Campers braving the elements for the Scottish independence cause have succumbed to factionalism with independence supporters in Glasgow declaring their independence from independence supporters in Edinburgh.
The burgeoning movement of die-hard Nationalists, who have pledged to remain under canvas in public places until Scotland splits from the rest of the UK, are suffering some splits of their own.
In November a small group set up an “Indy Camp” outside the Scottish Parliament - declaring that they would not move until the nation severed links with the rest of the UK.
The campers have so far kept their promise, staying rooted on the spot in spite of the winter weather and parliament’s efforts to evict them. But now another independence camp has been set up in Glasgow’s George Square - calling themselves “Freedom Camp”.
Seeking to send out a strong message of self-determination, the Freedom Camp has declared its complete independence from Edinburgh’s Indy Camp. In retaliation, Edinburgh’s Indy Camp has taken a metaphorical swipe at their Glasgow rivals.
It’s a situation that may appeal to Monty Python fans, who remember the Life of Brian film and the bitter arguments between the Judean People’s Front and the People’s Front of Judea - a rivalry that satirises the internecine warfare over apparently obscure issues that often characterises the politics of the far left.
Edinburgh’s original Indy Camp was pitched in the freezing weather which hit the city in November. A cluster of tents appeared on the lawns at the foot of Arthur’s Seat.
Speaking at the time one of the founding members - who goes only by the first name Garry, summed up their aim: “We’re here for the cause of an independent Scotland, and we’re not going to move until we get it.”
But Glasgow’s own Freedom Camp sprung up on Tuesday afternoon with a solitary tent in George Square.
The Freedom Camp founder is James Scott, also leader of the radical pro-independence group the Scottish Resistance.
On Tuesday afternoon Scott told Buzzfeed News: “The first tent is up and others will follow in the next week.”
But he was also keen to emphasise its independence from the Edinburgh counterpart. Earlier this week Mr Scott declared on his group’s Facebook page: “In support of our fellow Scottish Patriots in Indy Camp Edinburgh we have now set up Freedom Camp Glasgow. We are totally Independent of the Edinburgh Group.”
But the Edinburgh Indy Campers seemed unimpressed by their counterparts.
In a post on their own page - administered by Jodi Macarthur - Buzzfeed reported them saying: “Indy Camp is a vigil on the parliamentary estate [and] it stands for independence for Scotland.
“We do not endorse the camp in Glasgow … which we believe has been set up without consultation of the Indycamp indyvigilists that actually man our vigil at the Holyrood parliament estate.”
The Scottish Parliament Corporate Body, the group of MSPs responsible for running the parliament, are taking legal action in an attempt to evict the Holyrood campers on the grounds that they are occupying public space without permission.