Workers need to vote Yes

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SAVE THE YARDS: only a Yes vote can save Scotland’s shipyards – in the 1979 referendum, the No camp promised to save jobs but all we got was rampant Thatcherism under Tories and New Labour

by Richie Venton, SSP national workplace organiser and USDAW workplace convener The working class make up the vast majority population, but we get a shrinking minority of the wealth we create in the first place. Successive Westminster governments have widened the wealth gap, and imposed laws to keep workers imprisoned as underpaid wealth-creators for the tiny privileged minority who dictate over us.

Wages are at their lowest share of national wealth since records began in 1956. Company chief executives earned the average annual worker’s wage – £26,000 – in one and a half days this year: by midday on Fat Cat Wednesday 3 January. A million Scots are officially below the breadline, and 52 per cent of these are in jobs, working to stay poor.

Class is at the heart of the choice on 18 September. If a Yes vote endangered the livelihoods of millions of working class Scots, why would the Tories have already planned a champagne party in London to celebrate a No vote?

Why would multimillionaires, their hired media and puppet politicians have spent two years lying and scaremongering to terrify us into voting No? These remote exploiters know something they don’t want us to know. They rely heavily on the natural, human, financial and industrial wealth of Scotland to subsidise the rest of the UK – and have done for over 30 years.

Professor Brian Ashcroft – economist, opponent of independence, husband of former Labour leader Wendy Alexander – has written that if Scotland had been independent since 1981, by 2013 it would have a budget surplus of £68billion – instead of about £120billion share of the UK’s debt of £1.3trillion.

Scotland not only exports food, oil, gas, whisky, engineering, etc, but also taxes to Westminster; £4.4billion of them in 2011-12 alone! So imagine how much better off the working class potentially could be – if we not only had independent control of this wealth, but also a socialist government that re-distributed it fairly.

The Old Etonian boot-boys in Westminster, the City of London and company boardrooms can imagine this: that’s the core reason they oppose Scottish independence! That, and their fear of losing the power to park devilish weapons of mass destruction on the Clyde, so they can strut the world stage in the shadow of the big boys of US imperialism.

Workers wouldn’t vote to JOIN the dis-United Kingdom where the richest five families have more wealth than the poorest 12 million people – so why vote No and remain part of this class-divided hell-house? Why vote No so we stay under Tory dictatorship, or even a Tory-UKIP alliance, or at best a Labour government that openly supports 90 per cent of the Tories’ cuts to jobs, services, benefits and wages?

Why vote No and gamble on Westminster granting a few extra powers over income tax, whilst Westminster kept hold of the purse strings, dishing out another £25billion cuts next year, but letting Holyrood take the blame for the GBH committed against the working class – the worst of both worlds?!

Vote Yes to then demand a fundamental redistribution of wealth and power to the working class. Vote Yes and organise to build for a majority socialist government with the power and willpower to introduce a decent minimum wage of at least £9 an hour, with pensions to match.

Vote Yes to scrap the most repressive anti-union laws in all of Europe and embed a charter of workers’ rights in the constitution. To scrap Trident and invest in peaceful jobs. To invest in the NHS, education, childcare and public services through progressive taxation of the rich and big business. To take Royal Mail, the energy industry, construction, transport, banks and big businesses into democratic public ownership.

Vote Yes to banish the dictatorship of the Tories and big business – and join the SSP to campaign for the construction of an independent socialist Scotland; for majority rule by and for the working class. Vote Yes to change the world, starting at home!

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