The scale of the mounting scare stories over what will befall Scotland if it breaks away reflects a sense of panic in Whitehall
Higher food prices, dearer pensions, expulsion from Europe, exclusion from use of Sterling and a plague of locusts – that’s the message from the London elite and their Edinburgh outriders to all those feckless Scots who might be considering voting for independence in September.
All three main Westminster parties are united in a pan-unionist alliance whose campaign centres on scaring people into voting No to independence. They're backed up by corporate chiefs, Euro fat cats and media “stars” who’re hardly a name in their own house.
There is a danger in this for the British ruling class, created post Union on an agenda of war and bloody colonialism. The Yes vote is heavily weighted among working people and the young. Threats from bankers, Tories and Labour’s Alastair Darling give an edge to a class dynamic that’s already there.
It's there because what drives support for independence is a demand for greater democracy, rejection of Tory rule from Westminster by a party that’s a toxic brand north of the border, the still felt scars of the Thatcher years and an understanding the political agenda in Scotland is different. The debate in Scotland is between two parties, the SNP and Labour, competing on a rhetorical level at least over who represents a social democratic, pro-welfare agenda, an agenda alien to Westminster. UKIP is marginal In Scotland.
A Yes vote will also mean Trident and its successor has to go from Faslane, and there’s nowhere else for it to go down south. The scale of the mounting scare stories over what will befall Scotland if it breaks away reflects a sense of panic in Whitehall. Cameron, it’s reported, believes it will be a Yes vote, but even if not an issue which was marginal a few years ago has moved centre stage and the tide is flowing in one direction.
Conversely a No vote means austerity for decades, permanent war, the dominance of the City of London and permanently tagging along behind US military adventures. For the people of England and Wales the truth is Scottish MPs have only made the difference in the outcome of four Westminster elections. If the Scots escape the UK it can help inspire the idea there is an alternative here, plus it can open up a discussion about how lacking Westminster-style democracy is.
There’s a lot at stake for UK PLC this September. If it’s a Yes vote Cameron will have to explain that having lost an Empire now he’s lost Scotland. Margaret Thatcher will be turning in her grave and Tony Blair spitting mad. Reason enough to support a Scottish break away.
Chris Bambery is the Author of A People’s History of Scotland (Verso, June 2014) and a member of the International Socialist Group (Scotland)
Chris Bambery is an author, political activist and commentator, and a supporter of Rise, the radical left wing coalition in Scotland. His books include A People's History of Scotland and The Second World War: A Marxist Analysis.
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