I've argued in a few of my blogs about the need to engage and mobilise the talents within the grassroots of the SNP. I thought I'd look out for an example, and found it from amongst members of West Fife and Coastal Villages branch. They have produced an extremely well structured, written and detailed Grass Roots Action Plan to prepare the party and be ready for the battles ahead. SNP members can get a hold of it by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org . It's not for wider circulation at this stage, but I thought I'd give the opportunity to Keith Chamberlain and Rob Thompson of the branch the opportunity to introduce it here. You can even volunteer your expertise to assist some of their work streams. So without further ado, over to Keith and Rob.
Picking up on Roger’s theme of “Team SNP” it was the American leadership coach John Maxwell who first coined the phrase “Teamwork makes the Dream work”. So, what’s the SNP Dream? That’s an easy one to nail down. Look no further than Article 2(a) of the party constitution which states the aim of the party is “Independence for Scotland…”
That overriding constitutional aim is further defined in terms of the restoration of full powers to the Scottish Parliament, bound by a written constitution and (yet to be determined) international agreements for the purpose of furthering international cooperation, world peace and protection of the environment.
Put another way, the SNP exists to pursue Independence for Scotland. This is not to be confused with a manifesto commitment for any forthcoming election. Independence for Scotland is the existential aim of the party, along with “the furtherance of all Scottish interests”.
There we have it. No need to debate the matter further and whilst the wider Scottish electorate may yet remain to be convinced of the “Dream”, every member of the SNP should retain a laser-like focus on that prize. It is after all why the party exists.
Winning over the people of Scotland, the UK Government and wider International community requires effort, and with the not insignificant variables of managing the Covid-19 crisis, the looming impact of deal or no-deal Brexit, and effects of the Internal Market Bill, that required effort is massive.
That’s why Team SNP must be mobilised with immediate effect in order that the skills, talents and experience of its members throughout Scotland can focus on the prize and deliver the Dream. And that’s why members from the SNP West Fife and Coastal Villages Branch have drafted a Grassroots Action Plan (GAP).
In simple terms, the GAP aims to provide a route map for the delivery of Independence - by, and through, the wider party membership. However, we don’t exist in a vacuum and the wider YES community offers cogent and credible materials which can inform and influence both party policy and campaign thrust.
This intellectual and emotional engine is providing the energy required to address the concerns of those who require convincing that a self-governing Scotland is not only desirable, but sustainable. All of that effort requires coordination, collaboration and collation. However, delivery of the Dream can only be achieved by the people of Scotland affirming their desire for Independence at the ballot box. And the heavyweight capable of delivering the knockout blow in that regard is the SNP.
Whilst acknowledging the SNP remain the party of Government in Scotland and that they, along with SNP HQ are pre-occupied with the critical challenges mentioned above, no distraction warrants the SNP not being fully prepared to call for, and deliver the means to independence within the life of this or, in extremis, the next Holyrood Parliament.
Whatever external or indeed internal (SNP) challenges present themselves over the months leading to the 2021 Scottish Parliamentary election, the GAP has been designed to focus on the delivery of a grassroots movement with clarity of purpose and simplicity of goal.
However, that required clarity and focus needs to be augmented within the party by an efficient and effective assurance and governance regime. The GAP has been designed therefore to identify the change opportunities required to deliver a transformational Independence campaign across the following areas:
Supporting the SNP National Executive Committee
Preparing the SNP membership for the Independence Campaign, and
Development of an efficient Operational Framework.
It is a matter of fact that the SNP party machinery needs to work together in a more focused way. Teamwork WILL make the Dream work. However, there remains the question of timing.
The GAP is not to be regarded as the means of developing the SNP Independence Manifesto or design of subsequent Campaign materials, ideas for which already exist. It is designed to prepare the SNP grassroots membership for the campaign. And that campaign is inevitable.
We do not need to canvass, yet. We do not need to approach voters and convince them of our viewpoint, yet. But we do need to plan, to prepare, and to identify the right people with the appropriate skill sets, to be in the right place doing the right thing at the right time and with the appropriate training. We need to do this now. We need to focus. And we need to win.
Timing is everything.
For more information on the Grassroots Action Plan, leading/participating on the workstreams required – please email: email@example.com (NB: This is only open to SNP members)