#Indyref2 Research Project

10668906_328475067326712_244829102761671118_oIn a short nine months we’ve gone from a national debate characterised by limitless inquisitive energy, with new forces, sub-movements and alliances spawning each day, to something that feels binary; a barren political debate steeped in a relentlessly negative tribal exchange. Bella is abandoning and rejecting this mentality.

Instead we’ll be preparing and commissioning articles of research that will make up our Indyref 2 Research Project. The project is in three parts: process, politics and vision – and will run over three months. Each section will be published online and then readers will be invited to contribute changes, amendments, and improvements. The emphasis will be on honest self-reflection not blame. This is an exercise in We-Think re-directing and re-harnessing the creative energy of Yes.

At the end of the process we’ll then publish the paper in print and as an Ebook pamphlet.

The #Indyref2  research project is structured in three areas:

1. VISION values, structures and imagining. Starting from fresh, with a clean palatte and from first principles. What kind of society do you want to live in? Why does Scotland need to be transformed and how can we do it?

2. POLITICS, looking at how to build a case for independence, focusing on : the economic case, the currency question, oil and gas domination, the fragility (and potential) of the renewables sector, the financial sector and the branch office phenomenon, European membership and the weakness of the European project.

3. PROCESS, looking at how get to the next referendum, what are the steps, conditions and requirements for this and focusing on legality, media plurality and cultural confidence.

We think this is an essential starting point to a process that is open-ended. We will do this in a way that is multi-dimensional, thinking beyond the narrow constraints we have been channelled into and we will be bringing in voices and experiences from around the world to stimulate and inform the discussion. We don’t see this as a sideshow from the need to defend communities against austerity and the Conservative government, nor is it an excuse to NOT hold to account our government in Holyrood and tackle the many problems we can and should fix NOW with the powers we have, we see this as a parallel process engaged in and informed by the day-to-day.

There are significant obstacles to holding and winning a second referendum, but there are significant advantages we didn’t have in place before 2014.

11257918_10153996415686038_4856074737976964331_nAn entire generation of people have been politicised and radicalised.  As Richard Seymour writes in ‘Against Austerity’: “A massive expansion of political democracy in as many apparatuses as possible is not just desirable in itself. It would weaken elite domination. It would, in a sense, weaken the state itself – precisely in the sense that the Trilateral Commission identified in the 1970s, by inducing a ‘crisis of democracy’, overloading the state with popular demands and depleting its authority over popular classes.” This is what we have already achieved and need to extend and deepen. Power relations have been exposed and the disavowal of the botched home rule legislation is plain to see.

We didn’t have a movement like Women for Independence and we didn’t have a think-tank like Commonweal. These and a dozen other groups like them are vital components to indyref 2.

The experience of being exposed to British propaganda is unlikely to be forgotten. So many lies have been dispelled and disproven, they can’t be trotted out again by the unionists for fear of ridicule. The total disrespect (‘deafening cheers’) open hostility (‘Junkie Scotland’) and brazen lying is all noted.

We have a pro-indy bloc in Westminster and a likely increased pro-indy bloc in Holyrood from next year with a more radical mix of greens and left voices too. We have the beginnings of a more powerful alternative media and an electorate schooled in de-coding the mainstream and trained in media literacy.

If we can learn from our own campaign and strategic mistakes, and also look towards new methods and approaches we are in a position of great strength.  As the full effect of Osborne’s £12 billion austerity cuts hits home, as the farce of HS2 is recognised, as the limitations of devolution are realised daily and the full horror of being tethered to the UK’s disastrous foreign policies are understood, motivation won’t be a problem. The Lib Dem coalition gave the last govt the veneer of respectability but this is now Conservatism red in tooth and claw. With Michael Gove, Amber Rudd Philip Hammond and Theresa May as recruitment agents, the drive for a second referendum is clear.

You are invited to participate, collaborate and contribute.

 

Comments (74)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Grace Ferguson says:

    This is very positive, productive and welcome! I look forward to contributing.

  2. June Maxwell says:

    Excellent plan. Please include what was missing in Indyref1. A strong and practical ‘what if’ section. These contingencies should not be whispered but announced boldly to pre-empt the inevitable backlash of another No result and allow us to proceed in planned stages whatever the outcome.

    1. Hey great idea June. Yes there’s definitely a twin-track needed on the one hand being host about the previous campaign, and on the other fresh thinking and not being bound-down by it. New times, new conditions, new opportunities.

    2. Clare Galloway says:

      Yes- just as I was thinking, June… There are so many ways we could blow the whole Unionist mythology out of the water, but it was eye-wateringly frustrating, watching us so often on the back-foot last year, instead of slashing a clear, wide path through the undergrowth!

      I feel that this is one of the strongest symptoms enduring – our lack of belief in our own power. But it’s just a matter of time and concerted effort.

  3. Born Optimist says:

    I’m glad to know that my small amount of intermittent financial support for Bella is going to be put to further good use. The debate and subsequent votes in the Commons last night showed exactly where the desires of Scots stand in the grand scheme of UK things. Exactly nowhere. Hardly any Tory or Labour MPs attended the debate but then, undoubtedly with little thought or knowledge of the consequences, over-ruled the democratic wishes of the majority of the people in Scotland for control over their own finances, if not Independence.

    It seems clear that only Independence will ever give Scots control over their own affairs and trust that as much publicity as possible is given to the specious arguments of the sole Tory and Labour MPs in Scotland (with guestimates of financial disaster flipping from 7.5 billion to 7.6 billion to 10 billion within minutes) and ‘bullying’ voting behaviour last night. Democracy in action this wasn’t with hundreds of MPs simply turning up to state unequivocally that Scots were second class citizens (if not subjects) and will ‘do as they are told’.

    And Labour MPs, members of a party that once trumpeted they were the party of Home Rule, should be ashamed. They, at least, could have abstained but no, they, like the Tories cheered at the outcome and will undoubtedly suffer the wrath of those who will suffer unnecessarily if there is no money to ameliorate Tory policies and electoral oblivion in Scotland in 2016.

  4. Stuart Macdonald says:

    Sounds like a good plan – count me in.

    1. Roberta Shields says:

      Me too. Great plan! Love the new direction.

  5. Jac Gallacher says:

    Just what is needed right now, something progressive and positive for people to focus on

  6. John Page says:

    Perhaps some space could be given to the written Constitution for an Independent Scotland
    No second chamber? Minority veto and use of referenda
    Monarch as titular Head of State removeable by Referendum and replaced by elected and limited titular President
    Anti nuclear
    Environment/ecocide enshrined in constitution
    Transparency/limits on lobbying
    John Page

    1. Yes. This is essential work. We had thought of that under the ‘structures’ bit of the opening VISION values, structures and imagining section. I know there’s some work been done here already.

