Alex Salmond: Yes movement may have “confused” SNP and broader movement in 2014

Leading yes activists call for #indyref2 movement to put forward diverse options and messages

FORMER First Minister Alex Salmond has said that he feels the SNP ended up being confused with the broader 2014 pro-independence movement because it offered too “definitive” a presentation of the post-independence country.

The statement follows widespread criticism of the SNP’s white paper following the 55 per cent No vote two years ago, with critics variously complaining it was overly proscriptive, allowed insufficient distance between the Scottish Government and the grassroots Yes campaign, was based on over-heated oil prices or presented an insufficient break from the UK status quo.

The comments were made at the re-launch event of the Scottish Independence Convention (SIC), organised to act as a hub for thought and action in advance of a prospective second referendum on Scottish independence.

He told the audience that he had learned lessons from 2014, including the need for greater inclusion of diverse opinions on the possible aftermath of the referendum.

“We have to learn lessons, I’ve learned many lessons from 2014.”

“We have to be detailed, but not definitive.

“How do we need to be detailed? The Scottish Government has to supply the detail that satisfies people on independence.”

However Salmond, now and MP at Westminster, said the movement had to project its diversity.

“Scotland is a country of many, many tendencies and views and we have to set out the policy options. Perhaps we were too definitive, and confused the SNP with the national movement last time round,” he said.

Salmond’s comments were mirrored by Scotland’s youngest MSP and a former Yes Scotland official, the Scottish Green Party’s Ross Greer, who said that the movement should understand it’s internal divisions as a source of strength.

Speaking before Salmond at SIC, he said: “Our independence movement doesn't have one vision for independence, but many, that is our strength.

“Our opponents will never understand that.”

These comments were also echoed at the event by non-party figures such as Common Weal Director Robin McAlpine, former MSP and columnist Carolyn Leckie and independence stalwart Elaine C Smith.

The run up to the second anniversary of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, and the fallout from the UK’s shock vote to leave the EU in June, has led to the re-energisation of the grassroots independence movement.

Picture courtesy of Ewan McIntosh

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