Maggie Chapman: Independence must connect with “the politics of the everyday”

Nathanael Williams

Co-convenor of the Scottish Greens urges conference to tie big ideas of independence to everyday life for Scots

SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE has to be rooted in the “politics of the everyday” according to Maggie Chapman, the Co-convenor of the Scottish Greens 

She made the appeal during her opening speech at the Scottish Independence Convention’s ‘Build’ conference today (14 January) in front of an audience of 800 supporters of independence in Glasgow.

By connecting the “big radical ideas” of making a new fairer nation to what people are feeling at the level of local communities, Chapman said, the path to victory for the Yes vote would be opened.

“We need to make the politics of independence the politics of the everyday .” Maggie Chapman

Chapman said: “For me and for many others, the 2014 referendum vote was the most significant event in our political lives. By making the case for radical change we captured the imagination of thousands of Scots. Greens brought our distinctive values to this, arguing for a more democratic country with real social security through a citizen’s income and a reindustrialisation based on renewables that appealed well beyond the traditional supporters of independence.

“We need to make the politics of independence the politics of the everyday. To be in a country that doesn’t just mean that politics and community energy stops every May. To show people that that transformative step is not scary or dangerous but a chance for them to make their lives and communities better.”

After its opening and policy sessions, the conference, which host Elaine C Smith said could have sold out three times over, voted for both universal basic income and a citizen’s second chamber, which would see a second house of parliament drawn from ordinary members of the public.

Chapman severely criticised the politics of “global reaction” which she claimed was embodied by last year’s victories for Brexit and the presidential win of Donald Trump in the US.

Live: Your guide to the Scottish Independence Convention conference

“As the creaking British state lurches from crisis to crisis, the need for independence becomes clearer and clearer. It is time to start building the independence movement again so that when the next referendum comes we are in a place to convince thousands more Scots that another, and better, Scotland is possible”, she added.

After condemning the UK Government’s handling of Brexit, the Scottish Green Co-convenor stated that Scotland would be a nation based on the big ideas of human rights, dignity and sustainable economics.

“We say no to the politics of austerity, no to cuts against the poorest, no to xenophobia but yes to an economy that is suited to human needs, for compassion and autonomy.”

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