The Shape of the Next Independence Referendum


By Jason Michael

We the people of Scotland are the only people responsible for Scottish independence. What this means is that each and every independentista has to take personal responsibility for the nation for which we are fighting before others do that for us.

Independence as the SNP’s single platform, dividing what had up until now been a content and peaceful north Britain, is a unionist narrative that appeals to a good number of people who refuse to put much energy into the job of thinking. It sells to the lazy politicking of those who depend on the sort of essentialist slogans that insist all politicians and all politics are the same – useless. Of course, people who believe this are loved by those in favour of maintaining the status quo; there is nothing better for the slave master than the dearly help slave mentality of those in chains.


The reality is that the question of Scottish independence is bigger than the Scottish National Party. It has been asked by Scottish people ever since the 1707 Act of Union was imposed on us, and all sorts of people are looking for independence for all sorts of different reasons. That Scotland is a nation in its own right and as such morally and legally entitled to self-determination is a fact that has never been challenged. On this both unionists and nationalists agree. Where we differ is on the question of consent; the Union exists only by the consent of the Scottish people, and more Scots have come to the decision that they no longer consent. The vast majority of those are members or supporters of the SNP, but many others are not.

Now that we are looking at the prospect of another referendum on independence – likely to be declared in the coming weeks – we ought to be thinking about how we will campaign for a Yes vote. Such a close relationship between Yes Scotland and the SNP in the last referendum led many to the conclusion that Yes Scotland and – by extension – independence were vehicles for the National Party and so elected to resist this by voting No, even against their own interests. Independence was and remains to be a political project for the whole of Scotland, and thus the campaign to win it must necessarily reach out to and include everyone who wants a better future.

The leaders of this campaign can’t be socially and economically better positioned to take advantage of the publicity to the service of their own careers. It is precisely this careerism in civic and political life that we are hoping to escape in an independent Scotland. We don’t want a transfer of power from one dominant middle class to another. We want an independence that is valuable and meaningful to everyone in Scotland, and this requires that we all become the leaders of the campaign. Responsibility for the revolution rests with everyone who wants to see it realised. This means that the buck stops with me and with you. We have to take ownership of the Scotland we want to see before others claim its ownership for us. What sort of independence would that be?

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Second Scottish independence vote ‘likely’


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