Tag Archives: neo-liberalism


“Kernow” posted this comment to


Upfront I’ll say I’m an English person, don’t read if you think my views aren’t relevent.

I’ve been following this with interest for months, and I really have to say – the Yes campaign has won the argument in my eyes. Years ago when the SNP were voted in and the referendum was put in place, I had the typical response many feel to the county being split up – hell no – but this wasn’t a view based on any informed opinion about Scotland or the reasons the referendum has come about.

It’s been difficult to sort through the rhetoric and junk arguments on both sides of this debate. The strongest arguments of the no campaign have all seemingly been economic, but seriously, is an economic argument alone enough reason not to want independence? It’s going to be hard. I think the majority of Yes voters already know that. Going it alone always is hard. I think the Yes camp have been honest that independence isn’t a magic wand. It’s a long haul, and it won’t necessarily be the current generation that benefits most from independence.

If I could vote for my region to have independence from the South East centric elites that comprise our government I would. Even if there is a no vote on Thursday the only thing it’ll guarantee is that Scotland will be back to the polls on this same issue in ten or twenty years time.

It’s plain to see whats going on from the news reports. When BBC cameras are pointed at the Yes campaign, there are a sea of faces, and lots of noise. When the cameras are pointed at the No camp, it’s five people in a line behind Darling, or Miliband, or Brown with an empty street in the background. I’m confident that the SNP have this one in the bag, at this stage. There’s no momentum left in the No camp.

So, any chance you’ll be accepting refugees from the other Celtic nations once you have your independence, guys?”

My only criticisms are that Kernow gives the Yes campaign a bit better press than they really deserve, it really hasn’t been strong on pointing out that independence will entail hard work and probably hard times, especially during the transitional period. Also the No side has certainly had a much greater, and mostly positive, press coverage in the last two or three days so from that point of view the Yes movement seems to have stalled. But I am told that on social media the situation is quite different. I’m not competent with Twitter and barely capable with FB so can’t confirm or deny that one. FInally its the Yes campaign, not the SNP, who are winning the race.

And here is a link to a letter written by William Pinkney-Baird, an English student: it is a well-formulated cogent argument for a Scotland that is independant of governance from Westminster (https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/william-pinkneybaird/letter-to-young-people-in-scotland). The letter is long so only I quote his closing paragraph:

“In a couple of short weeks, you will be faced with the decision of a lifetime. A choice either to accept the status quo of undemocratic rule from Westminster, including the youth unemployment and critical threats to free education and the NHS that come with it, or to reject this in favour of democracy, for a government that you can better hold to account to look after your needs. Independence will not solve every problem, for the young people of Scotland or for anyone. But I do believe that the benefits of independence—for young people as for everyone else—will be well worth any risks or uncertainties.”

I don’t think it is an exaggeration to claim that this is part of a quiet revolution. It has come out of the cupboard to confront the beast of neo-liberalism head-on.


Dave Simonds cartoon on London's economic dominance

cartoon by Dave Simmonds

The mainstream press in Scotland can still come up with a truth or two. For example;

The Prime Minister talks about the ties that bind the Union, in other words, but heads a government and a parliament that barely seems to register Scotland’s existence, except at those rare moments when we threaten the Union with imminent extinction; and to say that this is no way to run a mature and functioning democracy is to understate the case.

The truth is that over the last generation, Westminster has become increasingly unrepresentative of anyone except a narrow caste of career politicians; has become steadily more dependent on funding by wealthy individuals and corporations; has – as a consequence – largely ceased to offer a real political choice between neo-liberal orthodoxy and other approaches to creating a good society; and has been found guilty of spectacular levels of greed and corruption in relation to its own expenses system.

… there are questions to be asked about how far we should allow our decisions on Scotland’s future to be shaped by the representatives of what is essentially a failed financial system, now propped up only by taxpayer subsidy taken out of our own pockets.

And not only are those structures still in place six years on, but they are still seeking to impose their failed ideology on ever-larger swathes of the planet. The next scheme, courtesy of global corporate lobbying, is the so-called TTIP, or Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, an imminent EU/US deal which will effectively forbid governments from running public services, and force them – regardless of the views of voters – to open up all services, including the NHS, for commercial exploitation.

And this is the paradox at the heart of the referendum debate, as we reach its final hours. On one hand, we are told of what are clearly real economic risks associated with independence. Yet, on the other, we cannot help but be aware that those risks are often being imposed, and even engineered, by corporations and structures whose power needs to be challenged – thoroughly, bravely and soon – if democracy is to have any chance of surviving and thriving in the 21st century.

To vote Yes next Thursday, in the spirit of the remarkable grassroots campaign for re-empowerment that has swept Scotland over the last year, is to throw down that challenge and to accept the consequences, whatever they may be.


Genuine democracy at work is something rarely seen today, when political campaigns tend to be run by lobbyists in the pockets of the ultra-rich. An opinion poll predicts that next Thursday more than 80% of the electorate will cast their votes. Since when did a general election in any Western “democracy” come near to such a figure? This energy has been generated by the Yes Scotland campaign, not by the Westminster politicians currently rushing to Scotland in desperation – behaviour reminicent of lemmings rather than people.

By the standards of any fair society, Yes deserves to win.