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26 Jul
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scottish independence

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One of the most com­mon argu­ments I hear from left­ists against sup­port­ing Scot­tish inde­pend­ence is that this will some­how weaken or divide the Brit­ish Labour Move­ment and the struggle for social­ism. You will hear this line all the way from Labour Party hacks through to anarchists.

But it com­pletely fails to address this simple fact. There is NO united Brit­ish labour move­ment. There is NO struggle for social­ism. There is not even any­thing approach­ing a ser­i­ous res­ist­ance to cuts.

There is noth­ing hap­pen­ing now that will in any­way be threatened by Scot­tish independence.

Quite the con­trary is true. Scot­tish inde­pend­ence will actu­ally, pretty much at a stroke, meet the demands of most of the cam­paigns that do actu­ally exist; whether it be over the bed­room tax, immig­ra­tion rights, end­ing wel­fare cuts, anti-war, anti-nuclear, etc.

And by doing so this can only provide a pos­it­ive example for those fight­ing against the com­monly held belief south of the bor­der that cuts and war are neces­sary, that there is no altern­at­ive. Because the altern­at­ive will be right there, just next door. Far from weak­en­ing the pos­i­tion of the working-class in this island, it will strengthen it.

Really, the real fear behind this argu­ment is this; that inde­pend­ence will weaken not the spuri­ous and ill defined “labour move­ment”, which no longer even exists in any mean­ing­ful sense any­way, but the Labour Party. That without Scot­land, Eng­land will be con­demned to end­less tory gov­ern­ments. We will put aside the rather offens­ive implic­a­tion that the nation of Scot­land should con­tinue to have to suf­fer Tory gov­ern­ments that is never votes for, just on the off chance that Labour get elec­ted some­times, and point out two things.

One, Scot­land has only twice provided enough Labour seats to determ­ine the out­come of a UK gen­eral elec­tion. Twice. And the last time was 38 years ago. Every other time a Labour gov­ern­ment has been elec­ted, it has been elec­ted on a major­ity of Eng­lish seats.

Second, Fuck Labour. Does any­one still actu­ally believe that the Labour Party and the trade uni­ons are just hold­ing back wait­ing for their moment before they take power and nation­al­ize the top 200 mono­pol­ies and send the Roy­als into exile? Has any­one ever ser­i­ously believed that at any time in the last 20 years?

Labour MPs couldn’t even be bothered to vote for their own bill to end the bed­room tax. It could be gone, right now, and the Con­Dems left in dis­ar­ray. But no, they couldn’t even bring them­selves to do that. And mean­while the biggest trade uni­ons, largely based in the pub­lic sec­tor, are fall­ing over them­selves try­ing not to rock the boat as they con­tinue to imple­ment gov­ern­ment cuts on their behalf.

So much for the “Brit­ish labour movement”.

So what then is left of the argu­ment? “We want fewer bor­ders, not more”. By keep­ing power­ful, aggress­ive imper­i­al­ist states intact? Nice try hippy. But if there is ever to be unity of peoples it will only come about when the imper­i­al­ist states have been broken and shattered, and THEN we could see some global unity being actu­ally able to develop — and even then it won’t be com­ing from any­where north of the Med or the Rio Grande.

Unless by break­ing down bor­ders you mean you just want the Brit­ish Empire back rul­ing the world, which, frankly might not be far from the truth when it comes down to it for some of these white “one-world” defend­ers of “uni­ver­sal human val­ues”. You know, the ones who dropped spread­ing “civil­iz­a­tion” for deliv­er­ing “civil-rights”. On cruise missiles.

Okay, so I guess that’s it. Don’t be com­ing at me with your “no bor­ders”, try­ing to claim the red in the Union Flag is for some myth­ical “working-class unity”, when we know it is the stain of the blood of the work­ers of the world. It just won’t wash.

They call us “nar­row nation­al­ists” and hint at fas­cism and racial hate, divi­sion and sec­tari­an­ism, oppres­sion and impov­er­ish­ment, even though they know it is con­trary to the ideals of every single polit­ical form­a­tion in Scot­land that sup­ports independence.

But these are the defin­ing char­ac­ter­ist­ics of the King­dom they wish to keep “united”. Of the people they find them­selves stand­ing along­side. This insa­ti­able need to dom­in­ate and divide, hate and plun­der, all wrapped up in the red,white and blue. That is the nation­al­ism the “inter­na­tion­al­ists” defend when they oppose Scotland’s independence.

Because in the final ana­lysis, it really is this simple. Break­ing the Brit­ish State will be the greatest achieve­ment of the people of this island in 300 years of bloody Union. And it will be the greatest gift we can give to a world where not one corner has not at some point felt the boot of Brit­ish imper­i­al­ist bru­tal­ity on it’s neck. And where far too many still do.

“Yes” in 2014 isn’t just for the people of Scot­land. It is for all the people of this island. All of the people of this world. It really is that big. This small little corner of north­ern Europe can make a decision that really will make a dif­fer­ence world­wide. A mod­est one per­haps, but it is real and it is very much achiev­able. No, it isn’t the Bolshevik revolu­tion. No one ever claimed oth­er­wise. But it is revolu­tion­ary. And if you can’t under­stand why, then you really do need to go home­ward and think again.

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