Scotland

Scotland: There's no going back

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Scotland

The No camp may have won the referendum, but the working class anger that drove the Yes campaign is here to stay. Iain Ferguson reflects on the movement and its fall-out.

As the Scottish independence referendum result was announced on the morning of 19 September, a sigh of relief could be heard from every section of the British and global political elite.

Scotland: Independent artists

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Yestival, Scotland

One of the most exciting aspects of the Scottish referendum campaign has been the way in which it has reinvigorated political debate and civic life across the country. The flourishing of activism has been predominantly on the pro-independence, Yes, side of the argument and noticeably left wing. It has also fed into all manner of other campaigns, from the movement against the Bedroom Tax to the outpouring of rage against Israel’s war crimes in Gaza.

Cameron's headache

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David Cameron probably has had better days as prime minister than when one of his Eurospectic MPs, Douglas Carswell, defected to Ukip. Even worse, Carswell stepped down from parliament to force a by-election which could lead to Ukip’s first elected MP being returned, just months before a general election. This would be used to say that Ukip is not a wasted vote when it comes to parliamentary, as well as European, elections.

Poverty in Scotland 2014

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Poverty in Scotland 2014 is not only the title of the latest book published by a coalition of poverty groups but also the daily reality for over 280,000 Scottish workers.

With the possibility of independence coming closer, debates over the efficiency and ideology of the welfare state have become central to both the Yes and No campaigns. While the book is at pains to remain neutral on the referendum, it offers an interesting take on what independence may look like.

The socialist case for independence

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The prominent Scottish socialist has been speaking to packed meetings across Scotland as part of his Hope Over Fear tour. Here we print extracts from a speech he gave in Paisley in late June.

This referendum is not a barometer of whether you like the SNP or whether you like or loathe Alex Salmond. This vote on 18 September is about the future of your country. It’s bigger than any political party, bigger than any individual.

The vote is for you to have the right to decide who runs our country… Since 1951 Scotland has rejected the greed, the privatisation, the toffee-nosed Tories. And since 1951 Scotland has had to endure 35 years of Tory governments. You vote for independence and you will never have to endure another Tory government in Scotland…

Scotland, independence and the left

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A sense of panic had begun to grip the British establishment as the break up of the United Kingdom looms as a possibility. A sense of panic had begun to grip the British establishment as the break up of the United Kingdom looms as a possibility. Socialists should support the dissolution of a key imperialist state and that the left has been able to shape the independence campaign. argues socialists should support the dissolution of a key imperialist state and that the left has been able to shape the independence campaign.

With two months to go until the Scottish Independence referendum there is a serious whiff of panic coming out of Westminster and from across the Atlantic. Growing fears that opinion polls continue to show a narrowing of the No camp’s lead to around 8 percent have prompted both Barack Obama at the G7 summit and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to pitch in to defend the need for a “strong, robust and united Britain”.

Yes: The Radical case for Scottish Independence

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The Radical Case for Scottish Independence covers a wide range of topics including the rise of neoliberalism in Scotland, mainstream parties, British nationalism, and Yes Scotland's and Better Together's respective referendum strategies.

The authors are leading activists in the Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) which attempts to fight for a radical vision for independence. The book is at its best when exposing the poor state of the mainstream debate on independence and the weaknesses of both the official Yes and No camps.

Who was John Maclean?

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"I stand in the Gorbals and before the world as a Bolshevik, alias a Communist, alias a revolutionary, alias a Marxist. My symbol is the red flag, and I shall always keep it flying high."
John Maclean's Election Address, 1922

John Maclean was a Glasgow schoolteacher who became one of the finest socialist leaders the British working class has so far produced.

He was a fierce opponent of British imperialism and the leading figure in the opposition to the First World War. Maclean was a key figure on "Red Clydeside," and was involved with the Clyde Workers' Committee, which spearheaded a rank and file revolt against the dismantling of trade union defences during wartime.

John Maclean: enemy of empire

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Dave Sherry's book John MacLean: Red Clydesider has recently been republished by Bookmarks. Here we print an abridged version of the new introduction which looks at the importance of Maclean in the context of the debate about Scottish independence.

This year sees the anniversary of the First World War, the independence referendum and the hosting of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The convergence of these three important events affords socialists an opportunity to shape the referendum campaign and challenge both British and Scottish nationalism.

Scotland's vote: a question of class

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The battle over Scottish independence is heating up especially with signs the polls may be narrowing

"I was so angry, if the referendum vote had been the next day I would have voted yes," said an up-to-now undecided friend. This was in response to George Osborne's high handed flying visit last month to tell us that an independent Scotland couldn't have the pound as its currency. Better Together — the No to independence campaign — has played its strong card early in 2014. While it has exposed faultlines in Alex Salmond's official Yes strategy, it has also confirmed that every time Cameron and the Tories speak out for the No vote they strengthen our side.

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