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A call for independence August 11, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Jason O’Toole wrote a column this weekend suggesting the following:

I doubt anybody was shocked to learn a majority of Scots have done a dramatic volte-face and now support independence, according to a new poll.

They also want a new referendum in two years’ time in a desperate attempt to remain in the EU, which will be the death knell of the UK.

I’m thinking outside the box here but it might be for the best if Northern Ireland seriously considers following suit.

I’m surprised the idea of a referendum for an independent six counties state hasn’t been mooted yet.

Can’t see it getting much traction though the point about Scotland, Wales and Ireland (north and south) working much more closely together from here on out does make sense. And there’s another aspect. If Scotland (and lat Wales for that’s a long long term project) were to gain independence it would have implications for how this state and those states would orient themselves in the EU. As we know from the fisheries issue it’s not entirely plain sailing, but there are clear shared interests.

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1. Jim Monaghan - August 11, 2019

Even inside the EU, this would make sense. An alliance of the periphery. The big three in the EU, soon to be the big two, need to be counterbalanced by the “minnows”. Oh and some such as the Netherlands are allies fo the big two.

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Jim Monaghan - August 11, 2019

I forgot to cut and paste to make sense of the above. “about Scotland, Wales and Ireland (north and south) working much more closely together from here on out does make sense.”.

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2. EWI - August 11, 2019

More than 20% of the population of Wales aren’t Welsh but rather English immigrants (with presumably typical views). That one hell of a hurdle for the Welsh to overcome in a referendum.

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Colm B - August 11, 2019

Since the pro-indy movements are not based on ethnic nationalism this does not constitute as big a barrier as might be presumed.
Just on anecdotal level, in the last few months four English people living in Scotland I know, all broadly centre- leftish, who definitely voted No in 2014 have told me they would now vote for independence. none were enthusiastic about this, in fact they mostly expressed sadness but felt it was the only way to escape Boris’s barmy Brevity.
The Gordon Brown narrative of competing toxic nationalisms is utterly dishonest (especially coming from Mr ‘ British jobs for British workers’) a fact more and more on the left in England are beginning to understand, hence John McDonnell’s stunning intervention re the right of Scotland’s parliament to decide on a referendum.

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Colm B - August 11, 2019

Should say ‘Boris’s barmy Brexit’, though one hopes for brevity regarding hos reign as well!

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WorldbyStorm - August 11, 2019

That was a good intervention too by McDonell ! 🙂

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Colm B - August 11, 2019

It’s clear that Corbyn agrees with him. Neither of them are ideologically committed to the “precious union”. His intervention has exposed the sad mess that Scottish Labour is – a fight to the death between Blairite opportunists and out-of-touch Bennites cut adrift from the vast majority of left wing Scots who are overwhelmingly pro-indy.

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EWI - August 11, 2019

Since the pro-indy movements are not based on ethnic nationalism this does not constitute as big a barrier as might be presumed.

The rash of anti-Welsh incidents by English (and English businesses) even in the past few years suggests otherwise.

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Colm B - August 11, 2019

I’m guessing you mean “anti-English”?

Whats the evidence? How many incidents have there been? Over what period of time? Im not denying that such incidents have occurred, its the significance that you’re attaching to them that is questionable.

Like the case of the ultra “cyber-nats” in Scotland, you can always use real examples of fringe elements or unrepresentative incidents to tar an entire movement. Its like claiming that the headlines in a Sparticist newspaper represents the views of most socialists.

The key to this is analyzing the mainstream of a movement, not its fringes. In Scotland and Wales most pro-indy groups and individuals are broadly on the left, not anti-English and on issues such as immigration, sectarianism etc. definitely progressive. British nationalism on the other hand, at its very core is pro-imperialist, racist, sectarian etc. Why do you think the Orange Order, EDL, BNP, Tories, all the Tory press, the major businesses etc. etc. are anti-independence?

Like the vast majority of pro-indy people I’m strongly opposed to any signs of anti-English rhetoric or actions but while they should be strenuously opposed, it is deliberate distortion to use isolated incidents to make a false claim about a whole movement. The simple fact is that in both Wales and Scotland the pro-independence movements are broadly progressive alliances while British nationalism/unionism is utterly reactionary to its very core.

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EWI - August 11, 2019

I’m guessing you mean “anti-English”?

No, when I said ‘anti-Welsh’ I meant anti-Welsh.

https://www.google.com/search?q=anti-welsh+incidents

Brexiteering is primarily an issue of English nationalism lashing out, deprived of their empire.

