I get the sense that Carolyn Leckie is close to grasping the essentials of how the new independence referendum campaign must take shape. But there are some troubling gaps and contradictions in her analysis.
For example, she bemoans the complexity of the first Yes campaign and recognises the virtue of a simple message such as that peddled by the Mad Brexiteers. (She might have noted that Better Together/Project Fear benefited greatly from the same kind of concise, uncomplicated message.) But she then goes on to commend an exercise in replicating the confusing profusion of policy options and ‘visions’ of independence that so fatally diluted the Yes message and obscured the fundamental question.
Carolyn acknowledges that the fundamental question is about power. But then she drifts into a tentative approach that only serves to blur the issue. She wants a prolonged debate about the detail of independent Scotland’s constitution rather than accepting that the only thing that really matters is that it will be the people of Scotland who have the final say in approving that constitution.
And, crucially, she fails to recognise that we simply don’t have time for that kind of protracted debate. If we do not sort out the practicalities of BECOMING independent right now, rather than endlessly nit-picking about the minutiae of BEING independent, then those practicalities are going to get massively more daunting as the British state moves to close off Scotland’s democratic path to independence.
While seeming to suggest that we do things differently next time Carolyn Leckie perpetuates what was arguably the greatest folly of the Yes campaign when she implicitly accepts the validity of British nationalist ‘arguments’ on matters such as currency, pensions and Europe. Or, at the very least, fails to challenge the propaganda herself or insist that doing so should be a major part of the new Yes campaign.
She seems to think it more important that the Yes campaign be “free from insult and aggression”. She appears oblivious to the fact that simply to say this is to pander to the ‘cybernat abuse’ narrative of the British nationalists. This is real-world, grown-up politics, Carolyn. Sometimes insults are earned. Sometimes aggression is justified.
The headline itself is symptomatic of the sort of misguided approach I am obliged to criticise. There is no need to “differentiate between the case for indy and SNP policy”. The two were only ever confused and conflated in the minds and propaganda of ideological unionists. The British state worked very hard to ensure that the independence campaign was associated entirely and exclusively with the SNP for two reason. Because it is easier to attack a political party than a democratic principle. And because they appreciate – even if many n the Yes movement can’t or won’t – how absolutely vital the SNP is to the process of securing first a new referendum and then independence.
It is not the case for independence and SNP policy that we must differentiate between. What we urgently need to to learn is the distinction between the Yes movement and the independence campaign. They are different things – although, obviously, connected.
Key words for the Yes movement include diversity, inclusiveness and openness. Key words for the independence campaign include solidarity, focus and discipline. The Yes movement can concern itself with what might happen after Scotland’s independence is restored. The independence campaign must be completely, unequivocally, uncompromisingly devoted to the task of realising that goal.Views: 3261
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