‘Yes’ will mean gains for Scotland

by Daphne Liddle

IT IS PLAIN that the leaders of western imperialism are panicking at the prospect of Scotland voting in favour of full independence next Thursday and that in itself should encourage the Yes vote.

The YES campaign enjoyed a small surge in opinion polls last week as hitherto “don’t-knows” began to make up their minds, mostly in favour of a Yes vote.

This sparked a decision by the leaders of all three of the major parties at Westminster to go to Scotland for a final boost to the No campaign they have all backed. But it looks too much like desperation and is likely to prove counter-productive.

It is arguable that the best asset the No campaign has is Alex Salmond, the leader of the Scottish National Party. He and the party he leads are basically pro-business Tories who would do little to halt privatisation and the general swing to the right that has dogged Westminster since Thatcher came to power in 1979.

He has also vacillated on some of his key pledges like getting rid of the nuclear submarine base at Faslane and is undecided about what currency Scotland will use.

This is a clear signal to powerful lobbies that he is up for persuasion and there will be no shortage of lobbyists lining up to pour gold in his lap.

But full independence would allow the Scots to elect a different leadership to their own Parliament and Scottish Labour has always been to the left of Westminster Labour.

The impact of what the working class majority of Scots want will be felt much more strongly in Holyrood than in Westminster.

That in turn will raise hopes and expectations among workers in England and Wales. It amounts to a division and weakening in the authority of the ruling class throughout Britain. As a class, we can beat them more easily bit by bit.

And it will only be a matter of time before Wales is also seeking full independence.

The Unionists in the occupied six counties of the north of Ireland will be weaker because there will be less of a “Union” for them to try to cling to.

The White House’s favourite poodle will be miniaturised. What is left of Britain will have much less sway in Europe, in Nato, in the United Nations, in the G8 and other international forums.

Nato itself will be weakened, especially without its assets on Scottish territory.

The British armed forces will shrink; a large part of the British civil service dealing with our pay-as-you-earn tax records in Glasgow will be in a foreign country.

Britain will lose even more status as a “world power” both politically and economically. This will be a big blow for Washington and for Nato but will be a significant advance for world peace.

And, as our late former general secretary Eric Trevett always stressed, since capitalism needs wars to solve its financial crises and contradictions, peace becomes a revolutionary demand.

Of course a newly independent Scotland will face some problems regarding its currency, its status within the European Union and so on. But these are minor compared to the problems it now has being ruled from Westminster.

And it would be free to leave the EU if the electorate wanted this. It would be free to sign economic treaties with any country it wanted to.

No wonder Cameron is looking worried; he has totally bodged the No campaign with threats, scaremongering and attempts at intimidation. He has let down his own side and made most Scots even more determined to break with Westminster.

Cameron has even threatened to postpone the 2015 general election, on the basis that any Scots MPs elected to Westminster in that poll ought not to have authority to vote on issues affecting the rest of Britain when they will not be part of it for very long. But nobody, not even his own side, is buying that excuse.

Nevertheless Yes Campaigners would be unwise to grow complacent. The No campaign, backed by people like Barack Obama and Rupert Murdoch, will be throwing all the resources they can into the fight in the coming week to scare, mislead and confuse the voters of Scotland.

It would be a tragedy if they won because Yes voters thought they did not need to bother to go to the polling stations.