itself, asserting self-determination, and its bold terms in support of liberty, ensured that it was supported across the country and the international community, and I think a similar national declaration here could have the same galvanising and electrifying effect.

      1. David says:

        This is an excellent idea let everyone see what the future of an independent Scotland could be

  6. fionavon1 says:

    I have no doubts that this is the best way forward. Parties seemed to work in synergy. I am sure that using this strategy, we can exceed 50% at the next election.

  7. Martin Roche says:

    See Scottish Covenant Association on any search engine.

  8. Yes Kenny Yes says:

    I like this idea. But then, any idea that promotes and works for an independent Scotland must be considered sensible. If we all want the same thing then let’s prove we’re serious about it.

    The ‘big three’ in Scotland are the SNP, the Greens and the SSP; if these three want the common good then they know what they must do. It might be a romantic notion that they all love and respect each other, but for God’s sake let’s take the fight to WM with a powerful alliance that’ll offer the maximum chance of success.

  9. jimnarlene says:

    Looks and feels like a plan, now let’s get at them.

  10. Wull says:

    Let me repeat something I said in a post on another article in today’s Bella (commenting on the BBC, Nigel Farage and ‘British Nationalism’). There I suggested, regarding the 2015 UK General Election, not just a (pan-Yes) Alliance in Scotland between the SNP, the Greens, the Scottish Socialists and Solidarity, but also that this alliance should link up with Plaid C in Wales, endorsing Plaid’s candidates in every Welsh constituency. It would also field Alliance candidates in every constituency in England, in the 2015 General Election. This could be done by bringing English Green candidates into the Alliance, although there might also be other possible partners, besides the Greens. Because of its own very special political situation Northern Ireland probably should not be included: even the Conservatives and Labour don’t field candidates there under their own banner, as far as I know. There would be no excuse for the BBC to exclude this Alliance from being represented in the television debates, and in other political programmes: it would have more MPs than UKIP; the combined membership of the parties involved would compare very well with other so-called ‘UK-wide’ parties, and if the BBC says UKIP is in contention to be the next government it could not deny that the Alliance is as well. The Alliance would be able to agree and offer a left of centre agenda which would counter UKIP and the 3 Westminster parties directly. Its policies would include a) no more wasting money on a renewal of Trident (but being ready to spend on decommissioning it); b) full Federalism for the UK, with an openness to the constituent nations moving to independence if they so wish; c) a clear commitment to ongoing membership of the European Union; d) an immigration policy fully in line with the European Union’s requirements; e) left of centre welfare policies (not ‘loony left’, but more left than the Blue or Red Tories); f) a strong renewable (and anti-atomic) energy policy etc. I do not think it would be too difficult to put together a basic 10-point easy-to-rememebr agreed agenda, including English votes for purely English issues, which the SNP already accepts. This would give English voters who are fed up with Labour, the Tories and the LibDems an alternative to move to the left with the Alliance, instead of moving to the right with UKIP. More light-heartedly, the SNP might even be allowed to field a couple of its own ‘SNP-Alliance’ candidates in England – in the constituencies covering a) Berwick and b) Corby Town. My hope is that Nicola Sturgeon will move on this, first of all in Scotland, obviously, but also by widening whatever agreement she can reach in Scotland into the proposed UK-wide ‘Alliance’. She is the best-placed politician not just in Scotland, but in the whole of the UK to initiate such a thing. It could run as ‘SNP-Alliance’ in Scotland, ‘Plaid C-Alliance’ in Wales, and ‘Green-Alliance’ – or whatever might be more suitable – in England. The SNP can take the lead on this. I post this with my apologies to those who may already read my earlier comment on that other article, in case I am repeating myself too much – but I think the point is important, and a real possibility. We must help prevent the lurch to the right and even to neo-Fascism wherever it arises – not just in our own backyard, but also in England, and elsewhere. The SNP promoted political independence for Scotland together with a really good relationship with the rest of the UK (‘social’ and ‘economic’ union as it was called, I think, in the White Paper). It can now turn that vision into a reality, and show that it really meant it, which I am sure it did. Disaffected voters in England have a right to be offered a far better and more viable alternative than the dreadful UKIP!

    1. See You at the Anti-Bias BBC Rally this Sunday guys at 2pm! says:

      A very good idea worth serious thinking!

    2. Dr Ew says:

      I’m sure we could co-operate well with Plaid and GPEW in a kind of broad alliance if we had Yes candidates elected to Westminster, but I don’t think it’s practicible for the campaign. We haven’t sorted out an Alliance for Scotland yet, never mind one that spans Great Britain. Don’t underestimate the task in achieving just a coherent, co-ordinated camapign up here. Let’s focus on that first and see where we are in regard to the rUK after the election.

  11. drawdeaddave says:

    “HALLELUJAH” At last, been shouting my mouth off on twitter about this for weeks, don’t count on the greens or SSP.. Though i think SSP will come through on this eventually. If they look at it from the angle of crushing SLabour and the consequential political void that creates then they are the perfect party in the perfect position to capitalise and fill that void. The 1.6m or 45% is a low water mark someone said to me on twitter, but it doesn’t amount to much if we get divided, either from within or from our opposition, the end game is independence the best chance of achieving this is with unity, cooperation and an alliance between the pro-independence parties and organisations, the reward is in the long game for all concerned..

  12. James Nicoll says:

    Great idea BUT if Greens, SNP, SSP etc all field their OWN candidates then the anti Lab/Lib/Con Alliance vote may well split and let the Tories, Labour etc in. If an Alliance was to work in the first-past-the-post Westminster system, then it could not put up separate candidates in each seat, therefore every one of the seats could only have a Yes Alliance candidate standing. Not sure if Greens and SNP would go for This!?!

    1. See You at the Anti-Bias BBC Rally this Sunday guys at 2pm! says:

      Read above by a certain MP! It is being worked on……………..btw I would love to work with a candidate like Blair Jenkins to take out some Labour bighead! Or Jeane Freeman and so on. Stewart and team are working on this…….watch this space.

    2. Dr Ew says:

      There is an obvious solution. See my post above.

  13. Euan Bruce says:

    I really do think this is the strongest proposition to deliver further devolution for Scotland. In my mind we don’t want to be in the situation where we realise the SNP have come a few hundred votes short of Labour, with the Greens and SSP totalling a couple thousand extra votes that would have been sufficient to win the seat. Surely, the best idea would be to stand one pro-Yes candidate in every constituency – providing a mix of SNP, Green and SSP candidates. For example, Maggie Champman could stand in an Edinburgh constituency, Colin Fox in a Glasgow constituency, and Tommy Sheridan, and perhaps Women for Independence and National Collective candidates across Scotland.

