Self-determination starts with the self being determined. It begins with the personal decision of an individual to take action to determine the shape of their future, and not to sit passively while decisions are made on their behalf. There’s a lot of talk about when Scotland might have a second independence referendum, or rather, about when the Scottish Government might decide when to call one, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of us should sit back and wait for Holyrood to decide for us. We need to start campaigning right now, because this is our referendum, our future, and it will be decided by our own determination to do it ourselves.
I can understand why the Scottish Government doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to press the indyref2 button. It’s important that those who still cling on to the vain hope that Scotland can remain part of both the EU and the UK have time to process their grief. If we want to get as many people as possible on board with the idea of independence, and it’s important that we do, then the Scottish Government needs to be seen to explore all other options. There are still plenty of people out there who still hope that some other means can be found of preserving Scotland’s EU membership short of independence. Then when the Scottish Government does finally say that it is moving a bill in Holyrood to bring about another independence referendum it can honestly say that everything possible was done to seek a solution that would allow Scotland to remain part of both Unions but it failed due to the intransigence of Westminster.
Those of us with clearer heads know that the chances of the Tories consenting to an arrangement allowing Scotland to remain part of both the EU and the UK are as remote as us sitting down at some point in the future and saying, “You know, remember that speech by Theresa May when she became PM and promised to work on behalf of the poor and excluded, she really came through didn’t she.” The Tories are making vague noises about including Scotland in the Brexit process, but that’s really just them saying that they expect Scotland to trot along meekly to the abattoir of our European hopes.
So while the Scottish Government might have its reasons for not firing the starting pistol on a second independence referendum, there’s no reason why the rest of us have to wait for them. We need to start getting ourselves organised and campaigning now. After all, if we sit back and wait for the Scottish Government to start an official referendum campaign then we can’t claim that it’s a Scottish national independence referendum, it would be a Scottish National Party independence referendum. The indyref2 campaign needs to belong to all of us, everyone in Scotland, irrespective of party affiliation or none. The way to ensure that becomes a reality is for those of us who desire independence to start campaigning for it right now. Then we are the ones who shape the campaign. It becomes a campaign that starts and is led from the grassroots. That’s a real national movement.
This doesn’t undermine what the Scottish Government is trying to achieve. In fact it’s the opposite, it bolsters it and strengthens their hand and increases their freedom of movement. It would put the lie to the Unionist claim that there’s no appetite for a second independence referendum when there’s an active and vital independence referendum campaign out and about in the streets of Scotland. It means that when the referendum finally becomes a reality, the campaign is already up and running, and that will make it far harder for the Unionist parties to dismiss it as an SNP creation as they tried to do the last time.
We gained a wealth of experience and skills during the last independence referendum campaign. We can build on that, so when indyref2 comes along, we’re ready for it. Scottish independence will not be won by any single political party or organisation. It will be won by the sheer bloody minded determination of the people of Scotland who are fed up of being led like cattle. We can lead ourselves. We can direct ourselves. We don’t need anyone’s permission. All we need is belief in ourselves.
If there’s already a local Yes group, join it. You can find out if there’s a local group through the National Yes Registry. http://nationalyesregistry.scot/group-contact-form/ Contact Yes2Scotland for details on how to get posters, leaflets, stickers and other materials. Their facebook page is here. https://www.facebook.com/yes2dunblane/ Indyposterboy has a great range of posters available free for downloading and printing. You can get them here http://www.indyposterboy.scot/index.asp
If you want a Scotland with radical policies that’s going to tackle the social injustice and inequalities which have blighted our country under Westminster rule, join your local Common Weal group. If there isn’t already a group near you, start one. You can find out more here http://allofusfirst.org/common-weal-local/ Or you can start a Yes2 group based around a particular interest, occupation, or hobby.
Starting a local group isn’t as hard as you might think. All it takes it energy and enthusiasm. Or you can get involved with your local SNP, or Green, or RISE branch if you prefer a party political approach.
We won’t win Scottish independence just by sitting at computers or texting on mobiles. We need to get out there into the streets, into our communities, spreading the message to our families, friends, and colleagues. Let’s do this. If we wait for permission, we’ve already failed to achieve independence. Scottish independence is all about the people of Scotland taking control of their own destiny and shaping their own future with their own efforts. We can start doing that right now. Independence begins in the mind, act as though you are already independent and you soon will be, and self-determination starts with the determination to do things for yourself.
Audio link to this article, courtesy of @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/self-determination-starts-with-the-determination-to-do-things-for-yourself-wgd-24th-july-2016
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