Thoughts on leadership: The Do-Ocracy

Leadership Method

  • Do-ocracy
  • Iterative development
  • Membership
  • Values
  • Conflict resolution


The ‘Do-Ocracy’ or ‘Meritocracy’.

The idea behind a do-ocracy is that those who ‘do’ the work are the ones that set the direction.

Empowerment is automatic and work completed is considered the current course. This enables those with an interest to get on and make progress, without needing to facilitate those who slow progress down by excessive deliberation without contribution.

One of the fundamental problems of the movement is chronic infighting and deliberation rather than actual ‘movement’.

However, within silos, there is significant progress on ‘Big Ticket’ items. See for example the Scottish Currency Group – without the drag of ‘everyones’ opinion, they have a considered and advanced currency proposal for an independent Scotland.

In a do-ocracy – the only way to challenge the default acceptance of this would be to out-compete the proposals, by doing the level of research, analysis and publication required to present a more concrete proposal.

Iterative development

What is more likely – is that contributors will gravitate towards existing projects and will iterate upon what has come before. Iteration and the power of a contribution is a better method for advancement than establishing new and competing organisations.

In situations where iterative contributions are not welcome or are too large of a divergence. The concept of ‘forking’ comes in – where you can go off and do as you please, however, to replace the incumbent proposal – you would need to attract larger support or present a stronger contributive piece.

It is not possible to cause factional infighting – as the substantive work is the contribution rather than the debate. An opinion matters less than work contributed. Only those opinions that are formed into contributions will be given any space or time. Think of it as a reverse sunk cost fallacy – where we use only the sunk cost in developing a solution to give it merit.

Membership / Elective council

There will need to be a board for representation of the project and this creates the largest example of where ego and personal opinion will create aggravation. We must stop electing leaders who do not contribute anything other than opinion.

To do so the board should be elected by the elective council. The membership of the elective council should only consist of active contributors to the project.

Initially, there would be admittance to the project by the interested parties as members of the elective council, within 90 days, the new elective council would be defined based on those who have contributed advancements.

Membership of the elective council is transient and can drop and gain – on a 90-day cycle. The elective council would propose a board.

The decision of contribution would be considered by the board in line with the adopted values.


The values of the project should be documented clearly and will be an ever-evolving (but always simple) document. They should exist in both simple bullet points and expansive form.

The values are the guiding light of the project and should focus on contribution and iteration versus celebration.

The values should clearly define the minimum requirements to be considered a contributor and the minimum number of contributions to be ascended to the elective council.

Conflict Resolution

The board would be the representatives of the movement, however, would also fill the role of conflict resolution, this would be a documented process that values contribution rather than individuals.

Dramatic additions and resignations are not of detrimental effect as all contributions would be assigned by Creative Commons licensing – leaving the movement in possession of the ideas and contributions.


For the love of EFTA

Last night was the penultimate debate of the SNP Leadership candidates. However we are geeks and we love a bit of policy detail, so let us explore it.

Humza Yousaf made this claim to Ash Regan:

So you have backed EFTA over EU membership which is not of course backed by our membership.

Humza Yousaf –

However it’s worth pointing out, on page 39 of Scotland’s Place in Europe, a document authored and prologued in Nicola Sturgeons name, this is exactly the position that was set out.

A bit of a #HumdingerForHumza there.

There are many benefits to EFTA, such as rather quick acceptance – you only need the current 4 countries of Iceland 🇮🇸 , Liechtenstein 🇱🇮 , Norway 🇳🇴 and Switzerland 🇨🇭 to agree, and accept the rules of EFTA, that if you read the whole 62 document of the Scottish Government, we essentially do anyway.

Iceland 🇮🇸 is the closest analogue that applied in November 1968 and became active in January 1970 in EFTA. A year and one month.

Usefully Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 would have a two year transition to independence, which would be more than enough time, especially following the digital revolution since the 70s. Scotland also has the benefit of being nearly fully aligned already.

What does EFTA not include?
– Common Agricultural Policy
– Common Fisheries Policy
– Customs Union
– Foreign affairs or Security Policy
– Justice
– Monetary Union

So essentially – the controversial bits in Scotland – are already exempt from any effect of joining. Scotland can maintain its own fisheries and agricultural policy, which may be of some advantage versus EU membership.

Annual contribution would be around £10m from looking at the payments made by the current members and it’s worth noting – Austria 🇦🇹 , Finland 🇫🇮 and Sweden 🇸🇪 were all members of EFTA that later transitioned to being EU members.

It seems like a good idea.


Where are the investigative journalists?

