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More on Scotland April 29, 2014

Posted by guestposter in Scotland, Scottish Politics, The Left.
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…from Colm B, a comment on the context in Scotland that I thought is perfect as a post…

Living and working in Glasgow, talking to neighbours and in-laws etc. and being involved in the Radical Indepedence Campaign, my impression is that a real shift is happening. This time last year, I think, most people felt that there was little prospect of a Yes victory but now theres a real feeling that its up for grabs and people have become much more engaged with the debate.

IMHO the reason for this change is two-fold: firstly the No Campaign has been abysmal, based almost entirely on establishment figures making increasingly ludicous threats about the catastrophy that will befall Scotalnd if we vote Yes. This has largely back-fired as more and more people are alienated by the negativity of that campaign and also by the way its treating the public as kids who can be scared by unveiling a procession of bogeymen.

On the Yes side while Salmonds undoubted skill as a politician, and the main Yes Campaigns largely positive message, have played a major role in the increasing support, the other factor has been the surge in ‘non-nationalist’ campaigning and arguments for a Yes vote. This surge has seen the growth of a dynamic youthful grassroots campaign spearheaded by RIC but also invlolves a multiplicity of organisations such as Women for Indepedence etc. The No campaign is about grandees making pronouncements and media campaigning but it is comprehensively out-matched on the ground in terms of canvassing, leafleting, public meetings etc. This is partly explained by reliance on Labour Party campaigners who seems to consist largely of councillors and their hangers-on: no match for the mass of enthusiastic Yes campaigners who go far beyond the pool of SNP members/supporters.

But a word of caution before you put your money on a Yes vitory: all the inidcations are that the No side is still ahead and one should not forget that we are talking about the break-up of the British state here and that state’s ruling class will not just sit back and let this happen, so the odds are still against a Yes vote winning. All Im saying is there’s a real contest on now.

BTW For most people involved in the RIC the real battle begins the day after the referendum when the shape of the new Scotland begins to emerge and hopefully we have a powerful radical left movement in place ready to play a decisive role in that process.

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