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The Left falls for Scottish Nationalism

Andy Yorke

Andy Yorke reviews four left books on Scottish independence:

The Case for an Independent Socialist Scotland, Colin Fox, SSP

Yes: The Radical Case for Scottish Independence, James Foley and Pete Ramand (ISG)

Scotland’s Road to Socialism: Time to choose, edited by Gregor Gal1

Scotland: Yes to independence – No to nationalism, Keir McKechnie, SWP

Each stage in the growth of Scottish nationalism over the last decade has seen more of the British far left falling in behind it. The Scottish Socialist Party (SSP), convinced of the possibility of electoral success via the more democratic electoral system for the Scottish Assembly, has been pro-independence since its foundation in 1999. Now, they are joined in calling for a Yes vote “from a ‘Socialist’ perspective” in this September’s independence referendum by the Socialist Party Scotland (CWI), Socialist Resistance (Fourth International), the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and its splits, the International Socialist Group (ISG) in Scotland, Counterfire and now RS21’s Neil Davidson (previously the SWP’s chief commentator on Scottish history and politics).

Socialism and nationalism

Although there are differences of argumentation, all of these groups have turned their backs on the analysis of nationalism, and the tactics towards nationalist movements, developed by the revolutionary Marxist tradition to which they all claim to belong. That analysis was first developed in response to the growth of nationalist movements in the 19th Century, particularly in the multinational Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires, but was given its most precise formulation in the light of Lenin’s analysis of imperialism.

Its essential features included the recognition that nationalism is inherently a bourgeois political doctrine, whilst the socialist movement must remain internationalist. Nonetheless, socialists recognise that, in the bourgeois epoch, all nations have the right to self-determination. Where a nationalist movement is a response to oppression, socialists should support it, while campaigning for working class methods of struggle and organisation in order to challenge bourgeois leadership.

On the question of independence and separation, the socialist preference would always be to maintain the largest unit because that provides the biggest arena for the class struggle by all nationalities. Lenin explained why this was:

“Capitalism requires for its development the largest and most centralised possible states. Other conditions being equal, the class-conscious proletariat will always stand for the larger state. It will always …welcome the closest possible economic amalgamation of large territories in which the proletariat’s struggle against the bourgeoisie can develop on a broad basis.”2

However, where it was clear that a majority of the oppressed nation wanted separation, independence should be suppported in order to allow the class struggle within the oppressed nation to develop without the interference of a “foreign oppressor”.

Moreover, campaigning for the right to separate would combat chauvinism or racism in the working class of the “oppressor” nation as in Marx’s famous dictum, “A nation cannot become free and at the same time continue to oppress other nations”.3

In the case of Scotland, it is immediately clear that this tradition would oppose independence. While Scotland is undoubtedly a nation, it is not an oppressed nation – in the modern, capitalist epoch, there has been no sustained struggle for independence and opinion polls taken over several decades have never indicated anything approaching a majority in favour of independence.

Equally, the negative consequences of independence, in terms of limiting the scale of the class struggle and dividing a working class movement that has been united since its origins, speaks against support for separation.

The same political method, however, would recognise that any attempt to prevent separation, should there be a majority in favour in September’s referendum, would be a denial of the right of self-determination. In that situation, socialists should demand immediate recognnition of full Scottish independence.

We should expose reformist arguments that independence will better the lives of workers and the poor and take an implacably hostile stance toward the SNP, using every opportunity to expose its cynical triangulating strategy and argue that it will increasingly abandon the tactical reforms to win workers’ votes once they are no longer needed to achieve the goal of independence.

Unlike left republicans, most of the pro-yes socialist groups do not argue that Scotland is oppressed; it has a GDP per capita that puts it on a par with the UK average, while historically it has participated in and profited from the Empire as an equal partner.

