by Voice Reporter
• The tax-dodging scandal exposed by the Panama papers showing the London money moguls up to their necks in hiding tax dodgers billions in what are effectively British colonies and the rip off reality of PFI spotlighted by the Edinburgh schools crisis dramatically point the need for radical change.
Against this background the RISE Holyrood manifesto, due to launch on April 19th plans to set out a pathway out of the crisis ridden UK and its failed Thatcherite “market knows best” economy.
From the scandal of dangerous overpriced PFI buildings, through the scourge of poverty pay and zero hours contract tyranny and anti union laws the message is clear for all to see—the United Kingdom defended by the unionists of Better Together oppresses the majority to benefit of a wealthy elite.
In the campaign RISE, Scotland’s Left Alliance, will argue for a decisive break with the failed UK state and for taking an entirely new path to a Scottish Republic pioneering policies which put people and planet before the greed of the speculators and mega tax dodgers.
At the centre of this approach is the bold assertion not just of the need for a second independence referendum but for the calling of that referendum to be taken out of London’s hands and become solely a matter for Scotland’s parliament. RISE is pledged that as the first act of any RISE MSPs would be to table a motion on this demand which says:
Bearing in mind its unique status having been elected by the people of Scotland, and recognising its prime responsibility is to respond to circumstances that effect the economic and social wellbeing of the nation it represents, the Scottish Parliament resolves to assert its right to a mandate to call for and achieve a second referendum on independence, at the time of its choosing, during the lifetime of this Parliament.
Of the forces claiming to support independence, the Greens have already made it clear that they will soft peddle on indyref2 in favour of acting as a ginger group to the SNP on devolved issues.
The major party in the independence camp, the SNP, is increasingly seen as moving independence from a central demand to future (far?) aspiration preferring to concentrate on a politics which stress their managerial competence at running a devolved—subordinate—Edinburgh parliament. This approach has the added advantage of protecting the seats of SNP big hitters like John Swinney and Fergus Ewing whose constituencies voted decisively No in 2014.
It also assumes that competent management can ward of the blows coming form the Westminster Tories and the billions of cuts they plan.
However the more likely outcome is that an SNP led Holyrood will face and ever growing squeeze on spending without the real power needed to take another course and will find itself managing Tory cuts.
In this situation the failure to seek a mandate to control the calling a second referendum will leave Scots still subject to Tory rule and without the only certain way of ending it—independence.
To take on the sea of issues facing voters RISE’s campaign will pledge a solidarity fund to help those being made destitute by benefit sanctions and demand a real minimum wage of £10 per hour.
The detested Council Tax—recently kept in place by the SNP—would be replaced by an income based Scottish Service Tax which raises million for services while costing around 70 per cent of Council Tax payers less.
In response to the widespread public belief belief that politicians are self seeking money grabbers RISE MSPs will pledge to follow the example of previous Scottish Socialist Party members and take only the wages of a skilled worker as salary.
Detailed policies on governmental transparency, refugees, gender and sexual equality housing youth and a host of other issues will be outlined in the manifesto which will be covered in the next issue of the Voice.