Scotland can be independent from London, but not capitalist markets

Independence for a country that is a dependent capitalist entity is illusory. Scotland, although a core capitalist nation whether or not it remains a part of the United Kingdom, will not prove to be an exception.

The governing Scottish National Party (SNP) promises the people of Scotland that they would hold their fates solely in their own hands should they vote for independence, yet Scotland just showed itself to be at the mercy of the world’s 12th largest petrochemical company. If so, how is Scotland to stride boldly into its future free of London financiers and global capitalist markets when a single multinational corporation successfully issues diktats?

Some of the contradictions inherent in Scotland’s independence bid are reflected in the SNP’s white paper, Scotland’s Future, in which it promises a host of progressive policies to reverse London-dictated austerity while flatly stating that an independent Scotland would continue to use the British pound as its currency and recognize Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. In part these promises are borne from the SNP’s desire to retain the advantages of being a part of Britain while formally separating. Intended or not, retaining the pound ensures fiscal policy will be decided in London and not Edinburgh.

Scottish parliament during 'Make poverty history' day in 2002 (Photo by Russ McGinn)

Scottish parliament during ‘Make poverty history’ day in 2002 (Photo by Russ McGinn)

SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond doesn’t appear to see the significance of this, telling The Guardian that “The Bank of England and sterling are as much Scotland’s assets as London’s assets. They are certainly not [Chancellor] George Osborne’s assets. We put forward in this paper our willingness to accept liabilities. We are also entitled to the share of assets.”

Although an opponent of independence, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown is closer to the mark, declaring a currency union “self-imposed colonialism.”

It should be noted that the question of Scottish independence is strictly a matter for the Scottish people. If formal independence is their desire, that is that. But there is formal independence, and there is actual independence in a globalized world dominated by markets that tilt heavily in favor of industrialists and financiers.

Swiss company, not London, decides fate of industrial complex

In its white paper, the SNP declares “Independence means that Scotland’s future will be in our own hands. Decisions currently taken for Scotland at Westminster will instead be taken by the people of Scotland.”

Yet a recent decision, with significant consequences for the health of Scotland’s economy, was taken not in the British parliament but by a single corporate leader in Switzerland. That leader, Jim Ratcliffe, is the chairman of Ineos, the petrochemical company alluded to above. Ineos had been locked in a bitter negotiation with the union representing workers at its oil refinery and petrochemical complex in the city of Grangemouth; this is the only refinery in Scotland and processes 70 percent of Scotland’s fuel.

The Unite union had balked at Ineos’ demands for significant cuts. In response, Chairman Ratcliffe shut down the complex. Unite quickly reversed itself, agreeing to the demands. The complex was re-opened and Ineos announced it would invest £300 million and commit to keeping the complex open. In return, the union accepted a three-year pay freeze, cuts to pensions and a three-year moratorium on any strikes.

Scotland may claim 90 percent of Britain’s North Sea oil reserves, but without knuckling under to the demands of Ineos, would have been reduced to importing refined oil. First Minister Salmond called the deal “a great team effort from all concerned,” as if workers and employers were somehow equal, while a Scottish trade union official, Graham Smith, more realistically told the BBC that Ineos had “tried to impose its will on the workforce with a take it or leave it ultimatum.” For his part, Chairman Ratcliffe said he sought “to bring the site into the modern world.”

Reduced wages and living standards is “modernization,” the corporate media tells us; the Ineos chairman said more than perhaps he meant. Scotland’s independence would have had no effect whatsoever on this outcome.

Independence from Britain while staying in British grasp

The policies the SNP intends to implement, should independence be granted and it remain the governing party, certainly represent a sharp break with austerity and neoliberalism, and if realized would represent real gains for Scottish working people. The SNP white paper calls for universal child care, universal “high-quality early learning” programs, reductions in income inequality, reversing the cuts in social services imposed by the British government, provide more support for small farmers, and writing a constitution that would enshrine equal opportunity and “certain social and economic rights” such as a right to education.

On the other hand, the white paper also said it would remain in the Nato military alliance, retain the British currency and queen, and work closely with British security and intelligence agencies. The SNP also intends to focus the Scottish economy on exports while “emphasising innovation, technology and manufacturing.”