  14. The SNP was formed from an alliance of smaller independence supporting parties! is this ground-hog day?

  15. I think that the idea would only work, where the SNP field the bulk of the candidates. The other parties would be “given” some seats in winnable target seats. In others, where there are huge majorities to overcome, then we should have a YES candidate. These would be high profile, a Sillars, Riddoch, Freeman, McAlpine etc. everyone would then agree that they all have a clear run at challenging the incumbent unionist MP. As things stand, allied with the Greens from England and Plaid Cymru they could hold the balance of power. This would be a great way to extract maximum benefit for Scotland

  16. Ian Patterson says:

    I do like the idea of an ‘Alliance Party’…

    1. oldbattle says:

      An Alliance movement! Or of course an All AYE ance Movement!!

  17. Alex Buchan says:

    Keith Brown in a public meeting in Aberdeen said that the first past the post system made any Yes alliance in 2015 unlikely, but that he saw possibilities for the Scottish Parliamentary elections in 2016. Patrick Harvey was very clear at the Green’s conference that their focus was on getting Caroline Lukas re-elected he also said that we need to move any from emphasis on the 45%. Both statements suggested to me that he is not interested in a Yes Alliance. Even if Stewart Hosie won the deputy leader position he cannot guarantee that the SNP will adopt a Yes alliance position. I personally would endorse Stewart Hosie’s call, but the SNP’s recent behaviour does not lead to confidence that those currently in charge share his views. The choice of day and venue for Nicola Sturgeon’s 12,000+ rally at the Glasgow SSEC Hydro, overlapping, as it does, with the RIC conference at the Glasgow SSEC Auditorium on the same day, suggests that the SNP are wary of smaller pro-indy organisations attracting folk away from them. So I’m sorry to say that I see no evidence for the idea that there will be a Yes alliance in 2015.

    1. drawdeaddave says:

      Just a thought on your observations Alex.. “Patrick Harvey was very clear at the Green’s conference that their focus was on getting Caroline Lukas re-elected”..What if SNP agreed not to contest this seat not only that but activly campaigned for SNP/yes voters to vote green in this seat, Patrick should remember the membership of his party has swollen (inc my own son) because of the independence movement and the vast majority of the new members are fortyfive percenters who’s bottom line is independence, as a democratically run party i think put to the membership then the answer to a yes alliance could be positive under such a deal, and could bring the greens on board in an alliance. Another thought is the greens and SSP are playing a smart game of political poker with SNP to see what SNP will concead if anything to broker a yes alliance as i said just a thought…

      1. Dr Ew says:

        The Scottish Greens are interested. Please do not misconstrue what’s been said by Patrick Harvie regarding Caroline Lucas – the Green Party of England & Wales are a sister party, but we are separate. Of course we want GPEW to do well, but we’d like Scottish Green MPs to join her in Westminster.

        See my post above.

  18. drawdeaddave says:

    Would be great to hear from spokespersons from the parties and organisations mentioned in a potential yes alliance, maybe set up an initial informal meeting between the concerned parties and organisations to at least discuss and explore any common ground and concerns, at least then we will know where everyone stands on the issue and then we can move forwards from there, time is short and the people of Scotland are relying on yous…

  19. Annie Bee says:

    Good idea …especially with those impressive, powerful women like Lesley Riddoch and Jeanne Freeman helping to get women’s voices heard.

  20. Ann win next time says:

    Post referendum there was an immediate need for yes supporters to stay engaged but inevitably life takes over and people drift back into their normal lives. Hopefully Mr Hosie can reengage those people but he will need a lot of support to do so. I have tried to stay in touch with the different campaign groups and indeed have joined with others to show my support but yes was mainly a grassroots effort with a very defined aim. We need to define ourselves again, push hard for the grassroots voice to be heard and not leave things to the politicians.
    It would be criminal to lose all that goodwill, energy and determination.

  21. Alan Crerar says:

    It seems to me we don’t need some ’15 point plan’ for co-operation between the 3 pro-indy parties, it is as easy as 1-2-3…

    1. Get independence.
    2. Get rid of Trident (see No.1)
    3. Sort poverty in Scotland (start paid for by No2)

    Anyone disagree?

    1. drawdeaddave says:

      Seems like a good manifesto to me Alan, just the one question, Whats the best way to get to No1?

    2. Steve Dempsey says:


      You are spot on. Any Yes Alliance needs to have a clear purpose. The basis for alliance should be on what will unite the people of Scotland, not divide them. A manifesto, agreed by as many artery as possible, should focus on the three issues you mentioned above. This will make it irrestable for the vast majority of the people of Scotland. One would hope it would such an approach that would strengthen any alliance. Clearly decisions needs to be taken about the party which stands in each constituency, to avoid split votes and maximize the potential of the Yes Alliance. Go for it!

    3. See You at the Anti-Bias BBC Rally this Sunday guys at 2pm! says:

      Brilliant! Spock lives! It’s logical!

  22. I’m delighted to see this. I haven’t joined any party post-referendum, but I’ll happily work for any party. My preference, though, would be a Yes Alliance. I think that will have the greatest rewards.

    It also means the non-political folk in Scotland could see a contrast between pro-Yes parties and groups working together, and the unionist parties fighting like ferrets in a sack!

  23. I would like to see bold moves towards a bold new democracy. We are in a time when we need to try different things with new methods. Look at Yes Campaign. Cross party, broad church, people led movement that actively and innovatively took politics from debating chambers to the streets. Now, I’d like to see conciliatory moves across parties in the move towards independence. Nicola Sturgeon could appoint Patrick Harvie as deputy leader, or as good as. This would show a move of unity between the two, moving from adversarial politics to dialogue led, finding common ground and compromise for the greater good. YES its a big ask, YES its bold, but we want amazing things to happen, and they will if we shake up politics like never before. For the green stalwarts, they will be a long time in a dependent Scotland unless they play the long but better game, where Indy will lead to a fresh political equilibrium. You’d have to be bonkers to think that, post Indy, unless the SNP got greener there wouldn’t be a significant move to green membership. And that’s how it should be, members through policies, not because its just what you grew up with.

    So I’m looking to amazing things and exciting developments. We don’t have the luxury of adversarial politics at the moment. All the yes parties need to be under the Indy mandate and put that first. That’s my goal, because chasing piecemeal politics is fine, but its not enough. We should be building a progressive country, not inflating a leaking union.

  24. jcoventry says:

    I’m not trying to be defeatist about this idea as I completely welcome it but how exactly does a Yes Alliance come about when the only realistic chance of unseating Labour MPs in the General Election is by voting SNP, or possibly even Tory in the case of Jim Murphy?

