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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