The National:

THIS week, I went to Largs to chat to activists whilst they manned their street stall on a very sunny bank holiday.

I met Joseph and Helen, both instrumental in keeping activists going in the South Ayrshire constituency.

SNP, Green supporters. Women for Independence and simply Yes. With debates around the SNP convention and the AUOB march growing loud, the stall didn’t have an air of any division.

All their materials had been supplied and purchased from Believe in Scotland, meaning it was totally non-partisan and with one message: Yes.

A woman from Catalonia stopped to talk to the group and when I asked her how it feels to see independence activists out in Scotland as a Catalonian, she said: “I wish, I wish it for us both.”

Kay and Linda, both previous head teachers who used to lived next door to each other and “pushed their prams moaning about politics”, told me the best thing about the Yes Largs stall is the mix of folk, which are then able to connect with a variety of passers-by.

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“Quite a lot of us are lapsed Labour, some SNP and we’re all a bit Green as well. We get a lot of people who see us, and I say, ‘I’m not SNP, I think there are things they have done that are great, and there are things they’ve done that I would query’.”

There were thoughts on the upcoming SNP convention. Joseph said: "I'm excited for it. Comparing it to the existing conferences of the SNP, motions get passed, and things get done which is good, but I don't feel I get anything from it.

"In the 80s and 90s, you'd come away invigorated. You need to keep that spirit, so I hope that is what it's like.

"I would quite like it be broader, but that's not for me to decide."

He also said the biggest talking points at the stall were local arguments and concerns of jobs in the area, especially with the building of a cable manufacturing factory near Fairlie.

The National: A stall hosted by Yes Largs

Margaret from Women for Independence told me she had been a subscriber to The National since day one, and was described by Linda as always feeling like the movement should be a broad church. She was also credited with being the person on the stall with the knowledge to talk to folk in depth about the merits of independence.

They felt the controversy surrounding the AUOB rallies, a few had attended the most recent one, was a “pretty poor” show from the Greens “drawing divisions,” however, they said AUOB had become too political so understood why the parties weren’t endorsing or supporting the rallies like they used to.

I was told the marches did instil an SNP/Greens bad narrative, and that has been experienced by Yessers across the movement, with folk turning off and away from the organisation and events.

There were also thoughts on the new Yes leaflet released by SNP and the days of action planned. One told me: "I heard one activist isn’t even ordering them." 

I asked why, to be told they are too wordy compared to existing materials by Believe in Scotland.

The group at the time thought the days of action being organised by SNP were for Yes and multiple said it still wasn't enough of a show for Yes from the largest pro-independence party, but it has now been confirmed the days are for party messaging.

So now show?

Yes Largs like many others are awaiting their order, but we will see if the materials, and the arguments, connect with undecided and no.

I'll be chatting to activists in Peebles today and in Morningside on Sunday - if you fancy a visit from myself to share your thoughts with the wider Yes movement - then just get in touch!