‘Our message to the victims of Austerity’ by RIC’s Jonathon Shafi

In an article in the Herald Scotland, Jonathon Shafi, the co-founder of the Radical Independence Campaign speaks out.

SO it’s all agreed then?

George Osborne, Danny Alexander and Ed Balls have dismantled the case for Scottish independence through their sheer brilliance and that of their banking friends.

The right-wing and unionist media (that’s almost all of it) offers its wholehearted endorsement.

We independence supporters should just give up and go home.

Except most Scots don’t believe a word they say. The UK has the lowest level of trust in its politicians of any country in Europe – including Greece, Spain and Ireland.

Almost 40% of people in Britain almost never trust Westminster and that is likely to be worse in Scotland.

As George Osborne delights and amuses the British Establishment (Scotland branch) in expensive hotels, while avoiding questions from the press, he has no idea about the lives of people outside his own sugar-coated bubble.

In this era of austerity, hundreds of thousands of people in Scotland are at the sharp end of the system.

Pollsters and political strategists don’t usually pay attention to these people – they don’t vote in enough numbers. Formal politics fails to engage the population as a whole, wrapped up as it is in the neoliberal consensus.

All too often the people who make our society work are forgotten.

Now though, change is in the air. The Radical Independence Campaign has been targeting canvassing in areas “professional” politics does not enter.

We consistently get majority support for independence in these communities.

Now we are planning mass canvassing, starting in Easterhouse.

These communities make up a very large proportion of those eligible to vote. Better Together assumes they’ll stay home. That is why they have failed to engage with ordinary people, preferring to court the support of the corporations and big business.

“UKOK” could not be further from the reality of this austerity union. The average salary in Scotland is £25,000, yet 70% of the population live on less.

Everyone in that 70% is a victim of Britain’s unbalanced economy. The living standards of the mass of the population pale – to a breathtaking degree – next to the super rich.

All the polling and focus-group data suggests the poorest are less likely to vote in elections because they don’t believe it will make any difference.

To a large extent they are right: corporate Britain is sewn up for the rich.

But not voting does not represent an active consent for the British State.

Most people know they are the butt of Tory Britain’s “we’re all in it together” joke. It will not take much to galvanise that frustration into a clear understanding of just how bad Britain has been.

We tell the truth about Britain, and propose the radical solutions we need to bring about social change.

Naturally, establishment politicians and media will ignore us for the time being. They’ll probably keep making speeches and printing essays which argue Scotland is secretly Tory.

We couldn’t care less. From their establishment bunkers they’ve never really understood Scotland, and have rarely been so out of touch and illegitimate in their authority.

Their ivory tower is our opportunity.

On the streets – where we never see Better Together canvassers – persuading people UK plc has failed is not hard.

If we get people registered and out to vote, the status quo is in for a shock.

We oppose the big business stitch-up, and outline our alternative to austerity and privatisation.

Accusations of “narrow nationalism” are farcical when the forces which dominate the British State are as narrow as possible: millionaires with Eton educations and close friends in the world’s most powerful corporations.

A Yes vote on September 18 is a rejection of the City and the Westminster parties that have failed us.

If Scotland’s working people vote in large numbers, Scotland will become independent. That can result in a genuine challenge to neoliberalism.

And George Osborne will probably never understand why.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s