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A contribution to the Radical Independence Campaign’s (RIC) “One year to go… radical perspectives” series

My main hope is that over the next twelve months we can reinvigorate a debate in our local communities about how we are governed. We need to make the argument for how independence can be a means (rather than an an end) in an ongoing process of reclaiming power.

If we fight for it, independence can signify a departure from the old way of doing things.  By providing a space in which we can imagine another future and articulate an alternative narrative of what “independence” could really mean, the Radical Independence Campaign can continue to challenge the neoliberal dogma which informs policy at both Westminster and Holyrood.  We can say no to austerity and the attacks on our public services, and yes to fighting for a welfare system which looks after its people.

We have to make the case not only for why a more socially and environmentally just Scotland is possible, but how Scottish self-determination is part of an internationalist project and how it could help us fight for a better future for our class, across all borders.

But real participation and engagement needs more than just a “one size fits all” view of our future.  For the Radical Independence Campaign to be meaningful, we have to ‘dig where we stand’ and come together in our local communities and workplaces, talk with each other, and offer real solidarity in the face of problems which will be with us long after the referendum.  So in Dumfries and Galloway, we have been collectively identifying the problems holding our region back – whether it’s unemployment, depopulation or fuel poverty – and arguing how they could be ameliorated by Radical Independence.

We need Radical Independence from exploitative bosses, opaque local authorities, corrupt councillors, self-interested land owners and the corporations that degrade our environment for private gain.  We have to challenge entrenched networks of power at every level they operate by presenting an alternative vision of society whose logic is derived from the needs of people and not profit.

The referendum provides a symbolic anchor for all of these debates.  Our task therefore is to argue not only that ‘Another Scotland is Possible’ – but that it is necessary and, regardless of the outcome of the referendum, it is worth all the fight we have.

Lucy Brown – Radical Independence Dumfries and Galloway