  7. B says:

    We should democratise our govt’s decisions. Eliminate the whip in parliament. Disallow lobbying by business and only allow capped political donations from voters within the electorate.

    Allow the people to vote to tell their representative what to do – easy enough to do in these days of instant electronic contact. The representative should be what it says on the tin, a representative of their electorate and not influenced by outside bodies.

    That will fix the “elite’ once and for all, and hopefully prevent a new one springing up.

    We could call the process Democracy 🙂

    1. Brian MacLeod says:

      sorry, don’t know how my name ended up as B in the post above. 🙂

  8. Jamie says:

    The recent article suggesting Scotland should use its own currency safe from speculators and creating a country free from the corruption of the banking sector should be a priority otherwise we are bound to repeat the same mistakes continuously.

    1. Kimberley Cadden says:

      I would tend to agree with that; we know from the post indyref survey that the main reason the majority voted no was that they weren’t convinced when it came to the so-called risks associated with independence, particularly regarding the economy and our currency.

      If we could have at least a strong option in the event there is no currency union I think that will put us on a much better footing moving forward, so it would be great if there could be some writing on that too imo….

      1. Ian L says:

        I think we have to leave behind the idea of a currency union. If we leave the UK, that’s it – no halfway houses. Us demanding a currency union stirred up a lot of ill-feeling down south as we seemed like we wanted independence but with a safety net. We need our own currency – end of story. It might make more financial sense in the short term for our businesses but we need to move past that.

        1. Claudette says:

          Totally agree Ian there should only be a short term period we use the British pound whilst moving to full independence and our own currency.

  9. Ian L says:

    Great idea, loving this – we need to get that positive energy going again. I feel jaded by how quickly we’ve regressed to party-political back-biting. It’s like we’ve been dragged down to politicians standards. I’m looking forward to contributing, but a couple of things for now that bit us first time around were the domination of the SNP in the Yes campaign – might not hurt to have the large number of distinct prongs on the yes side being a bit louder. Secondly, our insistence on using Sterling was a disaster as it gave the impression we didn’t want full independence, but instead wanted to pick and choose bits. We need a positive, accurately forecasted break down of having our own currency.
    Thirdly, we need to do Labour’s job and smash the idea that neo-liberal ideology is the only way forward – the SNP weren’t prepared to do that because I’m not sure they really believe that. There is an appetite for sensible socialism, but we need to figure out how to get the message out when always up against relentless spin from nearly all mainstream media that it is the modern way and the only way.
    These were just some thoughts off the top of my head, but I’ll put something together that’s a bit more involved and detailed.

    1. Kimberley Cadden says:

      just to say i totally agree regarding challenging the neoliberal ideology – so important we do that and we can easily make strong arguments but any argument must start with a clear definition imo – many people feel any form of government that isn’t socialist can be called neoliberal and that isn’t the case……

      On that point I think in order to avoid getting dragged down into negative politics we must practice our own politics progressively, so yes we can have progressive views and values but if we practice them through the prism of challenge largely via misrepresentation and othering then I think we undermine ourselves and our movement.

      The SNP are not a socialist party and I hope have a much bigger challenge from Greens and Socialists in Holyrood from 2016 in terms of opposition, as well as support on shared areas of agreement – but just because the SNP are not socialist and are instead social democrats doesn’t mean that they are neoliberal – they are still leftist and indeed socialism doesn’t have some kind of monopoly when it comes to the left; I am not a socialist personally but i am very much a leftist.

      My point being the left is nuanced (and I am not just speaking of Scotland here or indeed the UK) and parties like the SNP who have pro-business policies in order to grow our economy rooted in the ideology of social democracy, with the purpose of better funding the state and the principle of universalism, as well as tackling inequality etc, is not the same as being a pro business party where the function of said policies are to further the neoliberal agenda of facilitating the transfer of wealth and power to a (mostly) transnational elite. Also the SNP may not be a party concerned with class in the same way socialists are but they are nonetheless a party showing a commitment to egalitarianism and indeed social and economic justice.

      Anyway I say all of that because I think there are so many areas they can justly be challenged to go further on (like TTIP, fracking, land value tax and land reform – just for example) but something I am coming across quite a bit in our movement is the argument/insinuation that they are not left wing because they are not socialists and therefore must be a kind of enemy to the true left (and so are basically ‘othered’ – one guy compared them with the ANC in an article for the Left Project for example, and did so even further in a later twitter discussion with me).

      This is extremely concerning to me not least because it is alienating to people like myself who are members of the SNP and who celebrate that there are different kinds of leftists out there who can challenge them; but if that challenge is based on the politics of tribalism – where misrepresentation and othering is the method – then it will be divisive in our movement – and it will be completely unhelpful and unnecessary.

      There is a lot more I could say but I think that the independence movement and the left in general needs to work as constructively as possible within itself, and there is something here about a generosity of spirit and a mutual trust that if we look around and see the people involved with the various movements and parties of the left, should be there in spades quite naturally.

      And this way of relating, even to other political parties, doesn’t exclude real challenge; in fact in my experience within this kind of dynamic real effective challenge becomes much more possible because we are operating not out of pettiness or a sense of being apart (which tends to then take up almost all the space), but rather out of a sense of shared endeavour and shared responsibility, not to mention respect; and it’s this kind of dynamic that lends itself to building something.

      I hope to contribute too and this whole area is something I would like to write about; I think a united left that practices itself progressively, not just its values, and that is rife with the vigorous debate this allows, will not only be a good thing for the indy movement but a good thing for scottish politics itself; we can shape not just the debate but the way we have it, and in doing so begin creating the kind of Scotland we want to be….

      1. Jams O'Donnell says:

        The initial aim must be independence. After that is achieved we can all go our separate socialist or green or liberal or even conservative ways, but the focus must be independence first.

        1. Dougie Blackwood says:

          I take it that almost every contributor, other than obvious spoilers, on this site is committed , first and foremost, to independence. The truth of the matter is that almost all of the sensible suggestions in here are guaranteed to be ignored by Westminster while we are in a subjugated position within these islands.

  10. Peter A Bell says:

    Sometimes a thing “feels binary” because that is its nature. Appreciating and understanding the binary elements of a debate is essential to properly comprehending that debate. While nuanced arguments and an inclusive, holistic approach are always good, they cease to be so to whatever extent they complicate clear choices and obscure definitive objectives.

