The SNP and the wider independence movement used to be divided into gradualists (who saw devolution as a stepping stone to independence) and fundamentalists (who thought devolution was likely to be a cul-de-sac and preferred to declare independence immediately).
After some years without a clear split (firstly because the first independence referendum united people, secondly because the huge influx of new activists afterwards meant people had to spend some time finding out who they agreed with), we’re now seeing the emergence of a relatively clear split again. One of the groups can still be described as gradualists, but fundamentalist is perhaps not the best way to describe the other one. I prefer to call them Radicals, because they believe something needs to be done soon.
I’ve tried to describe some of the main differences in the following table:
|Is it too soon to call Indyref2?||Yes, they worry that we could easily lose a new referendum if we don’t ensure that a solid majority of Scots support independence before calling it.||No, they believe that it’ll be relatively easy to win a new referendum because we shifted public opinion so much during the first indyref campaign, so we can do that again once the campaign has started.|
|Is it dangerous to delay Indyref2?||No, it’s much more dangerous to rush it (see above). If Westminster try to do anything to undermine devolution, it will just make independence more likely. And the more people see of Brexit, the less they’ll support the UK.||Yes, Westminster will try to make it harder and harder to call one (perhaps even clawing powers back from Holyrood). Also, the ongoing divergence from the EU caused by the Brexit process will make independence in Europe more and more difficult to achieve.|
|Will Westminster block it?||No, they believe that Westminster won’t dare to block a referendum if it’s supported by a clear majority of Scots.||Yes, they worry that Westminster will most likely block a new referendum if they think they’re likely to lose it|
|View of history||Tend to have a deterministic view – independence is coming, it’s just a question of when.||Tend to believe in a chaotic view (the butterfly effect) – to achieve anything, you need to exploit the chances you get. Independence is not guaranteed.|
|Transition to independence||The transition should happen slowly and every detail should be negotiated in advance.||Westminster will try to do us until independence has happened, so it’s best to leave ASAP and then negotiate the details afterwards.|
|Personality type||Resistant to change.||Change is needed. Now.|
|Campaigning style||They want to do it the old-fashioned way, chapping on doors and avoiding the Internet as much as possible.||They are willing to use social media in innovative ways to win. Chapping on doors is all well and good, but you need a campaign to be backing it up.|
|Will the UK act fairly?||Yes, they believe the media and the UK state will act relatively fairly.||No, they distrust MSM and Westminster.|
|Attitude to devolution||If we can’t get independence yet, an SNP government at Holyrood is a good substitute.||Devolution is nothing compared to independence.|
|Brexit||Wait till Brexit is over before thinking seriously about independence.||Use Brexit as a way to achieve independence.|
|What’s needed now?||Chap on more doors until most people have been converted to independence.||Start a campaign, with ads, posters and leaflets.|
|Marches?||No, they’re likely to turn off the undecided.||Yes, we need to be doing something.|
|Committed to the SNP?||Yes, they have faith in Nicola.||No, the SNP is a means to an end – if another party represents a better route to independence, they’ll change their allegiance in a flash.|
|Future of the UK?||It will probably eventually just decide to split up peacefully.||It will go down in flames, so Scotland needs to launch a lifeboat now.|
|Attitude to the GRA||Extending trans rights drastically is a worthwhile thing to do while we’re waiting for independence.||The SNP are upsetting many of the people they need support from by forcing through trans reforms, and this is endangering independence.|
Step away from your keyboards.
Chance favours the brave.
Please do let me know whether you think my descriptions of the two groupings are accurate!