  25. benmadigan says:

    totally agree – a united YES front for the may 2015 GE.

  26. deewal says:

    This seems to be the general opinion of all the Yes campaigner’s I know in person and on Social Media.
    We must neuter the BBC and all of the TV Companies. If you have not done so yet Please stop paying the Licence fee. I’ve also stopped paying Sky as well. Don’t forget. None of them are friends of Scotland.

  27. arthur thomson says:

    I am convinced that it would be best to have an alliance but I’m not convinced it should run under the banner of a Yes Alliance. Even though I personally am absolutely convinced of the need for Scotland to be independent, I think that a Yes Alliance might be a step too far for a lot of people to take. At this juncture I think it would make political sense to embrace those who want meaningful devolution. I am therefore more inclined towards creating a ‘devo max’ alliance. That has the best potential to split the (red, yellow and blue) tory parties. I like Wull’s ideas but the general election is too close to put them into effect this time. I see it as a possibility that could be taken up if need’s be in the future.

    1. Onwards says:

      The SNP are polling well right now, but they always end up getting squeezed at Westminster elections, once the media focus is on the main London parties.

      A very simple message is needed to compete with Labour’s usual call about letting in the Tories.

      Maybe YES could campaign under a general ‘MORE POWERS FOR SCOTLAND’ platform, that would be inclusive of both views – devo-max and independence.

      The YES campaign is still a powerful positive movement with a feel good factor.

      The main aim would be to provide the balance of power to influence the maximum amount of powers for Scotland.

      Could party names be temporarily changed for UK general election ballot papers?
      Or slogans added?


      It would be a shame to let the YES brand go to waste, instead of adapting.
      Remember there is a facebook page with over 370,000 members, that is sitting dormant.

    2. Cadogan Enright says:

      Here is a good symbol for the Alliance – some of the ideas on the facebook page need improvement – but the symbol and message are great

    3. Jean Urquhart says:

      Hello Arthur,
      I absolutely agree with you that we should avoid a ‘YES Alliance’ ; that is the name, but in everything else we should have an alliance for getting a majority of members elected in 2015. There are only 59 seats to be fought; those sitting SNP MSP’s presumably unless they are retiring, then they will hold their seats. Thereafter, we must look at the right person and/or the right person in each constituency and develop a strategy for winning.
      If we were to acknowledge, for example, that there were two or three constituencies where the green vote is strong, then that candidate, (supported by the 45) could win.
      Where there is a chance of an SSP candidate, same applies. And if we have high profile independents, same applies. I have no doubt that the majority of the seats will be SNP – but the most important thing, I believe, will be a common manifesto – not citing Independence (because we are in the business of winning over at least 10% of folk who voted no) but a manifesto with our common aims and a determination to see more powers delivered to Scotland. I think a ‘YES Alliance’ smacks of a re-run of Sept 18th – however, what I am saying is in all but name.

  28. Fay Kennedy. says:

    If change is what is wanted then different strategies have to be tried. Actions do speak louder and shunning MSM is a start as well as the mind numbing pursuits of shopping etc. The only thing that people have is each other and to wait for the perfect storm is not going to happen. It’s time for change. Affluence has made too many of us weak and the need to honour our country and its people is well overdue.

  29. Derek Henry says:

    There’s an even simpler way to win by a land slide and get rid of Labour.

    Stewart just convince the SNP and Nicola to give a speech like this below……

    ” I would like to reach out to the No voters in Scotland and to all of those Scots who have been been engaged in politics all their lives and in the last few years. I would also like to reach out to those who voted for the first time and the 16 -17 years who have become so engaged in our democracy. We must never go away again, each and everyone one of us need to have a say how our country can become a better place to work, live, and grow old in, with dignity.”

    “The truth is we work for you. You vote for us as you believe we will do what is best for the people of Scotland. The people of Scotland do not work for us. Together, we should strive to deliver a better Scotland for all and not just the few.”

    “Therefore, today I announce that moving forward. Our manifesto will include that this enegagment will continue to move forward for all. Today we reach out to every person in Scotland and we are saying to you that we will give you a voice that you can use to develop our democracy.”

    “I’m delighted to announce that we will be holding more referendum’s in the future in Scotland and these will be in our manifesto. These will not be independence referendum’s although that is still our goal. These will be national referendum’s on a living wage, on more powers to the Scottish parliament, and on wether or not our public services, railways and energy sectors should be moved back into our hands.”

    “So the people of Scotland. I say to you all today, this is what we promise. If you vote for the SNP you will get a chance to use your voice to let us know what you want us to do. You will be asked if you want us to introduce a living wage for all, if you want more powers for Scotland and if you want privatisation stopped and the public utilities put back into our hands.”

    “We want you to stay engaged with politics and we want to continue working for you. So we want you YES and NO voters to tell us what you want us to do. Then we promise as we work for you, to deliver on those promises. Vote for us and you will decide how you want Scotland to work for all and not just the few. We’ll ask you and then we’ll deliver for you.”

    The SNP manifesto should read like this:

    We will offer the people of Scotland a say in their democracy. Therefore we promise to ask the people of Scotland the following questions via a national referendum :

    1) Should all workers in Scotland receive a living wage YES/NO

    2) Should Scotland have Home Rule YES/NO

    3) Should the railways and energy companies return to the state YES/NO

    4) Would you like Scotland to be part of the TTIP YES/NO

    We promise if the result of any of these referendum’s produce a YES vote we will implement the changes within 12 months of coming into power.

    If the SNP did this it would….

    a) Bring the YES/NO voters together.

    b) Change the country for all and tackle poverty and inequality.

    c) Keep everybody engaged in politics inbetween elections.

    d) Push through important policies that they couldn’t do otherwise.

    e) Win every election by a landslide moving forward.

    f) Give us the more powers we need.

    What’s not to like ? Labour and the others would be wiped off the map. Who would note vote for that kind of politics ?

    1. Derek Henry says:

      The manifesto’s would be the litmus test. There would not be numerous referendum questions asked to the public. Only the ones that are in the winning Party’s manifesto.

      When you vote, you know exactly which type of refendum questions are going to be in there.

  30. Tina Feedgie says:

    Much as I love the YES campaign and brand there are a lot of people still opposed to independence so the use of the word YES may not be the best move – small steps are easier for most people to take than the huge, great strides we want.

    Any alliance should be clear about it’s immediate objectives and I’m not sure that mentioning independence is the way to persuade more from the 55% over to our side. Democratic Alliance, Anti-Poverty Alliance, Devo Max Alliance – all would be better than YES Alliance in my opinion. Even Scottish Alliance will alienate many who merely see it as the SNP under a different banner.

