The Yes Scotland Moray Group was launched in Elgin on 29 October at a lively and extremely well attended meeting in the Town Hall. This was just one of many events launching local Yes groups around the country.
The event opened with a presentation by chief executive of Yes Scotland, Blair Jenkins, focusing on the key aspects of the campaign, including a helpful analysis of the most popular buttons to push and the most effective levers to pull to put across a persuasive pro-independence message to the many undecided voters. One of the most effective ways of turning the argument on its head is to ask: “If Scotland was an independent country, who would vote to join the Union?” If you haven’t heard this argument before, it’s well worth having a look at the video clip on the Yes Scotland website.
One of the most challenging aspects of being part of the Yes Scotland campaign may well be how to strike a balance between putting across the key campaign messages of why people should vote yes, and promoting our own distinctive vision of what a Green Scotland would look like. We will want to avoid arguments and confrontation with fellow Yes Scotland campaigners when sharing a platform, but we must also be able to set out what our own purpose is in campaigning for independence. I was very pleased to see that it is possible to answer pretty difficult questions about the advantages of independence without having to address contested policy issues. We may wish to practice giving two-part answers to those questions, starting by focusing on why independence would give us the opportunity to improve on the status quo, before expanding on just how much better things could be if we adopted Green policies.
The Moray Greens were well represented at the event, with a number of local members and sympathisers in attendance. We were made to feel very welcome, and even the most fervent SNP supporters were keen to stress that the Yes campaign should be, and be seen to be, completely free of SNP influence: a broad-based and inclusive campaign for a better Scotland.