2007 - 2021

Why Left support in the ‘Disunited Queendom’ is important to winning independence

Left support in the ‘Disunited Queendom’ is important to winning independence for Scotland (and international peace) argues Dougie Harrison.

Like most oldies who now support independence, this was not always my position. As a Scot and a socialist, I’ve always wanted power to be devolved to Scotland. As a significant figure on the Scottish left, including years as economic advisor to the Scots trades union movement, I worked hard for devolution for many decades, from the 1960s onwards. It was only after we had won our devolved Parliament, and I was employed for some years by a health charity to lobby it, that I came to understand at first hand its limitations (I’m an economist). And the need for independence.

And whilst independence now appears within our grasp, it will escape us unless we win more support in Scotland. And from furth of our nation. Including the left in ‘our’ DQ. Today I read of the 19th successive poll supporting independence. But only by a whisker. 51% is not enough to give us confidence that we can beat the full-on war which the ‘UK’ establishment’ will throw at us. We were only allowed a referendum in 2014 because ‘our’ rulers were confident we would lose. They aren’t so sure now … they huvnie a clue.

Remember Gordy’s ‘vow’ – and the fact that he made it only shortly before the referendum, AFTER the first poll suggesting we might win? Well, it worked, didn’t it? We lost. And we’ll lose the next one – indeed, may never have it – unless we get our act together.

The first stage in which is understanding WHY the DQ’s ruling class needs Scotland. Aye, there’s oil and gas, important even in a post-Greta world. And we have many other economic strengths. But I suspect the most important reason of all is strategic geography.

Scotland’s location, and specifically the base for nuclear-armed submarines less than thirty miles from my home, is a good 4-500 sea-miles from Devon/Cornwall by international waters. And Devon/Cornwall have the only sites suitable for Trident in England. It’s just… Cornwall is well over 24 hours of fast cruising by submarine FURTHER AWAY from the strategic gap into the Atlantic from Russia’s only ice-free European port of Murmansk, than Faslane is.

That’s why the DQ ruling class needs us; because possessing Scotland allows them to threaten Russia more convincingly, militarily. And aye… although planes are a wee bit faster than submarines, having air surveillance/‘defence’ based on the Moray Firth rather than East Anglia helps too.

That’s why ‘owning’ Scotland is crucial to the deluded fools in the DQ’s ruling class. If you don’t believe me, ask yourself please, why did Macmillan’s Tories in the late 50s invite the USA to park its nuclear-armed subs in the Holy Loch? Aye, it’s a long way from London. But the Clyde controls access to Russia’s only ice-free Atlantic port. The USA military needed Scotland. So the Tories rented it – our Scotland – to them.

The only folk in England likely to help us win independence are the left. Who else believes in and supports nuclear disarmament? That, and not because I’m a socialist, is why I’ve been running what sometimes feels like a one-person campaign to help the English left understand why they must support Scottish independence.

And it’s also why the SNP must stick to its admirable policy, that one of the first things an independent Scots Government must do is kick Trident out of Faslane. But unless we do something, we can’t be sure they’ll stick to it.

Let’s see how anxious the good citizens of Devon and Cornwall are to be the No 1 nuclear target in Europe. That will certainly revivify the English left! Because it will give them something on which they can win.

So, dear Bella readers, what can you do? Quite a lot, actually:

  • Ensure the SNP sticks to its anti-nuclear policy;
  • Get your trades union branch (if you’re not in one, why not?) or other organisation to pass an appropriate resolution – and publicise it – and let London know! If you’re in a ‘UK’ organization especially, get it on the agenda for its next conference;
  • Join Scottish CND now;
  • Write letters to your papers on the issue;
  • Tell your MP – and local Tory Party – what you’re doing.
  • When covid allows it, organise a wee demonstration where you live… to help your neighbours understand.

Aye, it might take longer than Nicola’s telling us to actually get there. Don’t worry, Rome wasnie built in a day – and neither was Scotland. Our independence was sold in 1707 for English gold, or at least for trading access to English colonies.

