Category Archives: Scotland

Pessimism of the Optimism

Why does the rich capitalist class in Scotland never seem to enter into the calculations of those on the left who are pro-Yes?
The Scottish capitalists exist – they won’t disappear – after independence they will probably swan into the SNP using their money and influence to make sure that it is their Party, not in any way that of the workers.
Many of them, not directly politically active, will be able to play off being ‘Scottish’ or being ‘English’ for economic leverage.
Do the ‘Pro-Yes left’ think the SNP won’t get corrupted – do they think that just because there has been a lot of left-wing rhetoric during this campaign, that the class basis of the SNP has so changed that is now the ‘Workers Party’?
There will be lots of petty arguments for years about – what belongs to Scotland? – what to ‘Little Britain’?
That argument will be played on the Scottish side as ‘anti-imperialism’. It is likely to preoccupy some radicals and some ‘socialists’ lining up behind the interests of (capitalist) Scotland.
On the English side, the right wing will blame the Scots for the economic problems of the rest of the UK.
On both sides, there will be a number of political charlatans wanting to exploit this new division, yet another excuse for nationalist hatred, ammunition for the gangs in the cities and political mobs like the EDL and SDL.
Of course, and hopefully, there will be class struggle going on independently of all this and the nationalism will be no more than a pathetically small number of Youtube-recorded thug-videos. But maybe not?
Because if these long-term nationalist distractions for the working class movement are to be avoided what has to be done?
Is there a radical socialist opposition prepared to seize the moment, fight in the short term to take power over whose interests and how Scotland is run? Some years ago there was the SSP but now?
Is anyone seriously saying the Scottish working class are on the verge of taking power?
I hope so, I hope there are some marvellous facts that can be shared with me that I don’t know. But all I see is a mood, a wonderful (but unfounded) optimism.
There are undoubtedly warm networks of left-wing minded activists being formed – much as there used to be during Labour Party election campaigns (and I think you will see that quite a lot next year).
But will those Scottish Socialists ‘Yes-ers’ coalesce any more than those Labour campaigns did, into a long-term campaign for the socialist reconstruction of society?
Probably not!
But tell me if there are – because they are the only good reason to vote ‘Yes’ as far as I can see. Otherwise, I see yet more arguments about nationalism that can only distract us  – from our need for an ever-widening internationalist working class identity.