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Independent Left: Scottish Indendence October 19, 2020

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.
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Colm Breathnach has written a feature on Scottish independence for IL.

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1. Joe - October 19, 2020

I’m not in favour of Scottish indendence. It’s independence or nothing for me. Supporters of indendence for Scotland are just like Home Rule supporters here in 1918. Surprised at our Glasgow correspondent going all Redmond at a time like this.

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benmadigan - October 19, 2020

The SNP under Nicola Sturgeon is very, very gradualist, postponing Independence until the economic damage of Covid has been resolved. Never never land?

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Colm B - October 19, 2020

Yes the SNP leadership is a gradualist, social liberal cohort. Yes they are ultra cautious. Yes they will wait until after next Mays election which, on current trends, will deliver a stonking pro-indy majority before making any active moves. Yes they will probably not want to act until the pandemic crisis has passed.
But no, they are not just home rulers in disguise and they are under huge pressure from below to deliver independence. Remember while they are politically dominant, they are not the sum total of the Indy movement. Even if they wanted to they will not be able to keep kicking the ball into the long grass.

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Paul Culloty - October 19, 2020

If and after independence, the pro-independence vote will shift notably, one suspects, with the Greens benefiting from the pro-left elements of current SNP support. The Socialists have been weakened by in-fighting over the last decade over Tommy Sheridan’s legal battles, but could revive in a rebranded and re-oriented movement.

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2. Colm B - October 19, 2020

Just wait until we launch the armed snuggle

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Joe - October 19, 2020

Excellent. 🙂 🙂 🙂

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3. roddy - October 19, 2020

Ever think of WW2 style blackouts to propel the struggle forward,Belfast wall sloganeers argued for it decades ago – “Brites out now”!

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4. tafkaGW - October 20, 2020

Hey we call all mak spelling mistakes. I make them moar than most.

I could envisage Scottish independence within 5 to 10 years. World eco socialism may take longer.

In the meantime an independent Scotland would need an independent currency. Taking on the Brit one would deliver Scotland to the whims of the British ruling class exercised through the Bank of England.

If an independent Scotland chose to join the EU it should make a nod towards the Euro, but like many Eastern European member states drag its feet. At least until the ECB comes under democratic control of the European parliament. And exorcises Bundesbank superstitions about inflation and money supply.

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5. Pangurbán - October 20, 2020

Would it not be a good idea to defer consideration of a border poll until after Scotland has left the UK?

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WorldbyStorm - October 20, 2020

I see where you’re coming from but I think the dynamics at play are very different and have their own momentum so predicting one or other on the other doesn’t seem feasible. As it happens I’m tending to view Scotland might be gone before NI if only due to the difficulties in getting the necessity for a border poll across under a Tory government.

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Colm B - October 20, 2020

No crystal ball but I suspect the scenario of Scotland going first is the most likely. Despite its population and economic imp relative to the rest of the UK it would a devastating blow to the British state and ruling class and it would certainly advance the question of a boxer poll, give a huge boost to demands for independence in Wales as well as for more regional autonomy within England. In a word it would heard the final chapter in the history of the British state.

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WorldbyStorm - October 20, 2020

Which reminds me, what’s your take on Tom Nairn?

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Colm B - October 20, 2020

I have a shameful admission to make, I’ve never read Nairn. Terrible given that he’s the daddy of em all when it comes the discussing nationalism in a British context. This will need to be rectified!
Big fan of Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities. Whatever you think of his take on nationalism, it’s such a well written wee book.
Now I m off to do a quick wiki read on Nairn.

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WorldbyStorm - October 20, 2020

I love Benedict Anderson. Imagined Communities is a brilliant perceptive analysis. I kind of figure nationalism is false consciousness but… given it has a critical mass amongst people there’s no point in treating it like false consciousness because too many people buy into it so it has to be worked with and a round.

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Colm B - October 20, 2020

Yes, B Anderson is far better than others on the left – Hobsbawm etc with their hostility to small nation nationalism.
People often miss the point that Anderson referred to nations as Imagined not Imaginary communities – they are real entities formed by a common sense of belonging to the them felt by large numbers of people who have no other connection. Also Anderson links nationalism to material factors without being reductionist.

Marx’s views of nationalism and nations was far more subtle than many later Marxists and evolved significantly over his lifetime. For an excellent account of that evolution, I’ve mentioned Kevin B. Anderson’s brilliant Marx at the Margins before. Erica Benner’s Really Existing Nationalisms is on my reading list – hopefully to get another perspective on Marx and Engels take on nationalism.

None of this should make us uncritical of nationalism but it should make us wary of treating all nationalisms as uniformly reactionary or overlooking the progressive aspects of some nationalisms.

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roddy - October 20, 2020

Why only a boxer poll? Surely other sportsmen should have a say.Pricks like Barry McGuigan would need a counterbalance like James McClean or Peter Canavan!

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Joe - October 20, 2020

McGuigan? Can I take it then that McGuigan and Frampton would be on the same side in this poll even though they’re on the opposite sides in the current court battle?

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Colm B - October 20, 2020

I blame Joe, King of the Typo

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Joe - October 20, 2020

indendence; economic imp; boxer poll. Where’s my English/Scots dictionary?

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6. tafkaGW - October 23, 2020

A lot to think about here, much of which chimes with me.

What interests me particularly is Colm’s assertion about British Nationalism.

There are two nationalisms operating in Scotland: the reactionary but dominant one seems strangely invisible to many commentators. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for liberals and even some on the left, to see all the flaws of small-nation nationalism but to be oblivious for the monstrous elephant in the room, imperial nationalism. While modern Scottish nationalism cleaves to a decidedly non-ethnic civic version of what defines a country, British nationalism is racist and reactionary to its core.

Can we extend this to a general rule that nationalisms of all imperial and post-imperial powers are intrinsically racist, reactionary etc. because they contain, deep in the historical DNA, a mobilisation of a mass psychology as part of a state machine, and an administrative and cannon-fodder mass, that will always be so?

At what point can this part of of the DNA be CRISPA-ed out?

I’m thinking of Japanese or German ‘majority’ nationalism for instance, which has, in contrast to the British a very ambivalent and wary relationship with national pride, except on the fascist spectrum. But the ex-imperial construction of nationalism is always there and always has to be actively fought against.

How real for the Italian people was Mussolini’s invocation of the Roman empire after a couple of millennia?

And current Polish nationalism is extremely toxic, even though the Poles have been victims or recent empires. Is that not also ‘small nation’ nationalism?

(BTW the Independent Left site banner doesn’t work so well in the current Private-Mode Firefox) – it obscures the author and date line.

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tafkaGW - October 23, 2020

…victims of recent empires…

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