Against imperialism and the British monarchy and for workers’ control of Scottish energy resources!
Communist League (Brazil)
Bolshevik Militant Tendency (Argentina)
8 September 2014
STATEMENT OF THE LIAISON COMMITTEE FOR THE FOURTH INTERNATIONAL
The organizations of the Liaison Committee for the Fourth International did not reach a common agreement about what tactics to adopt on the referendum on the independence of Scotland. The Communist League of Brazil and the Bolshevik Militant Tendency of Argentina argues for a “YES” vote but Socialist Fight of Great Britain argues for a vote "NO". Our young proto-international, which aspires to build as a centralized international party, has not built enough internal structures to act on the majority position by an internal LCFI vote on this issue. We don’t hide our internal disagreements about this tactic and we believe that the publication of the two positions is the most honest way of dealing with the topic before the working-class, the the oppressed and its world class vanguard.
Next September 18, there will be a referendum in Scotland to decide if the country splits or not from the United Kingdom. One of the important economic issues that are behind this legal-political decision is the question of North Sea oil.
“The territorial sea adjacent to the North Atlantic and the North Sea contains the largest oil reserves in the European Union” [ 1 ]
This part of the ocean is, today the personal property of the British Crown. It is no coincidence that the Queen is “scared” as the polls that give victory to the “yes” in the referendum [ 2 ].
Independent of bourgeois interests and imperialist aspirations of the leaders of the campaign for independence, even if the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) is a bourgeois party of the centre-right, who now tries to seduce the EU and USA to win sympathies to break with his current love imperialist, one cannot in any way rule out the fundamental fact that this disruption may cause serious energy problems for the British imperialism.
“The Scottish government led by Prime Minister, Alex Salmond, said the 300 years of union no is longer suitable and argues that if Scotland were independent, with its oil wealth would be one of the richest countries in the world. He says it’s time for the country to take control of their own destiny, to be free of what he describes as the ‘shackles’ of a Parliament of the United Kingdom, which is based in London. On the opposite side of the debate is the government of the United Kingdom, led by Prime Minister David Cameron which says that Britain’s social and political Union is one of the most successful in the world. Issues related to the gains with oil are among the major disagreements about the permanence of Scotland in the United Kingdom. Oil and gas reserves in the North Sea (or, more precisely, the tax burden that accrues to Scotland) are vital to understand that the Scottish government defend the independence of the country. Alex Salmond claims that, if you keep a tenth of the revenue of oil; about £ 1 billion per year (about US $ 3.8 billion), that could form a fund similar to the one used in Norway, creating a sovereign wealth pot of £ 30 billion (about US $ 114 billion) along a generation” [ 3 ]
Even assuming that the revenue from the North Sea oil will decrease in the coming years, as all the wells in operation in the world today, which makes the British imperialism as “scared” before the risk of losing Scotland is the fact that under current conditions, with Scotland and the North Sea under the complete domination of UK financial capital together tends to face serious energy problems: “The Department of Energy and Climate Change reckons UK oil production will decline from 43m tonnes this year to 23m a year by 2030." [ 4 ]
SCOTLAND IS NOT A SMALL COUNTRY IMPERIALIST,
SCOTLAND IS A "DEPENDENT COUNTRY" OF BRITISH IMPERIALISM
Scotland is a small country in the imperialist Marxist sense this characterization. For the Marxists, imperialism is the expansionist policy of the financial capital. The trade deficit of Scotland with the United Kingdom and the crisis of the banks of Scotland show that Scotland is financially dependent on imperialism of the United Kingdom. In the world there are not only imperialist countries and oppressed country. We believe that the category of “dependent country”, used by Lenin to define the dependency of Portugal and Argentina in relation to the British capital, apply today to Scotland.
“Scotland’s exports to the rest of UK (rUK) account for 70% of its exports. Exports account for 11% of Scotland rUK exports. So Scottish capitalism is heavily integrated into British capitalism, more so than Canada into the US. In 2012, Scottish exports to rUK amounted to £ 48bn while rUK exports to Scotland were £ 59bn. So an independent Scotland would run a trade deficit with its main trading partner, the rUK, thus requiring investment or credit funds from ‘ abroad ‘ to fill the gap. Scotland would be the small capitalist state dependent on trade with rUK and little possibility of reducing that dependence.
Scotland’s exports to the rest of UK (rUK) account for 70% of its exports. Exports to Scotland account for 11% of rUK exports. So Scottish capitalism is heavily integrated into British capitalism, more so than Canada into the US. In 2012, Scottish exports to rUK amounted to £48bn while rUK exports to Scotland were £59bn. So an independent Scotland would run a trade deficit with its main trading partner, the rUK, thus requiring investment or credit funds from ‘abroad’ to fill the gap. Scotland would be a small capitalist state dependent on trade with rUK and little possibility of reducing that dependence…
Scotland as a small economy, dependent on multinationals for investment, still dominated by British banks and the City of London and without control of its own currency or interest rates, could face a much bigger hit than elsewhere in terms of incomes and unemployment.” [ 5 ]
Scotland is a country that is economically dependent on the United Kingdom and the Scottish bourgeoisie simply want greater political independence to keep a bigger share of the national wealth for themselves (natural resources, asset, etc.). Obviously, in their struggle for self-determination from Scotland, the proletariat cannot be content with a mere change of lover. In this process, as well as in Ukraine at the end of 2013, the limited plans of the Scottish bourgeoisie can be blown apart.
