Yes Clacks Community Campaign for a Better Scotland
Email: info@yesclacks.net

Post Referendum Open Forum Meeting – Alloa

Yes clacks meeting packed room

Summaries

Opening Remarks and Keith Brown

Dave Lewis, chairing the meeting on behalf of the Yes campaign, welcomed everyone, and commented on the sheer numbers, with easily 140+ present, despite losing the referendum.  He wanted to make the point that we fought against big business (including companies like BAE telling staff to vote NO as it will cost them their job and pension), and felt (and it was widely agreed by everyone) that we would have won more than 45% of the vote if it wasn’t for the scare tactics.  Finally, he made it clear on behalf of the Yes campaign that they accepted the results and that there was no vote rigging in Clackmannanshire.  We lost immorally thanks to scare tactics, but we lost.

Keith Brown (MSP for Clackmannanshire and Dunblane) declared that he had never seen a turnout like this in 20 years, and that we should not be demonising individual No voters. Considering that he could remember a time when support for independence was around 12%, 45%, when fighting against the state and big business was a fantastic result.  But it is now clear that the single biggest obstacle getting in the way of self determination is the Labour Party. The Labour party must be removed for Scotland to move forward.  He also reminded us all that the British parties were now trying to slow things down and muddy the waters with their “powers for England” distraction.  We have to keep the Labour party to their vows, and we have to make sure their “vow” of more powers is upheld.  To show how little they care, on day one, Friday the 19th, they promised they would place a motion before the House of Commons.  They did not.  Finally, he called on us to remain positive and keep heart!

The floor then opened to questions and opinions. 

The Yes Campaign

A member of RIC was proud to say that the Yes campaign gave people hope, because the strength of our argument meant that politics, and a Yes Vote, meant something.  It mattered!  It was also a diverse campaign with groups such as RIC involved and able to go into areas that the SNP just couldn’t go into, and engaging with people who were previously just not involved or not interested.  This was then added to by others, stating that the Yes campaign had politicised Scotland, and that we are now a political nation.  We were naive thinking that the establishment would be fair, but no more.  We have to go forward, and be wise to their tricks, while remaining positive.  There was much talk of diversity with comment passed on the range of accents that had been heard.  Its not about “braveheart romanticised ideals” but about the people that live here.  In addition, there was talk of a genuine belief that we had acquired that snowball effect, and the resulting disappointment from the No vote.  Clearly we needed more conversations.

On the subject of diversity, there was a call to rename the SNP to the People’s Independence Party (from non party member) , as well as discussion of Women For Independence’s national conference (4th of October), and RIC’s national forum. There was also praise for Wings Over Scotland, and Business for Scotland, for the role that they had played in the campaign, particularly the Wee Blue Book (WBB).

Discussing funding and Yes Scotland, the organisers mentioned that Yes Clacks had raised money through donations and a crowdfunder, and had received no money directly from Yes Scotland.  In response to questions, Keith Brown confirmed that Blair Jenkins would be looking to be involved in some way.

But a common feeling underlying everything was that we have to capitalise on the energy and good will of the Yes campaign, and that there is a risk that young people might become cynical after the vote, and so we need to show the world, and in particular, young people, that we are still committed to the Yes Campaign.  But as well as the young people, there are also the elderly, we need to reach those people.  We need to continue to be Yes Ambassadors, and socialise with others to spread the word.  And we need to be positive.  Its about more than just rid Scotland of the British Labour Party, its a campaign of choices, and we need to stay positive.

It was also brought up that many people in society who had debt were worried that registering to vote meant that they would be chased by debt collectors, and that it was possible to tick a box to keep your details private.  It was felt that this needed to be communicated better.  Finally, the soaring membership of the SNP was discussed, with requests for membership forms, and requests for the forms to be made public so we can all sign up. 

Targeting Pensioners

The first key point made, and widely acknowledged was that we did not reach the pensioners.  It was argued that we could have done more.  To an extent, it was felt that we made an assumption that they were voting No, and so didn’t target them like we should. Moving forward, we could target pensioners more, hold meetings to discuss things with them, go round the doors during the day when they are likely to be in and available, and reach the old and those who do not use social media.  We need to integrate better with this vital demographic.

