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It’s all coming together – Towards Indyref2…

It’s all coming together

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.

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9 thoughts on “It’s all coming together

  1. bringiton

    Extreme left of centre politics has always been riven with factionalism where too many cannot see the wood for the trees.
    The nature of the beast attracts people with strongly held laudable views who unfortunately find it difficult to compromise in order to achieve a broader aim.
    Let’s hope common sense will prevail this time.

  2. Stewart Kerr Brown

    I have many/a few disagreements with some in the YES movement…mostly those of the RISE persuasion….but a few others as well…and I will never agree with them from an ideological standpoint…the intelectual left annoy the hell out of me…however…when the next Independence campaign kicks in…I will happily be out there with any of them as the goal transcends any differences we may have at the moment…we can fight about them when we are independent…we are fighting for the right to determine the right to determine how our country defines itself after Independence….not to define it before hand…

  3. manandboy

    Enjoying your posts on IndyRef2, Peter, so thank you for that. Good luck with the forum on the14th.Oh, and a happy new year – and may your boat always be balanced.

  4. Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

    British “air supremacy” defeated us last time. Scotland will surely again be carpet-bombed with equally outrageous disinformation up to and throughout Indyref2. The Independence Convention should prioritize how we can possibly survive (and prevail against) such an apparently insuperable “shock and awe” onslaught of lies this time round.

    Certainly, one might imagine that on this next occasion European news media will be squinting over the BBC’s hunched shoulders rather more critically. That should help.

    Lessons should be well learned from the post-Indy1 revelations of, for example, Sir Nicholas MacPherson’s clandestine role (and the subsequent Civil Service “well-done-chaps” gong-ceremony). And the intriguing American and London advancements (also for good honest effort, one assumes) for a swathe of BBC Scotland personnel.

    Is there (for the sake of discussion) a personage or group deep within Whitehall whose coldly focussed remit it is to co-ordinate the anti-Scottish independence propaganda campaign? Does this entity brief the press and media barons and so synchronise bombardment of hapless media-lite Jockland? Most journalists aren’t “in on it”, as it were, but just know the kind of copy that gets a nod from the boss?

    Nor do many of us have a clue as to what Whitehall’s next step would have been if we had indeed voted Yes last time. Almost certainly territorial annexation and boundaries would have been on the menu….

  5. Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

    It occurs to me that a link recommended by someone on Wings is particularly relevant to Peter’s post here. It is to the submission by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) to the Supreme Court Article 50 Brexit Appeal.

    Composed by Aidan O’Neill QC, it opens with, and sustains, a stunning extended exposition of the historic differences between the Scottish and English constitutional heritages. It is certainly worth taking a look at, and indeed filing.

    The pdf can be located by scrolling down to ‘Interveners’ (4) on the Supreme Court site here:

    Or use this direct link to the pdf itself:

  6. Andy McKirdy

    Agree with all the above. ALL Yessers must see the big picture and put their personal agendas to one side until independence is won, can Harvie, Fox, Rise and all the rest do that?? I wonder!!
    Unless Scotland is an independent, self governing country nothing will change, ever. Is that rocket science??
    The SNP whether you vote for them or not, whether you’re a member or not, are the ONLY political force capable of getting Scotland its independence, and until that happens everything else must be put on the back burner.
    On the No side, whatever their political differences or their personal agendas they are always united in the single goal of preventing Scottish independence and use every facet of the state in doing so.
    Every time any figure on the Yes side, from Harvie to Boyd to Sillars and others critises, in the name of democratic expression, the SNP and the Scottish government it is used as a negative to independence. Grow the fuck up and learn how to fight properly, as dirty and low down as you can get away with, the same as our opponents. They hate each other but never show a divided front when it comes to denying Scotland its independence.
    Fearghas, great link. Very informative, Robert Pheffers would be proud!!

    1. Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

      Thanks for the support.

      With respect, though, I’m not comfortable with the “as dirty and low down as you can get away with” bit. In my view that approach would undermine the current rock-solid basis of our (highly motivational) “righteous indignation” at the cynical colonial injustices chronically perpetrated against the State of Scotland within the British Union.

      John Barbour’s famous cry in The Brus: “A! Fredome is a noble thing!” imprinted on me as a teenager:


      Here (with Peter A. Bell’s indulgence) is an English translation of “Coire a’ Bhreacain”, a rather more meagre post-2014 effort of my own echoing Barbour’s aspiration:


      George Orwell wrote his novel 1984 on the Island of Jura.
      I saw something about it on tv recently.
      He was in a boating incident by Corryvreckan.
      Himself, his three-year-old son, and two other men
      in this small boat that got caught by strong tides
      and was drawn towards the great whirlpool.
      The outboard motor sheered off and dropped into the sea.
      But they managed to row to a rocky outcrop
      where their boat sank. There they lit a fire
      which was eventually spotted by lobster fishermen.

      We have just lost our referendum on independence.
      Scotland like a boat sinking, as it were,
      in an Orwellian whirlpool,
      in a Corryvreckan of lies.

      Like Orwell himself, though, we were not drowned,
      but landed on a rock higher than the waves.
      And we lit a fire which still burns strong.

      – Gaelic original on page 9 of free mag download here:


  7. Vestas

    Sadly the morons at RISE/CommonSpace are only interested in themselves.

    If truth be told they’re only comfortable voting for SLAB & I’m 100% certain that they WILL backstab the indy movement as soon as they see something in it for themselves. They still have a visceral hatred of the SNP.

    I’m even getting uncomfortable about people like Bateman – the latest podcast has Haggerty AGAIN pouring cold water on the idea of indyref2 before Brexit. I dunno about Bateman, pretty much everyone he has on these days are ex-SLAB voters/people.

    West of Scotland centric views from ex-SLAB people will NOT deliver indy.

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