Yes: The people's campaign
By Blair Jenkins
In these early days of Yes Scotland, we are giving top priority to two things: engaging with the many thousands of people who have contacted us to get involved and offer support, and putting in place the structure and the resources the campaign will need to deliver the right result for Scotland.
I said when I was appointed that this is the people’s campaign and the people’s referendum. Already our thousands of volunteers and declared supporters have been holding events around the country. Now we need to create the network of local campaign groups that will enable us to organise in a way that works for every part of Scotland and harnesses, in all of our communities, the energy and enthusiasm that is already sparking on the website, on Twitter and on Facebook.
Next week we will publish on this website a guide to setting up local groups, including a statement of operating principles and key information on how Yes Scotland HQ will support campaigners around the country. I want Yes Scotland to help from the centre, but not control from the centre. Local groups will know best what kind of activities and events will be most successful in their own communities.
There are two other areas which are triggering most requests for assistance at the moment:
- Information on the benefits of independence: to answer some of the key questions that come up in conversation
- Yes Scotland merchandise: people want to be wearing t-shirts and badges, and indeed anything else they can get their hands on
We will have news on both these fronts in the next few weeks and will keep you informed on how to obtain campaign material quickly and reliably.
One of the most exciting and energising things about being in this job – and this is just my second week – is witnessing the incredible levels of enthusiasm and commitment people have for the goal of achieving an independent Scotland.
We are moving quickly and professionally to build up the campaign's organisational strength to a level that will do justice to the strength of our cause. Before the end of the month, we will have advertised senior roles in Communications, Marketing, Operations and the Communities initiatives.
I intend to build the capacity and resources of the campaign just as quickly as I can – always bearing in mind that it is as important to get things right as it is to get them fast.
One task that is close to completion is that of identifying a location in Glasgow for our campaign HQ. I am keen to have a very prominent and visible base for Yes Scotland, one that is easily identifiable and accessible for residents and visitors in Scotland’s largest city. More news on that soon, and on how we also intend to be visible regionally and locally around Scotland!
Finally this week, I can report that one message from Yes Scotland is proving particularly popular in the feedback we are getting nationally and locally. It’s the very simple idea that if each of us who already intend to vote Yes can convince just one other person in the next two years, then we win. And more to the point, Scotland wins. Let’s get talking.
Photographs and success stories from Yes Scotland's first community action weekend have been arriving in the office all this week.
The story of a cancer sufferer opting for life-prolonging treatment so that she can live long enough to vote Yes in next year’s referendum is told today in the Scottish Sun newspaper.
The second March and Rally for Scottish Independence tomorrow will see thousands of Yes supporters spread our positive message through the streets of Edinburgh.
Since the launch of the Yes Scotland campaign last year, I have travelled the length and breadth of the country, from Stornoway to Stranraer, from Dunoon to Dundee. During the course of my travels, I have spoken to thousands of people at a variety of venues, including town halls, schools, community centres and miners’ welfare clubs.