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Posts Tagged ‘Scotland

Scottish Left Nationalists’ Plans in Ruins as SNP Plans Massive Cuts.

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Book that’s Spawned a Thousand Imaginary Communities. 

Left nationalist supporters of Scottish independence argue that the “breakup of Britain” will be  a major step forward for the left and the labour movement.

The nationalist Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) states,

The Scottish Socialist Party is built on social solidarity and the spirit of resistance to oppression, injustice and nasty con tricks that strangle communities and people’s lives.

Life can be better than this. We have the resources, the know-how, we could be building a world based on people, not profit. We can, and should, be expanding the public sector, because more and more of us need it, and it creates jobs and training, it holds communities together and it supports families.

We should be raising the minimum wage, because we can afford to do this, through cutbacks in the defence budget and the raising of taxes on the rich, and because it helps to build strong, local economies.

….

The Party asserts,

The single biggest obstacle to the Scottish people building a better society is the British State, the Westminster regime, the Crown Powers.

Genuine independence for Scotland can only come from a break up of the British State but until we get to that point the Scottish Socialist Party campaigns for a programme that can be achieved if our society is run for people, not profit.

Other nationalists even celebrate,

“the revolutionary implications of Scotland’s exit. Over three hundred years the Crown, the City of London and the Tories have been the hegemonic power. This will not be surrendered without a fight. But outside the ruling class and Scotland everybody seems pacified by the SNP selling itself as a safe pair of hands, ready to kneel before the Queen and Bank of England. Neither a post-independence SNP government, nor a Tory government in the rest of the country, will stop the impetus for constitutional change waking the sleeping giant in England and Wales.”

This will kick-start an Island (notice no mention of the rest of Europe) revolution, “….working people need more than simply defending themselves. They are hungry for a real democracy which gives them the power to change the future. If Scotland takes one step in that direction it is for us in England and Wales to take two or three.”

Steve Freeman. Republican Communist Network.

The ideas of the SSP and the RCN suffered a hammer blow when this was revealed (last year) from which they have yet to recover.

The SNP government is privately preparing for the prospect of cuts to jobs, welfare benefits and pensions after independence, amid growing concerns that Scotland faces a bleak economic future, a leaked document has shown.

Ministers in Edinburgh have also accepted the Bank of England in London would still have a controlling veto over public spending after independence under the SNP’s plans to keep the pound.

The emergence of the report, which was presented to the ScottishCabinet by finance secretary John Swinney, comes as a former economic adviser to First Minister Alex Salmond warns in today’s Scotsman that such an arrangement would be little different to the existing “block grant” Scotland gets from Westminster.

The Scotsman

The Cabinet paper reveals the Scottish Government anticipates that in four years Scotland will have a “marginally larger net deficit than the UK”.

This means a bigger gap between public spending and the taxes raised to fund them.

Expected North Sea revenues are set to fall in light of recently revised estimates, the report says, and this will hit the nation’s prospects after independence.

“Given the relative importance of North Sea revenues to Scotland’s public finances, these downwards revisions have resulted in a deterioration in the outlook for Scotland’s public finances,” it states.

The country’s expected net deficit has more than doubled from £12 billion to £28bn as a result of these revisions, the paper indicates.

“This high level of volatility creates considerable uncertainty in projecting forward Scotland’s fiscal position,” the paper adds. “This would, on present assumptions about onshore tax revenues, require some downward revision in current spending.”

This is likely to hit services in Scotland, with a warning that “these pressures could reduce the resources available to provide additional public services”.

The paper says Scotland’s armed forces would have a “much lower budget” than its population share and the SNP has said this would not be any more than £2.5bn.

The report accepts that Scotland’s budget after independence would be subject to conditions and any government at Holyrood would “have to ensure that it remained in line with any agreement on monetary union”.

The SNP has attempted to brush this off saying that

that the paper has been “overtaken by events” with oil revenues having surged on the global market to $115 a barrel. Initial estimates from the Office for Budget Responsibility put oil prices at less than $100 in the years ahead, but other forecasters have put it at $130.

They have continued to repeat this message.