The SSP’s “Case for an Independent Socialist Scotland” by Colin Fox seems to be the exception. It argues that independence offers the chance to “free five million Scots from the yoke of British imperialism…Socialists didn’t argue that Ireland should not have its independence, or India in 1947, or all those other countries shackled to the British Empire did they”.4 The implication is clearly that Scotland’s relationship to the British state is comparable to that of India, which is simply untrue; the Scottish ruling class decided to ally itself with the English in 1707 and, as a nation, Scotland has been an integral part of the same imperialist state ever since.

While all the “pro-indy” socialist left argue that “you don’t have to be a nationalist to vote Yes”, there are differences in their argumentation; the more right wing (the SSP, ISG, CWI, SR) present an openly reformist alternative to the Scottish National Party (SNP) after independence,5 while the SWP distances itself from all this, asserting an “anti-imperialist” Yes vote is an opportunity to “break the British state”. All the Yes camp soft-pedal Scottish nationalism and the damage independence will do to working class unity.

“Independence’s transformational potential?”6

In the “Time to Choose” compilation, RS21’s Neil Davidson develops a theme which is common on the pro-independence left, explaining that independence “opens up a space for struggle, a space that can be filled by either the continuation of neoliberalism or by the beginning of an alternative”.7 So, are the possibilities of struggle or reform really better in Scotland than in the UK as whole? Fox sees this space as one in which “the struggle for socialism can be significantly advanced”, the ISG’s James Foley and Pete Ramand, in “Yes”, point to its “subversive prospects” for a “radical agenda”.8

The SSP and ISG are based completely in Scotland, and Fox and Foley/Ramand show little if any interest in the question of how English and Welsh workers will defeat austerity, other than the offhand hope they will be roused by the successful example of an independent Scotland. As a result it is breathtakingly easy for them to write off any possibility of change in the rest of Britain; indeed, they need to do so, in order to exaggerate the stakes in the Scottish referendum. Like the other groups, they do not take up the obvious question for a socialist: what’s stopping us from mounting a UK-wide working class resistance to austerity right now?

Despite the (correct) observation that voting Yes does not mean supporting the SNP, the SSP pamphlet is not above arguing that calling for a No vote means, in effect, arguing “the working class should instead enter and reclaim the Labour Party”, as the only way to return to “a social democratic Britain”,9 as if that was either the only possibility or even a desirable option.

Foley/Ramand take a more complicated, indirect route to essentially the same conclusion, painting a negative image of Britain (England, in reality) as a sort of political dead zone, impervious to change or struggle. This flows from their strategy: “To win the referendum… there must be a clear equation between the No campaign and the status quo of Westminster-style government”.10 So they overegg the pudding considerably:

“Westminster cannot shift leftwards by its own momentum. It would need a transformative shock, either a miraculous revolt of citizens from below or a cataclysmic world event, to turn Labour against austerity and American power.” This, of course, reveals their assumption that a leftward turn must mean transforming Labour.

They repeatedly present a one-sided, schematic “end of history” scenario that writes off the English and Welsh working class and class struggle in general: “If we vote No, we all but guarantee more decades of austerity, privatisation and warfare. We will miss our chance…No Westminster election….will ever allow us the right to reject nuclear alliances, the arms trade, an elitist state and voodoo economics. These are the true stakes.”11 Ex-SSPer Bill Kidd, now SNP MSP for Glasgow Anniesland, puts it more bluntly: “If there isn’t a Scottish road to socialism, there isn’t one at all”.12 Foley and Ramand would probably not say that, but it is the implication of their arguments.

Scotland’s social democratic values

According to the SSP, “Breaking free of the malevolent influence of the British state means that Scotland’s social democratic values will be unchained. That then is what the independence debate is essentially all about.”13 This is the other main element in the left’s pro-independence argument, that the “social democratic” or “more left-wing” Scottish people, if freed from Westminster, will push Scotland ever more left. It is certainly a common idea, is it true?

A 2011 ScotCen study found that Scotland was “moderately more Social Democratic” than England by a margin of 2-10 per cent on most questions, although in both countries these opinions are declining in parallel (often faster in Scotland) so that the gap is not widening.14 In other words, the “social democratic” consciousness of Scots has declined to, or below, the levels of England ten years ago – so it is not a question of a unique consciousness, but of political and economic factors and changing class relations.

Rather than look to some “social-democratic” national essence, which is an extremely dangerous line of argument, Marxists have to explain the different material factors operating in Scotland and England. Neoliberal Westminster governments have driven the growth of nationalism not only in the Scottish working class, which is channelled by the SNP, but also in English areas that largely vote Labour, where the same despair and disillusionment has led to illusions in withdrawing from Europe and the growth of UKIP.

Both forms of nationalism are reactionary, the overt anti-immigrant racism and anti-gay marriage homophobia stoked by UKIP just makes it doubly so. The SNP’s strategy, most fundamentally, is allowed by Osborne’s austerity, which has protected the UK and, therefore, Holyrood, from bond market attack. That’s why Salmond can balance between business and workers, but concessions to the latter are done by balancing the books, robbing one section to fund another. The ultimate cause of the growth of both nationalist parties is the same, too: the failure of the left in the UK to build a new, socialist, working class party in the last 15 years, despite numerous opportunities.

Foley/Ramand assert that “Scottish identity has a weak correlation with voting patterns”. Neil Davidson is more specific: “It is quite possible to assert a Scottish national consciousness without feeling that this necessarily implies any association with Scottish nationalism or a desire for independence.”15 While that is certainly “quite possible”, the fact is that the proportion of the Scottish population who see themselves as Scottish, not British, has risen substantially since the 1970s and those who do are much more likely to vote Yes than those seeing themselves as equally both or predominantly British.16

It is true that a vote for the SNP in the Scottish Assembly election was not an automatic endorsement of the SNP’s nationalist politics; until recently barely a third of Scots supported independence, less than the 45 per cent who voted SNP in 2011.

Nor was that “just a protest vote” – workers rejected neoliberal Labour and voted for the SNP because the SNP took up many of the policies that Labour dropped. Of course, such shifts are reversible if a new working class party (or an extremely unlikely left turn by Labour) were launched and campaigned against nationalism and separation. But the point is, what does all this mean for class consciousness? While it is a step forward to reject Labour for its anti-working class policies, it is at least another backwards to vote for a liberal bourgeois party, and many more to embrace illusions that independence will solve these problems.

Despite the “Yes” socialists’ preference for the more neutral sounding word “identity”, and its slogan “Yes to independence, no to nationalism”, they are in denial. The empirical evidence; increased SNP vote in working class areas, polls showing an increasingly Scottish “identity” and its concentration in the working class17, and the growth in illusions in an independent Scotland, are all features of a growing Scottish nationalism. Back in 2007, Davidson quoted a study showing how working class Scots’ identification with English workers had dropped (by half, from 44 per cent to 24 per cent), while those identifying with other Scottish classes had risen (from 38 per cent to 43 per cent), and rightly acknowledged that the fact “nationalism may be weakening class identity” was “potentially disastrous”.18 Where did that analysis go?

Rising support for nationalism means Scottish workers are turning 180 degrees away from class unity and joint struggle with their brothers and sisters south of the border, and strengthening reformist illusions that hope lies in a new constitutional unity and a sovereign Holyrood parliament, one with “their own” SNP politicians and “their own” bosses. Of course, it must be reiterated, a majority of workers still aren’t convinced of independence, which is why it is nothing short of “disastrous” that the left has made the pro-independence turn.

“Yes to independence, no to nationalism”?

