IN Karen Adam’s column “We have great opportunities now to refocus our indy efforts”, the author makes a number of points which I want to elucidate and challenge. Adam’s comment is an example of how to undermine arguments as you make them. The author’s apparent call for unity, focus and peace is actually a message of division, absent-mindedness and conflict.

From the title and opening remarks, Adam writes with the terms “our” and “us”, from the perspective of the SNP leadership. This approach is compounded later in the piece when the author once again conflates this SNP leadership “we” with the greater “we” of the Yes movement, when she writes “we are a movement”. As such, early on, it is not clear which “we” Adam is commenting on as she conflates the SNP leadership as one and the same as the more than 2,000,000 potential Yes voters of the Scottish electorate, and the tens of millions of international supporters of Scotland’s cause – all who can be argued to be of the Yes community/movement.

The author’s approach here is unsound, and is an attempt to portray herself as speaking with the voice of the masses, when in fact Adam writes from the narrow, inward-looking perspective of the SNP/Green leadership. Adam compounds this error by stating that “we need to communicate our vision of an independent Scotland” – when it is widely recognised that there are many visions of an independent Scotland, and so the one Adam outlines in her piece is clearly the vision of the SNP/Green hierarchy.

Adam continues by pedestalising the Aberdeen Independence Movement and Business for Scotland (SNP/Green leadership aligned groups) before turning to her primary focus of plugging the September 2 Believe in Scotland march for an independent Scotland in the EU as a “significant event on the horizon” – inviting everyone to attend by citing the value of “thousands marching together for our common goal”.

Is Adam unaware that all-inclusive All Under One Banner demonstrations have been happening for the last nine years, with the Edinburgh march on October 7 being the 40th demonstration, and each one being a significant event where thousands march together for our common goal? Is Adam unaware that the next AUOB march is set to take place on Saturday, August 26, from Kyle of Lochalsh to Kyleakin, Isle of Skye?

Does Adam regard AUOB as such a group that infringes upon the rights of others and perpetuates hate and discrimination against any minority? If so, Adam should provide evidence of this, which will be impossible as the sole subject which all speakers address from AUOB stages is Scottish independence, and the content of AUOB social media is entirely focused on self-determination for the people of Scotland.

Does the author’s implied classification of AUOB, by omission, explain her decision not to also plug the Skye demonstration on August 26? Does Adam regard the march for an independent Scotland in the EU (a double point of solidarity) as a unifying approach? When it excludes, and implicitly does not welcome, huge swathes of independence supporters who are either for EFTA or who don’t support the EU at all?

These are questions which the author, or perhaps a different member of the commentariat, soon ought to address.

Adam continues her poorly thought-out piece by stating that “we must remember to respect each other’s contributions to the cause”, which contradicts her aforementioned disrespectful comments, and omission of relevant comment – thus showing contempt for other’s contributions to the cause. Adam’s admission that the “messaging I use to inspire people will certainly not inspire them all” couldn’t be more accurate, as her comment contains many fluffy words but no real substance – an approach which certainly does not inspire me, and I am sure will not inspire many who will read beyond the waffle and are fed up of hearing such.

The author’s hypocritical approach is typified when she states “let’s remember to campaign in peace, to respect our differences…” yet Adam’s overall comment implies conflict; conflict with other independence groups and supporters, and asserts a campaign of dominance which does not respect other’s differences, and which shows a complete lack of understanding of the nature of the Yes movement – united on one single issue: desiring Scottish independence.

The author’s top-down piece contains clear-cut examples of what I highlighted in my recent letter, “Be clear about the reason why the SNP Prestwick stall prompted anger”. The points I made in that letter are yet to be countered, and no attempt at whitewashing, such as Adam’s comment, will suffice. Throughout her piece Adam writes about the journey “we” have been on and the journey still to go, yet this seems clearly to be a journey that Adam means for some, but not for all.
Neil Mackay
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