One suggestion for moving forward was to get old people directly with people who have expert knowledge, and convert enough to start a wave of discussions.  An additional post meeting suggestion for this came in the form of a “freedom garden” or equivalent project that would mix the elderly and the young together so that we could start to encourage the older generation to see why we want to be independent. E.g. find a piece of land in Clackmannanshire that isn’t used and use it to grow veg, flowers but the initiative would be to get the elderly and the young to work together to build this.

The future of the Yes Hub

One of the big aspirations that was widely shared by many who attended the meeting was that we wanted to keep the Yes Hub (currently based in Alloa) open.  There were several questions asking this.  It was felt that the hub gave the campaign a physical focus, a base for people to gravitate to and get involved from.  Many people echoed this feeling, with the hub widely felt to be a positive experience for all involved.   It was more than just a place to organise and run Yes Clacks from, it became like a social service, with things like vote registration advice, and general support offered. People were happy to volunteer their time to keep the hub staffed.

However, there were some practical issue with the hub.  It was initially funded by the SNP, and if we want to keep it open as a Yes Hub (or somewhere similar, as there was the point made that the hub was larger than we needed), then we need to formalise the organisation, set up a constitution, and pay the rent.  Currently, it is £100 a week in rent, with other costs in water, electricity etc. Ian Green, one of the senior Yes Clacks organisers, brought up the point that the Yes campaign had found real difficulties in securing a hub as many estate agents wouldn’t rent to the Yes Campaign.  Also, the current, hub has been leased at below commercial rates, but in future, the owners may want to lease it again at a higher rate.  It seemed to many that what the Yes Campaign needed was a wealthy benefactor!

There were proposals that we could have membership fees to pay the rent of the hub, or that we could take advantage of the hub to set up some form of social enterprise, such as a cafe that would get some economy going and help pay the rent.  An additional point made post meeting via facebook message was that we could use the hub as a base to link with other non-profit organisations in the area such as the Gate foodbank and WISH at the leisure bowl.  This would be a place where people could donate food etc and so on and find about local services too. At the same time, we could promote our vision. The Yes vision was about community and hope, so if we worked with more than just our organisation it might attract more members?

Although there were those that disagreed.  It was pointed out that the SNP tended to only open a campaign office for the last few weeks of an election campaign, and that rooms are not needed to organise a campaign from.  It was also pointed out that other campaigns, including in Stenhousemuir that day, had much lower scale facilities.  They were using a £6.99 pasting table out in the town!  But the overwhelming feeling was that some way had to be found to keep the hub open.

The web and online media

Throughout the night, the online presence of Yes Clacks was a matter for discussion.  The current editorial team are happy to continue to work on the facebook, twitter, and web accounts, including advertising and promoting this meeting, and future ones.  The feeling was that people wanted this to continue.  The facebook team are happy to promote events for all pro-indy groups, and asked for people to send them details.  It was brought up that we needed to organise our activities centrally, both locally and nationally, and online, and the web seems like the best coordination mechanism.

Some ideas for expansion, in addition to keeping Yes Clacks running included an online blog to discuss local social issues, the expansion of the Scots Independent newspaper, a radio station, and also something like referendum TV.  On a local level, it was felt we needed to have a Youtube channel with local content.

As an additional point, the Yes Dunblane site has been relaunched, with talk of becoming a “45” group.

This is an area for further discussion and planning as to how we can take this forward.

Calls for a boycott

To channel some of the anger at the big businesses that came out heavily against independence, including those that engaged in blatant scaremongering, there was much talk of boycotting the large national companies that engaged in the worst behaviour (scaremongering, threatening letters to employees etc).  In particular, there were calls for the local national businesses to be boycotted as punishment, because companies will remember that, and people have immense power when they organise.  However, despite the real anger, it was important to remember that these national companies operating locally are a huge local employers, and all a boycott would do is cost local people their jobs.  Its more important to get people to understand their scare tactics rather than a boycott.

In addition, there was discussion of boycotting, because a boycott needs to be targeted towards a specific company, with a specific start and end point.  It also needs to be coordinated.  Not just wild cat, ad hoc, “boycotting” here and there.  This point was well received.

