Now Scotland 153

There is a real need for a campaigning organisation for Scottish Independence which people can join and whose sole focus is attaining Independence early, as a matter of urgency. Now Scotland, of which I am an elected committee member, is being launched to fill that gap. It is not a political party, will not stand candidates and all who support Scottish Independence as an overriding political priority are welcome. It is aimed to be the mass membership organisation to which everybody in the wider Yes Movement can belong.

It is intended that it will improve on 2014’s Yes Scotland by going into the campaign with a membership, funds and a democratic structure.

Now Scotland grew out of a series of assemblies last year organised by AUOB, and the aim is to take the kind of energy and unity generated by AUOB and extend it from marching and into other areas of campaigning. But like AUOB, it is the agency and energy of the people which will drive the activity. Now Scotland is not, and will not become, top down.

All of us who believe in the Independence of Scotland need to look beyond what divides us – and it would be dishonest to fail to note divisions have been deepening. We need to concentrate on what unites us, move forward to Independence on an irresistible popular wave, and then set about building that better country of our own.

The formal launch is on Friday and then I shall post again with a link to the website and joining information.

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153 thoughts on “Now Scotland

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  • Tony

    Are committee members going to be payed a salary?
    To me this non political campaign group is a mistake.
    The only leverage it will be able to apply is one of UDI declaration.
    The end result being a decline in the number of persons willing to support a Yes vote. Decline in SNP support and the predictable loss of any political pressure on Westminster.

    The only true test of your beliefs is to form a political party on the sole basis of independence and let the people decide if you can command sufficient support.

      • John O'Dowd

        Methinks ‘Tony’ – the first responder – may not have Yes Scotland’s best interests at heart!

        I could be wrong!

        • John Clarke

          Funny, I was thinking exactly the same about the first poster…split the vote and maintain the Status Quo of continued Westmonter rule.
          We don’t need a new political party at this time, we need everyone to get behind the SNP and tactically use the second vote for selecting / securing another ‘independence’ supporting MSP which may or may not be an SNP candidate.

          Hopefully this ‘new’ organisation can truly harvest the support of the masses and manage this support to maximum effect.

          • Hamish Henderson

            This new movement must not become a “career path” as has happened within the SNP to its detriment. Let there be no talk of salaries
            Eventually there may be a case for expences but now and for the foreseeable future this must be a movement, a coming together of like minds towards Independence for Scotland.

        • Tony

          It looks and feels like a vanity project to protect the SNP.
          It gives SNP cover for when independence is not achieved.
          Being a non political party it has no means of direct change . It cannot challenge at the precise point where it is a position to achieve its stated aims. Early independence, the ballot box.
          When the party in power comes along and asks what is the group’s preferred route, the result will be split between referendum and UDI.

          • Alex Birnie

            And to me, it looks and feels like a focus group for those who have been some of the strongest critics of the SNP.

            We’ve got a contributor who will have nothing to do with the group while Neil Mackay, and Carol McNamara are involved, alleging that they stole money from AUOB, with Craig talking about this “spat” being blown out of proportion, which coming from Craig is almost beyond irony.

            We have another contributor, talking about unity being impossible while the Murrells refuse to resign (no comments about “overblown spats” from Craig on that one).

            The fact that Leslie Riddoch is joining is the only thing that makes me believe that this won’t be a colossal waste of time.

            The point about it not being “top down” won’t last past the first general meeting, IMO.

            I’m reserving judgement, because I don’t see a lot of unity here……

      • Eoin

        I think what Tory really meant was….

        Are committee members going to hold secret meetings, sacrifice virgins, dance around naked and drink the blood of an English man? The answer might well be “no” but I’ve planted the idea, haven’t I.

        Also, please start a political party to rival and split the SNP vote.

        • Tony

          You are free to answer some of the questions , or ignore them.
          I notice Craig only asked why committee members would get a salary. Craig could have simply stated no.

      • jake

        …and why would the committee sleep in beds with sheets?
        Nice move though getting a committee together ( with elections, no less), yet membership for the rank and file isn’t til Friday.
        If I have trouble reconciling this with “is not, and will not become, top down”, I’m sure it will all be explained on Friday.

