Wipe your eyes. On your feet.

10552637_683212328423444_31606524078828249_nBy Robin McAlpine

The rebellion: Phase Two

There will be a time to put in words how I feel now. There will be a time for me to discuss what I think we should have done differently to win. There will most certainly be a time (when the pain subsides) in which I will celebrate who we became in these two years, to memorialise the countless heroes of our failed revolution who changed my life and who changed Scotland.

This minute, this grey Friday, I just want to list what we need to do next. (This is a long read for a day like this – read the rest tomorrow). I do it for three reasons. First to let you know that once this weekend is over, Monday is when we start. It will be hard, but the team who are working on the Common Weal project will be meeting to begin work proper and our amazing Board will be meeting soon to build a strategy. I’ve been knocked onto my knees many times in my life and it only feels hard to get back on your feet before you’ve done it. Once back up, your strength will return. (I write this parenthesis after finishing the below. I feel the strength returning to my hands already.) Second, I want Scotland and its shameful institutions to know that we are only getting started. I know plenty off them who we scared the pants off and are desperate to believe we’re finished. I want them to know what it’s going to look like when we are no longer fighting one exhausting fight and instead start organising to fight them. And third, I so desperately want you all to remember that your purpose has not changed and while none of us can be expected to work at the pace we have for the last two years, you will damn well continue to work. Cry into your beer, climb a hill and scream, blame the moon, smash up your TV. Do what you need to do but do it now and do it hard. You need to get over it. We’ve got a lot to do and you won’t be able to do it if you’re blubbering.

One: we must precisely design our goal

The comforting glory of a binary decision is that you don’t need to think about what you want to achieve. Now we do. It is for no one person to make that decision so these are just my first thoughts. We must create the infrastructure of a movement that can win. That means we need a means to organise, to coordinate, to build and to grow. It means we need to create a media – and to do what damage to the pitiful media we have. We need to build any institutions we’re lacking – for example, a progressive business organisation, a network of powerful economists, a more powerful Scottish Parliament, creating a trade union sector that actually campaigns for workers’ rights and so on. We need properly to map and network our movement – find out who still has an appetite to fight, find out what exactly they can do and learn, train and develop until we are the really formidable force we very nearly became. We need to build a new narrative for Scotland. Failing to explain exactly what was failing in our society and how it can systematically be fixed was a part of the problem. We must teach Scotland to think using a language which exposes the corruption of the British elite. We need a really strong policy programme which we can campaign for which can be achieved with whatever powers we have. And we need to take a very long, hard look at the political structures we need to make this happen. What (in my mind) is without doubt is that we must work to exclude, isolate and marginalise the British Labour Party in Scotland to drive them finally from the places they once called their heartland and consign them (if they must exist at all) to the me-first affluent suburbs where they belong in an ongoing fight with the Tories for the British Nationalist vote.

And in case this needs said, I am bound by no gentlemen’s agreement by two wealthy men on when the people of Scotland have a right to decide on their destiny again. As soon as we can build a slightly bigger rebellion, one certain to win, we push for round two. I am virtually certain that Westminster WILL betray Scotland’s aspirations in the course of the next 18 months. I am virtually certain that all this talk of Britain having ‘changed forever’ will be quickly forgotten as a UKIP by-election (the sort of thing Westminster ACTUALLY cares about) replaces Scotland as the curiosity of the week. I am absolutely certain that the rightward drift of Britain will continue and that the vicious agenda of cuts and victimisation will continue. I suspect it will take a very short period of time before a very high number of No voters realise their mistake. So we do everything we can to speed up that process.

Two: we need infrastructure

We need to be able to connect the movement, keep it alive and help it to organise and be effective. We (Common Weal) are already well underway with plans for a powerful social media engine which will do just that. It will be called Common Space and it’ll be a sort of ‘Facebook for Scotland’s progressive movement’. Individuals and groups and organisations can join, share information, spontaneously create campaigns and new groups and keep ourselves permanently informed and educated about what’s going on.

We of course are creating a new, expanded policy function. The Common Weal Policy Unit has a Director and staff and will launch soon. We will develop a Parliamentary lobbying function. We are building a team of writers, designers, campaigners and social media experts who can develop and push the narrative. All of this we intend to use to pursue the aims and goals we set out as a Board but it is also a resource for the movement to draw on. If 100 of you want to create a group to campaign on an issue, connect, communicate, plan, organise, develop – and then if you need some lobby help, or if you need some policy development, or if you needs some design or copywriting or whatever, then we’re there.

And we are already at the early stages of looking for a venue for the first of the cafe bar hubs we hope to create to build a physical space for that community to meet and build. Don’t give up the lease on that local Yes shop/hub just yet…

This is only some of what we might want to build, so we need to get cracking.

Three: we need to replace and reform institutions

In the end, it remains unclear that it is really possible to win a national campaign when every single media outlet is against you. So we need to replace those media outlets. I don’t want to go into a full strategy just now but we may want to think about targeted boycotts sufficient to damage the viability of some of the worst offenders. In the immediate term we hope to be able to integrate a proper news function into Common Space, providing a full, free political and current affairs news service for those disgusted with Scotland’s shameful hacks. One day we’re going to need a printed, newsstand media too.

We were also considering plans for a broadcasting service providing a number of hours of TV and radio content a day. It was always in the back of my mind that a really good Scottish Broadcasting Channel might make that redundant. But in fact I think that may actually be even more important now.

Trade unions are going to have to show us that they have a positive role beyond negotiating their members’ terms and conditions. If not rocking the boat on important policy issues (in particular all aspects of industrial democracy) to protect Labour remains their priority then we may need to think about a new organisation to fight the fight for industrial democracy. We could certainly do with an intelligent, progressive business organisation. For too long the political right has claimed ownership of small businesses at the very same time as shafting them. We need to win them back over.

There is much more in institutional Scotland than this that we should fight and rebuild. You will have your own list…

Four: strengthen the movement

As I have been writing this, my heart has been warmed by an email from over a dozen people in Dunoon who contacted me to say ‘OK, we want to start building the Common Weal here. When are you available to come to talk to us.’ (The answer is ‘very soon indeed.’) So who else is ready to start building Common Weal? Just email me and tell me what you want to do. We’ll organise meetings around the country and me and the team will come and talk to you.

In truth, a degree of naivety was one of the great strengths of the campaign. But it was of course a big weakness too. With a couple of days to go I spoke to people who genuinely thought we were going to win by a landslide (at a moment at which I was pretty seriously worried that we were falling short). We are wiser now; I expect we will lose some of our exuberance which will be sad. But we will gain the benefit of wisdom. So we need to continually train and learn. I’ve long wanted to develop a ‘leadership programme’ to develop the skills of the next generation of young left activists in Scotland. I think we must expand that ambition – it is important to be clear than in many areas (for example, media relations), we are still a long way short of the skills we need. There was barely time when we were fighting the campaign. There is now.

But I want to close this point by emphasising that there is no lesson I have learned more fully in this campaign than just how important it is never to seek to control or run a movement like this from above. If what has been written above and below sounds a bit ‘Common Weal’ at the exclusion of the rest, that is only because I’m not in a place to talk about the future of Women for Independence, Business for Scotland, National Collective and the rest. Those of us who became the Radical Independence Campaign (which itself is a coalition of other groups) must also think carefully about what next.

The unionists, in their Orwellian way, kept shouting ‘unity is strength’. Well, diversity is resilience and that’s what we need.

Five: a new narrative

We only partly controlled the narrative of this debate. At its outset the British Nationalists (and in particular Johann Lammont and Ruth Davidson) made clear that in their view the UK was virtually perfect and required no constitutional change at all. We changed that. We even forced the British Labour Party to pretend to be socialist (for ever such a short period). We need to keep going. This is a big and complex issue in itself. I here offer only four examples.

First, we need to control language. I shall never again refer to the ‘Scottish Labour Party’ since it is clear no such thing exists. But that’s small beer. We worked on a language set (you know ‘me first’ versus ‘all of us first’ and so on). We need to embed a different language and a different conversation. It remains a mystery to me why ‘lowest state pension in Europe’ never became a key line in the campaign. (OK, not a mystery, but that’s for later.)

Second, we need to nail home a clear memory of the reality of the campaign. To my amazement last night, the BBC team commenting on the results simply refused to even consider the possibility that the last two weeks had been a campaign of intimidation, utterly remarkably to my mind positing that it was the ‘barnstorming genius of Gordon Brown’ wot won it. (Lesley Riddoch – my sincerest thanks for your almost single-handed attempt to knock some sense into them.) I think I shall propose a serious piece of policy work from us carefully documenting what was actually done and relentlessly fighting their attempts to disappear the truth about how they behaved.

Third, we need to educate (gently and gradually) as much of the Scottish population as we can on some of the fundamentals of economics and finance. I know that sounds dry, but it needn’t be. The British Nationalists got away with murder by putting forward economic arguments which only worked if you knew absolutely nothing about economics. Many more of us need to become a bit more economic-literate. This is nothing like as hard as you think, but we can’t leave them to own that territory.

Fourthly, we need to miss no opportunity ever to amplify and make unmissable the corruption of Westminster and the lies told. The Scottish Government should regularly make public Better Together claims (the oil will only be worth two pounds sixty…) and show Scotland that it was lied to. Every single food bank, every single day, must be made clear as the fault of Westminster, and in particular of Labour offering no alternative. Every effort must be made to push at the powers of Holyrood and when we reach the limit we must say ‘here ends your so-called Home Rule Scotland’. We must make it as hard as is humanly possible for a corrupt Westminster regime to govern Scotland.

Six: a new policy agenda

Perhaps above we need a policy programme – and fast. I have only had about two hours sleep so forgive me not having this all thought through. But among the parts of Common Weal I think (or know) we can rescue in this context include:

  • A strategy for finance that ends deficit but avoids austerity (that being the hardest without proper powers)
  • Proper local democracy with powerful community politics and regional devolution, particularly to the highlands and islands
  • A bold programme of participative governance at the national (and every other) level
  • Very serious land reform, including a Land Value Tax
  • A major reform of local taxation, looking at some combination of local income tax, land value tax and local sales tax – with all rate-setting to be entirely in local control
  • A very big house-building programme in the public rental sector creating first-rate housing at affordable costs with the aim of both providing great housing and controlling house price rises.
  • Every effort to force as much new energy generation capacity into the collectively-owned sector possible
  • As much as we can do to create that universal childcare system
  • Massive reform of government, breaking corrupt internal cartels of public sector managers in cahoots with private interests. This will include reopening the procurement reform and doing it properly – but also requires reform to planning and much more.
  • Explore how we can set up a national investment bank (I am not sure if this can be done directly by the Parliament but I think it could be done in a non-profit mutual manner with government support)
  • Explore creating a network of local authority banks to break up the corrupt banking sector
  • Major democratic reform of institutions – for example, major democratisation of institutions like universities and quangos
  • Big changes in education, moving away from assessment-focussed learning to attainment-focussed learning
  • And then – as far as we can and given whatever powers are given to us – cobble together as much of an industrial policy, social security policy, investment strategy and so on as we can.

There will be much more than this. OK, perhaps not MUCH more. But it shall have to become our real genius to build something brilliant with the second-rate tools we’ve been let to build it with. If this kind of ambition has driven government over the last five years, I think we’d be looking at a different result today.

Seven: new politics

Finally (for now – there is much running through my head), we are going to have to look at how we change the practice of politics in Scotland.

First, and with no qualms whatsoever, I reject calls to work with the British Labour Party in ways which will benefit that party. ‘Working with’ is only feasible if there is trust – and it was Labour that destroyed that trust. I heard that some Labour strategist said something like ‘we now need to tap into the spirit and substance of that grassroots campaign’. Well good luck with that. I’m going to break this into a new paragraph for emphasis:

The relationship between our movement and the British Labour Party is exactly like the relationship between the miners and Margaret Thatcher.

Tap into us? You have no moral authority of any sort to align yourself with this movement. Frankly, even if some of us thought it made sense, the very idea would misread greatly the strong personal feelings of the vast majority of the people in the movement. The personal abuse that was heaped on the good people of this campaign by the Labour leadership has left deep and abiding anger which will not abate – or at least not in their political lifetimes. It is entirely appropriate to isolate and marginalise from grassroots politics those involved. If we are clever and active then every social movement in Scotland from fighting austerity to opposing nuclear weapons will be part of our movement. While I would never exclude an individual (and I know there are still some honest people in the Labour Party), I am happy to make exhaustive efforts to make sure that that party never again in my lifetime get to use a social movement as a handy photoshoot background to distract people from their vicious neoliberal agenda. Let them live on with the allies they have chosen – the Tories, the CBI and the Orange Order. I think it will actually be quite easy to chase them out of working class Scotland finally and permanently in 2016.

But – and this is a final but which I leave hanging quite deliberately – we are going to have to be honest with ourselves about whether we have any political vehicle which is capable of taking us any further than we currently are. Let me put it like this – is there a party ready to adopt the kind of policy agenda above and really make a push for the voting demographics that win elections for socially democratic parties? We’ve got only a few months to make that decision. I am currently a long way from convinced.

And so…

…to work. I shall own up. When I wrote the line about the email from Dunoon above it brought into my mind everyone I’ve met and hugged since this began. It was the moment when finally, after the numbness of the last 24 hours, I broke down and cried and cried. And cried. I spent part of yesterday with the Hamilton team at their hub and at the polling stations. The love, the affection, the camaraderie there and everywhere I’ve been has been the most important part of my life for two years and it still will be going forward. I know its not going to be the last time I cry but it’s done. It’s out.

You don’t win by wallowing, feeling sorry for yourself, blaming the world or putting your efforts into conspiracy thinking. And you don’t change things if you don’t win. I played rugby for Biggar. We were good but always the underdogs. We lost games we needed to win. When I was a young player an older teammate taught me much about victory and loss. I remember winning a crucial game that got us promoted, against a team that should have hammered us. Us youngsters jumped about like we’d won the lottery. My teammate clipped us around the ear and told us ‘you ALWAYS walk on a pitch like you think you’re going to win and you ALWAYS walk off a pitch like you knew you were going to.’ But the advice is even more important for the loser. You ALWAYS walk off a pitch with pride, determination and dignity. Because that’s what you’re going to need the next time you walk on it.

We lost. Get over it. Every second we spend licking our wounds is a second we lose for the fight. And fight we must. And fight we will. We made much of this land our Scotland, not theirs. So now we hold our territory. Then we take theirs.

Wipe your eyes. On your feet. Grab your stuff. Let’s get started.



Categories: Commentary

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364 replies

  1. May I offer this, one of my 48 parables as one which although sad as it is actually an elegy for a brave, honest and unique politican who passed earlier this year, does also offer hope to those of us that remain and who wish to continue her legacy? Thank you in advance.

    44. (of 48)

    Reverend Caledonia and the candles

    Reverend Caledonia had officiated at St. Alba’s church for many years. The minister came into his church one morning, shivering. It was a cold morning and Reverend Caledonia, being rather elderly tended to feel the cold more than most. That morning however, he felt the cold outside more than usual – and he felt it in his church too. Something was not right, and Reverend Caledonia knew it.

    Now, not only was Reverend Caledonia’s church colder than usual that morning, the minister felt sure that it was darker too. He looked around him. It was then that Reverend Caledonia’s gaze fell on the altar. He immediately saw what was wrong: his big altar candle, a venerable MacDonald taper which had served him and his congregation for a good many years had seemingly disappeared.

    Reverend Caledonia hurried over to the altar, fearful that someone had stolen the MacDonald candle. When the minister arrived at the candlestick which held the candle, he realised what had happened. Far from being removed, the MacDonald candle had in fact completely melted and had gone out. Only its burnt and frayed wick and a small pool of wax remained as testimony to its former glory. Reverend Caledonia realised with a heavy heart that it would not be possible to relight the MacDonald candle.

    When Reverend Caledonia took in this dreadful news, he fell to his knees and began to sob deeply and audibly. He began entreating God to give safe passage to the soul of the MacDonald candle. Now you may think this kind of behaviour a little bizarre – to feel such profound grief for something seemingly inconsequential and inanimate as a candle. But you have to appreciate that Reverend Caledonia was a very sensitive man. In all the years he had been the minister at St. Alba’s he had developed some sort of affinity or connection with his altar candle.

    The MacDonald candle had indeed come to symbolise, in true Christian fashion, “the light of the world,” and it (or as Reverend Caledonia had personalised the candle over the years, “she”) had given off light and warmth during his many services at St. Alba’s. Reverend Caledonia knew that his congregation had also appreciated the light and the warmth the MacDonald candle had given off – and they too would miss that when they learnt that she was no more.

    When Reverend Caledonia realised this fact, he sobbed all the louder. No other candle would (or indeed, could) replace the MacDonald candle – she was truly one of a kind.

    But Reverend Caledonia was also a very practical and resourceful man. After a few minutes of silent contemplation, he dried his eyes and blew his nose a couple of times. He got up off his knees gingerly and started to smile.

    He knew what he had to do and what his parishioners would expect him to do. So Reverend Caledonia began to light a number of little candles all over the inside of St. Alba’s church. Now, as individual, little candles, they could in no way compare with the MacDonald candle – she was truly unique. They also lacked the experience she had in serving Reverend Caledonia in his services. But Reverend Caledonia also knew that the combined strength of the little candles – their joint giving of light and warmth – would help dispel the darkness and gloom inside St. Alba’s. The little candles would also gladden the hearts of Reverend Caledonia and his parishioners.

    And so it was that Reverend Caledonia, realising this little miracle of deliverance, again fell to his knees on the altar steps and gave thanks to God and expressed his gratitude for the work of the MacDonald candle. He also thanked God for inspiring him to continue her warm and joyful message through the medium of the little candles.

    It would be a fitting tribute to the work previously carried out by the MacDonald candle and he was happy to be a facilitator in that process.

    • Can you check to make sure the vote wasn’t rigged?

    • Count me in. If I can help build a better fairer Scotland I will.

