Hilary Wainwright outlines the radical case for independence.

There is today a political movement in Scotland that is quite beyond anything containable by or even comprehensible through the terms of conventional parliamentary, tick-some-scoundrel's-name-every-four-years politics. Many of us south of the Scottish border have had our political senses so numbed for so long by broken promises of change that it’s taken a long time for people to wake up to this fact – but wake up we must.

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Comment by joe taylor on September 15, 2014 at 21:52

From our friends at Media Lens:

Established power hates uncertainty, especially any threat to its grip on the political, economic and financial levers that control society. And so it is with elite fears that the United Kingdom, formed by the 1707 Acts of Union, could be on the verge of unravelling.

No informed commentator doubts that elite interests will do all they can to maintain hegemony in an independent Scotland, should that historic shift occur following the referendum of September 18. But if it does happen, there will likely be significant consequences for the Trident nuclear missile system, the future of the NHS and the welfare state, education, climate policy, energy generation and other industry sectors, the media and many additional issues; not just in Scotland, but beyond, including Nato and the European Union. There is clearly a lot at stake and established power is concerned.

Whatever happens on Thursday, skewed media performance on Scottish independence - in particular, from the BBC - has helped huge numbers of people see ever more clearly the deep bias in corporate news media.

See full article here

Comment by Peter Martin on September 11, 2014 at 18:57

Not at Scotland's expense Beth because and Independent Scotland would not be in the mix, it would have opted out.

Like it or not, a fair-ish share of new business has been directed towards Scotland throughout the 'Union' in order to maintain a balance. All I am pointing out is that when that need no longer exists, the remaining UK will be free to invest where it has land and people available for expansion. And I repeat, we would then be in direct competition with each other. More of the available investment attracted by the UK government, if it wants to continue to grow, would be made in the remaining UK, be that England, Wales or Northern Ireland and as far as European trade is concerned, the north would be the natural choice / replacement for that former investment in Scotland.

I am not anti Scotland, or independence or self determination and I note a similar interests being expressed in Orkney and Shetland where equal rights may be sought. They apparently see themselves as being much more traditionally linked to Scandinavian countries than Scotland. If the Union breaks up would the Scots then refuse them the same rights?

Perhaps / undoubtedly, the new Independent Island States would take their oil, gas and fishing rights with them. How would the Scottish people influence that! Would they say that Independence is ok for us but not for you? You are part of a union, (Which no longer exists), and must stay with Scotland!

I would regret the break up of the Union because I served it most of my working life along with people from Scotland,Wales, Northern Ireland and even Eire but I dont quarrel with the right to independence. I just feel that this needs to be an 'eyes wide open' move rather than a stab in the dark.

People Power can achieve much but always results in some degree of suffering / sacrifice, which is a price worth paying, if it needs to be paid. If a newly independent Scotland starts life with continuing unrest designed to improve the lot of the ordinary people who have not gotten the gains they thought they were promised, it may not be seen as a place to invest or grow a business or even to live.

Comment by Beth Cross on September 11, 2014 at 15:40

Whilst I don't think a neo-liberal agenda can be ignored,  it's quite a statement to suggest the Scottish population will just go along with that.  I would like to see more investment in the North of England, interesting that the only way you see that being achieved is at Scotland's expense.

Comment by Peter Martin on September 11, 2014 at 15:10

I listened to a representative of the Scottish Business sector today on the news channel saying "This is nothing to do with the flag or Nationalism, we see this as a huge business opportunity."

So who is actually leading the Yes movement.

Whilst I do not oppose the right of Scotland to seek independence, It will only result in a race to the bottom for ordinary people of both countries. We will again become the foot soldiers in a battle for economic victory which I predict the remaining UK will easily win.

In the competition to win business, both governments will be offering increased benefits to business including set-up subsidies, rates benefits, tax benefits and yes, pay rates. All of which will be paid for by the Tax payers in one way or another.

