Baby Boxes VS Ballistic Bombs

After several packed rallies in support of independence in 2014 and the outcome that 53.5% of the city had voted YES Glasgow’s George Square in the centre of the city was re-named Freedom Square by the Indy Family.

Next Saturday, September 15th, that square will be packed to capacity with thousands of Scots from all walks of life who can sense in the air the approach of a new referendum and the chance to secure Scotland’s freedom from the restrictive yoke of Westminster rule this time round.

The rally is being organised by the grassroots Indy campaign group Hope Over Fear with support from scores of other grassroots YES Groups and campaigns like All Under One Banner, YES East Kilbride, YES Holytown, Scotland Land of the Brave, YES Bikers and many more. Thousands will march to the square from Clyde Place near to the Square. Some will arrive on their powerful motorbikes while others will assemble in the square from 10am in the morning to watch a film being shown on a gigantic screen especially hired for the day. The film is Braveheart. Some have suggested that film is unsuitable because it is historically inaccurate and even anti-English. In response I say ‘balderdash’

The film is an inspiring depiction of how many ordinary Scots fought with courage and elan to secure Scotland’s status as an independent country in the independence wars of 1295-96 to 1314.

The legends of William Wallace, Andrew Murray, Robert the Bruce and many others were born in the midst of those tumultuous years and against incredible odds the Scottish warriors eventually secured Scotland’s freedom from English domination.

 

The crucial Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 was fought over two bloody days on 23rd and 24th June that year and came to epitomise the tenacity and determination of the Scots to be free. Outnumbered heavily, by at least two to one, and less well-equipped than Edward II’s massive English force Robert the Bruce’s brave army won.

The film Braveheart attempts to condense more than 15 years of battles and shenanigans into a 3 hour film and in my opinion it is a cinematic masterpiece.

Of course it is not historically accurate throughout or precise in time frames but the kernel of the story is about courage and a desire to be free from foreign occupation. As for being anti-English should the fact it was English Kings and English Captains who did the invading and ordered the brutal subjugation of the Scots been hidden? Of course not.

While the significant fact that some Scots sided with the English rather than fight for freedom is also depicted. Remember William Wallace himself was betrayed by two Scotsmen before being ripped to shreds, literally, by the English. We will have to condense the condensed on September15th. We can’t show the whole film. It is too long. The rally itself starts at 11am. So the best 60 minutes will be broadcast in the Square.

That historical stuff is not relevant today many argue, particularly those of a unionist persuasion. But they are wrong. It is relevant. Relevant to illustrate that for hundreds of years Scotland was an independent country before the snide and secretive Treaty of Union was signed in 1707 without any form of common consent or knowledge with the connivance of a wholly unrepresentative and poorly attended Scottish Parliament who agreed to it in 1706. Scotland’s independence was signed away over 300 years ago and ever since there have been movements committed to returning her independent status. The arguments for independence have never been more powerful. Recently there was a public row involving the Scottish Government in Edinburgh and English Government in London which epitomised the choices facing those who reside in Scotland today.

The introduction of a ‘baby box’ scheme in August last year was lauded by some as a progressive policy and ridiculed by others as unnecessary. All new born babies in Scotland would qualify for clothes from new born to 6 months, a digital ear thermometer, a bath mat, a bath towel and books. The box itself also has a mattress, mattress protector and a fitted sheet. A straightforward registration form is completed by the midwife responsible for the birth of the new baby and is delivered to the baby’s home. All free of charge and for the specific benefit of the child and assistance to new parents or parent.

 

The respected Royal College of Midwifes has now called for the scheme to be rolled out across the UK.

Unionist politicians of both Tory blue and Labour red persuasions have been less than enthusiastic about the scheme and even suggested cheaply that it is more of a PR exercise than a child welfare policy.

However here is the rub. In the same week as the Royal College of Midwifes called for the Scottish Government’s baby box scheme to be rolled out across the UK the English Government was quite rightly being condemned for their perfidious role in the murder of innocent people, including children, in Yemen through their irresponsible and profit lust supply of weapons and missiles to Saudi Arabia.

Under the headline: ‘Exposed: British-made bombs used on civilian targets in Yemen’ the world renowned Amnesty International UK Group highlighted how British made bombs were being used by Saudi Arabia in Yemen to kill innocent civilians but because the trade was worth £2.94 Billion in 2017 alone the Malevolent May Tory Government was willing to turn a blind eye to the sordid and blood stained practice of arming Saudi Arabia. Of course such murky dealings are not the exclusive preserve of Tory Governments as the Blair/Brown Government was also up to its neck in shady and immoral arms deals.

