Colin Fox: Growth Commission will “Torpedo” a future Yes Campaign


Scottish Socialist Party National spokesman and former Yes Scotland board member Colin Fox has warned that putting the right of centre Growth Commission conclusions at the core of a 2nd independence referendum ‘will torpedo the prospect of a 2014 style united Yes campaign.”

Commenting on plans by SNP leaders to adopt the stridently big business economic approach outlined in Andrew Wilson’s Report Fox said:

“The Sustainable Growth Commission was charged with improving the economic case that lost us the 2014 Referendum. But as I pointed out last May when the long awaited Report was finally published not only does it not improve the case in proposing cuts to public spending, privatisation, further austerity and the continued use of a currency Scotland cannot have any influence over, it presents an inferior one.

The wider YES movement will simply not rally behind this recommendation.

The SSP will certainly not participate in a Yes campaign based around this free market, right of centre economic prospectus. Rather we will work with others to put the case for Independence as meaning profound change, environmental sustainability and social justice for all in our new nation.

‘In aiming to placate the Edinburgh financiers, Aberdeen oilmen, Glasgow businessmen and big farmers who were involved –unlike the trade unions–in shaping the Report’s conclusions Wilson offers no material improvement to the often desperate circumstances facing Scotland’s working class majority.

Yet they are the strongest supporters of Independence precisely because they see progress coming from that route alone.

‘Reading the resolution to next months SNP Conference recommending the Growth Commission’s conclusions reminded me why I dismissed them back in May 2018 as something New Labour could have produced.

Its economics belong to the pre-crash Gordon Brown era and it politics represent classic Blairite ‘triangulation’. Wilson clearly believes Scotland’s working class are already ‘in the bag’ as far as Independence is concerned and concludes the SNP must therefore appeal above all to middle-class, ‘Middle Scotland’.

His fiscally conservative economics are therefore designed to appeal to Murrayfield and Milngavie, not Motherwell or Methil.

He promises Scotland’s working class majority more cuts and austerity and denies them the hope of a better life which led so many to vote YES in 2014.

‘Pandering to a wealthy elite not only risks losing the 45% support we won in 2014, it makes the task of winning over Scotland’s working class majority impossible. And without them YES cannot triumph.

‘The Scottish Socialist Party played an important part in the Yes campaign of 2014, one that was widely appreciated. I sat on the Yes Scotland Advisory Board and played a constructive, collegiate role. But we will be unable to do so again if the Growth Commission plan is put at the heart of Yes2.

We will not make a case for independence that says it’s ‘business as usual’ because we see Independence as utterly rejecting the failed model associated with the City of London and a faceless, unaccountable multinational elite. We see independence offering a unique new vision of Scotland one which puts the material wellbeing of the working class majority before greater riches for an out of touch, over-privileged elite.

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Contact : Ken Ferguson 07925 613145