Friday, 22 August 2014

Socialist case for independence - Stevenston public meeting

A public meeting in Stevenston will this week hear the case for an independent socialist Scotland.

Setting-out the arguments for socialist policies in Scotland once independence has been achieved will be Louise Cameron, a local mother and carer, Colin Turbett, Chair of the North Ayrshire Branch of trade union UNISON (speaking in a personal capacity), and Scottish Socialist Party area organiser Richie Venton.

The meeting is this Wednesday, August 27th, beginning at 7.30pm in the Ardeer Community Centre, Shore Road, Stevenston.

Scottish Socialist Party national convener Colin Fox told, “Supporting the democratic right of nations like Scotland to self-determination doesn’t make you a Scottish nationalist.  It makes you a democrat. 

“The Scottish Socialist Party has always supported Independence and we do so for two very good reasons.  First, Scotland has a golden opportunity to throw-off the stranglehold imposed upon us by the British State in its various guises at Westminster, via the Bank of England, the City of London and not least via corporate boardrooms.  For the SSP, Scots are not better off under the Union because the United Kingdom is an economic, social and political yoke.  Secondly, the Scottish working class stands to gain most from Independence as it will be released from that yoke.”

Mr Fox, a former Member of the Scottish Parliament, said, “It is significant in this debate that opponents of Independence have conceded it is our inalienable right as Scots to decide whether or not we wish to govern ourselves.  In previous debates the ‘No’ side did not accept the principle of self-determination extended to Scotland.  Indeed, in the 1979 Devolution referendum, Labour MPs organised the ‘Scotland is British’ campaign and refused, point-blank, to accept Scots had such a right - denying us that which they would not dream of denying other peoples. 

“The Scottish Socialist Party belongs to that long and honourable tradition of supporting Independence that stretches back more than a century to the Red Clydeside legend John Maclean.  Maclean, and his Edinburgh counterpart James Connolly - executed by the British for his part in the Easter Rising of 1916 in Dublin - were both passionate advocates of Scottish Independence but neither would ever be described as ‘nationalists’.  They were internationalists who fully understood the role the national question played in supplementing the struggle of the working class against their oppressors.”

Colin Fox said this week’s public meeting in Stevenston will hear “why working class Scots will be better off with Independence”, adding, “For socialists, like the SSP, the evidence is compelling. The British State today is at the forefront of neo-liberal economic exploitation across the world.  They have exported privatisation, the attack on trade union rights and organised labour, warmongering, world trade rules that build in a bias towards the industrialised west at the expense of the rest, financialisation of the global economy, moving manufacturing to the cheapest labour sources in the world, ‘free market economics’ that free multinationals to drive-out competition via monopolisation and mergers.

“Independence in and of itself will not cure all our ills or mean the automatic introduction of reforms, but it does afford us the chance to make those changes.  It is a significant step in the right direction.”

Speakers at Wednesday night’s meeting will also take questions from the audience.

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