Latest ‘Radical’ Independence Campaign leaflet:
Front side: “Undecided? Here’s How We Can Change Scotland”
“Vote Yes. With independence we can:
Start a major programme for high-pay jobs …
Build great public housing – and because landlords won’t take a profit we can ensure affordable rents.
Get rid of a benefits system which causes anxiety and humiliation and replace it with one that creates security and respect.
End tax evasion so that corporations pay their fair share …
End zero-hours contracts, introduce a living wage and give workers a proper say (sic) at their work.
Make our communities great places to live …
Fix the UK’s disastrous pension system with a secure state pension and well-run occupational pension schemes.
Save £1 billion every year by not getting involved in pointless wars which kill our young men and women – and by not paying for another 50 years of nuclear weapons.
Pay for all of this by moving to a high-pay economy where people have money in their pockets and can pay tax – and in the meantime use wealth taxes on the very richest.
And say goodbye to the Tories because we’ll always get the government we vote for.”
You “can” get all of that through Westminster. To get it, you would need to elect a left-of-centre government, and, true enough, that is certainly not on offer at the moment. But the problem is not the existence of a parliament at UK level. The problem is the absence of a government elected on such policies.
You “can” get all of that through the parliament of an independent Scotland. But to get it, you would need to elect a left-of-centre government, and that is certainly not on offer at the moment. It would therefore not be enough to get independence for Scotland.
Nothing in the leaflet even attempts to explain why such policies “can” be implemented only in an independent Scotland but not at a UK-level. It therefore fails to put forward any reason for a ‘yes’ vote.
It confuses the question of whether Scotland should vote for independence with the question of what policies you might hope to see implemented.
The policies are hardly radical. The energy utilities, it seems, will be nationalized (“own our own national energy system”) but nothing else. Not even the banks, which do not merit even a passing mention. Workers control is certainly not on the agenda, only workers having a “proper say”. The pension system is going to be “fixed” but with no explanation of how. Scrap all immigration controls is not there either – albeit a rather difficult demand to raise when you’re demanding the creation of a border where previously there was not one.
It finishes with a collapse into straightforward Scottish nationalism: “We’ll always get the governments we vote for” – an argument and slogan criticized already in the article above.
Radicalism just isn’t what it used to be.