I personally do not think that the UK needs Scotland as much as Scotland needs the UK and that the Scots are being led into independence for the wrong reasons. They will have one chance to 'have their say' then the status-quo will return to dominate their lives.

We have worked TOGETHER successfully for over three hundred years and that is what will really change, we will be back in competition.

On a Happy note, in the event of Independence for Scottish Business, the UK government can re route all the investment it has been making into Scotland towards the North of England. 

Comment by joe taylor on September 10, 2014 at 20:42

A rally in support of Scottish independence in London heard civil rights legend, socialist and former MP Bernadette Devlin McAliskey defend the right of people to change their state system.

“The state and the government are whipping boys of the bankers and corporations,” she told the meeting, urging people in Scotland to vote ‘Yes’.

She spoke passionately about the limits of representative democracy in keeping people at arms length.

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Comment by joe taylor on September 5, 2014 at 23:19

There will be a Webinar on the 'independence' referendum with A World to Win on the evening of Thursday 11th Sept from 19:00 – 21:00. Details here

http://www.aworldtowin.net/resources/ScotlandYesNo.html

Comment by Peter Martin on September 3, 2014 at 13:24

For what it is worth and general points from my bemused viewpoint only, I would suggest that most people in the UK consider Scotland as a country in its own right and just a member of a family group called the United Kingdom.

Union originally came about at the instigation of the king of Scotland (James VI then subsequently James I of England).

The last time Scotland ran its own financial affairs it went bust and applied to England for financial assistance, resulting in monetary union. (Something to do with investments in the Sugar and slave industry in the Caribbean I believe).

Didn't someone once say that history has a habit of repeating itself?

Regards 

Comment by joe taylor on September 2, 2014 at 19:35

George Monbiot puts it across rather well:

Imagine the question posed the other way round. An independent nation is asked to decide whether to surrender its sovereignty to a larger union. It would be allowed a measure of autonomy, but key aspects of its governance would be handed to another nation. It would be used as a military base by the dominant power and yoked to an economy over which it had no control.

It would have to be bloody desperate. Only a nation in which the institutions of governance had collapsed, which had been ruined economically, which was threatened by invasion or civil war or famine might contemplate this drastic step. Most nations faced even with such catastrophes choose to retain their independence – in fact, will fight to preserve it – rather than surrender to a dominant foreign power.

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Comment by Gordon Asher on September 1, 2014 at 14:25

Hi Beth - good tae hear from ya - cheers, I'm glad they were useful and thanks for the kind comments on our piece :). The No campaign (with a couple of wonderful exceptions outwith the mainstream - such as Ken Macleod and a few others making coherent left points) has been a disgrace - if anyone needed a reason to vote yes - that campaign is it. Felt with limited time and energy (and been really ill last few weeks) less need to address that - plenty folks doing so. Indeed i hope much of what we say is seen as indictment of neoliberalism and present govt/system (be that oriented to No or the SNP's neoliberal Yes)? As you suggest the central issue now has to be, no matter the result on the 18th - how do we work in, against and beyond the neoliberal corporate state nexus? how do we continue to work for alternatives - for visions and strategies that move us beyond both capitalism and the nation state system with which it is so intimately tied?

Comment by Beth Cross on August 31, 2014 at 20:29

Hey Gordon,

This is an impressive collection with many worthy points, your own article is very helpful in thinking past the vote to what our focus should be beyond it.  As I've posted elsewhere events in Ferguson all to clearly exemplify what happens if people push to win a vote at national level and then don't sustain that involvement and focus it on to every day local decision making apparatus.   I only wish you'd subject the NO campaign to similar scrutiny!  

Having been out campaigning against TTIP yesterday where I was there was no elision of aspirations into one easy nationalistic banner,  there were many colours, many concerns, many views, quite cacophanous--and people seemed excited by that very fact, rubbed off on me a bit too.  So far those I've spoken to have a beter position on TTIP than the No campaign, however Alex Salmond's position on it, is another matter.

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