How to win the Labour vote.
By Allan Grogan
Since the start of this referendum campaign, anyone with a rudimentary understanding of maths would understand that in order to gain a yes vote, then a large majority of Labour supporters must be persuaded to the benefits of independence for Scotland.
From the onset the No campaign have been aware of this and have successfully, aided expertly by the mainstream media in permeating the notion that a yes vote is a vote for Alex Salmond or the SNP. I have been talking to Labour voters when out campaigning almost every day and the one prevailing reason for voting no is that they wont vote ‘for that Alex Salmond.’ Once we get past this Labour voters become very open to the benefits independence will bring and the possibilities of a return of a real Labour Party in Scotland.
On the flip side of this Yes Scotland have been somewhat naive in their understanding of the tribalism between Labour and the SNP. Labour voters do not respond well to SNP strategists telling them why they should vote yes. They have also failed to realise the reality that Yes Scotland is often seen to represent the SNP. Hardly surprising when they embrace the White Paper as the main arguments in terms of the referendum debate.
In contrast Labour for Independence has in the case of Labour voters (and SSP, Greens & RIC have done the same for their own in less Labour specific areas) highlighted the different vision we have for an independent Scotland. We have focussed on areas such as removal of Trident, a return to universal public services, using our finite resources to invest in social housing, creating thousands of jobs and apprenticeships, increasing manufacturing and industry and providing low cost housing to the 157,000 on waiting lists in Scotland.
With a flurry of recent polls suggesting that Labour support for yes is now between 28-35%, a dramatic rise from the 9% when Labour for Independence was founded, shows that our campaign is working and we will endeavour to continue to get our message across throughout the remaining weeks of this campaign.
There is of course a debate which should be occurring and can be heard within the no campaign away from the leaders of the group soundbites. The notion that we would be abandoning our brothers and sisters in Northern England and beyond. This is of course not true.We will continue to campaign for the rights of our comrades in the rest of the UK. This is not about removing ourselves from others plight, rather a genuine opportunity to create a fairer, more equal more socially just society, seeking real answers and action to the issues that effect us, some of these problems are intrinsically Scottish and require a Scottish solution. The very notion that we as socialists and democratic socialists are voting yes to become an inward isolationist nation is ludicrous. as I have said many times my solidarity does not end at Dover so why would it suddenly end at the Scottish Borders following independence? One example of this is Labour for Independence’s call that the first foreign policy act of an independent Scotland is to recognise the state of Palestine. By doing so, we are not seeking the removal of the nation of Israel, rather an acknowledgement that in the pursuit of real peace within the area, both nations must be recognised as equals to ensure a fair and lasting peace.
Until that time comes we will continue to condemn the actions of the oppressive military regime of Israel and support our comrades in Palestine of their rights to not only live within their rightful land, but gain access to the natural resources required to properly take care of their people. This hardly sounds like the actions of an isolationist nature and we will continue to campaign and fight for injustices against our comrades throughout the world.
So after combating the socialist arguments for voting to stay in the Union, how do we continue to win over the Labour vote? We have to accept that they will not be wooed by the SNP or Alex Salmond, that it requires Labour voices talking to them. This is what we at Labour for Independence have been doing for the last 2 years and we will continue will all our efforts until 10pm on September 18th. But we also need your help to spread our message. Got a Labour friend voting no or undecided? Send them our way, we can win their vote, we can convince them of the opportunity to have a real Labour Party in Scotland, one which we can be proud to vote for and be a part of. We can win this referendum, but we need to unite as the left.
Recently I read a very apt quotation from South American revolutionary Simón Bolívar; to paraphrase he said; “Political gangrene cannot be cured with palliatives and Britain is totally and utterly infected with gangrene. A green mango will ripen, but a rotten mango never ripens; the seeds of a rotten mango must be saved and planted so that a new plant may grow. That is happening in Scotland today.”
We have a tremendous opportunity to create a fairer, more equal, more prosperous and socially just Scotland. That is something all Labour voters can get behind.
Mary Lockhart added to panel as final speaker in Motherwell . Thursday 7th August . GLO centre, Muir St, 7:30
Our final speaker for our national tour event. "A Labour Case for Independence" A Member of the Labour Party, the Co-operative Party, Unite, GMB, and NUJ. Former member, Scottish Executive Labour Party. Former Chair, Scottish Co-operative Party. Former Labour Candidate, Scottish and European Parliaments. Internationalist. Socialist. Feminist. The fantastic Mary Lockhart.
