Dave MacEwan Hill – Letter to The National 2nd October 2017

I would suggest that a significant majority of the residents of Scotland are now in favour of Independence but I think a little clarity of thought would be very useful at this point if we are to get the less well engaged on board.

There are two flawed assumptions we have to critically examine and hopefully abandon.

Some people argue that we need time to get our case in order before we go into another referendum. Our case, however, is in order. It is that Scotland is a well-resourced nation of able people and it should therefore rule itself. That is all and that is our case.

Has nobody registered the very obvious fact that if we take time to get whatever case some people imagine we need to get in order, we give that same time to our opponents? At the moment our opposition is in disarray, but a few years from now Brexit (or not) will have happened, things will have settled to the new reality and they will be able – if we give them that time – to turn their whole attention to beating us again. We will by our own hesitance have missed the biggest opportunity we are ever likely to get.

The other potentially very damaging assumption is that we have to have a whole raft of policy positions in place before we go for Independence. No, we do not. It is very important, in fact, that we do not do this.

All we really have to do is to establish firmly in the minds of our electorate that we are comfortably self-supporting, that our present difficulties have much to do with us being trapped in an almost bankrupt UK state, and that when independent we will have the revenue, the tools and the ability to choose the policies best suited to our needs.

The more we have lots of organisations trying to produce a range of different policies for an independent Scotland before we are independent, the more division we create needlessly in our ranks. Our enemies will love it. All we should be offering, at most, is the wide range of very different policies that we will be able to debate and then choose from after we actually become independent.

I can see this potential for division being a problem for the SNP and the Scottish Independence Convention come the next referendum (which should be as soon as possible while we still have a mandate and a huge advantage), so some sensible heads will be needed as we go forward.

Dave MacEwan Hill.