#IndyRef ‘Yes Cumbernauld’ meeting sets out different cases for Scottish independence

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 14:52 on 11 July 2014.
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Picture: John Miller chaired last night's meeting. Copyright, Cumbernauld Media.

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SOME sixty local residents turned out at Cumbernauld’s Link Community Facility yesterday evening (11th July 2014) to hear the variety of cases being made for Scottish independence.

Ahead of the poll on whether Scotland should become a separate, independent country, in ten weeks’ time, the local pro-independence ‘Yes Cumbernauld’ campaign is holding a series of public meetings throughout the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Scottish Parliament constituency – yesterday’s meeting was the latest.

Chaired by local activist and Scottish Socialist Party member John Miller, former Scottish Labour Party Chairman and Treasurer, Bob Thomson shared the platform with the Scottish Green Party’s co-convener, Maggie Chapmen and SSP co-spokesperson Colin Fox.

Kicking off at 7:30 p.m. the meeting covered a variety of issues surrounding the debate over whether or not Scotland should be an independent country – issues including European Union membership, currency, the BBC, energy and social policy surrounding inequality, poverty and welfare. 

Spanning two hours, a queue of local residents were eager to get their questions answered by the panel – all of whom shared a similar vision: a better, more equal, fairer Scotland, although they differed in some areas of policy – stressing to the audience that the party political battle will commence in the 2016 Holyrood election, and not in the run-up to Scotland’s date with destiny.

Last night’s public meeting was the first local pro-independence meeting to feature Labour Party stalwart Bob Thomson on the bill.

Mr Thomson joined the ‘Labour for Independence’ campaign group back in March 2014, and his message then was the same as last night. 

“I will be voting Yes because I think it is the only way forward for anyone who wants to see a fairer, more equal and more prosperous Scotland,” he said in March and echoed in a speech at last night’s meeting.

“I'm no nationalist but I'm angry after 18 months of Better Together rubbishing Scotland’s economy and talking down its chance of being a successful country. 

“In my view the biggest threat to Scotland’s prosperity is remaining within the UK, whose economy has been in steady decline since the 1970s, kept afloat by oil revenues and selling national assets.”
A member of the Labour Party for over half a century, Mr Thomson told the audience last night that he had become angered at the negativity and lack of socialist vision in the anti-independence ‘Better Together’ campaign.

Back in March, when he announced his backing for Labour for Independence, Mr Thomson said: “I have been swithering on how to vote in the referendum and have been waiting in vain to hear something positive from Better Together to help me make up my mind.”

His comments back in March were echoed last night when he made was “no SNP supporter”, and said that independence should be grasped by Scots voters to create a fairer society. 

“I have been a Labour Party member for more than 51 years. The actions of the Scottish Labour Party have been disappointing to say the least. It has ganged up with a toxic Tory government which is dismantling the Welfare State and they’re trying to bully Scottish voters. That’s not what I joined the party for,” Mr Thomson said in March and repeated last night.

“I am no SNP supporter. They’ve done some socially progressive things but they’ve also been centralising and sometimes authoritarian,” he added. 

“But this referendum is not about the future of the SNP - it is about the future of Scotland. I will be joining with many old comrades in Labour for Independence to encourage the 800,000 plus Scots who voted Labour in the 2010 General Election to vote Yes on 18 September.”

Voters in Scotland will go to the polls on 18 September and answer the straightforward ‘Yes/No’ question, ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’
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