Robin McAlpine: Six reasons for indy supporters to feel cheerful

CommonSpace columnist and Common Weal director Robin McAlpine says the indy movement has a lot to be upbeat about after the General Election 

I REALISE that it might feel counterintuitive for a lot of you but, although disappointed, I'm feeling really quite positive about yesterday's outcomes. 

My biggest concern is absolutely not about whether we face a bigger barrier to independence (which I don't think we do) but that this may hit morale and that we could do without a dip in morale right now.

So, here are some reasons to be cheerful.

1.) We can all finally agree that the movement must be more than the SNP

For reasons good and bad, since the first referendum the interests of independence have at all times been relegated behind the interests of the biggest political party supporting independence.

There are times when I was fully behind that – for example, the 2016 Holyrood election was one where I felt strongly that the issues to focus on should be domestic policy, not independence.

But there are quite a lot of times when I was also very frustrated. I am a detailed observer of the art of the press release. For a long time now it has been absolutely clear to me that both the SNP and the Scottish Government had a policy of never defending independence on an issues basis.

So when a bad GERS figure came out, all the SNP or Scottish Government would talk about was how they had put some money into Scottish Enterprise to grow the economy. 

Read more – Jim Sillars: Here's what the SNP and the Yes movement now need to do to build the indy case

In fact, if you go back and look at every comment put out in response to an indy question you'll find that in every occasion they answered it on the basis of the domestic policies of the SNP.

I know that there are voices round the SNP leadership who have promoted this 'get away from indy' strategy because they thought that it was 'Nicola's' personality that was winning them everything.

In fact, the person who Nicola Sturgeon recently appointed as her de facto chief adviser (Ewan Crawford) wrote an article the week after the first referendum saying that the reason he thought we lost was because of the impact of the wider movement and the grassroots campaign.

In his view, all the positivity and grassroots enthusiasm put off the middle class vote and needed to be closed down. That seems to have become the leadership's policy; notable signs of support for a wider movement have been hard to find.

This has been justified on one basis – that the SNP was so overwhelmingly popular that they were a self-contained 'movement' all by themselves, that they could win independence on their own.

It was never true. Even at the peak the SNP wasn't getting numbers that would have been enough to win a second referendum (yes, they were getting just over 50 per cent, but of a turnout much lower than the indyref).

Read more – ‘Don’t wobble’: Independence figures respond to the #GE2017 setback for SNP

I'm afraid that this delusion was promoted by too many people. Every time someone said or wrote 'only the SNP can win independence', my heart sank. It was a troubling misreading of the reality of the Scottish electorate.

Independence was only ever going to be won by a broad-based campaign that could reach beyond the SNP. People who thought independence could be won by the SNP alone have slowed progress.

We always needed to decouple independence from party politics. This was prevented. Now it can't be. Since you can't win an argument without arguing, the simple fact that we can finally be in a place to make a case, unashamedly and proudly, is liberating.

'All you need is Nat' was an unhelpful tune to be singing. A much more effective range of voices can now be set free.

2.) We can finally stop talking about referendums

This is a little technical, but for reasons I don't quite understand the indy side doesn't do qualitative (or indeed quantitative) research. This is the business of focus groups and opinion polling. It is the foundation from which political strategy is built.

Because we on the indy side don't do this, I'm just guessing. But I am guessing fairly confidently that the other side has done their qualitative research. This is structured discussion work aimed at finding out how people are really feeling.

I would put money that what the unionist research has discovered is that people's attitude to independence is much less hostile right now than people's attitude to referendums.

I mean, even the most pro-indy of you out there can't possibly claim to be wholeheartedly looking forward to yet another referendum. They're a pain in the arse. They're a necessary and an important route to change, but in the way that visiting the dentist is an important route to teeth that don't hurt.

Read more – Coalition of Chaos: 5 key ways #GE2017 has thrown the UK deeper into crisis

From everything I've seen from the other side, I'd guess that they have discovered that independence isn't actually unpopular. If it was, they'd be attacking independence.

But they're not. They are – 100 per cent – attacking an independence REFERENDUM. The trigger word here is referendum, not independence.

I'm afraid that I think that Sturgeon fell into this trap almost completely. She has talked about nothing other than referendums, Section 28 orders, parliamentary votes for referendums. And did I mention referendums?