But the Better Together campaign has responded by bring up the same topic,

The SNP’s oil fund will put your taxes up

In public the SNP tell us that an independent Scotland could have not one but two oil funds without the need for tax rises, spending cuts or extra borrowing to fund this.

Yet a confidential Scottish Government paper, which we are publishing today, makes clear that in private SNP Ministers are being advised by their own impartial civil servants that our taxes WOULD have to go up, public spending WOULD have to be cut or borrowing WOULD have to rise to pay for an oil fund. In fact, it could mean a combination of all three.

SNP Ministers aren’t just ignoring this impartial advice – they are doing exactly what this advice warns against.

We have also produced a simple document contrasting what SNP Ministers say in public with what they are being advised privately.You can read this here andshare on Facebook and twitter here

Read the Scottish Government’s paper, revealed under FOI law, here.

Looking at how oil money has been needed to pay for public services over the last 20 years SNP’s confidential cabinet paper concludes:

“If the Scottish Government had wished to invest in an oil fund, without having to increase its borrowing, there would have had to have been a corresponding increase in tax receipts or reduced public spending.”

If the SNP are being told this in private why can’t they just be honest with the Scottish people?

Speaking today, the leader of Better Together Alistair Darling said:

“This is the third time in a year that the SNP have been caught out saying one thing in public while knowing the opposite was true in private. The SNP have quite deliberately set out to deceive the Scottish public.

“Scotland doesn’t have to be faced with this choice. Being part of the UK means we have the strength of a bigger economy without the risk of oil volatility.”

By pooling and sharing our resources across the whole of the UK we are best placed to get the benefit from the North Sea.

The basic contours of these problems have not changed since.

So, one thing is clear, the SNP is as much as obstacle to left politics as the trinity of, “British State, the Westminster regime, the Crown Powers”

We hope that the left nationalists will not descend into arguing over the ownership of “their” nation’s oil as a way out of their problems – to avoid addressing the right-wing pro-market nature of any feasible ‘independent’ Scotland. .

But once you’ve gone down the nationalist road it’s hard to know exactly where you will end up.

For a detailed critique of how Scottish left nationalism is far from left politics and far from any form of critical left approach to capitalism and globalisation, See: The Break-Up of Tom Nairn?

Tom Nairn, Pariah: Misfortunes of the British Kingdom, Verso, 2002. Hardback, 300pp, £15.99. Reviewed by Andrew Coates. What Next? 

Also see: Paul Tesdale. Yes Means Power to Capital. Chartist May/June 2014.


Scottish Radical Independence Campaign to take “radical currency option” ?

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Scotland’s New Currency? The Scrote. 

The Pound is causing a lot of problems for those advocating Scottish independence.

Ralph Blake (the pen name of an analyst in the Scottish financial sector) looks at the option.

  • Continuing to use the Pound while walking away from existing debt and issuing your own debt.This will mean high borrowing costs, because nobody will trust the Scots not to default again.
  • Issue a Scottish currency pegged to the pound.   This attempt runs up against the country’s lack of reserves.
  • Use the pound while negotiating entry into the Euro. The will mean (he passes over this lightly) negotiating terms for entry. It will also leave unresolved difficulties of ” issuing debt and underwriting the banking sector
  • “Finally, the radical alternative is take the Norwegian road and nationalise the oil, introduce progressive taxation and join the European Free Trade Alliance. It is key that the left wing of the independence movement advocates the radical currency option otherwise they will become caught in the SNP’s currency trap which will only weaken the case for independence.”

The Scottish Socialist Party says,

“The Scottish Socialist Party is determined to continue to tap into Scotland’s honourable tradition for a fair,  equitable society, and an independent currency, voluntarily linked to the English pound initially, is surely the best option in creating an environment for a better Scotland.”

The SSP’s gasp of reality is sure-footed: they announce,

“A free-floating Scottish currency would seem an ideal solution, but there are drawbacks. The Scottish economy would be much stronger than that of the rest of the UK (RUK) with a positive trade balance to contrast with a massive RUK deficit.”

But

“Scotland’s overall balance of payments would also look much better than that of the RUK. In these circumstances, Scotland’s free-floating currency, after an initial speculative period, would float upwards against both the RUK pound and the Euro, damaging both Scottish exports and tourism. In the longer term, an appreciating Scottish currency may be both inevitable and even desirable, but the economic disruption in the short term would be alarming and damaging.”

“The answer then is to tie an independent Scottish pound to the English pound initially, ensuring, for example, that cross-border trade and other economic transactions continue as prior to independence. In the meantime, a new Central Bank of Scotland could then be created, ensuring that monetary decision-making was devolved to a truly independent nation.”

Their concern for the needs of the “nation” aside, how exactly is the Scottish pound going to be “tied” to the UK Pound? An what independence will its financial policy have if this is done?

Meanwhile (Sunday Herald, today),

“Key members of Yes Scotland are expected to use an official board meeting to argue that adopting a new currency should be considered instead of Salmond’s vision of sharing sterling in the long term with the rest of the UK (rUK).”

We propose that the Scottish Socialist party takes the really radical currency option.

An independent Scottish needs an independent coin.

There are suggestions that the land re-introduces the Groat (Could Scotland go back to the groat?).

In honour of the past and Alba’s fair name it should be called the Scrote.

Back George Galloway’s Bid to be First PM of Scotland!

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Galloway for PM: Somewhere.

George Galloway wants to be the first prime minister of an independent Scotland, should the Outspoken Respect MP fail in his campaign to have Scots vote against the referendum on September 18. The 59-year-old, who represents Bradford West in the Commons, said he would prefer “a real Labour prime minister of the whole of Britain” but would settle for the role of Scottish PM should the vote go against his position.

Reports the Huffington Post.

He also said the saner following,

“I would fancy being prime minister of Scotland but I would rather we had a real Labour prime minister of the whole of Britain.

“I want to avoid the break-up of the country which I think will beggar people on both sides of the border, will lead to permanent Tory rule in Westminster and thus the Bank of England which will control the Scottish economy.

“Unleashed will be a race to the bottom with England cutting taxes, regulation, public spending, and Scotland having to follow it. So everyone on both sides of the border will be worse off.”

Mr Galloway took to the stage to the strains of Stealers Wheel’s Stuck In The Middle With You, saying he chose the song for its chorus “clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right”. “Flag wavers don’t like me very much, whether they’re Saltire flag wavers or Union Jack flag wavers,” he said.

“That’s fine. There are a small number of Union Jack wavers who are opposed to my stand on war and occupation abroad, and my identification with religious minorities that they hate. “If they weren’t protesting against me then I think I would be doing something wrong.”

Mr Galloway said he believes in “united countries” including a united Ireland, saying he would support Northern Ireland’s exit from the UK, in contrast to his bid to prevent Scotland from leaving.

“I don’t believe in breaking countries up as I think we have too many countries in the world, not too few,” he said.

“The Irish people were denied their right to unity and independence. The Scottish people never have been, and could have voted for independence at any time that they liked in the whole era of universal suffrage of nearly 100 years.

“People say that they want Scotland to have self-determination but they have self-determination, and always have, and will exercise that self-determination again in September.

“If it chooses to become independent then it will become independent, but I think it would rue the day.”

He said he would contemplate becoming an MP of an independent Scottish Parliament in the “hypothetical” event of Yes vote.

He added: “I am confident that the vote will be No, and I just want to make sure that it’s a decisive result because otherwise the kind of hatred and division that this campaign is at risk of sowing will be a permanent feature of Scottish politics and public life.”

Pat Smith, secretary of the Edinburgh Radical Independence Campaign, said: “Tonight’s protest is about showing that another Scotland is possible, one where racist, Islamophobic views like those perpetuated by the SDL have no place and where George Galloway’s cavalier attitude to politics is a thing of the past.

“Galloway’s celebrity status may bring attention to his bizarre and often sectarian brand of unionism, but we know that people in Scotland will see straight through this attempt to feign interest in the referendum as simply another bout of self promotion.

“The Radical Independence Campaign offers a real alternative to the corruption and self-interest of Westminster politics which Galloway seems so comfortable with. We want to see a Scotland run for and by the people – a people’s democracy, a society of equality, a great welfare state, a good neighbour, and pioneer of a just economy.”

