Winning Scotland now is a ‘battle for hearts and minds.’ Everyone who wants independence must now step back up to the plate and get involved in the discussion and the creative solutions process. Only we can do this for ourselves.

As far as Westminster is concerned the Scotland Act closes the book on Scotland. The British establishment is claiming a tactical victory and is now washing its hands of the whole affair. This Act is the third watering down of “the Vow” that was diluted twice as is passed through the consultation stages and negotiations of the Smith Commission. As far as Britain is concerned the matter of Scottish independence is now closed. Just over twenty months ago the people of Scotland returned a No on the question of independence, and, no matter how one feels about the validity of that result (considering the current election fraud crisis), this is how all parties to the referendum and the commission are playing it. Such is realpolitik.

Regardless of the foot stamping of the Scottish Conservatives, David Cameron has conceded – as though he had a choice in the matter – that the question of independence is still a live issue to which Westminster may have to return. It goes entirely without saying that our objective is to keep this question on the table, and to this end all of our strategies and tactics must conform. These are things we have to be thinking about. Our goal is independence, but that is not going to happen now unless we formulate effective strategies for keeping this an open question in people’s minds and adopt immediate tactics both to keep ourselves energised and the ball rolling.

Where we have succeeded is with the young, the lower and middle income working families, and on social media. On the whole these were won with positive and sustained campaigning, and this must continue. Everyone who wants to see a free Scotland has to get involved in this campaign. We don’t harass our friends and neighbours, and we don’t intimidate or bully people on the street or at their front doors. So we should be conscious of this online. It’s easy to forget that ‘yoon trolls’ are actually real people in the real world too, and that there are other people reading our discussions. Online we have to imagine that everything we write is being read by an ‘undecided.’

In advance of the next independence referendum it is crucial that the Yes movement puts strategies in place for reaching the older voters. Many older people don’t have access to the internet and are reliant on the BBC for their news and information. September 2014 demonstrated that our lack of access to older voters was and is and will be fatal. Seniors vote in higher numbers than younger electoral cohorts, and – like everyone else – they vote according to the best information they have. Who has the best ideas and solutions? We all do. We maybe haven’t sat down and teased them out, but one thing is for sure: If we fail to learn from the shortcomings of 2014 we will be doomed to the same outcome again.

If you have any ideas or suggestions for reaching out to older people and those who voted No, then please do drop your thoughts into the comments below. It may not seem important right now, but this ideas stage is fundamental to the ongoing “conversation.” Leave your big and small ideas here and we can all talk them over.

How New Media Sparked The Scottish Independence Movement

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