— Revolution Editorial Board
“The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workers of the world, unite!” – The Communist Manifesto
2024 will be a year of advancing class struggle. After a year of continuous scandals and upsets among the ruling class, and timidity and cowardice among the reformists, a powerful revolutionary tide is preparing to come in.
After many years unchallenged at the top of Scottish politics, the SNP were humbled by their own insoluble problems.
The spark for this was Sturgeon’s resignation as First Minister and leader of the party, decapitating its broadly popular figurehead. Even those closest to Sturgeon and the political insiders were stunned at the sudden announcement, which marked the beginning of an anxious transition to the new leadership.
The fault lines running through Scotland’s governing party, formally covered up by Sturgeon’s authority and popularity, were laid bare.
Humza Yousaf, Kate Forbes and Ash Regan laid into each other, rubbishing their skills as politicians and their record as Ministers. The whole sordid affair had the tone of a student union election rather than a decision about the future of the country.
Despite Yousaf’s (narrow) victory, the divisions within Scottish nationalism have not gone away. Questions over economic and social policy, LGBT rights, the alliance with the Green party and the prospects for the independence movement continue to swirl around the SNP’s parliamentary offices.
Getting bogged down in any one of these problems threatens to be a pole of attraction for discontent within the ranks of the party. That party membership itself has suffered a precipitous decline over the past few years, as the sense that the SNP has nothing left to give sinks in.
Yousaf has been warned that several crises may erupt this year; over local councils going bankrupt, poverty and inequality sharply increasing, opposition within the party crystallising around the right-wing, or the party suffering losses at the next Westminster General Election.
It has already been stated throughout the bourgeois press that this year will mostly be an extended campaign for the General Election, which will in all likelihood result in the end of the Tory Government.
Though the situation may stabilise, through 2023 the SNP’s once-unassailable lead in the opinion polls was gradually eroded. The threat of Labour taking over a dozen seats from the SNP is a very real one, to which Yousaf will have to respond.
The collapse of the Tories and the ascension of Starmer’s right-wing Labour to Government will be met with only very muted enthusiasm. As anyone can tell, and he has been at great pains to make clear, Starmer represents continuity for the ruling class. The same policies of capitalist austerity, selling off education and the NHS to the private sector, demonising immigrants and youth, and following the USA into wars all over the globe will be in place the day after Starmer walks into Number 10 Downing Street.
Millions of people are crying out for an alternative to this sham ‘democracy’ however. This anger has been building for the past decade or more.
Once, it was captured by the sense of hope that surrounded the independence campaign. This has not been forgotten, but with the SNP leading the independence movement into a decisive dead-end, hope is all most indy activists have left.
What laid under the grassroots of this movement was class struggle, and the need for the working class to throw off the chains of British capitalism. The need for a real revolution, as we said in issue one of Revolution. That need is still present right across Scotland and the world, and it is still our task and duty to foment that working-class revolution.
As members of the International Marxist Tendency we will be participating in a bold new venture, establishing the Revolutionary Communist Party this year, and launching a new paper in January: The Communist.
Though this means the end of Revolution, it will be a new beginning for the forces of Marxism in Scotland. We call on all those who wish to dedicate themselves to the advancement of the class struggle in 2024, to join and establish the RCP in all parts of Scotland!