Build: Highlights and talks from the event that kicked off new Scottish independence campaign

Independence Live

Build: Scottish Independence Convention 2017 brought together speakers from some of the most influential groups and organisations in the independence movement to renew and reorganise the campaign for Scottish independence

THE Scottish Independence Convention 2017 (#SIC2017), held in January 2017 in Glasgow, included presentations from some of the Scottish independence movement’s most experienced and influential politicians, activists and grassroots campaigners.

The full to capacity event marked the start of a new Yes campaign and provided an opportunity to energise, renew and help reorganise the Scottish independence movement for a referendum likely to be held in 2018-19.

The Scottish Independence Convention (SIC) is an umbrella body for the Scottish independence movement that brings together all the independence-supporting political parties – the Scottish National Party, Scottish Green Party and Scottish Socialist Party – the national independence-supporting organisations, like Labour for Independence, Women for Independence, Yes2 Business for Scotland, NHS Yes, Radical Independence Campaign, Common Weal and a range of others, and representatives of local grassroots groups.

Volunteers from the grassroots livestream group covered the event, and its volunteer post-production team has edited and published full speeches and highlights below.


Yes Scotland’s former digital operations manager, Stewart Kirkpatrick

Kirkpatrick told the audience: “We will need to be ready for the next referendum because there is one certainty about it – this is going to sound weird, but the certainty about the next referendum is that it will not be as easy as it was last time. Because this time the other lot know that we can win from the get go. They might have been chaotic and a bit hilarious last time – next time they will be professional and they’ve got lots of money and they’ve got lots of friends in the media. So we are going to have to be clever if we want to win. I’m here to tell you that we are going to win.”

Scottish Greens co-convenor, Maggie Chapman

Thanking Nicola Sturgeon for making immigrants welcome, and also highlighting why it is imperative that Scotland gains independence from the British state, Chapman said: “The British state has been completely captured by a neo-liberal elite determined to run down public services in the interests of private profit.”

Activist Cat Boyd

Drawing on years of experience as a  Scottish trade union activist and her involvement with the Radical Independence Campaign, Boyd suggested to the Convention that to win next time, the Yes movement must renew, reorganise and expand: “It’s not going to be us, in this room, that win that second referendum. Instead, every single one of us has a responsibility to go out of here and find new leaders for our movement … it means extending a hand to people who might not have been convinced last time.”

SNP MP Tommy Sheppard

Sheppard received loud applause when he suggested that the Scottish independence movement do away with uncertainty over the currency question: he called for a clear position, suggesting that implementing a Scottish central bank and Scottish currency could provide Scotland with the flexibility needed to run a successful country:

He said: “I think also the time has come to say that if we want our own government which is capable of investing in our economy and making sure we develop and modernise our industry to the extent that it can be, then that government is going to have to have a central bank behind it, that is under its own control and we are going to have to have our own currency in order to pay for it.”

Director of the Common Weal think-and-do tank, Robin McAlpine 

McAlpine appealed to the capacity Convention for feedback on many of the key questions that the independence movement faces in the build-up to another referendum, and focused on how to best move forward to meaningful Scottish independence.

On the issue of developing a new Scottish constitution, McAlpine said : “I take this from constitutional expert, Elliot Bulmer, who said that in most cases the process of building a constitution is more important than the constitution itself.”

Full presentations

Stewart Kirkpatrick – Yes Scotland’s former digital operations manager

Maggie Chapman – Scottish Green Party

Cat Boyd – Radical Independence Campaign

Tommy Sheppard MP – Scottish National Party

Lesley Orr – Women for Independence

Richard Walker – The National

Sarah Beattie Smith – Scottish Green Party

Robin McAlpine – Common Weal

Patrick Harvie MSP – Scottish Green Party

John McHarg and Tony McCandless – Yes2

Dr Craig Dalzell – Common Weal

Video production by the IndyLive team
Music by Gavin Taylor
Post production by Gavin Taylor and Mike Edwards

To keep up-to-date with coverage from please, follow us on:


Check out what people are saying about how important CommonSpace is. Pledge your support today.