      • David Milligan

        Yes Scotland was a mistake. It was badly thought out. It was always on a backfoot because any questions asked of it couldn’t be answered with authority. That is why the central campaign needs to be run by the SNP.
        By all means run a smaller campaign group to mop up people who want independence but can’t bear being led by the SNP but not as the main face of the campaign.

        • Ian

          Except the SNP has proved itself to be not fit for purpose, without a big clearout at the top. Which is kind of the point of a new organisation, to challenge the arrogance and entitlement of people who have got very comfy with their power and financial gain.

  • Jeremy Fox

    There’s no such thing as independence in the modern world. It’s a fantasy perpetrated, among others, by the idiots – Farage, Johnson, Hannan, Mogg et al. – who fomented Brexit. Is the break up of the UK a good thing? Maybe. The current dispensation cerrtainly seems to have run its course. You might be aware, however, that schismatic political movements are right wing almost by definition, and tend to provided nourishment for oligarchs and plutocrats. Scotland is already in danger of turning in on itself politically with the spat between Alex Salmond & Nicola Sturgeon. Be careful what you wish for.

      • Rolf Norfolk

        Correct. After all, UKIP was founded by Professor Alan Sked, of the Left, and prominent anti-EU-membership figures include Dennis Skinner and George Galloway.

        • John O'Dowd

          That would be the same ‘left-wing’ Alan Sked who shared a platform with ultra-rightwing racist Enoch Powell at the Newbury by-election in 1993?

          • Rolf Norfolk

            I don’t go with guilt-by-association. You can agree in one matter and disagree on others. Unless you buy into the modern fashion for complete damnation, which threatens our democracy.

          • Cynicus

            The Labour Left ( including a certain J. Corbyn) was still predominantly anti-European in 1993. Many on that wing of the party had shared platforms with Enoch Powell in 1975 in the first euro referendum.

        • Cynicus

          “ After all, UKIP was founded by Professor Alan Sked, of the Left….”

          Really? Possibly compared with what came after him or, arguably, when he contested Paisley for the Liberals.

          But he later defected to the Tories and, in opposition to the Maastricht Treaty, founded the Anti-Federalist League, forerunner of the Kippers. Not most people’s idea of being “of the Left”

        • Fwl

          Haiti- but didn’t Haiti then become the First Empire. Cuba might be an interesting example (unless speaking to a Cuban exile in a Florida bar).

    • PhilM

      It takes someone with a seriously incomplete understanding of UK politics to write a comment such as yours. No-one in Scotland is talking about autarchy in any form. When we say ‘independence’, we are all perfectly aware that interdependence is the way of the world. That being said, even to be interdependent, you need to be ‘independent’ as we understand it. To bring up Farage, Mogg etc. betrays a functional incomprehension of what has been happening in Scotland for over 70 years. So it’s probably an epiphany for you to realise the UK ‘has run its course’ but a large number of Scots have known this all their lives.

    • Stephen

      To bundle so much complete nonsense into one short paragraph is an achievement. Well done on that score.

    • Alf Baird

      The principal actors involved in what you call “the spat between Alex Salmond & Nicola Sturgeon” are actually what George Osborne called ‘the arms’ of the British state in Scotland, i.e. crown, police and civil service.

      On the matter of independence, as Frantz Fanon said: “Far from keeping aloof from other nations…it is national liberation which leads the nation to play its part on the stage of history. It is at the heart of national consciousness that international consciousness lives and grows.”

      • paul

        Yes Alf,
        People always seem to confuse internationalism with some sort globalised melting pot.
        I can’t see how you can have inter-nationalism without natiationalisms to interact with.

        • Alf Baird

          That’s right Paul, and Fanon goes further, stating that: “national consciousness, which is not nationalism..”

    • Fwl

      Be careful what you wish for and Jeremy Fox’s cautionary note is not bollocks. It is what always happen. Idealists get shafted by more cynical opportunists who usually happen to already be wealthy and powerful i.e. basically rightwing.

      Generally with the UK it is a shame that everyone thinks along the lines of taking not giving. For a federal state to work with greater equality and fairness it is perhaps desirable that states give rights not take them. I am not fan of the EU but inso far as it required its members to hand in powers that is a positive start. The US also began as 13 states agreeing to share certain rights and powers and from the outset the US tension was whether to hand over more power or less power to the federal government (and they are still arguing this).

