Scotland Stands with Gaza
I grew up with two influential political struggles that were a massive influence on me: the Miners Strike (1984/5) and the Anti-Apartheid Movement.
One lost, one won.
But the lesson learned from these movements wasn’t that political battles can be won and lost, but that Scotland can matter on an international stage. If the miner’s strike was all about solidarity, the anti-apartheid movement was about internationalism and universal justice through mass action.
Nelson Mandela was born on this day 18 July, in 1918. Today the Scottish Refugee Council celebrates Mandela’s legacy
#MandelaDay and we reflect on Scotland’s role in the world, past, future and present. By Mike Small
Are Britain’s actions or inactions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine something you can be proud of?
With at least half a million Palestinians (out of 1.8) being forced by Israel to evacuate their homes it’s worth reflecting who we’re being ‘Stronger Together’ for and how British foreign policy has shaped the world.
As the drones fly over Baghdad, and the full consequences of Blair’s disastrous war-torn terms in office become clear, as the most Eurosceptic Foreign Secretary since Viscount Halifax declared war in 1939 enters the Foreign Office, it’s clear that we need to Vote Yes join the world.
The No campaign relentlessly declares that only being part of Britain will we hold influence over the world. It’s a status that seems tied tightly to building warships and holding WMD. As examples from “Yo Blair” in 2006 to Cameron’s disastrous handling of European affairs recently, this high status is largely imaginary.
The myth of an alternative lay shattered with the dreams of Robin Cook’s ‘ethical foreign policy’. Britain, as a state, is institutionally committed to, and oriented around militarism.
My Hospital Has Vanished
The UK under Thatcher sided with the apartheid regime in the long 1980s and isolated us from the rest of the world. Now we stand isolated again side by side with the US supporting Israel as the massacre and atrocities in Gaza unfold before the world’s eyes. Today Israel is prepared to “significantly widen” its ground offensive against militants in the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said.
Three days ago 5000 people protested about the BBC coverage of the conflict and a petition of 45000 has been delivered to the BBC leadership. Once again we see our national broadcaster fail in a crucial moment.
Is this how you want to be represented in the world? There were 42 airstrikes across
#Gaza last night, 200 tank shells, 110 naval shells. Reportedly “a terrible night” in the south. Channel 4 news report Ali Hassan says Gaza Wafa hospital was evacuated late last night. Then it was hit by 15-20 rockets and shells. “It has been obliterated” he said. “My hospital has vanished”.
This is the shocking truth about UK Foreign Policy, not just now, but down time, captured by special interests, oblivious to public opinion, immersed in war. It’s difficult to know how you deal with a country that kills children on a beach in front of hundreds of journalists? But outright condemnation, international pressure, isolation, citizen solidarity, aid, openness to refugees and any support necessary would be the direction you would expect from any rational democratic government in light of these events: see Horror on Gaza Beach by New York Times Photographer here.
Interviewed in 2005, David Cameron was asked why Conservatives should be friends of Israel. He replied:
Because Conservatives believe in supporting democracy, defending freedom and standing up against terrorism. Israel is in the front line in the international struggle against terrorist violence and we should show solidarity with all involved in that fight. Conservatives also recognize Israel’s unique position as a lone democracy in a region that currently boasts no others.
There’s no better way to honour Nelson Mandela than to stand by the occupied people of Gaza and the refugees of Israeli abuse than to vote for Scotland to take its place in the world, for the first time and offer a real alternative to British foreign policy.