Scotland Independent

craner

Beast of Burden
To be fair, the Yes campaign was not overtly Nationalist. But in that way it was misleeding and its non-Nationalist enthusiasts misguided, seemingly dismissing the existence of Scottish conservatives (there are lots of them, actually), or believing (or claiming) that the Scottish business class, or Scottish bankers, would be more ethical than the raptors of the City of London. It rested on the mistaken idea that independence would solve political problems, or would excise itself from an international financial system, class and culture. Or that, say, 10 or 15 years of SNP domination of a new state would not invite, eventually, a reaction, which could very well be neoliberal (this happens; it happened in Sweden, for example).

There is no reason why Scotland can't be a successful, independent nation, on the Northern European model, even if it did run out of oil (there would just be higher taxes, which might not be as popular). Whether that would be better for Scotland financially or in terms of defence is another argument altogther. The latter Yes position seems to rest on the idea of giving up a nuclear deterrent, which is a more esoteric and complex issue, although it comes down to politial preference at the populist level. There was also the NATO issue, dodged by the SNP.

Behind all of this, though, at core and stripping away temporal sympathies and assumptions, it is a Nationalist argument. It was an issue and a vote championed and triggered by the Scottish Nationalist Party. They may not have been pumping put Mel Gibson propaganda, but the basic attempt to argue that Scots are more socialist and ethical than, say, the inhabitants of South East England was a caricature and a judgement on two sets of geographically-determined populations that is not only disingenuous and false, but dangerous. The smaller you get, the more micro and vicious and ridiculous the arguments get. In an independent Wales (awful idea) the North and South would soon be squabbling (they have nothing in common), as would the urban centres and rural heartlands, as would (even more viciously) the Welsh and non-Welsh speakers.

I don't like the idea of Scottish independence because I abhor Nationalism, rather than conviction Pro-Unionism.

I will only concede that the argument is slightly different when you are talking about former Soviet states battling the political technologists exported by the Kremlin, or the small states ravaged and scarred by the Greater Serbia aggression of the '90s, or Kurdistan. I don't think that is to concede much, really, but I am sure most of you would disagree and call it hypocrisy.
 

droid

Beast of Burden
Its completely different. Scottish nationalism as articulated by the yes campaign seemed to be as much (if not more) about social and political values than flag waving jingoism and atavistic ethnic tribalism.

There is also the inherent contradiction that nationalism in Scotland and possible independence would probably have led to increased regional independence and federalism in Europe, adding weight to potentially dozens of spin off movements in Spain, Italy and France. A nationalism that destroys nations.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
...but the basic attempt to argue that Scots are more socialist and ethical than, say, the inhabitants of South East England was a caricature and a judgement on two sets of geographically-determined populations that is not only disingenuous and false, but dangerous.

OK, forget the "ethical" bit for a moment, but as to the "socialist" bit: excluding the poorer London boroughs, how many places can you think of that are less socialist than SE England? It's the Tory heartland, the stockbroker belt, with one of the global epicentres of finance capitalism smack in the middle of it.

So saying Scotland is "more socialist than SE England" isn't really saying very much at all. It's like calling someone "fatter than Calista Flockhart".
 

craner

Beast of Burden
I am always suspicious of Nationalist parties claiming to be left-wing from root to branch (in Western Europe anyway, in the Russian sphere you get suspicious for different reasons, mainly because they are often 'scarecrows' or fake parties created by the established regimes). They must be coalitions, because there is nothing inherently left-wing about Nationalism, to say the least (and most obvious). I don't know much about the SNP hinterland or culture, but know a lot about Plaid Cymru. They were fake-leftists for years, but now they really do have a left-wing leader in Leanne Wood, an ex-Labour exile who is in the Salmond populist Nationalist Socialist mould. What is not reported in the mainstream press is the ongoing infighting this has caused within Plaid because not all Welsh Nationalists and Plaid members are socialists. The spat between Wood and Dafydd Elis-Thomas over Wood's attack on UKIP was a clear indicator of this: see here.
 
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craner

Beast of Burden
A nationalism that destroys nations

But that's what I'm saying, it doesn't get any less rancorous and poisonous the smaller you get. Micro-nationlism is not better than nationalism. Federalism is a different proposition. This can be seen in the conflicting attitudes to European Federalism within Nationalist camps.

As to Mr Tea's point, if you are basing pro-Nationalist or Indepedence arguments on social demographics you are in for a strange and sickening ride, I reckon.

I will reiterate my point: Independence does not solve the problem of politics.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
There are nationalists in Wales, for example, who are not necessarily enthusiatic about the idea of winning sovereignty from Westminster only to hand back large chunks of it to Brussels. This is where the bizarre Nationalist/UKIP overlap within elements of Plaid come into play. Plaid is a mess of Nationalist Right and Populist Left schisms and intersections that is inherently fractious but also a good defintion of Nationalism, if there is any.
 

trza

Well-known member
I feel sorry for all those Catalan people who made the trip from Barcelona to Scotland, like it was going to do wonders for their national movement.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
Yeah, shame isn't it, I was really looking forward to going to Catalonia rather than Spain.

(In 1937 I might have meant that.)
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
They must be coalitions, because there is nothing inherently left-wing about Nationalism...

But it doesn't therefore follow that all forms of nationalism are inherently right-wing, does it? Put yourself in the shoes of a Scot who feels that the policies of the current government are primarily benefitting the very rich while impoverishing the majority - which they unarguably, objectively are. You then have the opportunity to vote for independence, with the possibility of having your own government which could well be slightly less rabidly neoliberal than the one currently in charge. And which at any rate will be a lot more accountable to its far smaller and more local electorate. Now it may not be Leninism, but what's "inherently right-wing" about any of that?
 

droid

Beast of Burden
And also, of course, bearing in mind that Scotland has consistently rejected the right and centre right in the UK, which TBF is currently probably the most right wing government in Europe (in economic terms at least).

And obv, I dont agree that 'micro-nationalism' is the same thing as Nationalism (with a capital N). Its a basic truth that the larger a state (or group of states) becomes, the less democratic it becomes. Devolution, independence and regionalisation have far more potential to offer genuine democratic change than the current scenario, especially in the context of established and wealthy 1st world states.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
Anyone seen what's happened to the price of petrol over the last couple months? Starting to look like Scotland really dodged a bullet lasy year...
 
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