Yes Edinburgh West strategy workshop, Newliston Arms, 11 Sept 2017

  1. Given the nature of this event (and the fact that several groups were in action simultaneously), this is more of one person’s view of it rather than a minute.
  2. A Livestream broadcast wasn’t appropriate (or possible).
  3. There were 18 attendees. Email addresses given will be added to the mailing list unless anyone objects.
  4. Peter Curran gave an overview of the history of facilitated workshops, and outlined his experience of using these successfully in business. He then asked for opinions on what we needed to do next as a Yes movement/ a local Yes group, and a short discussion ensued.
  5. Peter then asked whether people thought we needed
    1. Independence
    2. More independence within the UK
    3. Don’t know / prefer not to say

Everybody moved to the A group.

  1. Peter then outlined the possible routes to Independence
    1. By a democratic process within the UK      6 chose this (as per IndyRef1, ratified by UK)
    2. By a democratic process within Scotland   6 chose this (IndyRef2 not ratified by UK, like Catalonia)
    3. By a non-democratic process                     4 chose this (refusing cooperation, civil disobedience, armed struggle, UDI without referendum) – or undecided
  1. Peter then asked what are the difficulties between the Yes movement and Indy-supporting political parties?

Responses included: sharing political power, infighting, lack of structure, the media propaganda de-legitimising the idea of independence, finance (it’s easier for political parties than Yes to raise funds)

  1. Peter then asked who thought
    1. The SNP must get behind the Yes movement        7 chose this
    2. The Yes movement must get behind the SNP        2 chose this
    3. A combination of both                                            8 chose this

This was then discussed in terms of the strengths and weaknesses of both

 – the Yes movement being single focus, and a mass movement

 – the SNP being multi-focus, where members hold shared values and some (but not all) shared views. The key difference being that a party aims to elect representatives to parliament, and possibly to govern.

  1. Finally, Peter asked for comments on what our Yes group’s strategy should be, and a number of options were identified:
    1. Wait for Brexit to become a disaster, and everybody will be driven to Yes
    2. Tackle the media imbalance – using our own social media and supporting indy-positive media
    3. Tread water until IndyRef2 is announced (educating ourselves in the meantime)

The groups discussed what might be done, then shared their results with each other. Some themes which emerged in my group were: learning how to do targeted messaging (a la Brexit and Trump), possibly starting with voter surveys and better understanding our local constituency; registering website names which could pre-empt the No side; thinking of Scotland and acting as a small nation.

10. Ian Grant finished with an overview of an SIC meeting he had attended, and some announcements:

Mon 2 Oct (Newliston Arms 7.30pm): AGM (anybody keen to hold a formal position will be most welcome!)

Mon 6 Nov (Newliston Arms 7.30pm): Michelle Thomson and Roger Mullin on “Brexit: what might it mean for business in Scotland?

We have published a number of briefing notes (as online E-Flets, rather than old-fashioned leaflets!), book previews and film previews – all comments welcome! If you want to make comments, set up, lead or join groups on any other subject, please email Bob Glen.

Gerry Mulvenna has implemented a donation facility on the website.

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