    Binary positions are the essential starting point for all political discourse. The fundamentals of Scotland’s constitutional debate are simple binaries – independence/union; popular sovereignty/parliamentary sovereignty; social justice/social injustice; sustainability/exploitation – all of which are eventually distilled down to a straightforward Yes/No. Discussion will circle these core binaries on different planes and in more or less elliptical orbits. Discussion should never be allowed to depart from the plane of the fundamental issues. Nor should discussion be permitted to stray so far as to lose sight of the binary choices to which it must always return.

    One of the least productive (and most irksome) aspects of the Yes campaign was the constant, carping critique from self-appointed moderators lecturing us on how we were were talking to the wrong people about the wrong things at the wrong time and in the wrong way and insisting that we should really be talking about [enter name of pet issue] instead. In fact, the strength of the Yes campaign was that it talked to everybody about all sorts of things all the time and with countless voices. But always bringing things back to the fundamental binaries and the indispensable message that independence is the great enabler.

    There is undoubtedly value in the kind of exercise being proposed by Bella Caledonia. But, for pity’s sake, let us avoid the futility of an endless debate about the debate. Navel gazing combined with tail-chasing has the sole advantage that you get to watch yourself disappear up your own arse. Let us not forget that our demand is actually very uncomplicated and uncontroversial. We seek for Scotland no more than that status and those powers which other nations assume to be theirs by right.

    The most important binary of all relates to this simple demand, and its denial.

    1. Kevin Williamson says:

      “Binary positions are the essential starting point for all political discourse.”

      Ahh. This is where we may diverge in approach, Peter. There is no single starting point for political discourse. There is historical continuity plus evolution of ideas. Which means we need to think beyond binary divisions. Otherwise its just two sides wailing at each other.

      That aside, there are two major considerations which will undoubtedly influence what comes next…

      1. It is extremely unlikely that the SNP’s 2016 Holyrood election manifesto will include a commitment to hold another Indy referendum before 2020. Which means as a progressive movement for real and meaningful social change – which is not the same as a progressive movement for Independence – we need to look at what’s possible with Holyrood’s existing or new powers.

      2. Scots also need to develop a grassroots resilience, self-confidence and degree of localised self-organisation and action that goes way beyond electoralism (localism, nation building, call it what you will). This won’t be delivered from on high by central government and can be either facilitated or hindered by Holyrood. In other words for the next 6 years whave little alternative but to re-imagien Scotland yes, but also to try and rebuild our actual communities from the bottom up, as far as resources and imagination allow. Make them better places to live in by harnessing the political energies within communities so that real change becomes tangible not a promise of the future.

      Yes, of course there are limitations to this without independence. But the converse is also true: there are limits to independence without resilient, self-organised and self-confident communities.

      How communal spaces are constructively occupied and re-imagined – politically, economically, socially -is limited only by our collective and individual energy and confidence.

      KW

      1. Peter A Bell says:

        I didn’t claim that there was a “single starting point” for political discourse. I have no interest in straw man arguments. Despite this, I did you the courtesy of actually reading the rest of your comment.

        1. It is all but certain that the SNP’s 2016 manifesto will include a commitment to another referendum, but without specifying any time-scale. If you had been observing the party with more diligent attention than you afforded my comment you would know that they are extremely adept at keeping their options open. They are not about to close down the possibility of a referendum even as early as 2018.

        By all means, let’s look at what is possible with the powers the Scottish Parliament has/will have. But let’s stick to what is genuinely possible – which may not be much. Let’s not fall into the error of joining in what will surely be strident calls for the Scottish Government to walk into a variety of political and fiscal traps.

        Let us always bear in mind that the people who are formulating these so-called powers have no respect for the people of Scotland; no love for the Scottish Parliament; and only hatred for the SNP. They are neither our friends nor our benefactors. They do no wish us well in our progressive efforts. In fact, everything they do, however it may appear on the surface, is ultimately intended to hinder and thwart all progressive effort. If Scotland is to be an experiment in a different kind of politics, then it is an experiment that the British establishment will do everything in its not inconsiderable power to ensure meets with disastrous failure.

        2. Fine words. All well and good, but for the fact that it is not simply a matter of what we will and are prepared to strive for. As noted above, our efforts will be actively opposed. As an example, demands from the British parties for powers to be devolved to local authorities have nothing whatever to do with improving local democracy and governance, and everything to do with creating power-bases which can undermine and/or by-pass Holyrood.

        The lack of national independence is rather more than a mere inconvenience. It is a crippling handicap. And just as it is wrong to lie to people about the sky-collapsing consequences of independence, so it is very, very wrong to mislead people about how much might be achieved without the restoration of Scotland’s rightful constitutional status.

    2. You seem to be arguing against nuanced argument Peter. Is that right?

      1. Peter A Bell says:

        Another straw man?

        I merely made the point that nuanced arguments develop from binary positions and that, Ideally, they should always refer back to those binary positions rather than wander off to get lost in woolly rhetoric. I was making the point about keeping the independence movement rooted and focused.

        I have subsequently made the point that there is great danger in leading people to believe that things are possible without independence that really aren’t.

        1. Kevin Williamson says:

          This is a deeply flawed argument Peter. There is much that can be done with the powers that exist. Holyrood has the power to introduce a Land Valuation Tax which is re-distributory in nature. It has power to legislate over land ownership. It has power to decentralise power away from central government into the hands of local people. It has the power to break up a centralised police force and re-introduce local policing. It has the power to remove subsidies for corporations those that down deserve them. It has the power to change the relationship between landlords and tenants in the rented sector. It has the power to put decision-making into the hands of local people. It has the power to bring equality into education. It has the power to do so many things, many of them challenging existing the corrosive nature of inequality. Not all of these things are cost-prohibitive either. But they can effectively redistribute power and develop self-confidence in people to run our own affairs.

          Then there are the grassroots and community initiatives that take place in every corner of Scotland that can’t wait for Independence. Right up to and including writing our own crowd-sourced Constitution in preparation for Independence. Iceland for instance didn’t wait for Independence before writing its Constitution.

          To claim that very little can be done without independence is not a credible claim to make.

          KW

          1. Peter A Bell says:

            Your supply of straw men seems endless. Nowhere did I claim that “very little can be done without independence”. What I actually said was that it is dangerous, and wrong, to deceive people into supposing that things can be achieved without independence that really can’t. A statement which seems to me to be neither controversial nor as difficult to understand as your incomprehension would suggest.

            I am frequently struck by how easy it is to find in the rhetoric of certain self-proclaimed advocates of independence distinct echoes of unionist propaganda. One example would be the line that we should forget about independence and make proper use of existing powers. A line which has more to do with undermining confidence in the Scottish Parliament and Government than with making any actual improvements.

