I wish I could share Alex Salmond’s confidence of victory in #indyref2. Not that I don’t believe the circumstances justify such optimism. By rights, a Yes win should be a foregone conclusion. And it’s clear that the British nationalists have little new in their armoury. Tory mouthpiece, Adam Tomkins, makes a fool of himself yet again as he insists that the people of Scotland reject their own sovereignty and democratic rights. British Labour in Scotland (BLiS) rent-a-quote, Lewis Macdonald, resorts to patently vacuous threats of economic sanctions in retaliation for a Yes vote. And presumptuous Tory, David “Snackbeard” Mundell, offers yet another transparently empty promise. It’s pretty much just the dying echoes of Project Fear.
What gives me pause is, not the righteousness of the independence cause or the positive, aspirational nature of the Yes message, and certainly not the fading power of the British nationalist propaganda machine, but the ability of the Yes movement to present the united front that is necessary to break the jealous grip of the British state.
There is a point at which the strength of diversity shades into the weakness of division. My concern is that, should we fail to recognise the need for a different, more focused, Yes campaign this time around, we will be vulnerable to the old strategy of divide-and-conquer. The first Yes campaign was about mobilising the power of the people. It is now time to translate this popular power into effective political power.
I have not the slightest doubt that Alex Salmond is perfectly well aware of the risk of a Yes movement that is fragmented and riven by factionalism. It is not politic for him to speak of such things. It therefore falls to others to sound a warning about the danger of letting narrow policy agendas and/or partisan tribalism take precedence over the goal of restoring Scotland’s rightful constitutional status.
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