We had a “professional non-party Yes organisation” for the first referendum campaign. While that campaign should not be characterised as a failure, we did not achieve our main goal. Doing the same thing all over again doesn’t seem like a particularly good idea.
A hierarchical management structure is precisely what the Yes movement does not need. It is not starting from scratch. It is now a mature political movement. It is organic and distributed. What it needs is better networking, not top-down leadership. And the networking is already improving daily. The fact that All Under One Banner can organise an event such as we witnessed on Saturday 5 May proves conclusively that the Yes movement is functioning at a very high level. Don’t try to fix what isn’t broken.
But the Yes movement is quite separate from the Yes campaign. The Yes campaign most certainly needs to be run by a professional organisation with a solid record of success in running political/electoral campaigns. Now, where might we find such an organisation? Isn’t there already an example of an organisation that has won every campaign it has been involved in for the past ten years?
What kind of insanity might prompt us to reject what is arguably the most effective campaign machine in Europe at this time?
Why would we put all all our effort and resources into a new, untried organisation when we already have what any sane sober and sensible person would recognise as the ideal agency immediately to hand?
Why would we give our backing and support to an untested leader who will only become the target for a British propaganda campaign which has hitherto been unable to lay a glove on the Yes movement?
Why would we decline to to use the organisation which provides the effective political power that the independence project absolutely requires in favour of some new entity which cannot possibly provide any effective political power at all?
Some in the Yes movement need to make a choice between partisan prejudice and commitment to the cause of restoring Scotland’s rightful constitutional status. They need to decide whether their distaste for the SNP outweighs their desire to create a better, fairer, greener, more prosperous nation.
The Yes movement urgently needs an injection of hard-headed pragmatism. The SNP is the political arm of the independence cause. There isn’t time to replace it with something else which, in any case, will be just as distasteful to just as many people once it takes shape.
The SNP is the lever by which we will extricate Scotland from the Union. Nicola Sturgeon is the fulcrum. The Scottish Parliament is the solid base on which that that fulcrum rests. The Yes movement is the force which must be applied to that lever.
Lever + Fulcrum + Base + Force = Independence
We have all this. What we need is the good sense to use it.
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