Government & Politics

govtpolitics1

Won’t we get more powers anyway if we vote no?

The only way for Scotland to get all the powers needed to make Scotland a better place is through independence.

The main three parties are now talking about extra powers if we say no to independence but:

  • The only extra ‘powers’ being presented are tax raising; no control of welfare, defence, or increased representation in Europe.
  • David Cameron has warned Scots that a substantial increase in financial powers is not an option. Sources close to the Prime Minister have said devo max is “inconsistent” with staying in the UK.
  • They cannot agree on to what levels this tax will be increased.
  • There is no provision for Scotland to change or create government policies to raise income – except through increased taxes.
  • The Conservative and Labour parties are both committed to a FURTHER £25 billion cuts. Cutting public spending in the UK will lead to further cuts in Scotland’s block grant.
  • The Scottish parties cannot even make promises. Only the UK parliament can ‘gift’ us extra powers. It is a gift because it can be taken away at any time.
  • Any change sanctioned by the UK parliament would only be after extensive debate in a hostile environment. The Conservatives’ recent swing to the right and the popularity of UKIP will almost certainly mean cuts in devolution, not increases.

History tells us that as soon as the threat of independence is over, Scotland experiences cutbacks, not more powers. After the referendum in 1979 when powers were promised, the next parliamentary session discussed Scottish affairs for 2 MINUTES.

A Panelbase poll in August 2013 found that 67% of Scottish voters think that a no vote in the referendum will see no new powers devolved to the Scottish Parliament, or powers being taken back by Westminster

“Westminster won’t devolve further power in the result of a No vote, for the simple reason that it won’t have to. Cameron fought to remove devo-max from the ballot for a reason. At the moment, the threat of independence is the only bargaining chip Scotland possesses, the only thing which prevents, for example, a lowering of our block grant….Westminster promised treats if we voted against devolution in 1979. What happened? Thatcherism.”

Alan Bissett, author and playwright

voting-no-consequences

I have never voted for the SNP, why should I vote Yes?

A Yes vote is not a vote for the current SNP Government or its policies.

The question on the ballot paper on 18th September is “Should Scotland be an independent country”. There are only two options – Yes or No.

There are no candidate names nor their party identities on the ballot paper. The referendum is not a party political issue, it’s about what type of country you want to live in.

Various groups have come together to in support of independence. They come from different political persuasions – and many non-political organisations – but they agree on one thing: that voting for independence is the best option for Scotland and our future.

The Yes Scotland Advisory Board is chaired by former Labour MP Dennis Canavan and includes the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish Greens’ Patrick Harvie, the SSP’s Colin Fox, as well as people who have no party political background. The chief executive, Blair Jenkins, has never been a member of a political party and one of the most active groups is Labour for Independence.

Following a ‘yes’ vote, the Scottish Government has promised that all parties, including those on the ‘No’ side and experts from outside politics, will play a role in the negotiations for an independent Scotland before Independence day in March 2016.

If there is a ‘yes’ vote, then in May 2016 there will be a Scottish election in which the people of Scotland will choose our first independent Scottish Government – which could be Labour or SNP, Greens or Lib Dem, SSP or Tory, or a completely new party.

Voting Yes means that from now on Scotland’s future will be in Scotland’s hands – and we will always get the governments we vote for.

Who are the organisations campaigning for Independence?

In alphabetical order we have:

1001
The 10.01 Campaign – 1001campaign.com

  • The 1001 Campaign is an umbrella group, focusing the resources and energy of the Scottish Left on a Yes vote in the referendum.
  • That being so, all groups or committees who join up will maintain their autonomy. Our modus operandi is Educate-Organise-Agitate, through both traditional campaigning and the use of modern communication techniques.
  • Our campaign will engage the latent talent within the Scottish working class and enliven the debate with different personalities and robust opinions.
  • The 1001Campaign promotes a socialist programme of government after independence, seeking a mandate for that programme in the referendum.
  • We will start as we aim to continue after September the 18th by; challenging corporate bullies, shaming the establishment on poverty and dismantling the intellectual basis of the British State.
  • Towards a Scotland free of fear.

academics-for-yes
Academics for Yes – academicsforyes.org
A Declaration of Independence, placing Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands:

  • We are best placed in an independent Scotland to develop the values and principles on which the Scottish higher education system was founded.
  • Education as a right, not a privilege, is a founding principle of Scotland’s democratic ethos, and is best secured in an independent Scotland.
  • The excellence of Scotland’s universities will be given an enhanced international profile by a government keener to welcome students from around the world than to exclude them.
  • The completion of the powers of the Scottish Parliament will provide the best context for Scottish universities to work with the Scottish Government and industry to develop Scotland’s economy for the benefit of all Scottish citizens.

For these four reasons we pledge our vote here to independence for Scotland.


business-for-scotland
Business for Scotland – businessforscotland.co.uk

  • Our members are business professionals, owners, directors and entrepreneurs from all over Scotland, some have small businesses, some fairly large ones, they also support different political parties and cover a wide range of business sectors
  • What unites them? Their unwavering belief that Scotland, and Scottish business can thrive as a result of voting Yes to become an independent country
  • Business for Scotland has attracted well over 2,200 individual members since our launch in March 2013

jimmy-reid-foundation
The Jimmy Reid Foundation reidfoundation.org

  • The Jimmy Reid Foundation has been established in memory of Jimmy Reid and to continue the legacy of radical political thinking his life represented.
  • The Scottish independence campaign provides a particular test of this position.
  • The majority of people across the Scottish left support independence – but not all do. The Foundation has sought to find a way to express the views of the many pro-independence academics and writers in Scotland while not excluding those who are not pro-independence.
  • Our response has been the Common Weal Project

Common Weal rejects 40 years of grasping, me-first politics, a survival-of-the-richest, winner-takes-all mentality which left us all in second place.

  • A Common Weal future is one in which politics puts all of us first.
  • It seeks to get us working together for the benefit of each other, not working against each other for the benefit of a few.
  • It is a politics which believes that to build more we must share more, that if wealth and resources are hoarded by a few it stifles creativity and investment.
  • It is a politics that celebrates and strengthens our welfare state and believes government should reflect the will of the people, not the will of the money markets.

labour-for-independence
Labour for Independence – labourforindy.com
Independence is out best chance to change, to shape our nation making it fairer and more equal. Giving our children the chance of a better future


mums-for-change
Mums for Change – mumsforchange.com

  • We are a group of mums who believe that Scotland would be a better place for all of our families if it were an independent country

national-collective
National Collective – nationalcollective.com

  • National Collective was founded by a small group of artists and writers based in Edinburgh in 2011.
  • Since then it has grown significantly across Scotland with over 2,000 members.
  • It is the non-party movement for artists and creatives who support Scottish independence.
  • Our organisation was founded with the aims of arguing the positive case for Scottish independence and imagining a better Scotland.

nhs-for-yes
NHS for Yes – nhsforyes.org

  • NHS for Yes is a group representing virtually every grade of every speciality within NHS Scotland
  • Scotland NHS has evolved and developed over 65 years and is admired throughout the world. Under devolution steps have been taken to protect our NHS whilst the NHS south of the border has developed very differently from our own

radical-independence
Radical Independence
radicalindependence.org

  • We believe Scotland should be a people’s democracy, a society of equality, a great welfare state, a good neighbour, and pioneer a just economy.
  • We believe this better Scotland can only begin with independence, so on September 18th 2014, we are voting Yes.”
  • Another Scotland Is Possible

scots-asians-for-independence
Scots Asians for Yes
safi4yes.wordpress.com

  • We are an open and diverse network of people who have settled in Scotland from the Asian sub-continent and who support independence for Scotland and will work with others for a Yes vote in the referendum.
  • We will ensure that there will be a space for our voices and interests in the campaign. Independence will create opportunities for all of us to engage in developing a fully democratic vision for Scotland’s future.

scottish-greens
Scottish Greens
scottishgreens.org.uk/

  • We support a Yes vote on September 18. Bringing political and economic structures and decision-making closer to the Scottish people is a core Green principle and ambition.
  • The independence referendum isn’t a choice between utopia and disaster; it’s a chance to take responsibility for ourselves.
  • We believe it’s an opportunity we can’t afford to miss.

scottish-independence-convention
The Scottish Independence Conventionscottishindependenceconvention.org

  • The Scottish Independence Convention was formed in 2005 as a cross-party/no-party group whose purpose was to promote independence and create a space for co-operation outside the party boundaries.

