Monday, 12 September 2011

Scottish Independence from a Left Perspective

After a few years of membership of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) then Solidarity I quit to go back to the SNP in which I was a member from 1988 until the early 1990s.

I was surprised I re-joined the SNP again (over a year ago) because the infighting in the SSP over Rupert Murdoch' and Tommy Sheridan' s private life was simply enough to put anyone off party politics.

Thankfully I remained optimistic about the rise in popularity of the SNP and that one day an Independence Referendum would happen which after all is what most Scots want.

And so I am happy to nail my political colours to the mast albeit from a Left perspective.

Forget the idealistic and democratic centralist minority socialists of the Brit left who are little understood by the ordinary Scots or working classes. Their clout at the ballot box amounts to nothing and they have little support amongst the people for their very rigid ideals of Marxism and Leninism.

Instead we must build by practical methods a socialist society post independence from below. In a practical way we need to build and support communities much torn apart in the Thatcher/Major years and over a decade of Blairite New Labour policies. Many in the latter got into positions of power on the backs of the Labour Movement. Independence would allow us to build a New Scotland or New Republic.

However what is necessary is to galvanise support for an independence "Yes" vote come the referendum so we can build a newer, fairer and greener Scotland. A vision of a Scotland where the mainstream parties begin to listen to the electorate, who gave their politicians positions of power in the first place. With independence would come the hard task of rebuilding communities but would and can be possible.

Independence would allow us to get back to building communities socially, community organisations and community politics at grassroots level. Already the SNP in devolved government have managed to listen more to the Scottish people wishes than Westminster has ever done (especially consider) with a Labour or Tory/Lib Dem majority.

So why must there be cutbacks and austerity measures from Westminster London when they spend billions of our money on Trident?

No the Scottish people largely don't want Trident and since May this year there is room for optimism. The SNP now fills the vacuum the Labour Party in Scotland once occupied. The social democratic policies of the SNP Administration are more popular with Scots than right wing Labour who, when in power in London, took us into war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Not any longer should the Scots accept London centralised decision making. It is not hard to imagine the battles that will arise in the near future between the SNP at Holyrood and Westminster.

But the unionist politicians have brought it on themselves for failing to recognise the different hopes and aspirations of the Scottish people than our neighbours down south. For example it is unlikely that us Scots will ever accept any tampering and privatisation brought into the Scottish health service. And we very much support and rely on our public services. And most Scots reject Trident nuclear weapons system based here in Scotland.

Hopefully in 2014 (likely time for referendum) Scots voters will realise that only through independence can politicians more fairly represent us in our communities.

Perhaps in a New Scotland new parties or thinking will emerge that better reflect our aspirations.

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