Capitalist market competition, which drives production to low-wage locales, will have much more to say concerning Scotland’s ability to become a successful exporter than the SNP. Moreover, Scotland would not be independent of London under the SNP’s formulation. The Bank of England is not likely to consider the needs of an independent Scotland when setting monetary policy. The U.S. Federal Reserve quite likely does not weigh the impact on Panama, which uses the U.S. dollar, when setting its monetary policy. Central banks, in general, are sensitive to the needs of financiers, from whose ranks their personnel come from, not to the needs of working people.

With a population of 5.3 million, Scotland would have no more ability to significantly deviate from the dictates of core capitalist heavyweights like the United States and Germany than other small countries. The interests of big capitalists in Scotland align with the interests of big capitalists elsewhere — maintaining the system in which they operate, at any cost to employees, not at sacrificing themselves to build a better Scotland.

There is nothing new here; the current era of corporate globalization has merely intensified what has long been true. As Rosa Luxemburg wrote a century ago:

“Apart from a few of the most powerful nations, the leaders in capitalist development, which possess the spiritual and material resources necessary to maintain their political and economic independence, the ‘self-determination,’ the independent existence of smaller and petit nations, is an illusion, and will become even more so.”

Even within the European Union, smaller countries like Greece and Ireland have little independence although they long ago broke free of colonial masters. The “troika” of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund demand brutal cuts to wages, pensions and social services — and none of these bureaucracies are subject to election. The European Central Bank dictates financial policy across the continent on behalf of the financial industry. There is also less political independence than meets the eye — recall that in late 2011 Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel “summoned” the Greek prime minister to a meeting to curtly inform him there would be no referendum on the latest round of austerity. There was not.

No more living under unrepresentative governments

The foregoing does not deny that the Scottish people could be better off constituting a separate country. They have had to often endure the unpopular rule of the Conservative Party, which wins few votes outside of England, and thus subject to a government not of their choosing. (One of Scotland’s 59 members of parliament is a Conservative.) The Scottish Socialist Party, for example, readily acknowledges the progressive elements among the SNP proposals while arguing that the white paper should have gone much further.

Party officials, in the December issue of Scottish Socialist Voice, write that the SNP white paper did not have any commitment “to repeal the worst antiunion laws in Europe,” mention of a progressive tax system, guarantee of affordable housing, guaranteed right to union membership nor right to strike. Moreover, the white paper’s call for a minimum wage is based on the “good will” of employers rather than legal enforcements.

Scottish Socialist Party national co-spokesperson Colin Fox writes:

“I would also have liked to have seen a commitment to take the renewable energy industry into public ownership — just as the Scottish government did recently with Prestwick Airport — and return our gas and electricity supply industry to public hands. Both measures are concomitant with pledges to achieve greater economic prosperity, social democracy and fairness. … [T]he [party] prefers the very successful Norwegian approach to its oil and gas resources where it took them both into public ownership rather than privatising them as Britain did. As a result of this decision Norway has now accrued £840 billion in a state ‘Oil Fund’ with which to benefit its citizens and future generations.”

Another party writer, Richie Venton, argues that Scottish working people face a choice of going either forward or backward:

“So trade unionists don’t even face a choice between the status quo and independence, but between a further clawing back of gains won by past generations of trade unionists and socialists in struggle — or a chance to improve our lot as workers by voting for the right to get whatever government the Scottish people elect!”

We come back here to the question of reforms or a change to a better world. Welcome as reforms are — and the Scottish National Party proposals are significant and meaningful reforms — they are always subject to being taken back when political conditions change. The era of neoliberalism that dawned in the 1970s and continues to intensify is a concentrated attack on the gains won in prior decades, much of which has been lost.

Socialist changes, such as workers’ control of enterprises and public ownership of key industries such as energy and banking, codified in a constitution, would be the product of a struggle intended to go well beyond reforms and instead seek to create a better world. But no single country can be a socialist island in a sea of capitalism. A Socialist independent Scotland would face the ferocious hostility of the capitalist world, not excepting London bankers and bond traders, and Scottish capitalists.

That a small country could defy the power of capitalist markets — the product of the aggregate interests of the world’s most powerful industrialists and financiers — is not realistic. Those markets are expressed through a variety of means, financial and political, through multilateral institutions and imperialist governments, through webs of debt and military pressure.

A socialist Scotland could only flourish within a socialist Europe designed to maximize human need and potential rather than private profit. Otherwise, London, Brussels and Wall Street will continue to call the tune on behalf of the wealthiest, regardless of the formal political power residing in Edinburgh.

