Throughout the debate about the potential ‘independence’ of Scotland there has been little or no debate about the role of international capitalism and the EU. In fact broadcast media have either ignored the question of the EU or relegated it to facile questions, such as ‘How long will it take an independent Scotland to get membership?’. It has taken the arrival of Nigel Farage to force it to consider questions about how easily the EU domination over Britain’s economy will be transferred to EU domination over Scotland’s.
But we need to go much further and to recognise that we are faced with a neoliberal agenda that seeks to make all workers in Britain permanent slaves through EU Treaties and one-sided trade agreements with the US. The recent TUC congress reminded us of our proud, collective history fighting capitalism. No wishful thinking that Scottish workers can make a better job of fighting it on their own is going to change the material conditions that require workers in Britain (all of it) to rebuild their organisations and reclaim their industries.
The modern nation of Britain was built in no small part by trade unions and socialists. It is the sum total of the ingenuity, progressive rights and culture of workers and their families who live here. We must not allow it to be pulled apart under the illusion that Scotland could be ‘independent’. The SNP is arguing for a dangerous new form of subservience that will make it more difficult for us to fight back. Trade unions are for human solidarity and oppose false divisions.
Over 35 years of neoliberal rule have made it seem ‘normal’ to accept increasing inequality, poverty, privatisation, de-industrialisation, the dismantling of the welfare state, unemployment and casualisation of work. All parts of Britain are dominated by financial capital and transnational corporations and less than 1% of the population controls the wealth created by the 99%.