A Yes Registry

YES March & Rally for Scottish Independence.  Image by Ivon Bart

 
Continuing our series of new #IndyIdeas, Braco has a practical project he needs help with.

Many thanks to Bella who have very kindly agreed to publish this short article simply requesting that any YES Shops that are currently still open, please send their details to:
nationalyesshopregistry@hushmail.com .

We are trying to create an up to date register of the remaining Shops nationwide. So to this end, could you please send us your YESshop address, telephone number, email address, Face book page, Twitter account and the name of a contact. If your shop has closed but you still have a strong YESshop community activist group, please send us your details too and we will register you under Active community/YESshop closed. All respondents will be sent the completed list.

If we could get a roll call of all existing YESshops and activist community groups now that the dust has settled, then we could start to organise ourselves a bit more ‘nationally’ than we have up until now. This would allow for things like the cooperative creation of a newsletter, events diary, sharing of resources, fundraising, coordinated design and ordering of leaflets/ promotional shop gear etc., as well as a formal support structure to share successes and help with common problems.

It could also help open up possibilities of more unified strategic thinking and political direction among the YES shops and their activist communities. Essential with the all important Westminster elections looming and campaigning already under way. An ‘umbrella’ network, allowing all the vibrant, local, autonomous YESshop communities to contact and interact directly with each other as equals rather than through a centralised ‘headquarters’. A case in point by way of example. Largs YES shop is making it’s own submission to the Smith Commission. I am sure other YESshop’s and ExYesShop activist groups are doing the same. Imagine we had had a YES Shop registry up and running already and been able to coordinate nationally on a group submission. Would that not have been more powerful?

Having been very involved in the day to day running of the Largs Yes Shop, I regret that the YES Scotland headquarters never set up just such a fundamental register from the outset, although I and others did ask for such a resource. It would have meant YES shops could have easily worked with each other to source YESgear and plan events co-operatively amongst ourselves, rather than being forced (through lack of an alternative) to (almost) always do those things via the YES headquarters alone. This caused bottlenecking with ordering promotional YESgear for the shop, usually when most urgently needed (festivals and holiday weekends etc.).

Much more importantly however , it hindered established shops from being easily contactable to the newly opened (or those who were considering opening a YESshop). Unfortunately denying them valuable advice a and great mentoring opportunities through the sharing of practical experiences and hard earned campaigning knowledge. Re-inventing the wheel is definitely not a sensible use of time and resources when faced with an immovable deadline and May 7th 2015 is just such another deadline!

Therefore, we would now like (if belatedly) to grasp this opportunity to try and set up that YES shop co-operative power base, an opportunity which the official YES campaign unfortunately did not see, prioritise or value. We, however, think it could still prove to be a formidable weapon for Home rule/ Autonomy/ Independence in the upcoming Westminster and Holyrood election campaigns, as well as be an aid in and important voice for, the continuation of the ‘grassroots’ nature of our movement.

At this stage though we don’t even know how many YESshops and/or YESshop activist communities are still open! It’s difficult therefore to gauge the viability of these ideas without a basic register to work from. So please spread the word. We would much rather have duplicate responses than no responses at all, so don’t just assume someone else in your group has already registered. Once the registry is compiled we will send each respondent group a copy and (responses permitting) we can hopefully take it from there.

Please send the following information to :

nationalyesshopregistry@hushmail.com
YESshop Address
YESshop telephone
YESshop Facebook page
YESshop email address
YESshop Twitter account
Contact name

Looking forward to your replies.
Braco
National YESshop Registry



Categories: Commentary

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16 replies

  1. How about a yes register of everyone who would vote yes if we had another referendum.

  2. This is a vital piece of work. Deeside & Donside YES group is still in operation. We had a very healthy meeting last Thursday (30th October) evening with 30 people in attendance. However, we are struggling to find a name. Various suggestion were put forward, but the decision was deferred. I argued that we should really be part of a national campaign, a ‘YES Still’ if you like. I will be very interested in the outcome of this research and will report back to our meeting. I really think a nationally coordinated campaign is the way forward.

  3. this is a great initiative Braco to ensure people stay in contact and mentor each other reciprocally.
    Once you’ve got your register set up, please do think about registering with scot2scot http://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/scot2scot-westminster-theres-a-storm-coming/
    as it will be a multi-medial portal with the same aims. After all, unity is strength

  4. seems to be a need for this initiative to connect up with the Common Weal initiative to set up Common Weal hubs ( to be known as Commons) with very much the same sense of purpose

  5. hope they all link up Chris – the yes shops and registry of active groups, the common weal hubs and the scot2scot initiative to potentiate pro-Scotland votes for the 2015 general Election. A joined up network would really be formidable

    • I am hoping that indy supporting parties will also work with the likes of scot2.scot although I noted some resistance, similar to another situation during the ref campaign, when I suggested considering the possibility of working with scot2.scot recently at a meeting.

