Monday, 13 August 2012
Bring Back Public Meetings
Why does the unionist side of the Scottish independence debate expect the SNP to answer such questions?
Why do they think it's the sole responsibility of the SNP to announce proposals when there are many outwith the restraints of a political party who also believe Scotland could - and should - be an independent country.
I can understand why Alex Salmond and his party's reluctance to put forward more of their ideas, because in recent months any proposal announced has been ridiculed by unionists. No explanation given by them of course, just the usual 'it won't work'. Continual negativity is the mantra of the 'better together' camp.
However, in the coming months, somehow the 'Yes' campaigners need to create a platform on which their proposals can be thoroughly debated. The public have to be included and every effort made to listen to every argument. Public meetings in every nook and cranny of the country should be held and every encouragement given to communities to join in the debate. People do want a vision of an independent Scotland and if every public meeting dealt in detail with one aspect of concern - such as state pensions - then over the next year much could be available for further debate.
The public aren't stupid. They realise current proposals are just that - proposals. They know it's only once independence is won that Westminster will be forced to enter into negotiations with Holyrood.
Discussion is moving along nicely though with independence supporters, but it must be remembered not everyone wants to join a group and also Scotland is much bigger than just the central belt.
Modern social networking, such as Twitter, does not reach the majority of the population and although these outlets assist by spreading a message, face-to-face debate will always be the preference of voters. Television could be an excellent medium but these days political debate is far too stage (and party) managed.
If the Yes campaign manages to organise itself by providing every community - no matter how large or small - with the facility to meet together as often as possible, it will leave the unionists standing gawping on the sidelines and looking impotent.