Written By: - Date published: 7:36 pm, April 8th, 2014 - 46 comments
Categories: activism, class, class war, colonialism, democratic participation, political alternatives, referendum, uk politics - Tags: class, independence, neo-liberalism, referendum, Scotland, UK
The 18th of September 2014 is a big day.
On that day, people living in Scotland will decide if they want to become citizens in a nation that will have reclaimed its sovereignty.
It’s worth noting that the vote is not about voting for Alex Salmond or the SNP. And it’s not about whether people agree or disagree with the SNP’s ‘white paper’ on a post referendum Scotland either. The referendum is, afterall, a referendum on independence. It’s not a parliamentary election asking people to vote for a particular party or government.
Bottom line. Independence is a far broader beast than the SNP. The independence movement includes the Scottish Green Party the Scottish Socialist Party , Solidarity members of both Labour and the Liberal Democrats as well as a wheen of a-political organisations and individuals as well as many artists. Not surprisingly, Labour Party affiliated unions (if not their members) have adopted a neutral stance (eg – Unite) or somewhat stupidly and controversially, endorsed a ‘no’ vote (eg – GMB)
Not that you’d get any impression of the breadth of opinion encompassed or represented by the ‘Yes’ campaign from mainstream coverage. It tends to present the whole question of independence as a dumbed down stoush between the SNP and the Westminster establishment.
And not that you’ll get a taste of what people are thinking or saying from a mainstream coverage that revolves around poll results and the two-ing and fro-ing over the latest spurious economic argument (They are all spurious, by the way, because the economic framework is so complex, that almost any interpretation can be shaken out of the numbers).
And not that you’ll get an idea of peoples’ hopes and wants from a mainstream media content to suck in its collective inky breath in mock horror at the latest lie, the latest manipulation or the latest accusation coming from big name political personalities.
Obviously, I don’t live in Scotland any more. So I can’t provide any first hand account of what is going on in the streets and around the schemes. However. I’m picking that this youtube video of Cat Boyd speaking at a public meeting in Lanarkshire probably captures something of the essence of where people in Scotland are at the moment.
Final word on this. I think it’s fair to assume the result will be fairly close. A ‘No’ vote – unlike in 1979 when the result of the devolution vote was monkey-wrenched by the then Labour Government in Westminster – will not mean that people get pissed off, grumble and shuffle off home. Politics, real politics have been unleashed in Scotland this time round. And I just don’t think that’s going to be coming to heel any time soon. If you don’t believe me, go around youtube or various sites hosting videos of presentations and meetings and look, not just at the numbers of people in those audiences, but the make-up of those audiences.