[Marxism] Scottish National Party Calls For Debate On Independence

Jscotlive at aol.com Jscotlive at aol.com
Sun Aug 12 00:42:57 MDT 2007


Since winning the Scottish elections in  May, and thus handing the Labour 
Party their first electoral defeat  in Scotland in a generation, the Scottish 
National Party (SNP) have  hardly put a foot wrong. They have pushed through a 
resolution in  the Scottish Parliament against nuclear weapons and nuclear power 
in  Scotland, driving a wedge between the Scottish and British  parliaments; 
they have abolished backended tuition fees for  university students in 
Scotland (known as the Graduate Endowment);  they have made formal representation to 
the US Consulate informing  them that the Scottish people are against the war 
in Iraq; and now  they are beginning to push their core plank, which is 
Scottish  independence. 
Of course, they still remain a  pro-business, pro free market party, and have 
accepted  sizeable donations from some major business figures in  Scotland. 
The fact remains, however, that the break up of the  British State would be 
eminently progressive in that it  would weaken Britain's ability to ally with the 
US in wars such  as Afghanistan and Iraq; and, by qualitatively changing the  
composition of the British State, it could deepen the  consciousness of the 
working class in both Scotland and England, not  to mention Wales and Ireland. 

The  Scottish National Party has called for a "national conversation" to  
take place about independence.  
It comes as the SNP executive prepares to publish its White Paper  on 
independence this week - containing plans for a referendum on the  issue.  
Labour said the proposals were an unwanted waste of taxpayers'  money.  
A newspaper poll on Friday showed a significant drop in support  for 
independence, despite more people backing the SNP.  
The YouGov poll in the Daily Mail showed that while almost half  of those 
questioned backed the Nationalists, the survey showed only  31% were in favour of 


A spokesman for First Minister Alex Salmond said the SNP were  taking a 
three-pronged approach to government, focusing on  competence, consensus and their 
vision for the country.  
SNP leaders argued their handling of incidents such as the  terrorist attack 
on Glasgow Airport showed they were governing  effectively.  
They also claimed cross-party support for matters such as the  abolition of 
bridge tolls showed the administration was building  consensus on an 
issue-by-issue basis.  
The spokesman said: "The SNP are pursuing a three-fold approach  to 
government - competence in running the nation's affairs, a  consensus to move Scotland 
forward on particular issues, and  offering an overall vision of the country's 
future. That is the  context for the White Paper publication."  
He continued: "The document will form the basis of a national  conversation 
with the people, and will set out a vision of  independence and responsibility 
in the modern world.  
"It will be an inclusive, governmental document - making clear  that 
ministers believe independence and equality offers the best  future for Scotland, 
while urging those who believe in other  possibilities, such as more powers, to 
come into the conversation."  


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