    As others have mentioned the alliance’s manifesto needs to be short and very simple e.g.
    1. Maximum powers for Scotland e.g. everything but defence and foreign policy.
    2. Living wage/anti-poverty as a core principle.

    Trident-free, TTIP-free and nationalization of energy/rail may all be a bit too much for many NO voters to take at this stage and it may clutter the issue, important though they are. Gently gently to encourage the sceptics, the apprehensive and the scared to this side of the debate.

    The 60,000 that joined the SNP post-referendum will almost all be YES voters. The quietly relieved people who’ve done nothing since September 18th, and there are a lot of them, will still vote NO and oppose everything and anything SNP-related….it’s back to life as normal for them.

  31. Gordon Gaynor says:

    Rather than a YES Alliance, I would prefer it to be called a ‘Scotland Alliance’

  32. glynbeddau says:

    What about extending it to the Greens in England , Plaid Cymru in Wales and Mebyon Kernow, in Cornwall? A Progressive Alliance offering real change .There could no argument over inclusion on the “leaders Debate ” then.
    It might rely catch the imagination and could lead to over 30 MPs in the next Westminster Parliament .

  33. muttley79 says:

    Surely it would have to be a Devo max alliance and not a Yes alliance?

    1. MBC says:

      No. Yes stood for more than independence. It stood for hope, justice, dignity. It’s a movement, not a party or a policy. Devo max is horrendously dull. And too easily picked apart. Yes Alliance captures the broad sweep. It’s a movement for positive radical change.

      1. muttley79 says:

        I don’t think calling any electoral alliance the Yes Alliance is a good idea. It would look like we are refusing to accept the result of the referendum, which is pretty much the worst thing you could do.

  34. Sure Scot says:

    Despite the increase in SNP membership and potential backlash against Scottish Labour, there are no seats within a 10% swing and only 3 seats within a 20% potential swing from labour to SNP. Dundee west, Falkirk and Ochill are the SNP only real potential gains as they are within the 20% swing bracket. 
    Adding to that I would suggest that there will be a few seats in Angus, Aberdeenshire and Perthshire that could see a drop in the tartan tory SNP vote allowing either labour or the tories in.
    So the SNP may find that they make little or no gains in Westminster seats despite an increase in support.

    Any attempt at a “Yes alliance” / attempt or talk of declaring a UDI / promise of another referendum will galvanise the No voters into tactically voting to keep the SNP out : )
    Yes voters should return to vote Labour to ensure we don’t end up with another Tory government!

    1. MBC says:

      They have stonking majorities. But there is a stonking anti-Labour mood in the country. Labour is now the party of the comfortable Edinburgh middle class. It’s do-able. It would be an earthquake.

    2. Euan Bruce says:

      There are very few seats which have a low swing from SNP to Labour admittedly. However, there are huge numbers of voters across Scotland who are sympathetic to vote SNP. Thousands and thousands of people who voted Labour in 2010 then voted SNP in 2011. And why did many of them vote Labour in 2010 – because they felt the SNP could make no change or, in most cases, to try their very best to keep the Tories out. My parents both voted Labour simply to help try and keep the Tories out. But they both voted SNP at Holyrood in 2007 and 2011. Believe me, there are hugely valuable voters out there who are sympathetic to the SNP.

  35. MBC says:

    I really like the sound of Yes Alliance. I disagree that it will alienate the 55%. We know that about 25% of the 55% were not committed hard line No. They had only made up their minds in the last three weeks. They were tempted by Yes. They could have just as easily gone our way, and now many of them will be regretting it. By next May that could easily be most of them, especially if UKIP keeps up, and Bitter Together continue their pessimistic line of there being no hope, we’re too wee, too stupid, etc. There is an anti-politics mood in the country. I think the Yes brand is so strong and positive that it could harness it and that this 25% can be swung to support a broader Yes Alliance. We also know that many of the 45% were not SNP supporters. A Yes Alliance makes it easier for them, they are voting for a principle, for hope, for Scotland, not a party.

    1. Sure Scot says:

      The 55.3% that voted No were pretty much always going to vote No.
      I was always confident that there were around 2 million No voters. Believe me they will not be persuaded to join a Yes alliance.
      The 1.6 million yes vote is fading fast. I’ve spoken to a few that I work with and they are not interested in any yes alliance / UDI / or another referendum. Their general opinion seems to be that it’s done and time to move on. When the reality of the prospect of another tory government sinks in next year the yes labour voters will back them again.

      1. Derek Henry says:

        So you’ve spoken with a half dozen people you work with out of 1.6 million voters. So the YES vote is fading fast ?

        Your talking nonsense.

      2. Sure Scot says:

        Don’t think so.
        Yes gained at least a 5 % boost just because of the timing of the referendum ( hosting the Commonwealth games, the Ryder Cup, a tory government, recession and also the 700 year anniversary of Bannockburn )
        Hardly any yes stickers in my area now. There wre still a lot in the first few weeks after the referendum but hardly see any now.
        People are moving on and putting the referendum behind them.

  36. Ellen says:

    This is the most sensible solution for the May GE. Let’s hope common sense prevails for the good of Scotland. We must vote SNP to ensure maximum amount of MPs in Westminster.

    1. Sure Scot says:

      The most common sense thing for the good of Scotland is to ensure we get a Labour government and nit to massage the egos of SNP MP’S
      The SNP are in danger of being tactically voted out of their tartan tory strongholds in Perthshire, Angus and Aberdeenshire.
      Pre 1979 Scotland had over 20 tory MP’s.
      Whilst I don’t think that they will gain anything like that I think it’s plausible that they could get as many as 8 MP’s if there is a backlash against SNP for pursuing a yes alliance etc.

      1. Derek Henry says:

        Why do you think a Labour government is common sense choice for Scotland when it is a right wing party ?

        It offered via Gordon Brown Home Rule then a fortnight later it is offering the least powers in the smith commision. It’s not interested in the people of Scotland hand never has been for 20 years which is why people are leving it in their thousands.

        Just to jog your memory because you seem to be suffering from dementia.

        During the first seven years of the Labour government there was real progress on poverty. But from 2004 onwards the trend went into reverse. In the three years to 2007/8 the number of people in households living on less than 60% of median income rose by 1.3 million: producing a total better than in 1997 but worse than in 1989. This was before the recession hit.

        The number of people in extreme poverty (living on less than 40% of median income) never substantially fell: it held steady through the first eight years of Labour government, then rose. There was 700,000 more people in this condition than when Labour took office, and more than at any point since records began. The average real incomes of the poorest tenth declined by 2% in the ten years to 2007/8(7). These figures, again, pre-date the recession.

