Co-Chair Audrey Birt on Positive Campaigning in Unprecedented Times

Co-Chair Audrey Birt

I’ve joined Voices for Scotland this year as a board member and I’m honoured to have recently become a co-chair alongside Maggie Chapman. As an organisation Voices for Scotland is a new non-party, civic organisation campaigning for Scottish independence. We aim to facilitate open conversations about Scotland’s future, especially with people who haven’t made up their minds about independence or who support the union but whose confidence in it has been shaken by recent unprecedented political events and behaviours.

It’s easy to feel completely overwhelmed at times like these. But I know I’m not alone in wanting to do something to have a sense of being able to influence in a more positive way and create a more hopeful future. If there was ever a time that was needed, it is now. This isn’t my first rodeo, as they say, but I’ve never seen such despicable behaviours as we have witnessed in the last few months. Most seriously we have a leader in Westminster who has misled the country, the monarch and many of those close to him on more than one occasion and we have a cabinet who have been willing to stand beside him as he behaves above the law and risks terrible damage to the country, devastating the lives of people least able to withstand it. I admit to feeling frightened of what might happen.

There is a Chinese proverb that says ‘Its better to light a single candle than curse the darkness’ So I believe that Voices for Scotland has an important role of amplifying the voices of people in Scotland, who have not been heard at all recently and help to illustrate what a more inclusive and just society might look like and how best we get there.

Change always comes through relationship, connection and engagement and our hope is to create more opportunities for that; working inclusively with a wide network of those who share our values and aspiration for a fairer, kinder, and thriving Independent Scotland. I’m hopeful that we can engage people in different discussions and role model how to turn away from polarised arguments that foster anger and mistrust to more respectful conversations.

Have a look at https://voicesforscotland.scot/ to see how you too can get involved and support this work.