John Harris

Journalist & Author

The third Scotland won’t be denied – whatever the referendum result | John Harris

Outside Scotland’s two dominant parties a group of radical young voices is blazing a trail for a fresh kind of left politics

The session is titled Seven minutes to Yes. Seven supporters of the organisation Women for Independence take 420 seconds each to explain why they will be voting yes in September’s referendum, by talking not just about politics and ideals but about their own personal stories.

What follows is often very moving: accounts of nitty-gritty experience spanning two or three generations that dovetail into ideas of equality and social justice. One woman, Selma Rahman, reaches into her pockets for a pair of scissors and her Labour membership card, and then cuts up a symbol of at least three decades of loyalty in protest, she says, at what she sees as Labour’s tolerance of the social model that has given us food banks. This is one of many reminders not just of the human foundations on which politics ought to be based but of the kind of raw humanity that is sorely lacking south of the border.

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