Over 100 people crowded into the Cladhan Hotel on a wet Thursday night to hear how an independent Scotland could become a fairer more prosperous and innovative society after a YES vote in next year’s referendum.
The vision was delivered by Robin McAlpine of the Jimmy Reid Foundation, a left of centre think tank of academics responsible for a series of policy papers that led to ”The Common Weal” concept of a more equal society post independence.
In an inspirational speech that enthused the hall Mr McAlpine outlined what flaws within the current UK set up and compared the UK model with that of our Scandinavian neighbours.
Pointing out that success in the UK is building up a business, selling it to a foreign competitor who then ships the jobs abroad then starting all over again by buying out a smaller business, asset stripping the business and selling it on at the cost of jobs.
The result is an export of jobs yet this is seen as good practice because we create one or two super rich individuals who invariably leave the UK to become tax exiles and has led to the UK having the worst deficit of trade balance of any of the countries in Europe.
An independent Scotland, he argued, needs to get away from the notion that those with most money are not necessarily the best people to run society but a balanced society where people are paid a fair wage is more likely to produce an innovative and motivated workforce than a multi national paying minimum wage.
The UK was already the 4th most unequal society in the developed world and likely to get even unbalanced as the austerity cuts from Westminster that are due to continue indefinitely no matter who wins the next UK election As a economic unit it will continue to decline and in doing so will become even more unbalanced leading to further social divisions.
Scotland on the other hand has what it takes to be a modern vibrant economy and if a Scottish Government makes economic development its priority as it will do then we are looking at a high wage, quality public services and low levels of unemployment.
This, M McAlpine argued will give Scotland social cohesion and stand out like a beacon to other parts of not only the UK but beyond.
A link to the YES Falkirk Facebook site with the speech is posted below.