Better Together know they are ahead. They also know that, the more people hear the arguments for independence, the more likely they are to vote yes. For them, the strategy is therefore simple. It is what football teams do when they are a goal up, but their players are exhausted and they’re down to 10 players: waste time, and stick to well worn formulas. Wind up the other team and let them run down the minutes complaining to the ref and then that the ref himself is biased. Above all, waste time, don’t take any risks, don’t let the opposition get the ball on their own terms.
The most important thing for yes campaigners, therefore, is not being distracted by this, not getting bogged down in petty spats that few undecided voters care about. Supporters of independence will win by calmly repeating the case, by knocking on doors, speaking at public meetings, talking to thousands of people, by gently answering the questions asked of us and by passionately showing what Scotland could be. This is what many thousands of yes campaigners do every day, and today, I’m launching my small contribution to that effort: “42 reasons to support Scottish independence” – one for today, and another for every day until polls close.
I say today. It’s a bit more complicated than that. “42 reasons to support Scottish independence” is an e-book, based on my series over on openDemocracy: “40 reasons to support Scottish independence”, so some of you might have read some of them before. I’ve added two extra reasons: one, on currency, based on a piece Peter McColl and I wrote a few months before the series, the other based loosely on a speech I gave at the launch of the Young Independence Convention (or whatever we called it) back in 2005. It’s been tweaked, improved, and edited by the excellent Dan Hind, and I’ve added a short introduction, and another article “Scotland isn’t different, it’s Britain that’s bizarre” to finish it all off.
As I write this, I’m in Galway. Last night, Cork. I’ve yet to meet anyone in Ireland who is against a yes vote. As one man put it to me in the pub the other night “they’ll just try and frighten you out of it, but don’t let them. Of course Scotland should be fuckin’ independent”.
Unfortunately, it’s not so obvious to everyone. So we need to keep making the case. This is my attempt. I hope you enjoy it.