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Why we are voting Yes in the Scottish referendum

This article is over 9 years, 7 months old
Issue 2420
Reasons to vote Yes
Reasons to vote Yes (Pic: Socialist Worker)

1. Scrap Trident

Stop wasting billions on nuclear weapons and fund public services instead. 

These weapons are dangerous and a threat to the world. We want them out of Scotland, out of Britain, and abolished across the globe.

The SNP has promised to get them out of Scotland within five years of independence. 

The military top brass is worried this is too soon and won’t give them enough time to build new storage facilities and therefore they would have to disarm.

We have to keep up the campaigning pressure to begin the process of ditching Trident immediately. 

Workers at Faslane should be retrained to use their skills for more socially useful jobs.

Dumping Trident would be an independent Scotland’s first contribution to ending the madness of a world where people starve, don’t have clean water, and die of curable diseases yet countries spend over £1,000 billion on the military. 

A Yes vote should be a vote against war.


2. Weaken the British state

We are in favour of the break up of the imperialist British state. 

It has a long history of pillage and murder across the globe and its blood-soaked flag is rightly known as the “Butcher’s Apron”. 

Independence would diminish the British state and seriously weaken both sides of the so called “special relationship” with the US.

Scotland breaking away will make it harder for what’s left of Britain to join US military adventures and illegal wars around the world.

The stark contrast between the Westminster and Holyrood governments’ attitude to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza gave a glimpse of how foreign policy could be different.

An independent Scotland could build and send aid ships—not war ships—around the globe.

A Yes vote also opens the door to a sustained fight against Nato membership—it is an imperialist nuclear club that threatens the world. 

Tory David Cameron announced with glee last week Britain will provide 1,000 troops for a rapid reaction force to project Nato’s power. 


3. Defend our NHS

We want a publicly-funded, publicly-provided health service that is free at the point of need with well paid staff. End the pay freeze for NHS workers. We want to reverse all privatisation and outsourcing of services.

A Yes vote is a big boost to this campaign. 

The Labour Party in Scotland claims the NHS is not under threat, so there is no need to vote Yes to protect it. Yet the Labour Party in England argues the opposite and that Tory privatisation will destroy the NHS.

The NHS in Scotland is threatened by cuts and privatisation, as it is south of the border. 

Health services in Scotland are funded from the block grant to the Scottish government—and all the main parties are committed to cuts.

Further, the British government has refused to call for an exemption for the NHS in negotiations for an international trade agreement—TTIP. It will mean privatisation of public services would be near impossible to reverse.

Vote Yes to save the NHS, and then keep campaigning to defend and improve it.


4. Stuff David Cameron

Voting Yes means we will never have a Tory government again—unless we vote for it. 

We should vote Yes, celebrate dumping Cameron and the rest of the reactionary crew, but also recognise that we need to keep up the battle against the right in Scotland. 

Don’t forget that Ukip won an MEP in Scotland in the May European elections.

We will need to continue the fight against policies of austerity and privatisation in an independent Scotland. 

There will still be bosses wanting cuts and there will still be politicians only too willing to implement them.

We will still desperately need a socialist alternative to capitalism.

We have to ensure we stay organised and build a movement that forces any new government to represent our interests.

If Scotland goes independent there will be immense pressure to force him out as prime minister. 

That will give a boost to working class people all over Britain.


5. Stop the bosses

The Yes campaign has momentum because of the social movement behind it. That was emphasised last week when the RMT union’s members voted to back Yes. 

Arguing for a society shaped by working class interests is what has inspired people.

The movement has been at its best when boldly arguing for radically transforming society. We cannot ease up. 

We need to fight to welcome refugees, demand the Dungavel prison is shut down and that we ditch racist immigration laws. We should fight to end Tory anti-union laws, low pay and zero hours contracts. 

Nationalisation of industries such as energy and transport would mean we can create decent jobs with equal pay.

Our fundamental demand should be to tax the rich and redistribute wealth to end poverty and inequality.

To keep up the momentum we need a new left which brings together all socialists and radicals and focuses the energy and imagination seen in the independence campaign.

The Things They Say…

‘Independence would lead to decades of pain’

The Daily Telegraph newspaper reports an appeal by former Tory Scottish secretaries between 1986-1997—who were responsible for a good decade of pain for working class people

‘People with mattresses in their gardens do not win elections’

The Telegraph’s Ben Riley-Smith exposes the contempt that one “senior pro-UK strategist” has for working class voters

‘It would break my heart if Scotland were to leave’

Prime minister David Cameron

‘Building the ships that allowed Britannia to rule the waves, or creating chicken tikka masala’

Graeme Morrice, Labour MP for Livingston, as guest speaker at the Bathgate Boyne Celebrations of East of Scotland Orangemen celebrates what he says are the union’s achievements


Queen Elizabeth tells the press her views on the prospect of  Scotland voting Yes


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