Scotland

Yes does not mean left

Author: 

Dale Street

Colin Foster is right to argue that the labour movement and working class will be weakened and divided by a mindset which identifies “yes” (to Scottish independence) with “left”, and “no” to independence with “right”. (Solidarity, 339).

The problem is that that mindset is now hardwired into the pro-independence left.

In Scotland, the pro-independence left wants to make the working class footsoldiers for the Poujadist nationalism of the SNP.

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Scotland: time to move on

Author: 

Colin Foster

After the 18 September referendum in Scotland, the battles against low pay, inequality, and cuts remain to be fought there, pretty much the same as in England.

The issue of NHS cuts in Scotland was raised as a scare just before the referendum, but the Institute for Fiscal Studies (conservative, but with no special axe to grind over Scottish separation) found that spending on the NHS in Scotland would fall by 1% in real terms, between 2009-10 and 2015-16, and rise by about 4% in real terms in England.

A mindset which identifies Yes to Scottish separation with “left”, and No with “right”, will divide and cripple the labour movement and the working class.

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Why a democratic federal republic?

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Matt Cooper (Solidarity 338) objects to our calls for a democratic federal republic and a constituent assembly on three grounds:

One, that to call for a constituent assembly is “abstract propaganda”, or would “give those views that dominate current political debate... political form”.

Two, that a federal system is impossible “where one unit (England) is far bigger than all the others put together”.

Three, that devolution (the status quo? or Cameron’s increased devolution?) is the “good approximate answer”.

If one unit is much bigger than the others in a federal state, the decisions of the federal authority will be heavily influenced by that unit. That may be difficult. But between England and Scotland, long closely integrated, it could be workable.

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Scottish left pulled into SNP vortex

The working class voted “yes”. The Labour Party is finished. And we need a new mass socialist party.

To one degree or another, and in one form or another, these have been the three main responses of the pro-independence left to the result of the 18 September referendum.

The first element has some degree of truth to it. Three of the four regions which had a “yes” majority (even if not a very large one) are traditional Labour strongholds. The fourth (Dundee) used to be a Labour stronghold, until New Labour decided the sitting Labour MP John McAllion was a liability.

Any socialist welcoming “the working-class 'yes’ vote” in the Scottish independence referendum is welcoming the divisive poison of nationalism penetrating into working-class politics. To try to build on that basis — as the pro-independence left is now attempting — amounts to adding another dose of the same poison.

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Plans for consistent democracy

Author: 

Matt Cooper

Solidarity 337 was right to pose a plan of consistent democracy in response to the Scottish referendum.

This is far better than the wrong-headedness of much of the left’s “Cuba of the north” fantasies about Scottish independence. It is also the right riposte to the inconsistent and undemocratic response of the mainstream Westminster parties. Solidarity was, however, wrong in both its overall approach to the democratic demands raised and the detailed content.

Devolution, a good approximate answer to the desire of Scottish people to have more say over their own affairs, is a compromise, but a compromise with the least problems.

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After Scottish shock, reshape Britain!

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Editorial

Scotland is not settled. The whole British political system has been unsettled.

The majority on 18 September against separation — 55 to 45 per cent — was bigger than expected, and Solidarity is glad the vote went that way. We said “reduce borders, not raise them”.

But the Scottish National Party reports an influx of 10,000 new members. There is a storm on Twitter with the #45 hashtag, with which the 18 September percentage for separation spookily link their cause to the feudal-reactionary revolt of 1745, which started in Scotland.

Britain should become a democratic, federal republic.

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Imagine...

Author: 

Dale Street

Imagine you’re attending a union meeting in your workplace. Your workplace rep is reporting back from a meeting with management:

“Here’s the offer management has put on the table. There’s 6,300 members covered by the national collective bargaining agreement. Management is proposing to give the 500 of us here our own separate bargaining unit.

I think it’s a great offer. The last time we had a ballot on a pay deal, we got outvoted by the other 5,800 members down south. Now, if we get our own bargaining unit, we’ll always get the pay deal we want.

A parable about the Scottish referendum.

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