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27 comments on “Scotland can be independent from London, but not capitalist markets

  1. andy grundrisse says:

    Another excellent entry. I particularly like the phrase “But no single country can be a socialist island in a sea of capitalism”. Anyone who doubts the ferocity of the response by the capitalist powers to even a scintilla of socialism, need only consider the Cuban experience

    • Nicaragua is another example, but there are quite a few. Nicaragua wasn’t even attempting to build a socialist economy, merely a mixed economy in which urban and rural workers would have some participation in state-owned enterprises. Nicaraguans endured years of Contra terrorist attacks, funded by the Reagan administration, for being so bold as to believe their resources should be used to benefit themselves.

      • andy grundrisse says:

        and Reagan, war criminal, corporate pitch man, brain dead individual that he was (relied on his wife’s astrologer for making policy timing decisions), is regularly voted by Americans as the greatest american president of the twentieth century.

        In Latin America, the U.S. has supported virtually every military, fascist regime, no matter how oppressive or unpopular, and undermined, overthrown, and / or assassinated virtually every democratically elected progressive leader. In Ecuador, for example, the CIA assassinated one democratically elected president that we know about (Jaime Roldos …under Reagan naturally), undermined several others ( e.g. Velasco Ibarra, see for example the book Inside the Company), and even just a couple of years ago helped plan and participated in the attempted overthrow of our current president Rafael Correa).

        • The United States has militarily invaded Latin American and Caribbean countries 96 times, including 48 times in the 20th century. That total doesn’t include coups fomented by the U.S., such as Guatemala in 1954 and Chile in 1973.

  2. Pavlos says:

    Yes. Scottish independence would have more credibility if it showed a desire to de culturally different from England: Ending the monarchy, not using the pound, untangling the nation from the British army, reversing Thatchers legacy. We don’t see those. That’s because independence is being sold to the Scottish people slyly as independence-light. Just say yes it’ll not hurt. As you’re pointing out, it’s anything but. True independence of the sort the Scottish people might really want would be extremely challenging and Salmond has no credibility to lead on that particular journey. I’d like to see the vision offered credibly by someone else, but they might look more like Chavez.

    • The Scottish Socialist Party does discuss a much more thorough-going program in the materials linked to in the post. Several years ago, I listened to a talk in New York by one of their members who made a strong impression on me. But, for now, the Scottish National and Labour parties earn the lion’s share of the votes in Scotland.

    • Tim Lever says:

      Yes an excellent phrase. Unfortunately it means that Scotland should forgo the admittedly small but significant reforms proposed by the SNP. Instead Scots should stick to their socialist principles and wait for the great global revolution (how long?). I live in Scotland so please remember that it is my life and my children’s lives that must forgo these paltry reforms and you condemn us to live under the most right wing govt in Western Europe even though few Scots vote for it.
      Also please note that an independence vote will provoke a crisis in the UK polity. England will be confronted with perpetual conservative govt and large swathes will choke with rage on that.
      This article also says that London based financiers will not be sympathetic to an independent (socialist) Scotland. Be aware they care very little now for any part of the UK except the city of London even the manufacturing sector is openly derided. They likely have no idea where Grangemouth is and will care even less.
      The SNP would be unlikely to win a referendum with a massively radical platform and so is understandly cautious. But we are not naive and know this, we won’t all vote for independence and hope to stay in NATO forever. Within 5 years the SNP would lose power because of the naturally left leaning Scottish electorate. Within our small independent country the struggle would go on.
      “Consider the Cuban experience”? Are you seriously suggesting they shouldn’t have had a revolution?

      • I am not suggesting that Scotland should forgo reforms, merely that a capitalist Scotland firmly imbedded within global capitalism, and shackled by the embrace of London financiers, might find it difficult to keep the reforms that would be implemented upon independence.

        An independent Scotland committed to a Leftist path, forming a bloc with other countries moving down a similar path, could be an inspiration for people around the world. There is no sign that the SNP intends the latter course. And although I don’t think it appropriate for me to state an opinion on how the referendum should go, I am in sympathy with wanting to break away from English Conservatives; we in New York are often saddled with national governments unrepresentative of local values.

