It is refreshing to note that after almost three years (since the independence referendum) and a succession of reverses for the SNP , that they now seem willing to engage with the wider movement. Although I will wait to see just how this manifests’ itself in solid action.
There has of course been a flurry of excitement with people and groups going off on all sorts of tangents with their own ideas of how this new found spirit of cooperation should be fostered with ideas of committees and elections of leaders etc ,etc.
If indeed the SNP are serious about cooperating with the wider independence movement then I feel the easiest way to do this, is what I suggested to them two days after the independence referendum and that is this.
Foster and encourage the grass roots groups which spontaneously sprung up all around the country and carried the independence cause from a starting point of around 27% to the 45% we achieved in the vote. In order for this to be successful there must be a serious attempt to answer the issues we actually lost the referendum on such as pensions and the monitory situation in an independent Scotland. Only then can the grass roots go out and campaign with centrally produced materials on a common and thought out theme to win over the no voters and the undecided. It is absolutely pointless in doing anything by way of campaigning without that information as you would be subject (rightfully so ) to ridicule. A slow but targeted campaign could then be put into action to build an unanswerable case for independence with people following a proper road map to independence. There must also be a commitment to treat the independence question on its own without the diluting factor of EU membership and that would mean attaining independence and then shortly afterwards having a referendum on EU membership which could in the interm period be pre- negotiated with the EU in order to facilitate a speedy transition to full membership should the people decide that it was acceptable.
The SNP are still the best conduit to facilitate this but there must be a corporate commitment to cooperate in pushing this forward, and very importantly, they must stop running away from the word independence and nail their colours to the mast in the same manner that Jeremy Corbin did during his General election campaign.
Business for Scotland should be brought on board to produce a virtual profit and loss sheet for an independent Scotland. This is something quite different from the discredited GERS figures, annually pumped out by the Westminster government to show that an independent Scotland could not manage to look after its own affairs. A supposition which is absolute nonsense but one that the SNP have given credence to in the past and I can only suppose that they themselves could not understand the figures.
Before any projected profit and loss together with a balance sheet can be produced of course, there would have to be a proper assessment of the tax take generated in Scotland as at present the GERS figures are made up using estimates ( guesses) of 24 of the 25 tax bases used in the GERS figures. This is not good enough and the Scottish Government should be pressing the treasury for a set of definitive figures.
There are groups like Common Weil who have also been doing good work on things like Central Bank and currency etc and this should be looked at. I do not totally agree with some of their suggestions but all suggestions should be treated seriously , the most important item should be what currency we would use and I have ,for some considerable time held the view that it should be our own currency which would be based on the strengths ( or weakness) of our economy and industry.
So there we have it, what seems to be an offer of belated cooperation from the SNP to the wider independence movement and all we need now is a plan . I asked the SNP what the plan was two days after the referendum and was met with a blank look and “what plan” Let’s hope the blank look has lifted and we have a new era of cooperation and hope.
The SNP are broken at the moment and self-denial will not better their cause but with a will, I feel they can dust themselves down get up and get on with their main purpose in life and that is to attain independence for our country. They need to change and adapt and the grass roots army stands ready to carry the fight forward and support them, as the independence movement is much bigger than just the SNP. Let’s hope that finally we can find that illusive “road Map To Independence”
This is still our road, ALL OF US.