FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Scottish Independence, Round Two: Let It Come!

Photo by Michel Curi | CC BY 2.0

Photo by Michel Curi | CC BY 2.0

The die is cast. Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the SNP and First Minister of Scotland, has announced that she is to seek approval from the Scottish Parliament to proceed with a second referendum on Scottish Independence between the autumn of 2018 and spring of 2019.

That Nicola Sturgeon had no choice but to take this course has been self evident for some time. With 62% of people in Scotland voting to remain in the EU last year, which translates to every one of Scotland’s 32 local councils, and with Theresa May refusing to countenance any special arrangement by which Scotland could retain its membership of the EU single market while remaining part of Brexit Britain, it is impossible to escape the conclusion that in the rarefied environs of Toryshire Scotland is viewed as just another region within the UK rather than a partner nation of the UK.

The indisputable future impact of Brexit on the Scottish economy – on investment, jobs, and on Scottish society – cannot simply be wished away in obeisance to an EU referendum result that has only succeeded in kicking over a constitutional hornet’s nest.I write these words as someone who was opposed to Scottish independence in 2014, penning numerous articles and appearing at debates putting the arguments against breaking up a union that has been extant since 1707. Those arguments were based on the progressive character of class as the determinant of political opposition to a status quo of inequality and social and economic injustice in Britain, as opposed to the regressive character of nationalism.

But between the referendum on Scottish independence n 2014 and today we have experienced south of the border Brexit, driven by xenophobia and anti migrant hostility, both of which have been elevated to the political mainstream for the first time since the 1930s – and in similar economic and social conditions brought about by a global recession/depression.

In the wake of the vote to exit the EU hate crimes in parts of the UK have spiked, three million EU citizens currently living and working in the UK have been reduced to bargaining chips in a game of political horse-trading, while the ugly politics of British nationalism with its atavistic attachment to the verities of 19th Century nativism have predominated. Meanwhile, the depiction and treatment of refugees, people whose only crime has been to flee the chaos and carnage created in large part by Britain’s own foreign policy over the past decade and more, stands as a withering indictment of a country that increasingly resembles a poor Xerox of a civilised society.

The enemy of working class people, the impediment to their ability to prosper and see their children prosper, is not and never has been migrants. It is and will always be those for whom poverty is not a consequence of economic factors inherent within deregulated capitalism, but instead is a product of individual character deficiency and thus should be punished accordingly. Tory austerity not migrants is the root cause of the growing pressure on public services, the NHS, jobs, and housing. It has less to do with economics – unless, that is, we are talking voodoo economics – and more to do with ideology. More simply put, austerity is the unleashing of an assault on working class communities across the country, punishing them for the reckless actions of a deregulated banking and financial sector, in the process turning what was a crisis of private greed into a crisis of public spending.

It is a dynamic that has proved manna from heaven for those for whom the scapegoating of ‘the other’ is coterminous with patriotism and love of country.

As for Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader’s capitulation to Brexit reached its nadir with the decision to impose of a three line whip on Labour MPs in support of Theresa May and her triggering of Article 50 without any amendements – a so-called hard Brexit. It is a decision that will forever mark his legacy as a leader who rather than resist this rising tide of ugly British nationalism opted to roll with it in the hope of winning back the support of working class voters in the North of England, the Midlands, and South Wales.

This has been his mistake, one that will not only mark his legacy but has ensured that Labour in Scotland is fated to continue down the path towards political extinction.

Of course there are no guarantees when it comes to the outcome of a second referendum on Scottish independence. But what is certain is that the stakes involved are higher than they were in 2014. They involve the question of whether we should be offering the hand of friendship to migrants and refugees or the fist of fury; defending multiculturalism and diversity or abandoning them; and ultimately the choice between outward-looking Scottish internationalism or backward-looking British nationalism.

Indyref 2. Let it come.

More articles by:

John Wight is the author of a politically incorrect and irreverent Hollywood memoir – Dreams That Die – published by Zero Books. He’s also written five novels, which are available as Kindle eBooks. You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnWight1

June 21, 2018
Ron Jacobs
Divest From the Business of Incarceration
W. T. Whitney
Angola in Louisiana: Proving Ground for Racialized Capitalism
Susan Babbitt
Assange and Truth: the Deeper (Harder) Issue
Kenn Orphan
Humanity vs. the Rule of Law
Mateo Pimentel
Why on Earth a Country of Laws and Borders?
Michael T. Klare
The Pentagon’s Provocative Encirclement of China
Howard Lisnoff
The Outrageous Level of Intolerance is Happening Everywhere!
Vijay Prashad
The People of India Stand With Palestine
Binoy Kampmark
Rocking the G7: Trump Stomps His Allies
Raouf Halaby
Give It Up, Ya Mahmoud
Lawrence Wittner
Getting Ready for Nuclear War
Dean Baker
When Both Men and Women Drop Out of the Labor Force, Why Do Economists Only Ask About Men?
Bruce Lerro
Big Brother Facebook: Drawing Down the Iron Curtain on Yankeedom
June 20, 2018
Henry Giroux
Trump’s War on Children is an act of State Terrorism
Bill Hackwell
Unprecedented Cruelty Against Immigrants and Their Children
Paul Atwood
“What? You Think We’re So Innocent?”
Nicola Perugini
The Palestinian Tipping Point
K.J. Noh
Destiny and Daring: South Korean President Moon Jae-In’s Impossible Journey Towards Peace
Gary Leupp
Jeff Sessions and St. Paul’s Clear and Wise Commands
M. G. Piety
On Speaking Small Truths to Power
Dave Lindorff
Some Straight Talk for Younger People on Social Security (and Medicare too)
George Wuerthner
The Public Value of Forests as Carbon Reserves
CJ Hopkins
Confession of a Putin-Nazi Denialist
David Schultz
Less Than Fundamental:  the Myth of Voting Rights in America
Rohullah Naderi
The West’s Over-Publicized Development Achievements in Afghanistan 
Dan Bacher
California Lacks Real Marine Protection as Offshore Drilling Expands in State Waters
Lori Hanson – Miguel Gomez
The Students of Nicaragua’s April Uprising
Russell Mokhiber
Are Corporations Behind Frivolous Lawsuits Against Corporations?
Michael Welton
Infusing Civil Society With Hope for a Better World
June 19, 2018
Ann Robertson - Bill Leumer
We Can Thank Top Union Officials for Trump
Lawrence Davidson
The Republican Party Falls Apart, the Democrats Get Stuck
Sheldon Richman
Trump, North Korea, and Iran
Richard Rubenstein
Trump the (Shakespearean) Fool: a New Look at the Dynamics of Trumpism
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Protect Immigrant Rights; End the Crises That Drive Migration
Gary Leupp
Norway: Just Withdraw From NATO
Kristine Mattis
Nerd Culture, Adultolescence, and the Abdication of Social Priorities
Mike Garrity
The Forest Service Should Not be Above the Law
Colin Todhunter
Pro-GMO Activism And Smears Masquerade As Journalism: From Seralini To Jairam Ramesh, Aruna Rodrigues Puts The Record Straight
Doug Rawlings
Does the Burns/Novick Vietnam Documentary Deserve an Emmy?
Kenneth Surin
2018 Electioneering in Appalachian Virginia
Nino Pagliccia
Chrystia Freeland Fails to See the Emerging Multipolar World
John Forte
Stuart Hall and Us
June 18, 2018
Paul Street
Denuclearize the United States? An Unthinkable Thought
John Pilger
Bring Julian Assange Home
Conn Hallinan
The Spanish Labyrinth
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail