By Alan Ferguson

MORE than 150 people packed into Govan’s Pearce Institute to hear the socialist case for Scottish Independence on Monday night, heralding one of the biggest Yes meetings in the district so far.

The main speakers were Jim Sillars, a former Govan MP, and Colin Fox, former MSP and leader of the SSP.

The well-attended event, hosted by the SSP, was aimed at converting undecided voters by presenting a socialist alternative to the well publicised SNP vision of independence.

Commenting, Sillars said: “What I take from tonight’s meeting is the amount of self confidence thats now manifested in the Scottish working class.

“We have eradicated the myth of inadequacy in our lives and that’s a big, big step forward.

“The other thing is the energy in the Yes campaign, not just the SSP – there is a lot of energy in the SSP – but the Yes campaign in general.

“A speaker can draw from the audience if there is energy there or not, and I could tell there was a lot of energy down here tonight.”

Recent figures shows public mood is shifting against a pro-Union agenda, with Yes rising steadily in the polls.  With pro-Yes public meetings taking place up and down the length and breadth of Scotland every night of the week, the No campaign has appeared unable to match its pro-independence rival.

The drive for Yes is now making its way into traditional Labour heartlands – as more working and lower middle class people living in Scotland turn against the rule from Westminster.

Colin Fox said: “It was another fantastic meeting – we’re having these every week now for the SSP.  We had Ayr, Govan, we’ve got Jim Sillars in Edinburgh too.

Bus driver Lindsey Fitzpatrick, aged 47, from Govan said she was undecided before the meeting.

She told us: “Before I came I have to admit I wasn’t sure what to vote. There isn’t much information out there that I can understand.

“But the speakers tonight were fantastic, and gave me a lot of hope, actually, for the future of Scotland.

Mrs Fitzpatrick  added: “I’ve always just voted Labour and never really thought about it, to be honest, but now I definitely know I’m voting for independence.”

Retired teacher Bill Richardson, 64, from Govan told us he was voting for independence.

He said: “The socialist case is one I can subscribe to. It’s when we get independence that the battle really begins, to bring about real change.

“The country the SNP have proposed is a damn sight better than the one under Westminster, but we need to think about what sort of nation we’ll be.”

Sillars, who had not spoken in the Pearce Institute since 1992 when he was an MP, said the energy and enthusiasm is the key to the pro-independence campaign.

Suggesting Yes might cause a big surprise on the day of the ballot, Mr Sillars added: “With all of this momentum and energy, the gap between Yes and No is not going to be as narrow as some might think.”


2014-04-03 20:25

Slightly O/T
Just watched Yes Renfrew.
Jeane Freeman is a star turn.
call me dave
2014-04-03 20:51

Your right ‘bringiton’ what an asset, straight talking and at the correct level and content that folk in the audience understand.

Goes big on the Scottish NHS and Woman’s concerns. Brilliant.

The Refrew meeting went well and no smearing of the ‘NO’ just stating the case for a ‘YES’. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

2014-04-03 21:50

“Watched” is there a video?

Jonathon Shafi (31mins in) is also excellent.…/

But however impressive the numbers turning up to meetings are they are still a small (but influential?) minority. We need more of this out on the streets.

I haven’t heard Jeane Freeman but Jonathon Shafi sounds as if he could turn it on in old style soap box oratory.
2014-04-03 21:59

Don’t denigrate the meetings. As the article says from the quotes, they are persuading people from the undecided to the instinctive Labour cannon fodder voter. We know that once converted people do not revert, the scales get lifted from their eyes. They also go back home and convert their family and friends. So the numbers spread out from the meetings.

Also with the ‘too busy’ and ‘don’t care’ on the streets how many do you think someone on a soapbox is going to get to listen these days? It’s better to work on those who are interested as they will then convert others. If we all convert just one person each then we will win handsomely.

2014-04-04 09:33

Again o/t. But here in Methil, Methilhill bowling club hosted a very well attended Tommy Sheridan Talk, with Questions and Answers.

Can only say Tommy was excellent, his enthusiasm, and passion for Scotland in every word.

I recommend any who have not yet made their mind up, to watch Tommy at St Brycedales Kirkcaldy, on YouTube.
2014-04-04 20:03

I’m surprised you give space to this rag-tag bunch of hardline socialists which wants to take us back into the economic dark ages.
2014-04-05 07:59

Firstly it is important that as many people as possible vote for independence for whatever reason. Once independence has been achieved we can then explain that the economic dark ages is not the way to go. The only other alternative is more of the same from Westminster.
2014-04-05 19:10

Jim n Colin, C’mon down ……to Greenock and Port Glasgow there’s lots of votes to be saved from Labours evil clutches!

You must be logged-in in order to post a comment.