The Fire Next Time


Each week up until the RIC conference we’ll be writing and commissioning practical movement-building suggestions and ideas. Here’s our first.

Nobody’s going back in any box. Six weeks on and it’s getting clearer and clearer that the post-defeat ‘surge’ wasn’t just an expression of a thrawn celtic obstinacy – but a new political awakening. Far from being a terminal defeat, Sept 18 is looking like a turning point, a generational shift. We don’t yet know quite the detail of how or when but we know we will. The Smith Commission will be seen as a shallow step – in a grand staircase.

This from the Press Association:

“Scotland would vote yes to independence if another referendum were held today – just six weeks after a majority voted no, a poll has found. Independence now has the backing of 52% of people in Scotland compared with 48% for the union, a YouGov poll for the Times has found.

When those who would not vote or do not know are included, the split is 49% for yes and 45% for no, the poll of 1,078 Scottish adults between 27 and 30 October found. Two-fifths of people think a second poll will be held within the next 10 years, slightly more (45%) want this to happen but 16% never want another one, the poll found. It comes on the back of a separate Ipsos Mori poll for STV on Friday which found two-thirds of Scots want another independence referendum within the next 10 years while more than half think a vote on the country’s future should take place within just five years. Saturday’s YouGov/Times poll also found 43% of Labour supporters now back independence, with only 22% saying Labour represents their interests well against 65% who say it represents them badly. Data from the same poll released on Friday suggests the party is facing a near wipeout in Scotland, with the SNP enjoying a 16-point lead on Westminster voting intentions.”

We are the 52% and Rising.

This is a process of prehension – people are beginning to get a deeper sense of how power works in Britain. That’s going to inform a whole new phase to this movement.

Mistakes have been made and learnt from, mistakes of communication, tactics, and politics. Before Christmas there will be four stronger new media platforms that will give the movement a completely new scope, range and vitality.

There’s now a choice of political avenues forward in the next two years, and in the next few weeks new strategy will be agreed. But one that’s not been explored enough yet at all is one that’s a huge common area for all Yes supporters: Trident 2.

This is a moral obscenity. In a country facing poverty it’s a disgrace. It’s also illegal. In 1996 the International Court of Justice gave an advisory opinion which said:

“the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law”.

The £100 billion Trident replacement decision is due to be made in 2016, we can come together and create a huge wave of opposition to this to back our elected representatives and fuel a mandate for peace.

Join Scottish CND here.

Book for the AGM here.


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  1. peter reid says:

    The movement to stop trident2 is the best way to corner these WM politicians into admitting that it is the biggest waste of money ever devised by a government.
    Each and every one of the WM parties say they will NOT be the first to fire, therefor the UK could be destroyed without us firing a shot.
    Trident goes on patrol somewhere in the north atlantic for weeks at a time, on its return, the question is asked ” did you fire your missile ” ? if not the mission is deemed to have been a success. So we will spend £100 billion on NOT USING a weapon.
    The PM says trident is a deterrent, NO ITS NOT. it does not prevent anyone firing at us first.
    In the case of Labour, they say they will ” negotiate away ” nuclear weapons, OK WHO WITH ?
    The USA ? that’s a no
    Russia ? even if they said we will match you missile for missile, they could get rid of 100, we would then be nuclear free, but the soviets would still have enough to destroy the world, so that is a non starter.
    How about CHINA ? another non starter.
    ok FRANCE ? They would just shrug and laugh.
    What about INDIA and PAKISTAN, they are only interested in matching each other, so there is no way they would even consider it.
    Last chance is N. KOREA. can you imagine them even sitting at a table to talk about it ?
    Then of course theres ISRAEL, they have them but deny it so no with them as well.
    So labour your negotiation policy is DEAD. It is only because historicaly the tories used to beat you up on their stance of disarmlament. that you retain trident.
    As far as the TORIES are concerned, they still have dreams of being a world power, with global reach able to sit at the top table of the UN.
    They would rather beggar the nation, have starving families, mass unemployment rather than give up their toys.
    A few facts, Trident 2 should be scrapped because,
    It is NOT A DETERRENT, its a first strike weapon that we will NEVER use, so why have it ?
    If anyone fired at the UK, our submarine thats on patrol may well be the last to know.
    The submarine that is on patrol, it listens for the today programme on radio 4 LW.
    If it doesn’t hear it the captain has some choices
    He can return to a safe depth then try again at a later time to establish communications or
    He can fire his missiles or
    run to the USA.
    So the UK could have been destroyed just after the today programme ends, and Trident has not saved us.
    I could go into this in a little more detail but I do not wish to break the official secrets act.
    Trident should be scrapped, and then job loses that were predicted or should I say LIED ABOUT
    would be more that covered by having a Scottish maritime protection force.

