A draft letter to Leithers

People of Leith: be proud. You registered to vote in droves, you engaged, debated, argued the future, faced down scaremongering, fear and already-unravelling lies to return a Yes result across Leith and Leith Walk polling districts.

It wasn’t enough. The people of Scotland said No: 55% to 45%. So, let’s take a look at what’s coming.

Since the referendum we’ve been promised Scottish budget cuts[1], the NHS is under threat[2], there will be more austerity – regardless of parties at Westminster[3][4], North Sea oil and gas miraculously won’t run out for many more decades[5], we’re bombing Iraq again[6], and the very ground under our feet is open for international energy companies to exploit[7].

And there are still no sign of any meaningful new powers for Scotland to change any of this.

Therefore, we’re not going anywhere. Neither are the newly empowered activists – each of the pro-independence political parties has seen a tripling of their membership, filled with people who refuse to go back to their sofas. The good news continues – Women For Independence has held a thousand-strong post-referendum conference, there will be an Edinburgh North & Leith Common Weal space for civic education and activism planning.

The Yes campaign lost the referendum, but it’s clear the battle for social justice, informed political argument and activism continues. And the will to deliver a Scottish Parliament with the power to make good with our settled will.

We want one thing from you, and that’s to keep engaged. Hold them (and us) to account. Write letters to your representatives, demand answers, attend meetings, hold and attend demonstrations, whatever you like, whatever you can.

You did a great thing. You should be proud of it. But we need to keep going.

With love,

Yes Edinburgh North and Leith

[1] – “Cameron to cut public funds for Scotland” – The Times, 23rd Sept
[2] – “Tories want to sell NHS to American firms under trade deal planned by ministers” – Daily Mirror, 13th Sept
[3] – “IFS: austerity will continue during next Tory, Labour or Lib Dem parliament” – The Guardian 19th Sept
[4] – “Labour Party conference: plan to freeze child benefit” – Independent 22nd Sept
[5] – “Life of gas and oil in North Sea could be extended” – Glasgow Herald 25th Sept
[6] – “British air strikes against Isil in Iraq will go on for years, defence secretary says” – Telegraph 25th Sept
[7] – “Westminster accused of stealing property rights to help frackers” – Sunday Herald 17th Aug

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