Showing posts with label tam dalyell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tam dalyell. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

independence from what?

Ex-Labour MP and the man who raised the West Lothian question on devolution, Tam Dalyell, says independence is now inevitable.

Socialists don’t take sides in the debate about whether it is better for workers there to be ruled from Edinburgh or from London. 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. This view is echoed by the so-called Scottish “Socialist” Party and Tommy Sheridan’s Solidarity. Nor should our opposition to the nationalist parties be interpreted as support for the Union or the Labour, Liberal or Tory parties that support it. A plague on all their houses.

Independence would be a purely political, not to say mere constitutional, change which would leave the basic economic structure of society unchanged. There would still be a privileged class owning and controlling the means of production with the rest having to work for them for a living. Just as now. An independent Scottish government would still have to operate within the constraints of the world capitalist system. It would still have to ensure that goods produced in Scotland were competitive on world markets and that capitalists investing in Scotland were allowed to make the same level of profits as they could in other countries. In other words, it would still be subject to the same economic pressures as the existing London-based government to promote profits and restrict wages and benefits. Ireland, which broke away from the UK and things have never been any different.

The Scottish nationalists see themselves as visionaries but they cannot see beyond the narrow confines of the nation-state, conceived in pre-medieval times and as outmoded as the clan system it replaced. It is the Socialist Party who are the true men and women of vision, who look forward to and struggle for a new world of common ownership and democratic control of society's resources.

If only we had known

According to ex-Labour MP Tam Dalyell memoirs, the veteran Labour politician's suspicions about Blair were first aroused when he spoke to one of the former prime minister's teachers at Fettes.

The teacher said: "Be careful of Blair – he's a superb actor, he's good at getting others into trouble but avoiding it himself. In fact, he's a shit..."