Socialist Worker

New group could take the fight for independence forward in Scotland

by Bob Fotheringham
Issue No. 2741

More people are in favour of Scottish independence

More people are in favour of Scottish independence (Pic: Andrew McGowan)


A new organisation, Now Scotland, was launched last weekend to campaign for Scottish independence. Over 1,500 people had joined by Sunday afternoon.

Co-convenor George Kerevan told Socialist Worker, “The independence movement has long since spilled out beyond the Scottish National Party (SNP), so the ­movement needs an umbrella to unite it.

“It is obvious that there are deep tensions within the SNP over ­strategy and policy.

“Now Scotland wants to unite the movement in action and allow people to argue their separate political positions.

“One thing Now Scotland can do, because we don’t have the baggage of a political party, is to reach out to the unions and even to Labour Party members.

“One of the main purposes of this is to allow the movement to discuss strategy. I personally think if Westminster refuses a referendum, then the issue of civil disobedience will be on the agenda.”

Charlotte Ahmed, who was elected to the interim National Committee, said, “We hope the new group brings energy and dynamism to the movement, encourages debate and pushes for more decisive action on the road to independence.”

The Socialist Workers Party said, “There is now a consistent majority in Scotland who support independence. However, the SNP seems incapable of making a serious push to achieve the break-up of the British state.

Paralysis

“At the heart of this paralysis lies the SNP’s commitment to a neoliberal agenda, meaning any route to independence that threatens the status quo and upsets big business is ruled out.

“The creation of Now Scotland opens up the possibility of a new membership organisation, not controlled by the SNP hierarchy.

“Those who want to campaign for a radical alternative to the British state and to the limited vision of independence presented by the SNP leadership must seize the moment.

“To succeed, the campaign will need to be part of and learn from the energy of the movement against climate chaos, Black Lives Matter and link up with the social forces in society capable of confronting the British state, crucially trade unions and the organised working class.

“The movement should also seek to welcome and involve Labour members and voters. While we disagree on independence and how to fight for socialism, they are comrades in the struggle for a better society.

“In a clash between democratic rights and the intransigence of the British state, the Labour left must choose the right side.

“The need for a socialist transformation, which puts people before profit and confronts the reality of inequality, poverty, climate change, racism and the drive to war inherent in the current system has never been greater.”

For details of Now Scotland go here

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