      Today I had to offer comfort and hopefully wisdom to two young men, my sons at 19 and 15, who were both in tears and filled with the sort of powerless frustrated anger that these defeats invoke. I don’t want their decades to be like mine since I felt the same way about the miners strike. I want to connect and fight for the hope and justice that Yes began to engender. Please count me in

      • i will help but i am an american .i cried when the no vote won .i was hopping to see 300 plus years of oppression erased but i was wrong.lap dogs in any occupied country seem to win for their masters. that is how the english have all ways taken over other countries ,they use the local lackeys to do their bidding

    • its gone folks let caledonia die gracefully i know you dont want negative thoughts here but let her go .
      you no longer live in the uk it will be rebranded as the all new england empire…so so sad.

    • How beautiful!
      God bless you !!
      This should be read by many . I can now get up , brush down and be resolute in this , our time , our hour .
      ( oh and I’d better get my boys to there swimming too ;-). )

    • First time I have been involved in politics was this referendum. My disappointment has now started to subside and am now more determined than ever to keep the fight going for a better and fairer society for Scotland. Count me in and my dozens of friends who are also ready to engage in politics and keep the fight going.

    • I am not wishing to fade into the background, we nearly had this in our hands and it was cruelly taking away from us by underhand tactics.
      Ive wiped my tears and expressed my anger, and now im ready to carry on the good work that has started.

      Im in!

      Saor Alba

      • I am just beginning to come back to life, it is wonderful to read all the positivity, thank God we have so many Scots willing to do sooo much work, I am a senour citizen now ….. but I can still PRAY…..God bless you all… Ail.

    • Going around meeting people, talking to people on trains and in the street, I had a glimpse of that better Scotland, which makes its loss all the harder to bear.
      I am NOT British. I am a Scot. The fight goes on! I will see that better Scotland.

    • Yes count me in, Jedburgh Scottish Borders

    • This is inspirational stuff Robin. Just what is needed after the despair and misery of the last 36 hours.

    • Even before the referendum and before I saw the sense in voting yes. I felt that we would need people to come forward who would pose a challenge to the main parties in Scotland. That has become the top priority now as it has been clearly demonstrated that we cannot rely on the Labour party to represent the progress made. I think those individual promoters of the Common Weal should consider standing for the Scottish parliament.

  2. Bravo. Count us all in. We had an invigorating day at the Cowal YES shop in Dunoon today. The consensus -we have only just started. But a caveat – better to use the words “radical” or “progressive” to describe a ambitious programme of political change. The word “left” is becoming dated and carries unhelpful baggage for some we would want to walk with us

    • Ah, beware of descriptions that are open to twisting! David Coburn of UKIP, whilst making clear their plans to take advantage of the frustration and anger unleashed in Scotland, and the sense of betrayal felt in relation to Labour, repeatedly described UKIP as a “progressive” party. I guess it depends on what you want to progress towards, but people don’t always appreciate the difference. A term such as “broad left” or “progressive left” is probably better understood, baggage or not.

      • Now, is it the Judean People’s Front or the People’s Front of Judea? The left! Always missing the point. Use whatever words you like and make them yours. I mean Dave Gilmour is in a band called Pink Floyd for pity’s sake!

      • “Progressive” is an adjective which has been hijacked by neo-liberals like Lord Mandelson and Douglas Alexander.

      • Had already come to same conclusion on ‘Scottish Labour Party’ moniker. ‘New Labour’ is tarred by Iraq War connotations so I was going to go with that… then I realised that using ‘Better Together’ to describe WM parties is actually pretty good as is – connotations of collusion, and little between them.

  3. Fantastic stuff. Srsly. Just the inspiration I need to help me handle my grief. Labour will pay for their betrayal. They’ll never get elected in Scotland again.

  4. A new 45′ rebellion, sounds good!
    As for a new bank,pity you couldn’t arrange something for next week or so,I have accounts to be transferred from RBS.

  5. Just what I needed. The fight has only started

  6. What we have made in this long campaign is a Third Scotland, free of the old political divide. The Yes voters are people of vision and courage, and those qualities will not go away. We must use them to defend Scotland against what an unelected government may try to do to it. Time now to build on the energy and cohesion that we have so magically developed.

    • I’ve long argued that the party system is a major barrier to democracy. Parties almost inevitably morph into businesses primarily concerned with maintaining or increasing their market share. They also typically become more conservative, fearing to be ‘too radical’ – as happened with the Green Party in Germany.

      The SNP was never a radical party, except in campaigning for independence. In other respects it has a moderate neo-liberal economic stance. Despite liking Alex Salmond as a person (perhaps he was even too nice during the campaign, when we needed someone to attack the lies and disinformation), I was dismayed to see that both he and Nicola Sturgeon enthusiastically endorsed TTIP – effectively support for the neo-con agenda.

      Will the SNP change its spots? It seems unlikely. Parties become dependent on outside financing, which means toning down radical messages for fear of losing sponsorship from business. A party that intends to remain radical would have to find alternative ways of fund-raising. Most of us donate to one charity or other. I would be prepared to make monthly contributions to a party prepared to take the fight to the corrupt political, economic and media establishment.

      On a local note. My wife and I now live in Biggar. There was an impressive effort made by the local Women for Independence group. If anyone from that group reads this, could they say whether the group would consider rebranding itself as the local Common Weal group? Or are there other Bella readers who live here and would be interested in forming a group?

      • You may have raised a valid point there Paul regarding the SNP, but what you haven’t considered is just how ‘left’ the SNP are to Labour, the Lib Dems and Tories. The comparison is important.

        Favouring big business whilst providing a solid welfare state for the needy and vulnerable is radical as every other UK party favours only one or the other, the SNP are the only ones that offer this.

        And why not cut corporation tax if you are going to put in place a simplified tax system that actually ends up collecting more tax from business ? Surely thats a much more honest way of doing things ?

        Finally TTIP is not only about the NHS.( It can be exempted.) There are other aspects to TTIP that will effect other Scottish businesses and their export/import sectors.

        In Germany their are huge companies run extremely well by balancing the need to encourage business but balancing it with listening to the workers through their unions. Bosses and workers get on, the better the company does, the better all the employees do. Workers have representatives elected to the company board. Their is a mutual desire to improve – something we do not have here in our divide and conquer society.

      • The SNP are the only party that worked to get us this vote and will do so again in the future. I was a member years ago but let it lapse. Seeing the fight they put up and the opportunities they will give the people in the future I am minded to rejoin.

        As for the idea of setting up a new media channel, I just graduated with an honours degree in film making and screen writing. I am good with a camera also and would be happy to get involved with others to set up a new internet channel in the short term till a tv channel is viable.

  7. I have three new applications to join the SNP today

    • I will be rejoining myself will, like many I lost faith, not in the party, but the system.
      But the more members flocking to all the independence parties will show Westminster we are not going to disappear and leave them to carry on as before.

      • Yup, after a bit of a greet to myself this morning I felt better and signed up for the snp. It’s the vehicle we have to fight Labour in 2015 and 2016. Hopefully we can wipe put some of those 40 MPs that were hugging tories last night

      • I’m not so sure it’s the best vehicle.

        It might be better to have a lot of different, but co-ordinating parties, and make them all visible, to make it harder to monster the SNP as the only party pushing for independence.

        We need to think strategy, and I’m not sure of the best place to do that.

      • I couldn’t agree more, Illy.

        I think an important aspect of any political entity that we create is that it isn’t necessarily Scottish. A “bottom-up politics party” which stands for regional autonomy could gain traction in disaffected parts of England and kill the accusation of petty nationalism stone dead.

      • I heard a woman on radio Scotland in a phone in this morning saying that she has always voted Labour, but now, after the referendum, she will never vote for Labour again, but she is not a nationalist and would never vote for the SNP. She said she would have to wait and see who she can vote for. I believe there will be many like her. I feel we need to think very seriously about the kind of political vehicle that best expresses this widespread frustration with Labour. Perhaps the pro-independence left in Scotland needs to create a broad based traditional Labour pro-independence party. It could have fraternal links with other left regional parties in England and Wales but it needs to stand for independence not regionalism, we need to stay true to the radicalism of the independence campaign.

  8. I have a few basic ideas about funding , house building and education . They are basic , but drop me a line and I’ll fill thee ideas out for you .

  9. This was the right read at the right time.

    Count me in.

    I’ve got an MA in Cultural History that I really need to start using.

  10. Count me in too.

    Great article, much needed at the moment

  11. I think you need to find another way (secure) to communicate with the congregation. This media is not infallible.

  12. The most important lesson from social movements throughout history has been: you lose, you lose, you lose, you win.

    This is an excellent first step on that road to winning.

  13. ‘What (in my mind) is without doubt is that we must work to exclude, isolate and marginalise the British Labour Party in Scotland to drive them finally from the places they once called their heartland and consign them (if they must exist at all) to the me-first affluent suburbs where they belong in an ongoing fight with the Tories for the British Nationalist vote.’

    How bitter can you get? This view will make Labour all the more determined to paint the SNP as disturbers of the settled will and societal dividers of the deepest dye.

    You lost, get over it and move on. Everyone else will. The failed YES campaign is dead.

    • You hope!

    • The result was 45% to 55%, that’s not dead, that’s a movement that’s almost winning. A 6% swing off a win is pretty damned good for a *first* run.

    • ”ScottishandBritish”

      Should’nt that be” Scottishandatraitor ?”after all you want Scotland to be governed by another country.

      • Completely understand your feelings here – but calling No voters traitors will close their minds to our message. Instead, gently, subtly, show the many new examples of ‘Brittishness’ that transpire the new war effects and what is happening to our country etc. It is slower, but more effective – then offer a new vision that is more appealing.

    • UK Labour in Scotland can do and think whatever it pleases, as Robin says above, they are no longer with us, but against us. They are “them” same as their Tories friends. They will soon find out what Scotlands verdict on them will be. Working class people in their hundreds of thousands defied Labour and voted Yes in those places where UK Labour in Scotland needs to have support in order to survive. They will be hoping, and I expect many will be arrogantly and naively assuming, that these people will let their local Labour shepherd lead them back into the fold after their “event”. Maybe some will, but my guess is those shepherds will soon find out the sheep have turned into wolves. UK Labour in Scotland is finished.

      • Good on you Andy, thank God I got this sight from my Daughter, I have been devastated for the last couple of day,s. but even though I am 73 I will devote the remaining years of my life to making sure Labour never gets in again……Well done Alex Salmond… We will continue the fight…..and we WILL. RISE…. again…. Aileen Macleod…

    • Death to Labour. Now and for ever more. They just actively worked against creating a more socially just society. Then celebrated it with their tory partners. That’s the final straw. Independence was the only thing that could save them.

  14. This may not be an entirely popular point of view for a ‘progressive’ agenda, but I think we made a bad tactical error by demonising the Tories – to such a degree that 95% of Scottish Tory voters appear to have opted against independence – according to Lord Ashcroft’s poll. That’s around 262,000 votes if we look at the 2011 results.

    You will remember Murdo Fraser’s leadership candidacy, and the pitch to have the Scottish Conservatives declare UDI from the Westminster party. Should 2015 produce a Tory/UKIP alliance in Westminster, Scottish Conservatives have a year to contemplate their fate before the 2016 elections, and I would be surprised if the issue does not re-emerge.

    There will be many right-leaning voters who no more trust Westminster than the rest of us and who do not belong to the me me school of thought. Common Weal would be strengthened by reaching out in that direction

    • without a formal alliance you can just chat them up…though many being swathed in tweedy unionist myth may need ‘reprograming’.

      • I have a lovely tweed suit*.
        The reality is that in an independent Scotland there must be room for all, even if the loonier tunes will always be outvoted. (If you listened to some of the splendid speeches by Tommy Sheridan he said the same.) The conservatives hold some values that we should cherish; family values, work ethic, self-sufficiency. A balanced society is like a boat, if everyone goes to the one side it becomes hard to steer and could capsize. A fair society will offer opportunities and a safety net for all. It will allow and encourage people to prosper. It must.
        We are looking at a stepped process. The first is to gather support for independence. Before we do that we need to consider the “Heineken Principle” . Did we fail to reach the parts others could reach?
        Our bumf was good, but maybe too high flown? And maybe too far away, on the far side of the internet, or the far side of a phone call. Who is your MSP and how do you contact them? (The only politician to have sensibly replied to me in the last year is Michael Moore: none of my SNP MSPs even reply.) The wifie in the hairdresser that voted NO because she did not want to lose Coronation St. was clearly bypassed by arguments about the “lender of last resort”. We need her vote.
        We also need to compile the “Big Book of Reasons I Voted NO” in order that these may be addressed.

        *When you are addressing many people, especially of the mature variety, it is important to remember that they are proud of the UK and proud of the flag. We, ahem, were brought up on the stories of boys in boarding schools, and were “With Beatty off Jutland”.

    • I’m probably in that category myself, I don’t know. Never really been involved in politics actively though professionally I have been and have lobbied against one Westminster Bill and one Labour Lib Dem bill at Holyrood. I’ve worked closely with politicians from Robin Cook to Angela Constance but have never got actively engaged myself. In fact I’ve seldom voted other than in PR based elections.

      I feel instinctively a bit right of centre, but am definitely not of the me me school of thought. Common Weal inspired and motivated me, but traditional left wing type calls to grab all the cash from the rich are a complete turn off. I didn’t grow up privileged but have worked and studied hard to improve my life and provide for my family.

      Definitely interested in what comes next and to help if I can. The Yes movement built something special so we can’t throw all that away. I’ve joined the SNP today as I had to do something to carry on this fight.

      • “but traditional left wing type calls to grab all the cash from the rich are a complete turn off.”

        That’s a very right-wing description of the situation.

        I always talk about “Safety Nets” for when you’re down on your luck, rather than “Robin Hood Taxes”. That’s the whole point, after all, to make sure that people don’t die of starvation or exposure when we as a nation have the means to stop it.

    • I think you might be getting cause and effect the wrong way round. The union is a core part of Scottish Tories political outlook – their official name is even ‘Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party’. There also aren’t that many people who identify with the party in Scotland. Targeting them would have been a huge amount (trying to convert a group consisting of committed unionists) of work for very little reward.

      While I don’t disagree with the principal of being open to working with people of different political persuasion, how many Tories would read this article, or indeed anything on Bella, and say ‘this is the kind of thing I want to be involved with’? Maybe there are some but by definition they’d be with the wrong party. I hope that doesn’t seem cynical but I just see so little crossover between scottish conservatives and common wheel that I’m not sure how this could work in practice.

      • All I know is that Business for Scotland – 3,000 people who you might expect to be instinctively Tory voters – spent a lot of time studying the Jimmy Reid Foundation papers and found much to admire and relate to (and a good deal they didn’t, naturally enough 🙂 It’s also worth looking into some of the stuff written by Wealthy Nation.

  15. Should it not be The Labour Party in Scotland? It’s London based after all.

    Just a thought…

  16. Who wrote this article as I cannot see a name on it?

  17. Thank you. It was a pleasure meeting you in Hamilton yesterday when you outlined some of these possibilities. You can absolutely count on my support.
    We will be ‘The Butterfly Rebellion’

    • Maybe your own thing could be part of a bigger thing, giving it more of a chance for success. I am from a newspaper background and have thought about how to reach that 65+ category, and I know from past experience that free print newspapers are one such way.

  18. I’m a Londoner and an Englishman, with family roots from all over these islands – one of the reasons I also describe myself as British. Good luck with your endeavours, and do please remember that we – the normal man & woman on the street – are not against you, are not your enemy.

    • Seconded. There are some of us who envy you, even in defeat, for having the vision of a real alternative.

    • Londoner, we are not against you the common man on the street, or against the English or British. what we are against is the rule of the westminster and political elite of the UK, we want full home rule to decide what is best for Scotland and the many people who live in it, the hand of friendship goes to all in the UK .I am half English with 80% of my family down south this is not an anti UK movement but a pro Scottish movement.

    • Thank you….. my Son in Law from London thinks we Scots all have heather between our ears. sadly he does not understand our pride and passion….. I have many English friends……all enjoying life in the Highlands but no passion NO commitment…. Aileen Macleod…. Highlands….

  19. Thank you for this well thought out article even if it was the thing that finally brought my tears after one of the lowest days of my 50 year old life. I have no skills to offer, just support.
    We can’t give up.

  20. Use of language…Labour party (Scottish Region). Keep hearing Scots voted no..actually some Scots voted no. The 1.6 indies need “cherishing”. they are the basis of a truly broad-based independence movement. like the Catalans we need to “flaunt it”. reticence should not be our style. new media, cool design, wow factor. articulate speakers….we have the talent.

  21. This sums up how I feel exactly. This doesn’t feel anything like 1979. The difference is that we took things out of the hands of the political class and organised ourselves, so although we lost the vote we gained strength. This prospectus is exactly what’s needed at this time. We can win this eventually if we are serious and determined.

  22. Where do I sign up?

    I stayed relatively quiet during the campaign, because I don’t know that much about reaching out to people, and I figured I’d get more involved once I knew which parliment I would need to target. Only got out on Thursday to do anything even approaching useful.

    Regretting that immensly now.

    So fuck it. Lets take that short stick they’ve given us and beat them over the head with it.

    (I have some knowledge of secure comms, and a few ideas for things that might change the country, but I’m one of those many, many people stuck in a shitty job with no time or money to do anything about it)

  23. Count me in as well. As a 21 year old man I wish to enter politics full time in about 10 to 15 years but in the mean time wish to take a Job with the NHS working as a Medical lab assistant whilst being heavily involved in politics. I’m already considering joining the Scottish Green Party.

    I have made the principle of not becoming a career politician straight after university like so many of the elite establishment are down in westminster but intend to work it out in the NHS so that I am aware first hand of what the staff have to put up with. I’m sure there are many other individuals like myself who have done the same in other public services across the spectrum from Education to the Police.

    We may be the party that lost but we are certainly not the wrong one.

  24. I’m with you Robin. Willing to put my hand to anything.

  25. a fundraiser suggestion…an ” I VOTED YES” teeshirt …i really want people to know…and i’ll support CommonWeal all the way too…my moneys on its way

    • Great idea. Lets be proud by wearing an “I VOTED YES” teeshirt, and let others see we are proud. We will gain respect by our steadfastness and might even help change the attitude of no voters by showing our strength in the face of all the scare tactics

  26. Good read! Would love to get involved, I’m 17 and will be off to Uni for journalism soon! I’m also the lead singer of ‘Empirium’ a small Heavy Metal band in Livingston. If either of these things can be of use please let me know! email: Dillongrant97@hotmail.com

  27. I’m in too!
    Moving north in next few months from the central belt to my home area -so in a position to link Glasgow and Edinburgh with Moray and Highland to build the network
    (I will be sharing your piece with my Yes friends in the north tonight…)
    I can bring community development and ( people) network support experience along with communication skills
    Just keep me posted (already on Common Weal mail list) if you need some help

  28. I am with you Robin,

    Subscription service for the new Scottish media? Count me in.

