Friday, 19 September 2014

The struggle for independence continues

The Scottish Socialist Party is naturally disappointed by last nights result. It is a setback for the forces of social democracy and socialism in this country. But our disappointment today is tempered by an immense pride in the 1.6m Scots who voted Yes and the thousands of new political campaigners who energise this country, stimulated it politically in a way never seen before and withstood the hysterical propaganda of a panicked UK establishment over the last 10 days. Scottish Independence is not defeated today it is deferred. Support for Independence reached 45% yesterday and that is unprecedented. I do not see that receding. As democratic socialists the SSP fully respects the decision reached by the people of Scotland but, as they say in Italy ‘La lotta continua’, the struggle for an independent socialist Scotland continues. The Independence tide is not halted today, rather it has shifted irrevocably. No prevailed because a slim majority of elderly Scots, vested interests and the well to do were not prepared to change. The NO campaign won with an unrelenting battery of negativity and pessimism. Yet Scotland is not remotely the same place as it was yesterday. It is changed utterly by this referendum campaign. Many Scots opted for the Yes message of prosperity, fairness and democracy and rejected the status quo. They have demonstrated their keenness to take our own decisions and our rightful place as a full and equal member of the family of nations. I am sure they will continue to champion social democratic and socialist values in seeking prosperity for all, greater democracy and an end to exploitation and warmongering. The British ruling class threw everything at us and 1.6million stood tall. I am proud of that defiance and bravery. And I pay tribute too to all the SSP’s partners in Yes Scotland for what we have achieved together. The NO side won because they promised a more prosperous, fairer and more democratic nation. They must now deliver and show how that inclusive, progressive and more democratic new country can be built via their preferred route.