Socialist Worker

As Holyrood demands new independence vote, campaigners say 'get on streets again'

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2547

The Yes revolt frightened Britains rulers

The Yes revolt was marked by a strong anti-Tory mood and it frightened Britain's rulers (Pic: Josh Brown)


Theresa May travelled to Scotland on Monday to proclaim, “My position isn’t going to change, which is that now is not the time to be talking about a second independence referendum.”

She was repeating her defiance ahead of the call for a second referendum from the Scottish parliament today, Tuesday, by 69 votes to 59 votes.

Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems united against the pro-independence parties’ call for indyref2.

But the Scottish National Party (SNP) majority with the Greens mandates the Scottish government to seek the legally binding order from Westminster to hold another vote.

Choice

Holyrood wants “a referendum to be held that will give the people of Scotland a choice over the future direction and governance of their country”.

It should be “at a time—and with a question and franchise—determined by the Scottish parliament”. It backs Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon’s call for a referendum between autumn 2018 and spring 2019 so that voters can choose independence over staying with a post-Brexit British state.

Campaigner Neil Mackay thinks May will eventually “buckle” under pressure and allow a new vote.

“May’s unelected, her position is untenable and her party is divided,” he told Socialist Worker.

“People now need to show that they want independence and need to get behind the drive for the referendum timescale set out by Nicola Sturgeon.

“Scotland has a democratic right to hold another referendum.”

Neil helped organise a 10,000-strong All Under One Banner march for a second referendum last July in Glasgow after Britain’s vote to leave the European Union (EU).

The group has called another demonstration for 3 June “to mark a year on and get people out on the streets again,” Neil said.

But it’s also to lay down a marker for an independent Scotland that will benefit working class people.

A majority want nuclear weapons scrapped to fund looking after people and our services

A majority want nuclear weapons scrapped to fund looking after people and our services (Pic: Duncan Brown)


Organisers say the “core reasons” for the march are to put forward a vision of Scotland without racism, nuclear weapons, fracking and austerity.

They want to “end child poverty, tax cuts for the rich, put people before profit, defend workers’ rights and invest in social welfare”.

Neil said the march can be “a show of power” to make “politicians take note”.

He said, “We’re going to have at least 10,000 people.

“The mood around it has been transformed since the standoff between Sturgeon and May.

“If people want independence now is the time to ask, ‘How can I show it?’ whether that’s handing out flyers, conversations with neighbours or at work, or get on the streets—they’re our streets.”

Sturgeon and the SNP want to link a vote for independence with membership of the EU.

The 62 percent vote in Scotland against Brexit is the party’s justification for arguing that Scotland should remain in the bosses’ single market.

Neil said he doesn’t want the EU linked to the referendum and questions last year’s vote in Scotland.

He voted Leave “to stir things up” and wonders, “Did all Remainers want to stay in the EU or did some want to create a constitutional crisis?”

Getting a referendum quickly and then winning it requires a massive social movement in the streets and the workplaces.

Indyref2 needs to be about class issues, but the push for it must not act as a reason to delay struggle.

Now is the time to stoke the revolt against the Tories over the referendum—and all the other issues that face working class people.


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.