A WHILE back we asked Yes groups across the country to tell us their opinions on the various matters that face the independence movement, and we have had a goodly number of replies which we will feature in future Yes DIY pages.

The thoughts of Mike Blackshaw of the Edinburgh Yes Hub were among the best. He said: “All those of us who spend time on social media must be amazed at how many have complained the SNP are on the decline. Either GRA or no action on independence. I cannot understand why we are using sticks to beat ourselves when we are at the highest point in popularity?

“It is either our desire to follow all political groups when on top of finding ways to destroy, or just our opponents in disguise.

“SNP have 81% of Scottish Westminster seats, 13 years of Scottish Government, 70% control of Scottish Councils and a membership that is 120,000 plus.

“Yet some are saying that is not enough. But surely we are in a stymied situation, as Brexit and the pandemic has got in the way. Do we think pushing a referendum during a world health pandemic would have gone down well with the electorate? Of course not, so what was Nicola supposed to do? She has done what the electorate expect, hence the huge rise in her support and that of the SNP and independence.

“The next move is important as Nicola has the difficult job of keeping the independence fires burning without giving the frustrated Yes support a dampener.

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“That happened on January 31 this year when we all expected a speech with a referendum date and got a well directed speech but no date.

“Over the next few days, 56 members of the SNP resigned but 1245 joined, so the speech was the right one. We now have some Yes supporters forming parties to stand on the list in May 2021.

“Although with good intentions, I fear we are being “too smart” and it could backfire badly as we could have six-plus independence supporting list parties all going for the same vote.

“So instead of losing Labour, LibDems and Tory MSPs, we could be giving them the chance to increase their number of seats.

“I accept voting SNP on the list in the central belt is a waste of time due to the system, but if we win 65 constituency seats we win a majority anyway without the list. We should be putting all our efforts into achieving that.

“Labour, LibDems and Tories are ineffective in minority. We also have to remember the Greens, a party who have a 100% record in voting for a referendum and for independence, yet they have voted sometimes against the SNP on other issues, but sometimes so would I – and you have to remember that it is always healthy to have opposing opinions in a parliament.”