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Your right to determine your future

Scottish Communists believe people collectively have the right to determine their future. That will require building an alliance that can isolate and defeat monopoly capital and, through struggle, expose the exploitative and oppressive nature of its power, and of the capitalist state itself.
Over a number of years, Britain’s inadequate model of democracy has been weakened. We have witnessed the interests of monopoly capital limit the scope of institutions. For example:

· The EU fettering our national parliament;

· Denying the Scottish Parliament the powers necessary to intervene decisively in our economy;

· Westminster and Hollyrood parliaments hollowing out local government, slashing funding, and privatising services

· Local authorities, in the main run by senior officers due to weak political representation, reducing community representative models of accountability;

· An unelected House of Lords.

The Tories continue to promote sham forms of democracy which, in reality, are about a further centralisation of powers in favour of unaccountable big business interests.

Following the right-wing Brexit, the Tory Government’s imposition of the Internal Market Act is designed to stop Scotland making unilateral strategic state aid interventions (for example to promote particular industries or to save jobs).The SNP and Greens call for an ‘Independent’ Scotland but also want to re-join the EU, risking shackling Scotland to all the neo-liberal pressure of big business and robbing it of powers to intervene democratically in its own economy.

It is against this backdrop that the Communist Party’s programme British Road to Socialism (BRS) indicates that “the struggle to promote the economic and social interest of working people is directly linked with the battle to expand democracy against the power of big business.

The debate around independence in Scotland requires Party members to go back to basics and consider a Marxist understanding of nations and nationality. Marx understood that such entities are not fixed, they are not products of nature but come into being as a result of socio-historical processes.

Forged in the course of class struggle, each new ruling class seeks to re-mould national culture and ideology in its own image and interests. At any particular point in history, loyalties will be defined by the dominant class.

There is a need to avoid emotive appeals and to base our strategic analysis and tactical moves on an understanding of the balance of class forces and trends at any given moment.

There is an (understandable) tendency to consider proposals for governmental reform (e.g. constitutional matters, the organisation of regional and local government) on technocratic grounds. Instead, the BRS calls for political judgements on whether new institutions will help “to shift the balance of power in favour of the majority and enable working people and their allies to exercise increasing control over the allocation of resources at federal, national and regional level.”

Specifically, and linked to the current debate over further devolution to the Scottish Parliament, the BRS calls for:

  1. A British federal parliament, elected by STV in multi-member constituencies to have jurisdiction over foreign affairs, defence, macro-economic policy and national insurance, the power to raise taxes on wealth and income and the responsibility to redistribute income among the nations and regions on the basis of social need.
  2. National parliaments in Scotland, Wales and England together with English regional assemblies should be elected on the same basis, with powers to raise revenue and specifically to advance democratic control through public ownership, state investment and public procurement.
  3. A federal upper chamber elected by the national parliaments and regional assemblies.

Views & Statements

Sturgeon resigns: where now for Scotland’s working people?

Today (15 February 2023)  Nicola Sturgeon resigns as the longest serving First Minister of Scotland after more than 8 years. Turning away from the speeches and the media circus, it is important for working people to ask – what is … Continued

Scotland’s Communists are fighting for Progressive Federalism

The CP response to the Labour Party’s commission on the Britain’s Future The Communist Party defends the right of the Scottish people to self determination and to hold a referendum on their constitutional future. We reject anti-democratic manoeuvrings by the … Continued

Scotland, electoral politics and class struggle

Scottish politics is not irreversibly dominated by a Conservative-voting English electorate.Voting SNP in Scotland is no route to a Socialist Scotland. The Communist Party conducts its campaigning politics both on the electoral front and in workplaces, communities, colleges and universities, … Continued

Homes for people, not investment opportunities say communists.

A construction worker, talking to Leith Walk Ward election candidate (May 2022) Richard Shillcock, compared greenfield new-builds springing up outside Edinburgh and new city-centre luxury apartments. “The irony is, they’re made of the same stuff—concrete, plasterboard, metal fixings. Neither are … Continued

The Nation’s Shame – Give change the green light, this year!

“The number of needles I’ve picked up out of the garden…” – an increasingly common sentiment in Leith, demonstrating just how severe and neglected the situation is. With Scotland having one of the highest rates of drug related death in … Continued