snp
Scottish National Party
snp.org
A left leaning political party in Sxcotland which campaigns for Scottish Independence and advocates secession from the United Kingdom


scottish-socialist-party
Scottish Socialist Party
scottishsocialistparty.org

  • The SSP is striving to create an independent, nuclear-free,multi-cultural, Scottish socialist republic.
  • That is a long term goal. In the short term, we can take a mighty leap forward towards that goal by breaking free of the suffocating stranglehold of the British state.
  • The SSP has never hidden its socialist politics. We are a working class party that stands up for ordinary people against big business and the rich. Our flag is deepest red.
  • But we work with other parties on the immediate objective of independence.

trade-unionists
Trade Unionists for Scotland
tufsi.org/wp

  • The campaign for Scottish Independence encompasses people from all different walks of life.
  • We, as trade unionists, are proud socialists whose involvement in this campaign is based on our vision of an Independent Scottish nation which will firmly place the needs of its people before the greed of the individual.
  • We are internationalists and strive not for an insular nation but for an outward welcoming nation that stretches out a hand of friendship to our neighbours rather than envy its resources with a view to plundering them.
  • We strive for a nation that has at it heart Global peace rather than Global warming.

third-sector-for-yes
Third Sector Yes
thirdsectoryes.org

  • Third Sector for Yes is a group of people who are involved in the third sector and are keen to build support for a Yes vote next year.
  • Acting in a personal capacity, we aim to use our experience in third sector issues to bring to life how and why we think independence would deliver better outcomes for vulnerable people and the environment.

wealthy-nation
Wealthy Nation
wealthynation.org

  • This September Scotland has a huge opportunity. It has taken over 300 years to come around, and it might not come around again for a while.
  • Scotland is a Wealthy Nation but the people of Scotland do not greatly benefit from that wealth.
  • Scotland is held back by a combination of Westminster mismanagement of our economy and a lack of understanding on how to generate the wealth of a nation such as Scotland.
  • Wealthy Nation has been founded by a group of right of centre, business people, academics, creatives and entrepreneurs who wish to break the tired old politico-economic consensus and point out that people with what are often referred to as conservative views don’t need to be unionists, and that they should in fact support independence for Scotland.

women-for-independence
Women for Independence
womenforindependence.org

  • We are an open and diverse network of women who support independence for Scotland and will work with others for a Yes vote in the referendum.
  • We are a broad-based campaigning group who plan to LISTEN to Scotland’s women. We aim to ensure women are involved in the democratic process, in the independence debate.
How – and what is the timescale for Scotland to become independent?

After a Yes vote in the referendum on 18th September 2014, Scotland would become an independent country on 24th March 2016 – our Independence Day.

In the 18 months between the referendum and Independence Day, the Scottish & Westminster Governments would reach agreement on a range of issues and full powers would be transferred from London to Scotland.

Agreements would be reached, for example, on Scotland’s share of the £1.6 trillion national debt and our share of the UK’s £1.3 trillion of assets. Arrangements will be put in place to ensure a smooth transfer of management of government functions, so that there is continuity of tax arrangements (including tax credits) and social security and pension payments.

During this 18 month period, the Scottish Government would also reach agreement with the EU, so that Scotland can become a member state in our own right.

The UK government’s legal adviser, Professor James Crawford, has agreed that 18 months is a ‘realistic’ timetable for the various international aspects of Scotland’s transition to independence.

Both the Scottish and UK governments have signed the Edinburgh Agreement, which commits both sides to respect the result of the referendum and to work together cooperatively in the interests of Scotland and the rest of the UK.

“The government has actually set out in its White Paper a reasonable timetable for implementing changes”

Professor Dunleavy, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy within the Government Department of the London School of Economics.

Timetable for the handover of functions to a Scottish state

Will it not cost more to run Scotland after Independence Day?

No. The Scottish Parliament currently provides a range of key services, and Scotland already has the infrastructure in place to run the most important services that Westminster currently manages.

This includes tax offices and social security offices (with almost all welfare payments for people in Scotland administered in Scotland) and also a defence infrastructure, including naval, army and air force bases.

Scottish taxpayers already pay for the costs of the state. The money we contribute will simply be used to pay for services and staff based in Scotland – a move that will create new jobs and opportunities here in Scotland. For example, we’ll no longer have to contribute £50 million a year to pay for politicians at Westminster.

