No referendum till after May 2023?

Scottish independence marches cancelled due to lockdown restrictions -  Daily Record

By Alasdair Galloway

If we abjure violence, then there is a creative issue of what can be done by the wider community. Much of course, is already being done – blogging, various Yes organizations already exist. But do these two things not themselves point to weaknesses? How much of the former involves independence supporters talking to each other (and sometimes falling out)? With regard to the latter is a plethora of organizations a sign of strength of a sign of dispute and division?

What can be done about them? First, blogging is an essential and valuable quality of the independence movement, but the issue is how to get these messages out into the wider community. One opportunity – which the Unionist side has been aware of for some time – is letter writing – the Green Ink gang as Wings labelled them. Oh yes, we can laugh at them – Mad Jill for instance is always good for that. We can write that they need a new script – I did that in the Herald the other day. But how much influence do they have?

I think we need to appreciate that the status quo remains the default position – people may leave it and some may come back, but it is still default, particularly for the media. As Chomsky points out defending the status quo is often easier than attacking it – for one thing the arguments are usually more familiar and can be presented much more briefly. For instance, such as “how can Scotland afford to be independent”, or “the rest of the UK won’t allow it” are often presented with not a shred of supporting evidence – it’s just obvious, innit?

But arguing for independence is much more difficult. First of all, the Unionists really only have to attack any independence proposition – “it won’t work” – as we already know the UK. However, we not only have to defend our proposition – “Scotland, an independent country” (but can it be?) – but also criticise the UK because what we suggest has to be “better” in some aspect.

Then there is the media. As John Robertson has pointed out till he must be blue in the face, Reporting Scotland is a serious problem because of its reporting of, particularly the Scottish Government. Then we consider the newspapers. Of all the papers sold and read throughout Scotland I can only think of one – The National – that adopts a regularly positive view of independence.

What I am trying to get at here is that the occasional letter is not going to achieve much – it’s too indiscriminate and lacks much in the way of coherence (other than supporting independence). What is needed is a more strategic and (dare I say it) planned campaign to the media. For instance, not just   responding to the recycled crap being put out by the other side, but an approach which is proactive – i.e. not just responding to Mad Jill, or Peter Russell, or Alan Sutherland, but developing a positive view of what an independent Scotland could be. Let’s see them on the back foot, reacting to what we write.

To be honest I have very little idea how something like this would work, other than it is going to require a large number of people. One thing I have learned from interacting with the Herald Letters Page, is that its editor Drew Allan likes to get a wide range of people involved in discussing any topic – so let’s give him that!

The mechanism, I am not going to lie, is very unclear, beyond that social media is probably our friend. But I have a whole load of questions whirling in my head – is it hierarchical (I certainly don’t think so, but can we make it coherent if not)? How does it work out a position on a widely defined issue? Discussion? But what if someone dissents from it and wants to say so? Can we afford folk who want to “do their own thing”? Or is independence just too important for this?

Beyond that of course there is extra-parliamentary activity. Much of this has been undermined by the pandemic, but I struggle to see how demonstrations by such as AUOB can be a “bad thing” – it brings the movement together and confirms the independence movement is not just a small bunch of cranks.

There are loads of things wrong with this (though please spend five minutes of your time watching it), but Boris Johnson is the best asset the independence movement has right now (closely followed I suspect by Gove) and we have to exploit this ruthlessly. How many people are “mad as hell” with Boris and his policies? Remembering Chomsky’s view of presenting a critical view, we must normalise criticism of the UK as an inappropriate (or just wrong) source of our government.

Perhaps, going even further, there will be a need for peaceful and non-violent civil disobedience. At one level this need by no more than demonstrating – or instance sitting down in the road. At another level the aim would be to make Scotland ungovernable (or less governable) – for instance mass non-payment of TV licences (my experience of TV Licencing is that they are pretty good at chasing down the occasional miscreant – but a LARGE part of Scotland?). Tax is probably beyond our reach – most of us have tax deducted before we lay our hands on it. Perhaps this is the area where originality will be most valuable.

But the take-home point is that the movement needs to be less diffident about this – “oh no, we cannot have illegality” – we don’t – we have a means to an end. Let’s stop apologising for ourselves, particularly as anything we might do pales into insignificance compared to corruption going on down at Westminster.

But please, please can we have a debate about this? If my view that there is unlikely to be a referendum until after May 23 is right then should we not talk about how to use this time to best effect?

14 thoughts on “No referendum till after May 2023?

  1. If letter writing to the media
    Some simple golden rules
    1. Short & Sweet ( float like a butterfly & sting like Bee )
    2. Be factual quote only official Governments ( any Governments ) data
    And or respected Independent academic/specialist research groups
    Then compare with UK
    to demonstrate that beyond all doubt that the Union is failing
    If reliable ( Not Gers ) data pertains to Scotland and R uk then use it
    All this puts any counter argument useless
    3.Indivual YES groups interact with other Groups,decide which group does what.
    Set up a simple command and control structure
    4. Be relentless
    5.Avoid at all costs rising to any bait the No side throw into the mix
    6.Let them know they are in for a hiding and that we shall never Blink or retire
    As for civil disobedience wait till due process exhausted
    Then open the gates of Hell all to herd the Unionist camp into

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Write letters.
    Phone into phone-ins.
    Apply for shows with audiences.