        The rich, on the other hand, have seldom done better. Forty per cent of the extra income enjoyed by British households over the Labour years has accrued to the richest 10%. The richest one percent, according to Danny Dorling’s book Injustice, have captured a higher share of national income than they have done since the early 1930s. Inequality in the United Kingdom was higher than at any point since consistent records began, in 1979. I feel that needs repeating. After 13 years of Labour government, the UK has higher levels of inequality than after 18 years of a Tory government.

        Why did this happen? Partly because Labour shifted taxation from the rich to the poor. It cut corporation tax from 33% to 28% and capital gains tax from 40% to 18%. It introduced an Entrepreneurs’ Relief scheme, taxing the first million pounds of capital gains at only 10%. It raised the inheritance tax threshold for couples from £300,000 to £600,000.

        Yes, Labour introduced and strengthened the minimum wage. But it also blocked employment rights for temporary and agency workers and preserved the opt-out clause in the EU’s working time directive. The old workers’ party has switched allegiance to the bosses, handing key positions to corporate executives and private equity tycoons.

        It appointed Digby Jones, the neanderthal former head of the CBI, a minister of the Crown. It reduced workplace inspections causing a rise in the number of deaths at work, dropped the requirement that meetings between ministers and corporate lobbyists must be recorded and stopped the corruption case against BAe.

        Having promised to scrap it when in opposition, it has extended the private finance initiative into sectors the Tories didn’t dare to touch. Labour left sweeteners in PFI contracts for corporations to find, rigged the figures to make it look as if the scheme delivered value for money, then had to bail out the private operators when it began to collapse. The party also broke its promises to renationalise the railways and take private prisons back into public ownership: the UK at the time had a higher proportion of its prisoners in corporate jails than the US.

        While Labour liberated billionaires, it has trussed up the rest of us with 3,500 new criminal offences, including provisions that allow the police to declare any demonstration illegal. It has introduced control orders which place people under permanent house arrest without charge or trial. It has allowed the US to extradite our citizens without producing evidence of an offence. It has colluded in kidnapping and torture. Britain now has more CCTV cameras than any other nation, and a DNA database five times the size of its nearest competitor. The number of prisoners in the UK rose by 41% when Labour was in charge.

        The Panelbase survey in October found 66% of respondents wanted the commission on more powers headed by Lord Smith of Kelvin to produce devo max, with 19% opposed and 15% undecided.

        Devo max had majority backing from supporters of all parties, with 59% of those who voted LibDem in the 2011 Scottish election in favour, 60% of Tory voters, 62% of Labour voters, 71% of Green voters and 79% of SNP voters.

        You gov also done a poll after the result about devo max.

        55% for 30% against with 15% undecided.

        This is Labours record

        This is what a proper Labour party once stood for.

        “Socialism is an economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy. “Social ownership” may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, state ownership, citizen ownership of equity, or any combination of these.”

        This is what they done.

        1) Refusal to renationalise the Tories dreadfully botched rail privatisation fiasco despite a 1997 manifesto pledge to do so.

        2) Deregulation of the financial sector.

        3) Abandonment of democratic control over the Bank of England.

        4) Refusal to renationalise or even effectively regulate the privatised utilities companies.

        5) Building up an estimated £240 billion black hole of debt through the use of PFIs.

        6) Turning a blind eye to the rampant tax-dodging of multi-national corporations and the super rich minority- while openly saying they don’t mind people hetting filthy rich.

        7) Allowing the development of a vast housing Ponzi bubble built on unsustainable levels of debt accumulation.

        8) Refusal to invest in much needed social housing.

        9) Refusal to regulate the Buy-to-Let slumlords.

        10) The introduction of “Workfare” schemes -compelling the unemployed to abandon their labour rights and work for no wage under threat of absolute destitution.

        11) The Privatisation of air traffic control.

        12) Overseeing an exponential growth in corporate outsourcing contracts.

        13) Planning to privatise the Royal Mail. Long before the Tories and Lib-Dems sold off Royal Mail.

        14) Prison privatisations

        15) Kick-starting the privatisation of the NHS.

        16) Kick starting the privatisation of the education system.

        17) Introducing the ATOS administered WCA regime -the most appalling policies of the Tory led government, however, once again, the origins of the policy can be traced back to New Labour.

        18) Attempting to introduce extremist copyright protection laws.

        19) The Digital Economy Act – were designed to allow the copyright lobby to cut off a persons Internet for copyright violations, with no trial and no right of appeal

        20) Revocation of the right to trial by jury and other attacks on the justice system. Equal access to justice is definitely a left-wing principle, one which New Labour desperately tried to undermine with their revocation of the ancient British right to trial by jury and other reforms to the justice system such as their attacks on Legal Aid in 2006

        21) Privatisation of the HMRC property portfolio into the hands of a company based in Bermuda for the purpose of dodging tax.

        22) Backing the US in Iraq.

        23) National Minimum Wage – a good idea but set it at such a low level. Setting the minimum wage at such a low level legitimised businesses paying wages that are insufficient to keep their workers from suffering destitution.

        24) Working Tax Credits. In order to stave off the absolute destitution of the working masses and their families, New Labour introduced Working Tax Credits, which are basically state subsidies for employers that pay poverty wages

        25) Child Tax Credits. On the face of it Child Tax Credits also appear to be a left-wing policy, but if we compare them with a genuinely socialist policy such as free childcare for all working parents we can see that at best, Child Tax Credits are poorly conceived pseudo-socialist window dressing. The big problem with Child Tax Credits was that nothing was done to prevent child care providers from inflating their prices in order to soak up all of the tax credits.

        26) Renationalisation. The Labour stance on renationalisation has not changed since Miliband came to power. The Labour leadership are vehemently opposed to it despite the fact that the vast majority of Labour voters want to see the NHS, the railways, the Royal Mail and the utilities companies renationlised and run as not-for-profit public services. It is not just Labour supporters that favour renationalisation, the public as a whole are strongly in favour or renationalisation and even a majority of Tory voters favour renationalisation of the energy companies and the rail network

        27) Trade Unions. Another indicator of Ed Miliband’s determination to steer Labour away from socialism is his bizarrely cowardly reaction to the Falkirk debacle milliband he meekly caved in and tried appease the right-wing press by attacking the trade unions

        28) Workfare – Milliband colluded with Iain Duncan Smith to get his “I’m Above the Law” Retroactive Workfare Bill through parliament in a single day by whipping their MPs into abstaining on the vote.

        29) Got rid of clause IV

        The only thing they are going to reverse is the bedroom Tax. Only because the SNP forced their hand in Scotland.

        They are only interested in the English marginals. That’s what counts to the Labour party.

        Sure Scot – Why are you so scared of Scotland running its own affairs ?

      2. Derek Henry says:

        Why on earth should I vote for a Labour party that left me 20 years ago just to keep out the Tories that left us all 40 years ago.

        That’s sheer madness and not a democracy selling your vote like some whore ?

        This is why most of us voted YES to get the people who we vote for.

        I’ll be voting for the SNP who introduced free subscription charges, free tuition fees and free care for the elderly and froze the council tax. All of the things that the silent majority benifited from especially the pensioners.

        All of which Labour would never have done.

        Under labour you had to sell your parents home to pay for elderlycare, pay £9k for education and the elederly were struggling to pay the council tax from their pensions.

      3. leginge says:

        Sure Scot – most on here have what are called ‘principles’ – a concept totally alien to you and your red tory chums. It’s not about power at all costs as it has been with your lot for so long, those costs being siding with tories, accepting neoliberalism as ‘there is no alternative’, betrayal and deserting of your working class supporters..I could go on. The rawest of human emotions is that caused by betrayal – there is no way, not even tactically anyone should vote labour ever again.

      4. Dr Ew says:

        Sure Scot… you’re a Labour troll.

        (And your spelling, grammar and syntax is atrocious).

      5. Sure Scot says:

        Derek Henry – Wow! What a rant! Littered with so many inaccurate “facts” I don’t know where to start.
        Looks like you’ve just been reading a YeSNP pamphlet that you kept back from the referendum. So typical of YeSNP speak.
        One of your last points is ludicrous!
        The bedroom tax – the SNP MP’S didn’t even bother to turn up at Westminster to debate and vote against this the other month.
        You couldn’t make it up really – but you judt did.

      6. Sure Scot says:

        Dr Ewe – I am typing my posts on a mobile phone on a 4″ screen.
        I don’t have the facility of spellchecker or a theasuarus that you probably use on a laptop or PC.
        How about maybe discussing things in a mature manner instead of trying to belittle people who you don’t agree with.
        So, how did my grammar measure up to your standards this time?

      7. Sure Scot says:

        Leginge – “Red tory”, “Neoliberalism”, “never vote Labour again”.
        Seems to be pretty standard sayings on sites like this and WoS etc. Do you guys actually believe it or do you just like repeating each others soundbites and buzz words?
        The SNP have been trying to turn labour voters against them for a few years now. Some people bought the line “reclaim your party” etc. But most didn’t!
        The brainwashing has failed – it’s time for them to come back to labour and return a Centre Left government to Westminster.

        1. tom donald says:

          I hope we get another extreme right wing government in London, whether it’s labour or conservative, as that may help push people like “sure scot” into dropping their complacency.
          The only thing that will save the union is a left wing westminster government, although that is inconceivable in the next ten years at least. Oh and before “sure scot” denies it, let me assert that the labour party is a right wing party, we can tell from their slavish support for trident, for war, and for the suppression of civil liberties. (And that’s not mentioning their continuing anti-Scottish alliance with the tories.)

      8. Dr Ew says:

        Sure Scot

        I don’t need a thesaurus or a spellchecker. And though writing from a phone can lead to typos, it’s no excuse for bad grammar. Also, with a full keyboard at your disposal, you still managed to misspell my monicker.

        And you’re still a troll.

      9. Sure Scot says:

        Dr Ewe – yes I am aware I spelled your name wrong.
        Do you also go around correcting other people’s text messages, twitter and facebook posts?
        Most people on social media don’t write grammar perfect essays to communicate their point of view.
        Yeah, I am a labour No voter but I am not a troll. I monitor this site regularly and comment when I feel the need.
        The definition of a troll is not someone who happens to disagree with your opinion.

      10. Sure Scot says:

        Tom Donald – You mention the “anti Scottish alliance with the tories”. Why is it anti Scottish to keep Scotland in the UK?
        Really why?
        You might not agree with Scotland remaining in the UK but over 2 million scots did agree.
        Are these 2 million scots “anti Scottish” as well?
        You should maybe step back and see the current situation from the majority of scots point of view.

        1. tom donald says:

          hey “sure scot” aka “true brit”, who are your nuclear weapons aimed at? And who do you intend to make war on next?

  37. leginge says:

    The YES Alliance should be delayed until the 2016 Holyrood elections in my view. Sending pro-Indy MP’s to Westminster is largely symbolic. People should vote SNP in the GE. If the long-term objective is still Independence (as opp to devo-thingy, or federalism) then this is best served by ensuring a pro-Indy Scottish Govt for the next 6 or 10 years, hopefully eventually leading, thro better media and communication, education etc to a substantial majority of voters (say 65%) being in favour of full independence. How actual Indy is achieved ? would probably be thro popular demand for another referendum. As regards the figures (and apologies to all in advance) – it is generally agreed that 10% of the referendum electorate were non-scots, and looking at the strong NO regions it looks like this 10% mainly voted NO, that vote will remain NO in my opinion. To counteract this it is necessary therefore to persuade 15% of the ‘Scots’ NO voters (approx 250,000) to shift to the Independence cause. This is certainly achievable but will take time.

  38. Derek Henry says:

    1.6 million of us in Scotland tried to demand for something better and a better democracy. However, we failed but we tried. However 2 million took the safe option and they now ask us to vote tactically in the Westminster elections.

    Oh the irony of living in Scotland. A country where we have to vote tactically in a Westminster election. Instead of voting for who we like. We are suposed to vote for a party who left us all over 20 years ago to keep out a party that left us 40 years ago.

    Oh how democratic. Oh what a true democracy when you have to play with the voting system and sell your vote like a whore and still end up with a party that none of the majority voted for.

    Well I say to the 1.6 million Scottish voters who wanted a better democracy – NO !

    Don’t vote tactically to support a party that left us all 20 years ago to keep out a party that left us 40 years ago. I say we are much better than that and I also say our democracy deserves much better than that. We the people of Scotland deserve much better than that.

    Why would anybody in their right mind vote for a party that left us all 20 years ago to stop a party from winning that left us all 40 years ago. Why on earth would anybody want to vote and live in a country with a democracy like that. Why would anybody think that is fair and right and decent ?

    The 2 million voters who voted against a democratic Scotland will go back to their parties. They will go back to the Conservatives and UKIP and they’ll go back to the Lib Dems and they’ll go back to the Greens and they’ll go back to the SNP and they’ll go back to Labour.

