Scottish nationalism

Philip Ferguson plf13 at
Fri Jan 26 19:31:53 MST 2001

>> When the Scots mobilise en masse to get their soldiers out of the North of
>> Ireland, I might believe that they are a bit more progressive than the
>> section of the British population south of where Hadrian built his wall.
>> Until then I'll continue to hold the view that there is little fundamental
>> difference between England and Scotland and their populations, except that
>> the English are probably a bit more cosmopolitan (which is a good thing).
>> Cheers,
>> Phil

Mac then wrote:
>The SRSM maillist that is at egroups is heavily loaded with Irish
>republican news,

Mac, take another look at what I said.  I don't dispute there are small
left-nationalist groups in Scotland which support irish freedom.  That was
not what the discussion was about.  You had originally posted something by
a Scottish left nationalist arguing that the English working class were a
bunch of chauvinists and reactionaries, supposedly unlike the masses in
Scotland.  It was this attempt to pain the Scottish masses as somehow more
poltiically virtuous that I was arguing against.

As for left Scottish nationalists who identify with Irish republicanism and
other national liberation struggles (and, I don't doubt their sincerity in
this). . . . well, there were Croatian nationalists, including people with
their roots in Croatian fascism, which also presented themselves as
revolutionaries fighting for national liberation from the 'Yugoslav
oppressor'.  Some of these, most famously the HDP, also identified with
national liberation struggles.  They may well have been quite genuine in
this.  This didn't make Croatian nationalism, and Croatian claims that they
were being ground down by the Yugoslav state any more credible. . .

In Britain, there are people in Cornwall claiming that Cornwall is also
'oppressed' by Britain.   Now, I've no sympathy for the British state -
indeed, I spent a chunk of my life in a political struggle with it - but I
can't see that its break-up into a load of regionalisms/parochialisms is a
step forward.  That's a recipe for the worst kind of internecine conflict.

Better to fight for the revolutionary overthrow of the British state, with
guarantees that anyone in Scotland who wants to wear a kilt with no
knickers, toss a cabre, and learn Scots Gaelic can.

In the meantime, I remain unconvinced that the Scottish section of the
British population constitutes an historically oppressed nation.  Far from
being denied rights, the Scottish have been an integral part of the British
state's denial of the  rights of *actually* oppressed nations everywhere it

Philip Ferguson

"Don't Dream It - Extreme It" (Lana Coc Kroft)

More information about the Marxism mailing list