Vote Yes to throw off elite rule

A NEW SCOTLAND: a country run by the people is a country run for the people

by Jean Urquhart MSP and John Finnie MSP The referendum has seen the greatest explosion of political engagement in our lifetimes. People in Britain are generally told that it’s best if we let our betters make the decisions for us, but now Scots have our own future in our own hands, and we are proving more than up to the task.

This needn’t be a flash in the pan. If we vote Yes, real democracy, driven by ordinary people, could be the norm. The UK is a deeply elitist and undemocratic edifice. Decisions are stitched up between safe-seated politicians and self-serving corporate bosses before most voters ever hear about them.

In this environment it is hardly surprising that the state has become overwhelmingly captured by corporate power. Westminster governments, of either party, reliably take the side of big business against the interests of individuals and communities.

Global capital is powerful everywhere, of course, but very few countries have a political system as completely in thrall to the money men as that of the UK. So even if Scotland turned out only to be an average democracy, it would be a vast improvement. But we can aim a lot higher than that.

Armed with a newly-engaged population, fresh from the success of birthing our country anew; and with, for the first time, a written constitution that enshrines political, social and economic rights, Scotland has the chance to become a very different place.

In a country that works for people, not corporate interests, we could expect social and environmental justice to be protected and advanced. Public ownership of public services, including the railways and big energy firms, is vastly popular but held back by the power of big business – in a real democracy, it would be the obvious choice.

If power came equally to every vote and every voice instead of to each pound or dollar, we would bring about a fair distribution of our wealth. The rich would be taxed fairly and without sweetheart deals and loopholes, poverty wages would be outlawed, and the social security system would be a tool of protection, not coercion.

A country run by the people is a country run for the people. We’re voting Yes because this is Scotland’s chance to throw off the rule of elites, and make our future in our own image.

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