MY SPEECH TO TODAY'S RALLY FOR INDEPENDENCE IN EDINBURGH
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.