Yes2Scotland leader John McHarg reviews Common Weal director Robin McAlpine's new book on routes to Scottish independence
ROBIN MCALPINE was kind enough to send Yes2 an advance copy of his latest book, Determination, for us to review. Having followed not just Robin's output, but others at Common Weal’s, we knew we were in for a treat.
It was always bound to contain well-researched and analytical writing, what we didn’t expect was just how close it would be to the thoughts, debate and narrative of a massive section of the independence campaign.
Before the 2014 referendum and, more importantly, now, if you thought it was only you that was thinking what you are thinking, then this is a must read – you are not alone.
From the very outset this is not just a narrative, it’s simply not just a 'good read', it is a set of ideas and thoughts on how, why and what our vision of a future independence campaign could and can be.
It is text on a personal position. You will find yourself thinking, 'I thought that'; you’ll find yourself answering the questions raised then questioning your answers. As a result, passage by passage we found ourselves reassessing our own interpretations of what we thought post referendum.
Your positions now – our conclusions, your conclusions – will be stark and based on the enhanced research and the knowledge so clearly outlined in each section.
This book is unavoidably personal; the reader feels it through retrospection as much as the writer does through experience, and it gets to the very heart of your own doubts. The certainties raised in all aspects of the independence campaign are questioned, providing a sometimes uncomfortable but accurate self-analysis of our hopes and desires for a better Scotland.
The comparisons between then and now are stark. Even though we knew we were going to be conned – and then to our absolute self-righteous delight were able to say, "look, we told you, we were conned" – it’s our responsibility to take that on board now, and what is clearly outlined here is how to use it as a strength in the future.
This book is unavoidably personal; the reader feels it through retrospection as much as the writer does through experience, and it gets to the very heart of your own doubts.
Don’t expect to read what you want to read; fortunately this book isn’t that, it’s better than that. It demonstrates that what we can, should or could think and feel and can lead us to a better idea of what we can achieve as an independent nation.
Our collective journey started four years ago. There is a gap right now, this book is a solid stepping stone on the way to filling that gap and helps pave the way towards a better, fairer and stronger independent Scotland.
In short, we loved it – an absolute must read.
Picture courtesy of Common Weal
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