Yes sup­port grows

Rutherglen Reformer - - Reformer View -

Last Fri­day, a spec­tac­u­lar event oc­curred: the Yes Scot­land campaign an­nounced that over one mil­lion Scot­tish vot­ers had signed the Yes Dec­la­ra­tion: a pos­i­tive state­ment recog­nis­ing our abil­ity and our right to make our own po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sions rather than have them made for us by West­min­ster.

The last time this num­ber of peo­ple pro-ac­tively en­gaged with a po­lit­i­cal move­ment was dur­ing the anti-Poll Tax campaign or the protests against the in­va­sion of Iraq. Be­sides this dec­la­ra­tion of sup­port, the Yes campaign has thou­sands of ac­tivists cam­paign­ing in com­mu­ni­ties across Scot­land, or­gan­is­ing public meet­ings and other events to pro­mote a pos­i­tive con­fi­dent mes­sage that the peo­ple of Scot­land can best run our own af­fairs.

This pro-ac­tive, pos­i­tive campaign is dif­fer­ent from those re­ac­tive and de­fen­sive cam­paigns “against” things such as the Poll Tax and has un­leashed the tal­ent and vi­sion of peo­ple seek­ing a bet­ter Scot­land. That is some­thing that the con­ser­va­tive No campaign just can­not match. Their mindset is locked into a por­trayal of our coun­try as “too wee, too poor and too stupid”. You only have to look at the campaign lit­er­a­ture put out by Labour or lis­ten to the dis­tor­tions of re­al­ity ex­pressed by spokes­peo­ple such as Gordon Brown to see this is their mindset: “We can’t af­ford pensions, we can’t af­ford the health ser­vice, we can’t af­ford any­thing”…

It is all un­true of course, but Labour are des­per­ate to ham­mer our self con­fi­dence and con­vince us that we are a bunch of sub­sidy-junkies suck­ing money from West­min­ster. The prob­lem for them is that if they are right, we came to that ap­palling po­si­tion WITHIN the Union and af­ter 14 years of Labour gov­ern­ment at West­min­ster over­lap­ping eight years of power at Holy­rood. And that mes­sage of fail­ure, along­side their false prospec­tus at the 2010 gen­eral elec­tion (that only a vote for Labour could stop the Tories, though it didn’t!), is why Labour got ham­mered at the 2011 Scot­tish Par­lia­ment elec­tions.

Let’s face it, if Labour were right, then both they and the Union have failed Scot­land. Ask your­self: if we are such a drain on West­min­ster, why are they pulling out all the stops to keep us? Why is the Scot­tish me­dia loaded with Union­ist pro­pa­ganda? Why did the Depart­ment of Work and Pensions send letters to Scot­tish staff telling them they have a duty to sup­port West­min­ster’s anti-in­de­pen­dence line?

The truth is that we are not a bas­ket case na­tion. We are a wealthy na­tion that can do bet­ter for our peo­ple than West­min­ster ever will. Re­dis­tri­bu­tion and so­cial jus­tice are not on the West­min­ster po­lit­i­cal agenda and have not been for decades. That is why the axis of Tories, Labour and Lib Dems in “Bet­ter To­gether” is so nat­u­ral: there is vir­tu­ally noth­ing to dif­fer­en­ti­ate them.

I would urge peo­ple to con­sider the let­ter pub­lished in the Re­former last week by pro-Union en­thu­si­ast John Maxwell in which he high­lighted the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s pol­icy of free pre­scrip­tions as some­thing that should be abol­ished.

Re­mind your­self also that we have free eye tests and den­tal check-ups. Like en­sur­ing that peo­ple get the medicines they are pre­scribed, th­ese are front-line preventive health mea­sures which deal not only with the ba­sics of oral hy­giene and sight, but as screens for can­cer.

Un­der John Maxwell’s Union­ist out­look, th­ese univer­sal rights are at risk with a No vote. They are part of what Labour’s Jo­hann La­mont de­scribed as the “some­thing for noth­ing” cul­ture. The best means of en­sur­ing that th­ese es­sen­tial health mea­sures re­main free is to vote Yes and build a bet­ter na­tion. David Steven­son, By email.

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