With the question of Scottish independence once again topping the lunchtime news, I have to say I really do not know what to think about that. To be fed up with UK politics is quite understandable at the moment: anyone even vaguely aware of the political situation can see what a catastrophic mess the country is now in. But the Scottish nationalists think that Scotland’s route out of that mess would be to break it away from the rest of the UK. It could then rejoin the EU on it’s own.
I’m sorry, but I have to say that really strikes me as hypocritical, if not downright selfish. First, the SNP are obviously using Brexit as an excuse to further their own long-term goals; they can see how dire Brexit will be for the UK, but rather than assisting the campaign to get the whole country back into the EU, they just think in terms of their own plot of land. Membership of the European Union is founded upon the philosophy that everyone ought to work together, across national borders; so isn’t splitting from one union to join another hypocritical?
Second, if Scotland did become independent, Labour would lose all it’s voters north of the border, and the UK would probably be stuck with perpetual tory rule. The SNP know this, yet despite claiming to be left wing are willing to abandon anyone not in Scotland to suffering under the tories in order to achieve their own aims. True left wing politics is surely about seeing yourself as part of a society and caring about other people, not abandoning others to achieve your own personal goals. After all, Marx famously wrote about the workers of the world uniting. How can we unite with ever more borders being erected? The working class in Scotland might be ok, but they would have abandoned their counterparts in the rest of the UK, who have exactly the same grievances with the Tories as they do, to get there.
That’s why I still have a problem with the cause of Scottish nationalism. Obviously the whole country is up shit creek right now, but you don’t solve it’s problems by splitting one’s own small area off from the whole: that’s precisely the ‘logic’ (and I use that term loosely) which underpinned Brexit. Both are manifestations of nationalism, leading to humanity dividing itself into ever smaller, ever more adversarial blocks; and both are as bad as the other.