Westminster parliament maintains its rule
Rosie Kane, co-chair of the Scottish Socialist Alliance, gave the following speech in a personal capacity at the campaign launch. She was the SSA’s candidate in the election for Rutherglen and is a prominent anti-roads protester and environmentalist in Glasgow
Amidst the euphoria and relief of the general election there is a feeling that some sort of political revolution has taken place. And I honestly don’t think this is the case. Yes, things are different and, yes, the cruel Tory thumb has been lifted, but please let’s not be lulled into a false sense of security.
It seems to me that the referendum being offered by New Labour is a silencer. The two-question referendum was a clever election promise made in order to woo the Scottish electorate, who were fast becoming suspicious and disillusioned by Labour. Labour knew they had to come up with something and this is the crumb that they offered.
It worked, but now the Scottish people, in general, have been conned by clever-mouthed politicians that they are on their way to some sort of independence. The referendum is now being rushed through with no time or media attention to discussion amongst people about what it means. That of course is no accident.
The devolution referendum is definitely being rushed through so fast so there will be little or no time for any real debate, no chance to explore other possibilities. All we are being offered is a referendum, but there are many different views in Scotland and certainly a desire for real choices. It is fundamentally undemocratic and the Labour Party is well aware of this.
As an environmentalist, I have a lot of questions to ask about what real powers a devolved parliament would have and how it can make any difference in improving the environment in which we live. The issue of extending private finance for road building, shadow tolls and taxes for more road building is just one area in which the people of Scotland have no idea what role this so-called parliament will have.
The wider debate has been crushed in a disgusting manner. We, the Scottish public, should be given the opportunity to make an enlightened decision about the nation’s future.
If you equate Scotland to a household, then what we are being given is a little pocket money to go down to the local shop. What we want is the ability to buy a washing machine, a mortgage or a car, if we so wish.
I want to see a ballot paper that reflects the many different views of the Scottish nation. That is not too much to ask. What are they afraid of? We are not killjoys, or a fly in the ointment, though I have no doubt that accusation will be levelled at us. We are being realistic. The Scottish people are, at last, being given a chance. So let’s take hold of it and make it a real chance.
The proposed referendum is rigged. It does not go nearly far enough. Under this scheme any gains made towards self-determination can be taken back again by Westminster which still determines the future of Scotland.