I’m nearly 74, and I’d like to know that my grandchildren will live in an independent Scotland, even if I never see it, lovely though that would be. But I’m not impatient, and neither should you be. Victory is rather better than defeat, it can just take a wee while to win it. And there’s literally a world at stake. Every wee thing you do will have an effect. But if all you do is read Bella and wish… well, precisely nothing will change. When we win independence is affected by what you do – or don’t do.

 

Comments (24)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Bob Goupillot says:

    Hi Dougie
    I think that you are absolutely right that one of reasons that the UK state hangs onto Scotland is so that it can place its, USA controlled, nuclear weapons closer to Russia. I also agree that we need to make links with the English, Irish and Welsh Left as our natural allies. I am part of the Radical Independence Campaign and we have been putting forward these arguements since the last referendum campaign and attempting to make those links.

    1. Dougie Harrison says:

      Good to hear from you Bob. I’m in the Scottish Greens, so we’re not far apart.

    2. Dougie Blackwood says:

      Don’t hear so much from RIC these days which is a pity. I joined a mass campaign effort with RIC in the south side of Glasgow (Castlemilk I think) in 2014 and that was my first experience of door knocking. That evening was a delight; the people that we spoke to were mostly Labour voters and were not yet convinced about independence. Without doubt I convinced several of the people I spoke to and thereafter became an active member of the Helensburgh “Yes” campaign. I joined the SNP as a vehicle to independence but have strong leanings toward the left and green politics.

      We used to think of Labour as being a party of the left but led by Blair and Brown then subsequent nonentities have lost their way and almost all support in Scotland. SNP’s main plank is independence and are supported by many people, like myself, that think they are not radical enough. Their platform and policies are aimed at the middle ground and social democracy with the specific aim of not frightening off those from the centre right.

      I thought about RISE for a second vote but I’m afraid that many of those in that area of politics are too committed to the one true path and cannot agree among themselves on the way forward then splinter into irrelevance. In that vote I went for Green for second.

      Will ISP get their act together and be the only Indy supporting party to stand list only? It is stupidity for more than one team to try to fill that slot and even worse if they were to stand constituency candidates.

      Greens must still be considered but, in my view, they are the tail wagging the SNP dog in Holyrood; without them the budget will not pass and they demand some OTT concessions like workplace parking taxes.

      What is to be hoped is that once we gain our independence the SNP will break apart and we have a range of views in a truly proportional Scottish Parliament. I believe we will be able to create a left of centre country where the bottom of the heap are protected and helped; where those that presently have snouts deeply in the trough fof our economy are given a good bit less.

      1. Bob Goupillot says:

        Hi Dougie Blackwood

        There is an attempt to re-launch RIC. I know that at least one group in Glasgow restarted before xmas. Please feel free to contact me if I can help you re-connect.

        Best regards

        Bob

  2. Martin Coffield says:

    Thanks for an articulate article. I have shared.

  3. Daniel Raphael says:

    As always, it is good to hear voices of sanity and compassion in a world dominated by the lucrative selling of weaponry. I’ll send along your fine article to as many as I can tag in my tweet.
    Peace and independence to all of you–and us.

  4. David Mackenzie says:

    Thanks for this sharp and thoughtful piece! The Nuclear Ban Treaty (TPNW) which enters into force in 3 hours time is a gift to Scotland for banishing the nukes. Great that that the FM has this week repeated her commitment to an independent Scotland ratifying it. That will mean that the focus of negotiations re getting rid of them will be sited principally at the UN and the meeting of State Parties, rather than being between us and a threatening Westminster with the shadow of the US behind them. That’s the commitment we must hold them to. The world is watching.

  5. Dougie Harrison says:

    Many thanks to all those who have made, or even just thought, supportive comments on this wee piece. I don’t pretend that I’m always right, naebody is. But I do try and think – and read! – through good reasons for winning independence. Which includes fighting for socialism.