            We also find this peculiar readiness in certain parts of the pro-independence movement to accept, with little or no questioning, the version of truth presented by the mainstream media. Basically, this version of the truth represents everything that the Scottish Government does as wrong and portrays every distinctively Scottish institution – NHS Scotland, Police Scotland, education, law etc. – as being in a state of perpetual crisis.

            Your bleat about the supposed loss of local policing is a case in point. It could have come straight from the columns of the Telegraph or a press release from one of the British parties in Scotland.

            Those of us who think to challenge this version of the truth find something rather different in the reality of Police Scotland. We find a service that has become massively more efficient and effective whilst retaining the essentials of local policing through its divisional structure. We see a service which has already made, and promises to continue making, significant cost-savings which allow resources to be ploughed into front-line services. We see pretty much every metric by which the police service is judged improving steadily.

            We see all that, while others see only the corrosive carping of those who desperately wish failure on anything that symbolises Scotland’s distinctive political culture.

            Doubtless there are things which the Scottish government could do, or do better. But it is unlikely to be the simple matter suggested by both yourself and those whose motives are less worthy. The path is strewn with traps laid by those who would see Scotland’s progressive approach end in catastrophe the better to sell the idea that there is no alternative to austerity and neo-liberal orthodoxy. Only independence allows us to deal with those traps effectively. The idea that we can proceed as if we were independent regardless of the reality plays right into the hands of established power. So long as we are part of the British state such progress as we might make must necessarily be slow and cautious.

            By all means let us aspire to do more, better, faster. Let us plan for a future in which that is possible. But let us never lose sight of the fact that independence is crucial to that future.

        2. Kevin Williamson says:

          Peter – its difficult to discuss politics with anyone whose response is “straw man” to anything they disagree with, and who simply regurgitates the bean counting party line on policing, etc. I’ll leave you for now to ponder your binary coefficients and entrench yourself in a political cul-de-sac. I’m sure our paths will converge again in about six years time when another Indyref may be on the cards again.

          All the best

          KW

          1. Peter A Bell says:

            I wonder if, in six years time, you’ll still be blaming me for your tendency to address what you wish I’d said instead of what I actually said.

    3. Chris Downie says:

      Peter,

      You make many fine contributions to the wider debate, but I think you miss an opportunity here, which is for the YES movement as a whole to take a step back, take stock & analyse where we went wrong in the last campaign. That we bounced back so quickly (and arguably, what was beyond most of our wildest dreams on the 19th September) is not only admirable but, given the fight we continually face, essential. Nevertheless, it is foolhardy of us to think we lost purely because of the “other side” and their tactics, despicable though they were.

      As a brief overview, there were many arguments that, on the surface at least, appeared to paint a vision of a post-YES Scotland that can only be viewed as “independence-lite”. Now, given that Scots are a people stubbornly resistant to change at the best of times, this wasn’t a bad strategy. However, there accompanied this narrative many assumptions that did not necessarily fit many of those who would otherwise be sympathetic to independence.

      Cases in point:

      The SNP’s roots were in the centre ground and the centre-right, yet despite having plenty of left representation (SSP, Greens, Labour for Independence, etc.) in the YES Scotland movement, the SNP themselves neglected the centre ground and abandoned the centre-right, instead presenting a Nordic-style social democratic vision and chased the left vote. It is no co-incidence we “won” in Labour heartlands, but lost (often badly) in SNP traditional heartlands like Aberdeenshire, Perthshire, etc.

      The currency issue may have been well-intentioned, but did we really think rUK would (outwardly, at least) be supportive of currency union? Besides, the value of Sterling is a fraction of what it was 60 years ago. Why stick with a dying format, when we could have argued for a fresh new horizon?

      It was assumed that we would retain the Monarchy and while they still have residual popularity here, why did they not advocate a future referendum on this issue? It would have appeased both sides insofar as it would reinforce the feeling that the people were in charge

      As regards EU membership, the SNP were until 2 decades ago, a Eurosceptic party. Many of their members may still be so, as are many YES supporters like myself. Once again, the ASSUMPTION of EU membership post-indy was too easy to attack. Should we not, from now on (and especially after the way Greece has been treated by the bankers) formulate arguments for independence both IN and OUT of the EU, a la Switzerland, Norway & Iceland?

      Those are just a few of my thoughts, but it portrayed a message that while we wanted to break the Union, we actually wanted to change as little as possible, which undoubtedly led many to think “what’s so bad about the status quo after all?”. The cold, hard reality is the “independence-lite” strategy failed. That is the bottom line. We cannot continue as we were, in the brazen belief that we will achieve the right result next time. We must learn from our mistakes, lest we stand to repeat them.

      1. Kimberley Cadden says:

        I just wanted to respond to a few points you made here Chris; I agree that we have to look at how we can do things better next time, but we also should bear in mind that the yes campaign was extremely successful – not just in that we were the ones who converted people to our cause, i.e from undecided/no to yes, but also we can see with the change in Scotland since the referendum that our campaign has led to the majority in Scotland having the appetite for full powers, and crucially with the trust that we can do that as a country (evidenced by the SNP landslide).

        So I think we need to understand where we went right as well as where we went wrong, and I have to say that the SNP have been a centre left ‘nordic model’ social democratic party since well before the referendum. Having pro-business policies for economic growth and job creation is a cornerstone of modern european social democracy – some people think of these as right wing policies but to me it’s clear in themselves they aren’t either right or left – it’s their purpose, and indeed the underlying ideology and the wider policy background where we can find this. And anyway the SNP won across the country on a left wing platform in May, so for me when it comes to these kinds of policies they are clearly the preference of many a no voter. So I don’t think the fact yes parties are left parties is an issue.

        Looking at the post referendum survey the majority of people who voted no (about 60% of them) did so out of fear of the risks – and I agree with you that one of the biggest issues relating to this was around the currency. We need a much stronger platform on this next time and I agree with yourself and others here that we are probably best to go with a Scottish currency (then the no camp’s criticisms on the issues in this area will be undercut and they will be left with the same old tired argument that we are too feeble to be a normal country – left trying to convince that whilst other countries can have their own currency, Scotland can’t).

        I don’t agree re the monarchy though – I have always been a republican but we need this to be a clear constitutional choice about how we run ourselves – when it comes to issues like the monarchy I agree we should decide after but I think its clear a referendum could happen if we get enough support and for people like myself I think that’s enough; but saying that we will have a referendum on this after a yes vote is more likely to scare folk away from a yes vote imo.

        In the case of the EU once we see how we vote in the EU ref I think we need to take heed of that going forward. Part of me thinks a Scottish and overall UK no vote to the EU would be better for us as this basically ends the whole EU debate (till post indy anyway, when we can review on our own terms) whereas if we, along with the UK overall, vote yes to staying then when we go for indy it will be a much stronger unionist argument next time round (although if England votes no and we vote yes and we are thus dragged out this will clearly help us).

