Scottish referendum: vote no to independence

This motion was passed by the Alliance for Workers' Liberty national committee on 1 September 2012.

1. The Scottish people have a right to self-determination. We support the holding of a referendum on independence and, if Scots vote for it, we will defend their right to separate against any "unionist" opposition in England.

2. We want a unified, stateless, socialist world, with social rights and conditions as far as possible levelled up globally. Even today, all things being equal, we favour larger, amalgamated states. However, we do not advocate immediate amalgamation of all nations into a single, uniform political unit. For now and some time to come, even after socialist revolutions, we support independence for oppressed nations or those at risk of oppression.

3. On the same principle, even when we support the creation or continuation of a single state, we favour regional autonomy for distinct nationalities (i.e. a federal form of government), so as to reduce the risk not only of outright oppression but even of friction and annoyance. Hence our support for a yes/yes vote in the 1997 referendum on Scottish devolution - which provided a more democratic framework for a separate Scottish legal and administrative system which already existed.

4. When it comes to a referendum on independence for Scotland, the "balance" of issues changes. Scotland is not an oppressed nation. Scottish independence would remove no real oppression, but would increase barriers between Scotland and England and thus potential barriers between Scottish and English workers. Therefore we advocate that people in Scotland vote no to independence.

5. We reject the idea of supporting Scottish independence as some sort of blow against "Britain" or "British imperialism". In addition to the question of how serious a blow Scottish independence would actually be, we believe that socialist answers to national questions need to be judged not negatively, but on the positive criteria of democracy and working-class unity.

6. We reject the idea that Scottish independence is some sort of anti-cuts strategy. The cuts will be defeated, if they are, by working-class struggle across borders. We advocate cross-Britain, cross-Europe and international working-class struggle against austerity.

7. There is currently much discussion about exactly what questions will be asked in a referendum. We favour a single, straightforward yes/no question on independence in order to make the lines of argument and decision-making clearer.

8. We advocate the reorganisation of Britain as a democratic, federal republic, within a democratic, federal Europe.

Comments

Referendum question

The Guardian reports that David Cameron and Alex Salmond have agreed there will be a single question on independence: "Salmond has accepted there will be only one question on the ballot paper – whether Scotland should leave the United Kingdom or not". The referendum will take place in 2014 and 16 and 17 year olds will be allowed to vote.

16 / 17 year old franchise

Is it the case that ALL 16 & 17 year Olds will have the vote or only those coming up to 18 who are already on the register, as suggested on Friday's Today programme?

Presumably the SNP is insisting on this because they t think young voters are more likely to support independencerather than any democratic principle.

Divorce - will it be bitter or amicable ?

It looks very like it's going to be a Yes and has looked /felt that way for some time. When the post- 18th September analyses are written the ingredients will be : A terrible No Campaign, a better organized Yes campaign, the prospect of
the next UK Government continuing with much bigger cuts in the near future and good old fashioned support for the underdog. Throw in 35 years of Thatcherism and a Labour movement that has been weak and passive for 30 years , then what's happening is not really surprising even if the form desire for change is taking is very far from ideal !