POLLS showing that the campaign for Scottish independence could win the referendum, due to take place in nine days time, has caused panic amongst politicians of all the main parties as well as fear in the world banking and financial sector.
The price of the pound plummeted as the international speculators sold off vast quantities of sterling in anticipation of a massive currency collapse, with the world’s largest bank, Goldman Sachs, warning that a yes vote would cause a eurozone-style currency crisis in Britain.
The decline and fall of British capitalism can be measured politically by the fact that in the 1990s the UK led the fight to smash and Balkanise the Yugoslav Federation, with the most appaling consequences, and now it is the UK that is facing being Balkanised.
Economically, the British ruling class has lost the capacity and the means to maintain the living standards and industries that held the union together. British capitalism is on its knees.
The process began with Margaret Thatcher, who made war on the working class, closing and privatising entire industries. She succeeded in making Scotland a no-go area for the Tory party. She went too far with the Poll Tax and Major managed to soldier on until 1997.
Then ‘liberation’ came with a massive Labour victory, and three Labour governments. The workers were bitterly disappointed with these regimes that were prepared for by Labour in opposition dumping socialist policies such as nationalisation, with Blair even thinking of dumping the name Labour Party.
The Blair-Brown regimes idolised the rich and the bankers, and thought they could just go on printing money for ever, boasting that they had resolved the capitalist crisis. And then came the great crash of 2008, and the return of the Tories in 2010, with their austerity, austerity and yet more austerity measures.
It was under these conditions that a section of the working class in Scotland was hijacked by the Scottish landowning Tories of the SNP, who adopted some ‘socialist’ demands, and proclaimed that the way forward was actually backwards, to the constitutional arrangements of the 17th century, when James I of England was James VI of Scotland. This with the slight modification that the new Scotland would as well as keeping the monarchy, keep the pound!
In fact, this historic arrangement was busted up by the English and Scottish bourgeoisie who went on to form the union that launched British capitalism into world domination. The cry then was ‘forward’, now it is ‘back’ with the collapse of British capitalism.
It is the reformist Labour Party and union leaders that are politically responsible for this situation. 1997-2010 was the period of the great betrayal that drove a section of the Scottish workers into the hands of the reactionary nationalists.
We urge the Scottish workers to vote ‘no’ to a return to the past and to mobilise along with all British workers to carry out the required socialist revolution to put an end to British capitalism and establish a workers republic to replace the UK, and go forward to socialism.
Whatever the result of the referendum, British capitalism is in desperate straits. It is on the brink of bringing in the most draconian anti-union laws since the Combination Acts and is determined to make zero-hours contracts mandatory for all workers. In this, it is also seeking to return to the past, that is the 19th century.
However, a ‘yes’ vote may well accelerate the economic and political crisis and see the UK bosses and bankers imposing draconian measures both economic and political onto the working class. They are already talking about postponing the general election and rushing in new anti-union laws.
The working class and the trade unions must be ready for an eruption of the economic and political crisis. In the event of an attempt to postpone the general election, or introduce other draconian measures, the TUC must be made to call an indefinite general strike to bring down the government and bring in a workers government carrying out socialist measures. Such a government will rapidly win the support of all workers in England and Scotland and be able to replace the union with a British workers republic and socialism.