But her people have told her not to talk about actual independence (what currency, what vision, what difference would it make and all that stuff). Like a mouse sidling up to the cheese in a trap, we've done precisely what they wanted us to.

So now we can absolutely stop talking about referendums (no-one is now talking about that happening in the very near future). Instead, we can start talking about what would be so great about an independent Scotland.

Do not underestimate how good this would be for us – or how much it would disrupt the other side's 'no referendum' strategy.

3.) Everything about this election tells me we can win

If I believed that Labour had gained from presenting a unionist position, I'd be feeling more pessimistic. I'm almost sure that's not what happened.

In fact, I suspect that Labour lost hardcore unionists to the Tories (who really believe this stuff). That I believe they then gained a lot of indy supporters who were frankly disappointed with the SNP pitch may be bad for the SNP, but it is NOT bad for the independence movement.

My worry was that the moment when Scots could be won over on a 'boldness and hope' agenda might have passed. I've been concerned that we may have squandered the 'indyref moment' and that people's hopes have diminished.

Read more – Jordan Daly: Scottish Labour, wake up and smell the Corbyn

This tells me that, among our core target audience, they absolutely have not. They didn't 'go Labour' because of Dugdale or Murray. They went Labour despite Dugdale and Murray and entirely because of Corbyn.

If we had to win independence on the basis of caution and stability (and all that), I'm not sure we could have done it. It's the wrong dynamic for a big decision like that.

Instead, I simply think the SNP has paid a heavy price for two years of uninspiring, managerial government. It is absolutely not too late for them to turn that around, but this is a different issue than whether we can galvanise a Yes vote.

Yesterday tells me we can. That's good.

4.) Commentators don't decide when things happen

We've seen a rather odd rush to conclude that the prospects of another independence referendum have disappeared among the commentator set. As always with commentators, they say it with authority but you should take it with a large pinch of salt.

For a start, these are the same commentators who said Corbyn was unelectable (and Hillary had it in the bag and common sense would lead to a Remain vote). They were wrong when they assumed that independence was a done deal after Brexit and they're likely to be wrong now.

And it is typical of the strange algebra of political commentary that they can read so effectively across a wide spectrum of political complexity and boil it down to one single meaning. There was certainly an anti-independence vote – but there were many, many other kinds of vote, too.

But in any case, there is only one thing that will deliver a second referendum and that is the sheer weight of public opinion. I've always thought that we needed to campaign and hit about 60 per cent support for the concept of independence before we'd be able to force a referendum from Westminster.

That's still what we have to do. Painting the election as a referendum proxy is just page filler.

5.) A coalition of chaos is a helpful backdrop

A giant Tory majority would have brought out the worst in the Tories. That would have set a helpful backdrop for an independence campaign. A chaotic minority Tory administration, however, is no better for unionists.

We're in a strange (and unexpected) situation where, for indy, we can now say 'vote No, vote DUP'. Brexit was never going to be good for unionists – at least not during the process. But the impression that at least it was being handled authoritatively would have helped.

The next two years were going to be painful, but they might have looked orderly. That's less likely. And Ruth Davidson's Tories may have their heads high in Scotland right now, but will it last? Can they really manage to avoid all responsibility for the actions of a badly damaged UK Tory leadership?

I doubt it. I doubt that 12 MPs beats a May meltdown over the medium term. Conditions are not terrible for us.

6.) We're ready

Nicola Sturgeon says she needs to go away and reflect. She does. She needs to take John Swinney and Peter Murrell with her. They cannot afford to come out of that particular room unchanged.

We don't. While none of us have been talking about this, through the Scottish Independence Convention a group of really good people have been working hard over the last few months to develop a strong and effective strategy for winning independence.

There are detailed plans, people in place, major activities ready to go, a very clear focus and genuine optimism about what we think can be done.

We have a pretty detailed strategy for raising substantial sums of money. We have a major programme of political research (those foundations of all strategy I mention) on which we're ready to press the 'go' button.

Read more – Labour left celebrate breakthrough for Corbynism in Scotland

We are working on detailed plans for a first rate professional campaign organisation. We're working on major initiatives to train a mass army of grassroots activists in the current leading-edge organising techniques.

(And don't doubt the effectiveness of this – it is in substantial part precisely these techniques which enabled the Corbyn campaign to unleash the youth vote which did so much to end the Tory majority).