      A network would be valuable. I had trouble getting contact details for Yes shops during the campaign and a registry would have been so useful. All groups need to work together even if there are differences in opinion and style.

  6. Mmm. I contacted the ‘official’ Yes shop in Hope St, Glasgow, about 3 weeks pre-ref and asked for copy of WBB. The reply I received was not what I expected of a body who were meant to be 100% Yes (*exasperated/incredulous*).

    I really do hate to criticise, but surely it’s Book #1, Page #1 that we coordinate and communicate for the greater good?
    I can tell you, I was out leafleting, tweeting, emailing my address book, bombarding, talking, emblazoning my house and car and I have YET to see a hard-copy of the WBB, that is the truth. The WBB should’ve been laying-around in pubs, barber shops, bus shelters, available in Public Library etc, etc. Finance it? That should be a dawdle, we’re as fervent as we ever were and hands will eagerly go into pockets for this.

    Next May ’15 will be a crucially important time for Scotland, are we armed and ready with information for the Don’t Knows? Will we have this information, like *now* so that it can be made available *now*? Are all the Wee Blue Books in the bin now, and if so, can they be re-run?
    WBB – it was essential reading for ref info but it’s not ONLY for ref info as the conditions still apply.
    Yes shops – essential resource for ref but not ONLY for ref.

    • Your frustration at Yes HQ is understandable, but, the WBB was a Wings, not Yes Scotland, publication and it is possible that Yes HQ did not receive a supply at all.

      250,000 were printed and were distributed to indy groups/individuals, some Yes shops, Yes groups (perhaps some more willing than others) via volunteer Wings supporters who provided distribution hubs. Obviously, there were not enough printed versions for every household and were targeted at undecided and soft no voters and we tried to get them to those groups, etc., who requested and could make good use of them.

      They were indeed also left in shops, pubs, trains, etc., etc., but the need was to get them to undecided as a priority.

      The Wee Blue Book was, and still is, available for downloading to pcs, laptops, phones, etc., and we printed off a lot before and after the printed version was ready. We printed an A5 double-sided version which was very useful. In fact, I handed Ivan McKee his first copy (downloaded and printed as above) at a meeting where I distributed them. They went like snow off a dyke.

      Yes, most of the info in the WBB is still very relevant, so there is no reason why those still in circulation should not be used and the home printing version can be utilised too along with the phone app etc. If you are in a group, encourage them to contribute by chipping in to printing some off.

      I hope that a new publication will appear for the GE too, but, WBB still useful.

      • Thanks for your reply, Betty.

        ‘Some more willing than others’ mmm..
        Yes, I think the WBB was targeted at the right groups but not necessarily at the right time, I think the quoted ‘most useful informative source’ should’ve been available much earlier. I frequent a Glasgow pub every Fri whose clientele sit-around reading a Daily Record, they’re an open-minded bunch (mostly) and I’m positive I could’ve swayed around 50% just by passing them a WBB. Imagine my frustration?

        I eventually emailed the WBB to my address book in 6 installments, using the pc ‘snipping tool’ to download from the Wings site.

        Like I said, I have yet to see a hard copy WBB. I know 250k were printed off, a not inconsiderable sum, but not only do we need many more of them – and/or the new publication – for 2015, they must be recognised as a genuine and respected information resource with an instant familiarity to match, dare I say, a Daily Record.

  7. Hi the yes hub in Hamilton is still open. They are keeping things going opening from 10.30am-2.30pm
    They are also holding fortnightly street stalls.
    Great that the focus is continuing and having a register should help co-ordinate events and share some great ideas.

  8. @ Yes Kenny Yes. Your frustration is understandable, but, WBB was not a Yes publication. They were intended for undecided and soft no voters and were distributed via a network of volunteer Wings supporters hubs.

    250,000 were printed, but, they were also available for download pcs, laptops, pads, phones and could be printed out at home. We printed off quite a lot for distribution before the print version arrived and some after too.

    Although we made sure that some were delivered to Yes shops, they were also delivered via Yes groups (some more willing than others) and individual/group campaigners all around the mainland and the islands. Some were left in pubs, shops, etc. as you are suggesting, but, in the main they were targeted because they were such a precious resource and we had to try to get them to people who were unsure and/or unaware of many issues.

    I, of course, have no idea what might have been said to you by Yes HQ, but, I suppose it is possible that they never had any there because WBB was a Wings publication not one of theirs.

    I hope that Wings manages to produce a further useful publication too.

  9. Apologies for (an almost!) identical double post on this page. Thought the first one was lost in the ether! 😦

  10. Yes Maryhill We are the Yes Maryhill facebook page, we were very active for the 2 and a half years up to the referendum, hence why we got 57% yes vote but at the moment we are more of an information page, but we have a small group who do still leaflet. And are at the moment trying to organise themselves. I must admit I have been taking a break as felt burnt out, but will hopefully get active again. So we would want to register with you and so sorry for the delay, I was hoping someone else would deal with it.

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