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Pamphlet: The case for an independent socialist Scotland

Download the full pamphlet HERE or read on screen below.

By Colin Fox, Scottish Socialist Party national co-spokesperson and Yes Scotland advisory board member

September 14, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- On September 18, 2014, Scotland will go to the polls to decide whether to remain part of the 300-year-old political union that is the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" or become the world’s newest independent country. The decision will have far reaching consequences either way.

For the British state, Scottish independence represents a huge threat, a profound loss of economic and political power and influence at home and abroad. Consequently, it is dead-set against it and it will do its utmost to stop that from happening.

For the independence movement, the stakes are equally high. The referendum offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to secure self-determination for Scotland, to establish a left-of-centre social-democratic state and free 5 million Scots from the yoke of British imperialism.

The last time Scotland debated independence with th is much intensity and passion was back in the late 1970s when Harold Wilson’s min ority Labour government conceded a referendum on devolution in return for t he support of 13 Scottish National Party (SNP) MPs at Westminster. Although a majority of Scots supported devolution, the "prize" was withheld because the Yes vote fell below 40 per cent of the total electorate and a clause had been introduced to the Bill stipulating the number of votes for had to exceed that level. Those who did not vote were effectively and infamously added to the No side.

While there is no such 40 per cent rule in 2014’s referendum, the debate itself has changed little. Back in 1979, the "Scotland is British" campaigners argued that Scotland was too small and too poor to run its own affairs given the challenges posed in "an unpredictable and dangerous world". Despite having witnessed many small nations emerge and secure their own independence over the past 34 years, Alistair Darling, the former Labour Chancellor presiding over the No campaign, Better Together, still maintains Scotland is too small and therefore incapable of running its own affairs...

For the Scottish Socialist Party, the choice is clear. Founded in 1998, the SSP has supported independence since our inception. We campaign for an independent socialist Scotland, a modern democratic republic. We have been at the forefront of this debate for 15 years. We helped establish the cross-party "Scottish Independence Convention" in 2005 and the Yes Scotland coalition in 2012. Having championed independence these past 15 years the SSP is proud to be the left’s standard-bearer in this debate.

We have a seat on the Yes Scotland advisory board in recognition of the important role we have played in advocating independence and in the constructive contribution we continue to make to the independence movement today.

The Scottish Socialist Party won six seats in the Holyrood elections of 2003. In doing so we received the highest number of votes any socialist party has secured since the 1930s. We recruited 3000 members across Scotland and built a party with 80 branches and an uncompromising anti-capitalist program, which was and remains wholeheartedly pro-independence.

For the SSP, there is no contradiction between supporting independence at home and supporting internationalism throughout the world. They are for us one a nd the same struggle. This is an issue we will return to more fully in this pamphlet ...

This pamphlet is written for SSP activists to take our proud record and case for independence to the people of Scotland, via the Yes Scotland movement and the Radical Independence Campaign. Our case is that we believe working-class people in Scotland can be economically, socially, culturally and politically better off with independence.

We believe the UK holds Scotland back and insist the break-up of the British state is not only ongoing but it is a thoroughly progressive development for the peoples of these islands and the rest of the world. We see independence as a democratic step towards a Scotland that is fairer, that has ended exploitation and is at peace both with itself, its neighbours and with the rest of the world – in other words an independent socialist Scotland.

Moreover we believe the 2014 referendum is there to be won, and we fully intend to play our part in delivering a resounding Yes vote.

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Continue reading on screen below or download the full pamphlet HERE. For more on Scotland and independence, click HERE.

Pamphlet: The case for an independent socialist Scotland

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