SNP talk about independence masks the true aim: to sell out Scotland to the European Union
The European Union is hoping to grab Scotland, taking advantage of the Scottish National Party’s election victory. What we need is a referendum on British independence from the EU. Instead Scotland is being promised one on Scottish independence from Britain. Surely the break-up of Britain is a matter for the whole of Britain to decide, not just Scotland, and it is a class issue.
You only need to look at the devolution programme over the past 14 years to identify the Labour, Tory and Liberal “string pullers” behind the plan to break up Britain. Through Westminster connivance the role of the SNP has been to capture the Scottish electoral dissent that feels it has nowhere else to go.
Numbers were up for a revitalised May Day march through Glasgow city centre this year (above). The initiative by several unions to come together with Glasgow Trades Council to form Friends of May Day had provided more back-up for the organisational tasks involved. Here we see the brass players of the Unison Kinneil Band leading a section of the march. Founded in 1858 by the miners of Kinneil Pit and workers from Kinneil Iron Works, it is now sponsored by Unison. Mobilising began in earnest at the Scottish Trades Union Congress a month before in Ayr. At the conference resolutions were unanimously supported calling for the rebuilding of manufacturing, the tackling of youth unemployment, opposing the attack on pensions and condemning attempts to cut and privatise in health, transport and ferry services. However, the conference was overshadowed by the main invited guest speaker – Alex Salmond. Press coverage was thus dominated by his speech, full of promises (possessing an emptiness many delegates seemed to ignore) that ultimately proved to be to his electoral advantage and damaged British working class unity.
As “scene shifters” the idea is for the SNP to push at an open door arranged by Westminster with the aim of putting Scotland into a pre euro detention cell. If that happens Holyrood might just as well meet on a golf course in the future, with everything important decided in Brussels.
Committed euro team player as he is, Alex Salmond is on record as saying ‘I think the argument … to expand the economy within a European euro context will prove to be a very strong one for the people of Scotland. He has also previously stated, “We need in my view to be in a framework for monetary policy, a European framework, which we’re not in at the present moment, to have the best chances.”
Those populations who are in the euro now deride the eurozone as the “Volker-Kerker” (Prison of Nations) –- a term that recalls the oppressive counter revolutionary period prior to the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Just look at the way the fight for Irish independence disappeared in a blink of an eye when their government recently went cap in hand to its European Union political masters.
The euro sickness
Begrudgingly it is acknowledged that Britain’s current economic position would have been far worse had we joined the euro. The reason this did not happen is because of the unified strength of the British working people all saying no to the euro from Lands’ End to John O’Groats – a unity that the SNP and many at Westminster despise. Of course British working people are not all the same, we don’t want to be, nor are we on an equal footing everywhere. Some areas of Britain are poorer than others, but this is an issue for our class to deal with, Britain-wide. But the political and economic differences between British independence and the EU are irreconcilable.
None of these concepts was broached at all during the recent election campaign when the SNP swept into power at Holyrood while many of us only voted on how to vote. Instead the electoral play actors kept to their scripts. Yet the fact that Britain wants independence is a discussion that we can all join in and achieve within these shores. We can also examine what British unity and internationalism really means. It really is a class issue, where the interests of workers and the ruling class divide sharply.
With this backdrop any genuine desire for independence should be expressed a call for a referendum to get Britain out of the EU. But like their Westminster friends, the SNP will try steadfastly to refuse this. Rather they will look to hide behind a choreographed faux independence in the EU, while seeking a referendum on the break-up of Britain. This would be EU integration with a vengeance, on a par with the type of annexation organised by Hitler’s allies in certain European countries during the 1930s. But this time it would be the expansion of “Lebensraum” (living space) under the banner of the EU.
This is not being alarmist. For example one week after the Holyrood election the EU announced a plan for a complete change to the corporation tax system (the tax on company profits) and the possible reform of the way revenues from the seas around the British coast are allocated. During the Holyrood election the SNP budgetary focus had been on income tax. But the day after the EU lure was quietly announced, Alex Salmond issued a series of new demands in the British media including the devolution of corporation tax and changes to coastal revenue allocations.
The choreography gives the appearance of SNP strength, to the unwitting. But behind the stage it is no more than direct EU intervention, so that for domestic consumption Salmond can pretend that he is striking a blow for independence. Being quietly told what to do by the EU and then putting a domestic spin on it is not independence but emasculation.
By seeing the SNP in this clear light and then lifting them from their EU box they become a toy without a battery. Also how curious after years of EU plunder, the EU now talk of reforming the way revenue is taken from British coastal fishing waters. Those who run the EU must be laughing behind their hands.
No other series of governments have behaved towards their own people in the way successive governments have here in Britain, allowing the country’s industries to be decimated and then trying to wash their hands of it by seeking the country’s break-up into mere regions of the EU. But using economic decline to push through unpopular measures is not an approach that is working for them anymore. Unified resistance, protests and marches need to build throughout Britain with the cry of “We won’t pay for your crisis”.
This is what true patriotism is about – taking the honest course of Rebuilding Britain and Out of the EU. ■