Everyone has been tight-lipped about this. We were planning to meet the SNP straight after the election to talk all this over and, effectively, get their permission. We still will. But I simply don't see how the SNP could now even consider withholding that permission.

I know it would be great if we could keep the wider movement informed about everything that's been happening (and I for one am frustrated that we couldn't) but it is essential that we keep all partners on board – and the SNP is the biggest partner.

So we've been patient – but that does not mean we've been passive.

Read more – What next? ‘Weak and wobbly’ Theresa May aims to cling on to power

The leadership of the SNP must go away and reflect deeply. The rest of us must get on with the work immediately. There is nothing to wait for. No-one is coming to save us. So we begin now.

For all these reasons we're finally in a position where – as a broad and wide movement that was always more than one political party – we can almost certainly do what we always should have been doing.

I absolutely didn't want an SNP reversal of the scale we saw on Thursday. But I am afraid that having watched the last two years and the campaign they just ran, it was increasingly inevitable – if not now, then very soon.

The SNP can still be reborn as the party it should have become after 2014. I hope it does. But the interests of the SNP and the interests of the independence movement are now clearly not identical.

If we can all now agree that this is an issue above and beyond party politics, we become stronger. That was always how we were going to win, and now I think we're much freer to get on with it.

I know a lot of you will be hurting this weekend; some will need a little time. But don't get too down. We have a pro-independence majority at both Westminster and Holyrood and the means to actually begin an independence campaign.

The conditions still look propitious to me. Thursday needn't be a setback if we learn the right lessons.

Pictures courtesy of First Minister of ScotlandKyoshi MasamuneChatham HouseGarry KnightRob Watling

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Comments

IIA.Scot's picture

IIA.Scot

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 13:54

Good, thoughtful and essentially correct.

Scott Egner

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 13:55

Think it does need to be more decoupled from party politics.
Any future YES campaign needs to have a progressive head economist comfortable in the media spotlight and all over the batshit 'gold standard' commentary coming from the neoliberals..

MauriceBishop

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 14:11

You are nowhere near ready so long as you are relying on ameteur enthusiasts to write your "detailed" plans for the economy in general and for currency in particular.

You wonder why the SNP are not willing to use their resources to address this issue. The answer is simple: any competent economist will tell you that establishing an independence currency that is appropriate for Scotland is going to be incredibly expensive, and the citizens of Scotland are going to have to pay for it, via higher taxes and reduced services.

When voters see the actual cost benefit analysis, support for Yes will plummet. At which point many SNP MSPs and the FM will find their jobs in jeopardy. These are not people who would thrive if they had to return to the private sector. So they are content to continue to delude the indy-supporting base, even though they know the truth.

Isembard

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 16:39

(MauriceBishop) Do you have any evidence for your claim that "establishing an independence (sic) currency that is appropriate for Scotland is going to be incredibly expensive"?

If you are arguing that independence is impossible because of the 'expense' of establishing a new currency, I fear you know little about how money is created and the difference between 'money' and real resources. In particular, it doesn't come from taxes.

There are many countries that have become independent even in the last 50 years that seem to have managed the horrendous expense of creating a new currency without destroying their economies. Check out Wikipedia.

MauriceBishop

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 17:28

Yes. See "Currency Redux" by Prof. Ronald MacDonald. At least £40 billion.

If you look at the model of Denmark, then the figure is closer to £60 billion.

Here are some characteristics of Scotland that have to be considered:
*the citizens expect a first-world economy
*government spending makes up nearly 50% of GDP
*finance is the largest public sector employer
*the economy is accustomed to a large structural deficit, which is covered by fiscal transfers from the rUK
*there is a massive welfare state to maintain, with millions of citizens dependant upon benefits and government-provided health services

Which country that has become independent in the last 50 years shares even two or three of these characteristics, much less all of them?

Now add in this: anyone who doesn't want to live under the regime of higher taxes and fewer services - the inevitable consequence if the separatists ever get their way - can simply move to another part of the UK. Which means a downward cycle of depopulation exacerbating the fiscal crisis.

