Scottish independence

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.

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.

Common Weal: Nothing in common

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Calls for a new social democracy in Scotland where workers and bosses cooperate ignores the reality of a class society

The independence referendum has opened up a debate in Scotland about what type of society we want to live in. Hundreds have joined Yes campaign, Radical Independence and Yes/No debates to discuss how we can achieve a Scotland that breaks from Britain's inequality and wars.

Scotland: Labour for Independence

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Two events last month indicate the growing importance of socialist ideas and the working class vote within the independence debate. In Kirkcaldy, Fife, Tommy Sheridan, the former Socialist MSP, spoke to a meeting of over 200. In the space of a few weeks the video of the meeting has clocked up over 74,000 views (and rising) on YouTube.

Scottish independence: everything to play for

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The Scottish referendum on independence is just under a year away and the arguments in both camps are sharpening.

The official pro-Union Better Together campaign has adopted a negative campaigning strategy, best known as "Project Fear". This unholy anti-independence alliance is being fronted by Alistair Darling, the former Labour chancellor, David Cameron and Nick Clegg. It amounts to flooding the media with hyped up scare stories about Scotland sinking as a country if it dares to opt for independence.

State of the nations

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It is increasingly likely that a referendum on Scottish independence will take place in the autumn of 2014. Dave Sherry looks at the growing tensions within the Scottish National Party and argues that socialists should back independence while emphasising class politics within the campaign

Political prediction is a risky business at any time, but at the moment the odds favour a Scottish independence referendum taking place according to the timetable set by the SNP-run devolved Scottish government - two years from now in the autumn of 2014. What is not yet clear is the exact nature of the question or questions that will be asked and who will be allowed to vote. In the present circumstances members and supporters of the Socialist Workers Party in Scotland will be arguing and campaigning for a vote for independence.

Salmond smiling

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Anyone wanting to understand the reasons for the Scottish National Party's landslide election victory in Scotland on 5 May could do worse than read the speech delivered by Alex Salmond as he was sworn in as first minister on 20 May.

Echoing Woody Guthrie's famous anthem, Salmond went out of his way to welcome new Italian, Pakistani and Middle Eastern members of the Scottish Parliament, saying, "This land is their land...it belongs to all who choose to call it home. This includes new Scots who have escaped persecution or conflict in Africa or the Middle East...We offer a hand to all, whether they hail from England, Ireland, Pakistan or Poland."

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