YesAlba

You may want to read this rousing article from George Kerevan. Although the unquestioning acceptance of the British state’s veto on our right of self-determination sits rather uncomfortably amidst the generally radical tone.

And while the criticism of the SNP and/or Scottish Government is entirely justified it must be borne in mind that the party remains the political arm of the independence movement and the only viable source of the effective political power that is needed for the final stages of restoring Scotland’s independence.It is essential – for all the reasons George sets out – that the Yes movement unites in order to speak with one voice. Combination is the key to translating the strength of a popular movement into the kind of power which cannot be ignored by the political elite or sidelined by the media.

We get things done through collective action. But constitutional reform must be effected by our democratically elected parliament. For that to happen Scotland’s independence movement needs a Scottish Government that is both sympathetic to our cause and prepared to act such as to bring about the change we seek. Only the SNP is in a position to be that government. The aim of any united grassroots movement such as YesAlba must be to make the SNP the party we need in order to get the government we need.

YesAlba will surely have a role to play in generating popular support for independence. Or opposition to the Union. But there must be a means by which that popular sentiment is connected to the democratic process. The SNP > Scottish Government > Scottish Parliament are all vital links connecting popular sentiment to democratic parliamentary action.

Note that there is no mention of Westminster as a link in that chain connecting the wishes of the people to the parliamentary action which implements those wishes. There’s a good reason for that. Westminster has no role in Scotland’s exercise of our right of self-determination. Action targeting Westminster is a pointless squandering of resources. Asking for and being granted a Section 30 order would constitute an act of national self-harm of historic proportions.

Combination is essential. Agendas are an impediment to combination. We cannot possibly act collectively in pursuit of different goals. Not even if the differences are – superficially at least – quite trivial. Factionalism is the mortal enemy of collective action.There are two ways to avoid the dire effects of factionalism. You can exclude all but one dominant faction. In which case there is no combination. Or you can set aside all but the dominant issue and make of that dominant issue the common cause around which the movement can coalesce to form a powerful organisation.

If the restoration of Scotland’s independence is not the dominant issue for all involved then YesAlba will not work. Ending the Union is our common cause. If YesAlba is to speak with one voice for the entire Yes movement then it can speak only of that thing which all are agreed upon.

Which is fine! There’s plenty to be said on the subject of restoring Scotland’s independence. Plenty that needs to be said by a voice too loud to be ignored. We have a chance to create that voice. Let’s seize that chance.


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