Further reading:
Transitioning to a new Scottish state ebook (pdf)

We can afford to set up a new Scotland – but what will it cost?

The following is an extract from ‘Transitioning To A New Scottish State’ by Professor Patrick Dunleavy of the London School of Economics.

“An independent Scotland would face immediate set-up costs of up to £200 million in creating new administrative structures that duplicate UK institutions, but could also streamline many public bodies. During the transition process, the Scottish government could agree contracts or service deals with London to maintain existing back office support system (mainly involving IT) in collecting taxes, paying benefits and organizing complex defence systems.”

The report looks at:

  • The key tasks of achieving a smooth transition
  • The timetable of transition
  • Main costs of transition
  • Negotiations between Scotland and rest of UK

The report goes on to examine in  detail:

  • How the Scottish Government would operate
  • What new government bodies would need to be established
  • Establishing a Scottish Defence Force
  • Setting up Scottish embassies
  • Use of existing UK and setting up new Scottish offices
  • Timetable for the handover of functions to a Scottish state
  • Initial set up costs
  • Ongoing costs to complete the transition over several years
  • Cost savings by doing things differently
  • Scotland’s assets and liabilities

The report also states:

The importance of the post-referendum negotiations

When a UK general election looms, all the main parties with a chance of being in government get a degree of access to the civil service, and to government documents and statistics, so that they can be briefed on the realities they would face, should they come to power. The aim is to help them put well-costed policies in place, before they begin making election promises to voters.

There has been no equivalent process for Scotland’s referendum. Westminster ministers have instead given no information at all to the Scottish government or their officials.

Whitehall has been forbidden to discuss issues with Scottish officials and to do any contingency planning for independence, in case the conclusions suggest independence would not cause major problems. (The only exception here is the Bank of England, where Mervyn King gave permission for its officials to hold technical discussions with Scottish planners.)

Yet most of the information needed to understand the transition costs for an independent Scotland lies not in Edinburgh, but in London, where the reserved functions are administered.

Ironically too, UK ministers like Danny Alexander, and unionist parties in the Scottish Parliament, have repeatedly pressed the Scottish government to specify transition costs that are many years down the track and will depend extensively on:

  • how Scottish voters choose MSPs in 2016;
  • which government is formed then;
  • what policy decisions Scottish MPs then make

Conclusions

We can say with some confidence that Scotland’s immediate set-up costs are likely to be constrained – perhaps up to £200 million in creating new versions of a few but big existing UK department capabilities.

Scotland’s transition costs are also likely to be significantly offset by:

  • some significant ‘streamlining’ savings initially;
  • the elimination of many ‘legacy’ complexities
  • the generally easier process of managing a smaller government machine;
  • some substantial policy savings in areas such as defence

The two absolutely critical influences on Scotland’s likely transition costs are:

  • the realism of Scottish government planning for independence, which generally seems high, but assumes a moderate and rationalist rUK stance; and
  • the stance that London ministers would actually take in negotiations over the transition, which remains largely undefined

The long-run viability of an independent Scottish state is generally high.

In the short term what gains would we see from independence?

As part of Scotland’s Future, the white paper on independence, the current Scottish Government set out a number of examples of what could be done that could not be done as part of the UK. There is every probability that whatever government is elected to the first independent Scottish Parliament in 2016 would have a similar programme.

  • Free childcare extended to give our children the best start in life and make it easier for parents to return to work
  • Abolition of the “bedroom tax”
  • Stopping the rollout of Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments
  • The first steps towards a fairer tax system:
    • basic rate tax allowances and tax credits rise at least in line with inflation
    • ending of the married couples tax allowance
    • abolishing the Shares for Rights scheme
  • Pensioners’ incomes protected with the triple lock so that pensions increase every year by either inflation, earnings, or 2.5%, whichever is highest
  • Return of the Royal Mail to public ownership in Scotland
  • A Fair Work Commission and a guarantee that the minimum wage will rise at least in line with inflation
  • Support for energy efficiency and the roll out of green technology to reduce energy bills by around 5%
Could we not have Devo Max?

No, the Scottish Government wanted Devo Max as the third question on the ballot paper, but this was rejected. Devo Max, or any degree of extra devolution is NOT on the ballot paper. The only question you need to answer is “Should Scotland be an independent nation” – Yes or No.

