CAMPAIGNING FOR SCOTLAND
(Owned, Edited and Printed in Scotland since November
"Promoting all that is best in Scottish
Nationalism and all that is best in Scotland."
Content of the Flag in the Wind Web Site is the copyright of the Scots
Issue 747 - 26th September
Compiled by Grant Thoms
45 into 15
Gutted. Hurt. Sad. Grief. Angry. Shocked. The list goes on as Yes supporters
digest the realisation that the culmination of their hard efforts Ė over
weeks, months and years for many activists Ė resulted in coming close but
not close enough. Many talk with frustration at their fellow Scots. Feart.
Shame. Traitors. Fools. We say these things in anger, just one stage of
several in the process of coping with loss. That has to stop. We will never
win by insulting those we need to win over. And we still have a cause to
win. That is the focus of this piece.
As the dust settles, the political landscape has changed somewhat. As an SNP
member, we have lost our leader Ė the most successful politician of his
generation - but, thankfully, we are ready to support another whose star
shone so brightly throughout the referendum campaign. Likewise Patrick
Harvie was a huge asset along with many socialists and those not aligned to
Many have commented upon and indeed praised the YES campaign organisation.
There was a time in the first year of Yes that many in the SNP were
dismissive of the organisation but I think nearly all would admit now, that
the concept was always going to be about grassroots organisation and
campaigning, and boy did that happen.
As for the No side? Once the disgraceful scenes of Loyal and fascist
Unionism are erased from our minds, reality dawns that the unholy alliance
of Labour, Tories and Lib Dems was a temporary fix with no real depth of
commitment, unlike the Yes movement. Iím not too sure why Gordon Brown is
the hero of the No campaign. I never saw his speeches to carefully selected
audiences. Maybe he was the background force to kick the Better Together
campaign into shape after the YouGov poll of 7 September sent the markets
at this point that my only conspiracy theory kicks in. I donít think the
market went jittery all of its own. The dodgy doom-laden analyst reports
from the likes of DeutscheBank were orchestrated by a City Friends of the
Union club. A wee short-term hit against ĎScottishí plcs will send a message
that this self-determination will cost you money. It worked enough for 5% to
swing back to No.
Then came the Vow. The promise of jam tomorrow so long as you donít ask what
flavour, what size and how much that jam will cost. By this time, itís too
late in the campaign to get traction to reduce its impact. If this is what
Brown devised, then he should get credit. He created the solution for those
Scots that wanted more powers but were not quite ready for full powers.
Well, some of them.
However, as we read and watch the political fall out in the rest of the UK,
suddenly the No vote is beginning to feel like a Pyrrhic victory for Brown
and his cronies. Back and front bench rebellion in the Tory party. Agitation
from the Northern Labour MPs. Even Plaid are using this to challenge the
second class devolution they have in Wales. Has Pandoraís box been opened?
Now what? Calls for the left to regroup to take on Unionist Labour in its
heartlands. Others it sounds like time to give up on the dream. The
emergence within hours of the result of the 45 twibbon perhaps is indicative
of where things can go forward. My initial reaction is that it sounded quite
Jacobean. A badge to wallow in grief. But there is another approach and Iím
sure many others have thought this too. What if the legacy of Yes was a 45
platform for candidates at the next Westminster General Election in May next
year? 45 into 15.
The SNP will kick in to play the vetting and selection of parliamentary
candidates very soon. However, as most SNP activists are well aware, voters
perceive parties differently in each election. Frankly, Westminster is not
for the SNP. Boiled down, we are never going to form the government so why
vote for them. It explains why in 2010, all incumbent majorities went up and
not a seat changed hands. Now this time round, I would expect the demise of
the Liberal Democrats will mean that some of their seats will be vulnerable.
Highland and North East seats to the SNP, Borders to the Tories and suburban
constituencies to Labour.
As Scotland focuses on kicking the Tories out of Downing Street, Labour are
likely to benefit the most. Labour will promise to deliver on devolution
which Cameron is finding hard to get his backbenchers to agree to. This
assumption, however, only works so long as Scotland is seen out of context
to the UK. What if the rest of the UK starts to veer even more to the Tories
as Labourís new found socialism paints them as the return of the Reds?
Milliband is promising a big increase in minimum wage (quite rightly), but
that isnít a message Middle England necessarily likes to hear.
Labour is seen as pandering to the Scots, there is a strong likelihood that
there may be an English backlash. Itís at this point that Tories increase
In Scotland, there is also another possibility. Whilst Scots are not keen on
the SNP in Westminster (as a generalisation), would they not be more
interested in a 45 Bloc Ė a grand coalition to reinforce more powers, maybe
even fiscal autonomy Ė to ensure that (1) Tories are not supported in
government, and (2) the Vow and more are delivered? This might just be
enough for the 35-40% of Labour and Liberal Democrat voters who voted YES,
to stick with 45 rather than go back to tribal allegiances. It also shows
the rest of the UK, that self-determination is bigger than anyone one man or
party. It is a civic force to be reckoned with.
us on facebook at
Scots Independent newspaper
We're on twitter too
Read Christina McKelvie MSP's Weekly Diary