The controversial politician explains why he is leading his own campaign for a No vote in September’s referendumby Serena Kutchinsky / April 28, 2014 / Leave a comment
” A Yes vote is alarmingly possible” says George Galloway
SK: Where did the idea for your anti-independence “Just Say Naw” tour originate?
GG: The name is derived from the anti-drugs slogan “Just Say No”, which I “translated” into Glaswegian. I felt strongly that we were losing the referendum by default, and that the mainstream Better Together campaign wasn’t doing enough to secure a No vote. Now, I am the only person on the No side drawing significant audiences. I have held six meetings so far with around 4,000 people attending, many of those paying £10 to get in. My wife is due to give birth to our new baby in July and I plan to bring them both with me on the campaign tour bus.
Why are you opposed to Scottish independence?
I have always hated nationalism. My flag is red. I care nothing for either the Scottish or the British flags. I’m not interested in the commemoration of the 1314 Battle of Bannockburn—which this referendum is being timed to coincide with. The only valid grounds for nationalism is when there is national oppression by one nation over another—that is manifestly not true in Scotland. It is not an occupied country. It has never been an occupied country. It is complete hysterical nonsense to pretend otherwise.
How does Just Say Naw differ from Better Together which is being led by the former Labour chancellor Alistair Darling?
My message is that class is more important than nation. Nation is a transient concept. Scottish working class people have nothing in common with the bankers, landowners and capitalists in Scotland. They have everything in common with fellow workers in Liverpool. Why would anyone want to turn the people of Liverpool into foreigners? I can speak to the Scottish people in a language they understand. When George Osborne or David Cameron pop up to Aberdeen and attempt to communicate with the Scottish electorate it’s as if they are speaking a foreign language.
Recent polls have reported that the Yes vote is gaining ground on the No campaign. How realistic is it that Scotland will vote Yes?
It’s alarmingly possible. The trajectory is bad for us, the momentum is bad for us, and the class composition of a Yes vote is bad for us—essentially those who are well-off are voting No and…