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Theory & History

Scotland and the National Question

Statement from the International Socialists, CWI (Scotland)

Introduction
This statement was written in September 2003 in the aftermath of the May 1st 2003 Scottish elections which saw a severe defeat for the main pro-independence, nationalist party the Scottish National Party. The purpose of this statement is to explain the approach, programme and method of the International Socialists and the Committee for a Workers International on the national question.
In doing so we seek to clarify what we believe to be a principled socialist and Marxist attitude to the national question in Scotland.

The CWI has always adopted a consistent position on the national question. The CWI has historically defended the national rights of the Scottish people. At the same time we have explained that to guarantee those rights and end poverty it is necessary to link the national struggle to the fight for socialism. In this statement, as well as outlining the analysis of the CWI, references will be made to a statement drawn up by the policy coordinator of the Scottish Socialist Party Alan McCombes. This statement entitled “Which way forward towards independence and socialism” proposed the setting up of an Independence Convention. In raising our differences with this proposal we aim to contrast our attitude toward the national question in Scotland to the ideas put forward by the leadership of the SSP.

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A socialist approach to Scottish independence

This article was written on the 6th August 2004 during the SNP leadership election campaign that saw Alex Salmond return as leader of the party. Like a number of articles written at that time this article also raises criticisms of the Scottish Socialist Party leadership's politics on the national question in Scotland. Many of the leading members of the SSP were also part of the Committe for a Workers' International and they left in 2001 after 2 years of debate and discussion over fundamental political differences that had arisen. The documents realting to the Scottish debate can be found at http://www.marxist.net/scotland/index.html. The International Socialists (CWI Scotland) worked as part of the SSP from its launch in 1998 until the split in the socialist movement in Scotland in 2006, since then we have worked to build Solidarity - Scotland's Socialist Movement. 

Salmond stands to return as leader of SNP 

The race for the leadership of the Scottish National Party took a dramatic twist recently when on the day nominations closed former SNP leader Alex Salmond announced he was standing for party convener. Salmond, only a few weeks ago, ruled out a return as party leader by quoting the words of a US Civil War leader General Sherman: “If nominated I’ll decline, if drafted I’ll defer and if elected I’ll resign.” 

Philip Stott, CWI Scotland

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25 years on – Liverpool a city that dared to fight

images/stories/lpoolpaultraynor.jpg

On 9 July 1984 Liverpool City council, led by Militant (the Socialist Party's predecessor), won a sensational victory over the ruthless Tory government of Margaret Thatcher. They secured extra funding for the council's urban regeneration programme. The principled stand by the 47 Liverpool Labour councillors, allied to a mass movement of the city's workers and wider working class, stands in stark contrast to today's sleazy and spineless Labour leaders.

Tony Mulhearn, one of the Liverpool councillors subsequently victimised by the state and witch-hunted by the Labour Party leadership, explains the successful struggle 25 years ago.

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Thatcher’s Legacy

Brutal class warfare against the rights and the conditions of the working class

Peter Taaffe, from Socialism Today (April 2009), monthly journal of the Socialist Party (CWI England and Wales)

As the 30th anniversary of the coming to power of Margaret Thatcher – the most hated figure in Britain post-1945 – in May 1979 approaches, her record has been put under the media microscope. Predictably, it is the personality of Thatcher which has been the main subject of investigation by assorted capitalist newspapers – notably in the Observer and by Germaine Greer in the Guardian.

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