It was a bad week for the Better Together campaign against Scottish independence.
Still reeling from defeat in the last televised referendum debate last week, the No campaign was hit by a new poll
that showed a four-point swing to Yes. The first poll since the debate put Yes on 47 percent and No on 53 percent. This underlined the fact that the result will be a close run thing on 18 September.
But the momentum is definitely with Yes. More than 200 activists turned out for a day of action in Glasgow city centre last Saturday organised by the Radical Independence Campaign (Ric).
The No campaign could only dream of mobilising this many supporters for one event. Ric activists Craig and Lesley spoke to Socialist Worker.
They say the campaign’s anti-austerity and anti-privatisation arguments are getting through to people still making up their minds.
Craig said, “The mainstream has focussed on the Europe Union or what currency an independent Scotland would have, and yes, there is uncertainty about independence.
“But it’s more about issues directly affecting people’s lives and the impact of a No vote. Would there be cuts to welfare spending? What happens to funding for the health service or education?
Craig said putting forward our case for “a fairer, more equal Scotland” is giving people a different vision of what Scotland could look like.
A striking feature of the Yes campaign is how it has re-engaged people in political campaigning.
Lesley says she has not been active since the anti-apartheid movement in the early 90s but that anger at a corrupt government has got her involved.
“It just seems to be so blatant nowadays—whether it’s the Tories’ sell-off of Royal Mail to their cronies, or politicians in the pay of private health companies. Westminster is as corrupt as they come.”
Lesley volunteers at a food bank and sees the cruel reality of Tory austerity.
She told Socialist Worker, “One of the most shocking things for me was when a 72 year old woman came in because she was struggling so much with the cost of living. That’s outrageous.”
As the campaign enters the final weeks, mass canvassing events will become more important to win the argument with the working class voters who can be decisive.
Craig said, “I can’t remember a time with such a high level of political engagement. Saturday epitomised what we need to be doing in the final two weeks—just get out there and engage working class people in discussion.”