ElaineBryan

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 17:46

"In his view, all the positivity and grassroots enthusiasm put off the middle class"

True, I think. But the remedy is to widen the movement to include more 'middle class friendly' voices than just Business for Scotland. The gain from doing that and countering the image that Yes was/is for the radical left only, is to demonstrate how an indy Scotland will have a choice of all of the political spectrum. (We need to mirror more 'us' to those voters who felt alienated so they feel they also can support the movement.)

Fiona Grahame

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 17:49

As Chair of Yes Orkney - and not a member of the SNP - I agree entirely with the Yes Movement being seen as non party political. In Orkney we are waiting for no one's permission or reflection - we are continuing to make the positive case for independence - we have the Wee Ginger Dug coming in a few weeks and are looking forward to the boost this will give to all our supporters especially those who worked hard for the unsuccessful SNP candidate. This is a time when we need to hold fast and keep the positive discussions going.

Escott

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 18:17

A wider Yes movement is fine, but if the Yes movement stands competing candidates in the same seats then they will divide the vote and the loss will be the Unionists' gain. Divide and conquer is how they work.

Sheena McCreary

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 19:06

Is this the same Prof. Ronald MacDonald who analysed data and predicted there would be a vote to Remain by a narrow majority?

RadioJammor

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 19:24

Maurice's propaganda & scaremongering must be paid for, don't you think? Why else would someone troll like he does?

The giant holes in at least some of his argument are not worth arguing the toss over, but the reasons for his continuing to do so scream out that he must be getting something out of it.

To partly answer Maurice's usual nonsense however, is to partly engage in the debate that the General Election results for Scotland should bring, and remind people, as has been said, that there is more than SNP supporting parties involved here, and some policies exist that would radically change Scotland's finances (making at least some of his assertions redundant, let alone wrong).

Maurice of course talks as if an independent Scotland would continue on financially in the same old way, but an independent Scotland would be in an excellent place to make radical changes, such as introducing a universal basic income/citizen's income, and perhaps also a Land Value Tax, which would reduce the costs of poverty, the costs of administration of numerous benefits, have positive knock-on effects and may also have radical implications for the levels and the needs for other taxes.

Scotland would be able to grow its economy. Scotland would be able to attract people to increase its tax base. Scotland would be able to address any deficit that existed at the point of independence, which only exists notionally for now, and may only exist at all because of the the continual failure of Westminster governments to address the economic imbalances that exist across the UK, not just in Scotland.

London and the South East is coping well, if not doing well, for the moment at least (as although the downturn is beginning to happen, many down there are so ignorant of the rest of the UK they wonder why others don't vote Tory), whilst Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and large areas of England continue to struggle; a fact hidden by Westminster politicians (e.g. Fallon), who aggregate the regional figures to either all of England or all the UK, as appropriate, to hide the 'regional' disparities, whilst relying on the right wing press to assist, by e.g. demonising people who are in receipt of benefits.

Good can come of this result. The SNP will have to adapt and reach out to other independence supporters better than it has. The SNP must acknowledge that, whilst the anti-independence vote may have gone Tory, and that Scottish Labour has benefitted from "Corbynism", and that it has been caught in a Tory election trap and in a vice paid for by dodgy-looking money from Northern Ireland, that it is partially culpable for its losses.

OlwenMcG

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 19:45

Get started soon...give me something to be involved in! There's too much sitting about waiting for someone to tell us what is happening!

MauriceBishop

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 19:49

@RadioJammor

I'll leave aside your personal insults - they reflect more on you than they do on me.

The substance is of your post is the assumption that a few pea shooters will work in a situation that requires tanks.

Given the recent history of the Scottish economy, private or public lenders like the IMF would insist that the new government follows a stringent policy designed to bring the deficit down to a sustainable level quickly. That would mean far more savage austerity than Scotland has experienced so far under the protection of the Barnett formula. It probably would also mean tax increases, which the First Minister has so far mostly avoided for fear of driving high earners out of Scotland.-Ray Perman, Director, David Hume Institute, 14/3/17

Chris Hanlon

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 20:13

The words 'amateur' and 'competent' are ad hominem attacks on anyone who disagrees with your assertion.

As you have felt the need to support your position with such rhetoric, rather than with evidence or reasoned argument, I think the rest of us are safe to dismiss it.

geacher

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 20:14

I got as far as this "Scotland would be able to address any deficit that existed at the point of independence, which only exists notionally"
I then realised that you just another separatist who lives in a fantasy shortbread world.

