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.

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