Radicals threaten Salmond and Scottish independence campaign
Activists gather in Glasgow to try to steer breakway movement sharply to the left
Alex Salmond will tomorrow face a major challenge from leftwingers in his attempt to win over moderate Scots to the independence cause.
More than 650 activists will gather in Glasgow to form a group they hope can push the Scottish independence movement to the left.
The Radical Independence Conference has brought together the Scottish Greens, the Scottish Socialists, some of the more militant trade unionists, nuclear-disarmament campaigners and anti-monarchist republicans. They are all part of the independence movement but they disagree with the moderate approach Mr Salmond and his Scottish National Party (SNP) have adopted for the campaign.
They see Scottish independence as an opportunity to create a radical, left-leaning society rather than the watered-down version they believe Mr Salmond wants to offer Scots.
Mr Salmond has made it clear he would keep the Queen in an independent Scotland, that Scotland would retain the pound and also apply to join Nato – all of which have sparked fierce opposition from left-wingers in the independence camp.
Jonathon Shafi, one of the organisers, said: “We are against austerity, we want a modern republic, one not tied to the monarchy, we oppose discrimination, Trident and nuclear weapons. We think these are very appealing ideas and could contribute towards strengthening the vote for an independent Scotland.”
The well-known Scottish author Iain Banks was one of the first to sign up to the new campaign group.
He claimed that Scots were motivated more by co-operation than competition and were more interested in “societal support for our fellow citizens” than other parts of the UK.
He said: “The Scots, for all their long, proud history of inventiveness and entrepreneurialism, just seem to be more communitarian than the consensus expressed by the UK population as a whole, and it’s time our greatest and most powerful democratic institutions – our parliaments – reflected this.”
Patrick Harvie, the co-convener of the Scottish Green Party, made it clear he would like the Yes Scotland campaign for independence to have a more radical agenda.
He said: “There is a growing group of people who are not content with the SNP’s version, with the SNP’s policy agenda that they are attaching to the independence cause. These are people who want to get a different message across so it’s not just about the Greens, it is about a wider group. I think that over the next few years, you’ll see that grouping grow.”
The Greens would ditch the monarchy, have no nuclear weapons or nuclear power stations, end Scottish membership of Nato and look to develop a distinctive Scottish currency, rather than taking either the pound or the euro.
The Yes Scotland campaign has always insisted that it is a “broad church” and it is not its role to come up with policies for an independent Scotland. A spokesman for the campaign said yesterday: “We are happy that there are people with a whole range of views and visions for Scotland backing Scottish independence. All they need to join Yes Scotland is support [for] independence.”
- 1 Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Tory activist asked to step down after Labour candidate Rupa Huq is 'manhandled' while questioning Boris Johnson on the campaign trail
General Election 2015: Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind as he casts a line to the disaffected of Grimsby
The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
Russian warships accused of 'chasing away' Swedish vessel to prevent Baltic States from achieving energy independence
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...
£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...