Thursday, 18 September 2014


Towards an Asian century of prosperity

[The Hindu]

My first visit to this ancient and magic land was 17 years ago, a time when the Indian economy was undergoing reform and beginning to show new vitality in growth. The market was booming in Mumbai, the economic centre. Bangalore was becoming increasingly famous as India’s Silicon Valley. And Bollywood movies and yoga were popular throughout the world. Its people were full of expectations and the ancient civilisation was rejuvenated.

Now 17 years later, I am about to once again visit India, an enchanting and beautiful land that has captured world attention. India is an emerging economy and a big developing country. It is Asia’s third largest economy and the world’s second largest exporter of software and agriculture products. A member of the United Nations, the G20, the BRICS and other organisations, India is playing an increasingly important role in the regional and international arena. The “Story of India” has spread far and wide. With the new government coming into office, a new wave of reform and development has been sweeping across India, greatly boosting the confidence of the Indian people and attracting keen international interest in its opportunities.

Progress in relations

Relations between China and India have made significant progress in the new century. The strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity has been established. China has become India’s largest trading partner, with their bilateral trade volume increasing from less than US$3 billion early this century to nearly US$70 billion. Mutual visits reached 8,20,000 last year. We have had close coordination and cooperation on climate change, food security, energy security and other global issues and upheld the common interests of our two countries as well as the developing world as a whole. Progress has been made in the negotiations on the boundary question, and the two sides have worked together to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border area. China-India relations have become one of the most dynamic and promising bilateral relations in the 21st century.

Our bilateral relations have reached where they are today as a result of the following efforts: we have deepened mutual trust by strengthening strategic dialogue and enhancing political confidence; we have brought more benefits to each other by expanding the areas of cooperation and making the pie of common interests bigger; we have forged closer friendship by encouraging more people-to-people exchanges and cementing popular support for our bilateral relations; and we have treated each other with sincerity by respecting and accommodating each other’s concerns and properly managing problems and differences.

Crucial stage of reform

Both China and India are now in a crucial stage of reform and development. The Chinese people are committed to realising the Chinese dream of great national renewal. We are deepening reform in all sectors. The goal has been set to improve and develop the socialist system with Chinese characteristics and advance the modernisation of national governance system and capability. A total of over 330 major reform measures covering 15 areas have been announced and their implementation is well underway.

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, the new Indian government has identified ten priority areas including providing a clean and efficient administration and improving infrastructure. It is committed to building a united, strong and modern India — Shreshtha Bharat. The Indian people are endeavouring to achieve their development targets for the new era. China and India are both faced with historic opportunities, and our respective dreams of national renewal are very much aligned with each other. We need to connect our development strategies more closely and jointly pursue our common dream of national strength and prosperity.

As emerging markets, each with its own strengths, we need to become closer development partners who draw upon each other’s strengths and work together for common development. With rich experience in infrastructure building and manufacturing, China is ready to contribute to India’s development in these areas. India is advanced in IT and pharmaceutical industries, and Indian companies are welcome to seek business opportunities in the Chinese market. The combination of the “world’s factory” and the “world’s back office” will produce the most competitive production base and the most attractive consumer market.

As the two engines of the Asian economy, we need to become cooperation partners spearheading growth. I believe that the combination of China’s energy plus India’s wisdom will release massive potential. We need to jointly develop the BCIM Economic Corridor, discuss the initiatives of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and lead the sustainable growth of the Asian economy.

As two important forces in a world that moves towards multipolarity, we need to become global partners having strategic coordination. According to Prime Minister Modi, China and India are “two bodies, one spirit.” I appreciate this comment. Despite their distinctive features, the “Chinese Dragon” and the “Indian Elephant” both cherish peace, equity and justice. We need to work together to carry forward the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (the Panchsheel), make the international order more fair and reasonable, and improve the mechanism and rules of international governance, so as to make them better respond to the trend of the times and meet the common needs of the international community.

As Deng Xiaoping puts it, no genuine Asian century would come without the development of China, India and other developing countries. We are ready to shoulder this mission of our times and work actively to enhance friendship between China and India. I look forward to an in-depth exchange of views with Indian leaders on our bilateral relations during the visit, and to injecting new vitality to our strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity.

