Scottish independence: Sorry Angela Rayner, but leaving UK is best chance for Scotland to build a fairer future– Laura Waddell

As the Tory leadership contest drags on drearily through these hard economic times and bleak political climate, I was cheered to see a recent poll conducted by Survation that revealed a majority of Scots would welcome higher tax.

“Results indicate that as many as 61 per cent of Scottish people support the idea of gradual increases in tax, with higher earners paying more tax and lower earners paying the same or less tax than they currently do,” Survation said.

Before we clap ourselves on the back for being so civic-minded, the picture is a little more complex, as ever, when attitude is put to vote.

Then, only 27 per cent say they would be more likely to vote for an MSP in favour of proportional tax increases, with 19 per cent less likely to do so. But still, there is a clear preference there, and from it I take hope that in Scotland there is genuine political appetite for something different than Westminster and its increasingly right-wing swerve.

Making an appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe this week, Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “I don’t think the people of Scotland should leave behind the people of Ashton-under-Lyne… The poverty that we face is the poverty they face and we both need a Labour government in order to make the changes that we need to make, whether that’s in Scotland or in England.”

But with one Scottish MP on their roster, following the party’s self-sabotaging campaigning alongside the Tories in Scotland’s independence referendum of 2014 and how promises of ‘better together’ are turning out, Labour might never wake up to the fact Scottish voters have long felt like the Labour party’s last priority.

Putting aside the obvious emotional manipulation of Rayner’s statement, Scottish citizens don’t exist simply to top up Labour’s southern votes and many resent the implication.

Rayner also said: “Leaving us to perpetual Conservatism at Westminster is not very nice.” What she doesn’t seem to realise is that Scotland could say the same thing about Labour’s continued ineffectual opposition and stubborn resistance to Scottish independence.

Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner and Scottish Labour party leader Anas Sarwar visit the Kidzcare childcare facility in Edinburgh (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

As we are all well aware, Scotland chose Labour for many years, and it has led us to this very place. Independence is the best chance Scotland has to craft a better, fairer future and make tangible political change.

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