The independence of Scotland would be an advantage for the international proletariat and the oppressed around the world not by bourgeois and pro-imperialist policy of the SNP but why would cripple:
1) The United Kingdom, the main ally of the hegemonic imperialist State, the USA, in Europe and throughout the world;
2) The main centre of European financial capital;
3) The British monarchy, key component of cohesion of the United Kingdom and important part of the British and European financial capital;
IMPERIALISM AND THE CLASS CHARACTER OF THE STATE
ARE THE CRITERIA FOR THE DEFENCE OF THE STRUGGLE FOR SELF-DETERMINATION
As the phrase attributed to Scottish guerrilla hero, William Wallace proclaims, “every man dies, but not everyone lives”, all the national demands for independence, but there’s only one true national liberation, when these national demands drive forward progressive tasks for the oppressed.
It is necessary to make it clear that self-determination of Scotland, so with the self-determination of Donbass and Crimea, in the Ukraine, weaken imperialism. As opposed to this situation, there are “self-determinations” that strengthen imperialism:
a) The “independence” of Tibet, in China, aims to weaken the capitalist imperialist, not state that today plays in the world against the imperialist hegemony;
(b) The “Malvinas” independence in relation to Argentina, aims to give a legal façade of “sovereignty” to a British imperialist enclave in the South Atlantic;
c) In its time, the “independence” of Kosovo against Serbia, to become a mafia colony and narco-trafficker of imperialism and the Afghan heroin trade route;
d) Lastly, the policy of division of any workers state, in the name of the struggle for “self-determination” are counterrevolutionary processes as were the processes in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, once that points to a regression of the class character of the state in question and a return to capitalism.
THE INDEPENDENCE OF SCOTLAND
DIVIDES THE BRITISH WORKING CLASS?
British. We, on the contrary, agree with Lenin on the national self-determination and we believe that if British workers are supporting the independence of Scotland wins the British proletariat unit. Because, in this case, the Scottish workers if more strongly identify with the British workers as its class brothers, in addition to the Division of capitalist States.
Many organizations say the independence for Scotland will break the unity of the working class. We, on the contrary, agree with Lenin on the question of national self-determination and believe that if the English workers support the independence of Scotland that will be unite the British proletariat. Because, in this case, Scots workers will identify more strongly with English workers as their class brothers in addition to the division of capitalist states.
“Nationalism is rooted in the popular classes but generates rejection among the high, who see independence as a factor of instability and a financial risk.” (El Correo, The impossible battle against the clock of Scottish nationalism) [ 6 ]
Lenin stated that the Swedish social democracy would betray the proletariat if they did not support the independence of Norway. With regard to Norway’s independence from Sweden, the founder of Bolshevism stood thus:
“What position did the Norwegian and Swedish proletariat take, and indeed had to take, in the conflict over secession? After Norway seceded, the class-conscious workers of Norway would naturally have voted for a republic,  and if some socialists voted otherwise it only goes to show how much dense, philistine opportunism there sometimes is in the European socialist movement. There can be no two opinions about that, and we mention the point only because Rosa Luxemburg is trying to obscure the issue by speaking off the mark…
There cannot be the slightest doubt that the Swedish Social-Democrats would have betrayed the cause of socialism and democracy if they had not fought with all their might to combat both the landlord and the “Kokoshkin” ideology and policy, and if they had failed to demand, not only equality of nations in general (to which the Kokoshkins also subscribe), but also the right of nations to self-determination, Norway’s freedom to secede.
The close alliance between the Norwegian and Swedish workers, their complete fraternal class solidarity, gained from the Swedish workers’ recognition of the right of the Norwegians to secede. This convinced the Norwegian workers that the Swedish workers were not infected with Swedish nationalism, and that they placed fraternity with the Norwegian proletarians above the privileges of the Swedish bourgeoisie and aristocracy.
The Swedish workers… will be able to preserve and defend the complete equality and class solidarity of the workers of both nations in the struggle against both the Swedish and the Norwegian bourgeoisie.” [ 7 ]
Everything that was said above, we conclude that self-determination of Scotland should not be seen as an insular issue, but as an issue directly linked to the interests of the oppressed people of the whole planet, because the independence of Scotland would cripple the British wing of imperialism that today oppresses all the oppressed peoples of the Earth. In turn, on the basis of that we previously about the historical interests of the British and international proletariat, it is clear that the accusation of “third worldism” against those who defend self-determination for Scotland to weaken the British imperialist State is a comparable “idiotic charges of anti-Semitism” which are launched by the Zionists against their critics.
