Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Scotland: Yes Means Democracy

“I think the Scots will come to a good conclusion in the referendum. They’ll get what they deserve." - Billy Connolly

In order to examine the case for Scottish independence, a fundamental question on democracy and self-determination must be addressed: are the 5.3 million people of Scotland currently represented democratically through their electoral process?

Because if they are not adequately represented, the need for independence is paramount.

The coalition government of the UK led by the Conservative Party has inflicted an extreme ideology upon the public - so-called 'austerity' - a euphemism for cutting services to the poor and vulnerable against a backdrop of massive privatization of public services. While the government may be a coalition on paper, the partner Liberal Democrats, who are by public mandate obliged to put a rein on the Tories, have failed utterly to do so, and despite promises to the opposite.

412,855 Scottish citizens voted Tory in the 2010 general election, and just one seat is held by the Conservatives, meaning only a very small proportion of Scottish citizens have the government they voted for. This is not in any way, shape or form a representative democracy.

So the two options - yes or no - represent a choice between living in a democracy that represents its people...or not.

Establishment power- a byword for the interests of capital - is desperate for Scotland to remain in the union, and not for stated reasons of sentiment: shared history and other rhetoric. When the recent YouGov poll that showed the Yes campaign leading for the first time was published, the world was witness to the unprecedented spectacle of all three major UK party leaders travelling together to Scotland to campaign against independence.

The assertion that the three main parties represent different people and elements in society has long been laughable, easily debunked, but this desperate ploy put the reality out there for all to see: the fact that each party represents only one thing: capital - corporations. When establishment power is threatened, the response is a marketing blitz - massive campaigns throughout media owned by the very same entities of control; campaigns intended to confuse, deceive and frighten.

PR is the response of corporate power to any perceived threat, and PR is propaganda. The purpose of propaganda is to deceive people into acting against their own interests, and the classic tactic has always been the strategic deployment of fear. As anyone barely aware of the independence 'debate' can attest, there has been no shortage of articles and commentary intended to sow fear (expertly summarized by Media Lens here).

On the morning of one of the most important days in the nation's history, the people of Scotland need to be aware of this propaganda and its aims. They need to know that whenever fear is employed on such a vast scale by people with vested interests in keeping the union, it means that the No camp is trying to pull a fast one - with the explicit aim of making Scottish voters falsely and baselessly believe that choosing independence would be catastrophic, when the reality is that independence would ensure a society that can actually represent its people's interests and not those of the rich - as it does currently.

A No vote will only keep the status quo: a government with control over the purse strings of Scotland that is far, far removed from the ideology of the vast majority of the people. And any promises of more power and freedom for Scotland made by politicians since the YouGov poll 'scare' can be thrown into the same dustbin as all the other promises made before the last election on tuition fees, NHS privatization and other important issues.

Do not allow the rich, with their lavishly funded organs of deception and bought establishment lackeys like the disgraceful Nick Robinson to win this battle. Do not let fear hold you back. Because the only possible choice for anyone who wants a democratic Scotland is Yes.

[Further Note: Please allow writer John Hilley to add eloquently to the case for independence]

Written by Simon Wood

Twitter: @simonwood11

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