THERE is much in the Scottish Independence Convention’s latest initiative that is worthy of praise but after 11 months of waiting since that memorable event in the Usher Hall, it’s about time.

Few people would disagree that some sort of national Yes coordination is needed, if only to avoid clashes of dates for events. But is the Scottish Independence Convention as an umbrella body for the pro-independence parties and organisations the correct grouping to bring this about? In the absence of any other organisation and with the Scottish Government opting out at present, it has appeared for a while as though the SIC is the only game in town, but within the past few months we have seen the spectacular feats of All Under One Banner’s marches, while the National Yes Registry is almost fully up and running, so could those two groups not teach the SIC a thing or two about putting ideas into action?

It is no secret that the Convention has had a difficult time in creating its latest incarnation as a campaign organisation. In a movement that is so vast and disparate, there are bound to be differences of opinion as to how to proceed, and perhaps that is why it has taken so long for the SIC to deliver its executive committee and its prospectus for progress contained in the Open Letter, excerpts from which we publish today and which can be seen on their website

There will be many in the Yes movement who will be aghast at any thought of central control and that’s why the SIC have been very anxious to avoid being seen as that controlling entity. In calling for the creation of “strategy”, however, the SIC committee have made a rod for their own back. For how is that strategy to be devised and delivered? What’s going to be in it? Who will draft that strategy? Who will have the final say so on it? One of the new proposed employees or the committee? Who will fill the five jobs they want to create? How much money do they need? How will those jobs be advertised and who will do the recruiting? Is five enough, given the huge resources that our opponents can call upon?

And, importantly, how will the SIC relate to the Scottish Government and the SNP both before and during the forthcoming referendum campaign? If it is not the intention of the SIC to be the lead organisation for Yes at the second indyref then who will it be?

The SNP are members of the Convention, but the party will do its own campaigning for certain, as will the Scottish Greens. If the SIC can provide genuine coordination for all the various campaigns, as it seems to suggest it will do, then that may yet prove to be its biggest single achievement.

The appeal for funding that the SIC have proposed is soon to be launched and the details of that will be hugely important. Sufficient funds will be necessary for what SIC proposes and the worry must be that people will not part with cash until they see SIC in action. For, to be blunt, the SIC has promised much in the past and now it has to deliver.