        I think we need to bear in mind that so many no voters were simply risk-averse; i think stronger, but simpler, economic arguments need to be formed, and I think the more we highlight how we are just talking about being a normal country like others, and that being in the UK is the unusual scenario, will chime with people. So a strong, clear stance on the economy and currency are crucial, along with our vision of what an independent Scotland can be (backed up with examples of how we are doing things differently and successfully already), but also a much bigger reach out to businesses – I know of business owners who voted no because they didn’t know how a yes vote would affect them and thought all the talk of living wage etc would cripple them – these were small businesses like hairdressers – not big businesses. Business for Scotland were great but we need a bigger reach out to SME’s next time – a booklet from SNP specifically on this would be great (I think incidentally that individual booklets on certain areas rather than one big white paper would be better).

        So anyway I don’t think going in the direction of enormous change with even more to consider than last time is the right way to go; I agree we need to go with our own currency but other than that for me its about simplification, clarity, reassurance, and getting the right information to the right people (someone mentioned pensioners for yes elsewhere in the comments and I think that is a great idea).

        But it will be hard to do all of this if we don’t manage to get our message out in more accessible ways – its certainly going to be very hard for us with the unionist media being what it is – I wish we had a show people could watch on tv – even a satellite channel accessible via the web too – where people could watch the left across our movement discuss politics. Many people still don’t visit the websites and only buy unionist papers (I should say or the Scottish Sun) and just watch BBC news etc. I don’t know how we do it but if we could get a show a bit like the recent common space debates, that is easily accessible, then that would work wonders for us in making our debate and arguments more mainstream, and then once we get to the next indyref it would help us enormously; because we can be sure that the media and indeed the UK government will come out all guns blazing next time – they know that fear works – so somehow we need more of a voice in the mainstream….

      2. Peter A Bell says:

        I was analysing what went wrong in the referendum. But my analysis evidently didn’t suit those who only want to blame the SNP and Yes Scotland, refusing to accept that the “wider campaign” could possibly have made the slightest misstep.

      3. Jams O'Donnell says:

        Exactly right – we have to put forward the options of possibly leaving the EU. I used to be pro staying in, but the EU has changed that by showing its implacably neo-liberal bias with regard to Greece – and anyone else who might like to diverge from their agenda.

        The monarchy and the pound are other subjects which need to be put on the table as potential choices. The currency of an independent Scotland, in particular, needs to be thoroughly thought out and be attack proofed before the next referendum

  11. Ally Strachan says:

    I don’t think we need to look any more for excuses? We were promised devo max and federalism if it was a no vote. It was no and we got nothing.

    So we already have the excuse to hold another. HOWEVER, SNP must box clever! I say 100% stick it into the next scottish election but add in an extra clause.

    If we are elected we will have a mandate to hold a referendum on FFA and independence due to the desire for Scots to have devo max of FFA.

    Then go down the road of a 3 way vote:

    NO
    FFA
    Indy and/or FFA

    So all the votes for FFA and indy cover FFA, if more than 50% vote for indy indy it is.

    1. John Armstrong says:

      The three options mentioned by Ally are what should have been on the original ballot paper in Indy1.

      Of course, Cameron et al. wouldn’t wear that because they knew very well the ‘FFA only’ option was the most attractive and they would definitely lose control of Scotland. This would mean no access to Scotland’s resources, the integrated benefits it provided to the Union (Faslane and the surrounding terrain for a start) and the impact Scotland’s exit from the UK would have on the ‘top table’ position the UK enjoys in so many organisations on the global stage.

      As the Yes camp gained ground and ultimately looked like winning the referendum, the Establishment showed their true colours. Through disgraceful breaking of practically every rule, the Unionists secured a No vote by appearing to offer the forbidden 3rd option: FFA.

      Now that we are back to ‘business as usual’, the thought of honouring such a promise presents the original nightmare scenario Cameron avoided by excluding the option on the ballot paper in the first place.

      We are now engaged in a series of moves that will no doubt attempt to thwart our desire or ability to leave the Union. I have no idea how extreme these measures will be, but I do know we are absolutely vital to the continued health of the Establishment. I also know that we really need to get out of this Union sooner rather than later. We have already had oil squandered over the last 50 years, we have lost a huge chunk of marine territory and who knows what hooks the English elite will have in our land and resources before they are happy to let us go.

      So, in conclusion, I would have the three options No, FFA, and FFA/indi on the next ballot paper, but if we vote for FFA, we will have to have a complete divorce from the Westminster system and any defence and foreign affairs stuff will have to have safeguards against underhand tricks to plunder our resources and territory (Faslane might be an extremely powerful bargaining chip in that respect).

  12. Peter A Bell says:

    The most crucial thing at the moment is to ensure that our right of self-determination is defended. Otherwise, there will be no second referendum. To that end, readers my want to sign the petition at https://www.change.org/p/scottish-parliament-affirm-scotland-s-right-of-self-determination

  13. Dougie Blackwood says:

    I intend to continue campaigning in whatever medium I can access to further the cause of Scottish Independence. I am delighted to hear voices opening up the debate to a variety of ideas rather than taking holy writ from on high. We got several things wrong in the last referendum campaign; in the main we tried to cast the impression that very little would change after a Yes vote.

    It is important not to rely only on new means of communication as a very large proportion never read any of what is said there. While out canvassing I often asked whether people read any of the online discussions and was surprised at just how little reach it has. We need to try to engage with old media to argue our case in a forum that is seen by almost all of the population. Its no good talking to ourselves.

    There are many things wrong with the British state, it’s treatment of the poor and disadvantaged and it’s cynical use of a compliant media to disseminate it’s propaganda. We need to look at realistic and practical proposals for how the country should be run after independence by making a complete break with the mechanisms of UK. We need to make our own decisions on financial regulation and management rather than relying on the pound and the Bank of England which will seek to continue the existing failed preference for the banks and CBI to the detriment of the majority of the electorate.

    1. Airconditioned says:

      I agree about your point regarding media engagement. Seems to me the main issue is trying to tear people away from reading the Sun and the Daily Record on their lunch breaks. Not an easy task to disrupt the habit of a lifetime.

      How many formally engaged people have simply went back to their old habits post referendum and act like the whole campaign didn’t happen.

      Sounds like a great programme to bring fresh ideas to the forefront though, look forward to reading more.

