Billy Sangster

Stuff out of my brain

What's in a Name?

There have been quite a few posts and pages appearing recently on social media sites and blogs suggesting and proclaiming a new name for the (formerly known as) YES Campaign.

I think the first suggestion was #the45, based on the 45% that voted YES on the eighteenth of September, but that was rejected by quite a few people on the grounds that it wasn’t inclusive enough (the point being that we need to attract people from the 55% that voted NO, not form our own club from which they are excluded). There were also connotations with Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite rebellion of 1745, which some objected to.

In response to that rather tribalistic name, the #the45Plus was used. The ‘plus’ signalled a more inclusive movement, but those objecting to the Jacobite connection seem to have failed to endorse this suggestion and it looks to be fading away as well.

Of course, as a result of this, everyone is chipping in with their own personal name for the thing, which defeats the “under one umbrella” idea in the first place (my favourite of these being #ScotVision, which invokes the future aspirations for our society, but unfortunately sounds like a television channel). Nothing seems to be properly sticking just yet.

Do we really need an all-encompassing name for the movement? When the SNP more or less suspended the normal party lines and became YES Scotland for the last six months or so of the campaign, it provided a welcome unity to the different movements involved. The SNP, The Green Party, The SSP, Radical Independence, Women for Independence, National Collective et al were able to come together under one banner which cemented the direction and focus of the cause. A rallying of the troops, as it were. More importantly, it allowed the people who weren’t affiliated to any organisation to get involved. You could just be a YES campaigner, doing your bit for the cause of Scottish independence and a lot of people on the doorsteps reacted well to those with no obvious political agenda.

It was exactly what was needed at that stage in the campaign, but is it imperative that we have that now?

The people on the losing side of the debate went through a state of grievance after the eighteenth. The natural urge to come together at times like these is only too apparent. It’s like we all need a virtual bosie (as we in the North East would say) and our parent figure has suddenly disappeared.

We’re looking for a substitute parent, or a common place we can all have a huddle and reconcile each other.

This is a time of re-grouping, where everyone involved in the campaign are going back to their respective drawing boards to plan what comes next. A surprising amount of those who campaigned under no politcal banner are now turning to the many organisations available to them, to “find one that fits”, now their eyes have been opened and they realise that they, too, can understand and get involved in politics. It’s a beautiful thing, so it is.

The ability to capture breaking news in one easily accessible hashtag (especially on Twitter) during the campaign proved to be an invaluable tool for “online activists”, allowing them to quickly share and retweet events far and wide as they happened.

Something will suddenly appear and click with everyone involved. I don’t think it’s really worth losing sleep over. Whether it’s #YESPlus, #OneScotland, #IndyScot or something unheard of yet that strikes a chord with the grassroots, we’re all still here, with the ultimate goal of independence for our wonderful country in common.

Just keep talking to each other. Keep commenting on the terrible things happening in Westminster, but not in a “told you so” fashion.

We need as much of the 55% on board with us as we can get. Alienating them at this time will do nobody any good.

We’ve come this far, let’s finish the job.

Here are some of the YES-supporting organisations you can join:

And here are some non-party organisations you can get involved with: