Alex Salmond’s smug victory speech was never delivered. On the 16th September, just before the anniversary of the Scottish independence referendum, its contents were printed in the newspapers.
He would have talked about;
1. shaping the future of One Scottish nation together, where many voices would be heard and the dispossessed would be empowered, a time of equality and the reclamation of democracy;
2. businesses continuing exactly as before and an ancient Scotland being fully engaged in the EU.
3. the new independence as an unbreakable relationship.
Put another way Salmond would have issued platitudes, matched by Thatcher in 1979 with her Prayer of St Francis about love, pardon, hope, and joy, whereas we know this vindictive, hateful woman brought misery and despair for millions of British workers. Then, when telling the truth about his allegiance to capitalism, Salmond followed Blair’s example in his speech of 1997, pledging a partnership with business in a competitive economy and of leadership in the EU while we know in fact that this war-mongering man supported financial interests that bring poverty and death to millions. Do neoliberals have a template for election victory speeches?
The third point would have been that independence is irreversible. Initially it seemed the Scottish nationalists would accept the outcome of last September’s vote for a generation. Yet we know that Nicola Sturgeon, Salmond’s replacement as leader of the SNP, has taken many opportunities to state conditions under which that party would call a second referendum. She intends to spell these out in the run up to the Scottish Parliament elections next year. According to Alistair Darling, the only point at which the SNP would call such a vote is if they thought it could win independence; a point also made by Salmond.
Many voters felt that the Labour Party was the same as the Tories and so supported calls for independence, voting for the SNP in the general election. A major reason for this was that they hated the austerity that the tartan Tories claimed came solely from Westminster. Now there is opposition to aspects of neoliberal policy in the Labour Party, people are returning to class based politics and the unions are pushing their own political agenda. Why vote for and support the SNP which aims at dividing not only Britain, but the British working class?
For all British workers it is time for us to declare independence from the Scottish, Welsh and English capitalists which are all part of the British ruling class. In pursuit of this, our task next year is to declare independence from the EU.