The contest for the new leader of the SNP is underway. It’s been illuminating thus far to see what real proposals may actually emerge. Admittedly due to real life, it’s been hectic and we’ve not covered it in as great detail as I would have hoped, I’ll take a crack at looking at week one.

A small reminder that this particular blog runs on contributions by many voices, and if anyone has a point they’d like to make – please drop it into us

Ash Regan announced first, Humza Yousaf and Kate Forbes practically tripped over each other – Humza held a launch event, with Kate announcing at the same moment. There were frantic calls for Ash’s launch campaign – which made little to no sense – given the nomination period hadn’t ended. However that makes less entertaining TV.

Kate made her pitch next to a rock somewhere near home, her video editor was obviously a person who enjoys long drone shots, who put together a decent presentation.

Humza launched in a random community hall with a large mix of friends, family, activists and, curiously, under an illuminated green exit sign.
Ash launched with the Bridges coming together in the background, with a nice set of imagery and a large press contingent – and this is where the wheels come off the wagon.

The journalists haven’t had a feast of an SNP leadership election, and somehow only have absolutely diabolic Conservative Party and Labour Party leadership elections as a reference point. In the scenario of the Party famed for unity arguing with itself – the media stepped up to the plate.

I’ll admit before I go on, I find religion to be thoroughly interesting for all the wrong reasons. I honestly am baffled with trees defying Noah and his ark, dinosaurs predating creationism, and churches that sit riddled with scandal – surely no one really believes this? Alas, it seems they do.

First up, Kate Forbes. Making no secret about her religion, she got absolutely battered. Mostly, because her religious views suck. They really do. I don’t know why she went out defending them, suggesting somehow they wouldn’t cloud her judgement in a political sense. They’re regressive nonsense that churches cling to. Amusingly, the main reason we see secularism rising isn’t to do with any real atheist or humanist campaign, but rather people realising that perhaps we can find a stronger morality by not taking instruction from a 2000 year old book.

However, as proponents of free speech – it’s fair to say: bash on and believe whatever you like and talk about it proudly. The nice bit about freedom of speech is in its cousin – freedom of opinion. You can quite easily form your own opinion of whether what was said was mental or not.

Humza Yousaf couldn’t quite let Kate out of the gate without tripping over his own feet either. Somehow, he managed to have a meeting that he couldn’t escape for five minutes from to vote, in support of equal marriage. Yousaf will defend that his meeting was involving the life of a person abroad and that’s possibly true, but he could have voted, he was in the building, it was possible and it was a free vote. It’s not the lie that gets you – it’s the cover up.

However given that the matter was conclusively settled – I am bamboozled at why journalists believed this was a major ‘gotcha’ or ‘story’. Even if we understand every fact, uncover every issue, get to the absolute root of the story – we’re no further forward. No one in the entire SNP would know what policies or changes the SNP would enact. If any First Minister tried to renege on marriage rights – they’d be First Minister for only a few minutes more.

Onto the next big issue. Our journalists don’t bother to to investigate anything. Scottish politics is very much ‘he said’ and ‘she said’. Playground antics abound, no actual reporting, no exploring of policy beyond “someone else said no”.

I’m going to pick on Ash Regan’s policy declarations – as they’re the easiest to find, and the most fleshed out – they’re core arguments for any future Independence campaign.

Statement 1: Ash Regan identifies a method to get Independence – she calls it the VEM (Voter Empowerment Mechanism). It’s basically a general election that gets Independence by winning a plurality of votes.

In the event of a Westminster election, if pro-Independence parties, with a disclaimer in their manifesto saying “Independence approved” win a majority of votes – the result is an Independent country a few years later after some negotiations. In 2019 – this would have been 46% – resulting in continued Unionism.

In the 2021 Holyrood election, we must do some basic maths to add up all the pro-Indy parties on both the constituency and the list vote, then divide them by the valid votes cast. This hits home at 49.55% for pro-Independence parties – no wonder the Unionists don’t like the idea. We might actually achieve it.

“But this isn’t legal and the UK will say no” shout journalists who obviously forget to do the very basics of their job. I’ll break it down – but let’s think about how this should go:

Person 1: It’s raining
Person 2: It’s not raining
Journalist: I went outside, it is indeed raining, and we can conclude person 2 was lying.

Well this is Scotland, so rather than checking the facts, we openly just accept that person 2 is a bit older and wiser, and has been around forever, so they must be categorically right, no need to check.

Person 2 in this is the UK Government.

