The above is from Orwell’s book of essays The Lion And The Unicorn.
There are various articles suggesting that he was playing around with, or misquoting, or misrepresenting something that was originally supposed to have been said by the Duke of Wellington, and those articles may, to a certain extent, have a point.
However, focusing only on that would neatly miss the later point in the same article, which basically suggests that very often the first battle in the next war is lost because people are still thinking in terms of the tactics of the last one.
I don’t know when the next referendum will come about, obviously I hope it will be sooner rather than later. Whenever it does though, I think it is important that those supporting independence do not focus on the circumstances surrounding the last referendum, and work on a strategy that best suits the situations that are going on when the next one comes around.
As a little example of this, it could be said that the Yes campaign followed in great part the first Obama campaign in tone, which was all very fluffly and touchy-feely, and seemed to ignore the most recent one, which was all about painting Romney as the rich, out-of-touch aristocrat that he actually is.
The Obama lot (who I am no fan of) won both times, and not by doing the same thing, but rather by making the most of the opportunites (both positive and negative) that were in front of them at that specific moment in time.