By Jason Michael

WITH A FEW NOTABLE EXCEPTIONS, it appears that we Scots are incapable of escaping the fact we have been conditioned into believing we need permission to have what we want. As 29 March draws closer – too close now for comfort – and as we edge perilously close to falling into the Brexit trap, the real concern is that we will not have a referendum in time to save our democracy and secure our independence. The result, as we see everywhere across the movement, is that independentistas have become paralysed. Understandably, we are caught like a rabbit in headlights – we don’t know what to do. We’re not used to doing things on our own. We’re not used to rocking the boat. We have gotten used to the idea of being led by the hand – we’re waiting on Nicola Sturgeon to give us permission, afraid to do anything before we have official approval. But actually, this is a dangerous way to think. What it amounts to is a replacement: We have replaced London rule with another father figure, an authority. Asking permission is just another form of dependence.

It is not my suggestion that we mustn’t trust the First Minister or the leadership of the SNP. All I am saying is that these people, our elected leaders, are not our bosses, they are not omniscient, and they are definitely not omnipotent. This is not about trust. It is about facts: Brexit is coming and we have no evidence whatsoever to suggest we are anywhere closer to another referendum and independence than we were on 19 September 2014. The truth is that we are in the dark. Let’s “Trust Nicola,” sure – but trust her to do what? And when?

If I have said this once, I have said it a thousand times: It is impossible for slaves to be free. Our herd mentality – our enslaved imaginations – reduce independence to something infinitely less than a pipedream, a fantasy. Let me be absolutely clear, independence will not make us free. Only our freedom can give us independence. Which is to say that we must make ourselves free right now and cast off the chains of our slavery to London and all other masters and authorities. It is only when we have done this, when we have overcome the infantile and pathetic need to ask permission, that we will be in a place to demand a referendum and win our independence. No one will hand us power on a plate – not London and not the leader of the Scottish National Party. Power cannot be given. Power is something that must be taken, and it can never be taken by slaves. That we are still shackled to London and dominated by England’s parliament, that we still gaze up like puppies to some god in Holyrood to tell us what to do, are realities which in themselves tell us we are not yet free – and independence will not happen until we are free.

Over the past weeks, as a growing number of pro-independence voices have been sounding the alarm bells, the continual bleating of the herd – We need a plan! We’re waiting on the starting gun! – has really and truly munched into my nugget. If you are reading this and still think you need permission to do something, then – and in all honesty – I don’t really think independence is for you. We can’t say, on the one hand, that we are a sovereign people, and then, on the other, go off looking for someone to make our decisions for us. That’s not sovereignty. It’s sheepish.

But do what? Something, anything. But rather than just putting it out there that we should do something – anything – I have decided to do something. So, here’s the plan: Until Brexit I am going to travel around the country, visiting Yes groups and talking to them. Of course, I’m not entirely stupid. I know I’ll be meeting a lot of people who’re better at this than me, who know what they’re talking about, and who have ideas of their own. The purpose of the tour isn’t to teach. The reason I have decided to do this is because I am completely convinced that we must reignite the fire of the movement and get people and groups active again. It’s not a suspicion or a vague hunch, I am absolutely certain that we are fast running out of time, and that unless we become more militant and begin a nationwide campaign of agitation for a referendum the opportunity will be lost – and probably for the rest of our lives.

It would be all too easy for me to sit back here in Dublin and comment on social media that this is what’s needed, expecting someone else to answer the call and hit the road. But that would make me part of the problem, another keyboard worrier unwilling to actually act. I don’t want to be that person and I know I don’t need permission: If not me, then who? If not now, then when? So, I have determined to hit the road – to do what I can do to convince people the time is short, to empower people to get back into formation, and to persuade others to do the same. We’ve hardly much claim to the word ‘Movement’ when we aren’t moving. My bank account tells me that I can fund a national tour to the tune of about £500. With some couch surfing, packed lunches, and online rail and coach bookings that cash will go quite some distance, but not quite far enough. For this reason, I have set up a crowdfunder for £2,500 – more than enough to get me right around Scotland.

So, this is where you can help. What’s a fiver, if you can afford it – two cups of coffee, maybe? That’s what I’m asking, more if you can spare it. Every single donation will add up, and as soon as I have enough to get ferries, coaches, and trains I am off. Already, a number of local Yes groups have asked if I can come see them. We’re ready to roll.

Maybe you can’t give money, and – trust me – I get that. But this doesn’t mean you can’t help. Get on Facebook and Twitter and let your friends and pro-independence contacts know what’s happening. Maybe your local group would like to host me. Let them know. If you think what I’m doing is important and worthwhile – even just worth a shot – then share this post, share the crowdfunder online and tell people to support and share. The bottom line is that this can’t happen unless it is supported, and, really, I don’t want to sit here and do nothing when I am almost entirely convinced this might be our last shot …for a good long time.

What good will it do? It’s true, neither you nor I have the power to call a referendum. We don’t. All of us pooling our power together don’t have that power, but that does not mean we are powerless. We are far from powerless. We are more than merely a “democratic movement.” We are a democracy. We have far more power than we might at first think. We have the power to force those who do have the power to call a referendum to do exactly that. This is what I want to talk about. I want to explore with the movement everywhere ideas that will push the leadership of the SNP into giving us what we want. I want people everywhere in the movement to start thinking about this. And I want people everywhere to know that this goal is achievable. Yes, I know that readers might not like it when I say that I’m convinced time is running out. That’s never great to hear. But I also want people to know that I am not prepared to even consider giving up until I have done everything – absolutely everything – in my power to ensure that when the time is out we have gotten what we want.


Theresa May Calls in the Troops

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15 thoughts on “Independence: Here’s My Plan

  1. Jason, I wish you well on your tour. I want to contribute. I’m a pensioner with a low income, and I don’t budget to buy 2 cups of coffee in a month. I’d like to donate £5 for your tour. How do I do it?


    1. I’ve contacted the founder and he’s up for it. Can you please message Blether-In Hub Forfar’s FB page with available dates? We’ll hold the event in the function suite of The Stag pub in Forfar. Thanks!


  2. Hi Jason, I’ve a meeting tonight with my local YES GLASGOW NORTH WEST and wondered if you had any spare dates to speak with us. I’ll discuss this tonight with them. Cheers and all the best, Paul.


  3. Hi Jason, A man after my own heart on this, we do need to take the freedom and responsibility to run our country.  I have copied William Duguid into this from Perth City Yes in the hope he books you.  Hope this works both. Kind regards, Ian McCubbin 


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