Socialist Worker

Reasons to be cheerful: Arguments against Better Together lies on Scottish independence

Issue No. 2421

Panel of newspaper headlines with scare stories

Won’t big banks and financial institutions move headquarters if we vote Yes?

Lloyds bank is already headquartered in London. The Royal Bank of Scotland is essentially moving a brass plaque from one building in Edinburgh to another in London. 

Very few jobs are under threat from moving a registered office. 

And why should we trust statements from bankers whose fingerprints were all over the economic crash?

Won’t we lose our pensions in an independent Scotland?

Like British pensioners living in Spain, pensioners in Scotland would still receive their pensions after a Yes vote. 

Better Together has stoked fears that pensions are under threat. 

But even the pro-union chair of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee, Ian Davidson, said in parliament in May that under independence people “can be assured that their pensions are safe”.

 Will a Yes vote cause a currency crisis?

Scotland already prints its own money. After independence the government could choose to fix its exchange rate to sterling or the euro, or simply let it float as a separate currency. 

It could also choose to set its own interest rates or link them to those set by the Bank of England or those of the European Central Bank.

There’s a lot of debate about oil but isn’t it a problem for Scotland to be too reliant on it?

There is no doubt Scotland has oil. But it would be better to get away from fossil fuel energy and combat climate change.

Scotland also has a phenomenal wind and wave resource with massive potential for renewable energy. By developing this, a new Scottish state could fund the creation of thousands of well paid, secure jobs.

 Wouldn’t independence be a threat to the NHS?

The NHS in England is being privatised and starved of cash. 

This will impact on Scotland’s block grant from the British government. 

The SNP pledged to write into a new Scottish constitution that the NHS be publicly owned and free for everyone to use forever. 

But we should also argue for it to be publicly provided with no private companies involved.

I don’t like some of the people supporting independence—they don’t represent me

Independence is not about any one individual or political party.  

But to counter homophobic bigots such as Brian Souter, or bosses looking to make themselves richer at our expense, we need to build a socialist alternative to them.

You should vote Yes. Then there will be a battle to shape an independent Scotland—and we need to strengthen our side.

 How can we trust the SNP and Alex Salmond?

We can’t. There is no guarantee that independence alone will benefit ordinary people. Everything needs to be fought for. 

But Better Together guarantees more of the same, which means things getting worse. 

Support for Yes is dominated by ideas of social justice—that’s why it has re-engaged so many people in politics. We should place our trust in ordinary people.

 How do we hold a new Scottish government to account?

If Scotland votes Yes it is the beginning not the end of the process. We need to organise more deeply in working class communities and the trade unions, and build a force to set the agenda. 

We should lay down a marker to Salmond on the 18 October STUC trade union march about the kind of Scotland we demand— let’s make it a mass demo.

Shouldn’t we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters across Britain and not build borders between us?

Solidarity is an important weapon for our class−it’s right to maintain it and  borders don’t necessarily stop it. 

The working class is international. We will still need solidarity with one another against the bosses whether we vote Yes or No. 

We should not confuse the unity of the working class with the unity of the British state and the capitalist interests it serves. 

Aren’t we condemning England and Wales to permanent Tory rule?

No. Almost every Labour government since the Second World War would still have had a comfortable majority without Scotland’s Labour MPs. The biggest barrier to Labour getting elected is its pro-austerity, anti-immigrant and anti-working class policies.


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