    Yet, the voters who voted NO and who will go back to Labour will now want us YES voters to give away our democracy. They’ll want us to rip up democracy and vote for a party that left us all 20 years ago to keep out a party that left us all 40 years ago. This is the sham and the circus called the Scottish democracy, this is the world they want us to live in. They want us to vote for a party that does not even represent us. Can you actually believe that they are fine with that. Can you believe that they even actually support a democratic system like that and voted for it by saying NO.

    It’s maybe what they deserve after voting against a proper democratic system that would have removed the Tories from Scotland forever. Instead of having a system that makes you sell your vote to a party that does not have your best interests at heart. It is unbelieveable to think that selling your vote is somehow right ?

    Labour is not the answer and if the Tories get in the NO voters might finally wake up an realise what a terrible mistake they made. Sometimes the easiest way to learn by your mistakes is by taking some hard lessons.

    The NO voters who now want the YES voters to vote for labour to keep the tories out are a huge part of the problems Scotland face today and the last 20 years.

    By being cowards and always running to the least worst option instead of demanding something better. They gave us right wing government after right wing government in the form of the blue tories and the red tories.

    By instructing us, over the years, to heed fears, not hopes, such voices have allowed Labour to abandon everything it once stood for, and hand us, trussed and oven-ready, to big business and the Daily Mail. We’ll be trapped like this forever, in New Labour’s Bermuda triangulation, unless we vote for what we believe in rather than just against what we don’t.

    Not only that but

    This paralysing fear has licensed four tragic developments. It has allowed a parliamentary consensus to form that is well to the right of public feeling, alienating voters.

    It has created space for ideas – such as the creeping privatisation of almost everything – which were unacceptable to previous generations.

    It has allowed the Conservatives to appeal to moderate swing voters: if there is so little that divides the two parties, voters think, can the Tories really be so bad?

    1. David Macqueen says:

      You’re logic is sound, but we who voted yes under anSNP, SSP, Solidarity or Green party alliance still need a number of dis- enfranchised labour voters ( of which there are many ) to eradicate once and for all the Tory party from Scotland. And ultimately send a message to Westminster, and from within Westminster, we will achieve our aim and God given right of self governance.

  39. Graeme Sutherland says:

    After reading much over the last 6 months in the lead up to the vote and especially in the aftermath, I am extremely encouraged, and inspired by the tone, content and respect as shown in this thread. This really is the start of something special. I can feel it, and I believe it. Strength and power to you all, from Australia.

  40. Tommy B says:

    Agree with the idea, but not with the name, an alliance with a small ‘a’ perhaps, but Yes Alliance has a slight taint of the SDP-Liberal Alliance of atlantacists, which attacked the Labour Party from within in the late ’70’s and assured electorally, as The Alliance, Tory rule in ’83 and ’87, by splitting the anti-Tory vote, helped by receiving wildly disproportionate attention and by being lauded by the BBC and print media, similarly to how they’ve built up UKIP as a fake controlled opposition today.

    A suitable alliterative synonym, with the existing and still growing Yes movement, eludes me; Yes Union, could have an unfortunately or not misleading meaning to some, Yes Brotherhood could seem mysoginistic; Yes Fusion? Hmm too nuclear sounding; Yes Society? Or even the established Yes Scotland, or Yes United, the neologism, I’ve just invented “UnitedYes”.

    Maybe ‘Yes Alliance’ ain’t so bad after all. 🙂

  41. Sure Scot says:

    If yes voters vote for a yes alliance in the GE – result – No voters will tactically vote to keep them out, resulting in 8-10 tory MP’S, fewer SNP MP’S and possibly end up with a tory government.

    1. tom donald says:

      So you want us to vote for an extreme right wing labour party to keep out an extreme right wing conservative party? Dream on.

      1. Sure Scot says:

        “Extreme right wing labour party” – creating hysteria now I see. Fits in well with YeSNP speak.

      2. tom donald says:

        what a shame this site won’t allow replies to replies, I’d like to reply to this red-tory troll. Oh well, never mind.

  42. abesto says:

    I appreciate Hosie’s openness to a broad alliance, but at this point I think it misses the mark.

    Sadly, there was no majority at #indyref for independence. An alliance based on indy will at this stage be restricting itself to less than half the electorate, and can be accused of seeking to overturn the popular vote in the referendum. Not only that, but we know that a significant minority of SNP voters do not support independence, so such an alliance could attract fewer votes than the SNP would win alone.

    However, the opinion polls show that 2/3 of voters want Devo Max, and they are very clear about what that means: full fiscal autonomy. Some of the devolution measures on offer are a trap, but full fiscal autonomy is not a trap. Winning it would be a big step to building a fairer Scotland, allowing the Scottish people to go along way to building the prosperity-for-all which Westminster prevents.

    It would also mean that any further move to independence would have much less of the mountain left to climb. Scotland would already have proven that it could prosper alone, disarming most of the weaponry of Project Fear.

    So … let’s have a DevoMax Alliance for 2015.

    1. tom donald says:

      I disagree, abesto, because the people who voted no were systematically lied to, and many of them will have realised that by now. If the referendum was re-run tomorrow, do you really think that “no” would still win?
      Not that I want a rerun, I want to see the unionist right-wing warmongering neo-lib labour party destroyed first. A man needs some pleasure in his life.

      1. Sure Scot says:

        Yep, No would still win!
        By an even larger majority this time.
        Wait…according to the YeSNP Wasn’t – the NHS meant to be privatised by now?

      2. abesto says:

        I haven’t seen any polling data on what the results would be in an indyref re-run. There have been a few individual expressions of regret, but I don’t see any sign of an uprising of repentant “no” voters, and without that it’s best to assume that for now, views on indy have not changed significantly. (If you have evidence to the contrary, I’d be delighted; but no good will come from hoping that voters are somewhere they aren’t).

        In any case, a second referendum is not on the agenda for now. However, enhanced devolution *is* firmly on the agenda, and 2/3 of Scots support the SNP/Green position on that.

        I too would like to see ScotLab wiped out. And the best way to do that is by focusing on the agenda supported by 2/3 of Scots, which is DevoMax.

      3. tom donald says:

        the trouble with a devo-max alliance is that the “scottish” labour party would pretend to support it, and claim that it’s those nasty tories who won’t allow it. And people like me, who’s first reason for voting yes was internationalism and trident, wouldn’t support it. I think that the revolutionary nature of the yes campaign should not be forgotten or denied. Independence is our aim, let’s not compromise on that, or we’re just dishonest, like labour.

  43. Jim Greaney says:

    Scotland and the Scottish people in my opinion did not receive the correct and thorough process from the appointed adjudicators who dealt with the ballot process there were a number of highlighted and publicised discrepancies that gave me real concern if the whole process was irelevant as the decision. Was already determined long ago

  44. Steve Arnott says:

    Why a YES/Devo Max Alliance should be a no-brainer for every Independenista.

    1) We have just experienced the greatest mass movement for freedom Scotland has ever seen. 1.6 million votes (45%) were mobilised for independence. Under 55’s voted in a majority for independence.

    2) If we did nothing else but wait 10-15 years independence would be ours. But we shouldn’t wait that long if we don’t have to. Why? Basic morality. Why would you want to subject the Scottish people to Blue Toryism or Red Toryism any longer than was absolutely necessary?

    3) So, what’s the plan? To try to rerun the referendum early, or to seek shortcuts to independence only plays into the hands of our enemies. We must remember the panic of the British state and their unionist supporters in the last two weeks of the referendum. We must remember Gordon Brown and ‘the Vow’ for Home Rule/Devo Max/’close to Federalism. Many NO voters were mislead into believing this was what a NO vote meant. When the Smith Commission reports those voters will be very disappointed, if not devastated.

    4) The YES campaign was the greatest, biggest, most enthusiastic, most diverse, most grass-roots campaign our country has ever seen. To re-iterate, it mobilised 1.6 million votes.

    5) It’s clear from even a cursory look at the positions of all the parties re: further devolution, that the the pro- indy parties are the only parties that actually stand for devo max, and are therefore IN REALITY the only parties in tune with the referendum result. This may seem counter-intuitive initially, but YES voters want to maximise the amount of powers for the Scottish Parliament, until such times as independence becomes the majority option, and (probably) 10 – 20% of NO voters want devo max within a unitary UK.

    6) So, from an indy perspective, what is the way forward that a) maintains the unity and mass character of the YES movement b) wins over a section NO voters to a positive more powers agenda and c) stands the best chance of decisively weakening the forces of unionism in Scotland on an electoral basis?

    7) Should the Smith Commission fail to recommend devo max (all powers except for defence and foreign affairs) A YES Alliance, or a Yes (devo max)Alliance, involving all pro-indy parties and the wider non-party YES movement, seeking to mobilise the 1.6 million YES votes, and further, those NO voters who want devo max, could, and should, stand, across all Scottish constituencies on single united ticket in the General Election of 2015 seeking a mandate for devo max, the currently settled will of the majority of the Scottish people according to the referendum and opinion polls.

    8) This would give a real chance of a) decisively weakening the forces of Unionism in Scotland and b) winning a mandate for devo max because we would be able to mobilise the 1.6 million YES votes and disillusioned NO devo max votes against four Unionist parties (Labour, Tory, Lib-Dem, UKIP) who will be vying to cut each other’s throats in every single constituency.

    FAQ’s about the YES Alliance

    A) How would that work in practice for 2015?

    It will only work if the leaders of all the pro-indy parties (but particularly the SNP as by far the biggest pro-indy party) agree that is what we need and come together to negotiate as soon as the Smith Commission fails to recommend devo max. Everybody will have to give up a little bit for the greater good. The first part of the equation is that the four pro-indy parties plus the wider YES movement would have to agree an allocation of seats to be fought under the YES Alliance (devo max) ticket. With 59 seats in Scotland available I would suggest that something like the following might work

    30 seats for Yes Alliance filled by SNP members
    12 seats contested by non-party YES movement individuals
    10 seats contested by the Greens
    4 seats contested by the SSP
    3 seats contested by Solidarity

    Note that all these candidates would have as their primary candidate description YES Alliance (devo max) or whatever. SNP, Green, SSP etc could be an add in (but an unnecessary one, in my view)

    However, that is just a working suggestion and the exact ratios/party descriptions would have to agreed by everyone involved.

    We would then have to match up that national agreement consensually with the wishes of YES activists locally (not easy, but not impossible). Where a party is allocated a constituency it should have to provide a number of candidates from which all YES activists in that constituency can choose (with the exception of sitting pro-indy MPs whose candidacy should be guaranteed).

    B) Wouldn’t we need a common manifesto? And would there be disagreement afterwards?

    A bit of disagreement afterwards is small beer compared to the potential prize of decisively weakening Westminster Unionism in Scotland. Yes, we would need to agree 5 or 6 common measures to fight for over and above Devo Max, but again, that should be a matter of all the parties involved seeking consensus. We should embrace diversity in a YES Alliance, just as diversity was a strength in the YES movement, and allow individual candidates, or elected MPs, to reflect their own party views as well as promoting that which has been commonly agreed.

    C) By promoting devo max wouldn’t we be lowering our sights from independence? If Scotland got Devo Max wouldn’t that rule out independence in the foreseeable future?

    No and No. The people behind YES Alliance and devo max are people who were your brothers and sisters in the referendum fight for independence. Just like you, they want independence as soon as humanly possible. We see this strategy as a win-win for independence. If we win a mandate for devo max we will have weakened unionism decisively. Those NO voters we win over will have been brought closer to the idea of full independence. If we win devo max, and Westminster accepts that mandate, the Scottish Government will be able to demonstrate positively what can be done with those powers, and from there it is a minor hop, skip and jump to full independence. Should, however, Westminster fail to recognise a mandate for devo max, then those engaged by that vision for maximum powers within the UK will come over to full independence. At the very least, they will never be fooled by a ‘Vow’ again.

    D) But the SNP is the biggest pro-indy party? Shouldn’t people just get behind the SNP?

    The SNP is the biggest pro-indy party, by far, and would inevitably be the major player in a YES Alliance. But the YES movement was about far more than the SNP, and the 1.6 million votes mobilised for YES could not have been mobilised by the SNP alone.

    Similarly, the SNP would no doubt do better on its own than it has in the past at Westminster elections, and make gains. But would a return to party politics as usual be able to deliver a body blow to unionism and take forward the case for real and meaningful powers for the Scottish Parliament? A YES Alliance with the SNP at its core has the chance of doing real significant damage to unionism because it calls on a far greater voter/activist base than the SNP alone. Let’s not return to ‘business as usual’. If we do, the unionist parties will heave a huge sigh of relief.

    Let’s remain radical

    Let’s remain united.

    Let’s unite around a YES Alliance for the 2015 Westminster elections.

  45. David Macqueen says:

    A yes alliance is definitely the way to upset the balance of power in Westminster.
    I have recently joined the SNP and would hope to vote for my party at the General Election
    If, however, my vote for a Green party candidate, or that of an SSP member, would help the case for Independence I would gladly oblige.
    Unfortunately I think time is against us. Hopefully the different parties can meet and map out the seats best fought for regards each party and let each supporter know who to vote for.
    After all, this is democracy a la Westminster

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