Life, Energy, Ideas, Imagination

Compared to 2014, when Scotland was alive, the scene today is dreich: parties in Holyrood going through the motions; the SNP, a wee bit complacent, cantering towards victory, while Labour has already thrown in the towel.

What Scotland needs to come alive is people with fire in their bellies, life, energy, ideas, imagination, and will power. The political and cultural qualities that can lift us out of the rut we are in, and they are there for the tapping – if you the voters have the good sense to think outside the narrow box we were squashed back into by the defeat of independence.

I will cast my list vote for RISE, the new kid on the block, because it has has those qualities in spades. People like Cat Boyd in Glasgow and Colin Fox in the Lothians emerged from the referendum campaign full of ideas, and with the kind of commitment to the working class I thought had died with my generation.

In the coming Scottish Parliament election, RISE will be the only political organisation that will confront you with a truth full of future danger, and how we can rescue ourselves. That truth is about the Westminster election of 2020. With the boundary redistribution in England, the Tories will gain between twenty and twenty five more seats than they have now. Can we endure another Tory Government until 2025, and probably 2030? Can we put up with punitive policies that are presently depriving 30,000 disabled of their transport? l bet most people have not thought of 2020, but it is coming. We need to arm ourselves against it in the only way possible – starting a new drive to independence.

That, of course, begs the question ‘how’? Where is the mandate for a second independence referendum to come from if, as seems likely, it is not in the SNP manifesto?

Schedule 5 of the 1998 Scotland Act says the Tory government at Westminster has the power to grant or deny another referendum. Here we come to a clash between English principles of legality and a counter view, often expressed by our politicians, that the Scottish people are sovereign. In the 1953 case, where Scots contested Elizabeth’s ‘QEII’ title, one of our most eminent judges, Lord Cooper, said: “the principle of unlimited sovereignty of Parliament (he meant Westminster) is a distinctively English principle and has no counterpart in Scottish constitutional law.” An important distinction.

Have a look in the mirror and ask what kind of nation are we? Will we go and beg a Tory Government to grant us a second referendum? What will we do when it says no? As the Proclaimer’s song ‘Cap in Hand’ challenges, will we boast and then cower?

RISE has the answer. If elected in May, their MSPs will table the following resolution:

“Bearing in mind its unique status having been elected by the people of Scotland, and recognising its prime responsibility is to respond to circumstances that effect the economic and social wellbeing of the nation it represents, the Scottish Parliament resolves to assert its right to a mandate to call for and achieve a second referendum on independence, at the time of its choosing, during the lifetime of this Parliament.”

That is imagination combined with will power, anchored in the sovereignty of the nation, using the Parliament for the People. That resolution can change political reality and overcome any legal impediment from Westminster. Will the SNP and Greens dare to vote against such a motion? Not if they are to retain their integrity.

But achieving independence is not just about tabling a resolution asserting the sovereign right of the Scots to decide if and when. That resolution has to be backed by a vigorous, sustained independence campaign from now until we drive the 45 per cent up to 60 per cent. There has been no such campaign. We are where we were on 18 September 2014.

RISE aims to marry that resolution to the kind of effort now needed to re-energise the Yes movement, and build the majority we need; and then and only then exercise the mandate contained within the resolution. Intelligent people, ideas well thought out. Worth your second vote.

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  1. Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh says:

    As a stopgap untìl the “ì” glìtch ìs fìxed, folk mìght note that any accented versìon of the saìd vowel appears to work fìne –
    ì, į, í, î, ï, ī

  2. Ian Kirkwood says:

    I believe RISE has a handle on the danger; but not yet the solution. Boyd describes the problems well but has not vocalised an understanding of privatised economic rent, the essence of every civilisation, the surplus generated by cooperation which was the impetus behind people getting together to start with. The privatisation of that surplus doomed each of those civilisations down the ages.
    As Patrick Harvie said last night on Question Time, it is those sitting on property wealth who need to be turned upside down to loosen the change form their pockets. It is not theirs. It is the country’s. It is not created by them. Its collection costs them nothing (i.e. it is not a ‘tax’). It is created by our combined efforts as a society as we go about our daily lives. It is the revenue stream to collect instead of the taxes that wreak havoc with economies because of their 100% deadweight losses.
    Only when political parties start to see Annual Ground Rent (AGR) as the core solution can a path be steered away from inherited inequality.

  3. Ian Kirkwood says:

    Are hackers attempting to make our discussions incomprehensible?

  4. david says:

    Hmm. Rise, Solidarity, TUSC? There are probably more. Is there still an SSP, or has there been a reverse take-over by RISE? The disintegration and reorganisation of the left has been a feature for most of my sixty-ish years. I am tired of it. I want to live in a socialist republic, but frankly there are not enough of the target demographic for that ever to happen. A hundred years ago if everyone in demographics D and E voted for a socialist future, it would have happened. Now we would get Tommy Sheridan and a couple of councilors.

    Green is the new left. The so-called middle class (I am also tired of the class rhetoric that gets us nowhere) will have to vote for a progressive future if we want one, and they can probably be persuaded to vote Green. I don’t think they will vote RISE. Its not like the left lack practice in entryism, I think Shafters would look great in sandals.

    1. Not another front, please! says:

      RISE is actually mainly the SWP

      1. Darby O'Gill says:

        I have only come across one SWP member at a RISE meeting

  5. David Fee says:

    Take the “I” out of Politics. Now there’s an Idea.

