Let’s get there this time

There’s going to be a second independence referendum.  There always was of course.  It’s just that it’s come around a great deal faster than anyone ever imagined, regardless of whether Theresa May tries to delay it or not.

Brexit has presented Indyref1 veterans with an opportunity to do it all over again.  But what should we do?  This isn’t a repeat, it’s a rebirth.  To mix my metaphors … there’s a whole new landscape.

The last campaign set Better Together against Yes Scotland.  Project Fear against Project Vision.  The ‘devil we know’ Union against the ‘uncertainty’ of independence.  It was all somehow very clearly defined.  They demanded answers and we responded … politely.

This time it’s different.  This time the No campaign will be placed on the defensive.  This time Yes will be asking the questions.  Last time they had the EU.  This time we have Brexit.

Nicola Sturgeon has set the tone already.  Her Bute House speech caught everyone off guard, in particular the Prime Minister.  That was the intention of course.  Theresa May has been left looking unsure, weak and reactive – “Now is not the time” – yea, right.

In Scotland the 2017 version of Better Together spluttered and stuttered their way from microphone to microphone when the FM effectively called ScotRef.  Ruth, Kez and Willie complained and whined but said little of substance.  The only coherent narrative from Scotland’s Unionist opposition was ‘nobody wants a referendum’.  For nobody, read ‘Unionists’.

This was Unionism on the defensive.  They couldn’t think on their feet.  They had been out-manoeuvred and out thought.  If this is how they react to a simple speech they should have long been anticipating, what will they be like when the Brexit time-bomb goes off?

Bit by bit the reality of Brexit is going to hit home.  This isn’t the 2014 Scottish referendum when UK politics, when it strayed north, came in the form of George Osborne’s currency threat or Philip Hammond’s shipbuilding scares.

It’s coming in the shape of desperate Brexit negotiations, unwanted trade tariffs and job losses by the tens of thousands.  It’s coming in the shape of a devalued pound and more expensive imports.  It’s coming in the shape of an isolated, xenophobic little-England as it turns its anger on everyone else.

Jose Manuel Barroso has been replaced by Jean-Claude Juncker.  The EU is no longer a Better Together asset.  It’s a Brexit Together liability.

This is the backdrop of a new referendum that will be peppered with examples of promises that were made by the No campaign prior to 2014.  Promises that were subsequently broken.  Unionism will be exposed for all to see.

How will the No campaign respond to the shoe being on the other foot?  Not that well if the last few days are anything to go by.  Threatening to block a referendum?  Really?

At least as important is who will respond?  There’s a distinct lack of big-hitters this time around.  Ruth and Adam, Kez and Anas, Willie and … who?  They have three MPs, one of which had his reputation trashed in court after being labelled a liar.

Dare they wheel out Lord Darling and Gordon ‘Home Rule’ Brown to consolidate the depleted squad?  Incredible as it may seem, there are reports that Superbroon is indeed set to make an ‘intervention’ this weekend.  Will the BBC cut away from the SNP conference?

The Yes campaign will face the weakest UK government in living memory and an opposition that attacks its own leader as often as it attacks a Conservative administration that is waging war on the most vulnerable.

The de-facto No-campaign group ‘Scotland in Union’ has started the campaign by unveiling giant billboards at the SNP conference.

It takes a special kind of genius to believe you’ll increase support by calling voters stupid.

If the independence movement could have scripted its perfect scenario in the lead up to a second referendum, this would be it.

But bad as things are within this Union, as dreadful as the UK government is and as poor as the all-new Better Together squad might be, there is still work to be done.  Yes starts this campaign as it did the last, trailing … by far less … but still trailing.

There may not be an all-encompassing Yes Scotland organisation this time around.  That means the SNP will be the focal point for opposition and media attacks.  What’s new?  That may be no bad thing when you factor in the popularity of Nicola Sturgeon.  The party has raised over one third of its million pound fighting fund appeal.  It’s clearly preparing to lead from the front.