        • Tim Lever says:

          The debate in Scotland is often framed around the scare stories from politicians about the huge costs these limited reforms will entail. Independence is just one step in an ongoing struggle, we appreciate it’s not the end of the process. Independence on the terms proposed is not perfect but it is some small measure of progress and opens up other possibilities. Pro-independence supporters are used to right wing scare stories about the disasters awaiting us post-independence. For example how we can’t survive without Trident, how the EU won’t let us in (very unlikely unfortunately), we will no longer be part of the UK at the “Big Table” internationally etc.
          But Scotland is a poor, unequal country compared to all it’s equivalent geographical neighbours plus it has the worst public health problems in Western Europe.
          I would have hoped that people on the left would have supported the small steps independence will make to alleviate these problems and to open up new possibilities. By focussing on the shortcomings and compromises we have to make, just to get a referendum, in the antique British political system, the impression is that we would be better off not bothering.
          Perhaps the Irish, Kenyans and Indians, would also be better off under the British Empire still?

          • Who suggests the Irish, Kenyans and Indians “would be better off” under the British flag? There is no need to raise sarcastic straw arguments. The path you’ve suggested in your various comments are realistic and rational, with a proper long-term perspective. I do hope there are a great many more folks in Scotland with your perspective. But if a socialist Scotland is to be built, it will have to have firm links with other socialist countries. Of course, somebody has to be the first, and if Scotland (or, say, Greece) is to be first, then by all means Leftists around the world would be duty-bound to provide support. But the history of the 20th century demonstrates that to be a single small socialist island in a vast sea of hostile capitalism is fraught with danger. I have been suggesting that this history not be ignored.

            Although I stand by my conclusion — “A socialist Scotland could only flourish within a socialist Europe designed to maximize human need and potential rather than private profit” — you and other commenters have given me much to think about, and be assured I will be reflecting on what each of you has written. The fight for a better Scotland will not confined within Scotland’s borders.

    • Tim Lever says:

      Pavlos two scenarios to consider:

      1) we have independence on the current imperfect terms, within 5 years the SNP lose power to a left wing coalition, 10 years out we abolish the pound, 15 years from independence Trident leaves Scotland, 20 years out we replace the Queen etc etc
      2) we have a referendum on a Scottish Socialist Republic this year and win.

      I would suggest 1) is a realistic possibility. 2) is a pipe dream.

      To achieve something worthwhile takes years of struggle. This is the first step and the SNP will only get us on the first rung of the ladder. But without them there would be no ladder.

    • Iain Bell says:

      First we get independence from Wastemonster. THEN we get the government WE vote for. I think you’ll see, in time, that this won’t be Salmond and the SNP, but a left-leaning, progressive government, which is more able, and more willing, to respond to the needs and demands of the Scottish people. If, in the future, an independant Scotland votes to adopt the Euro, dump the Queen, whatever, it will be at the behest of the Scottish voters, NOT the overweighted south-east of England. Small steps. After all, if Scotland were to go for the full monty too soon, we may end up in the same perilous position as all the other countries the US of A has invaded simply for wanting the people to have a voice……

      • The Scottish people do indeed deserve, and have the right, to decide their own future. You, and many other commenters, have made a strong case for moving in steps rather than all at once. Buying a bit of time is a good idea, even if the U.S. government would have to work more slowly than usual to concoct a justification invading a fellow NATO member …

  3. Ed says:

    An independent Scotland would be about the same size, in terms of area and population, as the Republic of Ireland, and we all know how that worked out.

    “On the other hand, the white paper also said it would remain in the Nato military alliance, retain the British currency and queen, and work closely with British security and intelligence agencies.”

    The Queen is not a big deal, a number of clearly independent Commonwealth countries have kept the Queen as their head of state. The Republic of Ireland didn’t and this doesn’t seem to have helped them at all in terms of being, well, independent. It saves the headache of trying to decide who will be their head of state. Arguably it should be Franz of Bavaria (the Jacobin claimant), but as this is not on the agenda the Hanoverian dynasty will do.

    NATO has probably been diluted to the point of meaninglessness. But the other two, the currency union and working “closely with the British security and intelligence agencies” will make independence purely for show. The Republic of Ireland doesn’t have a currency union with the UK, but does have one with Germany, plus they have always worked “closely with the British security and intelligence agencies.”

    There actually is an advantage for small countries in terms of escaping from global capitalism. Basically, if they try to move away, to get them back someone has to willing to violate their sovereignty through an invasion, a supported coup or insurgency, or other black operations. If the country is small enough, this may not be worth it. But the key is to be willing to be poor, both to ride out the capital strike and to be not worth bothering about. Bhutan, Somilland, and Cuba do this. Its not clear that a northern European nation can.

    • Cuba is definitely worth bothering about, and the U.S. has attacked it without letup for 50 years. These attacks go well beyond the embargo, as I wrote in the literary magazine BigCityLit in 2002. A Latin American country can no more “ride out” a capital strike because it is “not worth bothering about” than can a European country.