Apparently escaping the notice of our Press pack – is that the UK is the successor state of the British Empire, of which 65 countries have left. In every circumstance the Government of the day has negotiated. – some of the negotiations were as recent as the 1970’s. There is a slight chance some of the negotiating team may even be alive to be interviewed. Imagine that!

To save them time, I’ve compiled a list of the methods used and it’s at the end of this article. Some are barbaric and should never be repeated, some are entirely peaceful – common themes that include setting up a Constitution and then voting for it in a General Election or Referendum. 100% success rate though in getting the UK to the table. 100%. Yet our media estate think because the UK Government said no this time (and every time in the past), they may just stick to it. They have a track record of negotiating every time. Hammer this home folks. 100% of the time!

Has anyone asked the runner up of the Conservative Leadership race and current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak how he could possibly block it? On understanding the principle of self-determination, being prided as a descendant of once-colonial India?

Anyway let’s set that aside. The Supreme Court says no.

Another huge “win”. A UK Government non-ministerial department said no. In a surprise to no one.

However they didn’t even say no. They said that an advisory Referendum could not be permitted as it would probably affect the standing of the Union- a vote that would have the power to overpower a Westminster Parliament. We should probably count the UK Supreme Court as endorsing Ash Regan’s campaign at this rate.

Yesterday, the UK Government beamed with pride about a deal for Northern Ireland – that they a year ago announced that under no circumstances would do.

Again, 100% of the time, you can count on them to negotiate. They always do, they absolutely, without doubt, always do.

Currency, another Regan policy that astonished the journalism core. Forgetting the whole negotiation period of a few years after the vote – they reported that a new currency and central bank would be setup in about 12 weeks. Not what Regan said, but they were too thick to understand the content. She said the preparatory work could be done now, rolled out during the negotiation period, and then fully established and open as near to day one of Independence as possible, taking about three months.

Astonishment continued. No actual investigative journalism occurred, or they’d see from fairly recent and modern examples that Slovakia took 1 month, Slovenia took 3, and Estonia took 10. This in a world where we didn’t have the wonders of interconnected digital banking.

Our media fail us as investigative reporters. They are so involved with scandal politics involving the politicians we have, so invested in gotchas and whodunnits – they forget that sometimes a little bit of research might enlighten everyone. We aren’t discussing these policies on their actual merit, we’re discussing them in reactions and sound bites, it also seems. Only Ash Regan bothered to do any reading.

States that got Independence from UK/British Empire, and in short, how.

  1. Afghanistan – Treaty following a war.
  2. Antigua and Barbuda – Termination of Association Order.
  3. Bahrain – United Nations poll on Independence, declared Independence, called upon UN Secretariat to resolve.
  4. Barbados – Constitutional Conference, followed by informing UK.
  5. Belize – Demanded Independence, passed a constitution.
  6. Botswana – Ascended a constitution, confirmed with a general election.
  7. Brunei – Ascended a constitution, published a roadmap.
  8. Cyprus – Civil unrest / war.
  9. Dominica – Declared and passed a constitution.
  10. Egypt – Civil disobedience.
  11. Eswatini – Ascended a constitution, general election.
  12. Fiji – Ascended a constitution, general election.
  13. Ghana – Declared Independence.
  14. Granada – Opened negotiations following election.
  15. Guyana – Constitutional conference.
  16. India – Ascended a constitution, negotiations.
  17. Iraq – Proclamation.
  18. Israel – UN Resolution, Declaration.
  19. Jamaica – Constitutional Amendments, progressed, then declared.
  20. Jordan – Treaty and negotiations.
  21. Kenya – Uprising and negotiations
  22. Kiribati – UN Special Committee, Referendum, Privy Council.
  23. Kuwait – Negotiations, ascendancy.
  24. Lesotho – Constitution ascendancy.
  25. Libya – Military coup
  26. Malawi – Negotiated
  27. Malaya – Negotiated
  28. Maldives – Negotiated
  29. Malta – Negotiated
  30. Mauritius – Negotiated, general election
  31. Myanmar – Civil unrest
  32. Nauru – UN Council, Constitutional Convention
  33. Nigeria – Constitution, election
  34. Oman – Negotiations, treaty
  35. Pakistan – Civil unrest, negotiations
  36. Qatar – Constitution, declaration
  37. Saint Lucia – Constitution
  38. Saint Kitts and Nevis – Constitutional conference
  39. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – Referendum
  40. Seychelles – Negotiated
  41. Sierra Leone – Negotiated
  42. Solomon Islands – Negotiated
  43. Somaliland – Civil unrest (unrecognised)
  44. South Yemen – Civil unrest, British withdrawal, declaration
  45. Sri Lanka – Negotiated
  46. Sudan – Referendum
  47. Tanganyika – Double election
  48. The Bahamas – Election and referendum
  49. The Gambia – Independence conference
  50. Tonga – Ceased to be protectorate
  51. Trinidad and Tobago – Election, negotiation
  52. Tuvalu – Referendum
  53. Uganda – Negotiation
  54. United Arab Emirates – Negotiation
  55. United States of America – Civil unrest, American Revolutionary War, declared Independence
  56. Vanuatu – Conference of nations
  57. Zambia – Election, consultation
  58. Zanzibar – Internal revolution
  59. Zimbabwe – Civil unrest, election
  60. Australia – Referendums
  61. Canada – Negotiated
  62. Ireland – Civil unrest, civil War,
  63. Dominion of Newfoundland – National convention, referendum, joined Canada.
  64. South Africa – Referendum
  65. New Zealand – Declaration