  2. Iain Hill says:

    If and when there is another referendum, we must be better prepared for the same avalanche of lies and scare stories. What is so depressing is that on matters where there really is no ambiguity, such as the currency and pensions, the other side were able to carry off and sustain their untruths and ultimately carry the day, while taunting us for the lack of redundant Plan Bs. We must devote our attention to credible, instant rebuttal. Is there an honest, internationally renowned economist out there, who cannot be bullied by corporate interests?

    The whole foundation of the unionist case – that Scotland is a subsidy junkie – must be met head on by the published truth- that Scotland has in fact subsidised the UK for over 30 years. The skills of the unionists in parlaying a position which was not true, and was easily visible from the UKs own published accounts, was breathtaking! If England admitted that, the whole architecture of the unionist case, and indeed the Union itself, would come tumbling down, leading to a major crisis as yet unseen.

    I have no immediate answer, but this must be high on the agenda for next time.

    1. J Wilson says:

      Have you read the Article on the website, on how the Referendum may be Null and Void?

  3. Dougie Blackwood says:

    I’m booked to come to the RIC conference this month. I’m coming to listen and I hope to hear that RIC will be forming into a political party that will not be just a ginger group.

    Labour has lost it’s way and now seeks a mandate at Westminster by shifting ever further to the right. It no longer represents the poor and disadvantaged but runs after the “I’m all right Jack” middle class. There is no way back for them, especially if the red Tory from Westminster is elected.

    We need a party that espouses true socialist Labour values that working people in Scotland can support; a party that wished to see an independent Scotland thrive and prosper; a party that does not punish the poor and profit the rich.

    Sensible people within RIC should be talking to other parties based in Scotland with a view to putting up candidates in winnable constituencies in return for not contesting others.

    Let’s have a purge of Scottish politics. In 2015 election we should be aiming to win every seat across the country under the banner YesAlliance. Regardless of party allegiance we must all work together to get rid of the red and blue Tories.

    If it’s too soon for this to happen we must, as Tommy Shridan says, all get behind SNP to break free. When that is achieved we can debate the way forward and go our separate ways.

    1. maxi kerr says:

      You are on the money Dougie,but getting organized is going to be very difficult and dangerous for the people who will have to implement the change for Scotland plan.I am in a quandary as to reveal all the tactics that will be used against the change makers as the list can be very disconcerting. But something has to be done and sooner rather than later.

  4. Phil says:

    In my limited experience, not in print, in visuals, in broadcasting, not anywhere have I seen any statement with a reason why the rUK, the parties, Better Together, No Thanks, MSM, WM, any of them, wanted Scotland to not become independent. I can surmise my own guesswork, but that is all it would be. Understanding why they were so vehement may make formulating the counter-argument an easier, coherent, persuasive process.

  5. nigel says:

    Lets be clear about this folks!

    There will NEVER be another referendum on independence.

    Thats a given.

    Only reason Cameron give us one in the first place was because he thought that we would only get circa 30% of the vote, as the polls were indicating at the time.

    However, as the polls got up to nearer 45%, london panicked, and offered the Scots “major new powers.”

    The Scots, for reasons most of us fail to comprehend, voted for the status quo, thus giving up the right to becoming the 15th wealthiest country on the planet!


    And if you poor deluded souls think for one nanosecond that “significant new powers” will be given to our “pretendy parliament” (controlling not one ha”penny of our own resources), then you definitely need to be looked at by a psychiatrist!!

    We are now well and truly “back in our little box” and no amount of shouting “we wiz robbed” will alter the fact that london will continue to shaft us for evermore.

    The fact the SNP have quadrupled their membership is neither here nor there, from a london viewpoint. All it means, locally, is that SLAB will die a painful death at the ballot boxes here, to the SNP’s advantage.

    The only way ANY progress will happen is if Scotland decides to grow a backbone and go down the Irish route of freedom.

    General Post Office, Glasgow, anyone??

    1. Artair says:

      Food for thought.

    2. No Nigel, there is absolutely no need to be so defeatist and – at the end – threatening.

      Citizen Small outlines a very clear path to independence here – – my only issue with his plan (which is the same plan that is emerging from all quarters – confidence and supply not coalition, Trident as red line issue, etc) is to foreground social justice as much as Scotland in the name of this Alliance, or simply call it the ‘Alliance’ so that it can encompass the whole movement in the same way ‘Yes’ did – some motivated more by self-determination, others by social justice yet others by survival (often referred to as ‘sustainability’), and all – working together – gradually realising that you could achieve any one of these three without achieving all.

      In case you missed it, James Kelly has already responded to this comment of yours on his blog saying:

      “Nigel : Let’s try and get back to reality. In all probability there will be another referendum. If London tried to thwart one, the SNP could simply seek a specific mandate for independence at a Holyrood or Westminster election. Other than abolishing democracy altogether, there’s no way that Scotland can be stopped from expressing its view.”

      1. Just to add 2 points:

        (1) As well as Trident being a red line issue (it is up for renewal in 2016 so this is a perfect chance to stop it) surely fracking shoudl be too? Both on principle because of climate change, but also because this is an absolutely up to the minute example and experience happening right now across Scotland which demonstrates why our communities – and not distant corporations – should be deciding our future

        (2) The problem with calling it (an electoral alliance for 2015) ‘Yes’ is that it may seem to be trying to rerun the referendum when we want to be reaching out to those disappointed by the lack of Devo-Max, and by the behaviour of the Unionist parties post-referendum (and during it as ‘revealed’ by Lamont). However, if we get to a place where it is clear that the momentum is very much with Yes and a rerun is exactly what most people want, then there would be nothing wrong with calling it ‘Yes Alliance’.

        1. Shaun says:

          So do you also think that North Sea oil should be shut down as well, in order to make your argument consistent?

      2. Hi Shaun,

        We clearly need a rapid transition from dependence on oil to dependence on renewables, something Scotland is extraordinarily rich in, and if we take a lead in that we can be world leaders in the technology involved. That needs an intelligent planned transition not a sudden shutting down. And it needs to involve the people whose skills are currently used to extract oil having their skills used in the renewables sector.

        Fracking is one or two steps beyond our current extraction of oil from under the North Sea:
        (1) because it is adding to the carbon when we need instead to be reducing it, and
        (2) because it is planned to be happening under peoples homes and without their consent.

  6. leginge says:

    ” Before Christmas there will be four stronger new media platforms that will give the movement a completely new scope, range and vitality. ” counteracting the MSM lies, distortions, smears is critical to the success of convincing a large majority of scots to the Indy case. Without a newspaper and tv channel IMO it is impossible. So great news about the ‘stronger media platforms.

  7. Morag says:

    “Far from being a terminal defeat, Sept 18 is looking like a turning point, a generational shift.”

    This is the bit I’m having trouble getting my head round. How did that happen?

    I had it all worked out beforehand. This was our one and only chance, for at least 20 years and perhaps more. We’ll never get another Edinburgh agreement. So many things that were right came together this time and who could envisage that happening again? Once we vote to be a region of Britain, we’re stuck with it for a long time. Certainly longer than my non-geriatric-home life expectancy. Maybe forever, and we’ll be remembered like Wessex, or Burgundy.