Mike Fenwick

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 20:40

Is a country to be measured by an assessment of its annual balance sheet, one which will vary from year to year, and most certainly over time?

Or should we consider its people, their ingenuity, their abilities, maybe specifically their determination and strength when in adversity?

I know in which I would place my confidence, and my future!

And perhaps there are lessons from history from which we can draw to illustrate the point. Why is a country's independence, it's ability to control its own destiny, important. Do we have evidence?

Consider, if you will, this list of countries whose wealth and resources were taken to enrich another country, and who then over time have sought and obtained their independence from the UK: Afghanistan 1919: Antigua and Barbuda 1982: Australia 1901: The Bahamas 1973: Bahrain 1971: Barbados 1966: Belize 1981: Botswana 1966: Brunei 1984: Canada 1867: Cyprus 1960: Dominica 1978: Egypt 1922: Fiji 1970: The Gambia 1965: Ghana 1957: Grenada 1974: Guyana 1966: India 1932: Israel 1948: Iraq 1932: Jamaica 1962: Jordan 1946: Kenya 1963: Kiribati 1979: Kuwait 1961: Lesotho 1966: Malawi 1964: Malaysia 1957: Maldives 1965: Malta 1964: Mauritius 1968: Myanmar 1948: Nauru 1968: New Zealand 1907: Nigeria 1960: Pakistan 1947: Qatar 1971: Saint Lucia 1979: Saint Kitts and Nevis 1983: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1979: Seychelles 1976: Sierra Leone 1961: Solomon Islands 1978: South Africa 1910: Sri Lanka 1948: Sudan 1956: Swaziland 1968: Tanzania 1961: Tonga 1970: Trinidad and Tobago 1962: Tuvalu 1978: Uganda 1962: United Arab Emirates 1971: United States 1783: Vanuatu 1980: Yemen 1967: Zambia 1964: Zimbabwe 1980.

MauriceBishop

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 22:58

@ Chris Hanlon: Have the economic plans that Common Weal has published been prepared by professional, competent economists? Yes or No.

MauriceBishop

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 22:59

@ Mike Fenwick

Now can you please reduce that list to just the subset that had the characteristics of Scotland that I listed above? I'll even bo so kind as to settle for a match on just three of the points instead of requiring all of them.

UCSvet

Sun, 06/11/2017 - 00:40

Maurice Bishop is a time waster so I'll concentrate on Robin' contribution. In every city, town and village in Scotland,in every voting booth, Scottish voters were presented with a choice. There were three parties whose central message was " vote for us and we'll stop Indy ref 2.
This message was vociferously trumpeted from almost every orifice of the media. Despite that the anti independence unionist parties LOST. Boy how they lost. The SNP won more seats than ALL the other parties combined. I'll repeat that ALL THE OTHER PARTIES COMBINED. We should be celebrating. I bet Corbyn would have loved to lose like the SNP.

As to Robins main point, of course ithe independence movement is much bigger than the SNP. Nichola's performance in what was laughingly described as the Scottish " leaders" debate on STV graphiicly supports the point. When the Troika were loudly proclaiming that " there is no appetite for another referendum" Nichola could have gently disagreed by pointing to the twenty thousand people who demonstrated in Glasgow. Now the YES movement is used to being ignored by the mass media but it was unforgivable to be ignored by a first minister that it put in power. It was sectarian and arrogant beyond belief.
Did she stop even for a second to think what effect that had on the thousands of her supporter that demonstrated to disprove the Troika's lie. She should perhaps reflect on what effect it might have had on the outcome of the election had her party promoted and taken a leading role it.
This movement needs to be about what it is " for" rather than simply what it is against.
Common Weals research papers whether prepared by professionals or otherwise have two crucial elements which people like the Maurice Bishops of this world don't have. Firstly they the have confidence in the ingenuity and intelligence of the Scots to succeed.
Secondly they have the courage to dare ordinary Scots for the first time in their lives to consider how THEY would build the nation of THEIR dreams.

Mike Fenwick

Sun, 06/11/2017 - 00:35

Hi Maurice, yep, it's me again :).
Just for these few introductory words might we expand your rather narrow sub-set, please, and broaden it to embrace the whole economic structure of countries as they were at the birth of their independence, not least so that we might then compare them as of today?