    Crowd source to get it up and running? Count me in.

    I thought I had done enough but I hadn’t, not even close. Tears all round but it’s not going to change anything.

    Running the Glasgow Half marathon in October. Will be wearing a ‘1 of the 45%, Saor Alba’ t-shirt that I am ordering. Anyone want’s to join in is most welcome.

    Let’s do this

  29. Scots patriot Andy Murray who came out for Independence has had death threats from rabid BritNat trolls. Don’t expect that to be splashed all over the the front pages of the newspapers like the egg throwing incident of Jim Murphy.

  30. All very valid points. There is undoubtedly much that needs to be done to build an effective political movement to win over the majority the next time round. Particularly crucial is finding a means of reaching the over-60s. This was the crucial section of the population that gave no the victory. These people are 1) particularly vulnerable to scare campaigns and 2) are generally much more likely to depend for their information on the mainstream media.

    That said, the achievement of the home-made yes campaign was immense. Here in the Basque country there is a lot of sadness about the result but also respect for how the campaign was fought. The Basque independence movement can learn valuable insights and take inspiration from the Scottish example.

  31. Maybe just call the movement the Independence Party? Like to know if there is anything I can do based in England?

  32. They say that was a democratic referendum, but was it ? Every TV channel, radio station, magazine publication, newspapers, rags like, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Daily Express, Sunday Express, Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, Times, Sunday Times, Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, Herald, Sunday Post, Sunday Mail , Daily Retard and its ”vow” and the Beano all came out with NO.

    On the other side, a couple of pro independence blogs on the internet. The London Power Elites have decided the election not the people, they were blitzed, brainwashed, bullied, intimidated and threatened, project fear won. How sad.

    • Yeah, but in tha face of all that, on our first time out we got 45%.

      That’s fucking amazing, given the forces arrayed against us.

      I’m going to quote a movie here, because it’s so damned appropriate (I’m also not self-moderating my language anymore, fuck em if they get offended)

      “People should not be scared of their governments, governments should be scared of their people”

      • I’ve been totally down all day, till my partner who is Irish lost patience and said ‘What are on moaning about? 45% voted Yes and it’s only your first attempt.’ Count me in.

  33. An inspiring read. My hope was that after a Yes vote, that the Common Weal would become a major movement in Scottish politics. After reading this I am confident this can still happen. The eyes are dry. Some time to gather thoughts and ideas and look forward to being involved.

  34. For me, it has been an exciting few weeks … And the realisation that 45% of Scotland have become more cnscious of how corporate and media power operate to sustain economic systems that are destroying ecosystems and making the divide between rich and poor worse… Is important. Its hard to go back to sleep once weve woken up.

    Let’s enable self organisation by creating some space for emotion and the limbic brain to catch up…. And then encourage 1.6 million personal manifestos to bloom?

  35. ” Independence,” the opposite word to this is, Dependence. When you see self loathing ”Scots,” like Rangers supporters waving their Union Jacks triumphantly gloating in Glasgow’s George Square, they’re so brainwashed they don’t realise that what they’re actually saying is ” We don’t want to govern ourselves, we like being enslaved serfs.”

    One despairs.

  36. 1.5 million votes for the SNP at the next general elaction would be a start.

  37. Where do I sign up, how do I get involved?

  38. Count me in Robin, I have research skills and I’m interested in policy development. As our current position stands we would run a deficit without a central bank to lend money, but there are policy decisions that could narrow or eliminate the size of the deficit. I have had a few thoughts on this.

    • The bankers would have you believe that there is only one way to control money – their way. During the campaign I became aware of an alternative approach – it is called POSITIVE MONEY. They were founded after the 2008 crash. They emphasise that allowing the banks to print money to lend to others is just creating a debt cycle which only benefits bankers, and ensures that they retain control of the economy.

      “Positive Money is a movement to democratise money and banking so that it works for society and not against it.”

      Easy read at positivemoney.org

  39. Thank you. It doesn’t seem right to mobilize hope for change and then give no direction for it after No.That needed planning for too. Winner takes all is a gambling precept, not a social one.

    It sounds like a good plan, in particular getting the most autonomy possible out of Scottish parliament then asking for full control is intuitively next step. New media sees essential. If unions have real democracy everyone will benefit. Labour does deserve to go. One thing re any future campaign i think the SNP saying it will cut corporation tax and other typical neo liberal policies is not compatible with people believing it will defend health,welfare,wages, etc. & any shared Yes goals for a new scotland needs to look more unified and convincing.

    Older people were not really targeted for changing their assumptions,and apparently still support the empire/union in droves.

    BUT Youth vote was a clear Yes apparently & that is a real success !
    which says yes soonish.

    i am a dual citizen of scottish and english parents, living o/s, but will give money when i can for media or political projects.

    good luck everyone.

  40. Why not the Yes Party. It also prevents Westminster “stealing” the word in the future. Great to hear all the thoughts to build on that fabulous 1.6 million people beginning. I will support you in whichever way I can.

  41. Thanks Robin. I needed that after a very, very sad day. Count me in if I can help in any way.

    It’s true, the genie is out of the bottle. My attitude to msm and BBC has changed forever – I have totally lost respect for the BBC.

  42. Thanks Robin. Chr*st I need a pick me up after today. 16yr old daughter went into George Square after school, hoping to find some solace and was met with Union Flag waving triumphalism. Struggling to understand my fellow Scots today.

  43. I don’t know who you people suddenly flooding Bella are, but politics of anger and blame will get you nowhere. Period. It’s a great way to alienate the people on the street. As is the patronizing attitude of “we’ll come out and instruct you peasants.” Robin McAlpine pays lip service to grassroots orientation but his language reeks of top-down.

  44. This is fantastic. Thank you so so much for helping to make what has been a very sad day more positive. Count me in for getting involved and volunteering. I’m nowhere near giving up.

  45. So very sad, we could have had it all!

  46. What won this vote was the pensioner vote, we cannot ignore the power of their vote, and to say that Labour will be eradicated by 2016 is naive, although I’d love to be wrong. A strategic plan needs to be in place to reach the older generation, that’s where we failed this time. That needs addressed

    • I don’t believe the pensioner vote lost it. I know many of my age who were active throughout the campaign. It was those who believed all they saw on BBC and in papers.

  47. Sign me up, I want to move us forward. I’d love to document/ archive the spin, lies, bias, etc, and create a house of lords watchdog for example, my background is in socio-political research of power, politics and class. Proud to be one of the 45%

    • The documentation/archiving of information will be very useful in the future to expose the lies of this campaign. Only one example being to compare future oil production to the negative forecasts produced in the run up to the referendum and relentlessly reported in the national media.

  48. Thank you, Robin. I don’t want to stop either. I posted this on FB earlier.

    Okay, Yes Friends, I’m feeling sorry for myself, but here are my ideas just now.
    We know DevoNano means more responsibility for the Scottish Parliament, but less power.
    The troughers are Westminster were making all sorts of wild promises in the last week, and I say we hold them to it, the only way we can – by threatening their careers.

    We identify the seats that are the rotten burghs – those Labour seats with high levels of non-voting in General Elections. We need an alliance between pro-indy elements – SNP, SSP and Greens – for the next election, so they don’t stand against each other.

    And we f*cking work. We get out the working class vote, we topple some of these troughers, and make the rest of them so fearful for their seats that they actually start working for the people of Scotland.

    We make Margaret Curran sorry she ever cheered at UKIP winning a Euro seat. I expect Darling and Brown have already picked out their title for the House of Lords, but we make sure everyone knows how they earned it.

    We do all the good community stuff we discussed. And we make sure we don’t lose another generation of kids to the disempowerment we grew up with.

  49. The nucleus is already there, plenty established forward thinking creative groups sharing forward thinking related outlooks and goals.
    Robin’s piece has been such a cracking anti-venom to todays attack.

  50. Thanks for this, Robin. I’ve been greetin on and throughout the day, but this has picked me up. It will take time for the pain to heal, but we cannot allow ourselves to become a defeated people.

    In Gramsci’s terms, we’ve lost the war of manoeuvre; it’s time to dig in for the war of position.

  51. It would be sadder to see this candle of light snuffed out. I have enjoyed reading the details of à brighter fairer Scotland

  52. “the SNP saying it will cut corporation tax and other typical neo liberal policies is not compatible with people believing it will defend health,welfare,wages, etc.”

    As I understand it, from reading a recent SG report, a three percent cut in corporation tax could bring about a 1.4% increase in the economy and create 27,000 jobs. I’m sure many at present unemployed might welcome that. And economic growth is a necessity to finance all the improvements we want to make to infrastructure and fund the NHS etc

    As for the SNP enthusiastically supporting TTIP, that’s the first I have heard of that and one of the stars of the Yes campaign, with videos that went viral, was Dr Philippa Whitford who was extremely outspoken about TTIP. The Scottish Government has no say in this as it is a trade agreement between Westminster (and other EU governments) and the EU, but it pleaded with Westminster to ask for the NHS to be exempt as other countries have received exemptions for various public services, but Westminster refused – too many MPs and members of the upper house have shares in private health companies.

  53. Fantastic and just what I needed to read after one of the most devastating days I’ve encountered (and I played for Highland Rfc ! )
    I know a lot of people here in Inverness that would love to get involved in this. From writers, property developers, musicians and architects I think there’s quite a wide range of folk who would be interested in creating a Highland Hub

    Cheers
    Bruce MacGregor

    • Hi Bruce, you were possibly thinking of folks like myself? I’m certainly up for this and as the days move on post Friday, I’m feeling stronger about getting committed to making the necessary contribution by way of a focussed group. Folks like ourselves have life experience and multiple skills in business and leadership etc. Lets move forward with a Highland Hub.

      ATB,

      Neil Sutherland

      • It’s all getting very scary from the people who feel very threatened. I’ve read a petition of 80 000 for a recount/judicial review; debate that a law will be passed so Scotland never gets a referendum vote again and in today’s Irish newspaper:” nationalists decided the BBC was biased and took it out on theirjournalists in person and on social media and a mob marched to BBC HQ demanding the sacking of political editor…westminster are now regretting their moment of madness when in response to a solitary poll predicting yes they gave gb carte Blanche to bribe voters with promises of ‘extensive new powers’………..

        Now GB has his own vision of scottish utopia- what aboutscotlands people’s view of a realistic vision for the country? No interest in utopia as it is a fantasy- real change for real people.

  54. Robin. I shook your hand in George Sq. on Wednesday night saying ” well done that man”. You have given me the optimism needed to carry on. Please please contact me to see what we can do in this fight for our future. My wife and I voted YES for our children and grandchildren and I NEED an outlet to give them what I pray for.

  55. thank you Robin. That was a superb call to battle. I have been consumed with anger all day and this will allow me to channel it. Let’s get started.

  56. While I can see that many people would like to mix their ideology with the idea of an Independent Scotland, but that is a big reason for it not having won as the choice of the nation.

    The basic idea is that the referendum was just a question, and the politics came later. Scotland is described as a left wing utopia, but I don’t think that’s true. It has only grasped the left wing as a way to traditionally fight Westminster. In its own light, the left and right of Scotland will become more balanced.

    Its for this reason that for a future referendum to actually work, the message needs to be all about facts, and the right to ditch Westminster. If you want a left wing Scotland, or a right wing Scotland, you can – but first you need to vote for an Independent Scotland.

    Use the facts to build alternative visions, but own both the left and the right vision of a future Scotland, and the only option Westminster has is to highlight tradition.

    Engineers have a saying, KISS, Keep it Simple Stupid. Its true in political marketing too!

  57. Reading this, and the comments has given me hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I’m in!

  58. The day the music died.
    You can count me in to practically participate in this new movement.
    Scotland has trod a new political path during this election. Albeit it is still a dirt track.
    We fought the man and the man won. But only this battle.
    The world has changed so dramatically over the past 50 years. It is the world of the mega banks and corporations. These groups control our lives. Our politicians are merely the instruments of their will. The electorate are disenfranchised and disempowered and it shows clearly by the percentage actually participating in elections. How low does participation have to be before the system becomes illegitimate? We passed that number a good few years ago.
    The political philosophy, nascent in the referendum, must be carried on. It won’t be easy. Every organ of government and every aspect of the new media will be used against us.
    It is time to boycot the old media. I will never ever ever 🙂 be buying another newspaper. I don’t need the BBC. I don’t need SKY. I don’t need talking heads. I don’t need the Labour Party or the Greens or the Tories. I need a totally new way of thinking, debating and communicating.
    And, you know? This should be face to face in groups in pubs in cafés at town halls. We should be able to use new media and not let it use us.
    And language is everything. I think of this every time I hear words like ” insurgent” or “anti Semite” or “nationalist” or “denier” or “socialist”. We need a new language. A language which desparages the Man and all that they stand for.
    The ideas are out there. Public banks controlled by governments who issue currency and control interest rates. The end of the corporations right to be defined as a person which allows the CEOs to go unpunished for their failings. Read the constitution proposed by the people of Iceland for some ideas.

  59. Thank you for that Robin. As I contemplate my own involvement and ask myself “could I have done more”, your call for this wonderful, vigorous and at times chaotic movement to become more organised makes so much sense. As I fight through the pain and despair, your article is a huge tonic. Let’s mobilise and harness this tangible energy before it begins to dissipate. How about a series of meetings in the very near future, with a view to take things forward. I am more than happy to help in any way.

  60. YES SCOTLAND MUST TALK TO SNP ABOUT HOW TO WIN GENERAL ELECTION IN SCOTLAND 2015

    It’s time for the Yes Scotland Camp to consider the following idea in our progressive journey towards Independence.YES SCOTLAND should field candidates in every Scottish constituency at the UK general election next year and ask the SNP group of MP’s to also stand under the YES SCOTLAND banner. While this might seem sacrilegious to some SNP members, it is a way of making the next UK general election a referendum on Westminster rule and a consolidation of the fantastic achievements of the Yes Scotland campaign. A majority of MP’s elected under the banner of YES SCOTLAND – INDEPENDENCE in 2015 would be a clear mandate for Independence and if we achieved more than 50% of votes cast the case would be made for a declaration of Independence. We might even see a few MP’s like Ian Davidson losing their seats. The day of reckoning cometh…….if you agree please pass on to friends and post to your local SNP MSP a or councillor and YES SCOTLAND team so the idea can be discussed. We are not down; we are not defeated.

    • It’s an interesting idea but even if, say, 25-30 YES SCOTLAND candidates got elected, they would be an ineffective drop in the ocean down there. Alternatively, why not consider a complete boycott of the next UK Gen Election on the grounds that it doesn’t matter what the Scots vote. If we can withhold the 1.6m voters from that election it means that Labour Party in Scotland would suffer greatly.

      • What’s normal Westminster turnout?

        30%?

        A boycott would be taken as carte blanche to do whatever they want from whoever is elected. The media would spin it as them having broken Scotland’s spirit.

        It would be better to return 100% SNP/Green/Pro-Independence MPs. And given the normal turnout for Westminster, if we just get everyone who voted Yes voting in 2015, we can probably do it.

  61. The Cowal Yes shop, was an inspiration today, long may we continue……

    We have an obligation to the youth who joined us on our journey. We showed them hope and aspiration but we never prepared them for defeat. We had a beautiful 16year old with us at the count who was so devastated; I came home to my distraught 23year old daughter who had experienced the most wonderful campaign, and telephoned my niece in Orkney who sobbed through her tears. It is important to make sure that they know it is ok, that we will find a new direction and continue.
    ‘No’ fought us with the might of the whole world and they only got 55%.

  62. Thank you Robin, as we all feel deflated, there has to be a push to move forward within whatever framework we are stuck with.

    In our enthusiasm, perhaps we missed the need to understand those likely to vote no, their hopes and fears. even recognise that they were there. I’ve seen them in my own family and I’ve seen them alienated further by some of the blame targeted at the no camp (justified but polarising all the same).

    For many of these people, the wider implications just don’t figure in their decisions and daily lives and we should not underestimate the conservatism in society as a whole. Most are decent people who do not engage with politics on any level outside of a casual interest in the news.

    We actually have to find a way to address the problems in society directly outwith ‘the system’. It’s a daunting task and there’s only so much time people can devote. But there are thousands of us wondering what to do now, all with diverse skills, from different backgrounds.

    Lets not forget that independence was not an end in itself, only the means, the road may be blocked but surely there’s another route?

    • You write: “For many of these people, the wider implications just don’t figure in their decisions and daily lives and we should not underestimate the conservatism in society as a whole. Most are decent people who do not engage with politics on any level outside of a casual interest in the news.”

      I interpret this to mean that they only care about their own interests and not those of other people. This seems to explain why they are happy in a de facto imperialist state with “austerity” forced on the most vulnerable, just as it explains the vile triumphalism we saw in Glasgow last night as well as online.

      I find it very difficult to relate to such a position. I remember reading on No voter asking if those of us planning to vote yes would be happier in a small country not able to take a “leading role on the world stage”, or something to that effect. I’m sure that person finds my answer (“without doubt”) as incomprehensible as I found his need to ask the question in the first place.

      Maybe this is a lack of empathy on my part, but I don’t see how it’s possible to relate to people like that. I’m not even sure I want to, because the mentality disgusts me.

      • “I interpret this to mean that they only care about their own interests and not those of other people.”

        That is a huge assumption and disregards the idea that many simply didn’t think an independent scotland could be viable ‘too wee too poor too stupid’ has resonated with many and that’s not necessarily a selfish position.

        If someone has bought the idea that their pension is under threat, then they also believe that everybody elses is under threat as well. If they don’t believe (or hear) reassurances that this isn’t the case, then it’s likely that they also believe that many other things have “not been thought through” and that will affect everybody.

