Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts with the label SNP

Scotch Mist

In Scotland today it’s true that there is a struggle – as there is in England, Wales, Ireland, or rest of the world for that matter. But the struggle in Scotland is not, as the Scottish National Party would have us believe, the struggle for home rule, self-government, self-determination, or self anything. The struggle in Scotland, as in the rest of the world, is a class struggle: the struggle between the working class and the capitalist or owning class.

The SNP tell us, the workers, that independence from England and the control of our own purse strings will cure all our problems. What they do not seem to realise is that the problems they are going to try to solve are an integral part of the capitalist system, and history has shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that within this system there is no satisfactory solution to these problems apart from Socialism.

The SNP talk about the Scottish culture and the Scottish way of life. But in what way is the life of a Scottish wage…

Socialism cannot wait

The Socialist Party believes that socialism is the alternative to capitalism. Socialism requires the joint efforts of workers worldwide. Socialism is the only answer for the working class. And that we must organise as a class whose goal is that. The Socialist Party has never had as a policy that “socialism can wait.”
The Scottish National Party is the party of a certain segment of the Scottish capitalist class. Brian Souter, the owner of the Stagecoach transport network has given more than a million pounds to the SNP. Needless to say, he did so knowing full well that the party would not challenge his wealth or power. In particular, the SNP has made it clear that the bus system and the railroads will remain in the private sector. The SNP has gone out of the way to reassure the business community, including the transnational corporations, that they have nothing to fear because an independent Scotland would not threaten their interests. There can be no question that the SNP will act to …

No Longer the North Sea bonanza

North Sea oil was central to the dream of Scottish independence in this year’s referendum. The wealth stored under the waves would buttress public spending, said the SNP, and it would also enable Scots to set up their sovereign fund as Norway has to hold some of its fruits for future generations.
The SNP predicted that oil would be selling now for $110 a barrel. Unusually, however, it forecasted that the price would stay constant over the next five years. Yesterday, North Sea Brent crude traded at one point at $64.24 (and could drop further). The world is now facing an era of cheap oil so the SNP is joining a long queue of people who got their predictions about oil wrong.
 Between 1991 and 2008, tax receipts from the North Sea grew strongly, reaching £12.4 billion, on the back of prices reaching an all-time high in 2008. From 2009, however, revenues have fallen, from £6.1 billion in 2012-13 to £4.7 billion in the last financial year and to £2.8 billion in the one ending next April. T…

Class Solidarity

Socialist Courier can do little better than the views on the independence referendum propounded by John Wight, writer and political commentator. Socialist Courier may not endorse all his other political opinions but on his views on Scottish nationalism we can only concur. They reflect the ideas presented by many posts on this blog.

 “ I will be voting ‘No’ in this year's referendum on Scottish independence. I will do so as a statement of solidarity with working people the length and breadth of the United Kingdom.

There is undoubtedly much that is regressive – make that despicable – about the British state. The monarchy, the House of Lords, the country’s history of empire, colonialism, and its recent history of sowing carnage and chaos in the Middle East – all of those things add up to a damning indictment of a state formed in 1707 in the interests of a rising mercantile class, committed to colonial expansion and the super exploitation of the planet’s resources.

However, the notion…

Fudging the Figures

The Scottish Government “airbrushed” the global financial crash from its official case for independence to avoid showing Scots would have been thousands of pounds worse off outside the UK. 2008 was omitted from the 670-page Scotland’s Future white paper because of the “temporary effect” it had on the long-term economic picture.

The blueprint for independence, unveiled in November, claims each Scot would have been £900 better off in recent decades with independence if the economy had matched other small European countries. The Scottish Government’s figures cover 1977 to 2007. But new figures published by Holyrood’sindependent financial scrutiny unit yesterday cover the most recent 1982-2012 period and show that Scots would be about £2,500 worse off.

Alex Salmond  was accused of “handpicking” statistics to suit his own case and ignoring the most up-to-date picture. The financial crash had a major impact on Scotland and saw the country’s two biggest banks – Royal Bank of Scotland and Ba…

Everything will change but stay the same.

“I really believe that if the political leaders of the world could see their planet from a distance of 100,000 miles their outlook could be fundamentally changed. That all-important border would be invisible, that noisy argument silenced. The tiny globe would continue to turn, serenely ignoring its subdivisions” - Michael Collins, Gemini 10 & Apollo 11 

“You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.’ ”-Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 

“Clearly, the highest loyalty we should have is not to our own country or our own religion or our hometown or even to ourselves. It should be to, number two, the family of man, and number one, the planet at large. This is our home, …

No way, nae chance

Alex Salmond today announces the SNP policy statement on independence. Socialist Courier makes our own announcement on nationalism and Scottish independence.

Modern capitalism is a highly integrated international system. Production is organised across national boundaries, trade and finance operates on a world scale. No single country can be outside of this system. Contrary to the romantic  dreams of some nationalists, there is no way that Scotland can simply pursue its own economic destiny within its own frontiers. Indeed, many national states are now too small to function adequately in terms of the needs and pressures of modern capitalism. Thus the capitalist ruling class are compelled to think in terms of international cooperation and even planning, hence the importance of the EU to the corporations. There are not many who can deny that we live in conditions of a world economy. Capitalists all strive for world power. Self-determination of any nation can therefore never be a reality…

Our time is now.