That would allow us to take each country on that list and consider that more comprehensive economic position, and perhaps allow for some consideration (for and against) on the thoughts of Ricardo, or the relevance of the Economist's Big Mac Index in looking at these matters?

However to precis - might I suggest only these 3 examples to choose a starting point ( the United States in 1783, Australia in 1901, lastly India in 1932). They illustrate a point of importance, in discussions such as these, namely that identifying where one starts is never a certain indicator of where one might finish.

How in 2017 do the USA, Australia and India fare – are they of any economic interest to us, or are they still stuck where they started, economic basket cases? Has nothing changed, not a sausage?

These words from Theresa May seem cogent as an answer to that question, does she see them as having a current (not historic) importance: “We want to get out into the wider world, to trade and do business all around the globe. We have started discussions on future trade ties with countries like Australia, New Zealand and India. And President Elect Trump has said Britain is not “at the back of the queue” for a trade deal with the United States, the world’s biggest economy, but front of the line.”

Scotland is where it is, its economics are what they are, unless you believe in a flat earth or are persuaded against evolution – things change, they always have and they always will.

We are therefore left with the position, upon which we clearly hold vastly differing views, namely who holds the levers of power over the changes that are required. For my part, I suggest they should emanate from an independent Scotland. Might you agree - I doubt it.

However, perhaps we might come close to agreement on this aspect - as I view the current state of the economic and political governance of the UK it simply beggars (pun intended) belief.

You believe it will change, and for the better, do you not? QED!

gjm's picture

gjm

Sun, 06/11/2017 - 09:06

Geacher UK debt is 1.7 trillion and rising

geacher

Mon, 06/12/2017 - 17:44

And Scotland has contributed more than 20% of that debt in EACH of the last four years, but that doesn't matter in the context...the UK can handle that debt, an iScotland with a deficit of £15billion each year would find it unsustainable..
My point to Robin was that the debt is real, not notional.

Mike Fenwick

Sun, 06/11/2017 - 13:03

Geacher ...

1) debt or deficit of which do you wish to speak??? The difference is kind of important.

2) How much of the Japanese national debt at 225% of GDP, or Italy's debt of over 120% of GDP, or the problems in Greece due you attribute to Scotland? If you answer none, and (I hope) you see it is a stupid question to pose, it begs the more important question of what then explains such high proportions of debt to GDP across the developed economies, the EU, the USA - if it is not Scotland, what is it?

Perhaps you might conclude that it is the low levels of growth, and at that point we move on to a debate as to what steps can be taken to encourage growth?

You can choose spending cuts, increases in tax such as VAT up to 20%, some call it "Austerity" - or - you can choose economic expansion.

3) But that leads on to where those choices are excercised, where the levers of power, and democratic legitimacy lie.

4) Which is why the debate on Scottish independence is not a here today, gone tomorrow episode. That lies at the heart of answering the questions/problems we all face.

MauriceBishop

Sun, 06/11/2017 - 13:20

@ Mike Fenwick
"The United States in 1783, Australia in 1901, lastly India in 1932"

*the citizens expect a first-world economy? No.
*government spending makes up nearly 50% of GDP. No.
*finance is the largest public sector employer. No.
*the economy is accustomed to a large structural deficit, which is covered by fiscal transfers from the rUK. No.
*there is a massive welfare state to maintain, with millions of citizens dependant upon benefits and government-provided health services. No.

Total fail.

MauriceBishop

Sun, 06/11/2017 - 13:21

@UCSVET

Do you think you can achieve independence with the support of less than 38% of the voters?

Mike Fenwick

Sun, 06/11/2017 - 13:29

Hi Maurice ... yep, me again :). You will know about "opportunity cost" so my apologies I cannot spend more time with you, I have other things to get on with - one final comment however - let's meet again on here, I suggest maybe in about 2/3 years from now, and re-measure how we both see how things have changed - they will you know - change is constant. PS: Have a look at Illinois!

Geejay

Sun, 06/11/2017 - 14:22

First, the troll. Let's just ignore him/her, debating only encourages him/her.

I agree the Indy movement is bigger than the SNP, and has to be, but how do we achieve it without voting for the SNP? Yes, we can vote Green but that risks splitting the vote.

Do the SNP high heid yins or MSP's/MP's read social media like this? Write to your MSP/MP and make some of these points for upping their game.