        Secondly, even if we are to accept that their motivations are purely selfish, the failure to take their concerns seriously doesn’t do us any favours. There is no way to success without convincing a large chunk of the people who voted no to come with us or they will just do it again. Dismissing them as just being selfish rather than engaging and understanding will only alienate them and that doesn’t address the problem.

  63. Given the likiations imposed by the new Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act, would it not better to register as a political party (Yes ’45?) with the Common weal as policy.

    • Indeed, especially as ‘the 45 ‘ had reached well over 50,000 in just a few hours yesterday. We also need to be ‘brand’ aware…..’the 45′ may well be that new brand. We must also captivate and retain Generation Yes – these guys are our future, remember they voted by over 70% and some of them will be left out of the next voting process as the won’t have reached 18 years of age. Lets keep our youth motivated and engaged – they will be our core voters of the future.

  64. Yes change can come, we can’t allow this momentum and engagement to slip away. today I have been completely dejected but I have realised that Independence was not my end game it was a means to an end as through independence I believed we could change the politics of Scotland for the betterment of all, we can still work towards this and you have shown me the way. I have never felt so energised, thank you.

  65. Count me in too Robin. I’m 62 and a recent pensioner. My thoughts: I think the whole campaign addressed the left too much. People with mortgages, children, loans etc were frightened by the fact that no-one could give them guarantees that in an Indy Scotland the money in their pocket would cover their debts, our indeed if they would still have jobs. It was all too uncertain. I know we were unable to give them much information because Westminster wouldn’t discuss Indy beforehand, but this problem needs to be addressed for any future campaign. Some sort of guarantee has to be promised, and I don’t know how you do that. I know that the housing schemes were covered by the canvassers but how many people went to the more affluent areas and tried to convince them that an Indy Scotland was feasible. You have to try to get over the fact that Scotland is an altogether left wing country, because it’s not! I have a lot of time for the policies of the left wing, but try to see it all from the middle classes point of view. They are comfortable with what they have, and yes they feel for the poor wee wumin who has no money to feed and clothe her kids, but they are having a bad enough time trying to pay theIr own bills. It’s a difficult problem but until those wanting independence understand that there are issues with far left policies that the middle classes don’t want and don’t understand, which I don’t think the last campaign addressed fully, we are not going to achieve our goal. The new campaign must include everybody, even those living in the leafy suburbs.

    • Well done! Woke up this morning with a similar list in my head. From a similar age group as Anne above and agree with her we have to find the independence ‘what’s in it for me button’ for all social groups otherwise it won’t work, think of all those red areas on the results map and its not just over 65s. Don’t quite know what this means in terms of organisations

    • I take your point about the ‘leafy suburbs’, however I must point out that here in Argyll & Bute our very busy and dedicated Yes team spent over 6 months knocking the doors and arranging meetings unfortunately this demographic of our population like things they way they are, their mortgages are paid off and they are only interested in themselves. May I also take this opportunity to point out that these were the doorsteps where we met the most venom and one of our team, a 78 year old (well-heeled) lady was spat upon.

      • Thanks for your remarks ladies. Unfortunately, the older you get the more you get stuck in your ways, and you hate being told that there’s an alternative! I understand only too well venom from the leafy suburbs, and that’s where the problem lies. The over 65’s are of course getting garbage chucked at them all the time from the worst offenders – the BBC, and they, like I used to be, are of an age where the BBC does no wrong, is not biased and always tells the truth. I read somewhere that Business for Scotland were thinking of starting up a newspaper, which is a great idea. However, if you’re used to buying the Glasgow Herald, and get it delivered every day then that’s not going to alter any opinions. Also, Tommy Sheridan and his ilk are great speakers, and I love what they do but they do not go down at all well in the leafy suburbs. We need to find a middle ground and I don’t know how you do that.

  66. Hi Robin, Our Yes Moffat group met tonight – ageing, tory Moffat – and agreed we had so much enjoyed campaigning together that we want to keep meeting, as a non-party political citizen’s group for envisioning and promoting change. I think it would be great to take up your offer to come and meet us – and Lesley please, and Philippa again…. so that’s the first programme of activities sorted.

    I’ve been in the Scottish Green Party for over 30 years, and it’s truly brilliant to see new members flocking to join us (one every 15 seconds this evening). Scotland already has a Party committed to your policy priorities, we don’t need a new one in competition for heaven’s sake, fragmenting the left has been done before and it don’t work.

    Parliamentary politics isn’t all. Politicians can only go as far as public opinion lets them, and parliamentary politics can be bought by big money. What we don’t have, and desperately need, is a non-aligned citizens movement for change. One that is controlled by no-one, but (please?) supported by Commonweal. The power in Scotland today is the energy of the local groups who took over the Yes campaign, yanked it out of the dead hand of Yes Scotland/SNP, and galvanised ordinary citizens.

    I’m becoming certain that you can’t create citizen empowerment by forming top-down political parties. The parliamentary road is important, but does not lead to citizen empowerment. Which all of us want. Radical democracy only requires national support for local campaigning activity. Commonweal has some of the great geniuses of Scottish radical thinking at present. Please use your genius to respond to and support the needs of grassroots groups – that’s the potential strength of Commonweal, as I see it, from here at ground zero.

    Don’t look to parliament. Look to people. Support us. Politicians will follow in due course.

    Thank you

    Chris Ballance

    • Good contribution. I would like to see all of us identify ourselves with ’45’ badges. In this way we can recognise each other and network. It doesn’t really matter what political party we support. The ’45’ movement would transcend these boundaries. Is there anybody out there capable of producing and distributing a couple of million ’45’ badges?

  67. Oh what have you done my baby boomers
    What have you done to our darling young ones?
    You’ve stumbled on the side of dearly held pensions
    You’ve stepped on the toes of a lost generation
    You’ve reaped the rewards of a far fairer nation
    You’ve spent forty years without our sad patience
    And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
    And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

    My parents are both OAPs and I know that this does not apply to all. But mine is a generation that can truly say to our parents ‘you’re lucky – it’s not been so easy for us’. This is not the fault of individuals but a progression towards uncertainty in the job market & benefit system. In the 60s and 70s (so I’m told) it wasn’t so hard to find a job for life if you worked hard enough. Today it is very hard indeed. I have a close friend, Daibhidh Rothach, who has written some great articles for this website and other outlets. He has a trade and a degree; he is in the rare position of having a talent for speaking fluently, writing and analysing both Gaelic and Scots. For years, despite hard effort, he could not get a job in today’s Scotland. Something is wrong; something is far wrong. We need to fix it and I believe that we can.

    • Apologies, Robin, I neglected to say what I enjoyed about this article so much. As a relatively new Yes Voter (about a year) I don’t know if my emotions differ to the many long –timers on here. I know that my heart sank when the councils came in one by one on the morning of the 19th – especially, of course, when No was inevitable. But I woke the next day with a different perspective. Quick glance at Tom Paine, The Drouth, then on to Bella Caledonia and I felt better. Also speaking to friends I’ve made through this campaign.

      So thanks for a positive article from Yes, realistic about the result but looking confidently to the future, with no word of the blame game. Bella Caledonia, with its diversity of perspective, politics and language has been a big player in my shift from No to Yes. I don’t give myself a hard time about that; my whole family is Labour so it wasn’t easy. But articles like this made it easier. Thanks to you and to Mike – I’ll keep on reading, but wanted to say that now.

  68. First, I’m English but not adverse to Scottish Independence and I wish you well going forward. I thought these observations from the outside may be worth a seconds consideration and either factoring in or discarding as you choose.

    It seems to me the gap between winning and loosing wasn’t passion, organisation or communication, but risk management. You mobilised both the nationalists and the risk takers who probably embrace the change and look forward to that leap of faith that comes with change. You didn’t convince all the careful, considered voters who worry about the adverse impacts of changes and whether they’ve been thought about properly.

    Through the paradigm of the media there were some valid concerns where solid information was missing from the white paper, was confusing, or was easily and directly contradictably by the other side. So the risk adverse population couldn’t make good evidence based decisions or know what to think.

    Reduce the risk and win the vote.

    The main article is spot on with ‘learn the economics’. But it’s seems so much more than that to me. I’m no expert, but from the news , it appeared currency issues, forex arrangements, future oil production were all debatable issues. These can be investigated thoroughly. For example : Q: Can you tell me the likely levels of oil production in 10, 20, 50 ,100 years from now. What revenue will this bring? What are the effects of extraction costs for deep water drilling versus changing oil prices up or down. What are the effects of England turning to shale gas as an increasing proportion of the energy mix in England? Work it out and explain the assumptions. Check they are reasonable. Avoid the temptation to tweak the numbers to suit your argument; (it’ll get spotted, argued against and the risk element returns so your efforts are wasted). If one plan doesn’t work, solve the issue another way until you find a way that does work. Show the results. Publish the working.

    From the gap analysis of this missing evidence from the white paper, for each item, research it, understand it and then use the evidence not rhetoric to make the point.

    The more risk you remove or minimise, the less it is a leap of faith and the more it become a reasonable judgement decision for the change-adverse voter.

    It seems to me that those are the voters you need to swing to change the balance of power. Your supporters will support you. Your staunch opponents won’t. Fight for the minds of the persuadable. Use less emotion and more evidence that the plan is in place for managing the risks of each problem area. Some currently union-orientated voters may care deeply about Scotland to the extent that they don’t want to see it broken apart by incomplete plans.

    It seems to me governments develop into large cumbersome bodies because they need to address all the details of running a country. Prepare the processes for everything required, show it works and the people will follow.

    This could all just be late night, no sleep bollocks, but it’s mine and I’d continue to support the union until you can change my mind on the issues that I worry about.

    Good Luck to you all.

    • Totally agree with Dave L.
      As a Scott, living in England, I kept a close eye on this. The problem was there just didn’t seem enough answers. A lot of people with jobs and mortgages can’t afford to jump to the unknown.
      I looked at the Yes vote was like someone offering you a job where the manager sat closer, although a new company which was reliant mainly on one product. And you didn’t really know the salary. It could be great, but without details it’s too risky.

      If you want true independence then you have to get things in place first, they all take time.
      There already is a Scottish parliament which doesnt seem to have done enough with the powers it already has. Get them to create a proper central bank. Then maybe look at duel currency, even the Euro. This will take years, but when the next chance comes there is a lot more answers and less risk.

      • Another voice from England here, basically agreeing with much of what you two are saying. However, I think the fact that just under half of all voters in Scotland thought the “leap of faith” was worth taking, in spite of overwhelming media opposition, empty grandiose promises and outright lies from the Unionist side, is excellent ground to build on.

        A severe problem faced by those campaigning for an independent Scotland in 2014 is the fact that Scotland, as it currently exists, is very dependent on the UK and its institutions for many things. Consider the DVLA, the Department of Work and Pensions, and so on. Consider the huge matter of tax-and-spend and the likely attempts by Westminster to retain control over the oil tax revenues even if other taxation is devolved. There are already some autonomous Scottish government institutions in existence (eg. Transport) but the simple fact that most of them would have had to have been rapidly created before the date of independence likely didn’t fill many voters with confidence.

        The Unionists were able to raise questions about this. A lot of it was fearmongering, but they’re genuinely serious questions about the basic functioning of a state. These resonated with the electorate, and I think independence supporters should recognise that preventing such questions from ever being asked again is a necessary step for a future campaign’s success.

        That’s why campaigning for full fiscal autonomy is so important. It allows Scotland to be an almost fully functioning nation-state before the matter of independence is raised. All the pensioners and middle-class suburbanites who voted no out of fear would have no reason to fear full sovereignty.

        RobN’s idea for a central bank is good, and certainly not without precedent (US Federal Reserve System, European Central Banking System). Such a central bank of Scotland, existing within an already extant de facto currency union and issuing pounds, would remove much of the currency risk of independence and totally defang the sort of attacks that the Unionist camp were able to make on the Yes campaign’s currency plans.

        The Unionists would be the ones on the back foot in that case, struggling to defend more ephemeral notions of British national unity, the need for nuclear weapons and “punching above our weight”, the relevance of UK immigration/naturalisation policy to Scotland. I think the Yes campaign won those parts of the debate hands down. The Unionist campaign only succeeded in making the debate primarily about the economics of setting up new state instituions.

        Essentially, Scottish people see their country as a separate one from England, so they really would prefer to be a separate sovereign state. Only a tiny minority of hardcore British nationalists (eg. the dirtbags burning Saltires in Glasgow, the odious UKIP of Scotlandshire) would genuinely buy the Unionist argument that we’re better together if those were the only real battlegrounds of the debate.

        Scotland doesn’t need to “be the nation again”. It already is a nation, despite any attempts to force British nationalism on it. It needs to be an autonomous national entity that can credibly become an independent nation-state. I imagine that in a future independence vote with such nation-state level institutions already in place, there would be an overwhelming majority in favour of independence. More than 70% perhaps?

      • Rob, the answers were there, in abundance. The problem was that the mainstream media (led by the BBC) stifled them and kept churning out the same old questions no matter how many times they were answered. In a way, it was like the Nick Robinson farrago was a microcosm of the whole ‘there’s not enough answers’ spiel.

  69. Re the media side of it – a good suggestion is that BBC Scotland should be funded by and answerable to the Scottish government. There is a petition to that effect on change.org.

    If London refuses this, Scots should withhold their licence fees to the BBC and use them to fund a new-start national Scottish broadcasting corporation.

    If a public service television station can be funded with public money, then so can a newspaper. We desperately need a populist newspaper in Scotland that has the entertainment features of a typical tabloid, but also fulfills a duty to inform on social issues in an accessible and balanced way.

    When the next opportunity for Independence comes, Scots must be able to turn to a trusted newspaper or TV channel which is made for the people, and by the people, of Scotland.

    I live in Colchester but came up on the 18th to help out at Yes Scotland. 100 per cent agree, we must never give up now until Scotland is free. Westminister is on borrowed time in Scotland. Think Patrick Hogg’s suggestion above regarding Yes Scotland talking to the SNP is a great idea.

  70. Among Robin’s many excellent points:

    “A strategy for finance that ends deficit but avoids austerity (that being the hardest without proper powers)”

    “A major reform of local taxation, looking at some combination of local income tax, land value tax and local sales tax – with all rate-setting to be entirely in local control”

    “Explore how we can set up a national investment bank (I am not sure if this can be done directly by the Parliament but I think it could be done in a non-profit mutual manner with government support)”

    “Explore creating a network of local authority banks to break up the corrupt banking sector”

    All of these essential tasks can be achieved with a PUBLICLY owned Scottish Central Bank – or – less confrontational to the banksters – a publicly owned (and maybe currently existing) Investment Fund…

    ELLEN BROWN – of The Public Banking Institute, and author of “WEB OF DEBT” was in Scotland in November 2012 and posited a clear way forward for Scotland, utilizing existing institutions and structures.

    Her article / presentation is here:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ellen-brown/public-bank-option-scotland_b_2239527.html

    Also: Ellen wrote again about the Public Banking option for Scotland just the other day:

    http://ellenbrown.com/2014/09/17/a-public-bank-option-for-scotland/

    Both essential for comprehending how to free ourselves – Onward !

    • I think this is a great idea. I know that for my husband it was his fear of our mortgage payments going up that made him vote no. People need to feel that their money is safe and that their mortgages and loans are not going to get more expensive. A publicly owned Scottish Bank would negate the fears of many people.

  71. Oh thank goodness there are Phoenix rising from these ashes!! I’m an Edinburgh Scot living in the US, cried for hours. Son is a Political Science university grad, find yourselves some of these people. You will need them for analytics, word smithing/phrasing of questions, demographics etc.
    BTW, my nan is 72 years old, she voted Yes and made darn sure all of her kids, their cousins, grandkids, grandnieces and grandnephews voted Yes as well!! All gutted.

  72. I am a broken toy.
    I am one of the 45%.
    And I actually cannot articulate in any meaningful way the empty pain I feel inside.
    We had it all, we had the key to unlock our potential and we threw it away, I don’t blame the people who put the crosses in the boxes, I wholeheartedly blame the media.
    Westminster is a broken and corrupt system, it needs to be changed, and it can’t be changed piecemeal. Radical reform is necessary the Lords must go parliamentarians need to be kept on a much shorter leash with tighter controls and restrictions regarding the way they represent their constituents and in the manner they conduct their affairs of office.
    The very covenant between the elected and the electorate needs to be re-examined and reimagined. I have spoken about my ideas before, it was the previous time my vote backfired when the Lib Dems jumped into bed with the Tories*, and we need to get away from the idea of a party, especially party whips.
    The idea that a representative of a constituency can be coerced and cajoled to vote on issues differently to the express wishes of the people whom they represent is quite frankly disturbing.
    All MP’s should have a much closer working relationship with the people they represent, once elected they have a moral duty to act in accordance with the will of the people they represent.
    I want to know where we go from here?
    For a while now I have believed that one of the reasons we the working class majority are constantly out voted is because we have a lot of choice of parties to vote for whereas the rich have only the tory party.
    Now I find myself asking if a new non-“party” social movement standing would actually be a good thing it would possibly split the vote further and give the enemies of freedom more of an edge against us. In a Westminster election under current voting conditions (FPTP) it could be disastrous but in Holyrood it could snowball and grow.
    The Green Party, from what I know of them, may well be the most responsive. What I have heard about them makes it unlikely that they go in for the party ideas I so ardently dislike.
    I defiantly think I’ll be looking into their manifesto and organisation. The SNP can, I believe, also be steered closer to the roots of the people’s movements of the past with more people joining it and influencing its policies.
    I will never again vote for one of the Current Big three!

    We, the yes campaign, need to do something big we need to get all of us to back one party for the coming elections, or convince the three SNP, Green and SSP to stand together as a united front for Scotland so we can keep the momentum going. We need to not let our numbers drift away, the No’s with their common purpose over will once again be divided we can take this momentum and wipe the political slate in Scotland’s parliament to instantly give a mandate for a second referendum.
    I may have just found my spare parts, I hope to be fixed soon!

    *I’m happy to share my voting history,
    since I was first able to vote I voted Labour who at the time I believed were a party of the people for the people, I was born in march ‘75 so I grew up in Thatcher’s Briton, how wrong I was.
    After they made it clear they had abandoned everything they stood for I voted Lib Dem. It was a tactical bid to actually try and affect some change my hopes based on the possibility of PR a great way to possibly give the people more power over the people in charge, well we all know what happened there. After that I voted SNP and had planned on voting Green in an independent Scotland.