Alex Salmond told the SNP  conference that it was Scotland's time to be independent.

Marx helped to replace an early international organisation of the working class that had the fairly passive slogan “All Men Are Brothers” with the watchword with the instructive “Working Men of All Countries, Unite!”  They did so because history was demonstrating conclusively that the proletariat is the revolutionary class, that the struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie is the struggle propelling mankind forward to the communist society which will liberate mankind from the reign of classes forever. The struggle of the working class takes place on a world-wide scale to defeat the capitalists on a world-wide scale. Socialists  “always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole”. This means the simple solidarity of one worker with another, irrespective of nationality.

The Socialist Party of Great Britain views the modern world as one inter-linked and inter-depend…

Lets Forget Differences and Talk of Similarities

“I look upon the whole world as my fatherland...I look upon true patriotism as the brotherhood of man and the service of all to all...National independence? That means the masters' independence...The flag? Does it wave over a country where you are free and have a home, or does it rather symbolize a country that meets you with clenched fists when you strike for better wages and shorter hours?" - Helen Keller

The modern nation state is defined as the product of merger of two concepts, namely the ‘nation’, which is a cultural and/or ethnic entity and the ‘state’, which is a political and geopolitical entity with jurisdiction or ‘sovereignty’ over a bounded territory. The state in its modern form is a relatively new institution emerging through the democratic revolutions that overthrew monarchies in England and France. There are many reasons for the rise of the modern nation-state, which has become the dominant form of state formation around the world today. One very important re…

The "Genuine" Independence Fantasy

According to Jim and Margaret Cuthbert, leading economists whose work on the Scottish economy has been regularly cited by the SNP, it is “not feasible that anything approaching independence can emerge from the current referendum”.


They argue “genuine” independence is required to challenge “vested interests” – from the world of finance, land-owners and the European Union – which they argue have been “flattered and reassured, and...protected” by the SNP.

We shouldn’t really be surprised by this statement. After all, part of the socialist case against nationalism is that the State, regardless of who forms the government, represents the ruling class.

We would take issue with the economists' forlorn and doomed hope that through “genuine” independence Scotland would have the power to take on those vested interests. The Cuthberts argue that any reform has to “threaten, and probably displace, some or all of the vested interests which currently hold sway”

Just what is “genuine” independ…

Remembering our history

The SNP would allow American bases on Scottish soil after independence – as long as they were non-nuclear. And just who would be doing an inventory check in a military escalation and crisis?

Salmond said the SNP’s support for entry into Nato was “to send a signal to our friends and partners that we wanted to assume responsibility as a responsible friend and partner.” Whats that about who sups with the Devil sups should have a long spoon? Salmond wants him in our back-yard.

On his visit to the United States Salmond spoke at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, a New York-based group set up in memory of Scottish philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (see here and here for this despicable man's history), and said: “Both the Declaration of Arbroath, with its search for a Scottish legitimacy, and the Declaration of Independence, with its affirmation of popular sovereignty, were sealed in the force of arms and struggle."

All nationalism is based on mythical history …

Nationalism? No change

One of our companion blogs, Patience and Perseverance, writes:


“ It seems as if Salmond & Co are losing their enthusiasm for Independence? They intend to continue to use the £ sterling, hang on to the coat tails of the Windsors as head of state, and now: dual citizenship, what next? Given the foregoing, it would seem that the pursuit of Scottish Independence is going to be a pointless exercise” [we can add also the continued membership of the EU and Nato]

Indeed, the blog highlights how its alleged radicalism has become more and more watered down by the day as the SNP become more and more desperate for a “yes” vote.
The nationalisms that divide the world at present are the byproducts of fairly recent historical developments. Usually, they grew up as a particular section of the capitalist class sought to establish its dominance over the economic activities of the territory it inhabited. To do so successfully, it had to subordinate the state power to its own ‘national’ interests. …

class loyalty

The media and the political mouthpieces of capitalist ideology have done their job well. Scottish workers are being caught up by the "patriotism" of the referendum debate - either for independence or for the union. Capitalism has reached a point at which it threatens all humanity and not just the divided national, religious, racial (or other falsely labeled) identity groups.

The patriotism of the capitalist class is better called national chauvinism. This "patriotism" equates loyalty to the nation with loyalty to the capitalist-controlled government and its policies. It seeks the acquiescence of workers in the crimes, aggressions, depredations and depravities of the ruling class and its agents.  It is intended to trick workers into sanctioning whatever is deemed in the interests of the business class. It's nationalistic baloney asserts that our interests as a “nation” are totally bound up with, if not identical , to those of our exploiters. But as we know, in c…

A Bosses' Scotland

Jim McColl, the founder and chairman of Clyde Blowers and one of the country’s richest men, has argued that Scottish independence would be the same as a “management buy-out” from the UK.

