It is great to see “leading independence campaigners” talking about the need for a new national YES group again. A coordinating body is essential. A YES vote is unlikely to happen without one.
The National’s article published on the 20th Jan, will hopefully give some spark to the idea of a new YES group.
The leading independence campaigners they have quoted are three politicians from the SNP, Scottish Greens and the Scottish Socialist Party, plus SNP’s former strategic communications chief.
So, it seems like there’s cross party support to look at this idea again.
Many have been looking at this and suggesting a way forward for a lot longer.
Because a YES body wasn’t deemed to be successful in 2014, doesn’t mean the idea is a bad one, but perhaps it was how it was constituted, what it did and who was involved.
I’ve been suggesting that we needed a coordinating body since we lost the 2014 referendum.
Any coordinating body for the YES movement has to be a different type of organisation from YES Scotland, the body that oversaw the camping in 2014.
It has to do things differently. It has to have different people involved in running it, and it has to be above (not beholden to) political parties.
So if those “leading independence campaigners” are serious about looking at a new body, they could start here, on a blog that has been discussing a YES body for a few years.
A short “story” of what Catalonia did to break the political impasse back in 2012 (and the role of their YES organisations) from 2019 would be a good place to start.
Here’s an appraisal of the YES movement (Oct 2018) Where I:
- look at the damp squib that is the Scottish Independence Convention. Actually that’s not fair because it has given us a perfect template of how NOT to set up a kind of YES body.
- give some good examples from Catalonia and Italy.
- add some boring (but exceptionally important) stuff like structures of a successful campaigning organisation
And a follow up post on how one could be set up: so the bare bones of a grass roots led YES organisation.
A post from (May 2018) suggesting what a YES organisation would need to get up and running.
A post from 2017 looking at the Catalan National Assembly (a possible template for your YES body)
And trying to be as practical as possible to say: some examples that show what we are missing when we don’t have an active YES body.
And various stuff, using hoop and AUOB as examples of how much harder it is for the movement to work in silos, this for example on why events have made so little impact on politics in Scotland while they do in other countries.
I do not have all the answers and neither do politicians. The wider YES movement has a lot of questions about any body that wanted to “oversee” a YES campaign.
The unfortunate thing is, that many of the established characters (leading independence campaigners) probably wouldn’t like the answers.