I am confident that as long as China and India work together, the Asian century of prosperity and renewal will surely arrive at an early date.

(Xi Jinping, the President of the People’s Republic of China, is on a three-day visit to India starting today.)


 "I hold that the British empire is the biggest menace to the human race... A Scottish break-away at this juncture would bring the empire crashing to the ground and free the waiting workers of the world." - John Maclean

Neocolonial villain Henry Kissinger opposing Scottish independence for much the same reasons as I support it:

"I thought that that was important for us who would otherwise be stuck as an island between Eurasia and Europe. That’s why I’ve been in favour of a nuclear capability for Britain because I wanted Britain to be recognised as a significant country in terms of global strategy. So anything that makes it smaller, I cannot say I welcome."

A similar line to John Major, who says: "If the UK lost Scotland it would be diminished – be in no doubt about that. Our defence would be severely weakened. Trident would almost certainly be lost. Britain’s role as the second largest military force in the EU would be gone and, with it, many of our close ties to the United States."

So they join George Robertson, Barack Obama, David Cameron, Tony Abbott, Richard Shirreff, John McCain, Alan Greenspan, Robert Zoellick, and *all* the most vicious representatives of British/US/NATO imperialism in opposing independent Scotland. Even the Israelis are worried: "Given the more extreme bent of its support of the Palestinian cause, a Scotland in charge of its foreign affairs would likely be a far more vocal critic of Israel." Not to mention the Conservatives, Lib Dems, Labour and every single organisation of the far-right - UKIP, BNP, EDL, etc.

The entire international imperialist class is lined up against Scottish independence, because they see the United Kingdom as a key player in the struggle - heating up every day in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, and the South China Sea - to maintain imperialist domination, to maintain the Washington Consensus, and to break the rise of a multipolar world. Scottish independence will be a historic blow to British imperialism and to the whole neocolonial project, hence the continuing relevance of the great John Maclean: "I hold that the British empire is the biggest menace to the human race... A Scottish break-away at this juncture would bring the empire crashing to the ground and free the waiting workers of the world."

Ultimately, independence will give the people of Scotland much greater ability to exercise POWER - political, economic, social, cultural. And all the indications are that they will exercise it in a FAR MORE PROGRESSIVE WAY than the UK parliament does. The Yes campaign has done a remarkable job of engaging Scottish people, ESPECIALLY working class and progressives. Are those voices, newly active and engaged, suddenly going to drop their demands for a fairer, more equal, more enlightened, more tolerant/welcoming society? For a state that opposes neoliberalism, austerity, wars of domination, nuclear weapons, racism, privatisation and the dismantling of the welfare state? For a state that wants to engage on an equal footing in a rising multipolar world? Hardly. People are mobilised and ready to push for progressive change, on a level that hasn't been seen in this island for a VERY long time.

And while the fearmongers claim that the Yes campaign's promises will evaporate after independence, the fact is that the Scottish Parliament has already proved itself to a significant degree, even with the limited power that it has - for example openly supporting Palestine, ending bedroom tax, keeping education free, opposing NHS privatisation, opposing racist UK immigration policy, speaking out vocally against the war in Iraq (remember when Salmond described Blair as a "man who buried the intelligence that was inconvenient, manipulated the information to suit his purpose, and entered into a secret pact with the American President to go to war come what may"?). Ultra-pragmatism over the queen and the pound mean zilch - they are a tactical manoeuvre to get a majority for independence, after which they can be reversed. (Do they constitute long-term policies of the independence movement, or were they introduced in the run-up to the vote in order to win over some waverers? You know the answer.)

Is the unity of the working class being broken? Errrr, what unity? Where is the meaningful united campaign in Britain against wars, imperialism, neoliberalism, austerity, bedroom tax, racism, xenophobia, unemployment, nuclear weapons... anything? On the contrary, the people of Scotland can blaze a trail, meaningfully opposing imperialism and pursuing progressive policies. This can serve to inspire us to step up the struggle in England, and lays the basis for a far more substantial unity - just as Irish freedom would create a basis for deeper unity between English and Irish workers.

I'm not Scottish and I wouldn't tell Scots how to vote. But I know which box I'd be ticking.

