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Scottish Nationalism

Book Reviews: 'Wealth Secrets of the 1%', & 'Nation-States - Consciousness and Competition'

Open Secret

'Wealth Secrets of the 1%', by Sam Wilkin. Sceptre £9.99

There’s no secret, really, is there? The one percent get their wealth by exploiting the rest of us, by paying us less in wages than the value of what we produce. This is not, however, the kind of thing that Sam Wilkin deals with here, since he is really concerned, not with how the capitalist class in general become rich, but with how and why some capitalists, in contrast to others, become very rich indeed. His answer is by ‘gaming the system’: by having the government introduce regulations that make competition difficult, and by making it more or less impossible for companies, especially banks, to lose money.

Sting in the Tail: Having Their Cake

Having their cake

When Scorpion was a child and cried because he had scoffed all his goodies, his mother would tell him "you can't have your cake and eat it".

This simple truth had obviously eluded those taking part in a discussion on "community values" in A Week In Politics (Channel 4, 22 October).

They were Labour MP Tony Wright, Tory MP Alan Howarth and a repentant Thatcherite, Professor John Gray. Wright pointed out that even the word "community" has been debased through its use as a cover for such unpalatable Tory policies as the poll-tax (Community charge) and the turning of mentally-ill people onto the streets (Care In The Community).

A Scottish Red Herring

The self-styled democratic champions of the British Empire are wont to ignore the violence and intrigue which have contributed to its upbuilding, not only abroad, but in these islands.

When their attention is called to these factors by foreign dictators they take refuge in the feeble excuse that it all happened a long time ago; an excuse which seems to make very little impression upon the spokesmen of movements for "national liberty."

In the case of Ireland we have had violent examples, recently, of the bitterness which still survives (in spite of a partial self-government), as a result of centuries of oppression. In Scotland a similar sentiment takes a more pacific, but none the less definite form.

Scottish Home Rule

One of the favourite futilities of the Clyde group of Labour M.P.s is to advocate Scottish independence. It has never been explained in what way capitalism administered by Scots from Edinburgh will be better for Scotch workers than capitalism administered from London. Mr. Kirkwood has, however, now learned by experience that it may even be worse.

At an Independent Labour Party meeting in Edinburgh he spoke as follows: -

Referring to a deputation to the Secretary of State for Scotland on behalf of the starving children of Dunbartonshire, he said "the officials of the Scottish Office were harder to deal with than those of the English Office."—Manchester Guardian, January 15th.

The simple truth is that capitalism will be just the same as far as the working class are concerned. What is required is another system of society, not new administrators for the old one.

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