 

The choice is clear. An independent Scottish Government able to progress and develop socially just and humanity enhancing policies like the ‘baby box’ scheme or more Westminster English Governments committed to the export and production of ‘ballistic bombs’. Baby boxes versus ballistic bombs, immoral and illegal nuclear weapons or investment in socially useful jobs with decent wages? These are the very real choices facing the people of Scotland. Independence in and of itself is not a destination. It is not the end of the journey. It is in fact only the start of the journey.

The journey to create a socially just, nuclear free and peace promoting country. Not everyone in an independent Scotland will endorse my socialist vision of an independent republic, not immediately, but the vast majority envisage an independent Scotland that shares out its vast wealth more equitably, that promotes the welfare of bairns before the hosting of bombs, that welcomes citizens who want to come and live and work in our country with a hand of friendship not a fist of fury.

Freedom Square on Saturday will be filled with those who have hope in their hearts and aspirations in their minds for a new and better Scotland to raise their children in. In a country so rich in natural resources like oil, gas, fish, land and renewable energy potential no child should be born into poverty. The oxymoron of the ‘working poor’ should be banished from our lexicon through real living wages protected by law and free trade unions.

Get yourself along to Freedom Square and listen to the 19 musical bands and performers, 5 SNP Members of the Scottish and Westminster Parliaments and fine collection of grassroots Indy supporters there to declare their continued commitment to an independent Scotland. I am also being afforded 5 minutes to convey my tuppence worth. There is a hard won and democratic triple lock mandate on the table right now. Our appeal to the SNP Government is simple — Use The Mandate, Name the Date and let us secure Scotland’s freedom not via the Claymore this time via IndyRef2.

Tommy Sheridan 

This Time It’s YES – Hope Over Fear

Image may contain: one or more people, crowd, sky and outdoor

On March 28th 2017 after several days of parliamentary debate, the Scottish Government voted by a majority, in favour of Indyref2.
That mandate was secured on the backs of the grassroots Indy Movement during the 2014 referendum, the 2015 General Election and the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.
Hope over Fear, and indeed many bloggers and commentators believe that mandate must be used and the date set for IndyRef2 to take place in September 2018 or, at the latest, April 2019.
Some say we must wait till the next Scottish elections and use them as a plebiscite on Independence in the hope there is a pro-indy majority returned. What if there isn’t? What then, after we’ve thrown away the very real and democratic mandate we already have?
Others say we must wait “till the time is right” echoing Mayhem’s position of “now is not the right time.” Since when are we willingly dancing to Wastemonsters tune?
In early 2013 the support for Independence was at 23%-25%.
We managed to increase the support to 45%+ by Sept 2014, due to an energetic and inspiring campaign from all the Yes groups, individuals and Pro-Indy political party’s, despite the Lie’s, Fears and unionist propaganda pedalled by the brittish establishment and their Msm lackey’s. None more so than the Bias Broadcasting Company.
The 45% has remained solid for more that 3yrs now.
Hope over Fear firmly believe that the very credibility of the Scottish Parliament is at risk if we simply disregard a democratically secured mandate.
We believe that a short 6 month campaign, led by grassroots activists throughout Scotland will be enough to increase the support for Independence by 10 to 20%.
Please click “going” and share the event throughout the Yes Family and let us unite in sending a message to the Scottish Government that we are ready to “USE THE MANDATE”

George – “Freedom” Square. Glasgow 

11am – 5pm 

 

 

From Our Tommy Sheridan

From Our Tommy Sheridan

From Our Tommy Sheridan Image may contain: 5 people, people sitting, people standing and indoorA wee blast from the past. Campaigning for my Private Members Bill to deliver universal free and healthy school meals to all of Scotland’s school pupils. It was a radical anti-poverty and pro-dietary health measure. It secured massive support from anti-poverty and pro-health groups impressed by the research we conducted and drew upon proving the benefits of the move. The example of Norway was particularly persuasive. The Scottish Trades Union Women’s Committee and lone parent group Gingerbread were very prominent supporters. It would have tackled the very real stigma attached to free school meals while improving the disposable income of hundreds of thousands of the working poor and struck a major blow against childhood obesity and related health problems like Diabetes 2. Alongside Labour’s John McAllion and the SNP’s Alex Neil, the co-sponsors of my Bill, we campaigned across Scotland and generated tremendous grassroots support throughout 2001/02. The Bill was written by the brilliant solicitor and social justice champion Mike Dailly. Sadly the Scottish Parliament was neither radical or visionary. The Labour/Liberal coalition government opposed it and relied on their Tory fellow travelers to muster the necessary votes to defeat the Bill in 2002. How ironic both Labour and the Liberals now profess their support for universally free and healthy school meals. Empty gesturing now given they had the power then to do it. There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

