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    March for Scotland’s Freedom on Saturday – All Under One Banner

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    During the 2014 Independence Referendum in Scotland the mainstream media displayed their utter bias against the independence case and constant contempt for those who championed it. They united as one corporate body to display slavish, servile and slanted support for the continuation of the British Establishment, the British union.

    The plethora of prejudicial coverage compelled renowned author and social activist, George Monbiot, to comment on the eve of the poll that the YES Campaign had already won no matter the actual vote as clearly hundreds of thousands refused to be cowered and bullied by the millionaire media and their conscious combination of scaremongering and bullying in their dishonest and deceitful campaign to promote the NO vote.

    The ‘Better Together’ Campaign united the unionists from the Tories, Labour and Lib Dem parties around a single but effective strategy called ‘Project Fear’. It was a strategy gleefully promoted by the mainstream media and shamefully parroted by several trade union leaderships alongside their New Labour chums. Labour embraced the cold, cruel and callous Conservatives and swore allegiance to the ‘Better Together’ Project despite the reality that it was a ‘Bitter Together’ exercise in the promotion of lies, fear and distortions of the real potential of independence.

    Monbiot’s words from 2014 entered my mind again this week as I reeled with anger, rage and astonishment that the broadcast media, in particular the BBC but including ITV and Channel 4, failed to offer viewers live coverage of the SNP Conference in Edinburgh or of the speech of Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland and SNP Leader.

    How dare they be so contemptuous of such an important event in the political life of Scotland? While platform after platform is afforded to the Establishment lackey, Nigel Farage, to spew ignorant drivel designed to stoke intolerance of immigrants, the elected First Minister of Scotland was disdainfully disrespected by the broadcast media.

    READ MORE: 30 Years Ago Thatcher Foisted Her Poll Tax on Scotland — We Fought Her and Won

    Monbiot’s words from his column entitled ‘How the media shafted the people of Scotland’ resonated once again:

    “Despite the rise of social media, the established media continues to define the scope of representative politics in Britain, to shape political demands and to punish and erase those who resist. It is one chamber of the corrupt heart of Britain, pumping fear, misinformation and hatred around the body politic.

    That so many Scots, lambasted from all quarters as fools, frauds and ingrates, have refused to be bullied is itself a political triumph. If they vote for independence, they will do so in defiance not only of the Westminster consensus but also of its enforcers: the detached, complacent people who claim to speak on their behalf”.

    Please read and re-read those words as they articulate the shoddy and shameful reality of the mainstream media, Britain’s ‘Fifth Estate’. The reason those words require to be re-read and their relevance re-discussed is Nicola Sturgeon effectively fired the starter pistol on IndyRef2 last Sunday in front of a packed audience of SNP members, pro-rata the biggest political party in Western Europe.

    Her speech was littered with gems for anyone of a socialist, left of centre or simply progressive persuasion. No wonder the British Biased Corporation and its partners in prejudicial and slanted news crime refused to provide live coverage. Such positive and considered messages cannot be allowed to be aired live lest they blow apart the lie machine at the heart of the British Establishment broadcasters.

    On the internationalism at the heart of the independence movement:

    “The contribution Scotland has made to the modern world is unparalleled. That should make us proud. But it should also be determined.

    Proud that the Scottish independence movement is defined by progressive, inclusive internationalism. And determined that we will never allow our nation’s place in the world to be sacrificed by the likes of Nigel Farage, Jacob Rees Mogg or Boris Johnson”.

    READ MORE: More Than 350 Cracks Found at Reactor at Nuclear Plant in Scotland (VIDEO)

    On a former shibboleth of the socialist movement disgracefully abandoned by Blair and Brown’s New Labour:

    “Our nation values education. And that’s why I will always make this commitment to Scottish students. As long as the SNP is in government, there will be no tuition fees. Education will always be based on your ability to learn, not your ability to pay”.

    On immigrants trying to build a life in Scotland a message to warm the hearts of all who see past the racist intolerance of the reactionary right and instead into the eyes of fellow human beings just like us:

    “Whether you are studying or working in our universities; saving lives in our health service; creating wealth in our business community; catering for our tourists or harvesting our food – wherever you are in Scotland and whatever you do – you are part of us.

    And with all our hearts, we want you to stay”.

    On another socialist principle which Labour, even under Corbyn, has shamefully abandoned Nicola was rapier-like in her scathing observation of their position in relation to Britain’s immoral arsenal of nuclear weapons:

    “Labour’s defence spokesman derided the very idea that Scotland should have any say. He said that it was “blindingly obvious” that the decision should be taken at Westminster.

    Well, let me tell you what I think is blindingly obvious – a Labour Party that supports Trident missiles on the Clyde has lost its moral compass.

    A country with one in four children growing up in poverty should not be spending £200 billion on nuclear weapons”.

    I disagree with Nicola’s assessment of the European Union as a beacon of fairness and human rights. I consider it to be a fundamentally undemocratic institution which exists to promote free market capitalism at all costs regardless of the poverty and inequality caused by EU demanded austerity budgets within member nations.

    READ MORE: Westminster is Determined Not to See Scotland Independent — SSP Co-Spokesman

    However I can live with an independent Scotland within the EU as long as it is recognised that Scotland’s will on that question will be tested again after independence when citizens can evaluate for themselves how harsh that body can be when it comes to agreeing progressive and anti-austerity budgets seeking to expand not contract public services.