We need to be disciplined.  Let’s not provide the Unionist elements within the media with cheap ammunition.  We can sort our differences out after a Yes vote.

Let’s learn to differentiate between a referendum and an election.  Referendums do not require manifesto policies.  You want the SNP to be more radical?  Cool, offer your prospectus to the electorate of a newly independent Scotland.

Let’s keep our eyes on the prize.  We stumbled in 2014 and came up short.  We’re up again and going in the right direction.  Let’s get there this time.

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8 thoughts on “Let’s get there this time

  1. bringiton

    We aren’t going to budge the Sunday Post readers from their cringe mentality so this time we must make sure that the younger vote is energised and turns out on the day.
    It is,after all,their future that this is about and not the backward looking unionists who will have to explain the benefits to Scotland of being taken out of the EU and justify the continuing right wing policies of England’s Tory governments rejected here in Scotland.
    The only people who will be taken in by Broon again are those who want to be.
    Tell me sweet little lies.

  2. Simon

    I understand fully that the SNP are more than aware of the unbalanced media reporting which will occur, if and when there is a new referendum on Scottish independence. The support of a few newspapers is not nearly enough and regrettably people on the whole believe what they read, fact or fiction. If they don’t believe, it leaves a memory trace!
    People are often caught up in narrow thinking and use the smallest of reasons not to vote yes, often repeating as their own words what the’ve read in the Express for example. It makes me chuckle to see Twitter feeds full of lines like, The SNP should get on with their day job etc. Many people appear not to be able to think for themselves and need to identify with a line of thought put out there by the Daily mail etc. To feel they belong and are not stepping outside the ‘norms’ of what we call society. This of course dosn’t apply to all, but a quick journey through Twitter will confirm this. When a desicion is made for or against Scottish independence, it is made and often can’t be shifted. Many people will defend this belief system with all they have and become aggressive when challenged. However, it is the people who vote, who do not have a strong opinion, or will vote based on what they’ve read or generally been subjected too that matters. If they continue to receive and digest bias for or against, it will become a truth. Balance must be restored for an honest debate.

    Every possible negative against an independent Scotland should be embraced, not hidden from, pushed up front and answered before the opposition bring it to light. The information should be put out there on a scale that can’t be missed. A relentless campaign, but honest and transparent. Use the less than favourable media as an advantage, as a vehicle. Yes, tell the people, jobs might be lost, but easily replaced as scotland builds it’s own new and vibrant infrastructure. Currency, hard border with England, the material is endless! Out in the open, and before the eleventh hour. We do not need all the answers now, but an honest and clear direction. Questions concerning future “what if’s” can be addressed when required and by the Scottish people, successfully.

    I personally believe an Independent Scotland will be very successful financially in time, but this is just not getting across to the masses. Shine the light on their fears, take them out from the darkness. Embrace, accept, address and move forward

    I truly believe this small and simple approach to the possible up and coming media war, will help restore a balance, and secure a Yes vote. The 2014 result could have been different if a different approach was used.

    The media machine for Scottish independence is falling short, and will be the #1 reason for a defeat in any future referendum concerning Scottish sovereignty. This must be addressed and soon!

    Thank you for this space, which has allowed me to speak freely. I am no one and my opinion is not important, however, it’s the people without a voice and believe what they consume through the press, that must be addressed. No one is someone when it comes to a close vote in a Referendum!

    Wishing everyone a great day…

  3. Robert Graham

    Can you just imagine if we had equal access to the Airwaves and the print media , even a little bit would be nice , this must be one of the only countries in the world where the public are denied access to a alternative view , only one view is allowed One message being heard . I am watching Dateline London , and a fat english f/kr who lies for the Times spouting Tory regurgitated Pish , he dosnt seem to get , its that attitude that is Guaranteed to get people here pretty f/kn mad .

