Stop Bickering! Independence is the only thing we need to agree on
We talked before about how there are, broadly speaking, two types of independence supporter.
- There are those who think we should have radical politics now as they believe that the key to independence is to give people a glimpse of what could be done differently in an independent Scotland. To set the consensus based Holyrood system apart from the one at Westminster.
- Conversely, there are those who think that the key to winning independence is to keep the SNP in as strong a position as possible. That the SNP are the only way to independence and after we get it is the time to rock the boat policy wise.
We could argue about the merits of each position in a cordial way, as we have done in the past but it probably wont achieve too much.
There is logic to both sides of the argument and it is nigh on impossible to prove which one is correct. Whatever side of the debate you are on is governed by political instinct. Not too many of us are going to change our minds either way.
While this key debate died down after the Holyrood election, in recent weeks I have seen a resurgence of bickering between some, often prominent, Yes supporters. Some on both sides are happy to cast aspersions about the other group’s commitment to the cause. I have no problem discussing this tactical dispute in a mature way but many are too quick to air their dirty linen in public.
The decision by the Green party not to support the SNP budget due to their perception that the SNP are not radical enough on tax will no doubt fan the flames.
Nevertheless, that decision gets to the heart of the Schism. The section that want radical consensus politics now think it’s a great idea to push the SNP on tax while those who don’t want to rock the boat think it could be disastrous.
While, I think this Radical Now v Radical Later dichotomy is the main flash-point in many online inter-movement spats.
This is obviously not the only thing that Yes supporters disagree on. I follow and read so much opinion from across the movement and I can honestly say I disagree with a large portion of what I read. Some of it because it’s too radical for me, some of it because it’s too conservative and some of it because it’s downright barmy and conspiratorial.
That said, it’s the fact that I disagree with much of it that gives me heart. In fact, I wish there was more I disagreed with.
For instance it would be great to see more right of centre cases for independence which the likes of Michael Fry has been pretty much a lone voice in delivering. The point is, the more ideas I disagree with coming from within the independence movement, the more likely independence is to happen. We are creating a country, and a healthy country should contain a whole gamut of views. The bigger the movement the more diverse the ideas within it.
The main problem I see in the independence movement is that too many people want their perfect version of the movement and are hurt when it deviates from that.
We all have our own idea of what our independent country will look like. However, the main selling point of an independent Scotland to me, is that it will be a country that has a political system that supports diversity and compromise. A parliament where a wider range of views can be heard and represented.
We should bear that in mind before we get into heated personal debates with those who want the same ultimate goal but have different views on how to get there and what the end point will look like.
Remember that we are voting for a country of compromise, so if you struggle with others taking different stances then perhaps Scotland isn’t the country for you. Remember too, that the number of views you disagree from within the movement will be directly correlated to the movements size, and as such its chances of success.
Just accept the fact that the only thing we really need to agree on is that Scotland would be better off looking after its own affairs. Debate carried out respectfully is healthy.
Let’s embrace, encourage and cherish the diversity in our midst as it reflects the country we will become if we are successful.