  14. Ailsa Lamont says:

    Great idea, it makes total sense to have a parallel track running that thinks big about how to build the new society once it is achieved. As we found out last year, not enough people can really put ‘hope over fear’ unless they have a more substantial picture in their minds of what that ‘hope’ can look like. I can’t wait to be a part of this.

  15. Stewart Bremner says:

    This is exactly what we need to be doing now: building on where we are, with a view to tomorrow. With a well-researched plan that is both broad and deep, we hopefully will not be constantly on the back foot as we so often were last time around.

  16. john young says:

    Clare Galloway for me you have “hit the nail on the head” when you say our “lack of belief/confidence” in ourselves,you do not have to look hard or far to see instances of this,from our own backyard the continuous de-nigration of the SNP their policies and their leader in particular Nicola Sturgeon who at this moment in time must be just about the best leader of any political party anywhere if not the best,it is a continual drip feed of negativity and will be very hard if not impossible to overcome.My belief is in the fact that we have through our educational curriculum brainwashed generation after generation of the greatness of the British Empire leaving out almost all of Scotlands contribution to the world leaving most in awe of Britain/Englands contribution.When do you ever hear of Scots being pushed to the fore,hardly ever if at all,English people,commentators broadcasters writers common folks have a pride yes sometimes mis-placed pride in their country and continually big it up,what do we have a whole raft of naysayers and doomgloomers that have no pride or respect for their country and are content in subservience and wallowing in their mire,it will be a huge challenge to overcome,we need new blood badly therein might lie our future our salvation.

  17. Emily S says:

    Great idea. Looking forward to seeing the results.

    Personally I am fed up with people saying it’s a matter of head vs heart, reason vs emotion. Fear is an emotion too. And most of the Yes arguments stood up well against reason with a little bit of effort to research applied. Well, now all the monsters are out the closet and we are familiar with the negative campaigning. Let’s get down to business!

    1. Clare Galloway says:

      Great comment, Emily S! 🙂

  18. Tony Little says:

    Great idea. Although there was the WBB that was able to dispel all the arguments against Independence, the stumbling block remained the media, and especially the BBC. I am not sure, irrespective of the quality and robustness of the research, opinion and analysis, how we on the Independence side can bridge that problem.

    We see it today with the oft (mis)quoted “analysis” from the IFS that Scotland has/will have/might have a deficit of 7.6 bn, or 10 bn, or 14.2 bn or – think of a number. It is hard to get past this without some sound properly independent analysis of Scotland’s real fiscal position. I remain convinced that Scotland, given its resources and enterprise, can be a successful small country. But without access to objective figures, it remains my “belief” only. Good enough for me to vote YES, but not so easy to convince a ‘weak-NO’.

    The GERS figures need to be review3d by a forensic accountant an all the budget lines that are open to guesswork highlighted and alternative figures given. Many people (most?) will believe without thinking too hard what they are told by the MSM/BBC – we must be able to challenge their lies.

    I will follow this as you progress and hope that I might be able to make a contribution.

    Good luck

    1. Mr T says:

      It’s a stretch to say that the WBB dispelled all the arguments about independence when it made absolutely no mention of financial services.

      Nobody in the UK buys their pensions, investments or savings products from a company based in France or Ireland, but many buy them from Standard Life, Aegon, Scottish Widows, Scottish Life etc. The independence movement needs to explain why rUK customers would buy from Scotland, or indeed from a brass plate somewhere in the rUK.

    2. Dougie Blackwood says:

      The GERS figures are used by all parties albeit with selective quotations to justify the viewpoint of the protagonist. We really do not have a good grip on how accurately they reflect reality. I understand that some aspects are accurately reported but large chunks are estimated guesswork. Much of the wealth created in Scotland is hidden as product of elsewhere; an example is my, and many other’s, MOD pension taxation that is paid through Cardiff; most large businesses report their earnings in London regardless of where the turnover happens or profits are made.

      I believe that the most recent publications were skewed at the behest of a unionist Westminster government to come up with a changed perspective where Scotland is shown to be a recipient from the UK rather than a net contributor as shown in all previous years. We really do need to find a way to come up with authorative figures on the Scottish economy before any next referendum.

  19. Karen Allan says:

    Great idea! Can we think-out-of-the-box like the Europeans e.g legally enforceable flexi-time; 4-day weeks; parent-sharing childcare; quiet days (e.g. Sundays) when shops should close and electric lawnmowers are banned; community sharing of tools and effort (e.g. snow and litter clearing); active travel (walking and cycling); forest schools in new community forests; carbon-neutral and re-cycled housing, etc, etc, etc. Look at France, Germany and the Nordic countries for our ideas …

    1. Great ideas. We need all of them.

      NEF did a report on a four day week, see here: http://www.neweconomics.org/blog/entry/three-steps-to-a-shorter-working-week

  20. Jon Buchanan says:

    This is a fantastic idea guys and I look forward to contributing. The binary process has been evident all around (not least in the scrabble to fill the vacuum being left by Labour’s demise), has been drawing some of that positive, collective energy away. I do emphasise SOME, because clearly, the fight goes on all around, not just for self determination but for social justice. The binary process has of course been the process evident in the inner colonialism we have faced for so much longer resulting in that strange phenomenon, the Caledonian Antisyzygy. It would almost be easy, having been used to this process in our communities over such long periods of time to reassume the default, find the binary familiar, especially in the face of what Adam Curtis calls ‘Oh Dearisms’ in the wider contemporary sense too. Thankfully, we know now, and have our new, growing media to help us along the way, how to reinvigorate as we go, keep connecting with the growing global movement against the neoliberal consensus whilst we protect and strengthen our communities.

    A couple of ideas, which have been engaging me of late I’d like to throw into the pot for now if I may; we are in a unique position, culturally at least, post indyref/GE, with regards to how our civic space has been and is being created; defining this further as an existential standpoint in the ways suggested here actually reengages us further with a notion of a contemporary democratisation of ideas and intellect which is very similar to Habermas’ notion of reengaging with Enlightenment ideas through application of the speech act; where the Scottish Enlightenment differed from the salons of Europe by democratising ideas through publishing houses and books our new enlightenment has done something similar through chat rooms and forums rather than through traditional media. To me, it is not navel gazing to develop our philosophies; they must be coherent so our politics and practicalities can extend from them, this is essential work.

    Also, in the interests of engaging with genuine progressive democracy, looking forward, representative democracy may be finding alternatives, why has there been so little coverage in our fifth estate for Pia Mancini and the Democracy OS team? Not being accusative at all, just wondering if someone might like to do a wee article maybe, nudge nudge?:-)

  21. sam says:

    Not sure the project should be time-bound.