Other comments were made about cancelling TV license direct debits to send a message to the BBC, and also clogging up company administration with en masse pro-forma letters sent to company headquarters, rather than hitting the workers.

The role of the media

The media was a particular subject of discussion, with some very real anger felt at the bias present in our “Scottish” newspapers.  One person who has lived in China scathingly made the point that even the Chinese media is less corrupt than the BBC.  But the illusion of fairness was gone from many people.  Too many people no longer believe the lies of our mainstream media.  The point was made that it wasn’t so much the journalists, but the London-centric editorial control that kept our journalists in an editorial strait jacket.  An example was made in Peter Cook, who was applauded for his coverage, despite the bias of the BBC that he worked for.  A lone candle in the darkness.  Otherwise, we had the spectre of London editions of papers telling a completely contrasting story to the Scottish editions, with London editions telling their readership about the subsidy junkie Scots, while the Scottish edition told a different story.  Even the local paper was felt to not be onside with the campaign.

However, the point was made that the issue of bias may not be so visible to people who are not users of social media, to those who aren’t ‘in the bubble’.  There were many who continued to trust the media.  The BBC, ITV, and the Daily Record were named as some of the biggest influences.  It was argued that the media has infiltrated our lives.  It influences the language and the pejorative terms that we use.  For example, “devo max”?  What is being proposed is not “devo max”, it is “devo nano”!  The question was asked, how do we get control of the mass media?  It was argued that we need to infiltrate the media, to stop buying the papers, and to set up our own media.  Although it had to be emphasised that by definition, an alternative media did not have the same reach as the mass media.

It was brought up that there was a Scots Independent newspaper available only on subscription.  It needs to be sold on the street rather than free, as people will throw free papers in the bin.  We need a radio station, we need referendum TV, and we need our local websites (Yes Clacks) to continue their work.  It was also suggested that maybe BfS could help set up a media company, as they have lots of skills for crowdfunding.

Regarding the BBC, we were reminded that editorial and commissioning control was not based in Scotland, and that more money is sent down to London than we get back. We need to lobby our representatives to have editorial and commission control done in Scotland.  If we simply boycott the license fee, there is a fear that the UK government is looking at ways to get rid of the BBC, and our actions could hassen that and we could lose the BBC altogether, which for all its faults is a world class broadcaster. It needs an external ombudsman rather than the mess we have at the moment, which is an internal process.

Tough on Labour, tough on the causes of Labour

There was a real and visceral anger felt throughout the room at the nature of the British Labour Party, with widespread calls to get behind the pro-independence parties, and vote SNP to get Labour removed from Scotland, root and branch, from council level, to European and national level. Their song has been sung.

As a further point, it was pointed out that many unions had announced their support for No without balloting their members.  Exceptions included the RMT and PCS.  They need to be asked why they supported a No vote.  In addition, many trade unions contribute to the Labour party through member subs.  People need to be made aware that they have no legal obligation to fund the Labour party through their union membership.  People can write to their union secretary and ask for the forms to not pay the political funding, although the offset is that people will not get to vote for Labour leader.  We can cut Labour’s funding. On a national level, UNISON are holding a ballot on scrapping their Labour party funding in November 2014.

In short, there was an anger in the room at the behaviour of Labour, and the consensus was that they need to be obliterated from Clackmannanshire.

 General Election 2015

One of the immediate milestones that was discussed was how to get rid of the Labour party locally.  The general election was targeted as a way we could remove Labour. Nationally, Labour seats with small majorities needed to be targeted.  Furthermore, the general election represents an obvious target and milestone to be able to make a statement about independence.  Alloa also contains a lot of poor areas with some real poverty, and the people in those areas needed to know what their local Labour MP has voted for with aspects such as benefit caps.  This needs to be communicated.

It was felt that although the room was full of people from all organisations and none, only the SNP has the political machine to target this seat, and there was discussion of a rainbow coalition of the left.  However, there is a reason that Tommy Sheridan and Carolyn Leckie came out and backed the SNP, despite not being SNP members themselves.  Comments were made that first past the post is brutal and unforgiving, and to win, we have to be focused and ruthless.

