THERE was a big turnout for the Radical Independence Campaign’s annual conference yesterday, with a full house hearing speakers from across the Yes movement. Entitled A Failed State on a Failed System, the conference drew hundreds to the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow.

Human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar gave one of the best-received speeches of the day as the conference heard an outspoken attack on the UK Government’s record on immigrants’ rights, aimed at Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Anwar said: “What Donald Trump and Boris Johnson have done is to rip away the veneer of legitimacy that masquerades as democracy.

“And in Black History month I watched Sajid Javid and Priti Patel’s speeches as they paid tribute to their parents, yet they insult my parents’ generation who gave their blood sweat and tears to help build this country.

“I saw all the nonsense about Boris Johnson’s Cabinet that somehow you have Priti Patel and Sajid Javid there and this is a great sign for the ethnic minorities in the country, and I’ll say this – Boris Johnson’s Cabinet has indeed made history by being the most ethnically diverse in its bigotry.

“It doesn’t matter to a gay asylum seeker facing deportation to Iran if it’s a brown-skinned Home Secretary whose parents happen to be refugees from Idi Amin’s Uganada if she then goes on to sign that gay asylum seeker’s deportation order. It makes no difference.”

To loud applause Anwar said: “Let me make it clear today that when I fight for independence I do so not because I am a nationalist, I do so quite the reverse because I am an internationalist.”

Other speakers gave messages of resistance to the conference. Holly Rigby of the Abolish Eton campaign said: “We must fight together against the scourge of zero-hours contracts, the need for food banks and misery of Universal Credit.”

Campaign co-founder Jonathon Shafi tweeted: “Massive plenary session at @Radical_Indy conference – but more importantly – rallying against neoliberalism with international speakers from Europe and beyond. We need such co-ordination to confront common problems as part of winning independence.”