My instincts have been to steer clear of the current stooshie around AUOB. But here I am, succumbing to the temptation to offer my thoughts. What could possibly go wrong?
The organisation problem
Yes is a diverse, open, inclusive, unstructured popular movement. It is NOT an organisation. That is as it should be. That is its strength. It is not hierarchical. It is an amorphous, informal, organic network. That is the essence of its power.
There are no leaders of the Yes movement. But there are leaders IN the Yes movement. Leadership arises as leadership is required. When that leadership ceases to be necessary, it merges back into the movement ready to be called upon if needed. The Yes movement has no need of leaders so long as it has this potential for emergent leadership.
Some of the Yes movement’s activities demand organisation. People put effort into creating the appropriate organisation within the movement. This is NOT a simple task. Creating an organisation within an organisation is relatively easy. Creating an organisation within a movement which eschews and is averse to formal structures is a hugely demanding task.
It takes a special kind of character to even attempt such a task. It takes extraordinary commitment, dedication and sheer hard work to see it through.
Have a bit of respect for those who take on this work on behalf of the Yes movement! Show some appreciation! Be just a bit grateful! And cut them some fucking slack!
The image problem
All Under One Banner (AUOB) has a serious image problem. The background to that is largely irrelevant. The image problem has to be addressed regardless of what has brought it about. It is increasingly clear that those running AUOB at the moment simply do not have the skills required to address the organisation’s image problem.
This is not to denigrate those people in any way. They have other abilities. Abilities which they have demonstrated to superb effect. But communications and media relations require a particular set of skills which AUOB have thus far failed to develop or acquire.
Rather than castigating these people for whatever mistakes may have been made or failings that have been exposed, we should be offering them the help that they need. Isn’t that what the Yes movement is about? Doesn’t our strength lie in our ability to cooperate and to find leadership where it is required?
The particular skills that AUOB needs at this time almost certainly exist within the Yes movement. The help AUOB needs should be offered. And, of course, that help must be accepted.
It’s all very well to spout fine words about how we’re all on the same side and we’re all after the same thing. But if that doesn’t mean something in practical terms, then it’s just empty rhetoric.
Let’s get this sorted!
My immediate advice, for whatever it might be worth, is that AUOB should STFU until they find somebody with the appropriate communication skills to speak for them. And everybody else should STFU unless they have a practical suggestion as to how this situation might be resolved. Preferably whilst preserving one of the most effective and important organisation that the Yes movement has given birth to.
Update – 20/10/18
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