Note: A common definition of devolution max is that it is full devolution of all powers with the exception of defence and foreign affairs.

If Westminster can ‘give’ Scotland more powers, can they take them away?

They most certainly can.

In December 2013 the Scottish Parliament was stripped of a key energy power after a House of Lords amendment was backed by MPs. Amendment 54 of the Energy bill stripped the Scottish parliament’s powers to control energy renewables obligation in Scotland. There was no consultation with the Scottish Government.

If you vote ‘No’ you massively change the balance of power and they will not only give you nothing, but will probably take powers away from the Scottish Parliament”.

Andrew Neil, Unionist and leading Westminster expert

govtpolitics2

What would happen if we did get extra powers after a ‘no’ vote?

Assuming that there will be some measure of extra devolution, only tax raising  powers are on the table.

The UK government will then be able to claim that since we have been given more devolution, our block grant should be cut – or the Barnett Formula which is used to work out the block grant should be scrapped altogether. The Barnett formula is very unpopular amongst the 533 English MPs (we have 59 MPs), with many taking the view that Scotland gets too much money. This puts £4 billion of our block grant at risk.

“There is generalised hostility to the Barnett formula in Whitehall and Westminster, on the basis of what is perceived as excessive levels of public expenditure in Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

Professor David Heald, Aberdeen University

In place of the  £4 billion Barnett element of the block grant, Scottish tax payers and businesses will be landed with extra taxes.

The only way we will be able to provide essential services will be to:

  • Put up income tax
  • Pay for prescriptions
  • Pay for university education
  • Cancel free bus passes and
  • Increase council tax
  • We will probably have to go down the Westminster route of privatising the Scottish NHS
What is the Barnett Formula and what does it mean to Scotland?

The Barnett formula is a complex method used to calculate an adjustment to the amount of the block grant funding allocated to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The starting point for calculating the Barnett element of the block grant is not how much in taxes we send to Westminster but how much England spends. If England spends less, our block grant is reduced.

A measure of how an economy is performing is its ‘deficit’ – the difference between revenues and spending. If spending is higher than income the difference has to be borrowed.

The UK deficit for the month of June 2014 was £11.4 billion, which was then added to the county’s National Debt. The debt is now a staggering £1.305 trillion (£1,305 billion or £1,305,000,000,000).

The government borrowed £11.4 billion in June, just £100 million less than the same month last year.It also brought total public sector net debt to a record £1.305 trillion in June.

The UK has tried to bring the deficit under control by cutting public spending, with social security and benefits bearing the brunt of these cuts. This approach has impacted negatively on almost every aspect of life. As well as enforcing the cuts, England has also embarked on further cost savings by out-sourcing parts of their operations to private firms. The increasing privatisation of the English NHS is well known, but it is also being done or planned in other sectors:

  • Police and Security Operations
  • Prisons
  • Probation Services
  • Schools
  • Student Loans
  • Housing and Land Registry

Any further cost savings realised reduce the total spending in England – which then reduces Scotland’s block grant.

Scotland’s annual block grant is set to be cut by hundreds of millions of pounds in a knock-on effect from George Osborne’s attempt to find £11.5 billion of extra savings across Whitehall budgets.

In fact, any reduction in English costs through straightforward budgeted cuts or through privatisation in any of the devolved activities reduces Scotland’s block grant.

The following activities are devolved to Scotland:

  • agriculture, forestry and fisheries
  • education and training
  • environment
  • health and social services
  • housing
  • law and order
  • local government
  • sport and the arts
  • tourism and economic development
  • many aspects of transport
What questions should we be asking Westminster regarding Scotland’s future in the event of a ‘no’ vote?

There are many unanswered questions for the Westminster Government about the future for Scotland, if we vote No in the referendum. These include:

  • What new powers is the Scottish Parliament guaranteed to get if we vote No?
  • How does Westminster plan to reduce the National Debt from £1,300,000,000?
  • How can we afford the £1 billion/week interest payments on the National Debt?
  • Besides the austerity programme, what does the Westminster Government plan to do a bout reducing the national debt?
  • How does the Westminster Government plan to counter the concentration of wealth in London and the south east of England?
  • How does the Westminster Government plan to address inequality in the UK?
  • What guarantees are there for Scotland’s funding?
  • What further cuts are planned by the Westminster Government and how will these affect Scottish families?
  • How much will Scottish taxpayers be expected to contribute to the replacement of Trident?
  • What guarantee is there that Scotland will remain in the EU after the proposed in/out referendum in two years time?
  • What other punitive measures do they have in the pipeline, such as the bedroom tax, to meet their stated £25 billion austerity cuts?
  • What policies do they plan to implement to tackle poverty?
  • How much further will privatisation be rolled out in the UK – which impacts Scotland’s block grant?

