How Not to do it

I get frustrated by left-wing groups, campaigners, Indy activists  and a vast number of charity volunteers. I leave aside the clueless Church people as a different special case, but the same applies there.

It is not that they are particularly badly motivated, I am prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt, BUT if they were going all out to hinder the work they could not do a better job.

One of the things that strikes me is the emergence of certain groups who seem to want ownership of any campaign.  I saw this at a conference recently where there were several who wanted to be the co-ordinating group. The result is a rag-bag of duplicated effort and no particular way forward. Then another meeting where a co-ordinator was self-appointed and nothing happened for three months, so initiative was lost. We seem to be due a follow-up meeting soon, but I wait to see if it happens.

The people concerned are doing politics as if it were a personal affectation, a little hobby.Whilst in an amateur drama group the personality clashes and petty plottings are merely rather sad, in an attempt to change society they are a source of demotivating those who really believe in the cause and need support. Usually you only get access to the information you need if you are a recognised “leader” of a “group” .  Knowledge is power and seemingly only to be trusted to a select few.

The emergence of a sort of Independence Establishment is scandalous. A certain number of people are given excessive attention, they will be speaking the same things in speeches at almost every rally and every convention. By the same token they will be promoting much the same views that led to defeat last time round, even though the circumstances have changed.

This blocks new people coming onboard and contributing, the level of frustration mounts and people who want to make things happen tend to give up. I am aware of my own feeling that it would be easier to walk away.As it is I feel sometimes like  I am  banging my head on a wall.

We also need to be aware of group think, echo chamber effects and wishful thinking.  I hope to  blog about those soon. My hope is that we can build up a good case for independence based on recognising the issues that bedevil us and answering the case for unionism and the weak points in that case, as well as making a positive case for independence.

Meanwhile I leave you will the following from a 1944 sabotage manual published by the CIA’s predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services. It set out how not to do things nd it looks horribly like some in the movement are following ideas that sabotage the activism !



Extract from

The link to the full manual on disrupting production etc can be found at








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