- Carlos Martinez


Well this is it folks. Our date with destiny. Will we embrace her like a long lost love, or will we walk away in shame and self-loathing?

All it takes is a cross in a box. And then we hold our future in our hands forever. Will we choose today to make our children proud and bequeath them a nation that stood up for it's values and ideals, or will we condemn them to a future of poverty, austerity and endless war, ruled over in perpetuity by people who hold us in contempt, people who worship greed, given power through privilege and theft, who hold selfishness and callousness as the highest virtues?

The world over people have fought, struggled, sacrificed and died to have the chance to make the decision that lays before us. Their ghosts are looking over our shoulders today. The blood of a million martrys and more, from India to Ireland, from Wallace to Connolly, was spilt to give their people, our people, all of us, the freedom to choose their destiny, for their nations to throw off the shame and servitude of colonialism and the humiliation of surrender.

Now we have the chance to take the butchers apron down. The rag that stains our nation, to wash the blood from it, and raise it anew, the Saltire, blue and white, to start again, standing as equals with the nations of the world, a beacon to the world that change can come, that giants can be toppled, that the people united can end Empires. The martrys of generations past beseech us, the people of the world stand behind us.

They have lied to us, cheated us, stolen from, condemned us. Today we can get rid of them forever. Show them that the people are sovereign and we will not be cowed. We will not be feart. We will not be complicit. We will not be shamed. We will be proud. We will be fair. We will be free. Not just for us, not just for our children, but for the whole world.

All it takes is a cross in a box. YES X

- James Stuart

Wednesday, 17 September 2014


Below is an excellent socialist anti-imperialist response by Jamie Sokolowski to one of the more radical anti-imperialist formations in england, the 'CPGB-ML', of which Jamie has been a member of. This organisation has a number of flaws inversely proportionate to their size and number, the flaws reflected in their terrible colonial unionist position on Scotland, on which they have allied up with the western alliance of neo-colonialists. Of course they are not alone in this colonial position on Scotland, as much if not most of the english left have taken a similar position. I wrote recently of my own experience in dealing with the neo-colonial hostility towards Global South politics even amongst the english left who on paper say they are supporting Scottish Independence. I also have been critically engaging english lefty Seumas Milne on twitter who has also taken a openly colonial position on Scotland.

I would not advocate anyone go near the CPGB-ML as they are too conceited, arrogant and dogmatic to be able to develop any constructive functional political relationship. However, their leader Harpal Brar (which I have worked closely with, and is one of my political mentors in an earlier and initial political phase of my life) has some relatively decent anti-imperialist politics and analysis over the decades, and it is a shame that he has decided on such a reactionary colonial position on Scotland when alternatively he could have boxed clever he could have respected the Scottish peoples right to engage in struggle which opens up new anti-imperialist and socialist potential and movements, he could have contributed an important anti-imperialist socialist voice to the Independence campaign in Scotland, and his involvement could have even given his organisation a new life with new members and a relevancy to politics on this island.

He and his organisation have decided to line up with the collective western neo-colonial position on Scotland is purely their own foolish decision, not the first it has to be said, just good to see that there are sharper minds who can cut through this colonial nonsense whatever red, blue, yellow, or lefty cover one gives it. - Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm

Scottish people will remember who stood against them

By Jamie Sokolowski

People are baffled by the party’s stance on Scottish independence; some even suggesting it’s more to do with selfish, organisational matters than ideological. I think this article confirms (what I already knew) that it is a serious, principled ideological position reached after debate and research. That doesn’t change, however, that it’s the wrong position.

There are lots of inaccuracies in the article:

• "And then we have to ask ourselves something else: what kind of freedom fighters ever included in their list of demands that they should be ‘allowed’ to keep the key elements of their oppression intact after liberation?"

Well, the Commonwealth of Nations has 53 member states. Queen Elizabeth II is the monarch of 16 of these independent nations. In fact, many nations – both in and out of the Commonwealth - that gained independence from Britain retained the monarchy for a brief period of time – Ghana, India, Pakistan, and Ireland. They were then scrapped through public referendum, acts of parliament or new written constitutions.

There is a significant voice within the movement – including the Chair of the Advisory Board of the Yes Campaign – calling for public referendum once Scotland secedes. The SNP are astute and pragmatic; calling for a republic at this time would diminish the Yes Campaign among people and communities that value the monarchy.

• "They wish to keep the British army regiments currently based in Scotland (and soaked in the blood of the oppressed of the world) as their army."

A new Scottish Defence Force would be created instead of the UK Armed Forces. There are currently six units based in Scotland; the White Paper states there will only be three in future. Ultimately, the army’s composition would be determined by the government elected by the people of an independent Scotland. That’s not been determined. But it will be different to the status quo. How are the British ruling class reacting to this?

“Scotland’s departure would have a profoundly damaging consequence: the British armed services would have to be broken up to allow the creation of a Scottish army, navy and air force. Has that been realised? The British armed forces, already grappling with one cut after another, may soon be broken into pieces.” – Telegraph, 5 September 2014.

General Sir Richard Shirreff – former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (Deputy SACEUR) of NATO – said that the plans were ‘amateurish’, it would leave the region ‘threatened’, and it would be ‘highly unlikely’ that Scotland would be accepted into NATO at this time.

• "They keep their membership not only of the imperialist EU but even of the nuclear warmongering Nato alliance."

The referendum is only the beginning of a new political and economic era. It’s not an endorsement of a politician, political party, alliance or ideology. It isn’t static. As soon as independence is delivered, the battle grounds to shape a new Scotland will open.

Do you seriously expect a broad independence movement to immediately and simultaneously withdraw from the UK, EU, NATO? Ireland is a member of the EU – are we questioning the legitimacy of their independence because of this membership?

In terms of NATO, this is hugely complex issue. I suspect it is, again, a pragmatic/temporary retreat for the SNP. This view seems to be endorsed by imperialism:

Lord George Robertson called the SNP’s desire for an independent Scotland to join NATO an ‘election fix’. General Shirreff, former Deputy SACEUR, said it was ‘highly unlikely’ that NATO would accept Scotland at this time.

In fact, both men – and the entire imperialist camp – believe that an independent Scotland would be harmful to NATO and the ‘west’.

This is the critical question that the party should be asking: would Scottish independence benefit or harm imperialism.

The evidence shows that it would damage imperialism. Hear it from the horse's mouth:

• “The loudest cheers for the break-up of Britain would be from our adversaries and from our enemies. For the second military power in the West to shatter this year would be cataclysmic in geopolitical terms… Nobody should underestimate the effect all of that would have on existing global balances, and the forces of darkness would simply love it… Mr Salmond's determination to join Nato is an election fix” – Lord George Robertson, Former NATO General Secretary

• “As a friend of Britain, as an observer from afar, it's hard to see how the world would be helped by an independent Scotland… I think that the people who would like to see the break-up of the United Kingdom are not the friends of justice, the friends of freedom, and the countries that would cheer at the prospect... are not the countries whose company one would like to keep." – Tony Abbot, Australian PM.

• “We have a deep interest in making sure that one of the closest allies we will ever have remains a strong, robust, united and effective partner.” – Barack Obama

• "You will not find anyone involved in American foreign policy – from the president on down – who does not think that this division will weaken the alliance that we have." – Bradley Sherman, US Congressman.

• “Our ‘special relationship’ with the United Kingdom is unparalleled. It is crucial for both our nations to continue our close cooperation on key diplomatic, security, economic, and human rights concerns. A strong, unified United Kingdom has been a leader in the world”. – Ed Royce, US Congressman.

• “Between 1969 and 2007, Scottish soldiers fought and died to keep Northern Ireland within the overall United Kingdom — over a hundred of them. What was that all about? The IRA fought a bloody 38-year campaign to take Northern Ireland out of the United Kingdom and join the six northern counties of the island of Ireland to the republic in the south of Ireland as one sovereign state.

As English, Welsh, North Irish and Scottish peoples we fought against this diminution of our country — the country of the Union flag embodying the Cross of St George, the Cross of St Patrick and the Cross of St Andrew…. Those red, white and blue colours describe our flag and define our identity. And now, the five million Scots, resident in Scotland — or about 50 per cent of them — seem to want to redefine the identity for over 60million of the rest of us, and that of another couple of million Scots living outside Scotland who, like the rest of us, have no vote in this history-changing decision. Do they really have the moral right to do so?... The United Kingdom is what it is today because of the common commitment of the English, the Welsh, the Scots and the northern Irish – is it really right that a few thousand Scots should change the destiny of us all?” -- Lord Dannat, Former Head of British Army.

