AT the last General Election, when Scotland was turning SNP-yellow, with occasional patches of Tory blue, only one ward remained red.

Yes Marchmont and Morningside (Yes M+M) battles for independence in a Unionist area where tactical voting to keep the SNP out helps Ian Murray, the sole Labour MP in Scotland, to keep his seat. And yet this is also the area that voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU.

With Keir Starmer ruling out a return to Europe, our Yes group exploits the message that rejoining the EU is only possible with self-determination.

Some of our most successful stalls are held in conjunction with other Yes groups – Yes for EU, and Edinburgh Women for Independence (EWFI) make great companion activists, with EWFI offering some wonderfully attractive merchandise and Yes for EU spreading a message that people want to hear.

Yes M+M also teams up with the Aye Notes, an intrepid band of musicians led by Stan Reeves, and the Indy Choir. The siren call of pipes and singers is powerful, and passers-by stop for long enough to be pounced on by an activist with a survey or questionnaire.

The National:

Each year, Yes M+M takes a stall to the Meadows Festival – two days of meeting and greeting locals of all ages who come to enjoy the funfair, the bric-a-brac stalls and the live music.

The atmosphere is relaxed, and we use “Yes/No” boards with a single question to attract the undecided and set up an opportunity to talk.

This year we asked “Should Scotland rejoin the EU?”.

The National:

The “Yes” side of the board was a mass of coloured dots while “No” dots could be counted on my fingers. Our next question will be about the Deposit Return Scheme.

Morningside has two shops that sell milk from Gigha. The glass bottles are washed and returned with a 20p premium that ensures their recycling.

The Meadows Festival has other advantages: a troupe of Catalan Castellers recognised a fellow cause, and built their castle of people in front of our stall. It gave us some spectacular photos for our Facebook page.

One activist, a dog owner, keeps canine candy in his pocket. Our most “liked” photo had expectant dogs, paws up on the edge of the table, hanging on his every word, along with their owners.

With a solid core of activists, we intend to hold monthly stalls in different parts of South Edinburgh and spread the word about the wellbeing economy.

READ MORE: Edinburgh: Europe holds the key to our independence campaign approach

The difficulty is finding the undecided voters in order to convince them that change is necessary. One way has been a monthly ceilidh, run by the Aye Notes in a sympathetic pub. This raises the “Yes” profile.

We have a series of concerts in mind for the Autumn to attract younger people.

Going into the summer, we hope that Yes groups, independence parties and other organisations such as Lesley Riddoch spearheaded Time for Scotland will pull together, bury their differences and throw their weight behind our common goal of independence.

Believe in Scotland has given our group a real focus with Days of Action, excellent materials and leaflets, and boundless energy and momentum generated by Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp and his regular pep talks to stakeholders and Yes Group organisers.

The message is clear: be seen, be vocal, use local concerns and keep up an indomitable positivity despite a media that seems determined to support the UK Government, The National excepted!