Scottish Referendum

May 2024 Forums World Socialist Movement Scottish Referendum

Viewing 15 posts - 121 through 135 (of 161 total)
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  • #104310
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Young Master Smeet wrote:
    Alan, the party is the tool of the class, not the otehr way round, whilst we try and educate and inform workers of their interests, in referendums and plebiscites they make up their own mind on a given issue, and vote as they see fit on a case by case basis.

    That tells us nothing we didn't already know.  But it's not only in referenda and plebiscites that workers make up their own minds; it's in every other election too.

    Quote:
    The party campaigns as they instruct, not vice versa.

    That being the case the party at the moment should be campaigning for the retention of capitalism.

    Quote:
    The only obligation on membership is not to belong to any other political organisation.

    Really?  And what about members' obligation to adhere to the object and declaration of principles which includes a clause demanding hostility to every other political party?  The member on Facebook who thinks, amongst other things, we should "give credit to the 'Yes' campaign" (for Scottish independence) has some serious explaining to do.

    #104311
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    the party is the tool of the class, not the other way round

    i understand your concern, YMS.My approach could be mistaken for substituting the party for the class. However, we aren't replacing the power of our class by party power and acting in its stead. We are merely an educational and advocacy body which more often than not alienates us from the popular view of our class. We don't swing with the opinion polls.We, of course, instruct our fellow workers. Our primary exhortation is to tell them to discover and learn what is their real interests are and frequently through our accumlated wisdom as a political party we speed up that process in that we advise them of these. Often it is a demand, not an instruction or plaintive plea…but something much more passionate and more insistent in that they MUST organise in one world-wide voice to establish a new society, not a perceived better version of the old one for any particular region of the planet. Perhaps we should not give too much consideration to the form of democracy ie referendums and plebiscites and keep our focus upon the content of them.In the Scottish independence i think our response is clear-minded and a class-conscious one to the referendum question, regardless of some periphery benefits to some workers with either option. But as a generalisation i do concede when you said it should be by case by case…It is just that there are two types of questions asked in them ..unimportant ones to the class such as to what you smoke…or more fundamental issues as supporting and allying with our class enemies and strengthening them. 

    Quote:
    The member on Facebook who thinks we should "give credit to the 'Yes' campaign" (for Scottish independence) has some serious explaining to do.

    Not being on Facebook i am not privy to exactly what was said but a look back on this thread will reveal ALB and myself giving credit to the No and the Yes campaigners but maintaining our opposition.  

    #104312
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    gnome wrote:
    Quote:
    The only obligation on membership is not to belong to any other political organisation.

    Really?  And what about members' obligation to adhere to the object and declaration of principles which includes a clause demanding hostility to every other political party?  The member on Facebook who thinks, amongst other things, we should "give credit to the 'Yes' campaign" (for Scottish independence) has some serious explaining to do.

    I am relieved that I am not the only member that feels that way, gnome. When I pointed out that a 'yes' vote is a vote for capitalism and pasted this link to a Steve Coleman article on nationalism http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1980s/1988/no-1002-february-1988/lunacy-left-wing-nationalismI was marginalised on a socialist site –  offering the socialist position on independence movements – and told that this not the 1990s any more and the article is  out of date. (until you came along)I have raised the matter on this site but to no avail. Indeed as you can see I have received a similar response.Are members now free to make up their own minds on such issues?  I would certainly appreciate clarification on the matter. For example, party polls and conference decisions as I have been 'out of the loop' for some time It is not just one member. I have been told that it is a knee jerk reaction to oppose a movement just because it is 'nationalist'

    Quote:
    "Interesting discussion. I must say I have been pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm and optimism of the “Yes” campaign. If nothing else,we in SPGB have to acknowledge that we can’t criticise this new politics on the basis of its respect for nationalism, because (personally I find it as incredible as it is positive)"

     Really??

    #104313
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Young Master Smeet wrote:
    I don;'t see the problem with what thopse members are saying.  AFAIK we haven't agreed action line on the referendum, and iot's been noted over recent years that we can and will vote according to how we perceive class interests in referendums and plebiscites.  Memebrs are not mandated.  I can't recall, I think I may have voted yes in the AV referendum.  I have to confess, seeing the big guns of the establishment being briought to bear would make me think about voting yes to tweak their noses.

    I will take it that you thimk it  is OK for party members to vote for sectional interests of the capitalist class.And that the party's attitude to nationalism is 'very 90s' http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1980s/1988/no-1002-february-1988/lunacy-left-wing-nationalism 

    #104314
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    SPGB website A-Z of Marxism wrote:
    Nationalism is an ideology which emphasises the distinctiveness of a nation and usually points to its statehood. Nationalist movements arose with the development of capitalism and the state. In the nineteenth century, Karl Marx supported some nationalist movements because they were historically progressive in that they served the class interests of the rising bourgeoisie in its struggle against the traditional aristocracy. In the twentieth century, nationalism was, and still is, associated with movements for ‘self-determination’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’.Socialists do not support movements for national liberation. Certainly socialism will allow the fullest linguistic and cultural diversity, but this cannot be achieved through nationalism. Marxism explains how workers are exploited and unfree, not as particular nationalities, but as members of a class. To be in an ‘oppressed minority’ at all it is usually necessary to first belong to the working class. From this perspective, identifying with the working class provides a rational basis for political action. The objective is a stateless world community of free access. Given that nationalism does nothing to further this understanding, however, it is an obstruction to world socialism.