Remember to RSVP to ensure your place at the event This Thursday!!! http://www.labourforindy.com/lfi_national_tour_in_motherwell
Successful week of Campaigning in Edinburgh and Fife.
This Saturday LFI embared on a one day tour of Fife. Despite the challenging weather conditions the mood was positive as activists got the Labour for Independence message out to the people of Rosyth, Dunfermline, Cowdenbeath, Lochgelly, Ballingary and Kirkcaldy. Due to the weather worsening and the overwhelming response in the towns we visited in particular Kirkcaldy we were unable to complete our tour with planned visits to Buckhaven and Glenrothes. In light of this we will be returning to Fife This Saturday to complete our tour. Our first stop will be Kirkcaldy before moving onto Buckhaven and Glenrothes. More information to follow.
In the meantime check out this video of some of our stops on the tour last Saturday.
Former Deputy General Secretary Tommy Sheppard will follow up speaking at our national event in Edinburgh tonight (Thursday 17th July) by speaking at the University of Glasgow. An Conversation with Tommy Sheppard will take place this Friday (18/7) at 6pm. Admission is free. To book your place at the event register at the link below.
With only 92 days to go our campaigning is picking up. We know everyone has a lot on but we could really do with your help to get our message across. Can you spare some time to join our campaign this week?
We will have a stall in Fintry in Dundee, at the Fintry Road shops (next to Coral Bookmakers) tomorrow at 2pm
SUNDAY 22nd JUNE at 1PM – Mass canvass of Fintry We will be meeting at 1pm on Sunday at the Fintry Road shops, beside the Dolphin to take part in a mass canvass of Fintry.
We will be at the opening of the Yes Dunfermline shop, 9 Bruce Street Dunfermline KY12 7AG This Thursday 19/6 from 10.30 am -12.30pm
We will be having a street stall in Kirkcaldy High Street outside the Mercat shopping centre from 2pm.
Thursday night Yes Angus event to be held in the Beach Hall at Carnoustie Leisure Centre, Links Parade 7.30pm. Speakers include Allan Grogan (Co-convenor of Labour for Independence.)
We will be campaigning at Glasgow Central Station this Thursday 19/6 from 5pm meeting point: the big clock in the middle of foyer.
Street stall in Ayr High Street from 10am on Saturday
Canvassing as part of the RIC mass canvass in New Farm Loch, Kilmarnock on Sunday.
Aberdeen's Mass Canvass takes place on Sunday 22nd June 2014. We'll be meeting in the Seaton area of Aberdeen, in the car park near the skyscrapers on School Road, AB24 1TF. Training for anyone new to canvassing provided between 1pm and 2pm, then out on the doors from 2pm to 4pm.
Please contact us to get involved.
To celebrate the 100 days to go in the referendum campaign Yes Rosyth are having a public meeting this Wednesday featuring Labour for Independence Deborah Waters. If you are in the area get along to hear the different cases for independence.
Bus Party on Tour
Join a host of artists of all political party persuasion and none on the Bus Party Tour. Using music and poetry to increase our national conversation on independence.
Glasgow May Day March and Rally 2014
Thought it best to give a huge shout out to our very own Alex Bell who managed to get a landmark photo opportunity at Glasgow's May Day March with Anas Sarwar. We at Labour for Independence thank Anas for being a good sport and Glasgow's Trade Council for holding an amazing event. Although we weren't as shocked as the young child in the background.
A huge thank you to everyone who donated or shared our fundraiser. We managed to raise over £2000 more than our target. All funds will go towards promoting the Labour case for independence.
Thank you again.
Today Scotland and it’s people mourn one of their true shining lights. The passing of Margo MacDonald will have effected almost everyone in the political spectrum of this nation. A bright, articulate, strong willed champion of the people whom everyone who has met her or even heard her speak so passionately will be affected.
Although Margo spent most of her life as a member of the SNP, throughout her political career and her life there was a spark of independence about her. It is only in her time as an independent MSP that I knew of her. A trailblazer, a rebel, a compassionate Scot. We have lost one of our best today.
I remember being backstage at the first March and Rally in Edinburgh, with goosebumps on my arms as she made the case for Scotland to vote yes. Then she sent myself and Labour for Independence an open letter in the Edinburgh Evening News in support of our aims. I was deeply honoured to have been able to spend a short time with Margo before she spoke at the last March and Rally. Even though she was in obvious pain the strength and determination she had throughout her life was evident, she wanted to speak to the people.
My only regret is that I never had the opportunity to spend more time with her, to learn from her more, to gain a real sense of the courage and bravery she showed throughout her life. I’m sure I wont be the only one feeling like this today.
My thoughts and all at Labour for Independence go out to Jim, their children and grandchildren.
She was a rebel, a maverick, a dangerously clear thinker who deeply cared for those who she represented and served. A proud Scot, a patriot and an icon in Scottish politics.
We will feel her absence deeply, her fight is over let us pick up the baton, let’s show the same courage, determination and clear thinking that Margo displayed throughout. Let us look to her legacy for how we build a lasting change in this nation. I only hope we do you proud Margo.
Rest in Peace.
Allan Grogan Speaking on behalf of Labour for Independence.
Allan Grogans speech at the Law society fringe meeting of the Labour Party Conference in Perth.
I’d like to thank the chair and the Law Society for inviting me here. It is a great honour to speak with you all here today, particularly on such an important issue.
Labour for Independence consists of members, voters, supporters, former voters who felt the party left them not the other way around. Trade unionists, ex councillors, former Lord Provosts and the former chair of Scottish Labour. We believe in the the ideals and principles of the Labour Party. But we also believe that independence is the best way forward for the people of this nation.
Scotland is at a crossroads, but it is not one between unionism and nationalism, rather the kind of society we live in today and the kind of society we can have. It is a choice between the status quo and real change for the better.
What is the status quo we live in today? Scotland, in this United Kingdom according to the Scottish Outlook Campaign, is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. We are part of the 3rd most unequal society in the Western World. Life expectancy in some parts of this affluent nation is lower that the Gaza Strip. Most shockingly of all 1 in 4 Scottish children are living in poverty. 1 is too many, but 25% is an absolute disgrace. All of this is happening in a country that is the 14th richest in the world per capita.
These are not just some statistics read out in this hall, this is the reality of the society we live in today. Look about you, it’s happening to friends, family, neighbours. Parents are going hungry to put food on the table for their kids, pensioners are having to choose to heat their house or cook a meal.
But fear not friends, throughout the deprivation, the poverty and abject squalor we still have enough to pay for bankers bonuses, MP wage increases and find £100 billion to renew an outdated nuclear programme which has no place in a civilised modern society.
We are not better together, we can do better and we must do better. We need to create a society which will look after all of its citizens not just those who can afford to have their say.
Now there will be many here today who will argue that child poverty in Liverpool is just as important as it is in Scotland, and I agree with you. But this is the crux of the argument. This, rather than labelling everyone who votes yes a nationalist is the debate we should be having within the party.
Let me begin by asking the question to all those waiting for the British road to socialism. How close are we to achieving this? I have campaigned for a better society within the UK and there are many here today who have spent a lot longer doing so than I, and yet we seem to be further and further away from making this a reality.
Independence can lead to not only a more prosperous, more equal Scotland, it also increases the opportunities for our brothers and sisters in Northern England and other areas within the UK. Independence can lead to a more federalised Rest of UK. Giving these areas more say and more control in how to make their communities better. If nothing else we can lead by example proving to them that it is possible to be an economically vibrant, socially just, fair and equal society. One which Hardie and Maxton would be proud to call home.
How do we achieve this society within the UK? Are we to pin all of our hopes on a Labour victory in 2015? Even if we are successful, what kind of Labour government will we have. A Labour Government in which Ministers like Chris Bryant blame unemployment on immigrants working in Tescos? A Defence Secretary who has pledged the commitment to maintaining our nuclear deterrent. Most worryingly of all we will have a Labour Chancellor committed to the Tories austerity programme. A programme in which only 10p in every pound of cuts has been endured so far.
Because the reality is that in order to be elected, Westminster Labour are chasing the tail of the Tories who are chasing the tail of UKIP further and further right in a never ending spiral towards darkness. Shackled to Westminster the Scottish Labour Party are going along for the ride.
When did we begin to consider Scotland a something for nothing society, misquoted or not when did means testing become Labour policy? For each according to ability to each according to their need, a cradle to grave universal system that lies in the very fabric of our party. For the first time in our history we are on the wrong side of this. This can change with independence.
Churchill once said “Some men change their party for the sake of their principles, others change their principles for the sake of their party.” Here today in this hall we can say that the members of the Scottish Labour Party need do neither. By voting yes in September we can remove the need to change our beliefs to win votes in the home counties. We can return to being the party of the people of Scotland, that protects the rights of the workers, who stands up for families and individuals who need a helping hand, who protect our unions, our poor, sick and elderly. That’s the party I grew up believing in and we can be that party again.
There is a saying within Labour for Independence. Vote yes in 2014 vote Labour in 2016. We can have Labour Party in the Scottish Government that rebuilds social housing, removes privatisation of energy, railways and Royal Mail. A party which removes the anti trade union laws imposed by Westminster. That uses our finite resources to rebuild our industries and creates renewable energy.
In 1997 we began this journey by voting yes to devolution, lets complete the job. A real Scottish Labour Party, a Parliament decided by the people, representing all the people, a society which reflects the needs, wants and aspirations of the people of Scotland, these are all within our grasp. The choice is in your hands, continue the journey by voting yes, or be faced with the never ending roadblock of voting no.
I’m voting yes for change, yes for the ideals set out by our parties founders so many years ago. Yes for a better Scotland.
Allan Grogan to Speak at Scottish Labour Conference
Labour for Independence are delighted to announce that Allan Grogan has received an invitation to debate the independence referendum at the Scottish Labour Party Conference.
The invitation, which has been accepted, came from the Law society which will host the debate at their fringe meeting on the Saturday of conference.
LFI Leader Allan Grogan spoke of his delight at being able to engage with the membership on such a platform.
“I'd like to thank the Law Society for providing the forum for this debate to take place, the very inception of Labour for Independence was based on the lack of debate over this issue within the party. This is an important event for LFI to put the case for independence to fellow party members.”
The Labour Party conference will take place at the Perth Concert Hall from Friday 21st March to the 23rd March.
Labour for Independence National Tour heads for Aberdeen!
Labour for Independence will continue with their National tour promoting a Labour vision for Independence.
Join us from our third National event of 2014 during the Aberdeen Festival of Politics.
Allan Grogan, Leader Labour for Independence
Deborah Waters, Deputy Leader Labour for Independence
Debbie Figures, Labour for Independence and Unite the Union Rep
Bob Thomson, Former Chairman of Scottish Labour for Independence
The event will be chaired by Political activist, writer, musician and LFI member Pat Kane
More Speakers to follow..
Visit our events page to RSVP here
Bob Thomson Joins Labour for Independence!
With just 7 months to go in the independence campaign, Labour stalwart and former Scottish Party Chairman and Treasurer Bob Thomson has joined Labour for Independence to campaign for a yes vote this September.
'I will now be voting Yes because I think it is the only way forward for anyone who wants to see a fairer, more equal and more prosperous Scotland.
'I'm no nationalist but I'm angry after 18 months of Better Together rubbishing Scotland’s economy and talking down its chance of being a successful country.
'In my view the biggest threat to Scotland’s prosperity is remaining within the UK, whose economy has been in steady decline since the 1970s, kept afloat by oil revenues and selling national assets.'
Mr Thomson recalled his early days in the Labour movement and how he watched the destruction of high-skilled jobs.
'Our manufacturing industry, once our biggest export, has been destroyed' he said.
'The factory in Motherwell where I served my apprenticeship is just one of hundreds which are long gone with the loss of tens of thousands highly skilled, high-paid jobs.
A member of the Labour Party for over half a century, Mr Thomson has been angered by the negativity and lack of socialist vision within the No campaign.
Bob’s defining moment came, he explained, when he saw his party “make a pact with a right-wing Tory and try to bully Scotland”, a reference to Labour giving its backing to Osborne’s insistence that he would do everything in his power to ensure that a sterling area would not happen.
Mr Thomson said: “I have been swithering on how to vote in the referendum and have been waiting in vain to hear something positive from Better Together to help me make up my mind.
“Watching a Labour Shadow Chancellor make a pact with a right-wing Tory to try and bully Scotland and preserve the dominance of City of London financiers solved my problem.“Their arrogance has convinced me that there is no chance of a radically fairer Britain being built by these London-centric parties.
His decision to join the campaign of Labour for Independence was curiously omitted from the Herald article. In his press release Mr Thomson stated.
“I have been a Labour Party member for more than 51 years. The actions of the Scottish Labour Party have been disappointing to say the least. It has ganged up with a toxic Tory government which is dismantling the Welfare State and they’re trying to bully Scottish voters. That’s not what I joined the party for.”
“I am no SNP supporter. They’ve done some socially progressive things but they’ve also been centralising and sometimes authoritarian. But this referendum is not about the future of the SNP - it is about the future of Scotland. I will be joining with many old comrades in Labour for Independence to encourage the 800,000 plus Scots who voted Labour in the 2010 General Election to vote Yes on 18 September.”
Labour for Independence leader Allan Grogan stated his delight at having someone of Bob Thomson's stature join LFI.
“ Today represents a big step in the campaign of Labour for Independence, Bob brings with him a tremendous stature to our cause. He has campaigned for most of his life for social justice and equality. I am delighted that he will be campaigning as a part of the Labour for Independence movement.
Successful Dundee National event
Labour for Independence held their second natonal event in 2014 last night. To a full house in Dundee including 5 former Labour councillors members of LFI and the Labour Party were joined by former Labour MP and MSP John McAllion to outline a Labour vision for an independent Scotland.
Allan Grogan, founder member and leader of Labour for Independence, said: ‘An Independent Scotland will set about massive constitutional change in the rest of the UK. By voting yes we can ensure that not only will we be free of Westminster rule but the rest of the UK will have more of a say in running their affairs in a federalised United Kingdom. Removed from the shackles of a Westminster Labour Party, we will see the restoration of a real Scottish Labour Party one which meets the aspirations of Scotland. Once again we can become the party of the people of Scotland.’
Deputy Leader Deborah Waters talked of the despair felt by many within the Labour Party.
“I don't know about you but I'm tired, tired of having workers blamed for all of the U.K.'s problems, tired of being treated this way.”
Alex Bell, Chairman of Labour for Independence and former Labour Councillor for Dundee Downfield highlighted the opportunity for setting out a more ethical approach to foreign policy. He said: ‘Dundee is the City that is proudly twinned with Nablus, let's take that internationalism further. An independent Scotland can and will stand up for Palestinian self determination. We can make Robin Cook’s dream of an ethical foreign policy come true.’
Unite the Union representative and LFI/Labour member Debbie Figures highlighted the need for gender equality in the workforce.
“It would take my husband four days to work in my job to earn the same money I do in five, this must be a top priority in an independent Scotland.”
John McAllion highlighted the need for independence in order to tackle the problems affecting Scotland that those within the Labour movement care about most deeply.
He said: ‘If you want to tackle the poverty, inequality and social injustice that is tearing Scotland apart then start by taking sovereign control of our country back into our own hands. On September 18th we have the opportunity to bring political power back home to Scotland. Without that power, others will decide for us what the shape of our own futures will be. With that power we will determine the future for ourselves. That is what real democracy is all about. Only a yes vote can deliver that real democracy.’
Mr McAllion was a Labour MP for 14 years and an Labour MSP for four years, both spent representing the Dundee East constituency. He was also a member of Scottish Labour Action and of the Labour Campaign for Socialism and was often outspoken in his defence of civic-minded Scottish nationalism.
The event, which has been seen as the official launch of Labour for Independence Dundee was chaired by Dundee regional organiser and Sohail Haque.
Statement by Labour for Independence Executive Committee..
The Tory-led Westminster apparatus are again using scare tactics to try to influence the independence referendum. Following a Yes vote they will accept a sterling currency zone with Scotland as it benefits the rest of the UK as well as Scotland.
George Osborne is rattled by recent polls showing momentum behind a Yes vote and is bluffing on currency to scare us into voting No. Even if he was serious, Scotland has options on currency and does not need to ask for Westminster's permission to continue using the pound. As such it would be prudent to assess other options which Scotland has available to it.
Scotland can continue to use the pound as its currency, benefit from a more stable financial system and (since Westminster would not be sharing UK assets) be completely debt-free upon independence. Added to the fact that if Westminster says no to a currency zone, it will do huge damage to the ROUK balance of payments and businesses south of the border. George Osborne knows this and that is why he is bluffing. Currency is the medium of exchange not the source of wealth. We'll still be an economically affluent nation no matter what you measure it in. LFI will support any available option which is in the best interests of Scotland based on the economic needs of our people. However, we would stress that people shouldn't be taken in by a scared Tory Chancellor trying to scare the Scottish people into voting No.
Updated line up for our 2nd National Event of 2014 in Dundee.
Our updated line up for our second national event in Dundee on February 28th at the Mark Henderson Centre.
Speakers confirmed for the event are:
John McAllion Former Labour MP
Allan Grogan, Leader, Labour for Independence
Deborah Waters, Deputy Leader, Labour for Independence
Alex Bell, Chairman, Labour for Independence and former Dundee Labour Councillor.
Debbie Figures, Unite Representative.
- Soahil Haque, Labour for Independence member and chair.
More speakers to follow.
To RSVP for the event please visit our events page here
In order to promote this event we will be leafleting at the City Square on Saturday 15th February at 12.30pm and in the Hilltown (meet at the Mark Henderson Centre at 12.30pm. If you can come along to help out please do so.
Agenda: Why a Yes vote is the best thing for the people ...
and the Labour Party.
Bob Holman via The Herald.
Agenda: Why a Yes vote is the best thing for the people ... and the Labour Party
I was born in England, though I have lived in Glasgow for 30 years.
I am a member of the Labour Party, which is against Scottish independence, but I will be voting Yes in September. My decision is not because I have strong nationalistic feelings, but because I believe in democracy and equality. Here is why:
The House of Commons is not representative. In 2010, the Speaker of the House of Commons chaired a group of MPs in a study published as The Speaker's Conference on Parliamentary Representation. It showed a large number of MPs were drawn from the 7% of the population educated at public, that is private, schools. 27% attended Oxbridge. Working class MPs were in decline. The report concluded that many MPs "are divorced from reality" and "it is important to ensure that there is no single route into politics".
The report was ignored and political elitism has increased. Seven-tenths of the Coalition cabinet are from Oxbridge. The latest development in the Labour Party is candidates chosen because of the right contacts. Stephen Kinnock, Will Straw, David Prescott and probably Euan Blair are among prospective MPs with political relatives.
The social composition of the parliament of an independent Scotland would probably reflect that of Holyrood. Few come from private schools. Most have been to college or university but there is no institution with the prestige and power associated with Oxbridge. More were brought up in working-class homes. One-half are women, contrasted with 19% in the Commons. They are more like ordinary people and so more representative. Given also the absence of a House of Lords, independence would bring greater democracy.
Much of my life has been in socially deprived areas. In Easterhouse, Glasgow, which I know well, there is increased poverty. The Coalition Government has cut billions of pounds from the welfare budget imposing inadequate benefits, hunger and despair. An SNP government in an independent Scotland would be committed to abolishing the punishment that is right-wing welfare.
I joined the Labour Party 53 years ago as a Christian socialist who believed that all people were equal in the sight of God and that, as far as possible, resources should be fairly shared. The research by Professors Wilkinson and Pickett demonstrates that the most equal countries such as Denmark and Norway, where the top 20% earned only two to three times as much as the bottom 20%, had far fewer social problems and more contentment than unequal ones such as the UK and USA, where they earned between seven and 10 times as much (The Spirit Level. Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, 2010).
The SNP's paper, Scotland's Future, talks much about equality. For instance: "Social justice and equality are objectives that should be pursued for their own sake. They are also important aspects of improved economic performance which in turn provides for a happier, safer and fairer society." I believe a parliament less controlled by privileged elites and more concerned about ordinary people would radically reduce the gap between rich and poor.
l Still Labour
I am still in the Labour Party. Yes, the party whose commitment to equality was revealed by its shadow chancellor, Ed Balls. He announced that Labour would impose a 50p tax rate on the rich. When they objected, he said it would only be temporary.