McColl who lives in Monaco explained “We have a government responsible for economic policy whose focus is not growth in Scotland but rather London and the south-east of England. That tells me Scotland is a nation in desperate need of a well-planned and thought-through management buy-out.”

The the pro-independence campaign Yes Scotland team plans to intensify its wooing of the capitalist class with plans to produce a “business plan” depicting Scotland as a new company seeking investment.

CBI Scotland however disageed with McColl reasoning. "... in actual fact the developing proposals of the Scottish Government are that all economic levers would not come to Scotland – for example, control over currency and interest rates.” it said.

As Scottish Courier has repeatedly said, the issue of an independent…

Fainthearts Not Bravehearts

“Let's not be English, French or German anymore. Let's be European. No not European, let's be men. Let's be Humanity. All we have to do is get rid of one last piece of egocentricity - patriotism." Victor Hugo

The curse of nationalism is not new. There is always a load of myth and romanticism surrounding nationalism. Nationalism is an idea that varies in time and places which has as it central core the belief that a national population group is the most important political category, and political rights are primarily given to individuals as members of nations. Many of the areas within the UK have arguably been "nations" at some time in the past. Nationalism, for the Left is garbed in “national liberation” clothes to make it sound even more revolutionary. Nations, borders and flags indeed give people identity but that national identity is made up for reasons of power and controlling of the population that the nation state has inside its borders. For natio…

Scottish Nationalism

Due to a broken link Socialist Courier is re-posting Vic Vanni's 1975 articles on the history of Scottish nationalism

Scottish Nationalism

Nationalists believe that all classes in society should hold allegiance to "The Nation". Socialists do not and point out how nations have always been the creation of a ruling group having nothing to do with working-class interests.

What is a nation? It is simply the people and the territory which have been appropriated by a class of robbers at some point in history. It has less to do with a common language, religion, race, culture, and all the other things which nationalists imagine or pretend are essential ingredients in the making of nations.

This is certainly true of Scotland and far from having a common history or anything else the population there are mainly the descendants of native Picts, invaders from Ireland (the original Scots), Western Europe and Scandinavia. After centuries of what were really tribal wars the whole land came u…

Ruling by Fooling

The Socialist Party constantly hammers home that the SNP are nothing but another party of the ruling class. The Scottish Saltire is a commercial asset. A brand label. It represents the economic and political interests of the capitalist classes. Many on the Left believe that Scottish nationalism is a progressive force, and can therefore be used. They either do not understand, or opportunistically refuse to accept the fundamental role of nationalism. Deceived by this, sincere people work in the nationalist movement only to discover that they have been misled and have been wasting their time. You can't be a good internationalist and a nationalist at the same time, just as you cannot be a good monarchist and at the same time a good republican. Workers have to make the choice.

Socialists are not working to divide the working class. We are working to get the whole movement on to the lines of class conscious revolutionary activity to achieve the social revolution. To socialists neither …

One World

Salmond says that devolution has failed to solve the problems facing people in Scotland and that an independent Scotland is the only framework within which these problems can be solved. The SNP argues that the problems facing workers in Scotland are due to"Westminster rule". If only there was an independent Scotland, they say, separate from the rest of Britain, then there would be full employment, higher wages, job security, better state benefits, a healthy health service and all the other things politicians promise at election times.

 Of course, devolution has failed. But that's because people's problems in Scotland were never caused by a lack of devolution in the first place. They were, and still are, caused by capitalism as the system of class ownership and production for profit. This is why independence is no solution either. As capitalism would continue in an independent Scotland, so would the problems. These problems are not caused by the form of government, …

Re-writing the past

Salmond will launch the SNP's campaign for  independence later this month claiming he is on track to win secession following last week’s local government elections. The Alpha and Omega for the SNP is the Scottish Saltire fluttering over a fully independent parliament. Lets not make any mistake, the cause of Scottish suffering is not the Union with England but the fact that the means by which Scots must live are in possession of a class which will not allow the people to use these means unless they accrue profit to that minority parasite class. Socialist Courier has shown that the Scottish capitalist class obtained their possessions by theft, that in the process of the thievery thousands of workers’ lives have been sacrificed.

Our allegation that capitalism was built upon the robbery and murder of the workers is fully justified yet the nationalists receives them with welcoming open arms, ignoring the fact that the patriotism of the master class, like their pretences of kindness, g…

The failure is capitalism

Alex Salmond says that as devolution had failed to solve the problems facing people in Scotland and he expects people would be more prepared to listen to the SNP's view that an independent Scotland is the only framework within which these problems can be solved.

Of course, devolution has failed. But that's because people's problems in Scotland were never caused by a lack of devolution in the first place. They were, and still are, caused by capitalism as the system of class ownership and production for profit. This is why independence is no solution either. As capitalism would continue in an independent Scotland, so would the problems. These problems are not caused by the form of government, and any government of an independent Scotland would still be compelled by the economic laws of capitalism to put profits before people, just as UK governments have been.

The SSP and the assorted Tartan Trotoids will no doubt say "independence has failed because capitalism has been…