Friday, 24 March 2017

Defend Scots Democratic Rights - Part 5 of 6

What we have are two competing nationalisms, confronting each other. We have the Scottish nationalism of the SNP being confronted by a Popular Front comprising the Tory Party, Labour Party and Liberal Party that is promoting English nationalism in opposition to it, wrapped up in the clothes of Brexit. Socialists should give no support or succour to the illusions fostered by either, but should work for the unity of the working-class on the widest, and deepest possible basis. That in itself poses a problem, when the immediate consequence of demanding that the 5.25 million Scots workers remain united with the 53 million workers of England, within the confines of the British state, is to demand that they simultaneously thereby become separated from the 450 million workers of the EU, including the nearly 5 million workers in Ireland. In that respect, only, the nationalism of the SNP is at least, more progressive and outward looking, than the purely Little Englander nationalism of the English Popular Front, which looks only inwards, and backwards.

As I have written recently, this is further complicated by the fact that the British state itself is moving backwards and towards disintegration, whilst the EU is moving forwards and in the direction of a more extensive and intensive integration. The EU is being driven by the logic of social-democracy, and the objective requirements of socialised capital, whilst English policy is being driven by conservatism, and an attempt to turn back the clock, based upon the ideas of mercantilism and colonialism, and the antediluvian forms of capital that underpin it.

The rational solution here would be, not for Scotland or Northern Ireland to become independent from Britain, but for England to become independent from Britain, a possibility that is not at all impossible were it the case that all nations within the union were actually equal. It would be quite rational for England to leave Britain simultaneously with leaving the EU, enabling a Britain of Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales if it chose, to remain in the EU.

Had England actually negotiated, on an equal basis, with the governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, that is a solution that could have been agreed upon. Theresa May's argument is nonsense when she tries to claim that the SNP's demand for independence, so as to hand sovereignty back to Brussels, is muddled. If I put my money in Bank A, because I believe it is the best place for it, if B comes along and steals that money, there is nothing muddled or irrational about me then trying to remove it from B's thieving grasp, so as to put it back in Bank A, where I wanted it to be in the first place! What would be irrational would be to allow B to simply get away with their act of theft.

It is also nonsense for May to insist that Scots can only hold a referendum after Britain, and thereby Scotland, has been taken out of the EU, thereby necessitating Scotland having to reapply for EU membership. One option would be for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to hold referenda jointly calling for England to be expelled from the Union, thereby enabling the other nations to remain inside both Britain and the EU.

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