I understand that on rare occasions the interests of imperialism and anti-imperialism converge, but I cannot see how this is an example. Imperialism is consistently and over-whelming opposed to separation. The quotes above are just several from thousands. They are fearful of economic, political, and military instability. They are concerned that one of NATO’s largest contributing nations will be weakened; nuclear weapons removed and their re-location uncertain; and it will give momentum to other movements such as the reunification of Ireland.

Further evidence that independence would weaken imperialism is offered by anti-imperialists:
• “If Scotland gains independence, the UK will descend from a first-class country to a second-rate one, which will once again break the balance within Europe. And its consequence may even wield influence upon international geopolitics… The UK will become the biggest loser if such a scenario transpires. The elite of London have begun to feel panicked due to these potential risks and no longer wear an expression of pride for delivering the fate of Scotland to more than 5 million people through the vote on independence… The Scottish independence campaign also tells us that established developed countries like the UK are far from stable as we previously imagined.” Editorial, China Times

• “I believe that every person has the right to be a member of an independent nation, to have sovereignty, to live in peace and to enjoy equality. And I believe that a majority of Scots feel the same and will vote for independence… The result will be very important and if the Scots do vote to become independent, then Korea will be prepared to respond to that… I believe independence will be positive as it will encourage personal exchanges and provide both countries with business chances… Korea is rich in natural resources… we can be beneficial to each other" – Editor, Choson Sinbo, pro-Korean newspaper.

• Scottish independence has also been favourably reported in Russian, Iranian, Irish and Latin American news agencies.

It is increasingly clear to many that secession will be to the detriment of imperialism. It is a rare opportunity for ‘first-world’ workers to actually harm imperialism; benefiting themselves and workers of the world.

The following decades will deliver a multi-polar world in which socialist and anti-imperialist nations increasingly co-operate to defeat imperialist hegemony. The fracturing and weakening of the 'United Kingdom' - first by Scotland, and then by the re-unification of Ireland (two completely separate movements) - will aid this process.

There are many other inaccurate statements in the article:

• "It seems to suggest that Scotland has - because of devolution - somehow avoided British government cuts. We have therefore not participated in political activities against austerity. See “It has broken the unity of the fight to save services (since Welsh and Scottish voters think they are not affected) and given a massive boost to nationalist sentiments (thus keeping workers away from revolutionary ideology at a time of crisis, just when they need it most)”.

This looks like it's been written by someone who has not participated in or followed grass-roots Scottish politics. Scotland has experienced immense hardship because of the coalition’s cuts. Welfare is not a devolved matter, and we have seen benefit sanctions and cuts devastate working class communities. The bedroom tax was particularly punitive.

Scottish workers militantly opposed this – organising demonstrations and occupations in Scotland and also travelling to England. They were able to effectively reverse the bedroom tax, but recognise that this is not enough.

The call for independence is not merely a nationalist one – to portray it as one is either mistaken or disingenuous. The Yes movement is a progressive one. If the CPGB-ML had participated in it they would have seen thousands of working class Scots talking about the banking system, the complicity of politicians, and the lying media. They would have seen people questioning the existing power structures, using terms such as capitalism and socialism for the first time in a generation.

• “This explains why there is such a generational divide amongst working-class voters in Scotland today – older people are far, far less likely to vote ‘Yes’ in the referendum, because they belong to a generation amongst whom it was generally understood that class allegiances were paramount.”

This is fantasy, and the reverse is true. Older people are more likely to vote No because they have grown up in an environment in which the Union and Empire was seen as positive. Their parents participated in WW2, the monarchy enjoyed popularity, and colonialism was promoted in their institutions. In contrast, young people are growing up in a society in which the union is negative, negligent and increasingly irrelevant. They see that it is not in their class interests to remain under Westminster rule; that parliament and the three main parties cannot represent them. They are passionate about building a new political and economic environment. It would be far more useful to them to have ‘advanced workers’, i.e. communists, assisting this movement.