  73. Like many tonight, I suspect, I can’t sleep. Still, to quote another man who fought a centralising autocracy, it may have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.

    I’m reminding myself that, while 55% of voters voted to continue with food banks and austerity, 45% didn’t, in the face of threats and blatant intimidation from the mainstream media.

    I have some thoughts to pass on for consideration.

    *** You ask if there is a “party ready to adopt the kind of policy agenda above and really make a push for the voting demographics that win elections for socially democratic parties”.

    In terms of the big mainstream parties at Holyrood (the SNP and the various Tory parties), evidently not, and I would not work with an organisation willing to work with any of the latter. However, much of what you suggest in terms of policy reads like a Scottish Green Party policy summary. I decided to stay away from all political parties some years ago but, for all the Greens’ various faults, being a bunch of neoliberals isn’t one of them.

    The risk with that lies at Holyrood, in that many SNP members come from the list, and this would complicate tactical voting. Green support in FPTP remains low, in spite of popular support for many of their policies. SNP 1; Green 2 runs the risk of hurting the SNP on the list, to the benefit of the Greens on the one hand (good) and the Tory parties on the other.

    *** Energy: I agree, with a proviso. A lot of our existing campaign has been based on an oil fund. Meanwhile the realities of climate change mean that stuff needs to be left in the ground. On the other hand, Scotland’s renewable resource is vast by almost any standards. Thought does need to be given to the closure of the existing nuclear and fossil fuel power plants (all scheduled in the next ten years), which means we are going to be facing a baseload generation problem by 2023. I think there is a strong case for a couple of Thorium reactors in public hands (if we’re going to have to subsidise it anyway, we might as well get the benefit).

    *** On a related note, much much more needs to be said environmentally. This ties into questions of land reform, LVT and so on.

  74. I needed to read this. Thank you. I very much have to be involved.

  75. Don’t let faded memories of the sixties and seventies or propaganda from the perpetually nostalgic kid you that it was any easier then than it is now. I lived through it and I, along with tens of thousands of other kids had to leave Scotland for the same reasons they are still leaving. I couldn’t find work. Me, my mum and dad and seven brothers and sisters live in a 3 room tenement. It was just as shite then as it is now,but it was less bitter because that was all we had ever been allowed to aspire to. When you look at the voting patterns, it was just as much the young voters as the old yins who sold Scotland down the Thames on thursday. Get over it. Move on, organise, plan, educate and expose every last lie and trick they get up to. That is the only way the people will ever open their eyes to the treachery of the mainstream political parties of Westminster.

    • Thanks for this comment. It’s given me cause for thought. My mother grew up in the 50s in a house where they were two to a bed, but that was OK because many others were in the same position. I firmly believe that the job market today is tougher in certain fields – but the more I learn the more I realise how little I know about things outside my experience. I know what I believe and who I believe; somebody I trust absolutely has informed me about the pensions issue. Maybe he’s wrong, maybe he’s not. I will have to look at the voting patterns though – it’s daft to wade into an area you know nothing of. As you’ve said, organising, planning and moving on prepared is the thing now. Le meas / With respect, Ruairidh

  76. Thank you, Robin, for the kick up the backside we need. Like others here I have spent the day alternately weeping and trying to be of support to others who are struggling. We need the weekend to just sit, or walk in the mountains, or do something completely unrelated but creative to nourish our souls. Then yes, on Monday we pick ourselves up again, strap our boots back on and gather for the next push.

    I am completely behind making sure that Labour, the LibDems and the Tories never again have the opportunity to stab us in the back. There are some good people amongst their ranks but as political parties they have betrayed Scotland and her people. We must move quickly too, as UKIP will be coming in like hyenas to rip what flesh they can from what’s left after that vote.

    I have skills I can use for this renewed movement. All of us do, even those who think they don’t. Social and practical skills are just as important as political skills. We can all make a difference.

    Until Monday.

  77. Robin,
    We spoke yesterday…as you know, I want in.

    Anything I can do, on my own part but also on behalf of the English Scots group, whatever form we become after this, you know you don’t even need to ask…

  78. Thanks for that Robin. I have been a tad depressed / drunk since the announcement. You have cheered me up a bit.

    One interesting development, for me at least, has been the movement inside my head from believing anything spewed out by mainstream media versus online media. That is one of the plusses. If I want information about legal complexities I would trust ‘Lallands Peat Worrier’ rather than ‘The Times’. If I wanted to see whether the facts stand up, I would look to this site, or ‘Wings Over Scotland’. If I want to be informed about the future of the NHS, I am quite likely to look at a video of Dr Phillipa Whiteford. Media? Derek Bateman or Munguins Republic. And so on and so on.

    These are folk who I now trust to be telling the truth and, with a few honourable exceptions, they are not to be found in mainstream media.

    What is interesting about that is that not one of these folk was on my radar before this all kicked off.

    I am old enough to recall that it was said that a majority of ‘independence minded’ MP’s would be sufficient, of itself, to bring about independence. To the extent is is possible, I would like the SNP and the Green Party to not stand against each other.

    It seems to me that that is not an impossible dream for 2015. It aligns quite neatly with your ideas about making Scotland a Labour free zone, much as we have already made it a (near) Tory free zone.

    Again, thanks for that. We may be down, but we are not out.

  79. Hi Bella. Great, inspiring, realistic article. I’m with you 100%. That this indyref galvanized Scots and scared the shit out of Westminster is one of its greatest legacies — a large democratic surge of questions & demands for change. Which brings me to my question. How can we use this to galvanize a collective grassroots campaign across the UK? Of course, I am dedicated to change in Scotland. But the energy and spirit and creativity and force that the yes movement generated could be fostered among yes, no, scots, english, welsh, n.irish could be potentially huge. A massive voice. I think that’s worth thinking about, right?

  80. How about letting actual people in local communities come up with their own priorities and “policy programme”? Did someone say “there is no lesson I have learned more fully in this campaign than just how important it is never to seek to control or run a movement like this from above”? I must have misheard…

  81. Brilliant, Robin. Thank you.
    I can see now that what we need now is tangible institutions and places.There are many possibilities.

    One suggestion for Bella Caledonia – I am aware that some of the articles in BC have been short-life pieces that respond to recent events, and that no-one will want to read a week or two later. But Robin’s article here (as well as several earlier articles by him and by others) are not ephemeral at all. It seems crazy that someone, who, say, has been away from the site for a few days might miss this article altogether. Is there any way that you could include an archive, or key articles section, or most commented….? I would suggest keeping the comments – they add a lot in themselves, and in fact are part of an inclusive, dialogical way of dealing with things.

  82. I have expressed my now view of the Labour Party in a post titled ‘The Betrayal’, on:
    http://mcleodscottishindependence.wordpress.com

    There are two fundamental truths about independence for Scotland:

    1. For the Tories: if Scotland is subsidised by England, then you had the chance to get rid of this liability once and for all – why did you do not take that opportunity?
    2. For Labour. An independent Scotland would have a permanent left-oriented majority that would allow all your policy dreams to be enacted. Why did you not take that opportunity?

    • As a Tory and an Englishman, I consider unity to be more important than bean-counting and I am quite happy for my taxes to help support my fellow countrymen in Scotland. Yes supporters, for all of their sententious cant about social justice, are unwilling to reciprocate. Funny, that.

      • Maybe funny to you, “a Tory and an Englishman “, but the YES voters wanted Freedom. Yes, that was what last Thursday was about. And not having to accept patronising guff about you being “quite happy for my taxes to help support my fellow countrymen in Scotland”. Not “funny, just impertinence, and ignorance.

      • See, here’s the thing:

        Your taxes don’t.

        Our taxes do.

  83. After I started reading couldn’t believe the words I was seeing Everything written reflects totally what it means to be a Social Activist in today’s Society as far as My views of Socialism goes Thank-you for taking up the mantle I have been busy on twitter today encouraging #the45 not to give up and that our March to Independence has only just started but I know with my heart &soul we will prevail We will rise as one Nation and stand side by side together with Europe and the rest of the World This unlikely coalition was made up of neither Right wing or Left wing but let us all together take both wings and Fly #SaorAlba a’nis

  84. If the Westminster parties fail or renage on their promises to the Scottish people, the Scottish government are entitled to declare UDI, don’t give up the fight brothers and sisters!!

  85. Thank you for this
    The loss of a dream is a major bereavement, often harder to navigate than a physical death because it is not fully recognised as being a real and significant event. So in addition to tears and standing tall, energised and determined, I would also suggest mindful attention to a healing process and generating a new dream for the future:)
    I’m living overseas but I’ve become energised by what has taken place in Scotland. Amazed at the intellectual spirit and great heart and words fail me regarding the conduct of media reporting overall and the vilification of the Scottish minister especially.
    I’m not sure how to be involved but joining a political party and signing up here are two good moves in the right direction.

  86. Count me in! I’m a bid writer, I’ve also done a lot of event management (eg organising conferences etc) in the past, if any of that would come in handy!

  87. I am a Scot born in DUNDEE ,brought up in Newport on Tay ,and went to St Andrews Uni. Have been living abroad for many year but still have family and friends in Scotland …Followed the campaign ..spreading news to my World -wide group of friends and was devestated by the result ..(even worse when you are alone with nobody Scottish to fully understand or console you)… Question… is there any way for us Scots living abroad to help you in your organization and aims ….Even if its only getting the real details about food banks etc sent all round the World as NO Mass Media can be trusted .?There are a lot of us who want to be useful and still have our hearts and spirits in Scotland .

  88. Thank you. The loss of the dream is often harder to navigate emotionally than a physical bereavement as the loss is often not attended to as real or significant. Two whammies were lost on grey Friday and the healing needs to happen so be mindful of that.
    I live overseas and have been fully engaged in the organic movement, energised by the intellectual campaign and great heart of the scots. The sense of shame has been the vilification of respected leaders and the media scandal. So I’m in to support everything except the taking of land:) this for me is about the right to identity; mapping your own destiny and importantly respecting your neighbour.
    I think it’s also important to note the rioters do not represent any position- they are out of order full stop.

  89. It would seem from reports on BBC Good Morning Scotland today that Gordon Brown has been appointed as our Governor General.

    Radical land reform must feature as a prominent strand of the policy agenda.

  90. Thank you. I expect Westminster to now emasculate us. We will find ourselves sidelined and powerless. Only by staying engaged can we do this. The coalition across YES cannot be allowed to wither and die when it has rhe power to achieve so much. This is so important. The websites must continue and be focussed on Westminster parties and the media. If not we will slowly but surely find oirselves sinkingninti the apathy they want us to. In our box to be wheeled out when they demand oir vote. There does need to be one focal point to this. A party system with independence at its core but representing a wide varieties of people. Greens, socialists, indy Labour SNP must all continue to work together to push out the Wesrminster parties and Labour in particular. Labour is ours no more. They abandoned us. They abandoned the poor. We must abandon them. I want to see a cultural flourishing beyond what even the campaign brought. No longer willing to be dismissed as parocial and quaint but in your face and asking “what of it”. This must be projected ibto peoples homes. We have a chance here. The government may not want broadcasting devolved but the world is changing. Technology means we don’t need to care what they want. We need as a matter of importance a Scottish broadcasring function. If the millionaire donars to yes have any continuing power, it is to help us achieve this. Allow an alternative voice to be heard. A voice which can challenge the corrupt and hateful BBC.

  91. I am in!

  92. How can I help?

  93. I have always felt we needed hard copy news media for those that are not on the internet met with Mike at one point to discuss this.

    I have radio, podcast experience, art work, cartoons and can print create tshirts.

    The radio can be created very quickly, if we have 1.6 million out there and a tiny fraction want contribute a few work shops to get them up to speed decent mic and an internet connection we are on our way.

    I would see this as a platform to enable all the strands of the yes campaign to contribute.

    http://ayerightradio.wordpress.com/

    http://3meninablog.wordpress.com/

    http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Poster-Perfect/T-Shirts-/_i.html?_fsub=6257768012&_sid=86593982&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322

    http://norrie.wordpress.com/

  94. Yesterday it felt like someone in the family had died, maybe a bad analogy, but thats how empty my family and I felt

    I suppose it felt like the passing of hope,
    to feel betrayed by your own country men because of ignorance of the facts , or crass self interest ( but what about my pension ? )

    But out of the darkness came your statement, which should serve as a rallying call to all the downhearted people of the yes campaign, and hopefully to the many of the no campaign, who when it finally dawns on them that Westminster has shafted them again on the more powers carrot, will be looking for somewhere for help and support

    We need to start from the bottom up to re educate and inform the the older part of our society, who I feel betrayed us out of self interest.Proctecting their pensions instead of protecting their children, grandchildren and future generations from the greed and corrupt establishment who run our lives

    So ive cried….dried my eyes and am ready for the future.Count me in !

  95. Another devastated Yes voter here but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over the past 24 hrs. I think there are a few key lessons for us and perhaps the main area of focus should be creating a new narrative and clearly defining what is wrong with the status quo. Yes Scotland had vision in spades but perhaps not the detail needed for many voters. My 74 yo mother-in-law had been wrangling with her vote. She told me a month ago that her life was almost over and if the young people wanted independence then she felt she should vote yes to help them realise it. However she voted No in the end due to lack of clarity on the impact of a Yes vote. In spite of her vote, I am proud of her personal journey with this and feel that if a clearer vision and narrative had been painted she and many of her peers may have voted Yes, like her granddaughter did. There’s so many other issues to be discussed but in short, I’m in. I live in Linlithgow. We could start a hub there. Let the 45% keep fighting, for the sake of future generations

  96. I had a good smash up on the bike yesterday; thrashed out the anger. Have slept and am back up on my feet! Home Rule, that may be the next stepping stone.

  97. Thank you Robin you gave put new heart into me. I guess I wonder what interface we will have with Scottish Government if any. Do we need to quickly do something to stop Cameron implementing plans to stop Scottish MPs voting on purely English issues (whatever they are). I can see a scenario where Westminster grabs more of our oil and we get nothing! As for the trade unions most of them organisationally did not support independence on grounds of solidarity. Agree with you re Labour they are gone.

  98. Eyes wiped. Fire in the belly. Ready to serve.

  99. I want more – I do not want all that energy. potential and hope to be lost in the mire of wesmister rule and greyness that we are going to face. Is it not time to have something new and similar to the campaing for a Scottish assembly we had after 79 – or do we need more? But we, the ordinary people, the 1.6 million must have a place to feel and fuel our hopes and aspirations and for them not to dispate into the blandness, lies and broken promises that is already befalling us!

  100. We are here, in Edinburgh to stand with you- exhausted through tears , consoling kids and friends at our 45 % party last night but battle lost, war to be won !

  101. Count me in. Copywriting a specialty, cv available on request! 😉

  102. I need to be a part of this change for our children.

  103. The 3 Unionist Parties came together in Referendum and managed 1.9 mil votes the YES 1.6 .
    Come the UK General Election those 1.9 will divide into 4 parties British Labour ,British Tory ,British Liberal , UKIP, not evenly, but divided by 4.
    If we can get the 1,6 mil to all Vote SNP we decimate Labour, finish off Liberals on mainland, and stop UKIP getting any foothold.
    If we split our vote into SNP , Green and if they stand in WM Election SSP we will do nothing against the status quo.
    We need to be smart the GE is only 6 months away we must encourage everyone to Vote SNP in May 2015.
    As Tzu Chi said “put your strongest force against the weakest part of your enemy”
    They are at their weakest as they jostle for the Westminster trough ,that is where we destroy them.
    Incidentally I and most of our YES Team are in, we all need something to rally behind,not just the SNP.
    The Common Weal can become to SNP what Unions were to Labour Party, except it has to be equal and fair partnership.

    • And that’s if all of those 1.9mil actually bother to vote.

      Remember, we had obscene turnout for the referendum, if Westminster elections return to (apathetic) form, 1.6mil voters are a landslide.

      It might be better to divide up the country, and not have SNP and Green MPs stand against each other, because I don’t think the Greens will just concede an entire election, there has to be some give and take.

      So we need to identify the constituencies that the Greens think they can win, and the SNP need to back off or help the Greens in those areas, and the Greens need to back off or help the SNP where they don’t expect to win. We need to use the FPtP system to our advantage as best we can, and keep everyone active and on-board.

      Which means not asking the Greens to just surrender an election. Because I very much doubt that they will.

      And if the SSP want to run for Westminster, then we need to do the same with them.

  104. Good article Robin. Now, may I be politically incorrect for a moment.

    During the refrendum campaign all on the YES side bent over backwards to be nice. See where it got us? It is time to take the gloves off. In my opinion it was definitely the BBC ‘wot won it’. As someone above points out, a mere 6-point swing would have delivered Independence. The sustained campaign of character assassination aimed at the First Minister of Scotland by the Labour/Better Together/BBC axis allied to the day in day out for deacades, but gradually rising to a crescendo, of ‘too wee, too poor, too vulnerable to the big bad world without big brother England to hold our hand’ brainwashing of Scotland’s elderly people by the BBC got the result they were looking for.

    I salute Robin’s determination never to use the term ‘Scottish Labour Party’ of the northern traitorous scum wing of the Labour Party, and the intewntion to marginalise them to ‘Tory’ areas. My own view is that there will no further progress towards Independence until both the Labour Party and the BBC are extirpated from Scottish public life. They are not our opponents. They are our enemies and should be treated as such. Oh where is there a Wallace when we need him? And I don’t mean lick-spittle Jim Wallace, but osmebody worthy of bearing the name. Unfortunately it is not me, as I’d have trouble punching my way through a wet paper NO Thanks poster.

    But, to borrow from an old poem, it is now time to “fight roughly, like the Irish gael, we will have no English pale”. Scots soldiers have fought all over the world on behalf of the empire. Perhaps we should now encourage them to fight at home to finally bring it down. Alex Salmond offered the UK establishment a peaceful end to their hegemony, and he has been trampled in the dust. Who will now taken up the baton?

    • Oops, the above comment was written in my anger phase. I started with grief, went through anger, and now i’m ready for constructive engagement. But seriously, the BBC must be taken off Scotland’s airwaves somehow. Any ideas out there?