      No one in Wales, Scotland or NI feels that they gave powers and rights to England. Yes Henry VIII was Welsh and Welsh gentry followed him to London, but they had to change their names and speak English. There may be an argument, but basically rights and powers were taken not given. The devolution process has perhaps rather patronisingly (especially in the case of Wales) handed powers back. The ideal scenario is for the 4 Nations to have a convention to agree a Federal constitution of equals (I don’t know how). Maybe Ireland might join in too – so then we would have the 5 Nations. Of course this is very difficult as everyone feels England is top dog and will be intent on dictating everything to the others. The other difficulty is bloody nationalism which feeds on the divide tactic and posits the English as the enemy from which one is somehow liberated.

      For an equal WISE federal country one has to want to be in it with the others and part of the same project rather than pretending that they are somehow different.

      I appreciate that I have expressed an idealist notion and I accept that in practice I should be careful what I wish for.

      • bevin

        “I am not fan of the EU but in so far as it required its members to hand in powers that is a positive start…”

        The actual process was that the state took powers, delegated to it by the electorate, and entrusted them to the EU executive over which the electorate (aka The People) have no control.
        Far from being a positive start this is a lengthy first step on the road to a dictatorship which justifies its powers on the grounds of its superior wisdom and regards democracy not as an objective but as a threat to the rights of property and the prerogatives of ‘education.’

        • fwl

          Bevin, the basic point was that it’s better to arrive at a federal set up by voluntarily giving up and sharing than by losing and getting it back in devolution. I don’t know what happened in other EU member states but I see what you’re saying and concur that the UK joining process was hardly voluntary on the part of the electorate as the referendum was de facto and without candid disclosure.

    • Margaret O'Brien

      Craig is correct, what you said is bollocks. And the thing between Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon is not a spat. It is the latter having conspired with others in an attempt to have the former, who was previously her friend and political ally, imprisoned on false accusations. NS is poison and no friend to any genuine victims of sexual assault.

      • Fwl

        Margaret, I agree that the thing between AS and NS is no spat and Craig has done great work illuminating what was in darkness.

  • Bill Irving

    Long overdue!
    It must be an open, democratic organisation with no one voice any more important than the next!
    There must be no leaders just spokespersons.

      • Shatnersrug

        I think it’s a great idea, basically a momentum for independence. Momentum’s problem was always antidemocratic because John Lansmann registered it as a private company and refused to allow the democracy to flow upwards beyond a certain point. If that can be avoided – and it sounds like it’s then the only people that could be against it are those that don’t like activists and community organisers and we know who those types of people are. Power hungry spin merchants with big salaries who are not honest about their aims

  • Eileen Carson

    Brilliant as it should be, people with a common goal of all political parties and none. Sign me up!

  • Nick Gethins

    Very hearting to see the grassroots taking up the mantle, the movement badly needs bison and leadership.

    I was disappointed to see all the energy post-indy ref going into one, top down, political party and the direction of the movement controlled by a party leader. I left the SNP in 2015 (after being a member for 15 years). Sturgeon is not a deep political thinker and we badly need people with vision to reinvigorate the movement.

    Good luck with this Craig. not living in Scot but will donate.

  • James Cruickshank

    How can this group win our Independence when it can’t call a referendum or a plebiscite?

    • Tony

      This is on the nose.
      According to the post its purpose is to get an early independence. How is this going to be achieved?
      Since it is not going to challenge the current political parties , the only option / route is by campaigning . Seriously , the current belief if this blog is to be believed the SNP do not want independence.
      How will this non political vanity project achieve the change required?
      Is there a credible roadmap?

      • Shatnersrug

        Isn’t that a bit like saying “ How can Nigel Farage win Independence from Brussels when it can’t call a referendum or a plebiscite?”

        Activists have power and can change the course of history if they stay doggedly committed to their cause.

