ADVOCATES of an independent socialist Scotland witnessed two significant developments last week. The first concerned plans for a so-called “centrist” split from Labour, and the second involved moves by similar forces to influence the independence movement.

“Rebel MPs to establish new party” splashed last Sunday’s Observer, citing MPs Chris Leslie, Luciana Berger and Angela Smith being behind plans to set up the new organisation when Britain formally leaves the EU in March.

The story is denied by the Europhile MPs and Corbyn alike, but the poisonous atmosphere inside the Parliamentary Labour Party persists.

It’s now not a matter of “if” Labour, splits but “when”.

The already uncertain prospects of a Corbyn-led Labour Government would evaporate overnight if such a split occurs, and the focus north of the Border would again turn sharply towards independence.

All of which poses questions for a Yes movement fixated on the timing of indyref2.

Many “Yessers” will wonder what to make of Angus Robertson’s new group Progress Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon has welcomed her former depute leader with open arms, urging Progress Scotland to “advance the fight for Scottish independence”.

Robertson has already reached predictable conclusions in explaining why Yes lost in 2014, citing judges, businessmen, academics and financiers among those conservative voices we need to win over.

This is the same conclusion Andrew Wilson’s Growth Commission reached, namely since we won the working class vote in 2014 and “have them in the bag”, we must reach out to middle-class Scotland if we are to win next time.

This view is not only wrong tactically, it is wrong factually. Yes did not win a majority among Scotland’s working class in 2014. That was the problem.

While Angus Robertson is right to examine why we lost and right to shake the independence movement out of its stupor, like Wilson he is completely wrong in the conclusion he reaches.

Judges, lawyers, businessmen and financiers will not only not win us a majority, their demands will alienate the very working class majority our victory depends upon.

The tactics the Yes movement employs are key. Since the Section 30 order [of the 1998 Scotland Act] needed for a legally binding referendum will not be granted by the UK Government, persevering with indyref2 as things stand offers no chance of success and risks reducing independence to a side show.

So, what other strategies are there? A national liberation struggle? No. Civil disobedience to secure indyref2? Maybe. But this can only be employed effectively if we enjoy majority support. That remains crucial to everything and we still don’t have it.

So how do we win?

1. Accept we lost in 2014 because our case was not good enough. Our economic case was poor; we lost the argument on currency, on pensions, on the economic foundations and financial controls underpinning our new state. We must improve it.

2. Accept we didn’t persuade the working class majority in 2014 and that unless we do, we will never win any future vote.

3. Agree that dispatching John Swinney, Fergus Ewing, Angus Robertson and Andrew Wilson round the boardrooms of Scotland to assure capital about its control of Scotland’s post-independence economy and in turn seek their help in stemming the influence of a left of centre, social democratic audience is not the route to success.

4. We must not gloss over these differences. Unity is no substitute for clarity or a winning strategy. We are behind in the polls because our case is not persuasive enough. The Yes movement therefore needs to be far better prepared for the many challenges ahead.

This is an edited version of an article which first appeared in Scottish Socialist Voice