CATHERINE MILLIGAN, a socialist and community activist on the Castlemilk housing scheme in Glasgow, reflects on the aftermath of the Scottish independence referendum.
So Scotland said no to independence with a historic turnout of 84%. The margin was 383,937: this was so close. The “Yes” campaign galvanised 1.6 million voters to challenge and undermine the Westminster staus quo –
despite the onslaught by the establishment, which threw its full weight behind a “No” vote. Every single tabloid and broadsheet newspaper, bar one, supported a “No” vote; banks and businesses threatened to withdraw from our economy; most trade union leaders advocated a “No” vote. Firms sent personal letters telling workers that if they voted “No” they could lose their jobs. Pensioners were told their pensions would be undermined. Despite all this 1.6 million people voted “Yes”, against the Westminster elite and its austerity.
In the aftermath, as you can imagine, even those of us who expected that “No” would win marginally were a tad deflated. It didn’t help that George Square [Glasgow’s main square] was taken over on Friday [19 September] by a hundred or so right-wing “No” campaigners, mobilised by Britain First, singing Rule Britannia and spouting hatefulness and division. It was a complete contrast to the previous evenings, when the square was full of hope and unity, with thousands of people united against Westminster rule and their savage economic policies against the working class. On Friday, some of the Rule Britannia mob were seen wearing Read the rest of this entry »