We prefer the Galloway for Prime Minister of Scotland and the United Kingdom talk.

Indeed why not – unlike the nationalists who call themselves ‘radical’ – we don’t want mild social democracy and pro-business government in one state, but socialism in Europe.

So why not Galloway for European President? 

Make a start: Stand for Respect in Hampstead and Kilburn.

Respect will take the Hampstead and Kilburn fight right to rancid Maajid Nawaz and the New Labour apologist for Awami League…

” Applications are invited to be Respect candidate at the General Election in the Hampstead and Kilburn constituency.”If you are interested, please email contact@respectparty.org

 

We have already applied…

Written by Andrew Coates

February 5, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Donald Trump, the SNP and the March Against Obama.

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Trump: Likes SNP, but Marches Against Obama.

Donald Trump is a long-standing friend of the Scottish Nationalist Party, according to this very recent article by  JOYCE MCMILLAN about a documentary on Trump’s Scottish Golf Course.  

…over a period of years Donald Trump’s organisation was allowed to brush aside objections not only from environmental groups and local residents, but from Aberdeenshire Council itself, whose initial refusal of planning permission was called in and reversed, in 2008, by the Scottish Government. Worse than that, local residents opposing the development were allegedly subjected to serious harrassment; and Grampian Police, according to the protestors, seemed mainly concerned to facilitate the smooth progress of Donald Trump’s plans, at one point actually handcuffing and detaining the film-makers for trying to record interviews.

It’s a shocking film; and the broadcast came in the middle of a bruisingly bad week for Alex Salmond and his SNP Government, following a series of negative poll results, a passionately divisive conference debate over NATO, and the growing storm over Alex Salmond’s apparent suggestion that the Scottish Government had clear and positive legal advice on an independent Scotland’s EU membership, when no such advice had been formally sought.

She continues,

In the aftermath of the showing of the film, many former SNP supporters took to the social media to declare that they would never vote for the party again. And many others, of all persuasions, expressed a sense of shame that such a desperate capitulation to wealth and power could take place in Scotland; as if they had somehow managed to convince themselves that, in a world increasingly driven by the attitudes of capitalists like Trump, Scotland and its government were somehow categorically different and better, and more resistant to the blandishments of overweening power.

Now the SNP’s best friend is saying this,

DONALD Trump went into a Twitter meltdown after US President Barack Obama’s victory, blasting the election as a “disgusting sham” and calling for “revolution”.

Trump started out in a philosophical mood as the tide turned against Republican candidate Mitt Romney, musing “Well, back to the drawing board.”

But it appears it was all too much for the property tycoon as reality of Mr Obama’s clear win began to sink in.

“We can’t let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided!”, Trump fired off on Twitter.

The Apprentice star, who toyed with a Republican presidential run, became increasingly irate, even calling for Americans to reject Mr Obama’s resounding victory.

“Let’s fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice! The world is laughing at us. This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy.”

The US “now in serious and unprecedented trouble…like never before”, Trump tweeted, adding: “the electoral college is a disaster for democracy.”

An ‘independent’ Scotland will be certainly be  the democracy to live in with  Trump and his mates in charge.

Written by Andrew Coates

November 7, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Scottish ‘Socialists’ Back £7 Pint and Capitalist Independence.

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Scots Left Say he’s a Diamond Geezer.

My Scottish grandparents were  Chair and Branch Sec. of a Branch of the ILP in Springburn Glasgow.

Comrades will no need no reminder that this was, and is, a poor district and the heart of Labour Movement.

It is with some distress that we read that the so-called ‘socialist’ party the SSP, has backed the Murdoch supported SNP in its  demand for ‘independence’.

Going to the length of appearing on public platforms with – I like my bath-water so much I drink it Salmond.

And not saying a dicky bird about the SNP’s plans to raise the price of a pint to (rough estimation) seven quid a pint.

The cost of a bottle of me gramps daily tot (0r six) of whisky must be pretty stiff as well..

Written by Andrew Coates

May 28, 2012 at 11:17 am