Posts Tagged ‘Keir Hardie’


Anyone who knows me will know that I am committed to voting yes on the 18th September.

I am a socialist with nationalist leanings, and I think that I am probably like the majority of socialists in Scotland.

I moved my allegiance from Labour to the SNP after the devolution vote in the

1990’s, after having a deep and philosophical discussion with a family friend, who invited me to listen to her vision for not only at that time a newly devolved

Scottish parliament and its potential, but ultimately what an independent state

called Scotland may look like The passion and eloquence of the vision and the

concrete belief that Scotland’s only way forward was now independence got me thinking, which then led me to research all of the political arguments, and look at the facts. I am not going to go into these arguments, as they are more than adequately covered by the two main protagonists in the campaign; instead I am

going to give you the more personal reasons that have resulted from this

research and observations of our current state of affairs.

Scotland first of all ,in my humble view is fundamentally different as a nation from the rest of the UK, our psyche is basically socialist in hew, we can look back

through history and trace a lot of these differences to the” Scottish

Enlightenment” when great intellectual figures like Adam Smith and

David Hume to name but two of many, basically re defined society, politics, and philosophy, the shadows of which can still be seen in modern society,

interestingly Adam Smith also wrote in his great work the wealth of nations,

a warning about allowing government and business to monopolise the development of policy, sound familiar. We can also see from history, the direct result of this radical academic and philosophical movement when we look at the trade union movement and the beginning of this in Lanarkshire, Messer’s James Wilson and Keir Hardie. The trade Union Movement has helped further the lot of the common man, it has improved Working conditions, pay and was instrumental in

developing the conditions we all take for granted, again an intesting fact you discover when you read about all this was Kier Hardies’ belief in universal suffrage, long before it became fashionable in the south of Britain, he was pushing for

this as early as 1892.We also have produced greats like Alexander Fleming,

who discovered Penicillin, Charles Macintosh who we have to thank for waterproofing, McAdam and McAlpine who built roads, William Murdoch who invented gas lighting, and importantly James Dewar without who picnics would be

radically different, what did he invent, the thermos flask. The list goes on, and if you look in most areas Scots were instrumental in developing a lot of the

modern world. All of these people illustrate the impact the enlightenment had,

the search for empirical evidence, and the development of the scientific process which allowed us to convert ideas to actual items or theories came from this

period. We can move much closer to our time, and there are plenty of examples of this endogenous philanthropic, streak, you see it in the supermarkets when

people buy extra for food bank donations, you see it in the nurse who pays for a bag of food stuffs to give away at support groups, you see it in the way members of the public give the guy selling the big issue slightly more than the asking

price then tell them to keep the change, Scots are different. So why am I voting yes, because I have dared to dream, not about how rich we can be, or about how our standard of life will be better, and that bills may be cheaper, I have dreamed about what we can give the world, we are responsible for inventing building, producing and making what we see today, not just the material things

like the car, but the other things like health care, bridges, the thermos flask,

financial systems, maps of and places on continents, why am I voting yes ,

because we can and will create a better country, we have already started, we

are one of the very few nations to seek independence without resorting to

physical violence, we are already looking after the poor, we have and already

are standing up to tyranny, the poll tax, and the bedroom tax, that is why I am

voting yes, because we can lead the way again as we once did and have done , we can have new Kier Hardies’, and James Watsons, new Adam Smith’s and

David Hume’s, new Mary Slessor’s and Alexander Fleming’s, all we have to do

is vote Yes.

I am also voting yes because we shouldn’t have food banks, our welfare state

should be able to provide for the basic needs of our poor, without prejudice or

stigma, I am voting yes because government and business have influenced

policy for too long and by doing so have created the political elite Adam Smith, warned about, and Keir Hardy and James Wilson fought. I am voting yes

because we need true universal suffrage, and we have the right through this to choose a government we want, not a government of political elitists who commit ideological rape in our name, with a political mandate we didn’t vote for.

To coin a phrase this is not about the SNP, this is about a once sovereign nation regaining what was lost. This is about regaining independence from a state

that manipulated and forced Scotland into financial crisis, then forced an act of union through financial manipulation backed by a political elite, sounds familiar doesn’t it.