    Might funds be raised to test, by polling Scottish public opinion, the effect of attempts to promote possible policy options in the public consciousness? Take health inequalities for example. There is good research to be found at Glasgow Centre for Public Health. Bella might, for example, post either the research itself or summaries of it. I started with Sir Harry Burns’ 10th Kilbrandon Lecture and Dr Gerry McCartney’s research article: “What would be sufficient to reduce health inequalities in Scotland?” The means of reducing health inequalities as many here will already know and as McCartney says is the re-distribution of power, income and wealth. He also says that to have this re-distribution come about there is a need for leaders at every level in order to shift public opinion. It would be useful then to measure by polling how public opinion responds to any attempts to a campaign on poverty and health inequalities, for the two go hand in hand.

    The role of Naomi Eisenstadt will be interesting. Kirsten Rummery at Stirling University has already pointed to some changes to the benefit system that a Scottish government could make. She also pointed to the need for economic control to go along with the benefit changes proposed.

    There are a number of different arguments to make the case for re-distributing wealth, power and income. GCPH has a very detailed outline of the policies needed to do that.

    The Scottish government is for now keen to hear of policy reforms or introductions that could be made.

    1. It’s only time-bound in it’s initial phase. If it goes well and has support and participation we can certainly take it forward.

      1. Grace Ferguson says:

        Hi I tried to post a comment but it told me this was a duplicate. However, although I have made similar comments in other places, I definitely haven’t done so on this forum. I would like to leave these comments as I think they are important issues.

  22. Fittie says:

    We in Scotland and indeed the wider world wait with baited breath for the genius to gush forth and astonish us with its rational lucidity and real world applicability!

  23. Dougie Blackwood says:

    There are real financial problems for those at the bottom of the heap in society. The minimum wage or zero hours contracts do not provide enough for a family to live on. These people are supported, at present, by in work welfare but are now traduced by our Tory government. The debate has become polarised between the parties but there is little in the way of a radical solution.

    When I was young jobs were plentiful and there was no excuse for the lazy or workshy. Nowadays those that are not skilled in communication or who cannot put together a good CV are very often left without any work to adequately support the. This stems back to the Thatcher years where a pool of unemployed was seen as a sensible method of controlling wages and trade union power. This orthodoxy has been encouraged and perpetuated by neoliberal economics now practiced in almost every society throughout the world.

    In my view we should pick up on the Tory mantra; we should make work pay and “hardworking people” should be supported. This should be done, not by tax cuts for the rich, but by legislating that the living wage should be paid to all people in work. This would, at a stroke, reduce the welfare bill by around £30 billion. As a follow up the state should provide meaningful work to everyone that is fit for it. There is certainly enough work needing done at the lowest level throughout society for those people to do.

    These actions would increase GDP to a very large degree, increase taxation income markedly and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to increase custom rather than, as now, the state subsidising bad employers and tax take bumping along at a rate insufficient to repay the national debt. These suggestions would change the dynamic so that employers would have to compete for staff rather than, as now, paying as little as they can get away with.

    1. Broadbield says:

      Maybe you’ve read Anthony B Atkinson’s “Inequality: What can be done?”. It contains a (starting point) programme for a fairer society. As he says, “the constraints [on a new economic settlement] are purely political”. An independent Scotland needs a new political settlement.

  24. john young says:

    If anybody in the pro independence movement can come up with a visionary easier housing policy this in my mind would swat the all the arguments of the NOers aside,free up from the stranglehold of red tape and prohibitive pricing,make it a lot cheaper for people to rent/buy,make travel a lot cheaper thereby releasing money to circulate and be spent in Scotland.We the people should expect a better life and not like our parents and theirs a life of drudgery.We can do it but we have to get away from past/present politics,get out the thinkers/doers/visionaries and put it to the people.

  25. john young says:

    Dougie Blackwood agree in part with what you are saying,is it not feasible to pay youngsters/longterm unemployed a set amount ?? out of this set amount all relevant deductions are made,from this pool of people as you say meaningful work that is beneficial to them and the greater communities should be found for them,also businesses should be encouraged to where possible employ those with dis-abilities whereby it would bring down the benefits and give hope/confidence in those less fortunate,it could be achieved but you have to change peoples perspectives,convince those that have share a bit and those that have not be willing to put their shoulders to the wheel,if we all put in something our lives and our country would change for the better for all.

  26. Albajock says:

    I think we should bring back the National Collective, we need an organisation like that to help us with our imagination. Then we need to get everyone’s input so that they and Bella can lead the way, telt us what to think as a collective!

  27. Broadbield says:

    Many of us on the left want a fairer more caring society, the elimination of poverty, restrictions on incomes and wealth at the top, public ownership of strategic assets, rebalancing of the relationships between workers and employers, tenants and landlords, land reform etc etc.

    But it’s not enough to set out our vision and values, we need to ensure that government actions are in line with these v&v’s and don’t undermine them. Therefore, government needs to establish an independent unit along the lines of the OBR, perhaps called something like the Office for Social Responsibility whose task would be to audit all government proposals and decisions and show how these meet or threaten the core values.

    We also need a radically different political settlement: voting every x number of years and then giving a political party carte blanche (as in the case of the UK on 25% of those eligible to vote) to do as they like regardless of the wishes of the 75% who didn’t vote for them is an emasculated form of democracy. Power to the people, as others have said above.

    Stop the revolving door, second jobs, control lobbying.

    To win the next referendum we also have to get the information out there, probably onto the much-despised BBC and ensure that the BBC doesn’t steal the second referendum (to paraphrase GA Ponsonby’s excellent book). But I’ve no idea how to do this.

    1. John says:

      There is absolutely no point in hoping the BBC will get our message out to the NO voters. We know that 45% ignored everything that the establishment threw at them. The few per cent who were swayed by the Vow now understand they were conned and will not make that mistake again. The huge swing of support for SNP in terms of membership and MPs elected in May demonstrated dissatisfaction with the union. A Tory government and the prospect of 5 more years of austerity plus the likelihood that Labour will remain in the wilderness for many years to come will surely have pushed many more people to YES. I feel sure that SNP will have Indy 2 in next year’s manifesto as there is sufficient reason now for one. Scotland is much more politically educated and now understand project fear. Surely we won’t make the same mistake next time.

      1. Dougie Blackwood says:

        I’m not convinced that The Vow had all that much of an impact on the referendum result. I believe the biggest factors were the personal threats to voters that they would lose either their jobs or their pensions. We know that most of these threats were empty but with almost all of the media pushing unremitting doom & gloom, many employers making direct threats and Labour lying to the old that they would immediately lose their pension many people took the soft option of self protection.

