by Ross and Doug
This past weekend has witnessed two contrasting yet similar military celebrations in Stirling. They have much to tell us about the state of the Independence campaign on both sides.
We have the utmost respect for all those who have put their lives on the line for us now and in the past, but we don’t support militarism or war. Might is not right and we like to think that we live in an age when we should be distancing ourselves from resorting to violence to solve problems. We recognise that we must be able to defend ourselves – the world is a dangerous place – but both celebrations seemed to be at best anachronistic and at worst downright dangerous. The military, past or present, shouldn’t be the focus of jingoistic celebration.
If Scotland votes Yes in September we will be handing the prize to the people of Scotland. The SNP was only formed in 1934 and the pursuit of Scottish Independence long predates 1707. George Galloway is a curious, and I’m sure uncomfortable, bedfellow for the No campaign, but they seem happy to hail his speech as ‘a landmark oration which could help save the Union’. Here I’ll go through the more notable blunders of his speech and explain why he’s wrong.
Now that the national results are in (see below), we’re pleased to announce the results of Aberdeen’s mass canvass! More than 1200 doors were knocked in Seaton, and more than 400 people were willing to chat with 62 canvassers. 44% intend to vote Yes, 17% No, and 39% are Undecided.
Canvassers reported that many people started off as Undecided, but after discussing the positive potential of independence, they’d moved firmly to a Yes. This is the pattern we see over and over again – as people get more informed, they move from No, to Undecided, and finally to Yes. Let’s keep up this momentum!
To follow up the canvass, we’re holding a public meeting in Seaton on Thursday night, 26th June, in Dunbar Street Community Hall (AB24 3UJ). We’d love to see you there!
For photos from the day and reflections from a new canvasser, just scroll down to posts from yesterday and today!
With one eye on the Scottish Independence Referendum and a YES vote in September, I have been deliberating over how to vote in the upcoming European Parliament elections on Thursday 22nd May. These European elections are really important; to ensure the best voices for Scotland during a crucial period in our history, but also to stop UKIP getting any sort of foothold in Scotland.
Scotland has six seats at present in the European Parliament. We would almost certainly have more as an Independent member state; six is the minimum. Seats are based on ‘degressive proportionality’ since the Lisbon Treaty: that is, smaller states receive proportionally more seats than larger states. An Independent Scotland could expect at least eleven, perhaps even thirteen compared with other similarly sized independent EU member states, such as Denmark or Slovakia. Something to bear in mind.
Politicians on the radio this morning were talking about Trident. If an independent Scotland wants WMDs out of our waters, it will cost ‘tens of billions of pounds,’ and the rest of the UK would have to foot the bill. Nevermind that it’s politicians from the rest of the UK who support Trident – the overwhelming majority of Scots don’t want nuclear weapons. Nevermind that keeping (and replacing) Trident will be an order of magnitude more expensive: £100 billion. Nevermind that nuclear weapons don’t actually keep us safe, and hold the potential for catastrophic misuse or accidents.
The debate is full of numbers and statistics. To me, two of them define the nature of Britain today.
First: there are 3,250 staff at DWP investigating benefit fraud of £1.2 billion. There are 300 staff at HMRC investigating tax evasion of more than £70 billion. You can do the sums. It shows where the priorities lie.
Second: The Trident replacement project to renew Britain’s “First Strike” nuclear capability will cost £100 billion pounds. Hard to imagine how big that number is. Of course there is no “genocide cap” on that cost, unlike the benefit cap imposed by over 500 Westminster MPs. To put the number in perspective, a new teaching hospital 25% bigger than ARI costs about £500 million. So we will spend the amount of money that would build 200 teaching hospitals to renew our weapons of mass destruction.
This is not the country I want to live in. For the first time in my life I think I can do something about it through the democratic process.
That’s why I am voting yes, and why I want to encourage others to do so.
By Jonathan, originally published in the Aberdeen Voice as a two-part series.
Right across the globe we have seen with a few notable exceptions the disparity in wealth between the poor and the rich increasing.
Globalisation in particular has meant that the wealthy elites can invest in and set up money making concerns wherever they like with little regard for both the countries they have investments in or the populations in their own countries. The biggest investments are in oil and gas and mineral abstraction but also the clothing industry. The power of the state has reduced in particular in relation to its role of income redistribution and often the state’s ideology has been to encourage capital at the expense of many of its citizens.