Scott Egner

Sun, 06/11/2017 - 20:15

Which drives home my point why we need economists who actually understand how economies work. Not the neoliberal flat earthers being quoted by some..
Some misconceptions dealt with here..
http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=21102

official_grant

Sun, 06/11/2017 - 20:56

Thing is, at the very least we need middle class and older voters to at least be less hostile to indy whenever the next referendum takes place. This is especially true if we want consitent opinion polling to be one of the triggers to indyref2 - so we need them to be less hostile before the campaign proper even takes place.

JimD

Sun, 06/11/2017 - 21:29

This is the news I've been waiting to hear for a long time Robin, and immensely cheering. Look forward to hearing more and how we can all get involved.

Peter Dow

Sun, 06/11/2017 - 22:28

The Scottish Conservative attack on the SNP that they should "get on with the day job" had traction because Scots rightly believe that the Scottish government "day job" was not being done well.

The political failure of leadership was that Sturgeon accepted ownership and responsibility for the SNP government failures - in the economy, in education, in health, in council services.

The correct political strategy was to hold the Scottish conservatives in large part responsible for the failures of the Scottish government's "day job" because it didn't have enough money to invest for growth and prosperity.

Cuts in money and performance have been the story of the Sturgeon government whereas a smarter political campaign would have fought harder for more money, a better fiscal framework with more borrowing powers.

Also there was managerial incompetence. Sturgeon is not a "details" First Minister and neither is Michael Matheson - together they have allowed the police and courts to run amok, making political prisoners of patriotic Scots like myself.

No doubt other SNP ministers have been second rate - the top financial team of Sturgeon, Swinney, Mackay and Brown - are 2nd rate politicians, not competent ministers. They turn for advice to "experts" but they pick the worst experts to listen to most - such as Anton Muscatelli - who advised them on the fiscal framework.

The SNP was not a problem of style but of substance. Sturgeon and her team are light-weight and rely heavily on the civil service to decide EVERYTHING.

In fact, if the SNP ministers were NOT THERE AT ALL and the civil service ran everything, the performance would be all but identical. That explains everything.

The SNP needs better leadership. The only hope to save Sturgeon is if she will finally to listen to good advice - FROM ME.

But she doesn't call, doesn't write to me ...

So right now, indy ref 2 is doomed - whether it is held or not - because the Scots are going to conclude - if Sturgeon's "day job" is the best Scotland can offer - WE ARE BETTER OFF TOGETHER.

It's not true because I am much better than Sturgeon.

If Commonspace really wants to hold and win indyref 2 then it should be promoting me, and not just in comments.
____

Peter Dow is a Scottish scientist and a republican socialist whose legal human rights are cruelly violated by the police and courts in Aberdeen, where he lives.

Peter Dow's political defence blog publishes the truth about the wrongful and unjust royalist arrests, prosecutions, convictions and punishments he endures.
http://peter-dow.blogspot.co.uk/

MauriceBishop

Sun, 06/11/2017 - 23:56

@ Mike Fenwick, in "2/3 years from now" will you be ready, willing and able to answer my very simple questions about your model for Scottish independence? I mean, you had no problem taking the time to write your very, very long evasions, so it is clear that your actually problem this time around wasn't having the time to type the answer but in fact not having an answer to give.

williamthomsion

Mon, 06/12/2017 - 12:13

Totally in agreement, until one crucial point. There are reasons to be optimistic, if not cheerful. However, I am sorry Robin. But this sounds as centralist, dictatorial as the SNP process you attack. We have "group of really good people" shaping the movement's response. That's not a movement either.

You also criticism the left for not polling and taking a broad base approach in their policy selection but appear to be doing exactly the same. So, the "movement" meets with the SNP before the movement even knows what its plan is?

Perhaps the vehicle is the Scot Indy Convention but, maybe not. Perhaps the tact you and the "group of people" take isn't the right one. I'd like to see a clear and open process to discuss the options for the movement, and for it to be led by the grassroots but coordinated by a body like the Catalan National Assembly: which is non-political and exceptionally professional. 

alistaircampbell

Wed, 06/14/2017 - 21:41

IS that the same Ray Perman whose recent book has a foreword from Alistair Darling? Definitely no vested interest then eh?

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