  4. Philip Maughan

    A key argument in the next Indy. Ref. will be the consequences of a No vote. The broken promises after 2014 will pale into insignificance if we vote No again. I believe the UK Government will completely neuter the Scottish Government to ensure that it won’t be possible to get a further referendum; the Barnet Formula will also be burnt on the alter of Daily Mail ‘Scottish scrounger’ opinion. So while we need to be positive about the prospects for an independent Scotland, I also think a dose of Project Fear about what could happen in the event of a No vote is also in order.

  5. Alex Beveridge

    Just lets get one matter straight. The forthcoming Scottish Referendum campaign is going to be the most vicious political fight ever seen in the U.K.
    We have all seen the M.S.M reaction to Nicola’s speech on Monday. Believe you me that is only the beginning.
    The British State are in danger of losing their prize asset, so they will throw any mud, promote any lies, all with the assistance of their fellow travellers in the media, and not forgetting the security services.
    And of course they have their fifth columnists, the “proud scots”, willing to consign their country to tory rule for evermore. Usually for a financial inducement, or a seat in the H.O.L.
    While we might start this campaign from a much higher base than previously, it ain’t going to be easy, so we had better be prepared for all the false allegations that are going to be thrown at us. Unfortunately, having a mainly hostile media will be a major hurdle to overcome, as the printed headlines are usually all people see, and in a lot of cases still take them as the truth.
    Back out chapping doors shortly for the council elections, so I’ll see what, if any, reactions there are to the events of the past week.

  6. Andy McKirdy

    As I’ve said before on this site, we need to stop taking a knife to a gun fight. The Brit Nats know this is a gun fight and they won’t mess about trying to be nice and polite.
    I agree with Alex, the Empire will do anything to secure their last colony, legal or otherwise and they will leave any justification to a long way down the line.
    However, I do detect a different vibe this time, we are smarter and less naive, it was perhaps too precious the last time, too principled the last time.
    Certainly for me, our independence is a matter of principle and not a business deal, but for a lot of our immutables its a deal, will I be a tenner better off or worse off?? Shallow, I know, but that’s the Saturday night telly demographic for you.
    Once the people who have to be told a punch on the face is sore are on side, the battle is won. The Queens 11mob will never be persuaded, so we shouldn’t waste our energies on them.
    Know your enemy and know their weaknesses and we will win.
    Unfortunately most people are dense and don’t care about being dense but they do care about how comfortably they watch they watch he telly. This is our audience, they are there to be persuaded!!!!
    People of intelligence still prepared to vote NO, I dispair, are you not watching what’s happening, look in the mirror an admitt the truth to yourself.
    Any how, Alex is right, this is going to be rough and we need to have the stomach for it. The empire never gave up a colony without a fight, we need to have the bottle.

  7. Puzzled Puss

    I think we need to follow Nicola Sturgeon’s lead by putting our opponents on the back foot whenever we can. I think it’s possible, without getting into a ‘project fear’ of our own (which I for one would find distasteful) to challenge them much more than we did last time.

    I remember a no-voting friend of mine told me in 2014 that there were ‘too many unanswered questions’ about independence (in spite of the comprehensive white paper). This time we can point out that the only alternative to independence is Brexit Britain, about which there are a great many more unanswered questions e.g.

    How are people expected to cope with the reduced standard of living which is an inevitable consequence of the rise in prices which is bound to follow Brexit as a result of the following factors:-

    1.) decrease in the value of the pound,

    2.) tarriffs on imports, which will come about if no deal is struck with the EU

    3.)withdrawal of EU farm subsidies?

    How are people expected to cope when their income either remains static or is reduced as a consequence of job loss, increase in zero-hours contracts etc

    How are people expected to cope when our safety net of public services is reduced to the point where it is completely useless?

    On a more positive note, we also need to point out that, paradoxically, the best way to retain the most valued aspects of the UK (the NHS and the state pension) will be to vote for independence.

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