  105. Robin, this response is EXACTLY what I needed to see this morning. Right my mucker, where do I sign up?
    🙂 Would be delighted to organise a Common Weal group here in Leith.

  106. Robin said “The comforting glory of a binary decision is that you don’t need to think about what you want to achieve.” near the start… I think that is exactly how we lost. I believe people went into the polling booth and answered “Do I like Alex Salmond” “Is my pension safe” and a lots of secondary questions…

  107. Posted this on Guardian CIF just now and somebody told me to post it here as well. Suggestion for how to get political representation without turning into a self-serving party machine:

    Register a party to fight Holyrood elections only on the regional list, called say Common List.

    Common List would have a set of priorities and values to which all members would sign up. But, and this is the key, the members would not be individuals whose political careers would get tangled in the fate of Common List as happens with ordinary parties.

    The members would be other groups. Like all the groups within Yes, but not just us. Any group that signed up to the priorities.

    Then, before a Holyrood election, Common List would hold Primaries in each Region. Any member group could stand a candidate, and the members of all the groups in that region could vote. The vote would give a priority listing in our List for that Region – so if the CND candidate came top they go first, then the RIC one and so on, or however it turned out.

    Any candidate elected to Holyrood would be agreeing to work within the parameters of the Common List agreed priorities, but could concentrate on their own area of legislation or work. They would also be agreeing to support one another in the parliament.

    But their careers would not be meshed in the Common List as a machine. It would depend on accountabilities to their own group and the Primary voters in their region. And the fate of Common List would be bound up with its own grassroots group membership, and not able to fly off on its own route the way Labour and the other parties do.

    Just a thought. Needs work, though.

    • You’re essentially suggesting a meta-party.

      I’m not sure it would work. And accountability would be just as bad, if not worse, than it is now.

    • I’m A Little Lebowski over there and think I said something along those lines a couple of months back. But I had one tweak. I suggested that the primary wasn’t restricted to party members, I suggested it was open to the entire electorate for the area. Open up the democratic space to the people. What I think that would do would raise awareness and allow people to feel they were making the choice about who they elect. Give people a genuine choice and they engage.

      We can be as full of good ideas as we want, but without a political vehicle for achieving them it’s nothing more than intellectual self indulgence.

      • Yes, of course it was you! Apologies for not acknowledging you in my post – I couldn’t remember who had the original (and rather brilliant) idea.

        Obviously I agree with you that we need a political vehicle, but I don’t want it to scupper the flexibility and openness of the existing networks. We need all the groups kept free to operate outside of parliamentary and conventional politics but still having connections between parliamentary politics and community activism.

        I’m nervous about suggestions recently that The Left in the movement – or the whole of Yes outside of the Greens and SNP – should form a conventional party. Your idea seems to be the nucleus of a solution to political representation that can channel the fruits of our engagement, but without co-opting it.

        p.s. I think you’re right about voting in the Primaries being open to anyone not just members of the groups.

    • No acknowledgement necessary 🙂 It’s an idea, it’s no copyrighted, and if people like it find out what others think.

      I’ve spoken to a couple of people who think it would be very very difficult for the political parties to essentially subsume their identity into an entity they would have zero control over. But given the lefts reputation (justified) for splitting it might just be a cure for people to get on board with it imo. Democratise the process. Make it a broad coalition with room for dissent outside core principles.

  108. Like so many others, my heart is broken. I am genuinely in a state of grief. I stumble around looking for words to express what I feel. I’m so exhausted with weeping that the best I can come up with is – gutted. We were so close to the beginnings of monumental change and yet with a few thousand votes the dream disintegrated before our eyes. All that hope, that energy, that youthfulness and potential snuffed out by fear and enmity of change. And it is business as usual for mainstream politics. There will be no devomax, no federalism. Instead I suspect Scotland will be punished and subdued even further.

    We must not let our dream die. And when I read Robin’s article above I began to believe again that we can do it. I agree wholehearted with everything that Robin suggests. So please sign me up. And I will be sending this to some family and friends that I know will be interested. We need to seriously mobilise.

    I don’t know what I can contribute – my energy is limit due to illness – but what I have I will use to try to help this movement for change in Scotland stay alive.

  109. I have needed to cry since yesterday and so far have been unable to. Thank you Robin, you helped get it out. There will be more as I have still to visit my fathers grave to break the news we lost but you have helped me come to terms with this and provide me with hope.

    I will be part of an Independent Scotland, I will be part of The Common Weal.

  110. Please can you email me as to how we can get this movement stronger and more resilient and how this time we can win..??

  111. I have just finished a 14 hour nightshift and have sat and read every single word of this and I amoungst many other Scots who voted yes and I know closely would be more than happy to be counted in on this, problem being we wouldn’t really know where to start, if you are able to help atall with this wether it being just some campaign ideas or any idea really would be great and we will do anything and everything it takes to get Scotland on the right track to beig free once again. I was watching the referendum live on my nightshift and when that final result came I was devastated as were over a million other Scots, hatred, anger, depression, sadness all building up inside but I’ve got over it, punching the punchbag for a few hours helped that. As I said but I would do anything to get involved with this, please email me and let me know how I can help. Thanks.

  112. Thankyou!!! I’m a stay at home Mum of four but I want to do everything I can to help. I have cried and I’m still crying but my anger burns.

  113. Count me in. I’ll do all i can and more to help build this ✊👍✊

  114. Count me in, I NEED to be involved in this, the passion I’ve felt this campaign cannot die.

    I sent the following to Wings and it fits with your article very well in terms of how I feel:

    Please do not shut the site down, please continue. With a biased media and corrupt system the outlets we have had during the referendum must continue, we need unbiased reporting, myths busted and real journalistic integrity to keep ourselves informed and to spread this truth to others! My plan and many others is to continue to use wings, bella, Derek, national collective, common weal et al to inform us, dipping occasionally into the unfiltered mainstream to see what laughable commentary or straight to press BS is there before switching back to get truth and interpretation. I converted so many by showing them all of these alternative sources of information and journalism, (all well evidenced with sources facts and figures) without them we will, I fear, take a huge step backwards. We got so close after a little over two years, imagine what we can do with the momentum of many many years behind us! The super well informed masses and our newly informed converts giving a landslide victory at the next referendum, because after the dust settles and things get far worse and promises are broken, we do not want to start again, we want to be ready and informed from day one! This is step backwards and I am heart broken, but in terms of political awareness let’s make it the beginning and a large step forwards.

  115. I’m in. I hope there will some sort of initiative for an alternative broadcaster to the BBC. There are loads of talented programme makers out there just waiting for the chance. We can crowd fund it. Will there be a specific website for this? Is it the Common Weal that already exists or will it be something new?

  116. Thank you Robin: a rallying cry in the midst of so much grief. As ever you are inspiring and instructive. Your clear thinking picked me up even if for a while it also reached an ever deeper level of grief: you articulate so well where we are now and what, for now, we have lost. For now…

    Leavergirl is right too: maybe things can and will come from the grassroots and voices from different perspectives like hers, like many of the others here, will keep re-minding us of our own blind spots, but right now the grass roots are worn and battered and a clarion call like this is great fertilizer.

    Please count me in. I’m going to reduce my working hours as I want to give the bulk of my time to this from hereon in.

    People’s thoughts about not splitting the vote and creating a united party out of the Yes alliance seem to me crucial.

    And in terms of policy there is a small group of mental health clinicians, NHS and otherwise, who would like to contribute to Common Weal about these issues. The personal is political and the political personal. The psychodynamics of the system we are in is replicated in abuse on every level and the therapies “prescribed”, endorsed and given a bogus evidence base are actually instrumental in perpetuating that system.

    • Catherine, thank you. I tried to give some feedback, but the mood’s not in that direction. It’s great though to see all the outpouring of offers to help, all the energy. Saor Alba!

  117. Before anything else we need a good source for news. I no longer switch on the radio for news and found myself wondering where to go today. We could easily sink back to old behaviour listening to radio or BBC TV.I will now use that time to read sources. We need a reliable source which has rules and ethics is not connected to any companies and vested interests and has good journalism.

  118. COUNT ME IN !. As a 21 year old this was my first time being involved in anything political and the result truly destroyed me inside. This is the lift I needed today !

  119. Count me in, ready to get going 😀

  120. I was about to take a couple of days off the internet, but thought I’d just ‘quickly read this’, haha. So, I haven’t read through all of it, (I seriously need a break!) but I have a thought already:

    I agree with pretty much everything I’ve read so far, and good luck with all that (happy to help with anything I can), but I think there’s a danger in making this too insular. Creating a separate network and groups and stuff is all good and well for people who believe in independence or at least think there might be something to it.

    But I can’t stop thinking about those over 60% of No voters who apparently said they always knew they were going to vote NO. They’re not going to come looking for more information in case they were wrong, they’re already convinced that they are right!

    So I think the tricky thing will be to get information to *everyone*. Some people will always vote no, and I think there are some (few) very valid reasons for that. But NOBODY should vote no just because they think they’re somehow excused from looking at the facts.

    Right, shutting down now. Well done everyone, 45% is really not to be sniffed at, with all the obstacles that were in our way, keep up the good work!

  121. interesting read. Full of fire and I do agree with the views to a point which you then forget something.

    Consider this- the Scottish public has the same grievances in many ways as the rest of the UK. Indeed if the passion of the yes side was backed to create a better UK (and I’m a strong yes supporter believe me) a new wave kicked off from this to actually replace the current system working dough from Scotland would have an even larger support.
    Breaking the union is based on inequality and lack of vision. To some slight degree bt is correct ( I stress loosely) but kicking this into the whole of the UK will have significant support to have a far better Union which you must admit 55% voted for and probably 40% of the yes side
    A better Union is what’s needed and we should get the 84% of scots to back that

    • You have missed the point of this Referendum, haven’t you? “Do you want Scotland to be Independent – YES or NO?”. 45% voted to have Scotland become independent – separating from rUK, breaking up the Union, joining the other free Nations of the World, and, as a concession, if you like, remaining British in exactly the same way as Norwegians, Swedes, Finns and Danes are Scandinavians.

      • Finns in general do not consider themselves to be Scandinavians, Nordic, but not Scandinavian. Fenno-Scandinavia embraces Finland. Sorry for the irrelevence, but couldn’t resist it.

  122. Inspirational and emotive!!! After the last two days i can actually begin to see a way forward and its all thanks to this blog. Im with you just a shame us ex pats didnt get the opportunity to vote. Maybe you can fix that in preparation for the next round? I do believe as a patriot it was unfair to be excluded in this our time of need ! How long would i have to stay in Scotland to be eligible to vote next time. Me and a few more hundred thousand? “Just a thought”

  123. Words don’t come close to how betrayed i feel right now….SMH!!

  124. Count me in too. I really needed to read this today. The indy campaign reminded me of the person I used to be when I was young and cared about things other than myself . I am not going to let that person get lost again. Down but not out, if we give up now then they really have won .

  125. The fight for Scotland continues and I am there with everyone for this. Scotland should rise and be counted so lets do this.

  126. I am from yes city, Glasgow, I would like to be involved please!!!

  127. I have developed some ideas, inspired by Robin’s article, in my blog post today on ‘national consensus’, athttp://mcleodscottishindependence.wordpress.com

  128. I am so pleased to read this, there is still so much energy from the Yes campaign and it would be a shame to lose the momentum. I, for one, feel like I’ve been punched, but like anyone who gets punched down, you choose to lie down and cry or get up and fight back. I think the opportunity and hope that we saw from the campaign showed a lot of people what kind of country we could have and it is much more paletable to me. I would love to be part of this movement and play whatever part I can to make a difference.

  129. Great to see you continuing your fight for more democracy, autonomy and self-determination! And glad to spread the word across the globe about it: http://people2power.info/frontline/scotland-a-true-victory-for-people-power/

  130. I’m up for it. Stronger, clearer and more positive. We need to be a presence that can not be disguised – we need to be obviously more than 45 so much so that no vote can be rigged. We need a new Scottish wide newspaper – with unbiased news, popular appeal etc, into which the messages of what is really happening in UK and the world gets through – then the Independence movement can offer the positive solution without being accused of scaremongering.

  131. Thank you for this inspirational and intellectually robust text. I agree with all you have said. I particularly agree with the point that a new body needs to be established that we can all unite behind. It can’t be the SNP because that isn’t going to be a vehicle that everybody who wanted a yes could join from Scotland and beyond.

    This is a time for ideas and my contribution is that not enough was done to convince left people outside Scotland.

    Although I resigned from the Labour Party yesterday (after 26 years), if the majority of English Labour Party members had been led to see the benefits for the entire island, we could well have been celebrating independence today.

    In reality, this work will take years but it could be done. I was always of the belief that Labour did not support independence because it feared an English backlash at the 2015 general election for ‘breaking Britain’.

    Although I’m furious with almost all my left thinking friends (here in London) for their lazy thinking, we must not forget that they are an important component in forcing a future vote for Scotland. They are not bad people; from my experience, they just didn’t think.

    We need a strategy that gets the Labour Party to want independence so that no Labour leader could ever sell out next time round.

    The rest of the EU must not be forgotten either. The Spanish played a role in our defeat and we need a strategy to neutralise negative influence.

    I think we need a Common Weal strategy everybody outside of Scotland. Who is up for setting up the London group?

  132. I live in the South of Glasgow. Count me in!!

  133. Robin, thank you for a robust and energising piece. Your thoughts sum up my own for moving forward. I am a 4th year graphic design student from Edinburgh and I am working on a major project throughout this coming year that I have chosen to focus on redefining political communication. I will be up and down the country gathering opinions and voices from the people. We must aim for substantial change, I believe for the time being, with our left leaning colleagues in the south. I plan on creating a social media base around a movement from within Scotland in the coming months. I look forward to seeing Common Weal and the other movements continue forward, and will contact you once my own project is further advanced. 45% of Scot’s can be seen to have demanded change, with plenty on the other side wanting it as well. We have to all seize this momentum moving on, and encourage dissent from everyone in Scotland who wants to see the change that we know is possible. The cafe proposed above sounds like a fantastic idea!

    All the best from the Capitol x

  134. Robin, thank you for a robust and energising piece. Your thoughts sum up my own for moving forward. I am a 4th year graphic design student from Edinburgh and I am working on a major project throughout this coming year that I have chosen to focus on redefining political communication. I will be up and down the country gathering opinions and voices from the people. We must aim for substantial change, I believe for the time being, with our left leaning colleagues in the south. I plan on creating a social media base around a movement from within Scotland in the coming months. I look forward to seeing Common Weal and the other movements continue forward, and will contact you once my own project is further advanced. 45% of Scot’s can be seen to have demanded change, with plenty on the other side wanting it as well. We have to all seize this momentum moving on, and encourage dissent from everyone in Scotland who wants to see the change that we know is possible. The cafe proposed above sounds like a fantastic idea!

    All the best from the Capitol x

  135. I just want to add my name and say present and ready to fight.

  136. Robin, Have forwarded this to Rhona and will be discussing soon, especially about the hub. So much of what you have said has already been going through my mind. Count me in. Wee do tomorrow at 3pm in The George for Hamilton Team – invite if you can make it. Lynn

  137. Your words resonate in my soul, as if you had reached into my mind, had a wee clear out, tidied things up a bit, and then put them down on paper. I want what you want, I want to be involved, I want to help. Talk to me, help me to help you to help Scotland.

  138. Robin, this is brilliant. Even as I read it I felt some strength return and many ideas floating about in my head. What were the things I found myself explaining again and again – Barnett Formula is a classic example. I would love to be involved. I work long hours and full time and have a family to bring up as well as a husband who is not a political animal (neither was i until 18 months ago). He put up with me living the referendum 24 hours a day for the last few months, he voted the right way but now he wants to go back to normal. All of this means I cannot be an “activist”. I need to spend time with my family. They are too important to me to risk. However, I would be happy to do stuff on the side – write short articles explaining things like the Barnett Formula. Perhaps things like this could then be used in the future on fliers to hand out to people. I am happy to keep an eye on statistics – the good thing about the referendum is we can see what they will use as scaremongering stories now – if the market is going to wobble, we need to be able to produce information IMMEDIATELY showing when it has done this in the past, how quickly it settles, more leaflets explaining how and why this happens. Basically I am offering to be a statistician of sorts and to help write up comprehensive and easy to understand info documents. Would any of this help? Emma

  139. Reblogged this on My Little Underground and commented:
    This sums up with my thinking too. With this and the growing idea to kick out every Unionist MP from Scotland in May, there’s every truth to me saying this wasn’t over yet in the wee hours after the result yesterday.

    • You want to kick every Unionist MP out after 55% of your fellow Scots voted for Union? Scratching me noggin…

      • No, they voted No to the question ‘should Scotland be an independent country?’. Many of those who voted No were expecting the promised powers to be discussed yesterday but this isn’t happening and they’ve now kicked it down the road to autumn next year.

        I said by the end of the weekend No voters will have buyers remorse and it didn’t even get to the end of Friday before some were voicing their regret online.

        The only way forward is getting rid of Labour.

  140. Count me in too. I don’t feel like I did enough outside of my own circle, I left too much to others. No more. I used to work in newspapers, in pre-press graphics. I also work for myself in another field and have the germs of an idea related to that. Anything I can do… I will be watching this space closely. I’ve shed enough tears this weekend.

  141. We’re all right behind u we’ve been robbed lets come together again#wearethe45

  142. One thing I’ve noticed in talking to friends that voted no which I think was way under-addressed during the campaign. The idea of “borders” and “foreigners” is what spooks people more than anything.

    Those of us who are comfortable with independence and see it as “diversification” rather than separation generally realise that a political “border” is distinct from a commercial, industrial, cultural and institutional border. In other words, after Scottish independence, a few MPs would move to Edinburgh and the M6 and A1 would still exist. You’d still shop in the same shops and watch the same telly to a large extent.

    However, 100 years ago, a border basically defined your enemies and much of that symbolism remains today. Many people still see a border as a line in the sand. To them it symbolises separation even though it may not mean that in practice. So for me, the referendum was much less about economics and more of a fundamental standoff between these two views:

    – those who see a border as a line in the sand (a negative thing)
    – those who see it as a facilitator for diversity of political expression (a positive thing)

    You can see this view slipping out all over the place – David Dimbleby telling Alex Salmond that we would be “foreigners” for example, a word which invokes feelings of insecurity and defensiveness in many.