The SWP, RS21 and the SSP deny that voting Yes has anything to do with nationalism. Instead they reverse the charge: calling for a No vote either means sowing illusions in Labour, as the SSP claim, or supporting the British state and nationalism: “However it is packaged, the No camp inevitably rallies forces to the Union Jack and the reactionary and backward ideas it stands for.”19

Those advocating a No vote in the referendum are no more lining up alongside Cameron, Clegg and Miliband than those advocating a Yes vote are supporting the SNP. Nonetheless, the socialist “Yes” camp uses such arguments against those that point out its accommodation to nationalism.

This is crystal clear in “Yes”, where Foley/Ramand push a confused argument that can only be interpreted as saying Scottish nationalism is not necessarily a bad thing once it has lost its racist British component. They start by saying that counterposing “(good) Scottish patriotism and (bad) British nationalism is unhelpful” before doing just that: “Scottish patriotism – ‘harmless’ pride in belonging to the land and its people – sometimes regurgitates, by unconscious processes, the violence of British nationalism. Scottish patriotism becomes (bad) nationalism, as Orwell meant it, when it involves a heritage of conquest and aspirations to power. Precisely because Scotland is part of Britain, our patriotism is complicated, and freeing it from its Empire heritage requires negotiation.”20 Scottish racism towards Asians and Irish derives from the same roots, “a privileged aristocracy of Protestant Empire. The sense of withdrawn privilege causes racism at the bottom of society”.21

It is true that in Scotland, as in the UK as a whole, traditions of racism derive from empire and, in both countries, from before the 1707 Union. However, Foley/Ramand underestimate the extent to which racism in Scottish society also has contemporary native roots, just as in English society. These will not just wither away in an independent Scotland. As well as historical roots and links to the British state (for example, the large number of Scots in the military), racism is more immediately underpinned by benefits and privileges in the competition for jobs, housing and resources that are constantly renewed in current Scottish society, as in England. There is already a danger that this will increase in step with migration, but this could be exacerbated by a rising Scottish nationalism, particularly since Scotland is one of the most ethnically homogenous parts of the UK.22

By posing Scottish nationalism in the more neutral terms of “emotion, tradition, and identity” the “Yes” camp can disingenuously argue that “the key battle for 2014 is about Britain, not Scotland”, that is, it isn’t an assertion of Scottish nationalism but a rejection of Britishness and all that incorporates: racism, privilege and empire.23 By trying to carve out the “bad” aspects of Scottish identity as British, Foley and Ramand come dangerously close to endorsing Scottish patriotism which (like English nationalism) incorporates pride in Scotland’s regiments and historical traditions for the great majority beyond the left nationalism of the Radical Independence Movement activists and academics.

Neil Davidson elsewhere provides an antidote to the Foley/Ramand argument: “No support under any circumstances for the British state, but no pretence either that constitutional reordering of its component parts equals ‘destruction’ of the state; not the slightest concession to the myth of ‘British values’, but no pretence that ‘Scottish values’ are not equally infected with the poisons of race and empire.” That’s spot on, but then he does his own bit of reconfiguring nationalism:

“Support for separation should always depend on the concrete circumstances in which the issue is posed and its impact on the wider struggle against capitalism. Separatist sentiment which reflects class feeling against capitalism, neoliberalism, oppression and imperialist war is very different from that based on nationalist antagonism and an attempt to gain benefits at the expense of other workers.”24

The opportunist Yes camp tries to neutralise the poison of nationalism by using a more opaque wording (the SSP’s “oppression”, Davidson’s “class feeling”) or by purging it of reactionary ideas (ISG). By seemingly removing the question of nationalism from the argument, the way is cleared for tailing it, with “a democratic space for class advance” or “anti-imperialist” arguments.

The sting in the tail is that despite page after page trying to sell independence to the working class, arguing that it is the only way to “dodge the bullet” of austerity and recession,25 all three tracts – SSP, ISG and Davidson – are forced to admit, to use the words of Foley and Ramand, that “by itself, voting Yes offers no guarantees of a better, more progressive future, never mind a radical redistribution of wealth and power” if “Scotland’s people do not resist” their new SNP government or the ruling class attempts to cling to the status quo.26 So, instead of future wishful thinking, why can’t we just begin to “resist” now, with a powerful UK-wide movement with the social depth of the antiwar and anti-poll tax movements allied to the class power of mass strike action? The whole argument collapses, only the anti-imperialist argument remains to justify support for independence.