• "Moreover, BBC propaganda has been extremely sympathetic to Scottish nationalism."

This is a ridiculous statement. It is entirely false. The person that wrote it either hasn’t been following the situation, or making it up as they go along. The BBC has been exceptionally biased towards the unionist argument. Scottish workers – with no official Yes organisation – have organised numerous demonstrations at the BBC’s HQ in Glasgow. There was one only a few days ago in which several hundred marched there – working class men and women, young and old.

• "Identifying ‘unionists’ as the enemy based on an allegiance to and sympathy with Irish republicans means…"

This is over-simplifying the role of unionists in Scotland. Progressive people of all religions and ethnicities oppose radical unionism because of their class role in Scotland. They have terrorised the Irish communities in Scotland. They spread imperialist, colonial, and monarchist propaganda in working class communities. And they have acted as the physical enforcer of British imperialism in Scotland.

Take, for example, Billy Fullarton and The Brigton Boys (infamously praised in Glasgow Rangers’ Billy Boys song). He was the leader of a sectarian razor gang, employed by the British state as a strike breaker during the 1926 General Strike. He is still celebrated by the Orange Order today.
The Orange Order have been prevalent in all aspects Scottish society – judiciary, politics, law, media, banking, employment, and also working class areas.

We don’t oppose unionism out of sympathy for Irish republicanism; we oppose it because it is a vicious strand of British imperialism employed in the streets of Scotland.

• "Into the gap left by the communists has crept nationalism. In England, this takes the form of anti-immigrant sentiment. That immigration is a ‘problem’ is a ‘truth’ so universally acknowledged that it is very hard to persuade workers that they have been duped on this issue… In Scotland and Wales, a more progressive-seeming brand of nationalism has been offered up as the ‘answer’ to the problems of capitalism. But its effect is the same – it gives workers a scapegoat for the ills of capitalist society.

“Don’t blame capitalism, blame the immigrants!” say the BNP and EDL to angry and disillusioned workers in England. And the media agrees. “Don’t blame capitalism, blame the English!” say the SNP and Plaid Cymru to the angry and disillusioned workers in Scotland and Wales. And the media agrees."

Conflating the Yes movement with English nationalism – BNP/EDL – is particularly low. Scottish ‘nationalism’ is calling for free public healthcare, free education including university, social housing (end of Right To Buy), denuclearisation (a real problem for UK, Europe, and NATO), nationalisation of industries, maintenance of a comprehensive welfare system, and a progressive, inclusive immigration policy.

The call for independence is not merely a nationalist one. It is progressive. Neither is it a new call. Socialists and communists have been campaigning for Scotland’s secession from the imperialist United Kingdom for a hundred years.

The Marxist revolutionary John Maclean – a man who would organise thousands of Scots, encouraged an ant-militarist stance during the Great War, and was appointed Bolshevik Consul for Scotland in in 1918 – famously said ‘Scottish separation is part of the process of England’s imperial disintegration and is a help towards the ultimate triumph of workers of the world’.

Whether you agree with this sentiment or not, to portray the call for Scottish independence as a new phenomenon and – worse still – as poisonous as BNP/EDL is wrong.

The only real nationalist voice in the Scottish independence debate is British nationalism.
• "Say yes to working-class unity, yes to revolution, and yes to a socialist future for all British workers."

The CPGB-ML was founded on the premise that there is no effective unified workers’ movement in Britain. The party is fully aware that it doesn’t exist. So to claim that Scottish workers breaking free from Westminster would somehow disrupt workers’ unity is a fable.

Likewise, the potential of socialist revolution in Britain is non-existent under present conditions.
In fact, one of the few progressive things to occur in this generation is the Scottish independence movement. It has galvanised working class people in Scotland.

What exactly would be the impediments to solidarity between workers in an independent Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland?

An independent Scotland free from Westminster with a decent programme of health, housing, education, strong public sector, progressive immigration policy, and a nuclear free nation would be an example to the English working class. Contrary to media lies, there is no anti-Englishness to the independence cause.

