• The YSI

We must reflect, learn, and adapt our strategy so that this time next year we win our Independence

It feels like a lifetime ago I was pounding the streets and manning stalls in the final days before our referendum but, as my Facebook memories are so keen to remind me, it was only 6 years ago. 


But it’s understandable that I and many others feel so far away from that moment, because so much has changed since then. 


Three Prime Ministers - each as bad as the last, a global pandemic and our worst fears realised when England and Wales voted to leave the EU, just two years after our warnings of such a possibility.


Speaking from personal experience, it can be easy to get caught up in the “what ifs” and cursing all that has happened since as a result, but if we’re to move on and truly learn the lessons from 2014 we ought to use Friday - the anniversary of the vote - as an opportunity to reflect and adapt.


It’s important to do so because we lost, not because of the BBC or ‘Project Fear’ but because we made mistakes and we got things wrong.


We failed to convince enough people that we were right and, with only 4 local authorities voting yes, we clearly didn’t listen to enough of the country. Activists like myself in the North East feel the frustration from that mistake more than most. It’s a region diverse in geography, in communities, in industry, and in culture. It’s the perfect place to look upon to realise that to win our strategy has to differ to suit the unique needs of every corner of our country.


What works on the doorsteps of Glasgow doesn’t always fly in Aberdeen.


We need to reflect on that so we can learn and adapt the strategy going into what is set to be the most important year in Scotland’s history for decades.

With a Tory Government, determined to rip up devolution, determined to ignore our votes, and determined, in a time of crisis, to do dodgy deals with Trump that will threaten our NHS we can’t afford to get things wrong this time because this is our last shot and because too much is at stake.

The polls in recent weeks may have been consistently great for us, but complacency is dangerous.


Let’s all use Friday to reflect, to learn, and to adapt our strategy so that this time next year we’ll be well on our way to freedom once more.


Written by Jack O'Neil