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Yes or No? SSP's Kevin McVey on why he supports independence

Written by Kevin McVey.
Published at 16:36 GMT on Tuesday, 7th May, 2013.
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Picture is copyright of the Scottish Socialist Party.

IN THE first of a series of blogs for Cumbernauld Media, on the question of whether or not Scotland should be an independent country, Kevin McVey, prominent local trade unionist and National Secretary of the Scottish Socialist Party talks about why he supports the Yes Scotland campaign, for an independent Scotland. 

Cumbernauld Media has invited individuals of both sides to talk about why they support either the Better Together or Yes Scotland campaign, and, we hope to bring you more updates and perspectives on next year’s referendum, from a Cumbernauld perspective, as time goes on.

We asked Mr McVey why he felt Scotland should be an independent Scotland. Here’s what he had to say: 

The top 1% on earners have seen their share of the nation’s wealth jump from 7% in the mid-1990s to 10% today, meaning that the top 1% of earners now pocket 10p in every pound of income paid in Britain. The bottom 50% have seen their share of the pie drop from 19% to 18%.  
This is the stark inequality that now exists in Britain and is continuing to grow in the midst’s of an economic depression that seems never ending. Far from all “being in it together” the reality is one of the rich getting richer as the rest of  us become poorer. Not one of Britain’s mainstream political parties are committed to doing anything that will make any fundamental change to this inequality.

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For this reason the need for change is urgent and pressing. My vision is of an independent, socialist Scotland where its people not profit that counts. A Scotland where our natural resources and the talents we all have are used to create a more equal, tolerant and sustainable Scotland.
To open up the possibility for such change it will be necessary to break up a British state that has become a byword for war, weapons of mass destruction and archaic privilege. To defend welfare provision and our public services it is time for us to take the simple but crucial step of deciding what our future will be away from a Westminster political system that seems shifting further and further to the right with every passing week.
An independent Scotland would have the power to Scrap Trident, refuse to participate in unjust wars and embark on a massive redistribution of wealth. Our welfare state could become something that we are again proud of, where we provide for each other and take care of the most vulnerable, rather than see it parcelled up and sold off to privateers with links to a cabinet made up of millionaires.
In 2014 we are being asked to vote for independence. A positive vote opens up possibilities where a different Scotland is possible. The late 20th century brought us Thatcherism, inequality and war. Let’s consider how the 21st Century can bring us a more equal society, public ownership and a society where the interests of the 99% comes before the richest 1%. A yes vote does not guarantee any of this but without it I fear it will be more of the same and more governments that the vast majority of us did not vote for.

I am voting yes to open up the possibility of creating a modern, democratic republic which offers the hand of friendship to everyone who wishes to see a fairer society. To at least make possible what was described by the Clydeside socialist John McLean as “a united people working in co-operation and co-operatively, using the wealth that is created” for progressive ends.

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