November 23, 2022 at 11:55 am #236701
Will the next general election manifesto of the SNP be on one issue only – secession?November 23, 2022 at 12:48 pm #236711Young Master SmeetModerator
Well, Sturgeon says the SNP are committed to legal democratic routes, so I suspect not from the SNP, looks like they’ve got their Parti Quebecois moment: they’ll reign in Scotland forever, grousing about not being alowed to be independent…November 23, 2022 at 12:56 pm #236712
15 minutes into speech – general election will be a de facto referendumNovember 23, 2022 at 1:13 pm #236713
That’s good news. Not that the SNP will try to make Scottish separatism the one issue in the next general election — election manifestos don’t mean anything — but that there’s not going to be another Scottish referendum. That would only divide the working class there and set one section against another.November 23, 2022 at 1:25 pm #236714
Can there be a scenario where a mass socialist party engaged in the class struggle is an effective body bringing certain ameliorations, perhaps even improvements, because as we sometimes say if threatened the capitalist class will offer more and more concessions and compromises and we are not opposed to actual reforms, simply reformism, therefore, when it stands in elections, some workers may vote for such a socialist party, which has now become a class party, as a tool and weapon and not as we always insist solely to give it a mandate for socialism and nothing but socialism?November 23, 2022 at 2:47 pm #236725
There is some parallel between us and socialism and the SNP and Scottish Independence, in that both are or could be single aims. And the situation you speculate about could arise and will arise in the case of the SNP.
I doubt whether the SNP will fight the next UK general election on the single issue of Scottish independence. They will also appeal for votes on the basis of their record in office and on reforms to come. And I doubt very much whether they will say: Don’t vote for us if you don’t want Scottish independence.November 23, 2022 at 6:35 pm #236746
“They will also appeal for votes on the basis of their record in office and on reforms to come.”
That will constitute part of the SNP case for independence ie “We can run things better for ourselves.”
Talking about for ourselves, would they dare also to implement the Sinn Fein policy of not taking a seat in Parliament if elected?
We do not advocate a referendum on a single question “Do you approve of the abolition of capitalism and the establishment of socialism?” (or however it is phrased)
We say (as Sturgeon said a few times in her press address about independence) socialism requires the consent of the majority and that equates to votes and an electoral majority.
What happens if a Parliamentary majority of MPs is achieved but with a minority of votes cast as is often the case in the first-past-the-post general election?
A constitutional question arises but also one of legitimacy.
Our manifestos is normally an indictment of the vices of capitalism accompanied by the virtues of socialism. Not in each and every election statement we issue do
we explain clearly, “Don’t vote for us if you don’t want socialism ” Perhaps it should be a requirement.
Should Scottish SPGB members perhaps highlight this anomaly of democracy in answer to the SNP? That we do consider general elections to be considered referenda but we will also consider also the election returns.
As an aside, one point raised was the young voter. The 2014 referendum included 16 and 17-year-olds, generally who favoured separatism. A general election excludes them giving them no voice.
The 2014 reflected an exceptionally high participation rate, something in a general election that usually does not happen. Not only will it be the vote for the unionist parties but the abstentionists too that must be considered in calculating what is deemed a majority.
I recall the 40% rule devolution referendum in the 1970s, and how dead people had the vote since the electoral register included many of the departed.November 24, 2022 at 10:03 am #236780
I see that the Supreme Court had to deal with the legal “right to self- determination” and cited other Courts’ rulings to conclude that this did not apply to Scotland.
They cited a Canadian Supreme Court ruling that held the right to self-determination under international law only existed in situations of “former colonies or where a people is oppressed” and that Quebec did not meet the threshold of a colonial people or an oppressed people. The British Supreme Court (presided over by a Scottish law lord) concluded:
“The same is true of Scotland and the people of Scotland.”
Obviously socialists agree but then we don’t think that there is such a thing as a “right to self-determination”, though I suppose the rulers of existing capitalist states might find the concept useful to decide who can join (and who can’t) join their club.November 24, 2022 at 12:18 pm #236797
The world socialist revolution is inevitable (Capitalism will not & cannot last forever). This is due to the materialist conception of history. All we (as socialist) can do right now is help it along & make sure the revolution comes at least a little sooner than it would have done without our help.
The SPGB is sort of like a fire extinguisher, in that the working class don’t want to use it now, but they will when the majority of them have become class conscious & they want to peacefully take over the state.November 24, 2022 at 3:23 pm #236807chelmsfordParticipant
Many socialists deny absolutely socialism is inevitable. Inevitability can’t be deduced from the MCH. Where did you get the idea?November 24, 2022 at 3:53 pm #236808WezParticipant
chelmsford – the Materialist Conception of History does imply a high level of determinism (like all science) but the establishment of socialism cannot be considered ‘inevitable’ since we have to take a larger frame of reference including the possibility of global warming destroying the planet and the equally disturbing possibility of a mass extinction due to a meteor collision etc. Of course there may be other elements determining cultural/political evolution that we have yet to discover – a kind of political version of dark energy/matter that has wrecked the physicists models of a deterministic ‘inevitable’ universe.November 24, 2022 at 11:42 pm #236863Lizzie45Participant
There is also the distinct and current threat of nuclear annihilation.November 25, 2022 at 10:43 am #236884
Two letters from today’s Times exposing the absurdity (and, I would add, dishonesty) of the SNP’s claim that a general election can be turned into a referendum. It could possibly be, I suppose, if they did what the first letter suggests but of course they won’t.
“Sir, Reading your leading article wondered if anyone has pointed out to Nicola Sturgeon that if she insists on treating the next general election as a de facto referendum on independence she will have to ensure that the SNP’s (very short) manifesto for that election mentions independence as her party’s only policy. If any other policy is put forward it will be possible to claim that a voter has backed the SNP for that reason and not for the promise of independence. Thus she will have reduced the SNP to a one-trick pony.
Gervase O’Donohoe, Atworth, Wilts”
“Sir, I live in Perthshire and we have four voters registered at our home address. I have kept the election communications that we received for the most recent Holyrood election from both the SNP and the Scottish Greens. They are professional and colourful documents, brimming with reasons to vote for those parties. There is no mention of an independence referendum from either set. In our house at least, the claims of a “mandate” sound especially hollow and weak.
Lord Kinnoull, House of Lords”November 25, 2022 at 4:39 pm #236888
“Where did you get the idea?” Chelmsford, don’t you agree that the history of humankind (post-primitive communism) is the history of class conflict, and that it was inevitable the capitalist class would take over the world?
Capitalism continues to dig its own grave year by year. I mean, since the industrial revolution technology has become better & better, making the idea of world socialism more & more conceivable (the internet is a great example of this). I believe technology will advance so greatly that capitalism will look undeniably redundant from the point of view of the proletariat.November 25, 2022 at 4:44 pm #236889
Check out this excellent quote from author & physician Gabor Mate (taken from an interview):
“I don’t think it’s a matter of generations. I think it’s a matter of social transformation on a broad scale, a process in which the younger generation will play a role. But I don’t think we can do this wilfully. You don’t transform the system just because you decide to. Systemic transformations happen. They’re an historical movement of their own. The challenge is: at whatever stage we are at, what are we going to do? Are we going to act, and are we going to persist? We cannot by ourselves turn the wheel of history. That’s beyond the will of any particular generation or any particular group. We can contribute. And what I’m hoping people will get from [my new] book is the awareness that it’s not only possible to contribute, but it’s also the best thing anybody can do. The rest of it is not necessarily in our hands.”
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