      Your comparison of Scotland to Ireland, nonetheless, is on target. But it is bizarre for me that countries like Canada and Australia don’t have their own heads of state. In 2008, in Canada, where the queen appoints a “governor-general” to act as head of state in her place, said governor-general was a tool of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, giving Harper the OK to “prorogue” (shut down) the Canadian Parliament because the three opposition parties, who together held a majority, were considering banding together and voting out Harper. No parliament, no pesky majority rule. Admittedly, Harper might have been able to pull that off even with an elected head of state.

      Scotland does leave itself open to English manipulation if a future monarch doesn’t take a hands-off policy to politics as Elizabeth II does — the head of state has the power to dissolve parliament and if the Scottish parliament does something English Conservatives don’t like …

  4. The independence of New Zealand is definitely an illusion. We are totally owned by foreign corporations that are systematically stripping our tiny country of wealth.

  5. Alcuin says:

    To be contrarian, I do see some value in Scotland de-linking, however symbolically, with the core capitalist countries. For one thing, it raises the possibility, however remote, of setting a different agenda. Not that that is likely, but it is a possibility. It is totally not possible when a country is firmly cemented to a core capitalist country. I’ve long been a supporter of independence for Vermont. Not that it will happen, but I just think it is a good idea. In fact, I’d like to see the United States break into 6 or 8 different countries. The whole reason for federalization was to make it easier for capitalists to enforce their agenda. That goes directly back to the Federalist Papers. The result of the “regulation” created by the so-called Progressive Era was to make the capitalist class even stronger than it had been before. Before the Progressive Era “reforms” were enacted, the capitalists had to deal with different laws in different states, which hampered their accumulation of wealth. With the Progressive Era “reforms”, they had but one slate to contend with. They only had one agency to buy instead of multiple agencies to deal with.

    Scottish independence at least raises the possibility of what John Holloway calls “crack capitalism.” I’m not looking at this through rose-colored glasses, but I think any move towards independence, however timid, is a step in the right direction.

    • The same dynamic you describe for federalization in the U.S. also drove the unification of Germany in the 19th century, even if it was in the form of Prussian conquest. A united Germany is a big country, as opposed to dozens of principalities with borders that slow commerce.

      As to Scotland, it is certainly possible for it to have some room for maneuver freed from the dead hand of Tory government imposing austerity, but we should remind ourselves that Scotland would be born as a core capitalist country, presumably within the European Union. For Scotland to establish an alternative economy, it would have to form a part of a significantly sized bloc with similarly minded nations. Can independence open possibilities? The Scottish Socialist Party appears to believes so. Perhaps we will find out.

  6. Alan Crocket says:

    I just picked this article up on today’s Counterpunch, where the title (The Problem with Scottish Independence) is somewhat misleading. Even accepting your critique, your position appears to be that Scottish independence would merely be progress (however slight), and very far from perfection. In other words, good as far as it goes. So I hope that you are advocating a Yes vote in the referendum. Are you?

    • As I wrote above, the question of Scottish independence is strictly the business of the Scottish people. I am not Scottish, and I don’t believe it is appropriate for me to tell other nations how to vote in a referendum with that importance. I will simply note that I made a point of quoting extensively from the Scottish Socialist Party, for whom I have much respect, and that party is in favor of independence.

  7. falloch says:

    So what do we do then? Are we not to vote for independence because it’s not going to be a perfect socialist republic? The only way we can get anywhere is to get away from Westminster – then we’ll have a long, hard slog to get to what we really want, but we’ve got to start somewhere. I’m not just driven by wanting independence, but also fear what Westminster will do to Scotland if we DON’T get independence. They will be waiting with the knives out for our impudence at thinking we could be independent. I know that independence is going to be a messy, frustrating business – I live down the road from the most important NATO navy base in the North Atlantic, i.e. Faslane. Its strategic position and base for the UK ‘independent’ nuclear deterrent, as well as necessary port for visiting US subs, and continuing symbol of the ‘special relationship’ that the UK cites all the time, and the US couldn’t be arsed recognising until they want help invading the next nation of brown people, means that the SNP’s promises for ‘No more Trident’ are laughable. No doubt, an independent Scottish gov’t will ‘negotiate’ with the RUK and the US to keep this base at a high rental rate, until it’s decided to put the ‘independent’ nuclear ‘deterrent ‘ somewhere in England at the cost of billions. But independence is a start, not perfect, probably never, but a start. When people in the village I live in bitch about independence and Alex Salmond, I say the best way to get rid of Salmond is to vote for independence: an independent Scotland will elect its own leaders, not necessarily leaders from the Scottish National Party. If independence is voted in, then their work is done, and we can start to look like other small European countries like Sweden and Norway with coalition gov’ts with all their socialist, green, right-wing and nutcase parties.

