To advance the careers of a handful of members of the ruling class, workers are being set against each other by Scottish nationalists. The question of independence once more threatens relations between Scottish and English/Welsh workers. Scottish workers are being asked to trust in the local ruling class rather than in the solidarity and unity with fellow workers. We cannot easily achieve combined working-class action by declaring there are supposed national differences which distinguish Scottish workers from, say, their English brothers and sisters. And certainly it is not aided by identifying with Scottish businessmen and landowners because of some imaginary concept of a shared ‘nationality’.
To combine to defend our class is the strategy of liberation, not separatist notions of any Scottish constitutional sovereignty. The Socialist Party does not fall into the trap of the ‘progressive’ facade of nationalism as promoted by some on the Left.
Sturgeon of the SNP is once more rattling her claymore calling for a new referendum. First, it was Brexit as the excuse, then it was the pandemic which became the reason, now it is Boris Johnson’s corruption as justifying another vote on independence.
“...Scotland faces two very different futures. We can decide to take the powers we need to rebuild our economy and society into our own hands, with a future as an independent country, working with our friends in Europe and building a fairer economy. Or we can remain tied to a Westminster system that is dragging us in the wrong direction and which with every day that passes is slipping deeper into a mire of Tory sleaze…”
But, as we have witnessed, in the Salmond-Sturgeon who is lying, power politics always remain the unstated position.
As Marx pointed out, “If they speak consciously and openly to the working class, then they summarise their philanthropy in the following words: It is better to be exploited by one’s fellow-countrymen than by foreigners.”
What we in the Socialist Party’s Edinburgh and Glasgow branches are saying is independence will not improve our condition one iota. Only class struggle could do that and only with difficulty. Such success depends on close ties with similar movements in England and elsewhere.
We are not defending ‘British nationalism’ or the unity of the United Kingdom in any way. That would be an endorsement for the status quo, something we do not support. We do not argue that the present constitutional arrangement benefits ordinary people either.
The freedom of Scottish workers can only come about by overthrowing capitalism itself. If this is not done, no amount of separatism can ever succeed in bringing freedom. Instead of tragically wasting time fostering nationalism, workers should be struggling for a socialist society without national borders.
‘Because the condition of the workers of all countries is the same, because their interests are the same, their enemies the same, they must also fight together, they must oppose the brotherhood of the bourgeoisie of all nations with a brotherhood of the workers of all nations.’ Engels.