In February 2020, we at Our Scottish Future hit upon the great idea of holding a series of public meetings around Scotland to talk about the big questions facing the country’s future, where we would give local people a chance to meet face to face in the same room with one another.
As Mike Tyson said, everybody has a plan until you get punched in the face – or hit by a global pandemic.
But eighteen months on, we are delighted to say that we’re now planning to get things up and running again.
Our inaugural event, entitled “Finding Common Cause” is taking place in Edinburgh on Saturday November 6th. You can get all the details and sign up here.
Despite the intervention of the pandemic, our basic view of Scottish politics has not changed since we first came up with our plans.
We believe that the debate on the union has too often been polarising.
And while this is the preferred option of some, our polling shows that it ignores the views of “middle Scotland” – those thousands of us who would like to see a positive way forward for Scotland and the UK and aren’t wedded to some pre-determined constitutional formula.
Our events, starting in Edinburgh, are designed to provide a forum for those of us who want to act upon this idea, and themselves lead change, now.
These meetings aren’t going to be for everybody. We haven’t bought any flags and we are fantastically uninterested in whatever the latest GERS numbers happen to be. Attendees can be assured we have no plans to explain what “sterlingisation” involves, not least because we’re not entirely sure ourselves.
Instead we’d like to start our own conversation by talking about how to do politics in Scotland better.
Fundamentally, that’s by rejecting the notion that success is a defined by a win-at-all-costs battle to keep the Union together; by the politics of 50.1%.
Rather we want to champion the values of empathy, cooperation and solidarity and campaign for a more inclusive political culture that listens to, and learns from, the perspective that pro-independence supporters voters provide.
We have some interesting and unusual guests coming along to provide their own perspective on all of this.
And even if you’ve had no previous engagement with politics, that is no reason not to turn up.
It’ll be a great opportunity to meet other interested and interesting people and to begin a more fruitful conversation about the way forward for Scotland.
If you can’t join us in person, we will also be hosting a series of online events – please register your interest here. We look forward to seeing you in Edinburgh on the 6th, or at an event near you soon.