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Colm B - August 12, 2019

Apologies EWI, agree entirely re English nationalism and it’s twin British nationalism

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3. roddy - August 11, 2019

Colm,are you now calling Boris a “ho”? Up here we say “hoor”!

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Colm B - August 11, 2019

Hmm, my phone seems to have a mind of its own today, especially when it comes to Boris the Bampot

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4. Liberius - August 11, 2019

For context I think people should familiarise themselves with all the polling on this post-2014, in particular the fact that this isn’t the first lead for yes nor the biggest, is a sequence of only one at the moment (look a the three polls post brexit referendum in 2016) and also the first poll on the subject from Ashcroft (ie no track record to compare against). It’s all well and fine to use polling for propaganda purposes but don’t delude yourselves just because it sounds nice.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_on_Scottish_independence

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Colm B - August 11, 2019

I know of few on the pro-indy side who are deluding themselves, in fact most have welcomed the signs of movement but cautioned against over-optimism. If anything, the ones who are rushing to declare that independence is now inevitable are the liberal unionists of the Guardian etc. scared s…less by the arrival of Boris and his ultra right Brexiteers.
That said, any objective analysise points to more favourable circumstances than ever before for independence. Of course, unless you have a determinist view of history, nothing is inevitable. The danger, however, with always pointing to the half empty glass is that it can often be used deliberately to undermine progressive causes: ‘socialism is a great idea but it’s never going to happen etc etc”. Right now is a time of great danger for workers in all of these Islands but also a time of great opportunity and the increased likelihood of Scotland’s independence is part of that set of opportunities.

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WorldbyStorm - August 11, 2019

I’d broadly agree Colm. I think the ground is shifting but only to an extent, but that there is opportunity and more so than at the last referendum. I don’t believe either a Scottish referendum or border poll on NI would be won at this particular point. I think give it a couple of years and both might be and it is key to orient towards that possibility and to use the space that the changes in attitudes have brought about to further open up the prospect of same.

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5. Colm B - August 11, 2019

I think a Yes win is now a real possibility in Scotland though all depends on how Brexit pans out and who’s is power in Westminster.

As for the North, the demographics are changing but a crude Catholic/Protestant headcount does not equate exactly to pro/anti-unity, so I think that a referendum is probably a longer term prospect. BTW I think there is a strong socialist argument for holding a referendum in the North a some stage (the right to self-determination) and a pro-Irish unity stance, on the basis of the creation of a set of circumstances that would be more conducive to bringing about radical social change in Ireland. Whether that case is made depends on whether and how the radical left would intervene in the process.

In terms of SF I think they are being cautious and I agree with their caution: there’s a recognition that it would be very risky to go for a referendum when the prospect of defeat is high and also to be fair, without accepting a unionist veto, a recognition by SF that you have to win over a significant section of that population to Irish unity so as to avoid attempts to stir up conflict etc.

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WorldbyStorm - August 11, 2019

Agreed, Scotland is a safer bet, though not entirely safe, than the North. That’s very true re a referendum, I wonder how and who would intervene on the radical left.

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6. Lamentreat - August 12, 2019

That is an interesting point about NI, all the same. If the UK does collapse, fast or slow, then an independent NI within the EU might be more palatable – to many Unionists but also to ‘happy with 26 county republic thank you’ people in the South – than a formally unified all-Ireland confederation subordinate to Dublin, etc.

You could have an independent 6-county state, a constitutional, maybe bilingual monarchy within the EU, but with all GF ties to the Republic maintained. Thus enabling a stable constitutional majority for the new settlement, both north and south.

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WorldbyStorm - August 12, 2019

If the north south links remained and the structures of the GFA/BA that would indeed be interesting . A sort of de facto shifting towards unity situation. Funding though – presumably Dublin with London offering support?

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Lamentreat - August 12, 2019

yeah that’d be a tricky question alright… I guess Dublin would have to shoulder the subsidies. But that would give them an awful lot of influence in the North.

The idea of having the Queen coming to open an independent Stormont (partially a RoI client state) but she has to give half her speech in Irish makes me laugh. Maybe it could might enrage enough people equally to create an equilibrium.

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WorldbyStorm - August 12, 2019

That’d be sweet – the Queen doing that. I mean ‘sweet’ in the cynical ‘awesome’ sense rather than the older definition! 🙂

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