One of the big challenges is that the current MP is a well known figure.  Any SNP candidate needs to have a high profile, and can’t just be parachuted in at the last minute.  They need to be well known locally.

As a side point, there were musings as to whether Wings would be interested in producing a Wee Blue Book for the 2015 general election. 

Moving forwards and next steps

Business for Scotland have started a process of looking at what they are to do next, and how they will interact with other groups. Other groups are also taking stock, much like Yes Clacks.  In addition to targeting the general election and the obliteration of Labour, there were many points that were made for what to do next.  It was agreed that to harness the anger, the energy, and the hope, what we need is a series of milestones, getting everyone engaged, everyone involved, and with clear goals leading up to and past the general election.  First of all, Yes Clacks will be continuing.  We are not going anywhere, but we need a road map and a strategy.

Related to the hub (and online media), we need to develop a good quality central resource where people can get information and quick answers to questions, so that when people ask, the answers are at everyone’s fingertips.  The prospect of a paid membership to pay for the hub and fundraising was also brought up.

It was also emphasised that there was more than just the general election.  With the British state selling the land we stand on for fracking, and taking us back to war in Iraq, we are going to be swamped, and the whole thing will become a massive propaganda exercise.  We need to be organised! We should be looking to develop links with other groups such as fracking groups, to get them onside and link out causes.  Some other ideas included a wishing wall or tree for the community to write their hopes and dreams, and a christmas campfire event.

There were requests for more SNP membership forms to get people signed up and involved.

We also need to discuss these things at national and regional level, particularly coordinating with other Yes Groups to win seats in the election, and how do Yes Clacks be involved in that?

Another thing we need is a comprehensive timetable.  We need to know when all the meetings are happening, when all the national rallies take place, and we need to be organised to rally people for them.

Regarding meetings, there were questions as to whether we should be holding more large meetings like this one, or focusing almost exclusively on small scale doorstep conversations like Yes Clacks were doing previously.

The ideas discussed in this meeting need to be made concrete and discussed in more detail.  They need to be written down, and people need to think about them and come up with more detail as to how to implement.  If we can develop these ideas, we can democratically vote on them and implement them.

Finally, the meeting concluded with an emphasis that people needed to really think about these ideas that had been discussed, and come up with concrete plans and proposals.  The main points were that people wanted to see the hub kept open, they wanted to see the campaign continue, and so the website and social media needed to be kept active, they wanted information and resources, and everyone wants to put together a plan for the next few years, starting with the removal of Labour in the general election in 2015.

Summary

Finally, the meeting concluded with an emphasis that people needed to really think about these ideas that had been discussed, and come up with concrete plans and proposals.  The main points were that people wanted to see the hub kept open, they wanted to see the campaign continue, and so the website and social media needed to be kept active, they wanted information and resources, and everyone wants to put together a plan for the next few years, starting with the removal of Labour in the general election in 2015.  The meeting was brought to a close, and the organisers thanked everyone and promised to summarise, stay in contact with people, and keep working towards an independent Scotland.


Another meeting, possibly with a speaker, was proposed for next month to firm up the ideas discussed here.

Summary TL:DR Edition

Dave Lewis, chairing the meeting on behalf of the Yes campaign, welcomed everyone, and commented on the sheer numbers, with easily 140+ present, despite losing the referendum.  He wanted to make the point that we fought against big business (including companies like BAE telling staff to vote NO as it will cost them their pension), and felt (and it was widely agreed by everyone) that we would have won more than 45% of the vote if it wasn’t for the scare tactics.  Finally, he made it clear on behalf of the Yes campaign that they accepted the results and that there was no vote rigging in Clackmannanshire.  We lost immorally thanks to scare tactics, but we lost.  Local MSP Keith Brown spoke passionately about moving on from 45% to really make a statement and stay positive! The floor then opened to questions and opinions.

