Climate & Environment Culture Wars Democracy Disability Rights Elections Human Rights Immigration Industry Israel-Gaza Labour Poverty Privilege Scotland Scottish Independence Ungagged Writing Val Waldron

Dreaming in Green by Val Waldron

Not a week goes by in Scottish politics when the decision to vote No in 2014 does not rear its ugly head.

November 2023, the Scottish Broadcasting Company reports growing unrest south of the border. Massive crowds are gathering daily outside Westminster, demanding an end to Tory rule, following emergency legislation allowing the  General Election to be postponed for up to another five years. Amidst the ‘Tories Out’ banners, many are chanting, and carrying placards saying ‘Scotland, Take us with you.’ The GB News Scotland Correspondent, a veteran of BBC Radio Scotland news, has failed to acknowledge the gatherings since they began some weeks ago.

Visa applications are being processed at a record rate for those prepared to make the move to their thriving independent neighbour. The massive expansion of the nationalised Green Grid energy company ensures a range of employment and housing opportunities across the skills range for local and migrating workers. The immigration policy, in place for five years now, has been declared a success across the board, with the exception of the Tories, who languish on the far-right fringe of politics.

A previous MSP for the Faslane Nuclear base finally made the move to the rump of the Scottish Tory party, following the decommissioning of the weapons of mass destruction. She declared ‘My work is done here. I have always supported the transition to green energy, and welcome the new role for the base and the community’ Scotland’s Principal Minister responded ‘The honourable member has always been a liar, and the Tories will welcome her with open arms.’


Ah well, we can dream…tis the season, but there’s not a week goes by in Scottish politics when the decision to vote No in 2014 does not rear its ugly head. The latter part of November brought us the staggering news of the proposed closure of the Grangemouth Oil refinery. Our future must not rely on fossil fuels, but every environmentally aware activist across the board recognises the parallels with Thatcher’s desecration of the mining communities. The drilling will continue, the vast majority of the jobs will not.

The asset stripping continues in the same vein, the same project across the decades. No community can thrive without a suitable alternative and a Just Transition to green energy takes a staggering amount of time, commitment and investment. The political will is lacking, the dependency on imports increase and licences continue.

We are producers, but no longer to be refiners of oil. The devastation of the plant goes beyond the local community, impacting severely on suppliers and other parts of the manufacturing production line, way beyond the area.

If you’re waiting for Labour to fix it all for you, keep waiting. This is an action by Petroineos CEO, uber-unionist, amoral capitalist, Sir James Ratcliffe, already worth multi billions in capital. He has other projects in mind. Furthermore the Tories have been successfully incorporating green issues into their culture wars manifesto, but does Tory-Lite Starmer have the answers or the will to fix an asset-stripped Scotland?

That brings me to the issue of Gaza. Unlike the rector of St Andrew’s university, who will not heed calls to resign and is not sorry for using words such as genocide and apartheid of Gaza, our leading politicians are somewhat less committed to clarity. Starmer’s Labour favours both-siding, and uses words like conflict, to describe the on-going murder of another people’s children.

Officially Starmer’s Labour favours a ‘pause’ before a ceasefire. Scotland’s two Labour MPs slavishly followed the whip, while the Labour MSPs in Holyrood joined all parties except for the Tories (of course) in calling for a ceasefire. Confused? Confusing?

Firstly, pleased. This is an important statement by a small country with its own parliament. Anas Sarwar was recently interviewed by BBC Scotland’s wolfish reported Martin Geissler and was unable to extract a clear response from Sarwar as to whether he would have voted for a full ceasefire or not in the Westminster debate. Geissler believes this is about ‘who leads the labour Party in Scotland.’ Sarwar seems like a decent enough guy, but lacking a spine, that’s who.

However, it’s so much more than that. Radio Scotland had a complete news blackout on the Holyrood debate the following day. It’s hard to say what they’re uncomfortable with. Normally they’re quite happy to report clear blue water between Westminster and Scottish Labour, but do they share the indignation expressed by Tories and others that Scottish views do not belong on the world stage? Are they uncomfortable with slippery Sarwar?

Labour are not to be trusted. Don’t forget that they voted for Gender Reform, then left Nicola Sturgeon to take the fall when the Tories came for it. They will never be free of their Unionist masters snapping at their heels.

Then came the Autumn Statement and a massive middle finger to the poor, disabled and vulnerable by an elitist band of entitled, privately educated charlatans, who only care for power and personal wealth. They struggle to aspire to the conservatism of the Blue Wall and the populism of the Red wall, while trying desperately out-do Labour in all their contradictory messages; tax/NI cuts, benefit increases, decreased borrowing.

Where is Scotland in this? Essentially caught in a trap between uncaring Tories, whose plans will rip through infrastructure, housing, green transition for example, as well as services, and Tory-lite labour. Labour have already reneged on repeal of some of the most hated and damaging Tory policies; the rape clause, the bedroom tax. They cannot possibly commit to being a party of public expenditure in light of the Tory austerity coming soon to their neck of the woods.

You Yes yet? If not what will convince you that we absolutely must have our own powers to grow in a socially responsible way, open to the wider world that years of Tory rule has denied us. The asset stripping can and will continue, but they can’t take our wind and waves, nor the people who can make an independent Scotland work.

*All of these topics are fully unpacked and ungagged on this week’s podcast at

Val Waldron









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