Indy is near, poll the other one!

Take a break from Brexit, it’s a painful distraction. Independence is the thing, everything else is background noise. Sherkaleg!

Make no apologies, this is all about Scotland. Now is the time to cement a positive future for the people of Scotland. Let’s make Scotland the priority for everyone in Scotland. Yes, Scots old, young and new care most about Scots, old, young and new. I have always believed that local problems are solved best locally. Independence, especially at local levels, for all communities, is worth achieving as fast as we can possibly manage.

In a refreshing change to the domination of mainstream media, there are several initiatives pushing an Indy-centric agenda, from IndyLive.Radio to Broadcasting Scotland, from the prism-like focus of Barrhead Boy to the long-running feisty Lesley Riddoch podcasts. Impressive creativity and hard work from incredible and dedicated people, who are providing excellent content, often with little or no funding. It irks me that millions of pounds are received by the BBC to churn out negative news content on a daily basis that shows Scotland in a very negative light. They are positivity and improvement vampires; sucking life energy from our hearts and minds. On a brighter note, Progress Scotland is a recent addition to our growing family of fact providers and pro-Scottish communicators, and has a game-changing approach.

The excellent effort by Angus Robertson and his team at Progress Scotland has quickly come into its own. Progress Scotland aims to help prepare the case for Scotland to progress towards independence, keeping pace with the views of the people who make their lives there. Clear and easy to understand information has been recently published. Updates will continue over the next months and throughout the final campaign for Scottish independence. Their first results are most encouraging. In a nutshell, there is a majority support for Independence in Scotland. This is significant.

This is the beginning of a pre-campaign baseline, which can be used to hone strategic and tactical decisions. The headline statistics that meant the most to me and jumped out from the page when I read them were:

These are the opinions of undecided people. Interesting, and this provides some incentive for me around an aspect of campaigning that I always believed would be a critical point, namely focus on undecided folks, as our most likely potential new voters. I am a great believer in storytelling or painting a future picture of where we want to be, what success looks like, and what is the ‘solved state’, i.e. when our campaign is completed and all the promises delivered, what does our new independent Scotland look like? What do we stand for, what are we interested in, what are our priorities, and how would we wish to be viewed and judged by our neighbouring states. We have reached the point where our key messages need to be picked apart and delivered as compelling points to help sway the undecided.

The following points are in my opinion, the key areas for independence success:

Trust and confidence (Indy is necessary, achievable and will make things significantly better for you and your family);

Clear messages (Avoid endless statistics where possible, we are trying to win hearts and minds. Indy is normal, have that conversation);

Emphasise the broken nature of the union (There is no status quo, Indy is the only viable option for Scotland, the union imploded);

Avoid heated or subjective discussions with strong no voters (Focus instead on what you can influence, namely the undecided or soft no folks).

There are other topics and while the list is not exhaustive, if we focus on these key points and answer them in full, we will be in a very good position to succeed. Recent discussions around the production of a Constitution for Scotland are most helpful. From day one of independence, the Constitution must be in place. The earlier this is developed and agreed the better. A well written Constitution gives voters an opportunity to decide what they believe is best, based on informed assessment of their options. let’s face it, the options are very limited.

Indy is a prize, a dream for millions of Scots. Every single person involved in any way in the new campaign must give it 100% of their effort. Stick to your strengths. Not everyone is confident or good at knocking on doors, while others don’t like organizing tasks or people, while others still, are not happy writing bulletins, blogs or contents for leaflets. That’s our strength, everyone is different. Do what you can, no effort is too small, Indy is the sum of all its component parts. That’s what a ground-led campaign is, and in any team, no single individual should be more important than the team itself. In maintaining and extending feelings of confidence and trust, it is critical that through a sense of inclusiveness, everyone is assured they are treated with respect, fairly, and valued.

Let’s do things a bit differently. This time around, we frame the narrative. From the get-go, we come out of the starting blocks strong and confident. We need an unshakable confidence that we can do much better as a modern independent country. Scotland has so many advantages, and it is now obvious, we are quickly and with great momentum, heading in a very different direction from England. England will always be our good neighbour and a key trading partner, but absolutely, with no exceptions, on equal terms. Equality and fairness are powerful characteristics to develop.

Our Indy team is stronger than ever before. Much stronger. We have a wheen of talent, experience, brains, endearing and inspirational characters. Our enthusiasm is infectious and unrelenting. This time our approachable, positive approach will be coupled with a more robust intent to win. We win by convincing no voters that there is no other option, Indy is inevitable, the right thing to do, and above all the best thing to do for our children, grandchildren and their dependents.

Be in no doubt, there is no land of milk and honey, Indy is not going to be easy; things worth waiting for never are. The unionist parties are one. They will always assemble and combine to gaslight their way through a very negative campaign. They act without consequence. I am certain they will resurrect their approach of lies, untruths, deception and fear. On the other hand, we will win by relentlessly maintaining an imbalance, namely – more light less heat. Indy is near, very near. Time to lead our people, time to shape a compelling and worthwhile narrative, time to shine.

by Dougie Bendall

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31 thoughts on “Indy is near, poll the other one!”

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