Friday, 23 November 2012

Why I am voting Yes

Workers for independence 

By Richie Venton, shop stewards convenor & SSP national workplace organiser

Low paid workers often ask me 'would we be any better off under independence'? That's the kind of issue we need to convince people on if we are to win a Yes vote.

The 'Bitter' Together's poster boy, Alistair Darling, has issued dire warnings that those of us supporting independence threaten our children with a very uncertain future. 

The vast army of workers struggling to survive on or around the pathetic £6.19 minimum wage are guaranteed the certainty of more of the same exploitation and in-work poverty under Westminster's dictatorship of the rich...which guarantees children a very certain future of cruel, crushing poverty.

And that's the case regardless of whether it's Tory, LibDem or Labour in charge.
Low pay is the single biggest cause of poverty. The SSP's fight for a national minimum wage calculated as two-thirds average male earnings - over £9 an hour in current figures - for all over 16, with equal pay for women, requires the powers that go with independence. 

Likewise if workers are to escape the most repressive workplace laws in western Europe - ushered in by Thatcher's Tories, retained by New Labour, made even worse by Cameron and Clegg's millionaire regime, and left unchallenged by Miliband's Labour - we need the independent powers to scrap them and set an international example of decent rights at work.

Tackling poverty pay, fuel poverty, job insecurity, public service cuts and the brutal assault on benefits all require powers for change that only independence offers - such as the powers to tax the rich and big business; take banks, big enterprises, energy and transport into democratic public ownership, and radically redistribute wealth. 

But merely swapping flags and emblems; switching from rule by the Bank of England to rule by the Bank of Scotland (or both!); swapping being exploited by tax-dodging, profiteering British bosses for their tartan-clad and multinational capitalist counterparts inspires nobody. 

That's why socialism and independence are inseparable. The goal of an independent socialist Scotland which the SSP has fought for since our formation 14years ago will attract workers to voting Yes - where the SNP leadership's "nothing will really change" message is a downright put-off. 

And a Yes vote will greatly speed up the prospects of socialism in Scotland. Workers need independence and socialism.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Why I support an independent Scotland

by 89 year old retired teacher, Ron Mackay

When asked why I wish for an independent Scotland I find it difficult to give a short answer – there are so many reasons. 

There's been a long tradition, going back beyond Burns favouring Scottish independence while maintaining an international outlook. 

“Man to man the world o'er should brothers be for aw' that.” 

Defending welfare programs and promoting genuine socialist policies would be much more possible for an independent Scottish Parliament. 

Some of the policies of the SNP I object to but the opposition to weapons of mass destruction and the call for full independence have my full support . I oppose war – all wars and see a nation free of all nuclear weapons as a progressive step in the struggle for peace in the world. 

The big powers all have major economic problems. We've had two world wars where the big powers sought to solve economic problems by resort to war. 

For the sake of the whole of humanity this situation must not be allowed to develop again. Scotland, a small nation dedicated to peace, could play it's part.

Watch:  A time lapse map of every nuclear blast since 1945.  A compelling yet horrific video... 

Saturday, 3 November 2012

My View on Scottish independence:

How to Confuse an Electorate
Bill Newman, retired Banker

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the Bitter Together campaign, far from engaging in an honest debate, is deliberately raising a multitude of specious questions to throw confusion in the minds of the electorate.  By posing an endless series of questions, to many of which they know there are no definitive answers, they hope to sow confusion and doubts on matters where no real issues arise,or, at least,where no decisions are needed prior to independence. 
The question of EU membership is a typical case.  There are many interpretations,legal and otherwise, as to whether Scotland (and, incidentally,the rest of the UK - RUK) would automatically become a member of the EU on independence.  There are no definitive answers to this question.  Nor does it matter whether automatic membership would apply or not.  If not, then does anyone seriously think that neither Scotland nor the RUK would be granted accession on application?  This, of course, begs the question whether membership would be desirable; Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man seem to get on perfectly well without membership, not counting our northern neighbours, Norway.
To cite just one of many other red herrings.  The position of an independent Scotland's currency need not depend on negotiations to become a subservient client of the Bank of England and English interest rate policy.  Indeed, Alec Salmond has been most unwise to imply that Scotland should continue the current ties.  Scotland could very ably establish its own monetary authority, and its own currency (the old Scottish Merk?) could shadow sterling, at least on a temporary basis, without being beholden to Westminster and the Bank of England.
There are many other examples of Bitter Together's attempts to muddy the water (Trident comes to mind), and the Yes campaign must not be drawn into pointless debates which present a defensive posture.  Let's get back to the core reason why independence is necessary.  We do not wish to continue at the beck and call of a Government antipathetic to our needs and desires.  We are distinctive and we need to be in charge of our destiny.
Bill Newman