In a chilling article in Sunday’s Telegraph, Andrew Gillighan who exposed the lies being told about Iraq to justify a terrible war, has equally warned of the lies about Scottish ‘independence.’ When a lie is worth telling it is worth making it big as all reactionary world leaders throughout history have known. It was a lie that took us into the war against Iraq, lies that took us into the European Union, although there has been no vote on it in Britain since 1975, and it was a pack of lies that underpinned the entire coalition attack on workers since 2010. Lies and theft are the bedrock of the neoliberal agenda and are the norm rather than the exception.
The word ‘independence’ when being applied to the Scottish yes vote campaign is the cleverest lie of all. It puts a word which all progressive freedom loving people agree with over the banner of separatism and dependence.
A Scotland that opts out of the British nation state would be a Scotland even more at the mercy of the employers and finance capital. It would not be independent to control its own borders from the free flow of capital, people, labour, goods and services by the EU. It would not be free to adopt its own foreign policy outside of NATO and the EU. In the EU it would find over 70% of its laws created by the EU. In another currency whether the pound or EU it would have its interest rates, currency flows and main economic levers determined by others. Out of Britain it would receive less for its public services. Out of Britain it would have to impose higher taxes. The list of disadvantages for Scottish workers in leaving Britain and trying to paddle a separatist canoe within a very hostile world is long.
The attraction of going it alone for some in Scotland wrongly assumes that England will always be a reactionary place dominated by Tories, riddled with weird UKIPers and embarrassed by a Labour Party committed to neoliberalism and distancing themselves from trade unions. It assumes that Scotland can break out and make a socialist oasis that everyone will follow. It assumes that by electing its own government it can avoid the worst excesses of English capitalism. Yet of course it will achieve nothing of the kind unless it deals with capitalist property relations in Scotland.
Neoliberalism has relied in no small measure on fostering petty nationalisms and animosities throughout the world. It plays the race and sectarian cards wherever it can to divide workers and divert attention from the unjust rule of the 1% with stories of the most lurid internecine and sectarian warfare you can imagine and of which ISIS is only one of many recent examples. Where there is national unity if encourages reactionary groups to secede, where there is non sectarian unification, it fosters bloodthirsty sectarianism, where there are no borders, it sets up Apartheid walls, where that has been communal healing it sets about fostering inhuman tribal and religious warfare again.
Already you can feel the tensions and resentments and animosities in Britain where there was previously class unity and common voice.
Whatever the result on the 18th the nationalists and their leftist supporters have fanned dangerous flames of division. They have dealt a bad blow to a previously united and solid working class nation and made people think there are quasi racial solutions to what are economic and social problems.
While certain elements of the capitalist class are proposing to move out of Scotland and encouraging a No Vote, others, more powerful and sinister forces, are welcoming the potential for disunity and disharmony in Britain and workers fighting workers in the way they have not done for generations on the mainland.