The news that Labour for Independence (LfI) is to be revived will be welcomed across the independence movement. Along with groups such as Women for Independence and Business for Scotland, LfI was among the most influential forces in the first referendum campaign. It’s importance can be gauged by the effort that was put into discrediting LfI by the anti-independence campaign.
Equally important is the strengthening of Yes2 that this development represents. I have long held that there should be no equivalent of Yes Scotland for #indyref2. It would be wrong to say that it was a mistake to create the formal Yes campaign umbrella group back in May 2012. It was necessary at that time. It had a function as a focal point for non-SNP independence campaigners. It served its purpose so well that it very quickly became all but redundant as the Yes movement began to grow organically.
But there was a downside to this two-pronged approach in that it introduced an element of factionalism which was very effectively exploited by a British state well-practised in the devious tactics of divide-and-conquer.
The organic network of the Yes movement still exists. In many ways, it is stronger than ever. There is no need for a new Yes Scotland. I have always anticipated that the diverse Yes groups would coalesce around a primary organisation as part of the same organic process by which it came into being in the first place. By this process, each group will settle upon the form of association with this central organisation that it is comfortable with. Hopefully, this will reduce the scope for factionalism. Or, at least, allow for more effective management of its deleterious effects.
It has for some time been apparent that Yes2 was developing into the core campaign group for the next independence referendum campaign. This would seem to be confirmed by the news that Labour for Independence is joining forces with the group.
These are very positive developments. But we cannot afford to be complacent. The diversity of the Yes movement is a large part of its strength. However, there is always the risk that diversity might breed a divisiveness and failure of focus that the independence campaign simply cannot afford.
The next big test for the Yes movement will be the Scottish Independence Convention’s one-day conference in Glasgow on Saturday 14 January. It is essential that all the groups represented at this gathering find a way to present a united front. It is vital that the entire Yes network puts its weight behind the SNP as the de facto political arm of the independence movement.
I will be attending that conference. I am not relaxed about it.Views: 3018
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