The Radical Independence Campaign in Dundee are deeply concerned by the news that the city council leader, Cllr John Alexander, continues to push the agenda of creating a freeport on the banks of the River Tay.
Whilst, as a movement, we understand the need to fight on various fronts to bring much needed jobs and investment to the city, we consider the proposition of a freeport as one which historically presents a terrible record of delivering on promises of economic transformation.
Freeports are often portrayed as thriving areas of commerce but in reality are nothing more than large warehouses offering tax breaks and avenues to conduct criminal activity for the ultra-rich. This poses the question, who do they serve to benefit?
The proposal would offer up our city as one which will rely on the reduction of workers employment rights and ignore our own environmental obligations, neither of which are in the interests of working class Dundonians.
If we, as a city, are looking to create decent, well paid and safe employment in the North East then our long term investment should focus on re-imagining the waterfront regeneration project towards one which centres around a green industrial revolution.
Dundee has potentially the world’s greatest renewable energy development sector on its doorstep, with two internationally heralded universities and a population which embodies the hard-working ethos needed for a genuinely transformative future.
We therefore urge Cllr Alexander, and our other elected city leaders, to oppose the creation of a freeport and instead focus on creating an economic recovery plan which ensures Dundee’s working class strengths and interests are front and centre.