One thing you can say about Tommy Sheridan is that he doesn't 'beat about the bush' and he was at his 'tub thumping best' last night before a capacity crowd in Coatbridge. He had that many 'one liners' it was difficult to keep up with them, but his most memorable for me was, 'it's squeaky bum time for the British establishment' referring of course to Westminster 'scraping the bottom of the barrel' in getting other foreign leaders to try and influence the referendum result i.e Tony Abbott, Barack Obama, and the Chinese Premier that none of us could remember his name. Tommy's answer to Obama was, if independence is good enough for the US, it's good enough for Scotland!
The essence of Tommy Sheridan's argument was all economic and social, he claimed that it was those that weren't struggling were the ones who wished to retain the status quo whilst those that were struggling financially by Tory cuts were those who demanded change and were going to vote Yes. It was a class war and a Yes vote by the working class of Scotland was in their economic interest; whilst a No vote meant continued austerity and hardship. The UK is not OK because the unelected government in Westminster were punishing the poor for the mistakes of the rich. The 200 so called stars who signed the letter calling for a no vote were doing the bidding of the UK government and as Tommy described 'millionaires who are intervening because the result is too close to call and they're kicking themselves for letting it get this far.'
Tommy then went to describe the effects of austerity on Scotland, 25% of children living in poverty,
1 in 6 pensioners living in poverty and the difference between top and bottom earners had increased from 43 x in 1998 to 143x in 2014. He said that austerity measures would get worst with a no vote including big cuts to the NHS in Scotland as a consequence of reduced funding on the NHS in England and a reduction in the Barnett consequential. If we were really to become better together why are we not better now? The answer is clear, 'the poor are being punished for the mistakes of the rich.'
In calling for a yes vote, Tommy reminded the audience that the last time Scotland elected a Tory government was 1951, but had been ruled by a Tory administration unelected by Scottish voters for 35 years since then, that was unacceptable and a yes vote will, '...consign the Tories in Scotland to panda status'
I very much doubt if there were any neutral or undecided voters left in the hall at the end of Tommy's speech and hand on heart I would think the vast majority would be voting yes.
Finally, this was Tommy's 80th Hope Over Fear meeting and if Scotland vote for independence the people of Scotland will owe him an immense debt of gratitude for his unrelentless campaigning and his deep sense of commitment and enthusiasm for seeing a better more equal Scotland.