Tommy Said A good friend sent me a wee blast from the past which confirms I used to have some hair oan ma heid…Promoting the Free School Meals Bill in Dunoon in 2001.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALL Under One Banner ( CALLING YOUR YES BANNERS ON THE MARCH )

ALL Under One Banner ( CALLING YOUR YES BANNERS ON THE MARCH )

Solidarity Supports ALL UNDER ONE BANNER Image may contain: 3 people, crowd and outdoor

CALLING ALL YES/INDY GROUPS

BRING YOUR YES BANNERS ON THE MARCH

MARCH FOR INDEPENDENCE
5TH MAY- GLASGOW
KELVINGROVE PARK TO GEORGE SQUARE
GATHERING EARLY, LEAVE 11.30AM SHARP

The photo with this post is from 1st August 2015 and shows a brilliant Yes Isle of Arran banner hoisted proudly for all to see.
This year we would love to see the Yes banners of every Yes group in Scotland boldly on display throughout the entirety of the procession, and so we want to invite all Yes groups to plan ahead and make/commission their own Yes banner (if you haven’t already got one) and bring it on this Independence March to show that the Scottish Independence movement is strong and united and that there is no rest to Yes.
We greatly look forward to seeing this positively vibrant and colorful parade of Scottish society tens of thousands strong with waves of Yes banners and all manner of Scotland/Indy flags miles long.
In the meantime please keep an eye on this event page for all official updates concerning the big day….SAOR ALBA!

CLICK HERE FOR EVENT 

 

 

 

 

 

The Starting Pistol Has Been Fired By The Most Unlikely Of Groups

The starting pistol has been fired by the most unlikely of groups. No automatic alt text available.

The baker’s dozen Tories in Scotland have voted to allow the mechanism to strip Holyrood of any and all of its powers.
Now we must come together and defend OUR PARLIAMENT.

By Pat Lee Co-Convener Solidarity

Event Details Below 

On Friday, March 23rd, 2018

Hands Off Our Parliament (HOOP)

HANDS AROUND HOLYROOD

THE REPEAL BILL HAS RECENTLY BEEN RAILROADED THROUGH BOTH HOUSES AT WESTMINSTER AND – IN BREACH OF THE SCOTLAND ACT THAT FOUNDED THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT –

WITHOUT DEVOLUTION SETTLEMENT PROTECTION AND AMENDMENTS REGARDING SCOTLAND.

From March 2019, the “Henry VIII Clause” will allow the Tory UK Government to override legislation

that has been made without consent by Holyrood.

The Scotland Parliament is on the Tories wish list and moves will be made to reduce or cease the democratic rights that the Scottish people have enjoyed since devolution.

LET’S LEAVE OUR PARTY POLITICS AT HOME AND GATHER TOGETHER AT HOLYROOD IN UNITY TO SHOW HOW MUCH WE VALUE OUR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS AND TO TELL THE TORIES TO GET THEIR HANDS OFF OUR PARLIAMENT!

EVENT STARTS 10AM EVENT ENDS 5PM

SOLIDARITY SUPPORTS THIS EVENT ORGANISED BY #HandsOffOurParliament 

Go Along for a half-hour, 1 hour, or up to 7 hours!’

JUST BE THERE!

Buchanan Street to show solidarity with the 350 children and 6000 (in total)

“Friends and comrades,Image may contain: 1 person, text

On Saturday, there’s a demonstration in Buchanan Street to show solidarity with the 350 children and 6000 (in total) political prisoners currently in Israel. This is hosted by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign. There will be leafletting and discussions to give information on BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) and all help and support is appreciated.

If you can’t physically make it on the day, can you please share the event page so other people know.