In considering your choice between Scotland’s two futures, think about the answers given to these questions about the future by both sides of the debate.

What happens to Government departments?

There will be new government departments based in Scotland. We will have our own Treasury and Department of Foreign Affairs. But instead of paying for these services to be based in London, we will have them in Scotland, creating jobs here and boosting the Scottish economy.

Where we already run things independently – the NHS, education, local government and our legal system – these will continue to operate as they do now.

Will Scotland have embassies overseas?

Yes. A Scottish overseas network of between 70 and 90 embassies will be created, based on existing Scottish international offices and our share of UK overseas assets.

The proposed budget for Scotland’s overseas network will be significantly lower than Scottish taxpayers contribution to pay for the UK’s embassy network. Scotland’s overseas network will focussed more on promoting trade and economic opportunities for Scotland.

Where Scotland does not have an embassy, EU provides that Scottish citizens will be able to receive consular assistance at any EU Member State’s embassy.

Would a Yes vote confine the rest of the UK to permanent Tory governments?

No. Only twice since 1945 has the Scottish vote made a difference on who won the general election.

  • There have been 18 general elections since World War II
  • In none of these has a Conservative majority been turned into a Labour majority by Scottish votes
  • There have been two elections where a hung Parliament has been turned into a Labour majority by Scotland’s votes (1964 and October 1974)
  • In one election a Tory minority was changed to a Labour minority (February 1974)

Without Scotland, Labour would still have won:

  • In 1945 (with a majority of 143, down from 146)
  • In 1966 (75, down from 98)
  • In 1997 (137, down from 179)
  • In 2001 (127, down from 166)
  • In 2005 (43, down from 66)

scottish-votes

Will we keep the Queen?

The Queen is currently Head of State in Scotland, and would remain so in an independent Scotland.

The Scottish Government plans to retain the 1606 Union of the Crowns between Scotland and England. It is the 1707 Union of Parliaments that and independent Scotland would dissolve.

The Scottish Government policy is to retain the monarchy, on a similar basis to her role in Australia and Canada. At present, the Queen is Head of State of 16 Commonwealth countries – Scotland would be the 17th.

Has there been other independence referendums we could learn from?

Quebec held an independence referendum in 1995. Alain-G Gagnon, professor of political science at the University of Quebec, warns:

“People need to be aware, if you go for a referendum, if you lose it you will have to pay a price. You can’t lose the referendum and not lose something else.

“Scots should be advised that the centre always wants to protect itself. Even if they say they want to consider some devo max, forget it. They will say, ‘No, we shall not give them more power, look what they have done with the power they have’. Their strategy will be to limit the power of Holyrood.” The fact that there is a strong indy movement gives you the strength to protect your interests, to get the better deal from London.”

Plaid Cymru’s economic spokesman Jonathan Edwards insisted the Scottish should dismiss the three main pro-Union parties’ promise of more devolved powers, including over tax-setting, as “jam tomorrow” that will be reneged on if Scotland votes No.

Mr Edwards said that had been the Welsh experience: the recommendations of the cross-party consensual Silk Commission for devolved powers for the province had been “cherry picked” and “watered down” by the coalition government, when putting together the Wales Bill.

Since 1945, 30 countries have become independent following a referendum. The average length of time between the referendum and independence day was about 15 months.

I am a lifetime Labour supporter, why should I vote Yes?

A Panelbase opinion poll in June of this year revealed that 34% of Labour supporters will vote ‘Yes’. Included in that 34% are some of the best known stalwarts of the Labour movement. For more information on why these people are voting ‘Yes’, click on their names.

