I READ with interest the interview in the Sunday National with Blair Jenkins, my former colleague on the Yes Scotland Advisory Board, about organising for indyref2.

What struck me most was the advice Professor Sir John Curtice repeatedly gives us that the independence movement has more to gain as far as influencing public opinion is concerned from making the central case for self-determination than becoming embroiled in never-ending arguments over the process.

So perhaps the question is why don’t we? I think I know why. But before I expand on that, let me, for the record, state I am not at all confident about the strategy Nicola Sturgeon has outlined for achieving that second vote, far less about securing independence.

The outcome of her UK Supreme Court move is for me a foregone conclusion. The law is perfectly clear on what issues are devolved and which are reserved.

I can’t see how “their Lordships” will rule other than against the First Minister. But her failure there will not end there as she will then be forced to abandon the October 2023 vote she announced and endure a rather ignominious “double defeat”.

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That her case for independence needs improving is also not in any doubt. We lost in September 2014 because it was not persuasive enough. And we are behind in the polls today for the same reason.

Surely, all rational Yes supporters accept the need to convince significantly more Scots than hitherto of the merits of our case.

So how do we do so? That is the central question all independence supporters must urgently address.

I am confident we can, with the correct arguments, secure majority support. But it will involve a change of tack from the approach of the last eight years and addressing the unresolved conflict at the heart of our movement.

Let me elaborate. I was invited by MP Martyn Day to speak at a Yes Grangemouth meeting recently alongside SNP president Mike Russell. The event took place on the day the First Minister unveiled her latest “new blueprint” for independence.

While highlighting the democratic principles we shared, Mike and I debated whether independence was about change or not and whether Nicola Sturgeon’s new indyref2 strategy was credible or not.

The National: Mike Russell said the protocol was "seamless" and had many benefits an independent Scotland could replicateMike Russell said the protocol was "seamless" and had many benefits an independent Scotland could replicate

In making the case that I believed there is a majority out there for independence, I insisted we had to make clear it was about change – not merely an extension of the status quo with a Saltire on the top. Mike Russell, to be fair, completely disagreed with me. He argued that the people of Scotland were much more conservative, with a small “c”, than I had suggested and that, in fact, many are fearful of independence and the prospect of “real change”.

Those fears, he insisted, need to be assuaged if we are to win them over.

This is a line of argument I have heard Mike, Angus Robertson and others on the right of the movement make many times.

They insist we must adopt positions that placate “middle-class, middle Scotland” and that means we must keep the pound, keep the monarchy, rejoin the EU, stay in Nato, attract international investors who want privatisation, and uphold the corporate dictatorship of our economy.

There is, therefore, an unignorably deep conflict at the heart of our movement. More than one, in fact, that cannot and will not “only be settled”, as some suggest, “after we secure independence”. That won’t wash, I’m afraid.

For the answer to the questions “what is independence for?” and “what kind of Scotland do we aim to build?” is crucial to our success. The electorate will demand to know those answers in advance of any second vote. To believe otherwise is not just naive, it is foolish.

The case for change is, in my view, far more likely to secure the illusive majority we need. We are losing support as Yes advocates from those who do not think we are serious about ending the fuel poverty, for example, that now terrifies them, or about introducing a national care service for their elderly parent that is free at the point of need and fit for the 21st century.

Committing to a profound redistribution of wealth, to social democratic values, to genuine public ownership, to rescinding anti-trade union laws, to job security and social security, to genuine equality of opportunity – that is the kind of prospectus we need if we want to win.

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The essence of my case is that independence must be about change, about a break with the past – otherwise we will never secure the majority we need.

Calls for unity are not enough. Our movement needs clarity more than synthetic, supine unity. My friend Tony Benn was a great advocate of working together, but he also taught me that “the unity of the graveyard should hold no attraction for the living”.

The Scottish Socialist Party was founded 25 years ago to campaign for and achieve an independent socialist Scotland, a modern democratic republic. And I can be found advocating for that four days a week on Edinburgh’s Princes Street and elsewhere around the country any chance I get.

Colin Fox is the joint national spokesperson of the Scottish Socialist Party. He sat on the Yes Scotland Advisory Board from 2012-14 and is a regular speaker on Yes platforms across the country.