Winning the Argument for IndyRef2 – Lessons to Learn

This month, Glasgow Pensioners for Indy group invited Roger Mullin to their online meeting.

Roger Mullin is a long-standing campaigner for Scottish independence. He was MP for Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath the seat formerly held by one Gordon Brown. Between 2015-2017 Roger was the Westminster Treasury Spokesman for SNP. He was also the first UK Parliamentarian to enter Mosul, Iraq, during the battle with Daesh. He is a humanitarian campaigner and has contributed to international bodies like UNESCO & World Bank.

The theme of Roger’s talk is about an economic analysis project he has initiated with a small group of volunteers. Its aim is to change the narrative of the way the Indy Movement talks about post-Indy economics. For too long we have been reacting to the Unionist economic narrative which is framed as the cost of independence. We haven’t had a proper of analysis of the cost of dependence.

Roger’s economic analysis group aims to produce three analyses:

  1. a quantitive analysis of 40 years of economic data, captured from seven international database sources, looking at countries broadly similar to Scotland.
  2. a timeline of major economic decisions made by UK gov; and from that find out if those decisions have harmed Scotland prospects
  3. a timeline of decision taken by those other countries in same time period; and and see what position Scotland could have been in today had we followed their example.

The outcomes from those analyses:

  • boost confidence in need to pursue independence amongst those not yet decided
  • press opponents to explain why the Union has led us into this position.
  • publications for expert economics
  • information which can be used for leaflets, images for direct campaigning messages
  • a website for yes movement which will have all the data available to anyone who wants to, interactive 
  • the analysis will continue into the future after independence and will need funding but at moment everyone is doing it pro bono, deliberately show its independence from any particular group or political party.

You can listen to / share / download the talk here. Roger speaks for about 30 mins and there is a Q&A session afterwards:

Some of the discussion topics with Roger:

  • re collating data, is there enough data that is specific to Scotland? 
  • The data will be very interesting. How well will it distil into simple messages that will break through to people, particularly to our age group? and how do we get it across? MSM won’t do it, we’ll need to be creative with that. Maybe use Led By Donkeys style methods.
  • Will the project go into the kinds of priorities that a small nation  can have? thinking of defence, etc
  • Do you have any thoughts about what might be different from 2013 in IndyRef2 campaign? either from the Yes side or the No side but also the Brexit side?
  • What do you think about the manipulation of data and expectations that come from unionist side? 
  • Sounds as if your economic project will highlight bad decisions made by Westminster. Our age group are well placed to relate to those – we have lived through many fo them – and we are well placed to tell younger people about them and about the effect they had on us.