Yet I think the Scottish Labour Party, freed from the influence of the British Labour Party in an independent Scotland, would move to the left again - the only way to challenge the SNP. I hope it would back public and co-operative services, a living wage, social housing, peace, humane policies towards asylum seekers and migrants ... plus equality, but with a much more precise objective than Alex Salmond's vagueness. It should state just what would be the financial distance between top and bottom.
Yes, independence with its loss of Labour seats in the Commons would reduce the party's chances of electoral victory at Westminster. But what is the point of a Labour government which, in reality, is still Blairite? Perhaps the Labour Party south of the Border would then decide it should offer the country an alternative - like socialism.
First National Event of 2014 A Great Success! Two New National Events Announced.
Labour for Independence would like to thank each and everyone of you who came along to our first national event of 2014. Due to the huge demand we ended up hosting the event in two halls and rotating our speakers between the two. Unfortunately we still had to turn people away due to the capacity. Rest assured we will learn from this and will have a much bigger hall the next time we are in Glasgow.
We would also like to give huge thanks to Cherry Media who recorded and live streamed our event. The Streaming hit a high point of around 250 viwers which meant we were able to double our audience on the night. We will also upload the videos so if you were unable to attend you can still hear our case for independence.
We hope everyone who came along, enjoyed the event. If you are interested in becoming more involved in Labour for Independence please visit the Get Active section of our website here.
We can now announce our next two national events
We will be in Dundee at the Mark Henderson Centre on February 28th.
Already confirmed for the event are:
Labour for Independence Chairman and former Labour Councillor Alex Bell
Labour for Independence Leader Allan Grogan
Special guest from RIC Jonathon Shafi
Former Labour MP for Dundee John McAllion
More will be confirmed in the weeks ahead.
We will also be in Aberdeen, during their festival of politics.
Our event will take place at the McRobert Building Aberdeen University on March 29th
Speakers will be announced shortly.
Chair for First National Event Announced!
Labour for Independence are delighted to announce the chair for our first national event in 2014. The event will be the first of many promoting A Labour case for Yes - A Labour vision of Scotland’s future.
The event will take place on Thursday, January 23, 2014, in the main conference hall of the STUC (333 Woodlands Road, Glasgow.) It will begin at 7.30pm and will feature a panel comprising members of the Labour Party, Labour veterans and stalwarts and prominent members of the Labour movement.
The full line up of speakers:
Sir Charles Gray, Leader of Strathclyde Regional Council, 1986-1992.
Alex Mosson, Lord Provost of Glasgow, 1999-2003.
Dennis Canavan, Labour MP for Falkirk West, 1974-2000.
Jeane Freeman, Special Advisor to Labour First Minister Jack McConnell, 2001-2005
Allan Grogan, Labour for Independence Leader and Labour Party member.
Bob Thomson, Scottish Labour Party Chairman, 1990-91 and Treasurer, 1993-99) who will discuss the benefits of the Common Weal Model in Scotland.
We are thrilled to announce that actress, comedienne and Yes Scotland Advisory Board member Elaine C Smith will chair the event.
LFI Leader Allan Grogan described the occasion as a potentially game-changing event in the referendum campaign, which proves that a Yes vote in September is not a vote for the SNP.
He said: ‘It is important for people to see that a Yes vote this September is not a vote for Alex Salmond or the SNP, but rather an opportunity to improve the lives of all people in our country. The fact we have such strong support within the Labour movement is testament to the merits of what independence can bring to Scotland and also towards the restoration of the Labour Party to its founding principles.’
Sir Charles Gray also highlighted the benefits independence can bring to those within the Labour movement.
He said: ‘The sound argument for Scottish independence is fast crossing the political divide, but the Labour case is at the top and remains there due to the increasing interest by solid Labour voters and active Trade Unionists who anticipate a post-referendum Labour victory.’
The event is free to attend and is open to all who wish to hear an alternative message on the benefits of independence. Doors open at 7pm for 7.30 pm start.
New Speaker Announced for Glasgow National Event!
Labour for Independence are delighted to announce another speaker for our national event on January 23rd at the STUC in Glasgow.
Former Labour MP for Falkirk West for 26 years and Independent MSP for the same region for 8 years Mr Dennis Canavan.
Dennis left the Labour Party as New Labour set in in Scotland.
Labour for Independence Leader Allan Grogan welcomed Mr Canavan's participation in the event.
