Over the weekend just past, I attended the Believe in Scotland Virtual Conference, organised by Believe in Scotland and made up of over 100 Yes Groups from around the country. Due to other commitments I couldn't attend all of the different sessions that spanned the 3 days, but those I did manage to watch and take part in gave me a new sense of optimism. Optimism that has been missing since the vote in 2014.

I'm sure everyone that made it to the event will have come away with different ideas on what they felt was the standout message and how it applies to their Yes groups, but for me it was the positivity shown by everyone that spoke that grabbed me most.

Of course the Union is a negative place, and its right-wing policies & no-deal Brexit are very hard to spin into positives and yes, we should absolutely use negativity when campaigning, but if all we do is talk about how horrid Westminster is all the time then we aren't really explaining why being independent is good. "Just because" isn't an answer, and "Just because it isn't Westminster" is hardly any better.

The Hub is made up of hundreds of Yes groups & hundreds of bloggers. What they say can influence undecided voters. I've noticed that over the last few months that there are perhaps only a handful of positive articles being written. This is not helpful. The Hub collates as much content as it can from all over the movement. If all it showcases is how awful things are, it isn't inviting people to truly open their eyes to what Scotland could become. The Hub just becomes an unhappy, negative, doom-laden pit of depressing articles. It just makes people fearful of what's coming next. Every blogger has a duty to have a real hard think about the message they want to get across and decide if what they are writing will be of any benefit. Will it move people over to Yes? If not, reframe your article or write about something else.

One of the greatest things 2014 did was create a positive feeling about Scotland and it was infectious! There is no way we would have got (and retained) 45% of the vote if all we talked about was doom and gloom. So let's get back to that. Let's talk UP Scotland, not just talk DOWN the Union. Let's show people the positive sides of independence, of being a NORMAL nation.


An Invitation To Yes Groups

One of the best features of the Conference at the weekend was being able to network with other Yes groups. Although time was extremely limited (3 minutes before being kicked out of the chat to speak to another Yes group - although this was extended to 6 minutes eventually), it was fantastic to be able to put faces to Yes groups across the country. This was actually my favourite feature of the entire weekend and something I'd like to do more of.

I'd love to speak to more Yes groups to explain what The Hub is all about, how I feel it can help and just as importantly to find out what help the Yes groups themselves feel they need. The Hub can be molded into anything we want it to be. I can even create different apps or websites such as campaign tools if we require it and I'm happy to do these at no cost if it is of benefit to the whole movement.

So if you are part of a Yes group and would like to organise a Zoom meeting to throw around some ideas and for me to discuss The Hub, then please let me know by emailing mail@thehub.scot.

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