EVERYONE’S POLITICS IS DIFFERENT
When you understand and accept this politics becomes much more interesting and challenging. It makes you think, will the message that attracted me work with everyone? I will save you some thinking time, the answer is no. People are different, they have different priorities and attitudes so any political message must be flexible and multi stranded to appeal to as many people and groups as possible, without being contradictory. No easy task.
To put an effective campaign together you need an overarching theme that can sit at the top of every strand variant. For those of us who support Independence a suitable theme could be “A Better Scotland”. That can apply whether you are discussing the economy, health, social policy,education or whatever. The trick then is to get all in your Party, who are all active in a wide variety of activities to incorporate that key message into all their work. All these different strands pulling together in the same terms thereby helps create the momentum and progress towards your goal. It builds a team while allowing the individual freedom of action that is crucial to maintaining a unity of purpose. Top down, one size fits all is a recipe for conflict and argument.
This is why central control, while necessary, sometimes is best used sparingly. The best example of this was the Yes campaign in the 2014 referendum, the grassroots took charge, it was totally out of control, but in the most positive way. The freedom to campaign anyway you wanted created enormous enthusiasm and drive but what was amazing about this political phenomenon was far from pulling everything apart it pulled everyone together. There was a lesson there for the professional know it all political operators. Please note, despite the lack of central control everyone knew exactly what they were campaigning for and many taught themselves through trial and error what worked best. Total freedom to fight for freedom was a great recipe.
So why is there dissatisfaction in the Yes Movement today? It is not for lack of interest or willingness to hit the streets and knock the doors. I think it is because they feel they have been under starters orders for a long time and they still don’t know what type of race they are going to be asked to run. Is it going to be a short sprint or the .Grand National with loads of different fences to jump. It would relieve a lot of pressure if we could come up with some opportunities for them to do what they do best in the interim.
I think we should be thinking about going on a few fast canters and displaying the latent energy we possess. We of course need to find an exercise that would be popular across the whole movement but which we can win and in doing so be able to point to benefits for our people, jobs and Scottish companies in the process.
I think I have the very thing. I am incensed with the move to remove Scotland the brand from everything. It is directly connected to Brexit, they want Scotland and Scottish goods to disappear and for the UK to be the only option.
It won’t do, so here is what I propose. It is a repeat of a campaign I ran with Gil Paterson thirty years ago and which was spectacularly successful bringing Asda to its knees after less than one day of campaigning. We called it the Stock Scottish Campaign and it is time for an action replay.
We should conduct a well publicised survey of all major supermarkets in Scotland and register the proportion of Scottish labeled produce across the store. Prior to this we should write to every store chain one month in advance to allow them time to improve the situation prior to the survey. Whichever store chain has the lowest proportion of Scottish goods following the survey becomes the campaign target.
On a set date, across the country, pickets should appear at every store of the chain with posters and leaflets highlighting why they are being targeted. We should lay on cars to take pedestrian shoppers to an alternative store (and drive them home afterwards). Shoppers that haven’t time to go elsewhere should be encouraged to fill their trolleys with loads of goods but when they get to the checkout decide to only pay and take goods that are labeled as Scottish. We found older shoppers loved this tactic, it’s not often when you are over 70 you get the opportunity to create mayhem as of course STAFF have to put all the rejected product back on the shelves. Real chaos if this in done in numbers.
If we can do this at every Tesco, or Asda, or Sainsbury or whoever it will scare the LIVING DAYLIGHTS out of them. The publicity will do significant economic damage and you can bet they will be telling the UK Government to get stuffed the next time they get asked to put the Union flag on their produce in Scotland.
In the meantime it will be an effective test of the YES movement’s ability to mobilize quickly and effectively across the country. By forcing the superstores to use more Scottish produce we help to create and protect jobs in Scotland and send a useful political message that we don’t just sit back and let anti Scottish tactics go unchallenged. Yes we are looking for that BETTER SCOTLAND.
What do you think folks are you up for it?
I am, as always
YOURS FOR SCOTLAND.
PLEASE SHARE THIS ARTICLE WIDELY. FOR THIS IDEA TO WORK WE NEED SUPPORT FROM ALL AREAS OF SCOTLAND. THANKS!
Please note this is post Covid I am proposing.