IT will soon be time to reap what Westminster has sown. In a week in which the chief EU negotiator stated that the Brexit talks were mired in a disturbing deadlock, it’s becoming ever more clear that there is no such thing as a good Brexit deal. It’s becoming ever more likely that there could be no deal at all. The UK is a state in thrall to a fundamentally broken economic model, a model which cannot provide a dignified standard of living for all its citizens, a model which sees the gulf between rich and poor, haves and have nots, grow ever wider. Brexit is only going to make all those existing problems worse. The Conservatives are not pursuing a hard Brexit because they want to create a utopia of human and employment rights.

For Scotland, Brexit risks the destruction of the devolution settlement. It will bring about an unprecedented power grab on the part of Westminster, which has unilaterally decided to turn on its head the assumption underpinning devolution that everything which is not a reserved power is devolved. And yet we’re told by British nationalists that this is good for Scotland.

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We’re told to trust in the goodwill of a Westminster Parliament which has never demonstrated much goodwill in the past. We’re told this by people who seek to convince us that Scotland is, uniquely, the only thing on the planet that the Conservatives throw large amounts of money at out of the sheer goodness of their hearts.

We stand before two visions of the future. There’s Westminster’s vision: a country alienated from Europe, xenophobic and isolationist, living on nostalgic memories of an Emprire that’s long gone while the majority of its citizens struggle and a tiny minority become obscenely rich. Or there’s Scotland’s vision: a country that prioritises the dignity and equality of all its citizens, that seeks to connect with the wider world, that looks to the future and not the past.

The only route to that better future for Scotland is through another independence referendum. The time for making the case for that referendum is now, and it’s up to the broader independence movement to make that case. Independence means acting independently. We don’t need permission to start campaigning, we don’t need to wait for the SNP, the Greens, or anyone else to tell us it’s OK. We can do it for ourselves, and that is what independence is all about. A citizen-led independence movement will create a citizen-led nation. Independence is about empowerment, so let’s take the power into our own hands and grow this movement.

Over the past months I’ve been doing dozens of talks for local pro-independence groups the length and breadth of Scotland, from Orkney and Skye to Stranraer and Duns, and all points in between. I’ve been talking to Yes groups, local SNP branches, Commonweal groups. It doesn’t matter where in Scotland they’re located, they are all full of talented and capable people who are champing at the bit to do something to challenge the bleak and hopeless future into which Scotland is being led by Westminster’s donkeys of doom.

The time for taking action is now. The independence movement can’t risk allowing the energy and enthusiasm of local groups to dissipate and disperse. What all the local groups I’ve been talking to have in common is that they’re desperate to feel as though they are part of a cohesive national movement, that they’re all participating in a national process that will lead Scotland to its rightful destiny as an independent state. That feeling is lacking just now, so we need to build it.

Some important events are coming up soon which could go a long way to creating that sense of cohesion and building a national grassroots movement. There’s the Scottish Independence Convention’s Build conference in Edinburgh on November 4, and I’ve been talking with local group members and others about the possibility of a local groups conference the following month in which the local grassroots organisations can discuss in greater detail and in a less formal setting the issues and goals that come out of the SIC conference.

If we want an independence movement that provides a strong foundation for a campaign, it’s going to require different legs to balance and support it. The SNP and Greens possess the vital democratic mandate to call a referendum, the SIC is carrying out the essential research to give us the answers and strategies required by a successful campaign, but what we’re still lacking is a cohesive national framework to which local groups feel that they belong and which they own. Creating that is a priority. We need to be ready when the disaster that is Brexit unfolds in all its horrific reality. We need to take on board the lesson that generations of Scottish mammies and grannies have taught us down through the ages – if ye want something done, ye need tae dae it yersel. Let’s dae this.