Sunday, 28 August 2011

Independence and the Scottish Left

It will be around three years until we get an Independence Referendum in Scotland. Before this happens we all need to prepare to get the Yes vote out in plenty of time. The Scottish Independence Convention have a vital roll to play in this matter.

In the time that is left the SNP majority Scottish Government have 69 seats in the Scottish Parliament to continue on the path of improving the lives of ordinary Scots through radical ideas and competent legislation. In short the SNP can prove once again that they are fit to govern.

A swift move to Scottish Independence is vital to address the problems of social inequality, poverty and class division throughout Scottish society. Anything short of a socialist revolution will mean the social ills that bedevil Scotland can only be sorted in the longer term.

Post-independence it is unclear whether the SNP will split itself out of existence leaving members to join another, perhaps new party, of the social democratic left.

The challenge for the left is to ensure we get full independence in social, political and economic terms. However these are arguments for the future in other words we need to win a referendum vote for independence first.

Our main concern at present should be to support the Scottish Government in the fight against public service cuts and austerity measures brought forward from the ruling ConDem clique in London.

Already there has been no shortage of critics from the fragmented Scottish left. Particularly from the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) who gain to benefit from a break up of the British state. Perhaps despite their dismal failure at the May elections this year,we may consider they are secretly pleased at the SNP results.

What is clear is that since the jailing of Tommy Sheridan the wounds from the internal feud have not healed and both Solidarity and the SSP are like sinking ships in the night.

Yet still the SSP hope that they can fill a void on the nationalist left with radical policies almost identical to rivals Solidarity. In reality neither party is strong or influential enough to break the mould.

It is here that I argue it is best to support the SNP in their dual approach of winning arguments for independence and pursuing in Government social democratic policies of change.

Furthermore we should also campaign as part of the wider pro-independence movement for freedom and against public service cuts and job losses.

One group of individuals with a democratic voice that deserves to be heard is the Democratic Green Socialists.

Another issue that disturbs me is not only the state of party politics and the left in Scotland, but the failure of some on the left to recognise the inextricable link between national liberation and socialism. In short to free Palestine is a worthy cause but to free Scotland is equally essential firstly, especially if you want a socialist republic.

And so party politics is only part of the wider struggle to end inequality and class division in Scotland. What is also equally important is to tap into the cultural awakening taking place in Scottish society and to renew our minds and thinking. Fundamentally when considering our self-identity as Scots and our confidence to stand alone in the world.

Instead of waiting for the Independence Referendum to come we should put our thinking caps on now and find new inventive ways to spread the message of independence and the benefits of it to all the Scottish masses.

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