First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in Feb 2020 she intended to invite Scotland’s ‘elected representatives’ to ‘come together to endorse a modern Claim of Right for Scotland through a new Constitutional Convention’ to:
‘declare that it is for the Scottish Parliament to decide whether and when there should be an independence choice and build support for that principle amongst civic Scotland.’
She didn’t do it.
Lord Keir Starmer, Labour Leader, said in December 2020 a constitutional commission would set out ‘a new phase of radical economic and political devolution across the United Kingdom. I want devolution and social justice to be the hallmarks of the next Labour government … It will have one overriding priority: to push power closer to people. And to deliver a more democratic and socially just United Kingdom. It will put our nations and regions at its centre … It will involve all parts of the labour movement: our members, trade unions and supporters. And it will welcome community organisations, grass roots groups, and movements for change’
Starmer seems to be backing away from his promises of radical change.
Nearly three years since Sturgeon uttered the immortal words “Constitutional Convention” and two years since Lord (Vader) Starmer uttered his immortal words “Constitutional Commission”, we are still waiting, yet the carrots are still being eaten up by the misguided and the cultists. Vince Mills describes Starmer as supine without spine, subterfuge, star-chambers, and sycophancy. He could be talking about both Starmer and Sturgeon.
Starmer has driven out the left in the Labour Party, embraced NATO, alienated the trade unions, expelled anyone who doesn’t agree with him from the party. Sturgeon has driven the fundamentalists from the party while centralising power around herself to the extent that Professor James Mitchell claimed the SNP had taken centralisation to ‘far greater levels than witnessed in the Thatcher years’ – describing this as a ‘damning indictment’.
The SNP have embraced Tory cuts while Labour embrace Tory Policy, both have embraced the Union while demonstrating their Royalist principles for all to see in all of its sycophantic glory. I talked the other day about going around in circles, I was depressed, I am still depressed about our situation, but I am not giving up, not yet anyway. I have been thinking that Alba is the future in so many ways, but are they? Alba got 45,000 votes at the last Holyrood elections, 1.7% of the vote. Alba is also calling for a constitutional convention, it is not enough, it is more talking at the end of the day.
Maybe we need to be more radical, maybe we need a party that is more left, maybe Alba is that party, maybe not, if they can get passed the hatred that many people, wrongly, have for Alex Salmond, maybe there is an alternative to the Tory Parties that infect Scotland right now. Right now, we face a Scotland that is moving more centre right and authoritarian under the SNP and in England a Labour Party hell bent on being more Tory than the Tories.
Is the way ahead a more radical left policy platform? Is the saviour of the independence movement reaching out to the Scottish sense of fair play if it actually exists. Greater centralisation is dangerous when we should be devolving as much as we can to local authorities, a national care service is not a bad idea in some ways, but not one built around appointed care boards who may be able to give out contracts to the private sector while removing local accountability. Embracing NATO and the EU is maybe not the way, maybe being neutral and a member of EFTA is. Using taxpayers’ money to enrich energy companies more than they are now is not the way ahead, but state-owned companies are.
“Think it over and see if it is not the law itself, the government which really creates crime by compelling people to live in conditions that make them bad. See how law and government uphold and protect the biggest crime of all, the mother of all crimes, the capitalistic wage system, and then proceeds to punish the poor criminal.”
– Alexander Berkman.
“Capitalism inevitably and by virtue of the very logic of its civilization creates, educates and subsidizes a vested interest in social unrest.”
– Joseph Schumpeter.
Is it time to embrace socialism, not the far-left socialism that has already been rejected but a modern socialism that borders on common sense and decency. A socialism based around fairness. Is it time to embrace devolution and make it work as a steppingstone to independence, not gradualism but good governance. Is the prospectus for an independent Scotland the work of Robin McAlpine, Common Weal, Scottish Left Review, the Jimmy Reid Foundation. If Scots are not ready, or not willing, to take a leap with independence no matter how bad things get, is the steppingstone a real left of centre, new socialism for Scotland party? Is it time to think differently to move ahead and not the same bullshit that doesn’t work, the same narrative from the SNP and Labour that is about them not us.