Saturday, 22 September 2012


Friends, I bring you greetings from the Scottish Socialist Party and I am proud to be part of this wonderful occasion and this vibrant movement as Scotland again asserts our inalienable right to self-determination and Independence.

Look around you. It might be September but this, this is the beginning of the Scottish Spring. Let the world take heed from Edinburgh today that we Scots are marching for our freedom and we are equally determined to secure our full democratic rights.

And we re-assert today that supporting a country’s right to self-determination does not make you a nationalist per se, it makes you a democrat. And as a democrat, a democratic socialist, one question interests me more than most today – will working class people in Scotland, who make up the vast majority here, be better off with Independence or not?

To that question, which millions of people rightly demand a straight answer, we can stoutly reply YES SCOTLAND – For if all the revenues, taxes, duties, profits and wealth generated here in Scotland stayed here, rather than be transferred to the UK Treasury or boardrooms abroad, it stands to reason we would be better off. That is what Independence means. 
But working class people understand we have to stand up for ourselves and so I urge you to join with us in this great cause.

There are of course many shades of opinion gathered here today and I respect that, but I want an Independent Scotland that is a modern democratic republic, where we the people decide our own future, freely, democratically and without interference or constraint. 

This great movement gathered here today seeks the same goals as billions of other people throughout the world, the chance to secure our Independence and realise the economic emancipation and social progress we are capable of. 

Jimmy Reid famously distinguished ‘Scotland is a nation. Britain is a state’. And the British state today is in decline. It is at the epicentre of a worldwide financial ‘racket’ that exploits the world and goes to war regularly to protect its ‘operations’. That connection brings shame on Scotland.

An Independent Scotland by contrast could be a beacon to the world. We would never send our sons off to die in wars motivated by imperial plunder. An Independent Scotland would declare peace with the world not war, nor threaten our fellow human beings with nuclear annihilation or environmental destruction.

So let us today resolve that we are building a new Scotland, where no one gets left behind, 
where wealth is not the measure of greatness or nobility,
where helping others wins more gold medals than helping yourself,
where prejudice and ignorance are eradicated like the Tuberculosis my grandmother and so many others like her died of in the 1930’s,
where Independence brings economic emancipation and freedom to everyone not just a select few and where all these are inalienable rights belonging to all those who chose to live here.

That then is our message today ringing out loud and clear to our fellow Scots and to the world.

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