Sillars: ‘Self-confidence rising in working class Scots’

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  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.”