A Scottish Socialist Republic or Free Market Ethnic War Zone?
A recurring argument of the ultra left is that Scottish people are more left-wing than English people, therefore an independent Scotland will be a socialist Scotland. This holds little water as Scottish people are clearly not more left-wing, there is no great widespread class consciousness. To make such an argument is to close oneself off from reality. It is to ignore the role of Scots in Britain’s imperial army. It is to ignore Scotland’s centrality to the colonization of the North of Ireland. It is to ignore the still mainstream anti-Irish bigotry that prevails and can be seen on the slopes of Ibrox Park or any Orange parade. The social consciousness of the Scottish working class is less ripe for the creation of a workers paradise, than it is for the creation of a Balkans style ethnic war zone.
Proponents of such an argument make an even more fundamental flaw. They assume that because Scotland has historically voted Labour in a higher proportion than England that this makes them more left-wing. Yet, the rise of pro-independence coincides with Labour’s decline in Scotland. So if they really viewed themselves and Labour as left-wing then we would not be witnessing their desertion to the nationalists.
The unfortunate fact is that left-wing parties remain small. The Communist Party, Solidarity and the Scottish Socialist Party’s ranks do not swell in a way which correlates with a class conscious people. On the issue of independence the Trotskyites of the SSP and Solidarity are guilty of their rose-tinted romanticised view of Scotland’s apparent leftist consensus. Unsurprisingly, only the Communist Party avoids such infantile proclamations and vulgarized depictions.
One thing that is certain is that If Labour will not build socialism, then the SNP certainly won’t. Rather than rely on trade union’s for funding they rely on big business donations from capitalists like Tom Farmer. The unwritten rule of reciprocation is a powerful force in politics.
We can read much from their long-held plan to lower corporation tax. This will have to be offset by higher taxes for working people or reduced public services. Long live the Socialist Republic eh?
‘Independence in Europe’ is the clarion call of the nationalists. First of all, it is uncertain that an independent Scotland would receive EU membership. But if it did then what would this independence mean? It would mean an obligation to be ruled economically and politically by Brussels, the banks and the seemingly omnipotent capitalists. Scottish people would have no control over their economy and no mechanism in place to gain control. Those on the left who rush to the SNP should remember the words of James Connolly
“If you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organization of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain. England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs.”
Today the slogan must be “Brussels will still rule you”!
True independence can be won by the united struggle of the people through its institutions: its trade unions and Communist Party. Freedom will be won by way of battling against Brussels, against NATO and against capitalism, not by pledging perpetual subordination to them.
The path of separation is not the path to becoming the Cuba of Europe. It is the path to becoming the next Kosovo of Europe.