First of all, before I proceed, I would like to make it clear that what follows is from my own particular Individual and Independent perspective. I am neither a member nor supporter of any given political party or movement, simply a supporter of Scottish Independence.
By all accounts the Westminster government are set to action Article 50 around January/February next year. This will be the starting gun to Britains Brexit from the EU.
It will also be what triggers the second Scottish Independence referendum when it becomes clear that Scotland is to be sidelined and exit from the European Single Market is in the offing.
But let us forget Brexit for a moment, we will come back to that later.
What else follows in the coming year will be decisive with regards to Scottish Independence and to the whole shape of Scottish politics.
In May 2017 we see the Scottish Council elections taking place, and If the Indyref2 date has been decided by then and the campaign for Independence has begun, we could be conceivably looking at the unionists best way of disrupting it, and we may even see serious conflicts among YES party political supporters, which would only play into the hands of those who are against independence.
The British Empire and State were past masters of conquering by the tactics of division. Divide to Rule being their motto. The British State still uses that well worn tactic today, and they will utilise all the infighting among Scots to achieve their aims.
We only need look back to the recent Holyrood election to see how corrosive and divisive that was among pro Independence parties. We also see as the result of some of the tribalistic party conflicts over the second vote how easily previous YES unity was binned and torn asunder.
If Indeed the new Independence Referendum has begun prior to May next year, we must be careful to avoid all party political rancour among Independence supporters otherwise the new YES campaign will be seriously and perhaps terminally disrupted. Which indeed would suit the Yoons right down to the ground and play right into their hands.
Everyone that is an Independence supporter must put Independence before Party!
Country before Club so to speak.
Make no mistake about it, divisive tactics will be used by the other side, using every means possible, without being assisted by our own side.
It can be no accident that even this early on we see an increase of activity on social media by new accounts purporting to be pro Scots Independence coming out with very divisive and abusive comments. We have enough hot heads of our own to deal with on social media being downright unpleasant to those on the same side who espouse different views without adding in the trolls to egg them on.
Using words such as traitor, quisling etc is not going to win any argument, and is not going to change anyones mind, in fact using abusive words to someone you disgree with will only entrench their views. It is self defeating.
Given that the YES side won conclusively in the cyber debate, expect the Brits to have learned from this, and expect more of an online presence of negativity from them.
Particularly noting that the Intelligence services are recruiting up to 2000 new recruits exclusively for the Internet! Scottish independence is a major threat to the British State, expect everything!
With regards to the Council elections… The Pro Indy vote needs to get out in force.
Council elections are historically low turn outs, we need to make sure that we have a huge drive to make sure the pro Indy vote gets out, as every vote will be needed.
By the nature of the system for allocating seats in Council elections, we need to ensure that none of your choice preferences go to Unionist parties. It has been seen recently in Council by elections how the Unionist side is playing it. Tory votes are going to labour in second preference and Labour votes for Tory in second preference, ensuring that they gang up to keep the SNP out, even where the SNP have the most 1st preference votes. In order for the SNP to be assured of the win, they need 51% of 1st preference votes, and that is a huge order for any party!
What we do not want to see is the Indy sides all having a go at each other letting the Unionists in! So be smart.
The Councils are the last bastion of Unionism in Scotland….We need to win them!
In saying all that…. The SNP in turn need to realise that while they are the major party of Independence, they are not the YES campaign, but part of it. There is another section of society which holds far more YES votes than they have. That is all those like myself who are not party members and who vote for Independence.
For the new YES to be effective, everyone must be included, not just the party political bods…but everyone!
There are difficult waters ahead….let us make sure that we are in the best shape possible to steer through them all safely and successfully to our destination of Independence.