  • John Mulvey – Ex-Labour leader of Lothian Regional Council
  • Ian Newton – Former Labour election agent for Alistair Darling
  • Sir Charles Gray – Leader of Strathclyde Regional Council, 1986-1992
  • Alex Mosson – Former Lord Provost of Glasgow, 1993-2003
  • Carol Fox – Former Labour candidate
  • Bob Holman – Labour member of 53 years, founder of the Easterhouse Project
  • Dennis Canavan – Chair of Yes Scotland, former Labour MP for Falkirk West, 1974-2000
  • Lorna Binnie -PCS Union representative
  • Jamie Kerr – Vice Chairman of Renfrewshire South Council and Labour candidate
  • Tommy Sheppard – Ex Deputy General Secretary of Scottish Labour
  • Pat Kelly – Former President of the STUC, Scottish Secretary of PCS Union
  • Bob Thomson – Scottish Labour Party Chairman, 1990-91. Treasurer, 1993-99
  • Leslie Huckfield – Former Labour minister
  • Colin Fox – Former MSP, founder member of the Scottish Socialist Party
  • Eleanor McLaughlin – ex Edinburgh Lord Provost
  • Jim Sillars – former SNP and Labour MP
  • Tommy Sheridan – Joint convenor, Solidarity Party
  • Allan Grogan – Labour for Independence Leader and Labour Party member
  • Jeane Freeman – Special Advisor to Labour First Minister Jack McConnell, 2001-2005
  • Tommy Brennan – Ravenscraig trade union leader
  • Mike Dyer – A Labour Party Chairman
  • Deborah Waters – Deputy Leader, Labour for Independence
  • Debbie Figures – Labour for Independence and Unite the Union rep
  • John McAllion – Former Labour MP and MSP
  • Alex Bell – Chairman of Labour for Independence, and ex Labour Councillor, Dundee
  • Stephen Smellie – Deputy convener, Unison Scotland
  • Gary Wilson – Ex-Better Together Co-ordinator

More than 40 Unison union representatives including a dozen branch chairs and secretaries, have signed a Declaration of Support for Independence.

Seven of the famous Upper Clyde Shipbuilders work-in leaders signed an open letter:

“In an independent Scotland we will have the power to make the most of the opportunities of the future, building on our strengths, reindustrialising our nation, so that our shipyards have a strong future, and shipbuilders are guaranteed secure, fulfilling work.”

In solidarity,

  • David Torrance – UCS Coordinating Committee member
  • Linda Hamill – Shop Steward, Fairfield
  • Betty Kennedy – Telephone Supervisor (refused to disconnect phones when work-in began)
  • Jimmy Cloughley – UCS Coordinating Committee Member, Engineer Shop Steward, Fairfield
  • Ronnie Leighton – Convenor, Boilermakers, Linthouse
  • Tam Brotherston – Shop Steward, John Brown’s
  • John Gibb – Shop Steward, Fairfield

“In the last few months there has been a steady stream of former Labour stalwarts joining the ‘Yes’ campaign for Independence. None of these key figures of Scottish Labour have taken such decisions lightly. This steady erosion from Labour ranks has been going on for a long time as Labour has abandoned many of its core principles.”

John Jappy, former civil servant

“Independence will not mean the end of Labour but it might mean a rejuvenated Labour Party, a Labour Party free to make its own decisions, a Labour Party no longer dancing to Westminster’s tune. For every voter with Labour in their heart, the message is clear: don’t vote No to stop the SNP, vote Yes to reclaim the Labour Party.”

Nicola Sturgeon

“So like many people whose natural political home at one time would have been the Labour Party, when I think of the hierarchy leading the party today, I feel not that I have left the party, but that the party has left me. Only with the radical shake up of Scottish Independence can it return to its core ideals and again become a voice for the Scottish people, rather than the voice of a privileged, self-serving elite.”

Billy Kay, writer and journalist

“A union no longer fit for purpose, a political reality that forces Scots to accept governments and ideologies we have rejected time and time again.”

Colin Fox, SSP Leader

“I find worrying not only the coalition agenda under (David) Cameron and (Nick) Clegg but also that (Ed) Miliband and New Labour don’t offer anything really different. In short, I believe that an independent Scotland is an opportunity not only to free itself from Tories and a UK coalition agenda but also from the agenda of New Labour.”

Leslie Huckfield, former Labour minister

Further Reading

The Herald:  Why a Yes vote is the best thing for the people … and the Labour Party
The Guardian: A yes vote would unleash the most dangerous thing of all – hope