Firstly, the Yes  campaign was praised because it gave people hope, because the strength of our argument meant that politics, and a Yes Vote, meant something.  It mattered!  It was also a diverse campaign with groups such as RIC involved, and engaging with people who were previously just not involved or not interested.  This was then added to by others, stating that the Yes campaign had politicised Scotland, and that we are now a political nation. There was much talk of diversity with comment passed on the range of accents that had been heard.  Its not about “braveheart romanticised ideals” but about the people that live here.  We need to capitalise on that energy and good will, and keep trying to reach everyone, including the young, the old, and those that have debt and are reluctant to register to vote in case they are pursued by debt collectors.  The soaring membership of the SNP was also brought up, with requests for more forms so that everyone who is interested can sign up.

The media was a particular subject of discussion, with some very real anger felt at the bias present in our “Scottish” newspapers.  We had the spectre of London editions of papers telling a completely contrasting story to the Scottish editions.  Even the local paper was felt to not be onside with the campaign.  However, the point was made that the issue of bias may not be so visible to people who are not users of social media, to those who aren’t ‘in the bubble’.  There were many who continued to trust the media.  It was brought up that there was a Scots Independent newspaper available only on subscription.  It needs to be sold on the street rather than free, as people will throw free papers in the bin.  We need a radio station, we need referendum TV, and we need our local websites (Yes Clacks) to continue their work.  It was also suggested that maybe BfS could help set up a media company, as they have lots of skills for crowdfunding.

On the subject of anger, there were calls for boycotts of the big businesses that came out heavily against independence, including the local Asda, although it was also pointed out in well received comments that boycotts had to be targeted and coordinated for maximum impact.  There was also discussion about cancelling the BBC license fee.

A subject of much discussion was the Yes Hub in Alloa.  One of the big aspirations that was widely shared by many was that we wanted to keep the Yes Hub  open.  There were several questions asking this.  It was felt that the hub gave the campaign a physical focus, a base for people to gravitate to and get involved from.  Many people echoed this feeling, with the hub widely felt to be a positive experience for all involved.   It was more than just a place to organise and run Yes Clacks from, it became like a social service, with things like vote registration advice, and general support offered. People were happy to volunteer their time to keep the hub staffed.

However, there were some practical issue with the hub.  It was initially funded by the SNP, and if we want to keep it open as a Yes hub, then we need to formalise the organisation, set up a constitution, and pay the rent.  Currently, it is a minimum £100 a week in rent, with other costs in water, electricity etc.  There were proposals that we could have membership fees to pay the rent of the hub, or that we could take advantage of the hub to set up some form of social enterprise, such as a cafe.  An additional point made was that we could use the hub Use like a base to link with other non-profit organisations in the area such as the gate foodbank and WISH at the leisure bowl.  There were those that disagreed, it was pointed out that rooms are not needed to organise a campaign from, and other campaigns, had much lower scale facilities.  But the overwhelming feeling was that some way had to be found to keep the hub open.  And this is something that needs to be explored.

Throughout the night, the online presence of Yes Clacks was a matter for discussion.  The current editorial team are happy to continue to work on the facebook, twitter, and web accounts, including advertising and promoting this meeting and future ones.  The feeling was that people wanted this to continue.  The facebook team are happy to promote events for all pro-indy groups, and asked for people to send them details.  It was brought up that we needed to organise our activities centrally, both locally and nationally, and online, and the web seems like the best coordination mechanism.  Some ideas for expansion, in addition to keeping Yes Clacks running included an online blog to discuss local social issues, the expansion of the Scots independent newspaper, a radio station, and also something like referendum TV.  On a local level, it was proposed we needed to have a youtube channel with local content.  As an additional point, the Yes Dunblane site has been relaunched.

In addition to all the positive points made, there was a real and visceral anger felt throughout the room at the nature of the British Labour Party, with widespread calls to get behind the pro-independence parties, and vote SNP to get Labour removed from Scotland, root and branch, from council level, to European and national level. In particular, local MP came in for much criticism, as he was heavily involved in the scare stories behind Better Together. It was felt that he (and his party) had behaved disgracefully throughout the referendum campaign, and he needed to be kept under pressure.  In addition, many trade unions contribute to the Labour party through member subs.  People need to be made aware that they have no legal obligation to fund the Labour party through their union membership.

