2014 feels like only yesterday. I fondly remember the days of the referendum and the feelings of hope and positivity people held. There was a political awakening in Scotland that has continued to this day. The people of North Lanarkshire had had enough of being side-lined by Westminster and having austerity inflicted on our communities and voted Yes.
Since 2014, a lot has happened. Scotland was given fewer powers than we were promised. We’re being taken out of the EU against our will despite being promised our membership was safe in the UK. We’ve seen more and more austerity forced on Scotland and our communities from London. We’ve seen a Westminster power grab on the Scottish Parliament. We’ve seen Westminster suspended. And we’ve seen hapless leaders like Theresa May and Boris Johnson who have made the UK a laughingstock and are taking us off a no deal cliff edge – a disaster for jobs and services.
Scotland is far from being an equal partner in the UK. But with independence, we can be an equal member in the EU and the world. We can take the decisions that affect us and our futures into our own hands. We can abolish foodbanks by building a full social security system based on fairness, dignity and respect where children, the disabled and the elderly get the support they deserve. Workers can earn a proper wage and enjoy stability free from zero hours contracts. We can fund our services and invest in jobs with a fair tax system where those with the ability to pay more pay their fair share.
As calls for a second referendum increase, Unionist parties aren’t outlining the positive case for staying in the UK. How can they? Instead, they are doing everything in their power to block democracy and the will of Scotland’s people and Parliament. They refuse to recognise that Scotland’s future is Scotland’s to decide.
There is so much for Scotland to gain from independence. I am looking forward to the day that we can take our positive message to the people once again.