Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon is being derided by the mainstream media in England for saying she hates Tories. There are many reasons why we in Anti*Capitalist Resistance disagree with the First Minister – this is not one of them. Of course tactically she is right to emphasise that it was the profoundly reactionary policies of this party that she particularly hates. But in reality individuals have a role in politics – and this party in government in Westminster has presided over the deaths of countless people over the decade or more they have ruled us all.
People have died as the Tories under Johnson handed out lucrative contracts for PPE that would end up in the bin because it provided no protection. People are dying because the NHS has been drained of resources by privatisation and cuts. People have died because they have to choose not only between heating and eating but between their own needs and those that depend on then. People are dying because not all benefits were uplifted even during the pandemic. And while our class has the as wealth we create stolen from us, profits soar exponentially and the Tories rub their hands with glee as we saw with Kwateng’s recent budget.
These Tory policies, deepened by the disastrous fall-out fromBrexit, by and large impact on working class people whether they live in Scotland, Wales, the North of Ireland or in England. The devolved administrations in Wales and in Scotland have some limited powers to alleviate the worst of these disasters.
But as Anti*Capitalist Resistance, a revolutionary organisation in England and Wales, we know that for people in Scotland the fact that they have never voted for a Tory government makes the taste of their anti-working class medicine even more bitter. We remember when Thatcher used Scotland as the testing ground for the hated poll tax. We remember the lies told to people in Scotland during the Independence referendum campaign. These are just some of the reasons why we stand with you today and say ‘Let the people decide.’
We also have something we want to say to other socialists in England – and even some in Wales – who hesitate to support this basic democratic demand. We believe the breakup of the British state is in all our interests. The union jack – rightly known as the Butcher’s apron by Irish republicans – has been used as a basis to divert people to support their own rulers against peoples struggling for their rights in many parts of the globe. It’s an imperialist flag to which we pay no loyalty, to which we bend no knee.
Internationalism is built by bonds of solidarity between working class people on an equal basis. Arguments that say that, for example, people in Scotland – or indeed in Wales – should not organise for independence because that will make it harder to throw out the Tories from Westminster are arguments that are void of principle – and lack of confidence in movements from below. That is why we have no hesitation to bring you solidarity and internationalist greetings today.