  6. David Sangster says:

    “If elected in May…” That’s a big stumbling block in itself. The other is whether the SNP would “dare” to vote against the RISE motion : Oh, yes they would, in my opinion. The Scottish government has seized ownership of the second referendum issue, and aren’t going to let it slip. Frankly, the SNP parliamentarians have lost the appetite for the fight for independence, and can go on, as Jim Sillars says, “going through the motions”. Nice work if you can get it : not too many hassles, and, ultimately, only limited responsibility for the overall life of the nation.

  7. Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh says:

    Accented “í”s (and upper-case “I”s) work alrìght –

    “Míssíng a kìck
    at the ícebox door
    It closed anyway.”
    (Jack Kerouac)

    ì, í, î etc

  8. willie says:

    We need energy and vision. But to exercise vision you need to have power. Rise however have absolutely no chance of power. At best all they could achieve is possibly a couple of paid MSPs whilst at the same time letting a Tory or Labour slip in. Fragmentary and transient in nature Rise are unfortunately a distraction. The Scottish Parliament or the Referendum did not come about because of Rise. Rise didn’t even exist eighteen months ago, and it is still not a party. The Tory government in Westminster was defeated this week because of the SNP who with 56 MPs represent over 50% of the electorate. With a majority of SNP MSPs returned to Hollyrood in May and with over 50% and maybe nearer 60% of the vote it is clear who will have the mandate to speak for Scotland. For me therefore, and for the majority of others, our electoral choice will be pragmatic, and it will be for the SNP. By and large they have delivered good governance, they have tried to do the right thing and given the opportunity of two parliamentary majorities, they will have the tools to deliver what we want. Jim Sillars should know this better than anyone because we are on the same side.

  9. Clive Scott says:

    Total waste to vote for RISE. SNP x 2 is the only way to go if you are serious about an independent Scotland. After independence is achieved you can indulge yourself with a ginger group vote.

  10. Robert James Peacock says:

    45% will turn into 60% but it will be by external forces. Brexit, another banking crisis, a terrorist atrocity, a human rights disaster associated with the migrant crisis, huge civil unrest, a Trump administration and consequent idiocy. All these things have the potential to blow up before we even get to the 2020 election. Positive energy and ideas from RISE are welcome and can help increase that 45% incrementally, but there will be a tidal wave of Scots looking for solutions if one or more of the above happens. Imagine a non-EU Britain in the face of another financial crash, with mosques burning as a response to a terrorist attack. We need to make sure Scotland has the answers to that, and that requires worst-case scenario planning as well as bright, positive ideas.

  11. David Allan says:

    Its RISE for me the SNP have accepted devolution and demonstrate a lack of will toward progressing toward Independence. Their supporters (I used to be one ) have become “happy clappies” unable and unwilling to raise motions anything like that proposed by RISE.

    All fear that rocking the boat will cause division and perceive that this will weaken the drive to INDY 2. Yet what do we have a party devoId of energy and ambition lacking In radical Ideas.

    Land Reform / Council Tax reform , need I say more. SNP are drIfting In no particular hurry to reach any final destInatIon. Jim SIllars is absolutely correct agaIn.

  12. Frank says:

    APOLOGIES FOR WRITING IN CAPITALS.

    I’M NOT CONVINCED BY THIS ARGUMENT AT ALL AND THE RISE MOTION HAS THE POTENTIAL TO SPLIT THE INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE CREATING FURTHER PUBLIC DIVISION AND AN INEVITABLE BACKLASH. THERE IS ALSO SOMETHING INHERENTLY UNDEMOCRATIC – BORDERING ON CONTEMTP FOR THE ELECTORATE ALMOST, IN CALLING FOR ANOTHER REFERENDUM SO SOON AFTER LOSING THE FIRST ONE. WE CANNOT ALLOW NATIONALIST HARDINLINERS TO DOMINATE THE DISCOURSE ON INDEPDNENCE. FURTHERMORE, THE RISE MOTION IS EVEN MORE ABSURD WHEN YOU TAKE ON BOARD TOM DEVINE’S COMMENTS THAT THERE HAS BEEN NO PERIOD OF SUSTAINED INTELLECTUAL REFLECTION ON WHY WE LOST THE REFEREDUM. LET’S DO THE PRE-FIGURATIVE WORK FIRST, ESPECIALLY ON THE ECONOMY.

  13. Frank says:

    Are posts critical of Rise being censored?

    1. Bryan Weir says:

      My post was and all I said was that I thought Rise would fall.

  14. Chris Danes says:

    Lol David.

    BELLACALEDONIA – TAKING THE I OUT OF POLITICS.

  15. Strategist says:

    This missing of I’s is getting ridiculous

    Mississippi is a very long word, how do you spell it?

  16. Matt says:

    And what happens when RISE lose that second referendum as the polls show they would?
    This kind of cobbled together, carpet bagging politics is what endangers the independence movement as a whole. Who on earth is Cat Boyd to tell anyone how to do things? She’s a student who got in front of a few cameras during the referendum campaign by having orange hair and shouting a lot. Great ideas? Show me some of them? Colin Fox? Don’t get me started. Look at what’s left of the SSP after him and Sheridan got their hands on it.
    The SNP are going to make the case for independence in summer and monitor the polls closely whilst doing so. Rest assured, once those show sustained support for independence over a few months, Sturgeon will fire the gun on a second referendum. It’s just common sense to hold the fort until that moment comes. Charging off into a second referendum with no regard for the consequences is political sabotage and respected elders like Jim Sillars should not be entertaining it. It will set the whole movement back a generation.

    1. Darby O'Gill says:

      If you actually read their manifesto RISE are calling for the Scottish Parliament to assert their right to a mandate to call for a second referendum. Why would the SNP not have that as the first item on their own manifesto?

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