How do we win a majority for independence?

The Scottish Socialist Party is committed to independence and has been for 20 years. Like other YES supporters disappointed by the 2014 result we believe our case needs improvement if it is to secure majority support.

Whilst the Sustainable Growth Commission’s attempt to address why we lost is welcome, it unfortunately draws all the wrong conclusions. It presents a very conservative prospectus based on orthodox free market thinking and appears to see an independent Scotland run by and for finance capital and multinational corporations.

That view does not serve the interests of the majority.

This vision of independence undermines the material interests of working-class Scots, the very constituency we need to persuade most. Scotland’s economy is not best served by a ‘race to the bottom’ undercutting other low tax, low wage models.

Andrew Wilson’s report is designed to lure Edinburgh financiers, Aberdeen oilmen, Glasgow businessmen and Borders farmers to Yes, but in doing so risks losing the support of millions whose interests are not served by its conclusions.

The idea that financiers and farmers are the key to victory is not only wrong in itself, it alienates the working-class majority whose support we must secure.

The SSP believes Independence is about profound and fundamental change in the economic, social and political power structures of this country.

Yes activists will encounter no enthusiasm on the doorsteps for a prospectus that recommends austerity, reduced public spending, low taxes for the rich and keeping the pound.

The SSP believes an independent nation serious about exercising full control of monetary and fiscal powers needs to have its own currency.

The SSP played a widely respected role in ‘Yes Scotland’ in 2014. However, we cannot in all conscience advocate the SGC’s conclusions. If they are put at the heart of a second independence manifesto we will campaign elsewhere for Yes.

Given that Westminster is unlikely to grant a section 30 Order, permitting a legally binding 2nd referendum, our movement must consider what we do in such circumstances. Civil disobedience strategies should be considered but can only be effective if we command a majority.

How to win a majority is the key question facing the entire independence movement. We cannot lose again and the polls suggest we are behind as it stands, despite Brexit. The timing of any 2nd referendum is surely subordinate to that consideration.

The way to secure that authority is by persuading Scotland’s working class majority it will materially advance their economic, social and political conditions.

This means committing ourselves to, for example:

  • a £10 an hour Living Wage to end the scourge of poverty pay
  • ending precarious employment contracts
  • building 100,000 new publicly owned homes for rent
  • taking Scotland’s energy industry back into public hands
  • returning our railways and other utilities to public ownership
  • a progressive tax system that ends the widespread evasion by corporations and the rich

The SSP believes the need to secure majority support is one that confronts us all and should be at the forefront of our minds at all times.

One thought on “How do we win a majority for independence?

  1. With the ongoing mess that the Westminster government is currently making of Brexit it is becoming more than likely that Scotland will return to being an Independent country in the near future.

    The First Minister has fired the starting gun but what would Independence mean for ordinary folk? The pro-independence political parties talk up a storm but don’t appear to have any overall planning in place (or they are not telling us).

    Once we have Independence, no one seems to know what the New Scotland is going to be like – for us, for our senior citizens, for our bairns.

    Seemingly with very few answers anywhere, or from anyone, and with Independence possibly just around the corner, the authors have prepared ‘The Prospectus for an Independent Scotland’, setting out what most likely would need to happen right away, and, just as importantly, what we believe would be in our power to create for the betterment of all of us, for the environment and for the Nation.

    In just a few pages we have analysed 20 different subjects from the Currency to Pensions, Farming and Fishing to Sport and Leisure – hopefully something for everyone to read through and review; with each topic set out in two parts “what needs to happen” and “what we could achieve”.

    We start with a Timeline Chart setting out a visual picture of an achievable path to Independence.

    In chapters 1 and 2 we look at the future governance of Scotland particularly the importance of a written Constitution; the need to having one is being demonstrated by the bourach that is the Brexit process; the UK does not have a written Constitution and that enables any party with a majority to overturn any law.

    A written Constitution holds the government of the day to rules agreed following debate and agreement by the people.

    For example this will include preparations to convert to a domestic currency within the first term of Governance after Independence. We are not seeking Independence in order to continue with the current corrupted banking system controlled by private banks but a reformed banking system regulated by the Scottish Central Bank (SCB) to issue currency and to fairly serve the needs of us all.
    With the Government as the sole supply of money (cash and credit) issued through the SCB, investing in government infrastructure projects (materials and labour only) will provide jobs and value in the local communities, as was achieved between 1955 and 1961. There can also be a Living Wage to end the scourge of poverty pay.

    In chapter 4 we look at a range of measures to boost the economy, including replacing the current onerous taxation system with a simpler progressive system that is geared to Scotland’s needs.

    In chapter 13 we look at protection of our current pensions, plans to raise pension levels to European standards and safeguard pension contracts with foreign countries. We also look at a system to enhance our national government pensions,

    In chapter 14 we look at the housing situation and how to provide an adequate stock of lower cost quality housing more in line with wages.

    In chapter 18 we examine immigration and emigration issues geared towards the welcoming Scottish national needs.

    In addition to the issues raised in our 20 chapters we also include a range of relevant references for those who seek further in-depth information.

    This is your introduction to the Prospectus for an Independent Scotland that can be read at ( so please share it with friends.

    Any comments, disagreement or approvals will be most welcome. Please write to

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