by Ken Ferguson • As the tension mounts on indy and Brexit chaos burgeons, the Sunday Telegraph reports from terrorist threatened Paris of the doings of our royals:
“The Duchess chose a Chanel striped cotton tweed waisted frock coat with a box pleated skirt and bracelet sleeves in blue and red, to meet WWII veteran soldiers at the military hospital.”
Apparently the Chanel choice was of global significance. In a world awash with claims of “fake news” such reports, although true, skywrite the different worlds inhabited by the Westminster’s political and media elite and the rest of us.
A key part of this mindset assumes that Theresa May, who was effectively appointed Prime Minister by Tory MPs not voters, has every right to issue a veto on any plan for ScotRef backed by the Holyrood parliament.
This despite the fact that even May’s government is elected by a first past the post electoral system which falls just short of corruption while Holyrood is elected by a form of PR.
Yet in what is a clear confrontation of conflicting wills the antique Westminster system with a governing party represented with one MP in Scotland claims legitimacy based on the 2014 No vote. This view is eagerly endorsed by the Ultra unionist Tories, snappy terrier Lib Dems and the ever more forlorn Labour Party.
Not even the desperate re-emergence (again) of embittered former Premier Brown with another version off his federalist “vow” can conceal the reality that the No trio favour locking Scotland into a Trident armed austerity UK.
Whatever the media reports present of a Nicola versus Theresa battle one simple fact stands out that what is now at stake is a power struggle for the future of Scottish democracy.
Of course the formal position is clear. Scotland inside the UK endorsed in 2014’s No vote is under the thumb of Westminster on constitutional matters and May has the power to veto Scottish democracy.
However throughout history formal power whether held by kings, tsars, generals or dictators has faced challenge and defeat at the hands of peoples’ movements from the Bastille to the Berlin Wall.
Here in Scotland, the votes and debates in Holyrood, while important, will not be the decisive factor that will send May back to Downing Street to change her mind—only an active campaign similar to 2014 will do that job.
Both the Voice and the SSP have made it clear that working class support for an independent socialist Scotland is key and that we will campaign both for that vision and with partners in the wider movement.
Indeed as we report elsewhere just two days before Sturgeon’s indy speech a Voice Forum heard opinions from a range of perspectives including trade unions and campaigners from a range of parties and none.
In lively exchanges, one stand out fact which emerged was that winning Scotland’s working class is the key to victory and that this needed a broader campaign than one based on EU membership.
The centrality of this work is underlined by figures produced by Commonweal which show that a 5 per cent swing from No to Yes would decisively deliver independence.
What is clear is that a campaign which broadens beyond the EU to address the real world challenges on insecure work, poverty, chronic housing shortages, cuts and austerity is capable of winning over working people.
This is doubly important given that the No alternative allied to Labour’s crisis virtually guarantee Scots voters that they face 20 years of Tory rule within the UK.
It is already clear that a substantial portion of the Tory leadership favour turning post-Brexit Britain into a low tax, casualised, zero hours economy with minimal services delivering high profits for the few.
However if we are to avoid the Tory nightmare and win independence, then we will have to convince voters that independence has the purpose of shifting wealth and power to the many.
That’s why the SSP insists on the need to put such an inspiring vision of change the heart of a campaign.
We reject the idea that an independence campaign which aims to suggest that little will change is capable of winning and in particular oppose the idea, already floated by some leading figures, that independence must involve Scottish-made austerity.
Such a choice is both unnecessary and can only help the unionists and must play no part in a campaign aiming to win.
Scottish Socialists will put that vision of real change at the heart of their work and, as in the 2014, the Voice will open its pages to a range of views from across the Yes movement.
As then, the key task is to win independence to open the way to real change and we will work both as a party and with others to achieve that key aim.