Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Pressure politics and direct action

Mike Small freelance writer and co-editor of Bella Caledonia has a very good article on OurKingdom website today so named Scottish independence campaign aims to hijack AV referendum

Also interesting is that Bella Caledonia and the nationalist news service Newsnet Scotland are going to be collaborating in the run-up to the May Holyrood election. I have always argued that the Internet in terms of weblogs and websites beats the printed press in Scotland for news and views.

Mike writes: The campaign appears to be resonating with people. Older activists remember the days when the campaign for a Scottish Assembly was a hut and a fire on Calton Hill, or equate the anti-Trident direct actions with self-determination and the Committee of 100. Others remember the civil disobedience Poll Tax Movement as a force that helped to topple Thatcher or recall SCRAM (the Scottish Campaign to Resist the Atomic Menace). Democracy and direct action are intimately linked and any movement for change works better when it has action to feed off. Time will tell whether it will work.

This is interesting, progressive thinkers and writers see the need to link the desire for Democracy and Self Determination with the tools of Direct Action. You don't need to be a Scottish Socialist or Nationalist to understand that the British state cannot easily be reformed.

And to dismiss the Scottish Press and a blogger such as Ian Dale, Mike Small writes: Today, participative media in Scotland is stronger than ever - with a surge of high quality online content in the last year.

The above is true we can choose our own media and opinions on the net.

And so Mike writes: This campaign not only demonstrates the powerful voice of new media. It is about democracy conceived as something better than that handed down every five years.

The campaign has been described as simple populist agitation. It’s true that there is no substitute for a real independence referendum. But what is important is that the widest 'we' owns this and builds this - beyond any one party. One supporter of the citizens-referendum is Ian Hamilton QC – the man who liberated the ‘Stone of Destiny’ in 1954. He wrote: “There are times when our country needs troublemakers. This is one.”

I very much agree as I am a supporter of direct action. However securing the support of the SNP and the wider Independence Movement would be worthwhile. And I believe we must go beyond the converted and bring the message to the wider Scottish public. Not an easy task without access to the Scottish media.

As an SNP member I defend the party political actions but would have preferred if they had allowed the unionists to vote down the Independence Referendum Bill. It was a missed opportunity with little explanation about the decision.

Where we are ready to launch non party political campaigns moves to direct action it is vital that communication with many takes place. Support from all the pro-independence parties would also be worthwhile. Revolutions are best fought with a determined small minority. Scottish people when given a voice are crying out for change. Professional politicians are often disappointing even in Scotland. Scottish elections are significant but when we talk of real change I prefer pressure politics. To hell with the unionists and their defence of their brand of representative democracy.

And so it is worth appealing to readers on my weblogs to get behind the Bella Caledonia Independence / AV campaign.

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