    Right there at the count, in Kelso, I saw the No vote come in and couldn’t understand my own internal response. It was no worse than seeing an election performance come in slightly less favourably than anticipated. I was watching the TV feed, and a creepy Tory councillor came up beside me and said “chin up” in a faux-friendly manner. I turned to him and said, my chin’s fine thanks.

    Some of our activists were very upset. I found myself drying tears and saying, it’s OK. I’m SNP. We’ve been here before. Lots of times. We know how to handle this. We pick ourselves up and we dust ourselves down and we get on with it. That’s what we do. I felt like 1992, and saw how far we’d come since 1992, and could thus see how short the distance was that we still had to travel.

    I thought it just hadn’t hit me yet. I drove home in good order and went to bed. When I finally surfaced I still felt OK. I could see a few folk plunging into some rather deep pits, and wondered if or rather when I would join them. But then they started bouncing back out, as if there was a trampoline on the bottom.

    This wasn’t the result of meetings and focus groups and brainstorming sessions and conferences on the way ahead. The zeitgeist of Scotland herself seemed to be saying to her people, you were wrong, it’s not over, this is just a part of the process, a stage in the progression. Get yourselves into position for the next stage.

    It really is the weirdest phenomenon, and I actually have no freaking clue what is going on in my own country right now.

    1. dougiestrang says:

      Great reply Morag, sums up well the kind of victory-in-defeat weirdness of it all.

  8. ‘Wipe your eyes ,on your feet’ summed it up perfectly for me Morag.And it’s looking good! haha!

  9. Here’s my dream of sensible politics. The SNP get their landslide of 50 MPs, and use this to negociate terms before the next referendum. They also insist the English and Welsh write themselves a proper constitution, but don’t say what it should be.
    There’s another referendum without fear, Scotland leaves, England Wales and Northern Ireland have another election with a proportional voting system.
    No blood on the streets, no barbed wire on the border, Trident sold back to the USA, everyone happy. Alec for President, but with about the same powers as the president of Germany.

  10. Morag says:

    The SNP is not going to get a landslide of 50 seats, in this actual reality. Over 30 will be jawdroppingly amazing and anything above that better than a lottery win.

    Hyper-inflated expectations have cost the party dear in the past and the way people are going on it’s shaping up the same way again.

  11. J Williamson says:

    “Nobody is going back on the box”. Totally agree and it won’t, but there are many who would like to see just that.

    It was a revelation, a surprise and a totally encouraging development for this yesser to wake up the morning after the disappointment of the No vote to witness Cameron throw more fuel on the fire over English votes and to the realise the implications for the Labour Party. To know that the independence issue was far from over for a decade. Christmas had come early.

  12. Fed up with the lies and propaganda of the London Media Industrial Complex says:

    Slightly off topic but on the same theme, one of the funniest or should that be nauseating was the sight of ‘Scots’ celebrities coming out in favour of No.

    First up was Stanley Baxter ( I thought he was dead ) he said and I quote ” The Scots are too canny to vote for independence.” A back handed compliment if ever there was one, in other words, Scots lust after money and handouts from Westminster. Talk about insulting, Stanley has lived in London since 1958 and spent his whole life dressing up womens frocks, so you can’t take him seriously.

    Another one was Archie McPherson ( I thought he was dead ) 1970s football commentator was also No. Actor luuvie Tom Conti blamed everything on that damn movie Braveheart . As if the quest for Scottish Home Rule / Independence didn’t exist before 1997. No fool like an old fool I suppose.

    My favourie one was Scots cyclist David Millar wrote on his Twiter page ( they grass themselves on Twiiter ) on September 17th ” I’m VERY proud to be selected to represent Great Britain at the World Champions.” On the 18th he wrote ” It was a bit strange going to sleep not knowing what passport I would have when I woke up. Relief to know I’m still a Scottish expat Brit.”

    Of course David Millar is right, who cares about the destiny and welfare of a nation when you might have to go through the hassle of changing a passport. Talk about being selfish. If I was unkind I could say Millar was a cheat, liar and a dope head, now that he’s served his 2 year ban he has an holier than thou attitude, but I’m not going to say that.

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