    (Bold added)http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/education/z-marxism/n

    #104315
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Interesting, if not all that surprising, take on the referendum by Andrew Gilligan in the Torygraph…http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scottish-independence/11094601/Scottish-independence-Yes-campaign-every-bit-as-dodgy-as-Iraq-dossier.html

    Quote:
    Now, Scots are told that independence will protect them from global capitalism. They are told that a new international border at Gretna will form a magic shield against the City, the Tories, and the cuts.In fact, after a Yes vote the City, the Tories, and the architects of the cuts would have more power over Scotland, not less.Because what is offered by Alex Salmond and the Yes campaign is not independence. It is sharing a currency, whether formally or informally, with England.[…]There are no short cuts to social justice. If Scots want to tame international capitalism, it can only be done internationally. They have to make links, not break links, with other people in other countries, like England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, who agree with them.

    He appears to understand what is required even if some of own members don't…

    #104316
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    " pasted this link to a Steve Coleman article on nationalism "

    Sorry, comrade, that you had to resort to the archives to a now ex-member when our two blogs (SOYMB and Socialist Courier) have been posting contemporary critiques of nationalism and specifically Scottish nationalism and the referendum for the past several months and much more principled and astute from a socialist point of view than Gilligan's (even if i do say so myself) Maybe the neglect of those blogs by members and sympathisers has something to do with their low traffic.   

    #104317

    Gnome: There is no obligation on members to be hostile to all other parties, that is an obligation on the party and functionaries of the party.  The only obligations of membership are to pay a voluntary contribution and not join or assist any other political organisation.  A vote in a referendum or plebiscite is not supporting or assisting any other political organisation, but making a political decision as a member of the community.  Let's not forget that voting no would be 'support' for a different political set up/nationalism.There is a difference between supporting a national liberation movement, and voting in a referendum.  So we'd not expect our members to campaign for an independence referendum, and I would expect our mandated speakers to oppose nationalism, and give the class perspective (and urge a spoilt ballot).We've identified that there is no class issue at hand here, workers neither benefit nor lose from independence.  Some might have strategic/tactical reasons for voting yes (creative chaos, destroying British military and diplomatic power on the world stage, a hatred of Berwick, etc.).

    #104318
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    the outcome of this referendum is irrelevant

    EC StatementHowever i do have to disagree with the YMS statement that 

    Quote:
    We've identified that there is no class issue at hand here, workers neither benefit nor lose from independence.

    Scottish workers may or may not benefit from independence but a section of the Scottish capitalist class most certainly have something to gain do and some capitalists will almost certainly lose out  and once more we have to place the Scottish independence movement in a world-wide context and globally the working class do not benefit from nationalism either Scottish or UK. As YMS concludes…spoiling the ballot and taking no sides should be the working class response

    #104319
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    Sorry, comrade, that you had to resort to the archives to a now ex-member when our two blogs (SOYMB and Socialist Courier) have been posting contemporary critiques of nationalism and specifically Scottish nationalism and the referendum for the past several months and much more principled and astute from a socialist point of view than Gilligan's (even if i do say so myself) 

     My apologies, Alan. I didn't think about it, I just searched this site. In future I will check the Blogs 

    #104320
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Interesting letter in today's Times from an Oxford Professor:

    Quote:
    Sir, In pondering what the rest of the realm would be called in the event of Scotland's secession, let us be clear about the meaning of the term Great Britain. It was not first instituted, as recently claimed, by James VI of Scotland when he acquired the throne of England; nor does it embody a claim to greatness, as your columnist Alice Thomson (Sept 10) supposes. Gret Britanee was referred to in 1474 in the instrument for the proposed marriage of Edward IV's daughter Cecily to James III of Scotland, and more than three centuries earlier Geoffrey of Monmouth used the term Britannia maior for the island of Britain as opposed to Britannia minor, which was Brittany.If Scotland leaves the union, "Great Britain" will remain valid as a geographical term. The logical name for what remains will be the Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland (KEWNI). Ukip could restyle itself KEWNIP.PROFESSOR MARTIN WEST, Oxford.

    Anyone for SPKEWNI ? 

    #104321
    jondwhite
    Participant

    I take it UKIP are opposed to Scottish 'independence'.

    #104322
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Yes, I had a debate on the Scottish referendum with them and a LibDem on a local radio station in East London last night and it was amusing to see the UKIP representative repeat all the arguments for Scotland not withdrawing from the UK (not big enough internal market, not strong enough to survive international competition on its own, etc) as are put against them for wanting the UK to withdraw from the EU. Also, she was so against Scotland being offered a disproportionate amount of money to vote No that she forgot that UKIP has an MEP from Scotland (be interesting to see what he does if there's a Yes vote). The debate was recorded so should be available some time.

    #104323
    ALB
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    Quote:
    If Scotland leaves the union, "Great Britain" will remain valid as a geographical term. The logical name for what remains will be the Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland (KEWNI). Ukip could restyle itself KEWNIP.PROFESSOR MARTIN WEST, Oxford.

    Anyone for SPKEWNI ?

    Just remembered. There would be a precedent. The name of the party Rosa Luxemburg was associated with in Russian Poland was "Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania", or SDKPiL.

    #104324
    ALB
    Keymaster
    ALB wrote:
    The debate was recorded so should be available some time.

    Here it is:http://www.mixcloud.com/davidallen3139/insight-with-adam-on-afrobeat-940-fm/Talking starts 5.58 minutes in.Incidentally the "Adam" is the interviewer not me.

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