    The SNP advocacy of a Brexit2 vote is simply wrong and without democratic foundation. The citizens of England and Wales voted to leave the EU. Although Scotland voted Remain 17.4 million across the British union voted Leave compared to 16.1 million for Remain. Four hundred and six Westminster constituencies voted Leave compared to two hundred and forty two for Remain. While of the number of constituencies represented by the Labour Party 148 voted Leave compared to 48 for Remain.

    In the 2017 snap General Election Labour fought on a manifesto explicitly committed to honouring the Brexit vote of 2016 and secured a 10% point increase in its vote, the biggest increase since 1945. If Labour now supported Brexit2 it would represent a betrayal of the overwhelming majority of its supporters.

    Brexit2 is an undemocratic rabbit hole which the SNP should waste no more time and energy promoting. What does have a democratic underpinning is IndyRef2. The SNP won two elections with that commitment in their manifesto (Scottish General Election 2016 & Westminster General Election 2017) and a vote of the Scottish Parliament in March 2017. It is therefore a triple-lock democratic mandate.

    There was chatter in some media circles that Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP were going to abandon that hard fought for democratic mandate but both prior to and at the Conference a commitment to hold IndyRef2 before the 2021 Scottish General Election was issued. In practical terms given the political purdah period which kicks in on March 2021 prior to an election it means IndyRef2 will be held before or in autumn 2020 at the latest.

    For the record I think that timing is tactically wrong. The Tories in Westminster are in a state of chaos. There is a very real possibility of that party splitting in the near future. Labour is also divided. Many Blairite Labour MPs spend more time attacking and trying to undermine their twice democratically elected leader than attacking May and her cruel band of Conservatives. In other words the unionist opposition to Scottish independence is dived and therefore weak. More weak than in living memory. That presents a unique opportunity for the Indy Movement to promote our positive, constructive and visionary case for independence now in preparation for a new vote in October.

    The new date for Brexit is October 31st. There is no chance May’s deal will pass in Parliament but an amended deal, a no deal or a general election will most likely occur. Amid such chaos, uncertainty and division the united and progressive case for Scottish independence will be more popular than ever.

    Support for Independence has never fallen below 45% since September 2014 despite sitting at only 25% in October 2013. Even the most rigged polls like the one compiled by Survation/Scotland in Union last week indicated 49% support for independence. But that poll, usually weighted in favour of the Union, excluded the 16 and 17 year old demographic which regularly registers in excess of 70% support for independence. In other words the reality is support for independence is already over 50% and in the space of a short, positive and progressive campaign between now and October we could definitely push that figure beyond the 60% mark.

    READ MORE: Raytheon Plans to Open New Manufacturing Facility in Scotland Within 2 Years

    Others argue for a longer campaign, an 18 month one as opposed to a 6 month one. I disagree. The ground is fertile right now, more fertile than at any time in my life. However the unionists will not always be so weak and divided. In time they will recover, especially if we afford them the space to re-assemble and focus on their beloved union. I say strike now while the iron is hot and knock them for six with a focused, short but visionary campaign that exploits their weaknesses and presents the solid and sensible case for independence.

    To those who raise the straw man of ‘permission’ to hold a binding referendum I remind you of the words of Britain’s Legal authority, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, addressing Westminster on 12th March this year on Brexit, legal obligations and the rights of sovereign nations:

    “Let us be clear about these kinds of absolute interpretations of black-letter text. A sovereign state has the right to withdraw if a treaty is no longer compatible with its fundamental interests or, to put it a different way, if fundamental circumstances have changed”.

    In any international court Scotland is a sovereign nation which voluntarily entered into a union of nation’s agreement with England in 1707. We kept our own legal system, education system and other trappings of nationhood. We were not forcibly conquered and subsumed into England’s sovereignty. We, or rather a collection of weak and corrupt rogues, signed a voluntary agreement. We do not need the permission of England to terminate that agreement. That is a ludicrous proposal.

    Imagine the EU announced it was not allowing a Brexit2 vote to take place? There would be outrage and revolt at such an undemocratic diktat in relation to a voluntary union. We must not allow Westminster to determine if and when we gauge public opinion in Scotland on staying within or leaving the British union.

    We are not proposing a jaunt to the countryside for a picnic. We are proposing the break-up of a centuries old union because it is clear now that it is not only incompatible with Scotland’s interests it is actually contrary to Scotland’s interests. We don’t meekly seek permission for such a poll of opinion we politely inform Westminster we are doing it, with or without their blessing.

    I will of course support the independence campaign and YES vote whenever it is scheduled but I firmly believe holding it in October 2019 is tactically more astute than October 2020.

    Our Indy Movement is big enough and mature enough for all positive and constructive opinions to be aired and considered. On Saturday I will join tens of thousands from across Scotland in a march from Kelvingrove Park to Glasgow Green at 1.30pm. Regardless of tactical nuances and political affiliations if you are for Scottish independence you are invited to march in the All Under One Banner (AUOB) procession for Scotland and her freedom.

    READ MORE: Independent Scotland Should Definitely Have its Own Currency — Professor

    Our vision for an independent Scotland was eloquently articulated by Nicola Sturgeon in the speech the broadcast media tried to ignore:

    “Those who have been here for generations. And those who have just arrived. Scotland is everyone who chooses to make this country their home.

    So when we speak of building a nation, what we mean is that we are building a better future for all those who live here and for the generations yet to come.

    A society founded on compassion, on kindness and love. A nation that people will come from all over the world to see, to experience, and to be part of.

    So let’s always take the time to dream a little. To dream of that better country”.

    Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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