    • Liz g

      Think “Scottish Constitutional Convention ” that wasn’t a political party just Scots of all types signing up to one idea.
      If Now Scotland got more members than the Churches, the Trade Unions etc then when Now Scotland’s spokes person speaks for its members, they speak with a pretty powerful voice.
      And that voice will be saying every single time ” How can this advance our Independence ” and just like all those marches every Jean and Jock is welcome to join….the group or political view point of any member matters not.
      All that counts is – Independence for Scotland is the Goal -.

      I reckon we’ve all been far too hung up on what an Independent Scotland would look like and those different visions are blurring the line, mibbi a K.eep I.t S.imple S.tupid ( K.I.S.S. ) approach is what we need.
      It is after all a very simple thing we’re aiming to do… we are trying to end the 1707 Treaty of Union… that’s it nothing more
      Everything else is just details none of which can be dealt with anyway till that Treaty has been struck down.

  • Mist001

    What was it you called me when I pointed out on here that AUOB wasn’t a political party, but a social organisation? Oh yes, ‘patronising’.

    As you point out above, ‘Now Scotland’ is not a political party, so what is it then? It’s a get together for like minded people, a social organisation.

    If it’s not political, what is the point of it other than a self congratulatory, ‘look what we’ve done’ type of thing?

    Unless your ultimate aim is some kind of insurrection relying on mass membership and grass roots popular uprising, then you’re going to need votes to change Scotland and since you’ve ruled that out, then how can there be any purpose of another social organisation in Scotland?

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Does the organisation have any ambitions regards setting up a professional media platform? I’m thinking in terms of a regular nightly podcast of news & current affairs. We desperately need an alternative to the BBC and the plutocrat owned MSM.
    The plethora of individual bloggers are doing a fine job but let’s face it, most fight amongst themselves like cats in a sack and (understandably) protect their “brands”. Now Scotland could be well suited to bring (willing) individual talents together for just such a venture. I’d chip in a monthly contribution to keep it going.

    Please be aware, ISP has set up a Crowdfunder for May’s Holyrood election. It’s on their website, which has become a lot more active in terms of posting regular articles. Worth a swatch. IMHO.

    • J


      Disarming the propaganda onslaught is the essential pre-requisite. Mobilising Scotland’s creativity and energy is one thing, expecting a fair share of any existing media or social media platform, well, it’s not going to happen easily. Across platforms, yes, but as you say, a dedicated platform. Ideally, well resourced to respond quickly to specific attacks, but hopefully, able to plan ahead with solid pre-emptive argument.

      It may already exist, but another valuable resource would be a comprehensive, easy access and well indexed database of all relevant facts and figures (in a variety of forms) for people to link directly to specific information when arguing with friends, family, colleagues and on social media.

    • Ian

      To do what the SNP has signally failed to do, by doing some serious preparatory work and research for independence, without the time consuming bureaucracy of a party. They can ignite a serious debate, harness a lot of talent and provide a coutnerweight to the deception and anti-democratic nature of ths SNP and their abuse of power. Quite a lot to be getting on with. It is deeply unsurprising that when people with some vision and experience try to do something to effect change the armchair experts come out to diss it all, social media at its most useless, full of self-proclaimed experts who do nothing except patronisingly tell everybody else how wrong they are, and have nothing themselves to offer. It’s a start, that is the point.

  • Stephen

    I will definitely be joining. It is this type of organisation, and not an additional party, that I think is needed. I also hope that many SNP members, like myself, will be in both. A block of SNP members within this organisation may be more influential than individual members in getting the massage across to the SNP that we need progress on independence. I only hope that the group does not become a magnet for people who think that vitriol and abuse of others will persuade them to come over to the independence cause. Looking forward to joining on Friday.

  • Harry Bickerstaff

    In the event you haven’t had banners made, can I be cheeky enough to tell you that I have a source which for this week only (ends Friday) will make vinyl banners 6’X2′ for £11 per banner and post and packing is fixed at £6.99 regardless of the order quantity?
    I have just bought three banners from this company at, what I thought was a great price of £20 each, but with a buy two get another free, which I thought that price was great (+ postage as above) and thought this might be a great opportunity.
    Please dump this mail if you think it is of no interest, or contact me and I’ll send a link to the company. (Nothing in this for me!)

