We are proud to be part of this great ‘YES SCOTLAND’ movement on target to deliver an almighty vote for Independence next year.As I stand here today advocating the case for an Independent socialist Scotland I feel the hand of history on my shoulder.
Maybe that’s because across the road there in Calton cemetery stands an obelisk, overshadowing us. Do you see it, that huge needle?
It was erected in memory of Thomas Muir and the ‘United Scotsmen’, political martyrs from the time of Robert Burns, who like us, also advocated democracy and demanded the people had the right to elect their own representatives and their own Govt.
And adjacent to that statue, in what used to be Calton Jail, the great Red Clydeside leader John Maclean was imprisoned 100 years ago for opposing the exploitation of British capitalism and its warmongering bloodlust.
No one is surely going to deny that John Maclean is with us in spirit here today. He too called for an Independent Scotland where we the people were sovereign, free from the oppression of the City of London, free from the political control of Westminster and free from the feudalism of the British Monarchy.
Here it was too, on this very spot, on 9th October 2004 that the Scottish Socialist Party and others organised the famous ‘Declaration of Calton Hill’ calling for a modern democratic republic for Scotland on the day the Queen was beneath us opening the new Parliament building at Holyrood.
But it is not history that drives my passion for Independence most of all, it is the knowledge that Scotland’s huge working class majority will today be better off.
And my friends let me tell you I can see the future from up here on Calton Hill. It is a future sharp and clear. I can see an Independent Scotland from here.
It is a Scotland where no one is left behind.
It is a Scotland whose riches are shared out equally.
It is a Scotland without the hated bedroom tax
It is a Scotland without the worst anti-trade union laws in Europe
It is a Scotland with full employment and a living wage for everyone not zero hours contracts and poverty pay.
It is a Scotland where our public services like the Royal Mail and our gas and electricity industry are publicly owned
It is a Scotland where we the people are sovereign and elect our Head of State
It is a Scotland without nuclear weapons, at peace with itself and at peace with the world.
It is a Scotland admired the world over for the way it treats the vulnerable & offers shelter to those fleeing persecution & want.
So to all Scotland let our question ring out, isn’t that a vision worth voting for next September?