Getting poor people to register to vote to change their lives is now branded “hatred”. Have Unionists lost all decency or just a little perspective? I don’t care who goes into Easterhouse and the other sprawling estates outside Scotland’s cosy middle circle of professionals, well-paid pensioners, business types and commentators, so long as it works.
Who lives their lives content that thousands of our fellow citizens live such dreary unrewarding lives that they have no motivation to engage with society? The answer is the selfish, the uncaring and the undemocratic.
If the Unionists had bothered to go into these areas themselves to claim them for their politics, it might be different. But the unspoken pact of the elite is that some people are undeserving and beyond redemption and if they wont help themselves, what’s the point in us trying? It’s a shame, but what can you do?
Do what the RIC people are doing – get your hands dirty, engage, encourage and enlighten. To present it as anti-British is pythonesque. Who runs the country? Who holds all the powers? Who has the budgets? Who has directed money upwards for generations and made unemployed the former factory workers of Glasgow? Who closed the steel works? Who closed the shipyards – and who is still closing shipyards? British government after British government, of course. Labour and Tory, now squealing in complaint when they are found out. They decide we should have a low-wage, zero-hours contract economy while they run to Brussels in support of bankers bonuses.
And when Britain – as I always say, the British state – gets its just desserts in terms of blame, it is branded as hatred. I know what hatred is. It is knowingly consigning families to shrivelled lives with low-grade shops, poor health facilities and welfare dependency. That is hatred. How disingenuous of Labour to side with the Tories. Who represents Easterhouse, Springburn, Drumchapel in Westminster? What are the anti-poverty policies of Margaret Curran, Willie Bain and John Robertson? Vote for me, that’s their answer. Just as Michael Martin happily pulled on the silk stockings of the Speaker and snuggled into the grace-and-favour house instead of campaigning for one of the country’s poorest communities, Labour’s record in protecting the poor is abysmal.
I have my doubts about some of the views expressed by Radical Independence because I think it goes too far to engage ordinary voters. But which democrat can condemn the registration of voters and encouraging them to stand up for themselves against a system which writes them off? The answer for Better Together is to get out there and tell them about the Union, explain how inequality works, why some people are worth millions and they are worth nothing, why public schoolboys and millionaires are in the Cabinet and they are in the Jobcentre. The SNP and Yes should not be squeamish. This is where the campaign has to go next. The British elite has put on its tackity boots and so must we. Only our way is democratic, theirs is the opposite. They don’t want people to register, they want them to suffer and to do as they say. They tore up the Edinburgh Agreement, the pulled away our right to the currency. They obliterated our country in their legal advice. Is anybody in any doubt that the British state is now in full cry? The RIC message is that it is time to stand up and be counted, not by fighting but by voting. There is no reply to that, nothing they can do, just count the votes. And in the West of Scotland where sickened Labour voters are looking for answers, lies the most fruitful constituency of all – the people beyond the Better Together propaganda.
How sweet would it be if the people who decide this referendum for Yes and throw out the British mercenary elite were the poorest Scots of all?