I think it’s time for the YES side of the argument in the constitutional debate to take stock now, especially given that it will not be that long until the General Election and another opportunity to put forward an alternative vision for Scotland, and the UK as a whole.
I must admit I am disappointed that there will not be a formal YES Alliance; I know that the various sides have given a variety of reasons for this but if momentum is to be maintained then it is vital that communication between the YES parties is continued.
This is especially true for the SNP. The SNP have seen an incredible rise in membership and with that opportunity are risks.
Complacency will be the big enemy here for the SNP and they have to guard against it, no arrogance and no losing sight of the vision. Many new members and returning members, like myself, may be lending that membership to the SNP depending on how they use that faith we have loaned them, and how they take advantage of that will be vital to the overall opportunity to bring about change, equally an abuse or arrogance at their good fortune could set the movement back for years.
It would also be a big mistake to right off Labour. I agree with Iain Macwhirter, the personal attacks on Jim Murphy and Kezia Dugdale have to stop now. Their lack of vision, their real lack of power, their political arrogance, sense of entitlement and their complacency will be their un-doing but to right off the Labour machine, aided by members from the other Better Together Parties and the mainstream media, would be dangerous as they are still a formidable hurdle to cross.
They will plague the airwaves with a vote for the SNP is a vote for the Tories, while working with them to try to cut the SNP and other YES Parties off at the pass. Their members will support each others campaigns and put in place tactical voting to try and ensure that the alternative vision does not grab a foothold at Westminster. So while we should continue to blog and to challenge them at every turn we have to do this by destroying their arguments and their lies. An example already is Jim Murphy suddenly becoming a socialist, Kezia suddenly finding her political wisdom. Their lack of vision, their lives being totally wrapped within the political bubble will be their un-doing. What we have to do is keep the pressure on and the arguments going, but with the knowledge that we are right and that on this we can take the moral high ground, personal attacks on how they look, their education etc make us look stupid.
As far as the campaign for Westminster is concerned it would be a big mistake to base that campaign on the Smith Commission. The lack of any real powers and the amount of areas retained at Westminster again speak for themselves. The outcome of the Smith Commission will again fail to meet the aspirations of the Scottish people but the Scottish people are more than capable of seeing that for themselves. Westminster 2015 is not a re-run of the Referendum; it is an opportunity to campaign on increasing the YES voice at Westminster, to hold any Government to account to ensure that our voice is heard.
The YES Parties will be marginalised by the media during the campaign period, they have already as we have seen with the make up of the debates that are to come. However, throwing the dummy out of the pram will not do us any favours, our arguments are just, our vision is a social justice alternative to austerity and the Conservative and right wing Labour/Liberal ideological attacks on the gains that poor people have made over the last 200 years.
Lets make no mistake here, this election is not just about Scotland and powers, it is about a vision that the right have of ever decreasing public services, sold off to the highest bidder, and an agenda that takes us back to the Victorian Age and consolidates power with an ever smaller elite who will never relinquish it in future without an almighty fight.
The 2015 election is a fight we have never really had to fight before, not only are we fighting against the right wing agenda and ideology of the Conservatives but also the right wing ideology of the Liberal/Labour Parties who have given up the fight for social justice and decency to hang on the coattails of an elite that have defeated them.
Only the poor, the vulnerable, the real Socialists, the real Greens and those at the bottom can save us now and it is not just about Scotland it is about our way of life and what we are entitled to expect from the contributions and sacrifices that we make to this country.