Guest post by Gillian of Women for Independence
Imagine that Scotland has always been independent, and that Westminster writes us a letter in 2014…
We have a proposal for you to consider. In short, we would like you to join the United Kingdom. Here’s the deal. First off, we’d like you to give us ALL your tax revenue and in return we’ll give you a proportion back for you to spend on whatever you want. Things might get tighter if the proportion shrinks, but you’ll be able to counteract that by getting rid of free prescriptions, charging tuition fees and selling off bits of the NHS.
The 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum Voting Guide came in the post today. The contrast between the two visions of both campaigns is fairly evident judging by the tones and context.
As a person who is very optimistic about the direction Scotland could go in post-independence and how we have a real once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take responsibility for our future here, every time I read anything from the “No Thanks” lot I just get turned off by the relentless negativity and stultifying arrogance.
by Doug – speech given at Gaza solidarity rally, 2 August 2014
What is happening in Gaza today is state sponsored terrorism. Over 1400 deaths and over 6000 injured. 120,000 forced from their homes. One child killed every hour since this current round of slaughter began. What the Israeli military are doing, with impunity and backed by the British and American governments, is a crime against humanity.
This latest brutal and bloody onslaught against the people of Gaza, is but one of countless horrific attacks in a brutal and relentless occupation, which has lasted over 65 years. Over 65 years of killing, imprisonment and denial of the most basic human rights, all with the aim of defeating the Palestinian people and driving them from their land.
We must stand with the people of Palestine.
The European election results have created a situation of deep volatility across Europe. The right have made significant advances with swings across Europe towards populist parties like UKIP, and more worryingly, the fascist FN in France. In Denmark and Austria the right captured something like 20% of the vote and even in Greece, alongside the resounding victory by the radical left party Syriza , Golden Dawn, the fascist party could win 9.5% of the vote. In Scotland, for the first time ever, a UKIP MEP has been elected with 10.4% of the vote on a turnout of 33%. The North East of Scotland had the highest percentage of UKIP voters in Scotland.
The two countries which had the strongest showing for left parties, Greece and Spain, significantly, are also the two countries which have experienced the highest grassroots resistance to austerity. In Britain we saw Nick Griffin of the BNP and his fellow fascist Andrew Brons defeated. This was largely due to the activity of anti-fascists in their former constituencies.
WHERE IS IT??? I’m pro-independence, but I also work in the childcare sector and am really disturbed at the lack of dialogue and information I can find on this front. I may have been looking in all the wrong places, but there certainly hasn’t been any word from the childcare sector that shows engagement with the referendum.
There’s been nothing on a vision for childcare in Scotland in any of the literature I’ve picked up from referendum debates and stalls, and many internet searches later (news articles, government papers, childcare blogs) the only dialogue I can find is about increasing childcare hours.
Speech by Myshele from 5 April event
Everyone will have received their Council Tax letters by now, telling them that Aberdeen is better as part of the UK.
Some people say, what’s the big deal? It was just one line in a letter. Some people didn’t even notice it. Who reads their Council Tax letters, anyway? Some people roll their eyes. They say the Council are useless anyway. Are we just figuring that out now?
These responses worry me. Have we become so disengaged, so cut off from our local government that we don’t even read a letter once a year? Have we become so used to disappointment that we think incompetence is inevitable? Is democracy just voting once in awhile – or not at all – and letting the politicians do whatever they want?
This is not the system I want to live in.
By David – speech given at RIC Torry meeting, 1 April 2014
This is the first time in my life I have been so engaged in politics. I have always had a few clever words to say, a sarcastic observation, a cynical put down. I have been on the odd march about war or nuclear weapons. I write an occasional letter to the newspapers. Now I find myself out in the evening knocking on doors selling what I believe in. Sitting here talking in public about politics.
What is going on, what has changed? I have thought about this a lot and want to share these thoughts.