 The next milestone is the 2015 General Election.  It was felt that only the SNP has the political machine to target the Westminster seat, and there was discussion of a rainbow coalition of the left.  However, there is a reason that Tommy Sheridan and Carolyn Leckie came out and backed the SNP, despite not being SNP members themselves.  Comments were made that first past the post is brutal and unforgiving, and to win, we have to be focused and ruthless.  One of the big challenges is that Gordon Banks is a well known figure, and any SNP candidate needs to have a high profile, and can’t just be parachuted in at the last minute.  They need to be well known locally.

In addition to targeting the general election it was agreed that we need a series of milestones, getting everyone engaged, everyone involved, and with clear goals leading up to and past the general election.

  • We need to develop a good quality central resource where people can get information and quick answers to questions.
  • There is more than just the election.  We have to be organised and look to develop links with groups such as fracking, and be ready to oppose the Iraq war.
  • There were requests to encourage SNP membership, and make forms available
  • Co-ordination with other local and national independence groups needs to be improved
  • A comprehensive timetable needs to be developed of all meetings, national rallies, and organised in advance so that they can be taken advantage of
  • More large meetings?
  • The ideas proposed need to be thought about and concrete proposals need to be developed as to how to implement these ideas.
  • A democratic and voting membership to raise funds for campaigning and the hub?

Finally, the meeting concluded with an emphasis that people needed to really think about these ideas that had been discussed, and come up with concrete plans and proposals.  The main points were that people wanted to see the hub kept open, they wanted to see the campaign continue, and so the website and social media needed to be kept active, they wanted information and resources, and everyone wants to put together a plan for the next few years, starting with the removal of Labour in the general election in 2015.  The meeting was brought to a close, and the organisers thanked everyone and promised to summarise, stay in contact with people, and keep working towards an independent Scotland.

Another meeting, possibly with a speaker, was proposed for next month to firm up the ideas discussed here.

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5 Comments
  1. My thoughts are to keep the YES name as it is positive and recognisable whereas 45 (although I love it and am proud to be one of the 45%) may be seen as divisive. I think the Hub needs to be kept open and the idea of sharing it with other community projects is excellent as it will indeed spread the ethos of YES. I also think people would be happy to pay a membership to be part of YES and contribute towards campaigning costs for 2015 and the future. I am not comfortable with the idea of trying to influence the elderly; they are set in their ways. I think it is more important that we influence the NO voters and the undecided and highlight the positivities of YES and how YES is supportive of communities and future generations. We also need to arm ourselves with answers to questions they may have so a new Wee Blue Book would be fantastic. We need to educate ourselves and talk to NO voters and find out what their concerns were and be able to put their minds at rest. Mistakes were made in the YES campaign and one of them was that not all the questions were answered. I know of a few NO voters who have since said that had they known about Fracking or how flimsy ‘the vow’ was they may never have voted NO. We need to make sure that any future campaign is crystal clear and honest. But that’s who we need on our side – the NOs and the undecided. They are the ones who will swing this in the future. Tamara Rybak

  2. Firstly, congratulations to whoever wrote this. It is an exceedingly accurate report of a large and somewhat sprawling meeting and seems to cover the points raised. A very useful document to focus minds for the next meeting. However, politically things are moving very fast around us. We now have a fair idea, after the party conferences, of the likely basis of the Tory and Labour GE campaigns and confirmation that they are both offering continuing austerity for the less well off + tax breaks for the better off. We can make capital from this. The number of people joining the SNP continues to astonish and, if all the new members intend to be active, will completely change the way the Branches operate. Yessers are buzzing with ideas – I particularly like Kevin’s ‘Gordon (food) Banks’ campaign and would like to see a leaflet/poster campaign to spread this message to those who are not on facebook. Also like the idea of a big celebratory Ceilidh locally for St Andrew’s Day and a suggested name for our cross-party and none group = ‘CLACKSTIVATE’. I hope others will use this forum to keep bringing ideas and suggestions to the table.

  3. Many thanks to the dude/s who went to the bother of summarising this meeting – clearly a big job in itself, and incredibly informative for those who couldn’t (but wanted to) attend.

