Duncan McCabe looks at the implications of last weeks GE2015 result and possible strategies for the radical independence movement. Join the discussion at 7pm Thursday 14th May, Chambers East, Meadowside, Dundee with invited guests Maggie Chapman and Carolyn Leckie.
The election result puts into sharper focus than ever the political divide between Scotland and England. Our democratic deficit is clear and whilst the spotlight is on the SNP landslide, that difference is also expressed by the 1 in 8 voters in England who voted UKIP, while that party received only a derisory number of votes in Scotland.
The first past the post electoral system has been rightly criticised, but in Scotland the increasingly astute Yes movement used it and voted tactically for the SNP to great effect. The SNP’s 50.2% is a result of the ’45’ voting tactically, and it is unlikely that many No voters have been converted since the referendum. It is important to remember this as calls for a second referendum become louder.
The SNP ran an anti-austerity campaign to great effect but with a majority Tory government they will find themselves powerless to stop it. It is possible that this scenario may swing more Scots behind calls for a second referendum, but at the very least a quarter of a million No voters must be converted to Yes and this needs more than slogans and demonstrations.
Continuing austerity means we must not only devise a coherent strategy for achieving independence as soon as possible, but also build a stronger, watertight economic case which solves the currency problem, comes to terms with low oil prices, and is both radical and implementable. We also need to be able to take this case to ‘middle class’ voters who were less inclined to vote Yes last year due to fear mongering about higher mortgage and insurance costs, and are less directly affected by austerity measures as well as elderly voters worried about pensions.
The RIC Spring Conference in Dundee was a starting point for a detailed discussion on a radical plan for independence, but much more work must be done and done fast if we want to be sure we can win a second indyref by 2020. A No vote in a second referendum would be an umitigated disaster.
RIC has recently developed a non-hierarchical constitution and put in place working groups on different policy areas. We are trying to create the structures required to build a democratic movement which can win the next referendum. It will not be enough to leave it all to the SNP or any other political party. Only the people can build a People’s Scotland.