How History Remembers You

I have a strong feeling that history will not look back on Nicola Sturgeon’s time as First Minister as a success. In the immediate aftermath of her resignation many of her supporters were quick to jump to social media to express their disappointment at her resignation and congratulate her for the apparent success of her reign.

From what I can see, the length of her time as First Minister and the list of successes don’t quite match up, especially when you examine her predecessors time as First Minister. Whether that be in day-to-day policy or the raison d’etre of the SNP, Scottish Independence. The two most obvious policy successes of her government have been the Baby Box and the Scottish Child Payment. Both laudable policies that help to alleviate some of the inequalities that plague Scottish society however are the equivalent of trying to gaffer tape a hole on the side of the sinking Titanic. The bit part measures at mitigating UK government policies should never be the hallmark of a strikingly successful Scottish Nationalist Government. To really address these issues, fundamentally you must seek to solve the root cause.

If you believe in Scottish Independence that root cause is unquestionably the fact that Scotland does not have control of our own resources and potential. There has been a disgraceful lack of any attempt by her government to link the most pressing issue of the day, the soaring price of energy, with the case for Scottish Independence. The rather bizarre publication of Scottish government papers that attempted to demonstrate the case for Scottish Independence never really got going. There has been no update from the government as to what happened to the publication of further papers on Europe, Pensions etc. Perhaps after the reception their depressingly unimaginative paper on currency they thought it was best to take a break.

For those that believe there is some sort of secret plan, I have news for you. There isn’t. It really pains me to say this, but it is abundantly clear that for the last 6 years the SNP and Scottish Government have sat on their hands and hoped that overnight support for independence would skyrocket without them having to do anything. We’ve seen any short-term increase of support for Independence after the EU referendum wane and the same for the support created during the pandemic. Real movement in the polls can only come about via a sustained campaign highlighting the reasons why we should be independent. I don’t think even the most ardent fans of Nicola Sturgeon would being to pretend that has happened under her watch. Ultimately being an effective communicator, at which there is no doubt that Nicola Sturgeon is, can only get you so far if it is not backed up with a determined strategy.

So, onto the future. Angus Robertson is clearly the front runner with perhaps Kate Forbes as second in the running order, but I think that it would be foolish to believe this is a two-horse race. This leadership election provides every member (as of the 15th of February) with one vote. The real SNP memberships numbers are still unclear but nevertheless it is still in the tens of thousands. There is a lot to play for and if a candidate can come forward and put forward a positive vision for the future, one clear on how we get there and how we convince people then I think they stand as good a chance as anyone. I sense there is a growing tiredness of empty rhetoric amongst SNP members, they want to see the rhetoric backed up with positive action on independence.

The resignation of Nicola Sturgeon should be a point where we draw line in the sand and forget all that has gone on before. The new leader’s priority, whoever they are, must be to heal the wounds of division that have unfortunately damaged the movement in recent years. The first most obvious step would be to call a constitutional convention to set out their vision and see what the movement thinks of it. From then we can all rally behind an agreed strategy and get out and change people’s minds. The case is obvious, it just needs to be made. The road to independence may be long and difficult, but by working together, we can overcome any obstacle. Let’s come together as a movement and fight for our future.

Robert joins us as a guest blogger for the first time, in a strictly personal capacity.


A New Hope

A New Hope – Onwards to the next First Minister – ViveEcosse Podcast – Episode 7

Join Allison and Graeme on a tour of todays political news of Nicola Sturgeons resignation and the sequence of events that will follow. We delve into some of the key aspects behind the decision and the potential players and values for the coming weeks.

Podcast available at: