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Scotland’s Brexit future? A tartan theme park largely populated by pensioners.

Iain Macwhirter

Read Iain in the Herald and Sunday Herald.

Shortly before the 2014 referendum, I was asked what I thought Scotland might look like in the long term if it didn’t seize the opportunity of independence in Europe.  I replied that it might resemble a tartan theme park with a shrinking population largely composed of pensioners eking out a marginal living in a post-industrial tourism economy. I hate to sound negative, but I fear that future may be upon us sooner than anyone expected.

Unionists used to say that Scotland dodged a bullet by voting No to independence in 2014 just as the oil price collapse got underway in earnest. Unfortunately, the Brexit bullet has hit Scotland in the vitals. The Scottish economy shrank in the last three months of last year and it looks like a recession cannot be avoided.

Conservative politicians have argued that the First Minister’s talk of an independence…

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Time to stop playing games?

Yesterday morning, at about ten to twelve, the Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, fired the starting pistol on the race to a second referendum on Scottish Independence. In truth, everyone in Scotland knew this was coming, and if there were those who did not, the announcement that the First Minister would be giving a major press conference in the run-up to the UK Government triggering article 50 would have been a major clue. Regardless of this, however, there was certainly some shock factor.

In the Yes Camp, supporters jumped into the air, finally able to start dusting off their old campaign gear, put stickers in the window and wonder – when exactly will it be? In the No Camp, the faux surprise of “wasn’t this once in a generation” is being pedalled out in typical broken record fashion. In a way, whilst expecting this to come, nobody was quite prepared for it actually happening. But now it is happening and there is a lot of work to be done indeed!

The Yes supporters have sprung into action, relishing the chance to set about it once more and already a campaign fund has raised tens of thousands of pounds to champion the cause for independence. With all the enthusiasm, though, it is easy to forget what exactly lies ahead and that is a campaign far grittier and far shorter than the previous one. By the first referendum, Scotland had been preparing for pretty much seven years and the atmosphere was one of optimism. In this case, the referendum could be upon us in as little as eighteen months and the atmosphere this time is one of a much more serious choice.

With Brexit looming, the political future of Britain has never been so uncertain – this hard Brexit will see the UK (including Scotland) wrenched away from the EU, dragged screaming out of the single market and will have EU nationals living in the UK fearing for their own futures. All this is despite the Scottish population voting overwhelmingly to remain within the Europe. So, for all those of you booing that “we voted ‘No’!” and that it was meant to be “once in a generation”, this is a totally different ball game – not least because we were told the only way to protect Scotland’s place in the EU was to vote “No”.

The road ahead for the UK is one substantially different than the one we were on in 2014; there are more potholes, bumps and obstacles to navigate and the passengers are becoming increasingly agitated that nobody up front seems to know where we are going. The UK government has taken so long to come up with its plan for Brexit, giving us little other than Brexit  means Brexit for so long, and has now decided to simply cut all ties and sail off into the North Sea. Not to mention the House of Commons and the House of Lords have spent so long rejecting each others proposals that we’re not entirely sure what Brexit will actually look like, other than sudden and poorly thought through. Oh, and Empire 2.0, yes! The Foreign Office seems to think that outside of the EU we can just scrape the Empire back together and once more Britannia will rule the waves!

God almighty.

But rest assured, Mrs. May is on the case as politics is not a game! That’s right, from the Government that brought you the Brexit Omnishambles, Empire 2.0 and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr. Boris Johnson, the news that politics is not a game and that we Scots should just let the grownups handle it.

If any of you were of the opinion, then that Westminster had learned its lesson from last time, then fret ye not, as they have done no such thing. Scotland is still too wee, too poor and much too stupid to make its own decisions. Most notably we shouldn’t be allowed to call referenda that the government deems divisive; and Mrs.May’s government is certainly an expert field when it comes to divisive referenda.

In essence, ever since the EU referendum, the Scottish people have been told to sit down and eat their porridge, mummy and daddy will handle things.

Scotland has tried hard to be mature about things in the face of all the fannying around too, searching for a solution that would allow Scotland to remain within the single market while the rest of the UK withdrew completely. Following the referendum, the Scottish Parliament voted to open Scotland’s first independent diplomatic mission in three hundred years, starting a dialogue with the EU regarding Scotland’s future in it. Scotland has been in talks with the EU and the rest of the UK offering solutions, ideas and compromise from day one in order to reach some kind of deal. Meanwhile the UK Government has stuck its fingers in its ears and run around the room shouting “la, la, la!” It’s no wonder the Scottish people are so fed up!

So, the inevitable happens, the Scottish First Minister sets out her plan to seek Section 30 approval, to give the Scottish Parliament the power to hold a referendum on Scottish Independence. Suddenly, Scotland is the one playing a political game. Nevermind that Westminster kept changing the rules, moving the goal post and ignoring whenever the Scots wanted to come up with a reasonable idea. Nevermind that the democratic will of the Scottish people was thrown out the window after the EU vote… Nope, Scotland is the one playing political games by deciding it wants to decide its own future. Don’t do that Scotland, that’s for the adults to decide, away and play with your bagpipes.

Even in setting out the plans for a referendum the First Minister has shown the maturity that May cannot, accepting that the political atmosphere has changed, that we need to be upfront about the challenges that would be facing us.

The First Minister is right, we need to accept that the future is not going to be all rosy, that there is a difficult choice ahead and that we owe it to the people of Scotland to be upfront. But we also need to reinforce the opportunities that are up for grabs – EU Membership, control of our own finances and natural resources, control of our own health, education, energy, trade agendas and so on.

Any Mrs. May is right as well. Politics is not a game and it’s time for Scotland to show the rest of the UK how it’s done; maturely, calmly and efficiently.

So let this referendum roll on, let’s put Scotland’s future back into Scotland’s hands!

In, out, shake it all about: What to do about Brexit?

On the 23rd of June, the United Kingdom will vote on whether it wishes to remain a member of the European Union – the world’s largest common market – or leave and go it alone. Have no doubts, it’s a complex issue and one about which people up and down the country feel very strongly about; with massive issues on both sides.

On one side we have the luring of Britain into the TTIP agreement, the unelected European Commission, the large sums of money directed towards Brussels, the powers held by the EU over our own laws and so on. The other side argues about free trade, better cooperation in areas of security, finance, &c., visa free travel and subsidies for our farms, fishing and other vital industries.

The sad thing is, that for all the complex arguments on all sides of the political spectrum, the media has, as usual, turned it into a wholly right-wing bun fight. We have only heard of the Tories supporting the Remain campaign and the Tories supporting the Leave campaign, with the occasional weighing in from UKIP and the Kipper-General, Nigel Farage.

Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing the Conservatives, especially when they’re in government, tearing themselves to pieces and fracturing up, but on such a crucial issue, it really is of paramount importance that we see the whole picture – and there’s a startling amount on the left side of the road too.

On the side of getting out of the EU is the fact that the whole institution seems to be a massive, sprawling behemoth of neo-liberal, anti-democratic bureaucracy run for the financial gain of some of Europe’s elite.

On the other hand, the EU is a fantastic vehicle for cooperation between countries, allowing free trade, free movement of people, thoughts and ideas and so on.

With membership comes a huge number of positive factors; the most notable of which is our inclusion in the largest common market in the world. As a member state, we enjoy free trade with other member states, citizens can work and trade in any member country, can live and vote in any member country and can contribute to the economies and societies of whichever country they choose to work and live in.

For Britain, this does a huge amount of good in allowing us to attract skilled workers from across the EU – scientists, teachers, doctors, nurses, engineers, electricians – the list goes on and on. All of these skilled workers can come into Britain to work and contribute to our society, to our economy.

It also also allows companies and businesses to set up here and trade in Britain with relative ease. Goods can travel back and forth without punitive tariffs imposed and companies can employ people across borders without the need to work with multiple lines of red tape and different legal systems.

But the main ideal behind the EU has always been cooperation between member countries, promoting peace in Europe and working with one another to solve problems.

So why, then, is it, that in the past couple of years, that cooperation has broken down? When faced with the big issues that have been thrown upon Europe in the recent past, the EU has floundered spectacularly.

When Russia decided that it wanted to have a nosey around in Ukraine, pinch Crimea and start a civil war, Europe stood back and did little other than grumble in a corner and watch as an entire country unravelled before them.

When Greece defaulted on its debts, Europe dragged its feet over a bailout; the whole fiasco a consequence of a poorly thought out monetary and fiscal union that let anyone into the club regardless of their financial situation.

And when refugees from Syria and the Middle East conflicts – the result of Western intervention in the region – spilled into Europe looking for a safe haven and a chance at starting anew, the EU began shutting borders and herding people into squalid camps to live in the same sub-human conditions as in their home countries.

Perhaps it’s all to do with the nature of the EU as a massive club for Europe’s capitalist elite, focussing on trade deals such as TTIP and other, equally questionable partnerships? Perhaps it’s to do with the sheer size of the EU, with its 28 member states, all with their own governments, laws, customs, politics and views of the world? Or perhaps it’s a result of the sprawling bureaucratic mess of the EU’s government?

In all likelihood, it’s a combination of all of these issues and a lot of smaller, far more complex issues. The European Union is, let’s face it, a mess of things that don’t work, people arguing, things breaking down and bit’s falling off – but is running away from that really the way forward?

In our modern, interconnected world, where countries are, more than ever, having to work together to tackle global issues such as climate change, terrorism, poverty and so on, we are always going to be working with our neighbours in some capacity. The biggest issue is going to be trade.

The EU is our largest theatre of trade and many of our jobs depend on it. As a nation, our economy is built around trade with Europe, to pull out of that free trade area would be a catastrophe which would likely cripple our country irreparably. So yes, we’d negotiate some kind of deal whereby we could trade with Europe within that free trade area, much like, say, Norway.

Norway, say those campaigning to leave, is a sterling example of being outside of the EU, but still reaping the benefits of free-trade agreements. Nope. It is not.

Norway, in order to trade with the EU, must abide by the a number EU’s treaties and laws in order to  trade freely with the rest of Europe. The catch here, however, is that, not being in the EU, Norway has no say over how those laws are made or the treaties are drafted. In essence, it has even less say over some of its own laws than we do as part of the EU.

This brings me on to some of the trade deals within Europe and that Europe has with the rest of the world namely… TTIP! The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is essentially a bi-lateral trade agreement between the EU and the US that would have the result of opening our public services up to US private companies, moving European jobs to the US, decreasing regulations in Food Safety, Environmental Safety and so on, and allowing companies to sue governments.

It’s not a good outlook and that’s probably the reason it’s been negotiated largely in secret. The left-wing argument for leaving the EU hinges massively on TTIP – get out of Europe, get out of TTIP. Again, not really.

The thing is, as with the Norway model, to trade with Europe (and indeed the US) we need to abide by the relevant treaties, over which we’d have no real say any more, and that includes the TTIP agreement. If we wanted out of TTIP, we’d have to jump out of trading with Europe and the US to a massive degree; and that would spell disaster for the UK.

The other problem is, we have a Tory government and they love TTIP: Privatise the NHS? Sure! Allow the use of previously outlawed but cheaper pesticides and growth hormones? Sure! Companies can sue countries? Why the hell not!

In short, pulling away from the EU is not a road away from TTIP or indeed any other similar agreements.

On the other hand, staying in Europe allows us a say in how this all pans out. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which held a number of the same central elements of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership was thrown out by a massive majority in the European Parliament.

If we remain within Europe, we can have voices in the Parliament to shape the treaties and laws governing how Europe works.

No, the EU is not perfect. It’s a mess. But it has done a huge amount of good in brining countries closer together and fostering genuine peace and cooperation in Europe. There are bits that don’t work, but if we leave, we can’t make them work.

The only way to really ensure that the EU works and changes for the better seems, to me, to stay in, to use our voice in Europe to promote better trade deals, better democracy, help those who need it and try to promote a fairer Europe.

For me, the pros far outweigh the cons and the future staying in looks far brighter than that of leaving.

If you disagree, let me know why. If you agree, let me know what your reasons are. And, as always, thanks for reading.

 

16 and 17 year-olds thrown into the spotlight as they fight for the vote.

Last week’s referendum on Scottish Independence (I know when will this guy shut up about it?) was a first in many respects. It represented a triumph for democracy as for the first time ever 16 and 17 year old Scots were given the chance to vote on the future of their country. The proposal was pushed through mainly by the SNP and by other pro-Yes groups who saw 16/17 year-olds as the future of this country. The plan was to allow them the vote in the referendum, but the powers in Westminster kept brushing calls for the vote to be extended in general under the carpet.

However, now that the referendum has drawn to a close, the entire country is now looking ahead to the UK General Election which takes place in eight month’s time and the question of allowing our younger generation to vote in such elections. The idea was backed by the Scottish Youth Parliament who spoke to Kevin Bridges on his BBC Programme “What’s the Story? Referendum Special”.

There are a number of arguments for it from a purely ‘mechanical’ view; a lot of youngsters are of the impression that if you can pay taxes, get married, have children, join the army, etc., why shouldn’t you be able to vote? Voting for the people who are setting your tax rates, deciding whether you can or can’t get married, or sending you to war only seems fair after all.

The younger generations are seen, by those who support the move, as the future of our country. They are seen as those who, in a few years time, may well be our big CEOs, doctors, teachers, politicians, etc. There are also a vast number of 16 and 17 year old people in smaller jobs, toiling away to pay their bills and keep our world ticking over. We are, as a species, only mortal and our hopes and aspirations for society inevitably rest on the shoulders of those yet to come.

So what’s all the fuss about then? Well it seems to come from the older generation who feel that young people simply aren’t capable of voting properly. It’s immensely insulting but the arguments go along the lines of “they don’t know any better”, “they aren’t engaged enough”, and, one of my favourites, “they aren’t independent enough.”

The last one was a reason given by someone phoning into a radio show on BBC Scotland this morning. The reasoning was that they still live at home and hence aren’t independent enough to make their own political decisions. This is to say nothing of a large number of adults who still live at home or elderly people who now reside with their children for support. Are these people too dependent? Should we take away their votes too?

As a 16 or 17 year old, you are fighting for your own independence, you’re at the age where your parents are “cramping your style” and “bumming you out” (god I feel old saying those things…), all you want to do is be your own person with your own identity.

As for the previous two citing that young people are either wholly unengaged or simply don’t know any better is quite annoying to put it mildly. The referendum debate saw young people more involved in politics than many of their parents or older relatives, groups such as Generation Yes sprang up providing a platform for youngsters to get involved in the campaign. Some of the most well informed people I spoke to were young people who were being allowed to vote for the first time.

This can largely be attributed to the advent of the internet and social media. Things such as Facebook and Twitter are predominantly used by the younger generations and the vast amount of information and debate out there was thrown right at them, and they responded brilliantly. Young people were all of a sudden engaged in politics and fervently discussing their countries future. I am, as a matter of fact, convinced that the decision to allow teens the vote forced their, perhaps otherwise apathetic, parents to engage in the debate too.

At an age where they are in their later stages of school, 16/17 year olds generally delight in being able to take in new information and debate it with their peers, their families and their teachers. School debates and mock referenda across the country provided some great questions and answers.

Contrary to this is the opinion of a fair portion of the older generations who seem completely set in their ways or otherwise “see no point in voting”. My thought is that the established powers see the naturally progressive views of much of our younger generations and fear for what they may well do at the polls.

I grant you, it was a big issue, and an 85% turnout cannot be wholly attributed to young people’s votes, however, the flare and enthusiasm for the debate that young people brought to the debate can’t have hindered it. I, for one, would love to see that same kind of youthful flare brought to a general election.

And if they’re not engaged enough? Then they simply won’t vote, a situation no different than with the rest of the population. And in a country that sees some of Europe’s lowest turnout rates it certainly couldn’t hurt.

Caledonia quo vadis? Scotland’s vote against self determination

Discounting the over 55 age bracket sees the Yes vote move up to roughly 54%. Better Together lied to some of our most vulnerable, our pensioners, to scare them into a No vote

Fred's Miscellany

scotland_cover2

In its referendum on Thursday, the Scottish people made a mistake I am near certain they will come to regret: They voted “no”. Their vote was a “no” to self-determination, a “no” to social justice, a “no” to healthier state finances, to development of infrastructure and the Scottish economy. It was also a “yes”: A “yes” to austerity, a “yes” to cuts, a “yes” to the insulting notion that Scotland is too wee, too poor, and too stupid. I’d like to examine why they made such an incredibly flawed decision, and where they can go from here.

The statistics

One of the most significant insights as to this vote can be gained from statistics compiled by the Lord Ashcroft. Watch what happens if we discount 55+ voters from the equation:

Age group Yes % No % Base
16-25 10 71.4% 4 28.6% 14
18-24 40 47.6% 44 52.4% 84
25-34

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Play This Everywhere

Dennis Curran really drives the message home. The people using food banks are not the lazy, the criminal or the exploitative. The only people who fill those criteria are the Tory and Banker fat-cats in London. Please share this video everywhere!

This almost moved me to tears.

An incredible speech at a Scottish Parliament Committee made by Dennis Curran from the group Loaves and Fishes.

Any time anyone tells you UKOK you should be showing them this video.

Any time anyone tells you we need the UK to be looking after our welfare system, show them this video.

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What to Do About Johann…

Hello once again, it’s been a crazy sort of a month and I know I haven’t posted but, to be fair, I think you’re probably used to that by now anyway. I’ve been working like crazy coaching curling at my local rink in a desperate attempt to acquire some kind of money to tidy me over my exams until I can find a job I can sustain over the summer time. Oh yeah, exams are happening soon too. And to add to it all, our shower packed in a couple of weeks back, since then we’ve been washing ourselves under a drizzle of lukewarm water which has not been entirely pleasant – thankfully the landlord is coming out this evening to have a look at it.

However, there has been a reasonable amount going on to distract me from all the various annoyances in my life and, rather conveniently, they all seem to settle around one person. You know how it is, when you have to follow the trail of various gaffes and blunders from one politician to another, then to a shady cabal of journalists, over to another country, back to your own… It gets tiring. Imagine then, my delight, when all the recent collection of political gaffes centred around one single politician.

I am, of course, talking about Johann Lamont.

For those of you who don’t know of her, Johann Lamont (Yes, that’s the woman’s name “Joanne” spelt like the German male name “Johann”) is the leader of the Scottish Labour Party, leader of the opposition at the Scottish Parliament and, until I moved house in September, my local MSP. To say she was “useless” would be an insult to the good craftsmen responsible for manufacturing chocolate fire-guards. Indeed in the past few weeks she has made so many political brain-farts it’s a wonder Scottish Labour still have any members, in fact, in her own words, “I am astonished” (repeat ad nauseum) at the sheer number of blunders she has made of recent, to the point where one can’t help ask why she is still being allowed to make televised interviews.

To claim there was a start to this any time recently would, of course, be ridiculous, Scottish Labour has been a laughing stock for the past seven years, however the start of the steep section of this very slippery slope appeared to come on the 25th of February this year when Johann Lamont clashed with SNP Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on the STV programme ‘Scotland Tonight’. This show was one in a series of debates between yes and no sides of the Independence Referendum where, during the second half of the debate, the politicians are given the chance to cross-examine each other.

Now it’s fair to say that Ms. Sturgeon, who has appeared now on all three of these one-on-one debates to represent the yes side, is a fairly competent politician and has torn both the former and current Scottish secretaries to pieces in both of the previous shows; we therefore, didn’t expect a resounding victory from Ms. Lamont in this particular face-off. However the result was far from flattering for the BT campaign, Scottish Labour or, indeed, Ms. Lamont herself.

During the first half, Ms. Lamont faired about as well as expected, however the second half was where it all began to fall apart for Johann and the no side of the argument. When Nicola began her questioning the Labour leader simply wasn’t able to provide any kind of clear or coherent answer, if she was able to answer at all. The woman famous for her weekly chorus of “the First Minister hasn’t answered the question” during FMQs, suddenly felt that same sentiment being thrown at her by Ms. Sturgeon at every available opportunity. When it came to Ms. Lamont’s turn to ask questions to Nicola, the Deputy First Minister simply would not be pinned down, every question Johann asked was turned back on her, I wouldn’t be surprised in Johann Lamont was sweating through her teeth by the end of it. Even as a Yes supporter, I found it difficult to watch.

However, in her true tenacious, or perhaps suicidal style, the Labour Leader would not be silenced and made an appearance on Newsnight Scotland on the BBC. During an interview with Gordon Brewer she was quizzed about proposed tax and spending powers for Scotland and for the majority of the interview seemed to have completely different figures than anybody else. She also seemed to be rather unclear about what her own party’s policies actually were, a fact that Brewer was quick to jump on.

Now I will admit that Gordon Brewer annoys the hell out of me, the words ‘smug’ and ‘twat’ in various forms and permutations leap to mind when ever he appears on screen, but the fact that he was able to so easily and systematically tear Ms. Lamont to shreds does not speak well of her in this situation.

Her most recent debacle came only yesterday on the Sunday Politics Scotland show broadcast on the BBC. Speaking from the Scottish Labour conference in Perth (where she also managed to slam Alex Salmond (First Minister) and his wife simply for not having children), she was again torn down completely as she struggled to provide any kind of answer to any of the questions put to her. Every single question either resulted in her telling us that the answer would be in the 2016 manifesto or that the SNP and the First Minister and bad and that we don’t like them.

To be quite blunt, it’s been a fucking dreadful month for the Labour Party in Scotland. It’s no wonder that 24% of Labour Party members in Scotland now say that they will be voting “yes” in September, and given the incredibly poor performance from the Labour Leadership (I don’t have the time to get started on the likes of Sarwar) the Labour Party are going to need to make some serious reconsiderations if there is a “yes” vote this summer.

It’s quite clear that, following a yes vote, Labour will not survive under its current leadership, in fact, even if there is a no vote, I still can’t seem them being successful at all unless there is some serious people shuffling. Because if Johann Lamont is what the people in Scotland are being given as their option for Labour leadership, independent or not, I can only see the Labour movement in Scotland dying on its arse at the next election. As a socialist I yearn to see a real, strong Labour movement in this country and that’s something we will not get under Lamont, or indeed any of the current Scottish Labour lot.

Thanks once more for reading, and as usual feel free to get involved via the comments section below.

 

Some Links

Scotland Tonight:

Newsnight Scotland:

Sunday Politics Scotland:

Wings Over Scotland:
http://wingsoverscotland.com/transcription-for-lazy-people/

Labour for Indy an ‘SNP Plot’

So hello, once again. It’s been a couple of days since I posted, even on twitter, but I’ve had some rather more pressing matters on my mind, most notably the insane attempt to understand multi-variate calculus by the day after tomorrow. However, the latest burst of fear scented bilge that Project Fear has spouted forth unto the world, I feel, deserves some mention. The latest shenanigan, as you may have guessed from the title, is the claim by the Better Together campaign that Labour Voters for Independence is simply a movement set up by the SNP to confuse voters.

This is so utterly bizarre that I didn’t believe it to be serious, and took it for another spoof post, until I realised that it was posted on the official BT facebook page and was receiving real media attention. LFI, whilst a small group, has been around for over a year now, and like the SNP, Yes Scotland, Women for Independence, Liberal Democrat Voters for Independence, the Scottish Socialist Party and the Scottish Greens, is a real movement campaigning for a Yes vote in 2014.

The rumour kicked off when a photo, published on LFI’s facebook page showing members of the Yes Campaign, who also happened to be members of the SNP, standing alongside members of LFI under an LFI banner, during a campaign day in Kilmarnock. In the original photograph, the Yes Campaign stall was clearly visible, making it clear in the photo that both groups were campaigning alongside each other, with Yes members offering support.

After having cut the photo in half, so as to exclude the side of the photo showing the Yes stall, the Bitter Together supporters played at detective and found photos of the people, already wearing “Yes” tee-shirts and hence clearly not LFI members, wearing SNP ribbons. This hence gave conclusive proof that LFI was an SNP Plot. In fact, even Scottish Labour, in desperate bids to please their Westminster masters turned their guns on LFI, with deputy leader, Anas Sarwar saying “Labour for Independence appears to be nothing more than a sham and a SNP front.”

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s ‘Good Morning Scotland’, Labour For Independence chairman Alan Grogan defended the group, himself a member of the Labour Party and denounced claims that it had SNP members within its ranks. The group’s policy states that one must either be a member of the Labour Party or of no party to join, with forty percent of the members being members of the Labour Party.

The Labour for Independence group was formed by members of the Labour party who were not content with the party’s leadership working “hand in glove” with the Tories. It is a grassroots campaign standing for traditional Labour values in an independent Scotland. Mr. Grogan said of the SNP members at the stall:

“If SNP members are handing out our leaflets it is an acknowledgement that the Labour vote is an important one in this referendum and they are willing to forego party politics to help us get our message across.”

With even the leadership of the Labour Party refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of this group, we get a clearer picture still of the length that the negative campaigning on the BT side is going. Labour, a party traditionally associated with grass roots politics and listening to the membership has now abandoned a not insignificant number of its members in favour of pleasing the Tories.

To me it seems yet another way in which the BT lot, along with the undecided voters, are going to be persuaded to vote “Yes”. This constant betrayal of values from the Labour Party, the never ending streaks of negative campaigning from all of Better Together. It wears people out when you constantly tell them “you can’t”, and when legitimate groups within parties are dismissed by their own party leadership.

Labour is already losing many of its members from thinking Better Together to thinking Yes. It has come to the stage where Better Together campaigning is so annoying for everyone, that if all the groups campaigning for a Yes vote stopped campaigning, they could still rest easy knowing that BT would do the work for them.

Anyway, that’s my rant on the matter, I am away back to the world of maths. Please feel free to keep the discussion going via comments. Thanks for reading.

Kelvinside Academical Curling Club

ΑΙΕΝ ΑΡΙΣΤΕΥΕΙΝ

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