    Use quotes. There are many, relevant and apt.
    Use precedence—Theresa May offering a second EU referendum, for example.
    Use their arguments against them. If they bring up GERS, insist on the Treasury opening its books over the long run.
    Ask why they didn’t do “this” when they were in office.
    Point out that independence is NORMAL.

    Write to Nicola insisting on a referendum. Write to Boris etc etc.

    Next we have to “make the news”, but always in a good way.
    Flash mob Boris, Jack, DRoss.
    Be visible. Protest outside “Scottish” Lab, Tory and Dumb conferences.

    Next we have to take street protest/theatre to London. Set up camp outside Westminster. Make a fuss and get coverage.
    Protest that Scotland is now a colony.

    I am not an SNP member, but it’s time their MPs and MSPs started making a noise. Stir it up. Call out Johnson for his lies, his contempt for Scotland.

    Be polite. Be rational. Don’t lose the heid. Win the day!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. One of the simplest and most cost efficient means of messaging is Billboards .

    Political Parties use these constantly at elections – but only one – then it is photographed and publicised by the media as if they were on every street corner .

    The Independence movement is not without funds and there are a plethora of facts/figures which could be displayed in a simple meaningful way on a Billboard to show the benefit of Independence and the mill-stone of the UK .

    There are many Independence supporters who can come up with short , pithy ( humorous ) phrases which could enhance the Indy message on Billboards and stick in the mind . The Brexiteers used this to good effect – let us do the same .

    The main drawback I see is the refusal of the media to publicise the Indy messages – but if enough funds could be raised ( crowdfunder? ) then enough of these could be scattered around strategic areas to bring the message to enough people to make a difference .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My thoughts too. Plus, it’s something that could be used now to say things that would make even the union-inclined look. NOT just independence, but a series of themes to boost Scotland’s belief in herself. Recovery, not campaigning. Possible themes? How about:

      Heading: O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us. To see oursels as ithers see us!
      Picture: Computer gaming, Wind farm/Tidal generator, satellite dishes, labs, engineering
      Strap Line: SCOTLAND – HOME OF Grand Theft Auto/23% of Europe’s Green Energy/20% etc

      Heading: THEN & NOW
      Picture: 2 pics. eg THEN: Fleming discovers Penicillin NOW: Scotland produces 20% of world supply

      Picture:Graphs of pensions/Industry adaptation (think windfarm blades here…)

      Picture: Drug addict, Homeless, dirty campers(?)

      There are some already being used, I know. They info’s on the Believe in Scotland website, in case you didn’t already know.

      Maybe, rather than/as well as static ones, there could be ‘mobile’ ones using vans and projectors, like Led by Donkeys do?


  4. Why all the negativity?

    There is a lull in campaigning for Independence because of Covid. The restriction and guideline had to be undertaken to overcome the virus because people were endlessly sick and dying. Once the restrictions are lifted the campaign will get going again.

    2023/24 is possible for another IndyRef. 2028 is 100 years since Universal Suffrage. Scotland will be Independent and Ireland will be reunited. Westminster corruption and power will be diminished. Contained. To make the world a better place. More equal, prosperous and happy.

    All accounts of Independence support going up. The Monarchy diminished. A change of Head of State. Brexit. Westminster corruption exposed for all to see. The cheating and the lies. The young people vote going up. Scotland is a better place.

    There is every chance of success of winning an IndyRef. Stop Westminster corrupt ruining the world economy, Johnston rating -16. 3% support in the Tory Party members. Not long to go now. Just needs to get the band back together for a successful campaign.

    COP26 will put Glasgow/Scotland on the map. It might increase Covid cases. 2026 Scotland could have voted for Independent. It might take a few years to complete. Scotland has friends and allies all over the world.

    The Scottish brand is recognised and valued worldwide. Scottish invention and discovery changed the world and made it a better place. Medical science, TV, radio, telecommunications. Literature and political theory of equality. The Enlightenment changed the world, The declaration of Arbroath. Equality, fraternity and freedom. Influenced the world, The Clearances. Influence in USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and everywhere else connected. The auld alliance. France. Germany Mr McAllister high up in the government. EU support and principles of equality.

    The UK one of the most unequal places in the world. Along with the USA. Warmongering vandals acting illegally. Breaking International Law. Blowing the world to bits causing poverty, death, starvation and migration. The Royal involved in illegal destruction to maintain their obscene wealth. A corrupt and failed system of Westminster corruption. Trying to keep it secret under the Official Secrets Act. They get found out.

