The sharing of information both at a regional and national level is key, providing helpful ideas, solutions and a regular boost to confidence.
While “issues” vary from one area to another, “ferries” is probably the common denominator.
While campaign activity also varies, BIS Days of Action provide a unifying and consistent approach to engaging with the public. Some groups benefit from a local hub.
Yes Bute, for example, has one located on the seafront which opens three times a week and regularly welcomes tourists as well as locals. Yes Cowal is in the process of relocating to new premises in Dunoon High Street, calculating it to be one of the most cost-effective ways of reaching the public. It also has a travelling gazebo used on Days of Action with BIS material.
Others organise street stalls or use local venues. Yes Helensburgh & Lomond organises tea/coffee events in a local church; has a presence at the Pipe Band Championships and utilises a gazebo, street boards and BIS merchandise.
Aye Fyne regularly hosts speakers – such as The National’s grassroots reporter Laura Pollock – in local hotels under the headline “Exploring Independence” and has found these to be very well attended by the indy-curious and others. I
ts team are also welcomed year on year at the Mid-Argyll Agricultural Show. Two of the members produce outstanding banners and Dot Q&A boards which engage the public independently and which they share with other groups.
Yes Islay has two energetic and committed members intent on re-establishing it after its post-2014 closure. They have personally funded 4000 BIS leaflets, 3000 of which have already been distributed around the island.
From our regular meetings, it is apparent that the most effective means of engagement is one of listening to folks’ concerns and eliciting how they see a future Scotland providing solutions.
It has also been observed that an absence of reference to any political party is more likely to encourage engagement, which is where the Believe in Scotland banner and materials come to the fore.
We are all geared up for the Day of Action and the march and rally for an Independent Scotland in the EU in Edinburgh on September 2. There are also plans to host Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp’s presentation on the Wellbeing Economy by various groups around the region.