View Opening Statement

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We call on all progressive people and organisations to support, attend and participate in a conference to found an extra parliamentary, pro-independence campaign which puts forward a vision for Scotland that is:

  • Green and environmentally sustainable.
  • Internationalist and opposed to Trident and war
  • For a social alternative to austerity and privatisation
  • A modern republic for real democracy
  • Committed to equality and opposition to discrimination on grounds of gender, race or sexuality

This campaign belongs to everyone who holds a radical vision of an Independent Scotland. Socialists, environmentalists, trade unionists, youth, anti-poverty campaigners, cultural figures and all individuals who support the aims of this movement are encouraged to get involved.

The conference is to be held on November 24th  in Glasgow. Please get in touch to add your support or to request more information. A meeting for supporters to come together to discuss the format of the conference will be called soon.

Signatories (in a personal capacity):

Iain Banks (author)

Bella Caledonia

John Duffy (Secretary FBU Scotland)

Sinead Dunn (President Glasgow School of Art Students’ Association)

Patrick Harvie MSP (Greens)

Joan Humphreys (Peace activist)

Isobel Lindsay (Vice Chair Scottish CND)

Gordon Maloney (NUS Scotland national executive)

Campbell Martin (Scottish Socialist Party)

John McAllion (Chair Dundee Pensioners’ Forum)

Mhari McAlpine (blogger and activist)

Robin McAlpine (Chair Jimmy Reid Foundation + Editor Scottish Left Review)

Greame McIvor (National Secretary Solidarity)

Patrick O’Hare (President St Andrews University)

Jonathon Shafi (International Socialist Group)

Domnique Ucbas (VP Strathclyde Students Union

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Comments
6 Responses to “View Opening Statement”
  1. I think it’s very important not to splinter the votes of those inclined to say YES to Independence. We must all realise that come Independence we can vote for new political parties that will appear to fill the void left by the old guard. At this stage we need to all focus on convincing as many as possible that YES to Independence is the best possible way of securing a positive future for the whole of Scotland. Some may, for instance, not be overly concerned with having nuclear power stations, I for one think they are important, but I would like to emphasise that it is not worth losing Independence because of differing views on energy policies.

  2. Gen Gordon says:

    I agree whole-heartedly with Alistair’s point above. I want a Socialist, green, nuclear-free, independent Scotland where all groups have equal rights and access to resources. But to achieve this kind of vision, we first need independence. I’m not a member of the SNP but I’m backing their campaign all the way. After we have independence we can campaign for the kind of policies we want to see. I’d urge everyone to channel their energies at this time into supporting the mainstream campaign. That would be being strategically radical 🙂

    • Fergie says:

      I know where you’re coming from but not sure I agree. Independence is certainly the first and most important thing, as everything else flows from that. I think the SNP’s new NATO policy is OK because it may help with that, and is still anti-Trident: it just puts the ball in NATOs court, “we’ll stay in so long as we can still get rid of them”.

      But the fact that we can have – and are having – a debate about whether we want our newly independent country to be part of NATO is mind-blowing! I don’t think we should be afraid of such debate; it’s what we need more of, and the more people can engage in that kind of debate, the more independence will seem real and exciting. Also, now is the time to start positioning new parties and ideas, challenging and discussing what we want the country to look like post independence. It shouldn’t all be on the SNPs shoulders, as they can’t be all things to everyone. We have to trust that, within that debate, it’s clear to everyone that all hopes we have for “post independence” need that yes vote first, and that anyone who wants change – radical or otherwise – will be campaigning and voting for a yes as well.

      • Fergie’s arguments show a lot of naivety about the nature of NATO, the UK state and the SNP. Ian Bell wrote an excellent article in The Sunday Herald, highlighting that a country can’t be in NATO and not support its nuclear arms policy.

        http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2012/08/12/scotland-nato-powered-independence-no-thanks/

        Furthermore, Angus Robertson, the SNP ‘Defence’ Spokesperson, and mover of the ‘back NATO’ motion, has made it clear elsewhere that he doesn’t think an ‘independent’ Scotland could ditch Trident. His motion represents the first stage of a two tier strategy – 1) back NATO, and 2) in the event of a referendum victory, open negotiations which would still leave the Trident base in Scotland, but handed over to control of the UK state and NATO – Scotland’s own Guantanamac base.

        So far, the wannabe Scottish ruling class, the SNP is trying to court, has had one success after another in diluting the party’s policies. The SNP is now pro-monarchy (i.e. it accepts its subordinate role under the UK state’s Crown Powers), pro-the City of London (i.e. its economic policy will be framed by the banksters), and already, pro-NATO in practice (i.e. it supports the Afghanistan and Libya wars).

        Socialists will have to take a lesson from the ruling class and its political backers – the need to organise independently to meet our class’s needs.

        We can not wait until 2016. In the event of a ‘Yes’ vote, the current SNP government is empowered from 2014 to negotiate with the UK state. Just look at the people likely to be involved – Angus Roberston (pro-NATO) , John Swinney (pro- flat rate taxes ), Michael Russell (another neo-liberal who has openly declared that he seeks no more the ‘Independence in the Union’). With Salmond determined to make sure that his ‘Independence-Lite’ is as near to ‘Devolution-Max’ as possible, you can be sure there will be more retreats in any negotiations.

        Thus, in the 2016 Holyrood elections, we would face 4 parties in Scotland, supporting the monarchy, NATO and austerity measures – the Labour Party, SNP, Tories and Lib-Dems, backed, of course, by all the media and mainstream political pundits.

        If Socialists are to have any effect at all, this means organising independently now to defend our class interests. This can only be done with a campaign that is clearly republican, anti-imperialist and calls for open defiance of the banksters’ debt.

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