Scottish referendum: RMT declares itself in favour of independence

 

Senior Reporter

The RMT has become the first major trade union to declare itself in favour of Scottish independence, in what has been described as “a humiliation for Ed Miliband”.

A ballot of the transport union’s Scottish members saw them narrowly record a majority in favour of the Yes campaign by a margin of 1,051 to 968. A further 365 voters were undecided.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, said the announcement was a “humiliation” for the Labour leader, who was campaigning in Scotland today. “It completely demolishes his claims to be the authentic voice of working-class, Labour-minded voters across Scotland,” she said.

 

A Scottish Labour spokesman pointed out that six other trade unions, representing 130,000 Scots, have said they are in favour of a No vote. “The vast majority of trade unionists in Scotland agree that we are stronger together,” he said.

Ms Sturgeon and Alex Salmond set out their decade-long vision for an independent Scotland yesterday as they celebrated 10 years of their partnership as leader and deputy leader of the SNP.

Amid jubilant crowds waving Yes placards in central Glasgow, the pair highlighted four policies which they said would benefit Scotland in its first 10 years as an independent country, should the vote go their way on 18 September.

They included scrapping the Trident nuclear deterrent to pay for free childcare; providing more apprentices for young people; protecting the NHS from privatisation; and setting a state pension age that is “right for Scotland”.

Hitting back at Mr Miliband’s claims that the SNP’s policies on social justice post-independence were a “con”, Mr Salmond said: “What [he] doesn’t seem to understand is that this is not about the SNP. This about the opportunity the people of Scotland have at each and every future election to get the government of our choice.”

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<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
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