The CPGB-ML is right to say that the case of Scottish independence should be a class issue, not a nationalist one. However, by standing with every single representative of imperialism – UK, US, EU, NATO, Australia, the entire ‘western’ bloc; along with UKIP, BNP, Orange Order and loyalist organisations; not to mention the Labour Party, who have taken a battering in Scotland – they are standing on the wrong side.

Can you offer an explanation as to why this 'contradiction' exists? The ruling class are not trying to 'divide and conquer' us - they are unanimously in support of the union. Why, then, is it in the interests of both the ruling class and proletariat to remain in the union? It simply is not.

The working class people of Scotland have taken a significant role in the Yes campaign. Go to most housing schemes and you will see people actually interested and engaged in politics. The extraordinary voter registration – almost 98% - is down to the inclusion of previously disenfranchised working class people.

The disintegration of the imperialist ‘United Kingdom’ is inevitable – if not on Thursday then in the coming decades. It is over. Communists should recognise the class forces trying to prolong its existence, and work towards building the most progressive alternative possible.

If there’s a No vote on Thursday – the working class of Scotland will face a buoyant, vengeful Tory/UKIP coalition and another generation of austerity and cuts that we didn’t vote for. And they won’t forget who stood against them.

It’s looking increasingly likely, though, that a Yes vote will be returned. And the party will have to consider what role it will take in an independent Scotland.


Gandhi’s Grandson: What Scotland Can Learn From Indian Independence


Gopalkrishna Gandhi is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of independent India.
Mr. Gandhi, who is a former governor of West Bengal, spoke to The Wall Street Journal’s India Real Time about the independence referendum that takes place on Thursday and what Scotland could learn from India about becoming independent from Britain.

In his view, whatever the outcome of the referendum, the fact the vote is taking place at all is a big deal for democracy and Scotland will never be the same as a result.

Mr. Gandhi said his grandfather, who was the architect of India’s non-violent independence movement, would have praised the peaceful referendum process. He added that Scotland could take note of the way India’s independence leaders accommodated a broad range of views in their campaign for freedom from Britain.

Edited excerpts of the conversation with Mr. Gandhi:

The fact of the referendum is what is most important, the outcome in my mind is not so important. The asserting of the political will of a huge population is a very major step in democratic articulation, quite apart from whether Scotland decides to stay in the union.

The world is watching Scotland like it’s never watched Scotland before. There will be a certain set of expectations upon an independent Scotland as there will be upon a Scotland that decides to remain in a union.

If it chooses not to go away from union, then the world will want to know how it is coping having come within a thread of independence. It will have the status of an opposition party as it has just stopped short of forming an independent government. As such, it will be a voice of independent thought.

The world will want to know whether an independent Scotland will take a stand on global issues such as nuclear disarmament and climate change. Or, is it going to revert to its preoccupation with currency and membership of the European Union?

I don’t think I’m an authority on Gandhianism so I can’t say whether Scotland’s independence movement is Gandhian.  But the Indian National Congress was founded by a Scotsman, Allan Octavian Hume, and two Scotsmen, George Yule and William Wedderburn, were presidents of the party.

Scotland may wish to bear in mind the eclectic spirit of the Indian independence movement which was hugely broad in its spectrum of opinions including those of the Europeans and the Scottish in India.

The movement was one of representative democracy. The only majority that matters is the majority in parliament for the passing of legislation not an ethnic or religious majority. This is something which is of some value from the Indian experience and it’s achieved by policy. This is what you would expect from Scotland.

Whatever the outcome of the September 18 vote, it will be a different Scotland. If it’s yes for “no,” then I would expect the “no” camp to try to find out why anyone should want to say “yes.” If the vote goes for “yes,” then it will be important to find out why and to assure the “no” voters that their apprehensions have not gone unheard, that they will find accommodation in the new Scotland.

Mahatma Gandhi would have applauded the civility of Great Britain, including those who live outside with British citizenship. In times of high tempers and low patience, the maturity they have shown would have received his appreciation.

He would have taken this opportunity to tell the people of Great Britain what he would tell the people of India and the Indian subcontinent: We are living in times of great danger, of violence between countries and within countries of weapons of mass destruction and mass hatred.

In the hope that, if it becomes an independent country, Scotland becomes a power house for peace because he would have wanted his own country, India, to be the same.


