How can Scotland win independence?

Gail Lythgoe

Gail Lythgoe

On the 18th of September this year the people of Scotland face our date with destiny. On that day Scottish voters get to decide if we are better together with David Cameron, Nigel Farage, Tony Blair, Nick Ferari and Nick Clegg. Do you want to know what I think? I don’t think we are.

The time has come for the people of Scotland to cut the cord with our English brothers and sisters. This is an obvious truth as far as I am concerned. However, I also accept that this vote remains on a knife-edge.

There can be no counting of chickens before they are hatched. The Yes Campaign can blow it. We need to accept that there exists, and is likely to exist for some time, a ‘spectrum of indecision’. Those who remain to be convinced deserve to be treated with respect. No one from the Yes Campaign should dream of insulting someone for sitting on the fence. At any rate, don’t do that if you want to win the referendum. Anyone from our side who is disrespectful to the voters should be told to go home and sober up. They threaten to do irreparable damage to the independence movement.

Rather than insulting those who have yet to come over to backing Scottish independence, go through their anxieties step by step. Address them as best you can. And if they remain unconvinced after you have done all you can, shake hands and walk away on good terms. Live to debate with them another day. Leave it to the irrational Better Together trolls to insult them for not climbing off the fence. That is not our style. We are better than that.

So what are the key arguments we need to deploy to win?

Firstly, let me make clear for the umpteenth time (here, for instance: https://derekthomas2010.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/indyreasons-why-do-i-support-scottish-independence/) on this blog that I am a very recent convert to Scottish independence. I think it is worthwhile for those who have been members of the Scottish National Party for generations to listen to feedback from those of us who have just crossed to the other side. What happened to us? What convinced us?

I make no claim to be typical of recent converts to Scottish independence. However, I do think that the arguments that won me round are the ones that will win the majority of Scots. So what are they?

I am over the moon that at the SNP’s conference a couple of weeks ago, Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon made a very public pitch for the core vote of Scottish Labour. Not before time. I am equally delighted to see the reaction of Labour’s leaders and the rest of the Better Together Campaign. They know Labour’s voters are their Achilles Heel. They know these voters constitute the soft underbelly of their hoped-for majority.

Better Together know they have no credible plan for keeping Labour’s voters onside. The reality is that they know they can only hold Labour’s Scottish voters within their orbit if the Yes Campaign plays our cards extraordinarily badly. I intend to do everything I can to stop that happening. So here are a few suggestions.

The Scottish people time after time vote to flush Tory policies into the toilet of history. Alas, time after time, we have Tory governments inflicted on us. Even when Tories cannot win a majority of MPs under the United Kingdom’s idiotic first-past-the-post electoral system, we have to sit idly by as Nick Clegg’s pledge-breaking bastard betray their mandate.

Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats are propping up the Tories despite their canvassing for votes at the last election on the basis of Labour being too right-wing! It is not good enough for Nick Clegg to say voters can vote him out in five years. That is five years of our lives that has been wasted, five years we can never get back. Or, to be more precise, it is five years of the lives of the people of Scotland, England and Wales that has been stolen from us.

Nick Clegg promised to deliver electoral reform. He promised to end the unelected House of Lords. He promised to bring in the right for voters to recall MPs who break their mandate. Lies, damned lies and Liberal Democrats election manifestos. Never believe one word that comes out of the mouths of these people ever again.

The people of Scotland are sick to the back teeth with Tories getting into government despite the voters rejecting them. As Gail Lythgoe explained on the latest edition of STV’s Scotland Tonight a few hours ago, telling the people of Scotland that they have to vote Labour to keep the Tories out is not democracy. Rupert Murdoch’s SKY News, Chris Patten’s BBC are mouthpieces for the Tories and everything that is rotten in British politics. They and the rest of Britain’s mainstream media tell voters that our only alternative is a government lead by either Ed Miliband or one lead by David Cameron. Why? What choice is that? Hobson’s choice. None at all.

Within weeks the people of Scotland will see exactly how popular the David Cameron and Ed Miliband are with the people of the United Kingdom. We will see that when this first-past-the-post electoral monstrosity is lifted, when none of us need fear that by voting for the party we most want we could end up with the one we least want, then Tories and Labour are exposed as having very little support on either side of the border. Certainly a majority of voters reject both of the Prime Ministers on offer. So what is to be done?

There is zero prospect of Scotland’s Labour voters getting anything they want by surrendering to the United Kingdom’s electoral system. And even if Labour won the next election by default, possibly in coalition with Nick Clegg’s rats, what good will that do?

The Labour Party of Gordon Brown is no defender of our values. Does anyone seriously believe that a mere five families got to own more than the poorest twenty percent since Gordon Brown’s premiership came to an end?

Gordon Brown and Tony Blair presided over an increase of inequality. Ed Miliband’s front bench successfully buried the evidence of wealth inequality because they have surrendered to those who don’t want to be taxed. The rottenness of wealth inequality has re-entered public consciousness despite the best efforts of the BBC or SKY News.

The entire British establishment have conspired to keep voters in the dark so they can continue to live lives of luxury while our pensions are being stolen and our children are being forced to work for benefits or starve to death, and our children are being forced to sell their bodies to put food on the tables of their children.

Do the people of Scotland want to trust David Cameron and Nick Ferari to do the right thing? No. We can all see for ourselves that first-past-the-post is a lottery. We have no idea of what it will vomit into 10 Downing Street at the next election. What we can guarantee is that the mainstream media will lie and lie and lie in order to get the most right-wing government they can.

I do not welcome having to leave the English and Welsh working class in the lurch. Truly I do not. I want for them exactly the same thing that I want for us. Nevertheless, we in Scotland are being handed a golden opportunity on a plate to escape from the Tory nightmare that is the United Kingdom. We have to seize it with both hands. Once our great escape reaches fruition, the people of Scotland promise to do everything we can for those we had to leave behind. The English people also need to stand up and overthrow first-past-the-post, the Thatcherite broadcasters at the BBC, SKY News and Channel Four News. And you also need to rein in their poodles at the top of David Alexrod’s Labour Party.

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