The main imperialist British parties, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour party members are heirs of the great enemy of Scottish independence in recent decades, Thatcherism.
“The progress of the pro-independence movement were slowed when the Scottish National Party supported a motion of censure against the Government and forced a general election in 1979 that gave the victory to the great adversary of independence, Margaret Thatcher.” [ 8 ]
The trade bureaucracy are pro-imperialist unionist and follows the political position of these parties on the Scottish question. Finally faltering centrism follows the trade-off unionist bureaucracy. All these agents of British imperialism plead in frank opposition to Scottish independence.
The people who comprise the five million inhabitants of Scotland is more inclined to vote for “YES”, on the other hand, the business community opposes the independence of the country:
“This week’s Scottish Social Attitudes survey shows a strong correlation between support for independence and social class. Some 40% of households earning under £14,300 are likely to vote yes, while wealthy Scots are resolutely hostile, and 72% of business leaders are hostile to independence.” [ 9 ]
But if you had any questions of how can be progressive, Scotland’s independence in relation to the United Kingdom, for the oppressed peoples of the planet, the former defence Secretary and NATO between 1997 and 199, during the Labour Government of Tony Blair, Lord (George) Robertson tried to dispel:
“Scotland becoming independent would be catastrophic; this will help the forces of darkness, which would threaten the stability of the Western world ‘. Speaking at the Brookings Institute in America, Lord Robertson said that Britain was still a ‘great world power and whatever our occasional failures, we’re still an anchor in the Western world,’ he said, pointing to the budget of the United Kingdom international aid, of ‘formidable’ diplomatic and military reach. Lord Robertson said that the international community was about to confront with the ‘dramatic’ implications of a victory vote ‘yes’ in the referendum of independence of Scotland on 18 September. ‘Who else would celebrate the break-up of Britain but our adversaries and our enemies? The division of world military power in the Western hemisphere this year would be catastrophic in geopolitical terms,’ said Lord Robertson. ‘If the United Kingdom has to face a breakup and is involved for several years in a torrid separation, complex, difficult and debilitating, it would steal from the West a key partner, serious, solid and with cold nerves. No one should underestimate the effect this would have on existing global balances. The dark forces simply will love it.” [ 10 ]
Because of the importance of Scotland for the United Kingdom and to imperialism in general the effect of its independence would be a Falklands world defeat multiplied by ten. Therefore, we are under no illusions what their independence if consolidated through election means, even if the “YES” can overcome a hypothetical electoral fraud. At the point where the Anglo-Saxon imperialist bloc prepares to face the bloc of Russia and China and their allies they will not allow the independence of Scotland to be consolidate though peaceful and legal means.
Even if opportunistically, the Scottish National Party has retreated to agree to the accession of Scotland to NATO in order to win the votes of the right-wing sectors of the nation,
“Lord Robertson also suggested Alex Salmond’s pro-Nato stance was an “electoral fix” which contradicted the SNP’s opposition to nuclear weapons. He said the 28 Nato members were unlikely to allow a country join which specifically barred ships carrying nuclear weapons from entering its waters, as outlined currently by the SNP.” (idem)
Revolutionaries delimit Scottish nationalism who seeks the separation of the United Kingdom to join the imperialist states of continental Europe under the slogan “independence within Europe”, but, at the same time it we believes that it is the duty of every Bolshevik to fight for independence of Scotland.
But in all this there is a "however":
“If Scotland joins the EU as a separate member, it will be subject to the severe fiscal austerity targets now being imposed on the likes of Greece, Portugal, Spain and others by the EU under its fiscal pacts.” [ 11 ]
In this case, the jump from the gallows Scotland, the United Kingdom, to the guillotine, the EU, and the SNP can not get to fulfill what is promised to the EU, well as the bourgeois oligarch Yanokovich declined at the last minute in 2013, failing to sign the agreements imposed by the Union European Governance, which generated around the current conflict in Ukraine.
Today, the firmest supporter of Scottish independence, the Scottish proletariat, must prepare for the fight ahead. You must make your cause the cause of the international proletariat and oppressed peoples from all over the world.
The SNP see their vision of an independent Scotland as one where banks and big business continue to accumulate profits and capital; and where land ownership is the most concentrated in the developed world (half of Scotland’s land is owned by just 500 people).
“We are now six years into an SNP government which has done absolutely nothing legislatively about the most concentrated, most inequitable, most unreformed and most undemocratic land ownership system in the entire developed world”, Jim Hunter, Land Reform Review Group.” [ 12 ]
We fight for the vote “YES” for Scottish independence, which is part of a democratic and national program is combined with claims of a transitional program that transform this fight in a revolutionary socialist and anti-imperialist struggle.