When I first got involved in radical politics when I was 15yrs old in 1994/1995 the world struggle was reeling from historic defeat as a result of the collapse of the Eastern Socialist Bloc which supported and buoyed up the entire Global struggle against neo-colonialism and for socialism by any means necessary. The 'third world' countries independence was in jeopardy under the 'new global enclosures' of economic genocide of imf/world bank 'structural adjustment polices', and the crucifixion of Iraq in 1991 by the 'west' as an example to everyone else as to this is what we expect if we resist the empire. The west were stream rolling on us hard across the planet while relatedly the struggle in the 'west' of radical Brown and Black people (and the white left) collapsed into nearly nothing. Russia and east europe was being re-colonised by the west, nato pummelled Serbia in 1999 making sure Russia would never rise again, China was still relatively focused internally building itself up slowly but surely.

The end of the 1990s saw Chavez come to power, allying with Cuba, China, Africa (esp Gaddafi and Mugabe) etc, and opening up a new historic phase of 'latin' American native, socialist and anti-imperialist regional struggle, Russia re-asserted its dignity with the leadership of Putin, China forged ahead now increasingly uniting with Russia in backing up every corner of our GlobalSouth struggle, the 'washington consensus' of imf/wb SAPs was replaced by the Beijing consensus of respecting independence and state assets of 'third world' countries, 100s of millions of our people have been lifted out of abject poverty in China and 'latin' America (esp Brazil) and after the neo-colonial terror wars (Iraq, Serbia etc) the early and mid 2000s saw strategic victories of the Global South in direct confrontations with the west including Lebanon 2006, Intifada 2000-2003, Georgia 2008, Socialist Korea's nuclear test and continued defiance of empire's war threats, and many other victories.

Despite the ups and downs (esp Arab Sting) the world is a WHOLLY BETTER place than it was when I entered into radical politics. We need to hold on tight to our leadership and peoples, total victory is in sight but achieving it is a very precarious road.

Although nothing humans make is perfect, and never will be, appreciate what you have! Support what we have! Be loyal to what we have! We have nothing else but the alternative of going back again to the neo-colonial barbarism of total western domination. WE WILL WIN, or die trying!

- Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm


Whether Scotland gets Independent or not tomorrow, the fact is that the leading Scottish National Party (SNP) and the wider Independence movement has put Black and Asian organisations in england to utter shame. While Black and Asian radical grassroots and anti-imperialist organisations have been dwindling to nearly nothing in the last several decades in england, we have witnessed on the other hand a serious community level and national level movement led by the SNP at at times complimented by radical socialists expand steadily in Scotland (as well as Ireland, but would am sticking to Scotland here, as Ireland has some different dynamics in addition). Why has Scotland seen a expansive national movement for social rights, national independence and pro Global South politics emerge, whereas Black n Asian orgs in england have been dwindling, decreasing, and depreciating in capacity?

Basically, because the Scottish movement is predicated on UNITY of purpose, UNITY of who they are, and UNITY of will to push for what they want, whereas Black n Asian organisations in england have been DIVIDED by state divide and rule tactics for decades now, DIVIDED in their ability and will to work together and struggle together against a common enemy (the british state), and DIVIDED themselves nearly as a point of radical principle when all along it has been and continues to be the british state that is pushing this division out in a million ways and it has been internalised to a great extent.

An obvious difference and issue to raise in this analysis is that Black and Asians do not have a relatively cohesive 'identity' to that of Scottish people. However, amongst South Asian, and amongst Black people just as with Scots (albeit to a lesser extent in some ways) there are endless divisions and differences, however, this is not necessarily a barrier to unity, where there is a will there is a way, where there is a will to develop unity in diversity of anti neo-colonial and socialist and pro- Global South forces there will be ways and means to unite each other.

The lessons of the Scottish National Movement, the lessons of the Irish National Movement against imperialism should be a hard and fast lesson to what SHOULD have been a similarly vibrant, growing, uniting movement in england amongst Black and Asian people, strugglers, organisations and communities. We have seen the opposite, however some of us are committed to build JUST SUCH a movement in england. If it never happens, some of cannot say we didnt spend our precious time, money, sweat and blood trying to make it happen. SEIZE THE TIME! UNITE AGAINST THE COMMON ENEMY!

- Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm