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The Scotland referendum shows Westminster has lost Britain's trust

Whether Scots vote Yes or No, we need a working-class offensive to turn these islands around

HOWEVER Scotland votes today, one thing is certain — the British state has lost the trust and confidence of its peoples.

The Morning Star does not support Scottish separatism. Many contributors to our pages have explained why — the constitutional fix on offer does not challenge or weaken the power of capital owned and organised at a British and international level, but runs a very serious risk of dividing and weakening the labour movement and its organisations.

But as other columnists of ours from the pro-independence left have amply demonstrated, the referendum debate has energised a people determined to strike a blow against a pampered Westminster elite.

The financial crash of 2008, long predicted by the Communist Party and others on the left, exposed the bankruptcy of the neoliberal nightmare visited on this country since the late 1970s.

Labour, in power at the time, had a chance to turn its back on Thatcherism and offer the British people an alternative — an economy owned and controlled by us.

A return to public ownership for key industries to prevent the sort of reckless speculation that caused the recession and end the “take the money and run” ethos of greedy and incompetent private companies.

Investment in house-building to solve the crisis caused by Thatcher’s right-to-buy policies and the desperate shortage of council housing.

Support for British industry and manufacturing to rebalance an economy skewed by the City of London and its crazy, unproductive financial gambling.

Labour did none of these things. It bailed out the banks with over a trillion pounds of our money but did nothing to challenge their parasitical behaviour.

It then forced the cost of this onto the backs of the working class, promoting an “austerity” agenda which is nothing more or less than the transfer of wealth from the many to the few on a colossal scale and promising cuts “worse than Thatcher” if re-elected in 2010.

No wonder it lost that election, leaving Britain in the hands of a Tory-Lib Dem coalition which has made the destruction of our public services its mission and ruined lives with its vicious assaults on social security.

Scots planning to vote Yes are absolutely right that Britain is broken. Our rulers do not represent us. The cancer of neoliberalism does not just dominate the coalition government, but retains a poisonous influence at the heart of the Labour Party.

This is not a matter of Scotland against England, or even London versus the rest.

Deprivation and poverty are widespread in the capital. As a Morning Star supporter put it at a recent debate on the referendum: “You can spit to Westminster from Tottenham, but it does us a fat lot of good.”

This is not a national issue but a class issue. Working-class unity in the face of the capitalist assault on all of us is essential.

Scotland, Wales and England alike need to see a working-class offensive that will take the fight to our rulers and change the national narrative. Our class, our countries, our culture — only these have the potential to build a better, fairer Britain.

A real, radical federalism that embodies true local democracy needs to be fought for whether Scotland decides to separate from the rest of Britain or not.

Whether it’s Yes or No when the polling booths close tonight the struggle for socialism will be our priority, north and south of the border.

The Morning Star will remain the voice of that struggle for every inhabitant of these islands.


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