"We have always maintained that a return to a real Labour Party is only possible in an independent Scotland. If there is anyone alive today who epitomises real Labour values and traditions, then it is Dennis Canavan."
Our updates list of speakers is as follows....
National Event Announced!
Labour for Independence are proud to announce that we will be staging 6 national events in all major cities in Scotland in 2014. These events in addition to our local events and work with Yes Scotland groups around the country, will complement our grass roots campaigning, social media and press strategies.
These national events will be entitled: 'A Labour case for Yes, - A Labour vision of Scotland’s future.' and will play host to speakers from a wide spectrum of the Labour Party and wider labour movement.
At this time we are delighted to announce that our first event will take place on Thursday January 23rd at the STUC in Glasgow. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.
Already confirmed to speak at the event are;
Bob Thomson- Scottish Labour Party Chairman (1990-1991) & Treasurer (1993-99)
Sir Charles Gray- Leader of Strathclyde Regional Council (1986-1992)
Alex Mosson- Lord Provost of Glasgow (1999- 2003)
Jeane Freeman- Special Advisor to First Minister Jack McConnell (2001-2005)
Allan Grogan- Leader of Labour for Independence
Deborah Waters- Deputy Leader of Labour for Independence.
The event is open to all and is free to enter, although donations to the campaign are greatly appreciated.
Labour for Independence are looking for the following, can you help out?
Volunteers to leaflet/ publicise the event
Volunteers to help out on the evening of the event
Sponsors for the event
Another Labour Stalwart Joins the Yes Campaign!
John Mulvey, became the latest senior Labour figure to come out in support of Independence following Sir Charles Gray and Alex Mosson at the end of 2013.
The former Lothian Regional Council Leader and ex boss of Better Together chief Alistair Darling,announced his support for Scottish Independence in today's Scotland on Sunday.
The achievements of the Scottish Parliament under devolution, according to Mulvey, 69, show that “the next logical step” is to be fully independent.
“There are those who don’t support the SNP or, perhaps, don’t like Alex Salmond. But it’s more important than that. People of all political persuasions should come out and vote – preferably for Yes – and then decide what kind of Scotland they want to see in the election of 2016 when the political parties make their cases to be the first elected government of the newly independent nation.”
Labour for Independence would like to welcome Mr Mulvey to the campaign as yet further inroads are made, into the Labour Party and Labour Movement in securing a yes vote.
Welcome to 2014 - Allan Grogan, Leader, Labour for Independence. January 1st 2014
Independence is our best chance to change, to shape our nation making it fairer and more equal. Giving our children the chance of a better future.
So what kind of society do we want to have? Following a ‘yes’ vote, the Scottish Government has promised that all parties will play a role in the negotiations for an independent Scotland.
Because of this it is important for all parties to set out their vision of an independent Scotland. In light of the refusal of Labour HQ to do this, Labour for Independence will set out what we believe are real Labour policies.
One of the biggest changes we propose to make is that we will never object to proposals based on our core principals for the sake of political gain. As we have seen so many times in these past few years.
SLFI will adhere to the founding principles of the Labour party of fairness, equality and justice. We will also strive to keep in place some of our greatest creations in the NHS and the Welfare State. We will seek ways to improve, but we will never remove our belief in free education and healthcare for all at the point of service.
An abolition of a minimum wage and in its place a LIVING wage. One which reflects real living costs and prices. A living wage will protect the most vulnerable, removing most from the poverty line and costing the country less in Tax Credits, and other forms of income support.
We support a simplified version of the Welfare system. With real incentives to work. This system should be fair and support those who can and do work. The welfare system must again return to the basis of its creation to support the needy and most vulnerable. That is why we support the removal of means testing on disability allowances.
We are also open to the possibilities of nationalisation or re-nationalisation of energy, transport and care work. We are not a political group which promotes nationalisation for the sake of it. However in tough economic times we believe companies which are making a profit in these areas are doing our nation a disservice. The profit from these industries would and should be returned to the Scottish people as lower prices or placed into the country’s finances.
We like 80% of the Scottish people support a complete removal of all nuclear weapons from our land. We believe that a nuclear arsenal on our doorstep is both dangerous and unwarranted in this nation. We hope that we will lead the way forward as an example to all nations to remove such weaponry.