If we assume that the natural state of a country and its people is independence and self determination then it is reasonable to think that most Scottish people should, at least on some level, want to vote for independence. And yet the country seems to be split, as it has for many years, 60/40 for remaining in the Union. Why? Because the union is all people know; no one has lived in an independent Scotland since 1707.
This creates problems. The 40% of voters in Scotland who have this strong sense of the natural state (independence) are perplexed, confused, agitated by and hostile towards the 60% of voters who are inclined to stay in the union. They seem to believe that it’s crazy for people to feel comfortable in a system that has worked, and if you are a sensible person you would have to say successfully, for three hundred years. Of course this is not crazy it’s perfectly logical. The 40% need some of the 60% to change their minds in order to achieve independence and they're going about it the wrong way.
The job of the Yes Campaign (when I say the yes campaign I mean every ‘yes’ voter in Scotland who is attempting to change the mind of the ‘no’ voters either through conversation or social media) is to change minds, which is not an easy thing to do but perfectly possible considering all you’re doing is returning people to the natural state of a country.
But they’re not changing anyone’s mind or certainly not enough people to gain independence and for me it is quite obvious why. The strategy that the Yes Campaign is employing is isolating and solidifying the unionists. Why? Because they spend most of their time degrading the only system that anyone has ever known. The ‘them and us’ tactic is destined to fail because the 60% doesn’t feel like there is a ‘them and us’ for them it’s just ‘us’. The 40% simply do not understand the 60% and their almost bully like tactics are not working. The 60% are either happy with the Union or at the least aren’t unhappy with it and by constantly attacking it the 40% are isolating the very people who’s minds they’re trying to change.
To change their minds the campaign needs to focus solely on the positive aspects of independence and forget trying to drive a wedge between Scottish voters and Great Britain. The voters need reassurance, they need something to believe in, they need to feel confident that if they make this huge decision that things will get better for them. What they do not need is to be made to feel like they are insane for feeling comfortable in a Union that has worked and they do not need to be made to feel un-Scottish for not instantly jumping on the independence train and buying tickets for the Alex Salmond show.
If Scotland doesn’t get independence the Yes campaign and the yes voters are going to look back and realise that attacking the UK (of which Scotland is a part of and has been complicit in the decisions of for hundreds of years) was more damaging than beneficial. You're attacking yourself as well as England, Ireland and Wales and it's uncomfortable for everyone including the majority of Scottish people. How can you expect to change people’s minds when all you’re offering is Union bashing. Why doesn't the campaign focus on the positivity of self determination rather than attacking a union of countries which has been historically more beneficial to Scotland than detrimental. It would be a much stronger argument (and more realistic) to say the Union has been good for Scotland but recently it hasn't been working in the way we would have liked, it's time we took decisions for ourselves, we bear no ill will to the rest of the Union we just want to go our own way. That’s an argument most people could agree with.
You’ll notice that I haven’t mentioned the ‘Better Together’ campaign. There are two reasons for this. Firstly I have no interest in the quality of their campaign because I want them to lose and secondly because I think they’re probably winning the argument by simply reassuring the 60% that everything is just fine the way they have always known it. Their job isn’t as difficult as the Yes Campaigns.
There are two pictures attached to this blog one is positive and could help to convince the 60%. The other is a list of financial figures that the average human cares little about.