    Scotland’s food and drink. Tourism and visitors. The internet vast information. The most beautiful scenery, world beating communication and connections. The best education system. Leading in renewables. The best place for renewables in the world. Leading the way, as usual. World famous bridges and railways. Magnificent.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Biden is reported to be going to release the 9/11 papers. Twenty year anniversary. The survivors and families are suing Saudi Arabia. They have refused to let Biden attend the commemoration, unless the papers are released. The papers giving information on the Saudis involvement.

    More information on the UK Gov (Blair) involvement could be made public. This can happen information from US records reveals the Westminster Gov duplicity. To get to the truth and further information of UK Gov criminality. Millions of people were maimed, killed and displaced in Iraq.

    Iraq kept secret for 100 years under the Official Secrets Act to try and hide criminality breaking International Law.

    The Secrets could now come out over the pond. The Saudis complicity and the UK Gov illegal actions on their behalf. £Billions of Saudi illegal bribes and donations going to the UK establishment. Committing illegal acts for personal gain. Right the way up to the top. Rotten from the bottom to the top. The corruption is rife. Starving and killing people. Austerity and Brexit,

    Iraq, Dunblane and Lockerbie kept secret for 100 years. No justice for those who died. An absolute scandal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You should watch Jonathan Pie on YouTube, his recent post is about the US capitol very violent seige back in January, and the republicans attempting to deny the seriousness of it in the investigation going on now. I didn’t know that four police officers who were there on the day, had killed themselves since then, how terrible. Others are now suffering PTSD. The whole episode is indicative of what’s wrong with the US, profit before people, runaway disaster capitalism. Dreadful.
      Watch out, the UK,or rather, England, is a little America in waiting.


  6. ‘To make Scotland ungovernable, or less governable’. I have no idea what you mean, talking ’bout a revolution? No thanks.
    TV license, many many people in Scotland have already ditched the propagandising BBC. They are not ‘miscreants’ they are making a choice, that is their right. In Scotland you cannot be locked up, (imprisoned) for debt, the BBC have people in England locked up for not paying the TV license, a tax really and for many especially now, it must be an impossible burden. If you don’t watch BBC propaganda on any device, you don’t have to pay them a penny, there are many other ways to watch actual factual news, find out what is happening around the globe, at the touch of a keypad. Many subscribe to the BBC because they are scared they will be hounded and possibly locked up if they choose not to pay up, and there are others who subscribe because they believe that the BBC is the bastion of truth and decency, sadly very misled. Then there are people like Prof John, who no doubt subscribes to be able to keep space and call out the BBC lies, especially when it comes to Scotland.

    I don’t get the comparison if I am reading it correctly, with the corruption in Westminster and the independence movement, not sure who ‘we’ are.

    Sitting in the road will get us nowhere, not paying tax will get us nowhere, marching, yes it brings folk together, can be a nice afternoon out, but really, talking to people, sharing information, supporting ‘Business for Scotland’, keeping up with Mike Russell, who is majorly important in leading the actual independence campaign. Scotland’s major barrier to making the case for independence, is the blocking of anything positive that the SNP and the people working at the coalface, have to say. As broadcasting is a reserved power to the English government, canny eh, Scotland really is up against it.
    However the for independence is already there. The mandate is already in place, I don’t want to wait too much longer, because the BritNats will a) have done their damndest to destroy Scotland’s economy, (it’s happening now due to Brexit) and b) the BritNats will call a GE by May 2023?, especially if they can use it to stall any independence referendum, and hope to oust the SNP in the next Scottish election. They will draw it out, Covid, GE, who knows what else the English government will conjure to deny the people of Scotland their democratic rights to decide who they want to govern their country and what sort of country they want to see, not what their next door neighbours choose for them.
    The positive and indeed negative arguments are already in place, and by negative I mean the absolute catastrophic future awaiting the so called UK, because of Brexit, that is terrifying. The might of the English government, the British nationalists in WM, is certainly an impediment to getting the message out about what sort of country the people of Scotland envisage for their kids and grandkids, but, the Scottish governments’ approach in areas of societal repair, (after many years of terrible damaging neglect at the hands of the unionists) investment in industry, and in developing a sense of self esteem in the young people of Scotland, is imo the correct one. No tuition fees and consequently huge debt burden after university, retaining student nurses bursaries, job creation, apprenticeships etc.
    Could say much more, but, really we need to get behind the people already working and making the case for independence, and talk to those who are easily led and conned by the English governments’ BBC etc. No mean task.
    I suppose, holding an Indy ref before 2023, is not likely, but not impossible either, I favour a short campaign, well planned, well funded, by us(!?).
    Somehow removing the rose tinted spectacles of some doubters about the UK, might just be a bit easier due to Johnson’s catastrophic Brexit. Hope so, because it really is looking like a bleak future if Scotland stays shackled to the rUK.
    Sorry long comment. 🙃

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Paid adverts featuring some factual info., from the likes of Business for Scotland or Believe in Scotland, in some of the Unionists rags might help get the message across. Pensions league table, reduction in trade with EU, food shortages, etc.
    Probably prohibitively expensive though – crowdfunder anyone?

    Liked by 1 person

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