YESSERS are being urged to “reinvent the independence campaign – or the dream dies”.

Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, the founder of Scotland's leading grassroots Yes organisation, issued the warning ahead of a major meeting of independence supporters this weekend.

Speaking ahead of Believe in Scotland's (BiS) Independence Congress on Saturday, the campaigner and businessman said: “Scotland won't become independent unless we significantly change the mindset of the independence movement.”

It comes after  MacIntyre-Kemp told activists in Perth that if the movement leaves campaigning to politicians, "we’re not going to get independence”.

READ MORE: New Scottish independence poll gives Yes four-point lead over Union

He has also criticised the current SNP’s independence strategy – which involves treating the 2026 Holyrood election as a de facto referendum and gaining a pro-Yes majority – as “near impossible” to achieve.

The SNP agreed a strategy at last year’s party conference to request negotiations with Whitehall on independence if they win the most seats at this year’s General Election.

They would simultaneously ask Westminster’s permission to hold another independence referendum. If both requests were denied, the party would consider using the next Holyrood election as a de facto vote on the constitutional question.

'A nationwide paradigm shift' 

In an email invite to BiS supporters urging them to attend Saturday’s event, MacIntyre-Kemp will say: “I am going to present the results of my recent research into how to create a nationwide paradigm shift.

“It's going to make people feel uncomfortable, because my conclusion is that Scottish independence will NOT happen unless we reinvent the independence campaign from top to bottom.

“If you are like me, the lack of progress towards independence will be driving you mad.

READ MORE: Five things we learned from the latest Scottish independence poll

“People message me all the time to say the fight is going out of them and that they don't see a route to independence.”

He said he has been conducting research into questions such as why independence support has remained narrowly ahead of support for the Union “when other nations gained almost unanimous support”.

Independence supporters may be buoyed by a slew of recent polls which have consistently put Yes in the lead over support for staying in the UK.

The event will also explore fractures in the Yes movement and why politicians have “not been able to generate higher levels of support for independence”.

The National: Business For Scotland chief executive Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp pictured speaking at the Trades Hall of Glasgow for the launch of the Believe In Scotland campaign and Scotland The Brief book.....  Photograph by Colin Mearns..22 January 2020..For The

MacIntyre-Kemp (above) also claimed the SNP have called a “work day” for this Saturday – clashing with the conference.

“If you run a Yes group, attending the 2024 congress is far more important than a work day this far ahead of the expected October 2024 election,” he added.

Speaking to The National, MacIntyre-Kemp said: “The independence movement has reached an impasse – although there is technically a route forward, it won't be easy.

"Believe in Scotland disagreed with the SNP’s route to independence but the writing is now on the wall.

“The SNP have to win a majority in the 2024 General Election, to then set up a constitutional convention to lay the groundwork for a de facto referendum at the 2026 Scottish Parliament election.

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“Getting a majority Yes vote in the next Holyrood election will be near impossible unless we have a radical rethink of how we engage the people of Scotland on the issue of Scottish independence.”

The research behind the conclusion

Research carried out late last year looked at “how people think and exercise free will in decision making”.

He added: “I looked into how institutions form to protect ideas, what nations have seen paradigm shifts in social constructs and why, into what influences shape the lens through which people process the world around and how we can refocus their view.”

The research, he said, reached the conclusion that Scotland would not become independent without a radical rethink of its campaigning strategy and the “mindset” of campaigners.

“That includes ditching cherished ideas and campaign habits and even changing the relationship between the wider movement and the political parties,” he said.

The National: Keith Brown

SNP deputy leader Keith Brown (above) said: “In the face of a Tory cost of living crisis which ordinary people are being forced to pay the price for, it has never been clearer that Westminster isn't working for Scotland and independence is needed now more than ever. 

“With support for independence at around 50%, the SNP is focused on building this further by showing that decisions about Scotland are best taken in Scotland – we welcome contributions on how to progress Scotland’s journey to independence and look forward to Believe in Scotland sharing their ideas.

"In the General Election, people have the opportunity to vote SNP to stand up for Scotland and choose a better future as an independent country."

The Scottish Independence Congress

Described as a day of “immense significance” by organisers, Saturday will see Believe in Scotland members from across the country come together to discuss campaigning in the year ahead.

The online event will take place from 10am until 4.45pm, with representatives from across the Yes movement joining to figure out the practical way ahead to independence.

Through a mixture of panel discussions, presentations and voting, all groups will be invited to have their say.

One panel sees members of the Believe in Scotland steering group – made up of representatives from 17 regions and 11 national campaigning groups – interviewed by The National’s grassroots reporter Laura Pollock about the inside workings of the organisation.

Pollock has filmed her session with Jacqui Jensen, Sharon Trish and David Spacey, discussing how Believe in Scotland operates and works towards independence.

To register for Saturday’s event, click here.