I sat beside Darren ‘Loki’ McGarvey in 2014 as we waited to make our presentations at a wee conference in the Department of Scottish literature of Glasgow University. His presentation made me a bit moist around the eyes with its tale of personal suffering and the loss of a friend.
Since then Darren has got a gig at the Scotsman. He’s not the only Yes activist to get paid work in the Unionist media. I don’t criticise them for that in itself. Its tough out there and they have often made helpful contributions which have improved the daily output of these otherwise failing organisations but, today, Darren has played into the hands of my (his?) enemies by writing:
‘Growth Commission offers ‘timid’ vision for Scotland’
It turns out that I agree with what he writes but I disagree about where and when these thoughts should be expressed if independence matters most to you. I would be happy to express them privately and confidentially where I could be sure they wouldn’t get out and be turned against the movement or after we win independence, when it is safe to do so. We all need the money, but he could have written something else, something calculated to win support for Yes.
Darren hasn’t been the only insider to criticise the Growth Commission. Perhaps worse, we’ve seen leading SNP figures, Jim Fairlie and George Kerevan feeding the Herald’s Tom Gordon and enabling the headline:
‘Further splits in Yes movement over Growth Commission’
We’ve also seen an attack from the left in the form of Jonathon Shafi, the co-founder of the Radical Independence Campaign:
‘In 2014 the independence movement was galvanised around opposition to crushing Westminster austerity. That too was the theme of the successful SNP general election campaign. The Growth Commission, despite claims to the opposite, would open the door to various forms of austerity politics.’
Once more, I agree entirely but to say it now can only weaken the Yes movement. By all means, say it privately or after the great day but, for now, there must be many other targets for the left, where attacks will weaken unionist propaganda directly. Further, huffy threats of defection to Corbyn’s Labour are frankly astonishing. Recent polls tell us that much of England remains wedded to these appalling Tories and to the Monarchy. We’ve waited far too long for UK Labour to give us a Britain we might feel we belong in. Only an independent Scotland can save us. Do nothing that obstructs the road to freedom. It’s not just about you.