Breaking up the British state

For the SSP and Foley/Ramand anti-imperialism is an important but secondary, supplementary argument attached to the reformist possibilities of independence. For the SWP’s McKechnie, however, it is the only “socialist case for independence”:

“The SWP is campaigning for a Yes vote in the referendum to break up the British state. Even a brief glance at Britain’s bloody and destructive role in the world shows how positive that would be, not just for people in Scotland but the whole world… Independence for Scotland would diminish Britain’s role as junior partner to US imperialism, weakening both sides of the ‘special relationship’”, and their driving role in the last decade of invasion, occupation and the war on terror, as key states in the aggressive NATO military alliance.27 A successful referendum in Scotland would create a dynamic and pressure for similar initiatives in Wales and particularly Northern Ireland, it is claimed.

Elsewhere, the SSP’s Alan McCombe chips in with even greater gusto (and exaggeration): “Scotland is a vital cog in the Western military machine, with vital submarine and air bases….The tearing of the blue out of the Union Jack and the dismantling of the 300 year old British state would also be a traumatic psychological blow for the forces of capitalism and conservatism in Britain, Europe and the USA… The break up of the UK might not mean instant socialism, but it would mean a decisive shift in the balance of ideological and class forces.”28

We share the determination to damage UK imperialism, despite McCombe’s aim of pumping up the anti-imperialist Yes vote. But the only “decisive shift” in class forces that is guaranteed will be a weakening of working class unity and consciousness, and a triumph for the bourgeois SNP and nationalism.

It is wrong to exaggerate the extent of damage to imperialism from Scottish separation and again shows a lack of genuine internationalism. Imperialism is a global system and the relationship of Scotland to the UK is not of fundamental importance. Certainly, the British capitalists, including many of Scottish origin, do not want to see a break up and will use all of their resources to minimise any damage but, to the extent that they lose out, other imperialists will gain.

Economically, the remaining UK will only be 10 per cent smaller than it is now. No doubt fracking will be pushed even harder to replace North Sea energy and revenues. While separation might, initially, increase pressure for secession in Wales, it might equally deepen the siege mentality of Loyalism in Northern Ireland. The future of the nuclear submarine base at Faslane poses an unwanted problem for the British state but it is far from insoluble, at an estimated cost of £35 billion, spread over many years, and, in any case, recent leaks show the SNP prepared to bargain over the issue, should it win the referendum.29

While socialists share the goal of unilaterally disarming, leaving NATO, and wherever possible defeating UK imperialism, the latter will only come about by overthrowing capitalism. Any vacuum that might be created by a reduction in the UK’s role as an imperialist power or any weakening of the Anglo-American alliance, would quickly be filled by the other contenders – France, Germany, China and Russia – but not without struggle and sharpening rivalries, accelerating the trend towards increased conflict, militarism and war. Imperialism, overall, will not be weaker, its composition will simply be changed, to include a small, new imperialist NATO state, Scotland.

The merit of the SWP’s position is its principled argument against reformist illusions in independence, nationalism and the SNP’s “hollow” anti-austerity record. The other side of that coin, however, is that its entire rationale for a Yes vote rests on anti-imperialism, and ends up with an even weaker, artificial argument. Even Neil Davidson once denied independence would be a “crushing blow” to British capitalists.30

More to the point, the actual Yes vote, whatever its size, will not be “anti-imperialist”. For most workers voting for independence, it will be overwhelmingly about economic issues, benefits, jobs, the NHS, education. The fact that the SWP can convince its members and small periphery to cast their Yes vote as conscious anti-imperialists is irrelevant to this. The SWP refuses to relate to the actual class consciousness of workers, their central concerns are those of an exploited, impoverished class, they have growing illusions in national independence; that’s the elephant in the room that the SWP avoids. Anti-imperialism becomes a cover to justify voting Yes and ensuring the SWP does not remain outside, shut out of the radical independence movement. The price is conceding to Scottish nationalism, whatever the SWP’s formal opposition to it.

