Here's a little bit of YES futurism. Let's wind forward 10 years and see the kind of editorial The Point would like to be writing on the morning after the second Scottish Independence Referendum in 2024.
YES wins. Scotland votes for independence by a landslide.
The sun is rising over Scotland and the world on September 19th, 2024.
In a stunning victory against all odds, people power has triumphed over corporate and state power; hope has triumphed over fear. History has been made, not just for Scotland and the rUK, but for the world, and in a way that will shine like a beacon to all of those who want to change the global order, and the lot of the mass of humanity, for the better.
At the second time of asking the people of Scotland rose to be a nation again, asserting their democratic right to sovereignty over themselves, their resources and their affairs. On 16th March 2026 Scotland will take its rightful place amongst the family of nations and its rightful seat at the United Nations in New York. Seven weeks later, we will elect in a Scottish General Election our first ever sovereign Parliament.
Without a shot being fired, a nation has freed itself from the shackles of an outworn, outdated and class ridden Westminster system which had increasingly served the vast majority of its people ill over the last 50 years. The crumbling British State and Establishment have been fractured and shaken to their very core.
Make no mistake; just like the great movement that came so near to victory ten years ago, this was a national movement, but not a Nationalist movement in any traditionally used left sense of the term. This was a victory won from the left – with the idea of an independent Scotland firmly thirled to the memes of a modern, progressive and socially just Scotland. Underlying issues of class, democracy, public ownership, inequality and democracy ran through this campaign and through our modern Scottish Saltire like red threads.
Those whose interests lay with the status quo again had all of the traditional weapons of power behind them: a servile media, corporate capital, and the vast apparatus of the BritishState itself, fighting for its very survival. Against those arrayed forces the YES movement created a vast people power army, diverse in nature, multiple in leadership, visionary in expression, combating the most disgraceful campaign of misinformation, scaremongering, vilification and downright lies ever mounted. It found ways to articulate a different vision, through street stalls, door knocking and thousands of public meetings, setting a positive agenda with a million conversations face to face and in social media.
History and the ballot box now tell us clearly who won that final battle. Karl Marx was right when he said that an idea, once it is taken up by the mass of people, becomes a material force. No power on earth can withstand an idea whose time has come.
There will be future moments to recount the huge role played in this victory by parties, organisations and individuals – but right now is the time to assert a more fundamental truth. This is a victory that belongs to all of us.
And all of us fought for an independent Scotland not just as an end in itself – though democratic sovereignty alone as an end more than justifies independence – but also as a means to improve the lives of our people and the health of our nation (in the most catholic sense); as a chance to begin rolling back 50 years of relentless Westminster neo-liberalism which laid waste to the social and economic fabric of our society, and a chance to build a new country, firmly left of centre, and rooted in a wholly different value system.
Now we must make good on that promise to ourselves.
For that reason it is imperative that the broad unity of purpose defined by our great YES movement is maintained. Independence is not the destination. It is the start of the journey.
Inevitably there will be political realignments, re-inventions and rebirths in our new independent Scotland. The Point firmly hopes a new united electoral alliance of the left will emerge over the coming months, and we will play our part in trying to make that happen. However the friendships, connections, mutuality of purpose, and tolerance of diversity engendered by YES must not now disappear. If anything, we should look to find ways of strengthening those bonds and fleshing out the sense and shape of the new Scotland we all want; and set to it with hearts, hands and minds.
But for now the sun is rising. Look out of your window. It doesn’t matter if it’s misty, or cloudy, or pouring sweet, wet rain. That sun is rising on a new nation, and a world of possibility that you helped to win.
So eat your fill, have a wee dram, or a good toke, if that’s your thing. Throw a party or a ceilidh. Invite your NO neighbours and give them a hug. Dance till the next dawn in humungous celebration with a hundred songs of freedom beating in your chest.
This is 2024. This is YES. This is our moment. We deserve it, we folk of the new Scotland.
Tomorrow, our real work begins.