I’M feart o a new indyref.

I mind stottin aboot in ae sooth Embra suburb, wi ma bag fu o Yes leaflets. An auld Unionist mannie opened the door tae us. He’d been in the airmy, an wis a bitty mair thirlt tae British identity than yer average. I wis ainly 24, an this teuch auld craiter wisnae aboot tae tak a lesson in the weys o the warld aff me. Quite richt. He telt me aboot how the UK can haud its ain against ony incomers, an me bein raised in a time o peace didnae ken the value o a country’s ability tae defend itsel. I telt him aboot growin up in rural Angus, whaur the pooer tae effect onythin ootwith yer ain village seemed ridiculous, wi aa the decisions made doon in Westminster. Independence, I felt, wad gie fowk bidin aroon Scotland mair o a say owre their ain future, an an empooerin sense o their ain consequence.

I changed his mind aboot absolute hee-haw. He didnae gar me flit ae bawhair closer tae votin No. But whit we did hae wis a meaningfu connection. I learnt mair aboot the mentality an experience o the mony aulder Scots wha were pairt o the airmy, mibbe wha were engaged oot at the Falklands, in Ulster, an in ither pairts. He gleaned whit wee bitty insichts I could gie him aboot growin up oot the thrang o central belt Scotland, an the sense o pooerlessness that comes wi it. We shook hauns, left kennin mair aboot oor “opponents”, an unnerstaunin oor wee country an the fowk that bide in it that wee bitty better.

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Conversations sic as this were happenin aa owre the country. Fir months referendum chat ousted weather chat as oor base-level blether. The first indyref wis fundamentally a guid, positive national discussion. Loads o positive cultural spin affs cam fae it, an the muckle discussion aroon Scotland’s future has been gingin alang wi virr ever since.

I’m feart that a seccont indyref wadnae be onythin near sae couthy an braw as that.

I’m feart that, gin we focht anither indyref, we’d be owre influenced by the strategies o the Brexiteers. We’d mak it a protest, mak it a us-versus-them. The milk o human kindness, sae common in 2014, wad be soored.

Thae conversations wi No voters, or undecidit voters, were a hail lot mair than just blether aboot ae economic or social justice pynt or anither. They gied us somethin we didnae hae: a national conversation.

As wi mony pairts o former empire, Scotland doesnae hae mony means tae communicate wi itsel unmediatit. Maist newspapers speak tae ae wee tranche o readers in ae geographical location. Social media is a honeycomb o echo chaumers. The BBC in Scotland in 2014 barely existed an wasnae owre relevant tae maist fowk. The upshot was that we didnae hae means tae find oot aboot wha bides doon the road, wha oor neebors were an whit they were thinkin.

The campaign aroon independence got us oot, an broke doon barriers. It literally helped big a nation through shared experience, on baith sides.

Times hae changed sae muckle. The Brexit experience has changed aahin. Jo Cox has been murdert. Russian bots an clarty cash gied Leave the dunt it mibbie needit tae get owre the line. Lees fleed aroon like flees roon keich.

Social media is mair an mair toxic. Ony post that could be perceived as warm tae oor independence gets blootert bi thoosans o Unionist posters, bealin at the thocht. Ilka social media post that caas intae question the validity o indy is torn tae targets wi whiles disgustin language an personal attacks. Baith sides hae hail middens fu o sic trolls. Some, I doot, peyed.

We ken fae the stooshie this week that there’s a class divide an a pooer divide in the Yes movement, wi concomitant internal jealousies, alang wi hunners o ither potential fractures.

I wad urge aabdy tae keep a calm sooch. We hae tae mind that independence isnae an uprisin onymair. It isnae some ettle tae tak doon the Death Star wi just some Ewoks an an oot-o-date spaceship. It is the position o the incumbent Scottish Government an has been fir owre a decade. It’s the position o aroon 50% o the population.

Independence isnae a rebellious, oot-o-leftfield notion. It is pragmatic, especially wi the SNP at the helm.

There’s nae need tae skirl, nae need tae swear, an certainly nae need tae miscry fowk that dinnae agree wi us.

The First Meenster has telt us there’ll be a referendum afore 2021. Whit’s needed is tae mak shair that whitever modren, fantoosh version o the Yes campaign we come up wi noo is as braid a kirk as its possible tae big. We’ll nae just need tae big thon muckle kirk an stap it fu tae burstin, but we’ll also hae tae be the polis o oor ain movement. In thae pews will be capitalists, Tories, Communists, liberals, Greens, fannies, heros, fuds an gowden-hertit auld grannies that are luikin oot fir their grandbairns. There’ll be snidey c*nts, an fowk nae lang aff the gear.

Ae thing’s fir shair; nae aabdy that likes independence likes each ither. An the mair fowk that jyne us, the mair different attitudes we’ll hae tae thole within the movement.

We’ve seen that there’s fowk makkin siller oot the Yes movement that want tae protect their mercat share mair than they want a cohesive an co-operate Yes movement. The hail referendum could weel see a collapse in the brither- an sister-huid o the Yes movement, wi freenly fire blooterin aboot in ilka airt, alang wi unacceptable slaverin vitriol bein bunged at supposit Unionists. We’ll hae tae keep a lid on aa that.

We maun mind that gainin oor independence aifter a vote will be a total fankle. Exitin the EU has been the bourach tae enn aa bourachs, but effectively creatin a new state aifter winnin the indyref will tak years. It will require diplomacy an cool heids on aa sides. The immediate aiftermath o a close, fierce, bluid-curdlin referendum campaign isnae the richt environment for sic discussions, concessions an honest endeavour tae tak place. Gin we’ve been skellochin fae ilka rooftap fir months aboot whit scunners oor neebors an former-freens are, it’ll be gey hard tae sit doon an co-operate wi them tae big a new state.

Sae we maun hae a think aboot whit we’ll dae tae keep oor ain side civil, positive, an nae sweirt tae hae occasional threips anent the wey forrit wioot cries o “splittin the movement”.

It’ll be up tae us moderates tae tak tent that we dinnae allow oor rhetoric tae get aheid o us, an that we dinnae allow bams tae use the independence jaicket tae hide their true, unco ugsome sels.

The last indyref brocht us closer thegither. I’m feart that gin we arnae carfu, the neist ane micht tear us apairt.