    We need to address this head on. We need to start working on dispelling the “myth” that a political border is synonymous with an industrial, commercial, cultural and institutional border. For me, this “leap” is a key that will unlock a whole lot of other things. Arguments about economics become far easier when that worry is out of the way.

    • I think an interactive map of the archipelago of Britain and perhaps the continent of Europe, depicting an independent Scotland, would have been useful. It would have revealed that this would not be some brave new world but a subtle yet significant reworking of an existing arrangement. People could see that the physical landscape of Scotland would not be changed, that there would be no iron curtain descending between Scotland and England. Scotland’s economic resources and relative statistics would be right there to see.

      Considering what has been said about a pan-UK drive for an end to the UK, perhaps this could be been combined with depictions of a world with an independent Wales and England, and possibly (if not too controversial) an independent Cornwall and reunified Ireland as well. People could then see that the UK is not the be all and end all of political arrangements in the British Isles.

      Perhaps interactive maps could be made to facilitate comparisons with other countries as well. For example, Denmark, Finland and Norway, the small independent countries. Germany, Australia and the USA, the balanced federations that are, and the EU multinational union that is, unlike the hypercentralised “federal” UK proposals from Westminster that aren’t.

      Just an idea. A picture is worth a thousand words. I’ve found that maps and well-presented statistics can very effectively communicate ideas about political structures.

  143. One thing I’ve noticed in talking to friends that voted no which I think was way under-addressed during the campaign. The idea of “borders” and “separation” is what spooks people more than anything.

    Those of us who are comfortable with independence and see it as “diversification” rather than separation generally realise that a political “border” is distinct from a commercial, industrial, cultural and institutional border. In other words, after Scottish independence, a few MPs would move to Edinburgh and the M6 and A1 would still exist. You’d still shop in the same shops and watch the same telly to a large extent.It’d be like going to the Isle of Man without the sea.

    However, 100 years ago, a border basically defined your enemies and much of that symbolism remains today. Many people still see a border as a line in the sand. To them it symbolises separation even though it may not mean that in practice. So for me, the referendum was much less about economics and more of a fundamental standoff between these two views:

    – those who see a border as a line in the sand (a negative thing)
    – those who see it as a facilitator for diversity of political expression (a positive thing)

    You can see this view slipping out all over the place – David Dimbleby telling Alex Salmond that we would be “foreigners” for example, a word which invokes feelings of insecurity and defensiveness in many Brits.

    We need to address this head on. We need to start working on dispelling the “myth” that a political border is synonymous with an industrial, commercial, cultural and institutional border. For me, this “leap” is a key that will unlock a whole lot of other things. Arguments about economics become far easier when that worry is out of the way.

  144. I am puertorican, from one of the “last” colonies of USA. Puerto Rico is a very small and awsome island in the Caribbean, invaded in 1898 when we were traded as a hispanoamerican war booty….. I decidedly understand how all who fight fot Scotland independence feel right now. Our struggle has also been long and hard. Please, keep fighting!!!! For us small, very small countries, your fight is a reaffirmation of ours.

  145. I stand again. I am ready. Count me in!

  146. I agree with most of your article. The only political Party vehicle, which give us The 45 a voice at the big table, has to be the SNP. I have joined them today and will assist the campaign, for the Westminster elections next year, to destroy new labour in Scotland.

  147. Keiser report RT tv report on why we lost the vote. Max Keiser quite rightly kicks our ass for a missed opportunity in running our own affairs.

  148. Glasgow born YES voter now living in Lanark. Count me in please!

  149. I am in. Please keep me informed of progress.

  150. Thank God!

    We are obviously no deid yet!

    YES will not be disbanding any time soon.

    The worst thing about 1979 was the despondency afterwards. This time are coming back off the ropes immediately.

    If Thursday was a defeat it was no Culloden.

  151. There would be plenty of support in Inverness.

  152. So glad that you have recognised the need to isolate and marginalise the British Labour Party in Scotland. It was the Labour Party and Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling in particular that won the vote for the NO side by frightening pensioners. I posted this on Wings earlier today.

    OK here goes. I drove home last night with tears in my eyes when I heard that Alex Salmond had resigned. I do not comment here very often but I do try to read all of the comments. How did the Yes Campaign lose the vote? A lot of the comments yesterday were blaming the OAP voters and to be honest it would appear that the majority of OAPS did vote NO. However, let us not forget the reasons why they did so. The No Campaign used the most effective propaganda tool THE BIG LIE, and they used it twice over. Gordon Brown toured the country lying to pensioners about their pension, and Alistair Darling toured the TV studios and lied about not being able to use the pound. These lies were repeated OVER and OVER again by a corrupt media and were heard OVER and OVER again by the people of Scotland.
    Gordon Brown is a LIAR. Alistair Darling is a LIAR. These people are at the top of the Labour Party and with very few exceptions everybody in the Labour Party repeated these LIES. So they are all LIARS. This coupled with the efficient collecting of these votes from Care Homes, Sheltered Housing and OAP Clubs by the Labour Party as postal votes meant that they had already established a big lead for the NO side.
    The only person who called these people out as LIARS was the Rev. Unfortunately this message did not get through to a lot of people. I kept telling everybody that I knew that the Yes side would win because people do not like it when they find out that they have been lied to. So where do we go from here? I think we need to tell it like it is and keep telling everybody who will listen, especially the older generation who only get their news from the BBC and newspapers. Gordon Brown lied to you about your pension. Alister Darling lied to you about using the pound. Lets put the blame firmly where it belongs. The working class of this country were abandoned by Labour Party. Lets hope that the voters of this country finally abandon the Labour Party.

  153. All the talk of forming a new party or putting up an Independence Candidate is doomed to failure. They will laugh at you. It has taken the SNP 70 or 80 years to get to the stage when they can be taken seriously as a political force. It is heartening to learn that more than 3000 people have joined the SNP in the last 24 hours. Remember who it was who won the vote for the Union – it was the LABOUR party and the BIG LIE from Gordon Brown on pensions and Alistair Darling on not being able to use the pound. Labour Better Together NoThanks people were standing outside Post Offices telling pensioners that if YES win then that will be the last pension that they get. So great was the terror instilled in some of these poor old souls that some on them were hoarding food because NO Labour people had told them that they would not be able to use the pound if they voted YES. The real enemy of Scotland is the Labour Party. Their lies must be exposed. If there are any future fund raisers it should be to place full page ads in newspapers with a picture of Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling with the word LIAR and an explanation of why – and let them sue. If the newspapers will not take the ad then put them on billboards. The LABOUR PARTY – the disgrace of Scotland.

  154. Still grieving after result. Cannot believe the majority of Scotland bought into so called ‘vow’ which has already been shelved until the England question is debated. I feel Scotland and its people have been sold a lie that will forever come back to haunt us. As i said, still in grief, but ready to do whatever it takes to maintain and grow this movement. Count me in

  155. Exstremely disapointed, but count me in on your quest. This is not finished and won’t be if we stay focussed on the prize. Look forward to hearing from you.

  156. Wise words Robin, many thanks for the pick me up. I own a venue (which you can gladly use) and have a happy gang of your radical young ones needing to direct their political ire. Let get mobilised and motivated again. Where can I email you to offer my services ?

  157. LETS PLAN FOR THE FUTURE
    1. Keep ‘Yes’ campaign meetings going and turn it into ‘The Scottish Coalition’ – a coalition based on the understanding of the ‘common weald’ which almost all YES campaigners share.
    2. Divide the Scottish 53 Unionist MP seats between the Coalition Partners ( eg Patrick Harvey gets one seat, Tommy Sheridan another, Robin McAlpine, Stewart Campbell, Leslie Riddoch etc etc and up to 40 SNP candidates.) Support the SNP in their 6 existing seats.
    3. Wipe out Labour and the Liberal Democrats in Scotland in 2015
    4. Have ‘The Scottish Coalition’ run for the 2016 election based on having a referendum for REAL devo-max with control over all revenues and expenditures in Scotland – the referendum question we were refused.
    5. Create a situation where Scotland has to ‘write a cheque’ annually to the rest of the UK from 2017 onwards for its revenue surplus and for its contribution to defence, the central civil service and so forth
    6. Publicly campaign against the trap where Team Westminster want to give Scotland control over spending, while cutting the public subvention to Scotland annually and blaming the Scottish Parliament for rolling out more austerity.
    7. Wait see how long the 45% stays at 45% – and how quickly independence will emerge. Also – keep in practice with campaigning until next May’s general election AND keep in contact with ‘yes’ voters – EG circulate to every ‘Yes’ voter on the data base the new sticker “Don’t blame me – I voted yes” AND regular other campaigns

    • Hi, like some of these suggestions, continued, communication vital, lets keep the issues and concerns we have raised on the agenda.
      Where do I get the stickers?

  158. Have never embedded video before. If the above script does not work the relevant video is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fdyyps2wmd4 from 1:46 to 2:49.

  159. I missed the full stop. So I wondered how on earth anyone except a supple contortionist could wipe their eyes on their feet. :0 I’m still too emotional to comment on the details of the article above, but the gist of it and the courage to pick ourselves up, from a phenomenal result in numerical terms, given the nobbling and the poisonous smug media, has soothed things a little and has shown the way ahead.

    Talk in places of purchasing the Hootsmon will only firm up the price when it would be better to let it die and scoop whatever assets at practically scrap and bargain basement prices, there is nothing that can be built on parts of the toxic ruins, just over-valued real-estate. I just can’t figure how supporting the once a week Sunday Herald, which in turn boosts the six day a week anti-independence daily Glasgow Herald makes any sense, and it baffles me, no-one has ever given a credible reason to do so, but I realise advertising is the greater part of their income than the receipts from sales, which barely covers printing and distribution. I’ve had it with the MSM very long ago, it is a fantasy world, at odds with reality, myth-making, worshipping and eulogising malign power. Our own, at least weekly paper, sounds great. As does TV and radio ideas, but these too are dying forms of communication and control, dying of their own self-inflicted wounds as well as technological obsolescence, and are passive, one to many, rather than bidirectional.

    Love the idea of the indy social network, I’ve always been wary of the facebook/twitter and that ilk, as simply corporate and coercive state data harvesting methods, and avoided these completely, so having our own equivalents, hopefully troll-free would open the door to many of the technically savvy and privacy conscious.

    We need and will never get control of broadcasting, meaning primarily the biased BBC, the enthusiasm with which they sold us out, willing gloating participants in the undermining of democracy speaks of a deep malaise there which I think is incurable and indestructible.

    Clearer heads on Monday. For the poor, the ill and the disabled, families with needful kids, for the old and for Scots students and others needing encouragement and a helping hand, of whom I’m sure many were unaware the the Scottish SNP government has demonstrably had their interests uppermost, and still does, the harm Westminster’s troughers will do to them must still be mitigated or better still stopped in its tracks.

    With you, and with Scotland’s people all the way to realising the best little country in the world: Scotopia.

  160. By nature I tend to have a very sceptical mindset and therefore not one for conspiracy theories. But I can’t help feel that Yes won. By a mile.

  161. I like the sounds of this. Would love further contact. Stuck in the highlands is depressing me knowing we have access to nothing and our area is getting worse!

  162. very strong sentiments indeed but it seems to me that you have probably missed the main question and that is ‘why did so many vote No?’
    I doubt it was because of the media or false promises!
    The vast majority of Scots would love to see Scotland ruled by the scots but the very important questions were not answered by the Yes campaign.
    Currency, no definitive answer was given only speculation. To potentially go isn’t independence without knowing who will control your interest rates etc is naive. Why was there no debate on scotland creating its own central bank and what what would the ramifications be for people’s savings, pensions, industry etc
    The EU….would scotland have gone into or been allowed in the eu? If we had they would have become a puppet eu state controlled from Brussels and have no sway in the way Europe was run I.e become another minor European country. The euro would have been thrust on Scotland, anyone who has visited Greece, Spain, Italy etc over the last 10 yrs wil see what effect the euro has caused….increased prices and no control over their currency or interest rates.
    What would the options have been if Scotland had not joined the EU?
    Any business person presenting a business plans would have explored and answered all the options.
    You can blame Westminster for many things, but you cannot blame them for not answering vital questions.
    You can be as patriotic as you want but it will always come down to economics. People may be prepared to take the risk, but they need to know what the risks are and what the aim to overcome those risks are. Something the Yes campaign never did.
    Your nativity is that the campaign is about politics, political parties and trade unions. There may be social injustice but there is social injustice in every country in the world, no matter their political swayings.
    There are over 5 million people in Scotland and to expect them all to have the same political viewpoint is naive. But one thing they all have in common is that they are scottish.
    If one thing is clear from the result it is that not everyone in Scotland is s left wing socialist so perhaps the yes campaign should stop trying to make it so.
    Make it about an inclusive, free, fair and patriotic country and come up with a rock solid plan for the economy, currency, pensions, welfare, defence, trade agreements etc and let people make the choice if they want to take the risk.
    You lost the undecideds because you didn’t answer those questions.

  163. Wouldn’t describe myself as a socialist, so hopefully any policy agenda can be broad enough to attract consensus. We need to have an umbrella organisation but one that lets our ‘thousand butterflies’ spread their wings. Perhaps we could coalesce around a social democratic policy core – but only a core. Too proscriptive and the movement would be still born. Oh, and count me in.

    • This is not an advert – I’ve just written a book with film-maker Eleanor Yule called ‘The Glass Half Full: Moving Beyond Scottish Miserablism’ and we think it supplies a narrative and suggests ways in which our media can change for the better (and I don’t mean the big institutions).

      We’re doing talks, giving lectures, holding launches all over the place and we’d like to do it to a much larger audience. Of course we would – but it’s not about selling something, it’s about the debate. Any takers? If you let us come and talk to you, you can come and talk to my students (I lecture about 200 a week).

      Give me a shout and it’s a deal.

  164. Keep me up to date. Live on the Isle of Mull

    • The SDA *did* play whether YES High Command wanted us to or not. There were several occasions when YES Stewartry’s active teams were mostly-SDA or all-SDA. We did our bit.

  165. Please tell me that this Common Space website is going to have a .scot domain name. 😀

  166. Let’s do this. If we don’t reclaim our rights they will continue to be eroded until we are left with nothing.

  167. Vote with your pound every day,asda morrisons the banks bp etc will never see a penny from me again.

  168. I have never been active in politics, but over the last few weeks of the campaign I did what I could to try and inform my friends, family, and colleagues. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. I joined the Greens yesterday, and will be doing what I can to promote the ongoing Yes campaign. Let me know if there is anything I can do from here in Inverness/Nairnshire.

  169. Before we do anything else, we need to outline a clear, simple vision for what we want to achieve, and how it differs from the SNP. Only then will people (myself included) know whether this is something they want to sign up to.

  170. I bloody love you 🙂 Also had no sleep, much respect to you for writing that. I am amazed I could read and understand it at this point…

  171. great article. yesterday was for tears today for hangovers tomorrow is for the fight to continue. as a scot in london id love to get involved. im a 2nd yr fine art student so if you have any creative needs id be honoured to help scottishdave.goodman@hotmail.co.uk

  172. Reblogged this on amnesiaclinic and commented:
    Good luck!!!!
    x

  173. Two bits of great political wisdom from Glasgow Taxi drivers over the years:

    Number 1 (several years ago, in conversation): “This is no’ a democracy; this is a feudal country wi’ a *veneer* of democracy.”

    – and #2 a few months ago: “I don’t want Scotland to be independent. (pause…) I want Scotland to be free.”

    It always seemed to me that George Osborne et al vehemently stating that Scotland could NOT use the British pound was, underneath its prissy, parsimonious affectation, them REALLY SAYING:

    “You can be FREE – if you really want to be. If you know who you are and how money is created; If you’re willing to have transparency & ethics in your banking and finance sectors…You may have to stand up against the combined might of all the filthy currency generation on the planet – but you CAN do it. Are you up to it?”

  174. Your manifesto is fine assuming that the manifesto published here is the Independence manifesto for next time round. But next time round you will really have to make sure that your economics are sound. Scotland can’t use the pound and still be a free nation. Your fiscal policy would be tied up in knots, possibly deliberately, by England’s requirements. So you need to have worked out how to set up a separate currency.
    When it comes to tax and spend it needs to be set out how revenue is going to be raised. Saying that the oil revenue will cover any gaps isn’t an economic policy. I think the reason “Yes” lost was mainly because of a lack of rigour and openness about the economics. Attracting people to your campaign who feel they have nothing to loose by taking a punt on you is all well and good, but in order to win you also need to convince people who have something to loose that you are a safe bet.

  175. Jack Straw today argued that it should be made illegal for Scotland to ever again vote on the issue of independence.

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/columnists/article4212654.ece

    Labour’s hypocrisy is staggering. They support self determination abroad but not in the UK. Alex Salmond and the SNP need to press Ed Miliband on whether he agrees with Jack Straw or not.

  176. This is the first time in my life I have actively engaged in politics… And on Friday I thought it was all over. The day itself never felt real, like the hours after a death or just before a funeral. I could not see how we could get back on our feet and start again after that blow.
    But know I think we can get up and keep fighting… And I will join in that fight.
    Thanks for all your hard work and commitment Scotland needs people of your calibre.

    Saor Alba

  177. There are numerous examples of vote fraud available on youtube and other places. BY HOOK OR BY CROOK this is how perfidious albion operates.THEY KNOW they should have lost, therefore prepare for the “royalty” to punish the uppity serfs.

    “those who make peaceful revolution impossible…..”

    Thank the Scottish Rite Freemasons, loyal to the QUEEN and the BRITISH EMPIRE (BRITISH COMMONWEALTH), who is head of the COMMITTEE of 300, owner of 1/6th of the earth’s landmass, owner of countless oil, media, food, water, diamonds, gold, banks, spreading tyranny, genocide, exploitation, and slavery worldwide for over 5 centuries

    “COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE”

    Solve the MYSTERY, you are all being deceived (even the deceivers)

    even one case of vote fraud, is enough to countermand the official count

    UNLESS the people of Scotland want to be serfs forever, throw off the yoke of the scottish rite treasonists and lead the fight for freedom here in USA and elsewhere. Bring REAL ENDURING FREEDOM unlike the false revolutions that ALWAYS benefit the CROWN. END CENTRAL BANKING AND PROCLAIM TRUTH AND THE RIGHT OF HUMAN DIGNITY instead of abuse and denigration and dehumanization on the way to their horrific plans for WW3 and one world 666 tyranny and the END of all things GOOD

    We know it was fraud, stand up and say so.

  178. What Scotland needs is… Someone honest to count the votes !!!!

  179. I was numb, I was lost, I was confused. I could not believe that they were duped in to believing the lies. My heart was broken. But my inner voice would not allow me to give up hope. It keeps telling me to keep the faith…Scotland will be an independent country. I have spent the last 24 hours picking myself up and dusting myself off. I have been re-energised by the voices of the Yes voters, like me, who are determined to continue the momentum. We will not stand back and let them walk all over us again. The courage and determination of the people is amazing. The plans that are being made are inspirational and I want to do whatever I can to help. I found my smile again.

  180. I was numb, I was lost, I was confused. I could not believe that they were duped in to believing the lies. My heart was broken. But my inner voice would not allow me to give up hope. It keeps telling me to keep the faith…Scotland will be an independent country. I have spent the last 24 hours picking myself up and dusting myself off. I have been re-energised by the voices of the Yes voters, like me, who are determined to continue the momentum. We will not stand back and let them walk all over us again. The courage and determination of the people is amazing. The plans that are being made are inspirational and I want to do whatever I can to help. I found my smile again

  181. Comments seem to confirm that the Yes voters are mainly the Tartan tories of old. Yes or no the vote was about democracy. Allying nationalism to the right wing can only cause terrible problems for Scotland and eventually work against the target of independence for scotland

  182. Scots voted to retain tyranny! Who cares about Freedom when you can have Dependency with Monarchy Rule!

    Who want to be self-determining when you can get a Queen to decide what best…for you!
    If the vote was fixed then another vote needs to be taken but, under new rules of engagement!

    It would seem that jolly olde England wanted to ensure that the Scots could remain their “gravy train” for everything an Empire can steal for another 300 years or more.

    Now go back to your drink, football, and more football so we the Elite, can get back to our business of giving YOU the business!

  183. hi..am an American financial prof who knows just how parasitic London is on Scotland. I totally support a free Scotland. one word of advice: don’t join the EU – be free like Iceland. let Iceland be your model. Brussels is worse than London!!!!!!!!!!

  184. Please don’t make the mistake of assuming “the working class” all supported indi while everyone else opposed it. It’s lazy thinking and dosn’t reflect the actual situation.

    I stood and watched the count in Glasgow looking mostly at Maryhill, Shettleston, Provan. There was no station I saw where the piles of yes votes dwarfed the no’s and mostly it was pretty difficult to tell the difference, sure some of the more disadvantaged areas carried it, but only just. Calls above for a re-match asap worry me , there’s just so much to be done, so many minds to change first, we need to concentrate for now on fixing the problems in society despite them. without formal political support if necessary and showing a vibrant future is possible and viable without Westminster. We need to push for land reform and show Highland and the western Isles that Holyrood works for them better than Westminster ever did, we need to look at every single area and say “what’s wrong here and how can it be put right” and we may well have to do that without getting independence which is after all only a means, not the end itself.

  185. I could kiss you for this post! My promise is already out there. http://scottishmomus.wordpress.com/
    I’m a teacher, blogger, talker – with a husband and seven kids of my own behind this. Other family too that want to do so much more. Fired and ready for the next stage. Thank you for this. It’s a plan with so much merit. Count me in.

  186. On the day of the Referendrun I got the letter from BT announcing an increase in charges (the first in many increases I’m expecting). BT, as I will remind people; British Telecoms. Activists that tend to rely on the internet have pointed out problems relying on ISPs and offered media criticism. But they have done some groundwork I think could prove useful:
    https://projectmeshnet.org/
    https://www.facebook.com/ThePirateNetwork
    Benefits of a Meshnet is that ignoring start-up and running costs, its’ essentially free if we will it or at least more in charge of where the money flows if it becomes a paid service. This would require considerable planning, and a fringe-idea. But if anyone else considered voting for the Pirate Party in this years EU election, you will like this.

  187. I did my mourning and crying on Friday.
    Pick up, dust down, cup of tea, back into the fire.
    I’m ready.
    They thought they’d defeated us; they thought wrong and now we’re back – wiser, harder, angrier.
    Where does a man just south of the border sign up for Common Weal?

  188. Who are you really Robert? Gandalf?
    This is a fantastic article well done.

  189. How many times do I have to write this before it sinks in. It wasn’t Brown, the pensioners or o we have a r anybodyelse which lost us this referendum. It was a corrupt and dysfunctionel media which itself a part of the establishment which done the damage.
    Unless Scotland gets its own media we are lost.

    • A good start would be to all withhold tv licence fees and show these lying manipulating thieves called the BBC where we stand. I am willing to pay my fine and have my day in court for the chance to have my say against this corrupt British media. The following link shows just how subtle this was early in the campaing. Compare this with how bad it got in the last 2 weeks. Lets bring them down. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ajd4R-9BEIw

  190. “Third, we need to educate (gently and gradually) as much of the Scottish population as we can on some of the fundamentals of economics and finance. I know that sounds dry, but it needn’t be. ….. Many more of us need to become a bit more economic-literate. This is nothing like as hard as you think, but we can’t leave them to own that territory.”

    That would be fantastic. The SNP got away with putting forward economic arguments for currency union which only worked if you knew absolutely nothing about economics. Currency union was defended by many in the Yes movement, ignored by many, as something that wasn’t particularly important / could be changed later.

    If the Yes movement had been better educated in the fundamentals of economics and finance, the SNP would have been unable to propose currency union – which would have permanently tied iScotland to rUK via the Bank of England, while leaving iScotland unable to join the EU.

  191. Count me in.

    We have let our big chance to bring about a fundamental change pass. Our chance to make more of Scotland’s wealth, talent and resources for the benefit of everyone living in Scotland we can’t let this happen again.

    We are the 45

  192. Reblogged this on Are We Really Better Together? and commented:
    We lost. Get over it. Every second we spend licking our wounds is a second we lose for the fight. And fight we must. And fight we will. We made much of this land our Scotland, not theirs. So now we hold our territory. Then we take theirs.

    Wipe your eyes. On your feet. Grab your stuff. Let’s get started.

  193. As a scot in London, I was and still am gutted about the result, and very angry, but this article and the comments have made me feel hopeful again, I am in, whatever I can do, I think I shall move back up to Glasgow so I was wandering how do I keep abreast of what’s going on, until I can move up there again?.

    The other thing I would say is the economic case for independence , it was never made properly, the pension, the currency etc and the SNP has had plenty of time to give us that case, and I know even though I would have voted yes, that was a worry for me and fair few of the people I know voted no did so because their head said no, not their heart.

    But thank you again for this, I needed it

  194. Brilliant! I am so sorry for us, but also the deluded serf-“no”-voters who believed the lies. Let’s go…

  195. You talk about community banking. Can we tie into the Credit Unions? They are ethical and equitable.
    Also, there is a simple Scottish Bank, untainted by financial scandal. It’s called the Airdrie Savings Bank.

  196. Here’s a radical idea. We need to get into Bitcoin.

    Don’t laugh. I’m deadly serious. It’s also highly relevant to some of the themes of the debate that we were challenged on. Cryptocurrencies may seem like toys right now, but they are the future. They are the future for 2 reasons:

    [1] – they represent unlevered base money, not requiring any counterparties (“banks”) where so called “Fiat” is highly levered debt money, totally dependent on counterparties for its issuance, maintenance and exchange

    [2] – it is a store of value AND payments system in 1. It’s therefore a huge “leveller” in terms of small and large corporations for lots of reasons, not least that small organisations can accept online payments with no “payments processor” overhead

    If 10% of the “45” put £10 each into a Bitcoin fund, that’s £150,000 worth of cryptocurrency which is likely to grow many-fold over the next few years. It will also “show the way” as to the outright ridiculousness of the current financial system and central banks (i.e. that they cannot act as lender of last resort without issuing more debt). The farce of the attacks made on “Yes” over the currency is that a central bank ultimately can’t back sod all. Natural resources and a string economy are what can back a currency.

    Now is good time to start a Bitcoin fund.

    [1] – the price has crashed from it’s all time high (in December) of $1100 to around $400 per BTC and it’s stayed stable for months now. It’s not going to go any lower

    [2] – we are approaching the next “boom” period for cryptocurrencies for 4 reasons:

    1: The Winklevoss’s ETF fund is on the horizon at the end of the year. This will, for the first time, open the doors to institutional investment which will cause a major revaluation of all cryptocurrencues

    2: The World financial system is teetering on the brink. The “Fed” have increases the dollar money base by around 350% since the big crash of 2008. All these dollars are backed up on Fed balance sheets waiting for an interest rate rise to pull them back off and cause another “Weimar” situation

    3: There is currently a mass East-to-West wealth transfer going on. Chinese have been hoovering up every ounce of gold they can get their hands on. It’s assumed that this is because they (along with the Russians) are getting ready to dump their massive US Treasury bond holdings at which point their Gold and commodity holdings rise massively in price to offset their losses. The reason they’re going to be dumping the T-Bonds is because they’re all worthless due to the huge amount of QE the US has been doing the last few years (and National debt accumulation)

    4: Bitcoin has recently withstood an 18 month long hammering from competitor cryptocurrencies. It has also survived numerous attempted hackings, media on the scale of “project-fear” x 10 and technical hiccups. It has come through all of these completely unscathed. Its nearest competitor is not even 3% of Bitcoin’s valuation

    5: There is now exponential retail uptake of cryptocurrencies, in particular Bitcoin. Dell recently started accepting it and a host of other retailers. The uptake is now measured in thousands per month. It’s only a matter of time before this translates into revaluation.

    Bella Caledonia needs to start a Bitcoin fund.

  197. We can, we will, because we the Scots who have a heart and soul will not be crushed or broken, we rise as one and we will win, Alba Gu Brath.

  198. I voted Yes, but I find a great deal of this post quite wide of the mark. You have to look at this with a more holistic approach. What is our actual goal – a fairer society? That’s what I campaigned for, I voted Yes because I thought it might help us achieve it, but “independence” was just a mechanism for getting what I actually want (fairness, social justice). I couldn’t care less what flag we live under and the concept of independence itself is meaningless to me if it doesn’t improve social justice. Similarly, if Westminster could create a fairer society I wouldn’t demand that we’re independent. This is the difference between left-wing politics and nationalism. What I see from Robin McAlpine here is simply nationalism for its own sake.

    He speaks of refusing to work with the British Labour Party, for instance, because we apparently can no longer trust it. Fine, I wouldn’t disagree in its current form, but the current Labour Party is simply a function of the politicians who are leading it. Leveraging the Labour Party (what I and many other left-wing activists have spent the best part of our lives doing – with some successes and failures along the way) is absolutely still the best route to improve social justice in the UK. They’re one of only two parties who can govern our country. The other party (the Tories) are a complete lost cause so you either give up by pointlessly backing fringe parties in general elections or you engage with it and try and make our voices heard in the political system that still (like it or not) determines the level of social justice within our society.

    Robin McAlpine wants us to turn our back on that simply because it doesn’t bring us closer to independence. Why should we opt out of mainstream politics and let those on the right have free reign? Do we realise the permanent damage that can be done to a society over 15 years (an optimistic estimate of when a new referendum will be credible) of right-wing governments? Do we remember how Thatcher in a little over a decade destroyed our manufacturing industries? Doing nothing isn’t an option.

    What I see from Robin McAlpine here isn’t left-wing politics, it’s populist blame politics. I see sentiments that are more interested in pinning every ill in society on Westminster and the mainstream media than trying to improve people’s lives. Trident is an example – the Labour Party are weak on this, their support base opposes Trident, there’s a huge body of opposition to it within England that I’ve personally campaigned alongside, so why shouldn’t we try and campaign to get rid of it? You get the Labour Party on board you can end it forever, not simply move it down the coast. You might even make some tangible step to ending nuclear weapons full stop through a Labour government leading the fight on the international stage. Saying “that will never happen” is about as legitimate as saying we shouldn’t campaign for independence because it’s “difficult”. Anything worth campaigning for is difficult.

    He claims that we need to get back on our feet and stop sulking. I completely agree, but ignoring every policy issue that can actually improve our society and misdirecting our energy entirely toward independence (for its own sake) is just another form of sulking. We have to engage with the political system we have – push for independence at a later date by all means, but that’s tomorrow’s fight and people are suffering now. As a Yes voter I genuinely see a fundamental split here between people like me (left-wing, no nationalist sentiments whatsoever) and people who are actual nationalists and are simply intent on gaining independence at any cost. The latter perspective isn’t remotely left-wing, whether it’s dressed in left-wing values or not.

  199. Count me in.
    Thank you for giving us hope and srength, thine to spread our wings and soar.

  200. This will prove to be a Pyrrhic victory for London, because your Constituency has now been delineated.

    If 45% was what they admitted to – then rest assured that the real percentage was considerably higher than that. There is now anecdotal and video evidence of electoral fraud, so get back up and go forward knowing that you have the numbers on your side. Cameron was well aware of this, which is why he was in such a mess on TV the night before. He should get an Oscar nomination.

    Some suggestions:

    1) Read up on the Afrikaaner National Party in South Africa and how they turned the military defeat of the Boer Wars into a political victory against the City of London in 1948. Stay away from Apartheid of course – you need everyone on board for this.

    2) Keep hammering away at the corruption – especially the paedophilia issue. Everyone who has children has a stake in that one. Not everyone understands banking and economics – but they certainly understand Paedos waiting for the opportunity to sodomize their kids ….

    3) Failure to renew your annual TV/Radio license will result in a visit from the GPO detection van and inspector. (I had a visit from one.) If you have a computer with an internet connection, but NO functioning radio or TV in your house, you are NOT required to have a license. This includes radio alarm clocks and boom boxes. I’m sure they will move to change that when enough people refuse to renew, but until that time it should work – as long as you can do without Corry Street …. The BBC lost me when they reported the collapse of WTC-7 25 minutes before it actually did so.

    4) Make sure you have a viable and visible plan for what happens afterwards – especially your plans for your currency. Remember that south of the border, there are many English and Welsh who would also like to be independent of the City of London and its Banksters.

    5) Do not join the EU. Frying pan … Fire … you know the rest.

    On hearing the Referendum results, my wife commented, “So – that’s the end of that.” I replied that she misunderstood the Scottish people, and that this was just the beginning. These were the people that stopped the Romans dead in their tracks.

    And Hadrian’s Wall still stands.

  201. Thanks Robin. This post lifted me out of the morass of despair. I felt hope for the first time since 1997 during the last few weeks of this campaign and I can’t put that away again.

  202. Do not disgard the YES signs. Replant them, but add ONE DAY SOON. I am going to, cannot we see them rebloom over this land?

  203. Reblogged this on A Yes Voter in Nairn and commented:
    Time to get back to work. Join a pro-independence party – Greens, SNP…does not matter which. Keep the campaign groups together. Read this article from Bella Caledonia – there’s some great ideas here. Take a look at Derek Bateman’s web site too. It’s time to start moving forward again. There’s a great foundation to build upon and the UK establishment is scared of us.

  204. Thank you for this. It has given me and all my family in Glasgow hope. My mum printed it out and put it through her neighbour’s letterbox because she (her neighbour) was in despair following the result. I’ll be following the Common Weal with close interest over the coming months x

  205. Wow, I can now begin to feel a tingle of excitement trickling into the dull ache of despair. Thank you.

  206. Completely agree on the point about needing to control the post-referendum narrative. The unionist parties made a lot of promises they have no intention of keeping. We need to hammer away at them day In day out for the next months and years to raise awareness that Scotland was lied to. I’ve set up a Facebook page to document the u-turns and broken promises. Please join me at my UnionWatch page:

    https://www.facebook.com/UnionWatch?ref=notif&notif_t=page_new_likes

  207. Robin, I’m a bit late with my comments on your article I know but hope that this is helpful. Back in the 70’s and 80s there were projects around Scotland which were mainly run by volunteers and used a community development approach to working with communities. These were very successful (I understand) in raising awareness, enabling people to critique what was happening in their communities, encouraging participative democracy, consienzisation etc along the lines of the work of Paulo Frere in South America. Sadly, the projects pretty much all folded under Thatcher for obvious reasons. Politicians just did not want ordinary people understanding politics or getting involved in chancing their communities and challenging the status quo. So I guess this situation led to apathy amongst the electorate. I think some of the ideas you outline in your piece relate to community development work – work which has been done by those involved in Community Education but now there are virtually no paid or unpaid jobs in this type of work. So Scotland has been left a sitting duck effectively and as you know been systematically plundered by big business, politicians etc. From the YES campaign I hope there remain networks across the country which could be used as a platform to begin working with communities in a community development way. I think that to begin with this would need to be done by volunteers as things seem to change significantly when paid workers are involved.

    I agree with what you say about getting us all upskilled in economics and finances and I wonder if as a starting point, someone, Bella Caledonia could produce a small leaflet or booklet which explains The Barnett Formulas for example followed by a series of booklets on financial matters – Fiscal Policy, Monetary Policy, Stock Markets, Banks etc to begin to get people thinking about these things. Maybe this would be better done by The Jimmy Reid Foundation I don’t know how The National Collective and The Jimmy Reid Foundation link together. Also if there was information on all (or most) of the existing activist groups that people can link into locally this would be great as we could use the structures that have already been created viz The Socialist Workers Party; CND etc.

    I look forward to seeing how things develop.

  208. So many diverse activist groups are now scrabbling to carve out a political placing to fill the void on the left. Independence is still the best chance we have for real change and a fairer more just and prosperous Scotland. We should not take our eye off the ball or Westminster, we must continue to stand in solidarity. The nascent ambitions for new Scottish socialist and radical offerings will be as indistinguishable from each other as with the Tories, Red Tories and the rest. The most important reality in our current situation is that a week is a long time in politics. Don’t start fighting for market share, and, don’t give up on independence just yet.

Trackbacks

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