by Ken Ferguson
· We live in a planet dominated by the pitiless forces of giant corporations, big money and a handful of mega rich individuals backed by saturation propaganda and, ultimately brute force. Those seeking to challenge this system hold one key weapon with which to respond: democracy.
Here in Scotland, as the general election gathers pace it is much used—and often abused—term. The pan unionist front of Labour, Tories and Lib Dems may squabble on policy and lecture the world on human rights but when it comes to Scottish democracy they sing in close harmony.
All three basically endorse the same formula. Not only are they opposed to a fresh indyref they will, whatever Scottish voters say, refuse the power, held by Westminster to hold one. The revolting hypocrisy of this position is sky written by the Janus faced Lib Dems whose reputation for disinformation and duplicity is legendary.
As far as Scottish independence is concerned “you’ll have had your referendum in 2014” is the line and that is set in stone.
However the EU referendum they lost on Brexit in 2016 is of no consequence and will be ignored by them and its result simply cancelled.
No amount of rhetoric from the heavily sold Jo Swinson—a minister in the Cameron/Clegg austerity government that brought us the bedroom tax—can conceal their desperate opportunist hunger for power and contempt for Scottish voters.
Scots Tories post-Saint Ruth
The Tories by contrast remain constant against indyref but have flipped since the departure of St Ruth from Remain to Brexit as they sweat over likely losses on 12 December.
The woeful confusion on the independence issue from Labour demonstrated by the multiple positions set out by Corbyn during his Scottish visit amply underlines the continuing decline of the former Peoples Party in the wake of the Better Together love in with the Tories.
As we go to press the Tory poll lead is between 10 and 20 per cent and a Johnson win looks likely but with the zig zags of Labour whoever wins appears to be set to refuse a second indyref. With the SNP riding high, this is likely to pose a headache for them after the polls close.
Bluntly put, what will the predicted 40+ SNP MPs be able to do in the face of a Westminster refusal? Will they lead a campaign of disruption, pressure and resistance or settle on the green benches as Honourable Ladies and Gentlemen moving motions?
However the election shakes down that the powerful elites continue to deploy every weapon available to get their way as is demonstrated by the outrageous assault on postal workers by the English High Court.
Faced with a raft of attacks from the greedy privateers who now own Royal Mail workers voted 97.1 per cent for strike action only to be overruled by one man, Mr Justice Swift, who in effect banned the strike.
It would be hard to find a more glaring example of the duplicity of politicians who preach democracy and human rights yet support laws that directly contradict and overrule the right to strike of tens of thousands. The old labour movement slogan that ‘only slaves cannot withdraw their labour’ springs to mind.
That the courts are indeed “Swift” to back the bosses such as Swiss-based Rico Back, enticed as top dog with a”golden hello’ of £6million and an annual £2.7million pay cheque is no great surprise. But at this election time it is worth recalling how the long standing public service Royal Mail fell into the hands of profit hungry fat cats.
Once agin we need look no further than the sweet smiling Lib Dems with their sugary centrist politics which were unmasked during the Cameron/Clegg coalition when the sainted Sir Vince Cable oversaw its privatisation.
Sadly, the relentless drive to reshape the world in the market led neoliberal model—despite the setbacks of the 2008 crash—ploughs on ignoring the needs of both people and planet.
The planetary crisis of war, floods, fires, hunger and mass population flight alongside the ever escalating climate emergency is the price humanity is paying for this minority rule.
South American struggles
Elsewhere in this Voice we report on what is the most recent example of their ruthless exercise of power with the coup against Bolivia’s Evo Morales and the regime of racist violence it has unleashed.
Morales supporters are being shot dead by state forces in a process which is but latest phase of a continent-wide struggle for power ranging from coup plots in Venezuela to mass demonstrations in Chile.
From Scotland to South America, the battle is joined not just for economic and social justice but for the very survival of the planet itself. We have a world to win but if we don’t change the system we also have a world to lose.