  • Rolf Norfolk

    I still don’t understand how Scotland would be better off financially or democratically if joined to the EU – or are you campaigning for complete, EU-free sovereignty?

    Best wishes for success in your other campaigns, esp. Salmond / Assange.

    • Ian

      EEA/EFTA would be the first sensible step, and may be enough for now. But it would be a big improvement on what we have now.

  • ronnie anderson

    i quite agree we need a unifying body to represent the Yes Movement but i won’t be joining Now Scotland & won’t subscribe monies for membership not whilst Neil Mackay/ Carol McNamarra are anywhere near positions of authority as I have said many times all AUOB committee members were scamming the Yes movement by taking monies from the collection buckets 10% well documented of monies collected & Mackay claiming monies for a Wheelchair for his mother from AUOB donations . However I wish you’s well I see a few people I have every faith in on the Committee Good Luck Craig stay safe .

    • craig Post author

      Ronnie, with great respect (which is genuine you have a good heart) I do think you are letting that particular spat get out of proportion.

      • ronald anderson

        Hi Craig. I would like to apologise for my previous post re comments on Now Scotland , having spoken with some of my friends I find I was being disrespectful to members of the committee who I know are hard workers & Independence campaigners .

        To rectify & correct my previous comments I have Joined Now Scotland & taken a annual subscription. I have posted a comment on Now Scotland withdrawing my earlier comment I hope to see all of you’s on the campaign trail soonest. Stay Safe, Craig.

      • ronald anderson

        Naw ah didnae ya daft auld c/ard Hope you/Family are in the best of health ,hopefully its not to long until we can hiv ah swally the gither

  • Barry Gallacher

    I see that it’s not political but people have political views of what they may like to see which direction our country could possibly go. I personally would like to see a Marxist Ideology put in place for Scotland and a clear message that re-entering the EU is highly unlikely.
    Looking forward to the launch.

  • William Brown

    All votes should be for the SNP. Then after the referendum is won, all parties can fight for their own side and beliefs, and who knows they might win next time!

  • Republicofscotland

    This is a great idea, letting the grassroots run with the indy ball, you just have to look at the amount of folk who attended the AUOB marches to see that they now need something like this to reach the next level.

  • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

    Unofficial suggestions for Gaelic version of name (along with the English of course) —

    A direct Gaelic translation of ‘Now Scotland’ would be ‘A-Nis Alba’
    (pronounced: a-NISH AL-uba /AL-upa).

    However, an innovative combination might be ‘Alba-Nis’
    (pronounced: ALuba-NISH).

  • john mellon

    I just feel like we are starting again from year zero, this must be a movement that makes it obvious it is intent on ending this rancid corrupt union because many of us are suffering from fatigue and disillusionment there are many angry people out there please make this real and not just a movement of intellectuals. We have lost many of our devoted hard-working patriots since 2014 right now there are many people shocked at recent events.

  • MBC

    Well said Craig. Thank you for giving such a clear statement of Now Scotland’s aims.

    There are many heartily fed up with the divisions who just want to unite around the cause.

    • Sarge

      How can unity be restored if the Murrells won’t even admit what they did and apologise for it, much less resign?

      • Republicofscotland

        I think their time at the SNP will be up this year, hopefully before May’s elections.

  • Glasshopper

    Independence in the EU!
    I wonder where the furlough payments and vaccine would have come from had 2014 been a success.
    The delusion is astounding!

      • Kempe

        Well that brightened up a cold Thursday morning.

        To date the UK Government has spent £280 billion tackling Coronavirus, based on population Scotland’s share would be £22.4 billion.

        TOTAL revenue from North Sea Oil in 2020 is expected to be c. £400 million… You’re going to have to sell a lot of whiskey.

    • Republicofscotland


      Borrowing old chap, borrowing just like every other country in the world, presently Scotland cannot borrow that much, dissolving this horrible union will free up all the levers of government that are needed to run a country.

      • Glasshopper

        Who is going to lend money to a massively indebted basket case economy with no currency?
        Into the EURO you go without being a tax haven like Ireland. Bossed around by Germany and France.
        Do the EU need another beggar to feed? I doubt it.

        But it would free up a lot of cash to invest in our northern regions so the sooner the better. Bring it on!

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