    This phase of the campaign appears quite chaotic in its enthusiasm. Each forum page, each blogger seems to have a different idea of what should happen next, and I’m still looking for direction to be honest. I don’t want a perma-campaign where we’re all rallying every few weeks and thumping tables for the next 5yrs. Yes, 45% was an absolute achievement given the hefty weight of the Westminster establishment and their associate chronies…but we need to be more professional and…sleekit…this time round. Even towards the end of the referendum campaign I could see that being that group of Yessers in everyone’s face could be a turn off and be seen as aggressive. I’m hoping for some instruction from the SNP during their conference as to how we should vote in the General Elections, and hope to make the next Yes Clacks meeting.

  4. It sounds like a good meeting with the YES spirit very much alive.I like the idea of a celebratory ceilidh. I agree about not specifically targeting older people, it will be just as important to retain those enthused by the campaign and keep in touch with those who reluctantly voted No from fear or because they thought Westminster should have another chance. The campaign obviously had a clear focus and it will be important to keep a focus for the future. The 2015 election is one and as Westminster continues with no option to austerity for the vulnerable, allied to attacks on public services and tax cuts, it will be important for Scottish voters to have an alternative. That is certainly not provided by the Labour party, already obliterated in the minds of many.While it’s not long until May 2015 we also have the Westminster “vows” to focus on. It will be good if through the auspices of the YES Campaign, nationally and locally, we can ensure people are informed and, as importantly, engaged with ensuring the Scottish parliament is not fobbed off with responsibilities without authority but gets genuine power and the authority to make a difference. It would be good if, through retaining the Hub (or similar), newsletters and meetings, we could ensure the work of the Smith Commission and surrounding manoeuvrings and their consequences are being communicated and monitored. Though we didn’t win independence this time, the YES campaign did extract the “vows” and it will be important to let Westminster know we have not gone away.

  5. Thank you so much for this report. I was out of the country at the time and very concerned to have not been part of sharing our feelings and helping to generate our ongoing momentum. However, I feel updated and as eager as others to keep going, keep inspiring , keep getting our positive messages across. I think the general election is a crucial time for us. Yes, we need to eliminate the Labour Party in Clacks, in Scotland. We will be doing it a favour. If it ever want sot be a violable political party in this country it needs to rise again from its own ashes. Lets set the torch to that. And then leave it to the,]m. In the meantime though we need to strengthen the pro indy groupings both locally and nationally: the pro indy platform needs to be more than robust — we can make it formidable by eliminating any credible opposition. How do we do this? Well , I guess there are lots of ideas out there and I only have a few but these include what we’re already doing, swell the SNP membership, but we need not be too dogmatic perhaps in that? Getting Yessers to commit to their own pro indy parties helps provide us with a strong and robust platform, it offers diversity, and becomes truly representative of the political will of almost half of Scotland.

    We need to stay in touch with SNP and the messages it delivers, we help shape what these essays are but we need to also be alert and listen to what advice it is giving put to us, the people of Scotland….because the next stages of our campaigning needs to be from grassroots… SNP needs to be seen to respond to our will, the will of the people. IT WILL BE THROUGH THE DEMOCCRATIC WILL OF THE PEOPLE THAT WE REGAIN OUR COUNTRY.

    A couple of points re ideas on the Hub’s sustainability : I work in a commercial cafe/bistro… it is not an easy or straightforward way to make a buck. It is a very competitive market, there is a mountain of planning permissions health and safer issues, food and environmental laws and regulations… I support the idea of a membership fee.. the establishment of a pro indy platform or indeed a straightforward SNP indy group . The idea of a community garden is excellent an there may well be monies out there to help establish such a thing,, The Scottish Govt supports policies that include food sustainability, particularly in places like Clacks where there are food bands and deprivation. I offer my experience in writing funding applications etc should any such ideas gain momentum. I think also a big St Andrews event would be stunning : celebratory, visual, integrating, showing that we have Scotland’s heart in our hands and we cherish it. There is no room for divisions. Let us show how an indy Scotland will be… sorry for going on so… am passionate, as are so many of us. I await further details and instruction as to how we proceed… Oh aye, and social media.. that’s where the action has to be :))

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Yes Clackmannanshire
Yes Hub
1 Coalgate
Alloa
Clackmannanshire
FK10 1EH
Scotland