Independence and the unity of the working class

The whole of the Yes camp is indignant at any claim that voting Yes is an attack on working class unity:

“The unity of the working class and the unity of the British state are not the same thing. Unity of workers in Scotland, England and Wales does not rest on the maintenance of the British state or the capitalist interests it represents. It is by supporting each other against the bosses that real, active workers’ unity is achieved…The necessity for workers in Scotland to unite with their brothers and sisters in England or Wales will not evaporate just because Scotland votes for independence.”31

This argument, that “we are internationalists, and for us class unity and solidarity never stopped at Britain’s borders anyway”, is completely abstract. When was the last time that British workers struck in solidarity with workers in another country? Even in countries with a more strongly organised working class and left, coordinated strikes across borders are the extreme exception rather than the rule. For comparison, look at the last few years of struggle: in 2007, the national postal strike saw a wildcat movement develop in Scotland that spread to England, involving thousands of workers and forcing the company into negotiations. The campaign by Lindsey oil workers, in 2009, spread across Britain and into Scotland, as did the action by the sparks in 2011.

McKechnie points to the N30 coordinated pension strike by 2.5 million public sector workers across the UK when actually it undermines his argument, like all national strikes it took place “automatically” both sides of the border because workers were in the same unions and faced the same attack.32

Scottish workers and English workers in these examples did not respond to an appeal for “solidarity”, they didn’t need one, they acted out their existing unity. The fact that they are in a single state, with a single economy and national companies (or multinational subsidiaries) and national trade unions, has created an organic unity with identical interests, unions and opponents, and a consciousness of both. To state this is not to support British nationalism or constitutional niceties, it is recognising an objective fact, as Lenin put it: “For a Marxist, of course, all other conditions being equal, big states are always preferable to small ones.”33

A negative example is the firefighters’ pension dispute last autumn, when the FBU secretary, John Duffy, a long time SNP member and part of its trade union group, negotiated with the SNP government and convinced his members to accept an inadequate offer and pull out of the strike. This was a big blow to the morale of firefighters south of the border and to the strike itself, which limped ahead with token action. The SNP minister welcomed this and “a sustained period of constructive partnership with FBU”. The first fruits of that partnership are now being seen, with five out of eight fire control rooms in Scotland slated to close. Duffy asks rhetorically, “Is it better for the members that we represent to deliver on our agenda in an independent Scotland, or to continue to fail to deliver that agenda in a UK?”34 The more important questions are surely, “Why are you continuing to fail to deliver the agenda in the UK?” and “How about the FBU members outside of Scotland?” It is precisely the treachery and failure of all the UK union leaders to fight for workers’ interests that has led some Scottish workers to see better possibilities in independence.

Independence will see the workers and employers in different countries orient to their different states and economies, with different rhythms and issues, tearing the fabric of unity apart. It’s already happening by degrees as devolution is rolled out, independence would see a qualitative leap in the speed and strength of those separatist dynamics, and cement them in place.

Yes to the right of self-determination – vote no to separation

Neil Davidson argues that Scottish independence is not a question of principle but “essentially a tactical one”. He is wrong. There are two principles to take into account: Marxists stand for the right to self-determination, and for the biggest state, working class and widest struggle possible, qualified by questions of oppression and like all questions, judged from what advances the class struggle.

Actively supporting separation doesn’t advance it. It means national consciousness coming before class consciousness; it means giving up in despair the fight for determined UK-wide class action. That’s why the centrist groups have to dispel the question of nationalism from the argument – ignore (SWP), redefine (ISG), or conceal (SSP) it in order to tail it.