Here’s a link to the event page on facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/events/558536294490683/

Use the Mandate following the Brexit Announcement

Use the Mandate following the Brexit Announcement

On December 12th 2017 amendment 158 to the EU Withdrawal Bill was tabled.”This amendment would prevent the powers of a minister of the crown under clause 7 of the Bill to fix problems in retained EU law from being exercised to amend the Scotland Act 1998 or the Government of Wales Act 2006” This amendment would have prevented ministers from using the new powers in the bill to amend the Scotland Act 1998 (also the Government of Wales Act  2006) this amendment was rejected by 315 votes to 291 all 13 Scottish Conservative MP’s voted against the amendment while all SNP,Scottish Labour and Scottish Lib Dem Mp’s voted for the amendment.The rejection of amendment 158 has undermined democracy and proven the hold that Westminster has on the devolved parliaments of the Uk. The future of Scotland’s devolved powers and parliament now is firmly in the hands of the Westminster elite as they can power grab without consultation with the Scottish Government or 59 MP’s (and also Welsh Assembly and it’s representatives respectively ). This has strengthened the cause for independence and has once again put the ball firmly into the hands of the Scottish Government who have a mandate to call an independence referendum as previously voted upon and passed through Holyrood. With this latest announcement the time for a second independence referendum is now. Scotland can not afford to lose powers it has already fought for at the ballot box and gained and any additional powers are no longer on the table while the Tories have control. As per my constitutional right I will be contacting my constituency MSP and list MSP’s to ask them to USE THE MANDATE #IndyRef2018 #UseTheMandate

By Sam Cook 

Solidarity Youth Officer 

Statement by Solidarity on the Catalan Question

Statement by Solidarity on the Catalan Question

Adopted by the Conference on 4th November 2017

This year is the 100th anniversary of the socialist revolution in Russia. One of the first things that this new socialist government in Russia did was to proclaim the right of nations to self determination. Shortly later the same principle was advanced by President Wilson of the USA. This principle has had a lasting impact on world history.

Sixteen of the states now making up the EU: Bulgaria,Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia had their origins in acts of self determination by which they won independence from larger states.

It is thus an act of utter hypocrisy for the EU to refuse to recognise the act of self determination by the people of Catalonia on the grounds that the vote was illegal under Spanish law. If the laws of once dominant states like Turkey, Austria, Britain, or Russia had been the sole consideration, most EU states would not exist. The principle of self determination holds that it is the wishes of the populations of the seceding territories that must ultimately be the deciding factor.

Although socialists support the right to self determination, we do not claim that secession is always socially progressive or in the interests of the working classes of the countries concerned. In some instances, for instances the breakups of Yugoslavia or the USSR, it has been catastrophic. But any attempt to prevent secessions that have broad popular support can only lead, at the very least to a heightening of national antagonisms and in the worst cases to the horrors of civil wars.

When we say that all socialists have a duty to defend the right of Catalonia to become independent following its recent referendum, we do not imply an endorsement of the economic and social policies of the Catalan government. Still less are we claiming that it will lead to a socialist Catalonia. But even among capitalist states, a democratic republic is to be prefered to monarchy, and socialists, as consistent defenders of democracy, must uphold the result of the popular vote.

Spanish nationalists argue that opinion polls show that only a minority support independence, but those polls pre-dated the repressive measures taken by the Government of Spain against the proposed referendum, which repression appears to have polarised opinion in favour of independence. Moreover, polls are no substitute for actual votes, or there would be no need for a right to vote. The polls were wrong about the UK referendum to leave the EU but the result of the vote is not contested on those grounds. The democratic  legitimacy of the referendum that rejected independence in Scotland is not questioned. In the Catalan case,   a considerably higher portion of the total electorate seem to have voted YES,  than  had voted NO in Scotland**. If the Scottish NO vote stands, so should the Catalan YES vote.

On this basis the case for secession is democratically uncontroversial. Opposition to the recognition of the result of the vote is an opposition to democracy itself.

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*** Analysis of the two votes

Catalonia

electorate 5313164

yes 2,044,038

no 177547

votes counted 2,221,585

Votes confiscated 750000

Total cast 2,971,585

Turnount 55.93%

Yes share of total counted 92.01%

Likely total yes vote 2734098

Likely Yes as % of electorate 51.46%

Scotland

electorate 4279365

Yes 1,617,989

No 2,001,926

Votes cast and counted 3,619,915

Turnout 84.59%

No as % of electorate 46.78%

It is assumed that the yes share of the confiscated votes would have been the same as the yes share of the counted votes, since there is no reason to suspect that the police preferentially confiscated no votes.