I’ve been a bit frustrated with Robin McAlpine’s articles recently. He’s been pushing for Indyref2 to take place a few years after Brexit has happened – something which I think would be utterly disastrous for Scotland – but at the same time he’s been one of the few people offering concrete advice on how to get ready for it.
However, today he’s written an article that recommends holding the next independence referendum sooner that he used to be in favour of. He still wants to hold it later than I think is wise, but at least our views are converging.
Also, very importantly, he has some really important recommendations on what we need to do now:
There needs to be a serious research unit set up immediately. It needs to be staffed with people capable of commissioning and carrying out the policy research needed to create what I’ve called a ‘consolidated business plan for a new nation state’.
We need a detailed plan for establishing a currency, a central bank, a civil service, a constitution, an embassy network, a pensions and social security system, a national grid with energy supply regulations, a tax system, an army. […] [We] need detailed proposals. And we’ve got 18 months to get it done.
And we need a proper cross-party, all-movement campaign organisation. Its job is to get every indy campaigner in the country trained, developed and prepared for the most important campaign they’ll ever fight.
And its job is also to prepare a proper, professional campaign strategy using all the approaches and techniques which are available – and which are shown to be effective. We also need all this done in the next 18 months.
I totally agree with all of these recommendations. Crucially, they can be done without calling Indyref2. Given the horrendous, xenophobic Tory conference, no rational person can criticise Nicola Sturgeon for following these recommendations now, and she’s then in an excellent position to call the referendum in 2018 if that’s the only alternative left that will protect Scotland’s place in the World.
Let’s get it done!