There are additional problems. Fox and Foley/Ramand reject Westminster’s neoliberal TINA – there is no alternative – but then endorse the Scandinavian model as a possible progressive goal, while advocating a “realistic” reform programme that displays their own left version: TINRA – there is no revolutionary alternative possible.

Colin Fox quotes the great Scottish revolutionary John Maclean, who said in 1922 that “The Social Revolution is possible sooner in Scotland than in England.”35 MacLean didn’t live to see the 1926 historic General Strike prove him wrong, but the SSP has no excuse for missing the lesson. Their analysis of a Britain wrapped in immovable chains of neoliberalism and empire projected forward for decades by Foley/Ramand means they particularly hide the real possibilities of the class struggle alongside their UK brothers and sisters from Scottish workers.

There is no mention of the mass strike waves in the 1970s, the 1984-5 great miners’ strike, the poll tax movement that began in Scotland and culminated with the London riot, the mass anti-war movement, the 2010 student revolt that elsewhere Foley admits “took its momentum from England”.36 To suggest that such UK-wide struggles would now be nothing short of miraculous, is a disservice to the working class in all parts of Britain, and dead wrong.

At the same time, the 2008 crisis and 2010 Tory austerity did not “automatically” see a class-wide revolt, and neither will a post-independence SNP government even if returns to its true “Tartan Tory” form. Without the left uniting to organise a mass anticuts movement, protests were held back and strikes aborted by the trade union leaders and Labour, in Scotland as well as the UK. Workers in an independent Scotland will face the exact same issues and obstacles to their struggles. It begs the question, if they could overcome these then, surely they can do so now and hand-in-hand with their English and Welsh brothers and sisters. That is the unfinished job that we all have to start together, whether independence comes or not.

The Case for an Independent Socialist Scotland, Colin Fox, Scottish Socialist Party, 2013

Yes: The Radical Case for Scottish Independence, James Foley and Pete Ramand (International Socialist Group), Pluto Press, 2014

Scotland’s Road to Socialism: Time to choose, edited by Gregor Gall, 2013

Scotland: Yes to Independence – No to nationalism, Keir McKechnie, Socialist Workers Party, 2012


1 Gregor Gall’s compilation includes writers for, against and neutral on independence, with pro-independence writers from the SSP, ISG, new RS21 group, Greens and others.

2 Lenin, “Critical Remarks on the National Question” Chapter 6, “Centralisation and Autonomy”

3 On Poland, Marx:

4 p 5, 28, SSP

5 These programmes will be dealt with in Workers Powers’ upcoming pamphlet on Scottish independence

6 “Yes there is a Scottish road to Socialism”, Colin Fox (SSP), p 89 in Time to Choose

7 “What is Scottish Independence for?”, Neil Davidson (now RS21), p 48 in Time to Choose

8 p 13, SSP

9 p 29, 28 SSP


11 pp 123 and 9, 77, 123, 67, Yes

12 p ix in Time to Choose, Gall

13 SSP p 19






19 p 15, SWP

20 pp 43, 41, Yes

21 p 46 Yes

22 p 18, New Wealth for Old Nations

23 p 13, Yes


25 p 15, SSP

26 p 3, “Yes”

27 p 17 SWP

28 “Scotland: Why the left should back independence”, Alan McCombes SSP,


30 Not surprisingly this claim was dropped from the edited ISJ version of an original after Davidson was talked out of his “wilder” ideas:… ISJ: (see the first note at the end explaining its origin)

31 p 15, SWP

32 With the exception of the EIS Scottish teachers union which is separate from the English unions, and didn’t strike with the NUT on 26 March this year.

33 Lenin, The National Programme of the RSDLP,


35 p 33, SSP

36 p 18, “Out of the Ghetto – why detoxifying the left is the first step to revival”, Cat Boyd and James Foley (both of the ISG), in Gall 2013


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