    • Falloch, I find your analysis to be quite lucid. You have made much sense here — surely it is true that Scotland, or any other nation, must start somewhere.

      If an independent Scotland, not part of a trans-national bloc committed to much better policies than those of London and Brussels, finds its social gains under attack, you might find it very difficult to maintain those advances. But an independent Scotland, forming a bloc with countries inside and outside Europe strong enough to withstand the inevitable capitalist assaults, can be a leader in creating a better world.

      A European Union converted to very different people-oriented rather than banker-oriented policies would be a logical place for Scotland. But that would entail a massive struggle by peoples across Europe, working together. Such an accomplishment would be a brilliant beacon of light for the whole world. I am suggesting that there should be no illusions about the size of the task, and that independence would be only a first step. Significant, yes, but the remorseless logic of global capitalism would not yet be seen off.

      My guess during the past couple of years is that it will be Greece that will become the first European nation to begin the struggle for a better world. If it is instead to be Scotland, then your journey can not start too soon.

  8. John Wisnom says:

    I would have appreciated a more systemic disorder approach to the problem in the piece.

    About the Ineos affair, wouldn’t an independent state founded under the principles of socialism be perfectly within its agenda to
    1) slap an injunction on the refinery owner, forcing him to keep the factory open and bargain in good faith; if closed, seize the facility in the name of the people’s national interest, and increase the production capacity by 30% to make Scotland petroleum self-sufficient;
    2) pass laws (like in Argentina, another oil-rich country) to legally force bosses to collectively bargain and provide a living wage, share profits with workers (15% in Argentina), and turn closed down production facilities over to workers’ management;
    3) enforce strict anti-trust laws; heavily tax monopoly rents;
    4) etc., ect?

    As to monetary policy, isn’t an independent socialist country within it rights to set up a national bank under the principles of modern money theory, enabling the country to pay its debts and use money in a functional way to meet the economic needs of the people?

    Who are these clowns running the SNP, anyway? Need to grow some Bolivarian balls under those kilts, laddies….

    • An independent state founded under the principles of socialism could do all of what you suggest. Indeed, taking the factory under national ownership, either to make it a state company or handing it over to the workers to run as a collective would eliminate the problem described. Because energy is such an important industry, I think it would be logical for it to be a state-owned enterprise, with democratic control. None of these are on the SNP agenda, as you correctly point out, and thus my argument that an independent capitalist Scotland would find itself with considerably less independence than the Scottish people might expect.

      As I have written before, there is no political democracy without economic democracy. Latin American countries attempting more democratic projects, such as Venezuela and Bolivia, can only survive in the long term by forming as large a bloc as possible. The same will be true for the European countries, or countries anywhere in the world, who attempt a socialist-oriented project. A national bank designed to meet the economic needs of the people is a necessity; banking surely must be brought under democratic control, with trade among the bloc countries firmly oriented toward human need not corporate profit.

      As a final note, I’ve know plenty of politically brilliant and physically brave women in my many years of activist work, so one’s genitalia should not matter.

      • Tim Lever says:

        All true and just because the SNP don’t propose these now, doesn’t mean we can’t struggle for them AFTER independence. The UK will be on an opposite trajectory for much longer (post-independence crisis notwithstanding).

    • Iain Bell says:

      …..”to make Scotland petroleum self-sufficient”.Scotland is an EXPORTER of oil….
      “pass laws (like in Argentina, another oil-rich country)” Watch and learn, laddie….
      “as to monetary policy…..”, Aye the Scottish people could, through a democratically elected Scottish government, set up a national bank. Scotland could, if it so desired, set up a monetary union with, for example, Norway, adopt the Norsk Kroner, and start to sell oil in Euros rather than the US dollar. This would p!ss of both the English, (who cares!) and the US of A. Making Scotland a US target…..perhaps not such a good idea:-(
      As for the clowns running the SNP, as of today, pretty much all politicians are clowns, some are bigger than others. The clowns won’t last long after a ‘YES’ vote, whatever colours they fly.

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