Butterfly Rebellion can no longer endorse or support Common Space as a partner in the Scottish independence movement.
“It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom alone, which no honest person gives up but with life itself,” states the Declaration of Arbroath. When the Butterfly Rebellion was launched on 20 September 2014 it was with one singular purpose in mind, the continuation of our national struggle for independence. This remains the priority of the editor and contributors who work hard to keep the blog going.
We have made it clear from the beginning that we are prepared to collaborate with and support anyone and any organisation committed to the same cause. Equality and social justice are and will always be important to us, but we recognise that while our country is a part of the United Kingdom these ideals will always be vulnerable to the whims and expediencies of Westminster. Nothing of these can be fully realised in a Scotland over which we, the people of Scotland, have no or limited control. Therefore we affirm that the need for national self-determination – the normal state of nations – transcends all other social and political concerns.
Our position – considering the power of the British government, the unionist establishment, and their media apparatus – is that solidarity is essential to the project of building and maintaining a social and political movement strong enough to win Scottish independence.
Common Space has now repeatedly – and even on the pages of the national press – called for the independence movement to support the leader of the unionist Scottish Labour Party and “send Wings Over Scotland packing,” repeating Kezia Dugdale’s weaponised accusation that Stuart Campbell is a “homophobe.” We do not accept that Campbell’s comment (3 March 2017) was homophobic, but regardless of anyone’s thoughts on this it is clear it was used opportunistically by Dugdale against him.
In spite of movement-wide criticism of Common Space’s ongoing efforts to discredit Wings Over Scotland, its editor, Angela Haggerty, proceeded in the Sunday Herald to spuriously link Stu Campbell with Tommy Sheridan and suggest his decision to defend himself in the courts against a unionist accusation was “a dirty, divisive distraction.” Her intention and that of Common Space as a platform is now clear; to undermine confidence in Wings Over Scotland – the largest pro-independence blog in the country – and so “send it packing.”
We do not always agree with Stuart Campbell or indeed with Wings. “He is not,” as so many keep pointing out, “the independence movement.” This is true. He is not. But Wings Over Scotland is one of our own; a proven and committed independentista. Wings is an integral and invaluable component of our movement, keeping tens of thousands of Yes voters informed and active. Love it or hate it, we will struggle infinitely more as a movement without Wings Over Scotland than we would without Common Space. Given that Angela Haggerty and Common Space are determined to pursue this attack on Wings – an endeavour that, if successful, might feasibly pose an existential threat to the movement – we in the Butterfly Rebellion have decided that we can no longer endorse or support Common Space as a partner in our journey to independence.
Dear Common Space – We have agonised over this decision. We are deeply frustrated that you have put us in a position where we have felt the need to speak out against you. As we are convinced your present actions are a threat to the unity of the independence movement and therefore that you have become an asset to Great Britain, we will campaign against you as we would campaign against any other instrument of the union. However, we do not wish this to be a permanent situation. If you are prepared to de-escalate your campaign against Wings Over Scotland and leave any judgement to the courts we will be the first to open our arms to you – as partners, as friends, and as comrades.
The Butterfly Rebellion