Why Marxists support Scottish Independence

Alex Johnson, IMT Edinburgh

The movement for Scottish independence has started heating up recently. Dozens of Yes groups have been reconvening after a period of ebb in the movement, the All Under One Banner march in Edinburgh saw estimates between 80,000 – 120,000 mobilising in support of an independent Scotland. Similar marches saw 40,000 – 70,000 in Glasgow and 10,000-20,000 in Stirling, Dundee, Dumfries and Inverness. With this upswing in activity, it is useful explain the Marxist approach to Independence.

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Holyrood Blocks Railway Nationalisation

Scottish commuters were let down last month in a Holyrood vote to end the franchise of Scotrail, currently operated by the Dutch state owned company Abellio. Tabled as a motion by Labour, the vote would have seen a “break clause” that finishes Abellio operations as soon as 2022, rather than the planned 2025 end date currently in effect. The move comes from Labour’s manifesto promise of a sweeping reforms of nationalisation, including that of Scotrail, which would have been a huge win for the Scottish section of the party, who have lagged behind their English and Welsh counterparts as far as the Corbyn-fuelled push to further left policies is concerned. The motion was well beat however, with 85 votes to 34 as the SNP and the Tories both voted in favour of keeping the railway’s running in private hands, . These are not unexpected views amongst the Tory section of the parliament but it is a betrayal to the many left leaning workers who’ve put their faith in the SNP. The proposals were drawn up by left wing pro independence group, Common Weal, who have significant support within the SNP so this betrayal won’t go unnoticed among SNP members.

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Nationalise Dundee Michelin under Workers’ Control

David Swanson, IMT Edinburgh

The recent announcement that Michelin’s tyre-manufacturing plant in Dundee will close by 2020 exposes the harsh measures that capitalism will continually inflict upon society. A small group of elites prioritise profit over the needs of their employees and communities. In this tragic case, the lives of 845 workers have been thrown into jeopardy to further line the pockets of Michelin CEOs.

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Open Letter to Heart of Midlothian FC regarding Tommy Robinson

Yesterday, a member of the IMT Edinburgh branch was contacted by Police Scotland, regarding the letter (below), that we sent to the club. Marxists place no illusions in the ability of the police to fight the far right. History has shown, many a time, that they will protect the far right and in times of crisis, even use fascist gangs to defend the capitalist state against the organised working class. However we do thank this individual officer for describing the letter as “very passionate and convincing” (if he is really convinced he should go on to campaign for the Police Federation to be an independent union).
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Brexit, Strikes and Independence: A Marxist View (Issue 24 Editorial)

Ross Walker, IMT Edinburgh

The November/December issue of Revolution, magazine of the International Marxist Tendency in Scotland. Includes articles on the Equal Pay Strike, the EIS dispute, Solidarity with the Sikh community and the YMCA in Leith, Why Marxists Support Independence, reports from the Edinburgh demo and the legacy of James Connolly. We also have articles from the IMT in Brazil, Mexico and Quebec on fighting Bolsonaro, Solidarity with the migrant caravan and fighting racism of the CAQ. Subscribe on the website and if your interested in joining the IMT, get in touch!

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Women Workers to Strike for Equal Pay

By Amy Dean, Glasgow Marxists

The next few weeks will see important events for the workers’ struggle across Scotland. Starting in Glasgow where the ongoing council equal pay dispute will culminate in a strike of thousands of women workers on the 23rd and 24th of October. The dispute dates back to equal pay claims from 2006 when Glasgow City Council introduced a Workforce Pay and Benefits Review System, which aimed to tackle the gender pay gap. However under the scheme low-paid jobs tending to be occupied by women such as cleaning, catering and care are being paid significantly less than jobs such as refuse collection, which are deemed to be of the same value but are male dominated.

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Indy March Attracts Thousands

Nathan Taylor, Glasgow Marxists

On the 6th October, tens of thousands of people marched through the streets of Edinburgh calling for an independent Scotland. Official estimates put the number in attendance at between 80,000 and 120,000, making it one of the biggest mobilisations in Scottish history. While Scottish politics might seem uneventful at the moment, it is clear that the appetite for independence is still very much alive and well.

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Fight for the Future (Issue 23 Editorial)

By Ross Walker

September/ October edition of Revolution out now. Articles on the need for free education, defending asylum seekers from Serco landlords, Amazon workers, the orange order and fighting bigotry, the impact of Trotsky’s death, dialectical materialism and the Euro crisis. Read here, the editorial by Ross Walker from the IMT Edinburgh branch.

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