Scotland not independent, close referendum vote

This music video is called Flower of Scotland sing-along lyrics.

By Rachel Gibbs, in Glasgow, Scotland:

Scotland shakes the establishment: The fight for Socialism continues

19 September 2014

The Scottish Referendum produced a seismic shift in the political landscape of Scotland. The campaign shook up the whole of society and touched those who had never even voted before. The turnout was an unprecedented 85%, more than three and a half million people, bigger than any election ever held in UK history.

This alone makes it a political earthquake. Although the Scots rejected independence, they have sent shockwaves through the British political Establishment.

While the majority of Scottish people voted against separation, a massive 45% of people did vote for independence, a huge increase compared to anything before. This was a genuine expression for fundamental change. In the past few weeks, the “Yes” campaign gained a serious momentum. The 5th September YouGov poll put the “Yes” ahead and marked a watershed.

In Glasgow, the biggest city in Scotland, the Yes vote recorded 25,000 more votes than the No campaign. This meant that many hundreds of thousands of working class people from the housing schemes voted “Yes”, not in support of nationalism, but for fundamental change. The fact that over 1.6 million people voted to separate from Britain and its rotten Establishment is a sign of rising discontent with “austerity Britain”, which will not go away with the end of this referendum. Many “Yes” voters also saw it as a rejection of the “effing Tories”, to use Cameron’s own words.

Despite having won the referendum, the result is far from a huge victory for the “Better Together” campaign. Whilst even at the beginning of August most polls were placing them 10% ahead of “Yes”, by the end of the month the gap was rapidly closing.

The second debate on the 25th August was a key moment as Alex Salmond achieved a huge victory over Alistair Darling. Whereas in the first debate Salmond stumbled over the question of currency, in the second his focus on welfare proved far more popular. Placing himself as an advocate of reforms as opposed to “austerity Britain” led to a swing of Labour voters from 18% supporting independence in August to 35% in the early September YouGov poll. This swing and desire for change was reflected in the result. The four areas that voted “Yes” – Glasgow, Dundee, North Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire – are all Labour heartlands that have suffered heavily from de-industrialisation in the past forty years.

The fear of a high turnout and a “Yes” vote shook the Establishment and led to the panicked promises of “modern Home Rule” and greater devolution from the “No” side. They will now have to deliver on these promises, despite opposition from Tory backbenches.

This music video is called FLOWER OF SCOTLAND – (Bagpipes).

Despite the result, the “No” campaign was clearly tarnished by an unholy alliance of Labour, Tories and Liberal Democrats, viewed with suspicion as the political establishment. Cameron, Clegg and Miliband could not be seen on the streets for fear of being attacked. Labour in Scotland is viewed as further to the right than elsewhere in Britain, which played straight into the hands of the Nationalists. Whereas Alex Salmond put forward Obama-style “change” rhetoric, presenting himself as a social democrat, all three parties (including Labour) have bound themselves to austerity and could therefore only offer nothing but scaremongering.

Cameron and Co. arrogantly refused to put the option of Devo-max on the ballot, which would have had the support of the majority. Ironically, in their panicked response to increased support for “Yes” both Labour and Tories rapidly offered increased devolution as they tried to regain their lead.

There was an audible sigh of relief at the result from Westminster. Danny Alexander, Liberal Democrat MP, stated “the markets had responded well”, as if “the markets” were the electorate. But as Walpole stated, “today they will be ringing the bells, tomorrow they will be wringing their hands.”

For many in Scotland there is understandably disappointment and even anger at the result, seen as a missed opportunity to deliver decisive change. It was a dream shattered. Many on the left will also be very disappointed, as they see the vote as endorsement of the status quo. Some thought a “Yes” vote would have offered a more “progressive” Scotland with greater opportunities for socialism. This was the view of Tommy Sheridan and the SSP. “Voting Yes on 18 September unlocks a door to previously unreachable possibilities for working class people in Scotland”, wrote Colin Fox, the co-spokesperson for the SSP (Scottish Socialist Party). “It frees us from economic neoliberalism of the City of London that puts greedy pursuit of profit for a tiny elite ahead of satisfying the primary needs of millions… In an independent socialist Scotland no one is left behind…” (Scottish Socialist Voice, 5-18 September 2014).

That ignores the little detail that socialism was not on the ballot paper! Salmond’s independence was always tied to capitalism and the British Establishment, promising to lower corporation tax on big business, retain the pound, keep the Queen as head of state and join NATO and the EU. The reality is that as long as an independent Scotland remains tied to capitalism, we would remain tied to austerity. It is not just the nasty Tories at Westminster that are carrying out cuts. In response to the global capitalist crisis left and right governments across Europe are forced into adopting austerity measures as they attempt to save capitalism. A “Yes” vote would not have altered this fact. …

As stated previously, the close victory for the “No” vote does not mean acceptance of the status quo. It is a far cry from an all-out victory for the British ruling class. Their relief should not dishearten us. The ruling class has been visibly shaken. The massive politicization surrounding this campaign, which drew in tens of thousands to meetings and rallies for the first time, is a tremendous gain. It is a reflection of a deep mood for fundamental change.

From daily The Morning Star:

Glasgow voted Yes in the independence referendum, and so too did former Labour heartlands North Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire and Dundee.

Yes campaigner and Dundees Trades Union Council secretary Mike Arnott told the Morning Star: “A lot of people registered for the first time to come out and vote because they saw the possibility for real change.

“They wanted to shatter (Westminster’s) complacent conspiracy.”

“Sadly it wasn’t to be.”

He warned Scottish Labour that it “must now start to represent ordinary working-class people, to fight austerity and benefits sanctions and champion social justice.”

The hope of working-class Yes voters in Scotland’s cities must be that Labour will listen.

Their fear is that they won’t.

Also from the Morning Star:

OLDER voters saved the union by seeing off a late charge by the Yes campaign in Scotland’s referendum, polling by Tory donor Lord Ashcroft suggested yesterday.

His survey found that a massive 73 per cent of over-65s — who are among the most likely to vote — ticked the No box in Thursday’s referendum, stymying the late swing to Yes, with a majority of 16 to 54-year-olds backing a breakaway.

A stunning 21 per cent of Yes voters said they made up their mind some time in the last week of the campaign — including 8 per cent who backed Yes on polling day. That compared with just 6 per cent of voters who were swayed to No in the final days.

Glasgow: These were kids drawn from an age group that across Scotland had voted by 71% to 29% to leave Britain, and from a working-class city whose majority had defied its Labour heritage to vote likewise: here.

40 thoughts on “Scotland not independent, close referendum vote

  1. YOUTH: The record 84 per cent referendum turnout proved votes at 16 should be introduced across Britain, politicians said yesterday.
    More than 100,000 16 and 17-year-olds snapped up the chance to register.
    Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said the case had “definitively been made” to extend the franchise in England and Wales in time for next May’s general election.

    SOCIAL MEDIA: Yes Scotland may have lost their battle for independence — but their committed campaigners won the Twitter war.
    The social network revealed yesterday that users posted more than 1.5 million messages backing the Yes campaign compared to 500,000 for No.
    Andy Murray’s pro-Yes tweet was the most shared on referendum day with more than 18,000 retweets.

    CONSTITUTION: The anti-monarchy cause will be “spurred on” by the huge participation in the independence campaign, Republic chief executive Graham Smith said yesterday.
    He said: “People now have a taste of the excitement and inspiration of a real democratic moment.”
    In Northern Ireland, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuiness called yesterday for a border poll on a united Ireland.


  2. Scotland offered independence on a plate? how could the contemporary Scot turn his back on the ancestors who spilt copious blood to resist enslavement, what has gone wrong with psyche of the Scot? the decision left is for the future youth and not the wimps of Scotland having not enough pride to resist?


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  5. SCOTTISH GREENS: Alison Johnstone MSP called yesterday for the Smith Commission on devolution to involve as many of the public as possible.

    The referendum debate had “shown us that democracy begins at street level,” she said.

    Like the SNP, the Greens have grown massively since September 18’s vote — with nearly 4,000 new members taking total membership to over 5,600.


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  7. MANAMA, Bahrain, Oct 26 (NNN-BNA) – Bahrain King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, has received a letter of thanks from Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, in response to a letter sent by the King, which expressed his support for a strong United Kingdom, following the Scottish Referendum last month.

    In her letter, Queen Elizabeth II thanked the King for his kind message, and extended her warmest good wishes to the King and to his family.

    The close friendship and historic relationship between the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Bahrain, extends for more than two centuries.

    The two nations are currently preparing for the bicentenary celebration of formal ties established in the early 1800’s.– NNN-BNA


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