        On the doorsteps I spoke to many of them. Even a man that worked in Clydebank shopping centre told me that his employer had told him his job was under threat with a Yes vote. No matter how nonsensical this was he voted No despite a real wish to see an independent Scotland. This is what we need to overcome in any future referendum and do not underestimate these fears. Their fears are based upon what information they are given and these threats will be endlessly repeated next time.

        1. Kimberley Cadden says:

          I do think though if the SNP could take one big step that made a big difference to the majority then it might be enough to convince people who are afraid regarding the economics (I mean ordinary people, not unionists who would argue black is white if it meant saving the union) that we have what it takes to be a fairer nation in terms of our own wealth – not this ‘pooling and sharing’ nonsense.

          I think that ‘one big step’ could be a land value tax – saving most people money while adding potentially £2 billion plus to our budget – with much of this being collected at local level and replacing council tax, which would also save the government money on the freeze.

          This would be as a result of our devolved powers, money made solely from ourselves, and would show what progressive government really can do and indeed the wealth that we have if only we can tap into it. And I think that would inspire the kind of confidence and make the kind of difference where the average person would start to realise the potential of independence when it comes to an immediate positive effect on their lives.

          So looking at the powers we do have and using them in this kind of way is very important when it comes to achieving a yes vote imo.

          1. John Page says:

            I agree, Kimberley. LVT has great potential. Andy Wightman produced revenue neutral calculations for the Scottish Greens…..but once the tax was in place, could it be increased to reduce business taxes to stimulate jobs or tackle educational attainment or whatever?
            As a society would Scotland drop the obsession with huge investment into private housing bubbles and stimulate SMEs or invest in the green economy?
            John Page

  28. John Craig says:

    At this time Scotland is like a wounded animal biting at it’s own wounds. The healing of those wounds should be of primary importance. Whatever visions we may have, whatever concrete alterations we may make to our governance, this is still the biggest obstacle to our progress towards independence. You can’t have a boxing match with only one fighter in the ring and unless we can draw people together, we may achieve in our independence but live in a divided nation. I have never doubted this little country’s abilities; what we need at this time though is not success at Westminster( that’s obviously a non starter), we need a big push on the home front to make good damage done. We need politicians who can reach out to all sections of society, not just those who support them, a grass roots realisation that success can be ours without blood letting. Hopefully this exercise will provide the fresh thinking needed to ensure not just success, but the comprehensive victory that will ensure a stable society in the years to come.

  29. Robin Stevenson says:

    “Information is power” The more informed we are as a people, the more capable we are of arriving at the correct decisions, and the more capable we are of spreading that knowledge to others, if we are in a position to cut through the myth armed with the essential knowledge to counter as many arguments as possible, then regardless of what’s thrown at us, we’d be in a position to fight our corner and win that argument.

    Could i suggest a series of daily/weekly topics, [a workshop if you like] taking us through everything from, what is the IMF, OBR? What is our [real] fiscal position, why should we have our own currency, to what really happens to our exports and why are the taxes accounted for in England etc etc? [All done in simple terms]

  30. Stuart McKenzie says:

    The political direction is one way.

    labour in Scotlnd can contribute to the purpose and pace, they are welcome!

    If however they continue to spoil and disrupt from the sidelines, there is no where to go for them in an independent Scotland.

    Yesterday at westminster it looked like a colony being ruled from afar and told what would happen despite the reasoned and sensible objections from that colony’s elected representatives. That can’t continue

  31. Joy to me and you says:

    It would be foolhardy to embark on another referendum without both tactile and electronic media to rebut instantly the lies and propaganda of the Unionist’s. And that means TV, newspapers and electronic posts that reach everybody. Anything less risks the same outcome as previous.

    1. Stuart McKenzie says:

      Agreed, there needs to be a level playing field next time, no brown last minute speeches beemed live, bradford dodgey NHS cuts exclusives, council letters or vows in comics thT break referendum rules.

  32. Sid says:

    sounds good…. id like to see more space for Tory supporters that want independent. They were ignored in the referendum. Almost hung out to dry. SCotland albeit a leftie country still needs to accept and respect that not all its occupants are lefties. If we include these people in the ref debate, rather than denial of thier existance might allow is more of the 200,000 votes we needed to win last time. It should be about scotlands voice, scotlands future… and not a tirade on the negatives of a conservative mindset. Independence for me is not about labour vs tory, left vs right, we will have those two when we become an independent country, its about the vision of what THESE parties will offer us as a new country, not about a country with only one side. I think if we had a voice collecting and informing the tories amongst us, that we could have had a better shot at it last time… my 2ps worth… indy ref should be inclusive of all party mindsets, not a overwhelming rejection of one side of the population.

  33. John Page says:

    Given the role of the >60 demographic in IndyRef1, should work be done around their issues.
    “Pensioners for Yes” anyone?

    1. Grace Ferguson says:

      I agree that work should be done to ensure that older people feel reassured about their financial security in the event of Independence. I think the “Yes” campaign could have done a lot more in the referendum to refute the claims that their pensions would be at risk. It would be good to get our local newspapers on board as many older people get those regularly.
      I also think that many people from other parts of Europe who live here were frightened because of the story that Scotland would have to reapply to join the EU. We need to find out the position there so they can be persuaded to vote “Yes”.

  34. john young says:

    Watching that sham of a show Scotland2015 last night shows me the uphill battle we are facing,when you have 4 presenter inc wholly unrepresentative spokespersons lining up to do down their country sickens/saddens me,go down south and you will meet/see/hear totally different people,the English in general are upbeat and confident in their country always trying to big it up what a contrast,I would set up a scheme whereby these stateless folks would be financially assisted to leave these shores for N Ireland or England or anywhere at all,bring in the boatloads of refugees as they at least have gumption/fortitude something that lot lack in buckets.

  35. t nicholson says:

    will you stop going on about the next ref.being in 2020 i will be75this year,hanging by a thread!sooner please.this time could some devious person think up some scare stories -lies-anything for our side this time? i know the other side can,t use the same threats and scares again but they are desperate now.tell them we dont want gb£and watch osborne tell ruk “ooops sorry folks we are on our own” some scottish office civil servant put a positive case because”its in the title”.get mr obama or putin to put in a good word? once you get started all sorts of ideas come to mind, your scots after all!,

  36. Grace Ferguson says:

    What I think is really important both in the run-up to Independence and after we achieve Indy is that we continue to emphasise that Anti-Englishness or any other kind of racism is completely unacceptable in Scotland. I want to be proud of my country and inclusiveness will make me proud. Just because some English MPs have behaved badly does not mean it is ok for us to do the same.

Keep our Journalism Independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address to subscribe for free here and receive Bella direct to your inbox.

 
Bella Caledonia