A “Yes” vote in favour of Scottish independence would represent the biggest constitutional crisis in Britain in decades, as well as a major political crisis. The growing support for independence must be seen in the context of the current social and economic crisis, especially the enormous unpopularity of all the Westminster parties.
Ironically the so-called ‘devolution max’ deal which they are now offering was originally proposed by the Scottish National Party (SNP) in 2012 and rejected by the Con-Dem government. The independence vote has become a mass revolt against austerity, with many working class people supporting it as a way to hit back at the hated Westminster political elite – the millionaire Etonians and their friends in the city who support wage freezes and savage cuts to benefits and the public sector. In the absence of mass trade union action against the cuts, the referendum has taken on a proxy form of class struggle, reflecting the huge anger and desire for economic and social change.
The legacy of Thatcherism, the vile poll tax, the miners’ strike, mass unemployment and the destruction of communities under the Tories all influence the “Yes” vote. British capitalism is being punished for its past and present crimes. The Labour leaders, who promise to implement Tory austerity if elected, are hated almost as much as the Tories. 61% of Scottish voters don’t trust Darling, head of the ‘Better Together’ campaign. 67% distrust Miliband, scarcely better than David Cameron, distrusted by 73%. By the same token, many don’t trust the SNP leaders either – 58% say they don’t trust what Alex Salmond has to say. Many YES voters are asking: How can a ‘better and fairer’ Scotland be built? How can cuts be stopped, the minimum wage increased and public services maintained? – Hear the Socialist Case for Scottish Independence, Wed, 17 September