Socialist Worker

Mass rallies discuss next steps in Scotland

The movement in Scotland continues as hundreds join rallies and pack out meetings, reports Raymie Kiernan

Issue No. 2423

This food bank in Glasgow’s George Square was based in the East End before the referendum, but has now taken on a new lease of life since the vote as people debate the way forward. Many people who donate see it as a challenge to the system of sanctions

This food bank in Glasgow’s George Square was based in the East End before the referendum, but has now taken on a new lease of life since the vote as people debate the way forward. Many people who donate see it as a challenge to the system of sanctions (Pic: Duncan Brown)


Some 3,000 independence supporters rallied outside the Scottish parliament last Saturday. 

The Yes campaign lost the independence referendum last month—getting 45 percent of the vote to No’s 55 percent. 

But the political ferment the movement created shows no sign of going away.

Mass meetings are still commonplace as campaigners discuss the next steps. 

The Yes Aberdeen group had to hold two packed meetings of 150 people back-to-back.

Well over 400 gathered in Dundee last weekend and hundreds packed Radical Independence Campaign meetings in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Yes campaigners have been spurred on by the continued activity to push for more powers for the Scottish Parliament.

They are determined to hold the leaders of the three Westminster parties to their “vow” for further devolution. 

The leaders made it just days before the vote but began to retreat from it within 24 hours of the poll closing. 

Some Yes campaigners want to go further and argue that the main fight is to secure a second referendum. Others are demanding a recount and are convinced the vote was rigged.

There are unanswered questions over the conduct of the ballot. 

Groups are being formed by people who say their ballot paper was blank where a unique code should have been printed.

The Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has also come under scrutiny for TV comments. 

Her comments indicated that she had knowledge of the numbers of postal ballots cast days before the vote.

The Elections Scotland body says it is an offence for anyone attending the opening of postal votes “to attempt to ascertain how any vote has been cast or to communicate any such information obtained”.

But the political defeat has not had the effect that might have been expected on the political parties most closely associated with the Yes campaign

Their membership has grown significantly. 

The Scottish National Party (SNP) most spectacularly of all claimed over 39,000 new members on Friday of last week.

It’s clear people are determined to continue the Yes campaign by any means necessary. 

But there is a danger of seeing independence as the only way to combat austerity and build a different society. Independence is a guarantee of neither. 

Socialists must fight to shape the political struggles in Scotland to focus on the fight against austerity now and not wait until after the next set of elections.

The Hope Over Fear rally on 12 October and the Sottish Trades Union Congress march on 18 October, both in Glasgow, provide an opportunity to do that.


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