  6. Blair says:

    Dougie,

    If you read more of Bella’s articles and comments you will find other possible routes to create an independent Scotland.

    Power currently is with and controlled by Westminster, unless our rulers are challenged by some of my more imaginable ideas, then the best way is to win a majority of seats at the next General Election: This means getting The SNP to recruit prospective candidates for all the seats and hope to win through having better policies or taking a chance with a new political party.

    The party manifesto must be clear on policy to redefine borders, I cannot see any reason why the North of England cannot become part of Scotland again. Is there anything to stop a party with a clear majority of the House of Commons from moving the borders as they please?

    With a real unionist challenge, I think Boris & his nasty nationalist Tory Party would rather be dead in a ditch than face sharing out our Queendoms treasures.

    Joining unions, CND, writing to MP’s etc. belong to a bygone age of doing things. Modern ways use IT, Elections can be won and lost depending on algorithms and who understands what the complexity & change of management processes.

    A lot has changed since Indyref1, systems are so complex that cheating is just deemed impossible! That’s AI for democracy and US.

    It wasn’t that long ago when people said the camera never lies!

    Your grandchildren are ‘lucky’. They live in Scotland, Home to Bella Caledonia, Living Spirits and the Holy Ghost.

    As one Donald J. Trump said “‘luck’ , is a very important work”

    Done through hard work.

    -CVB.

    1. Blair says:

      Sorry meant to type word instead of work re Donald J Trump.

    2. Dougie Harrison says:

      Blair, should you ever trawl through Bella articles over the past few years, it will become apparent to you that I’m no newbie to this site, and neither have I been afraid to post my views where I deem it helpful. Reading Bella, or at least scanning pieces relevant to my interests, is a daily part of my life. But this is the first article I have tried to have published through Bella. And whilst I’m happy to acknowledge my own limitations, and accept helpful advice, my life’s work means that I have had to understand how the DQ State works, thank you.

      Of course you’re correct that online work is crucial in today’s politics. I’m afraid I’m very much of a pre-online generation; I didn’t use my first computer until the still offline early years of the 1990s. So I don’t try and pretend to advise folk on using what for me is still new technology; I prefer to concentrate on using my auld grey matter in ways I think might help take Scotland and the world forward.

      1. Neil MacGillivray says:

        Times my resolve to see an independent Scotland weakens but reading this I have renewed hope for a country free of the abomination of nuclear weapons. I am a member of CND and although a long time member of the SNP if they weaken on nuclear weapons I will cease to give them my support and join the Scottish Greens. There are many in the rest of the UK who are anti nuclear and we must seek their support as Dougie suggests. Vows from the like of G Brown will cut no ice next time but rest assured that the British state will do everything in its power, legal and doubtful, to keep us unfree and do their bidding. The Tories have survived as a powerful force through the 20th century and must never be underestimated; moreover they have the media barons with their papers on their side and they will have learned much from the last referendum, if you must tell a lie tell a big one and as the Nazis knew keep repeating it.

        1. Dougie Harrison says:

          Precisely Neil! Thank you for this.

      2. Blair says:

        Dougie,

        Apologies, I’m learning too.

        With Bella we have duality, we learn & teach. We, as a collective are creating works that will change the world by taking back control from the fallen Angels and restore our world to the way God intended it to be.

        https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2019%3A23-30&version=NKJV

        With God all things are possible.

        1. Dougie Harrison says:

          Blair, you and this auld and quite convinced atheist are far apart on some issues. But not on the need for Scotland to regain its independence. Thank you for your apology, which is accepted. We’ll win in the end.

          1. Blair says:

            Thanks Dougie,

            Our government systems are corrupt, I would not be surprised if #Indyref1 had been manipulated to produce the result that Scotland is expected to endure for a generation.

            It’s through Bella and articles like:

            https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2021/01/21/january-22-day-of-the-plurinational-state-of-bolivia/#comments

            I have been able to piece together a more complete view to the current worldview:

            https://www.encyclopedia.com/philosophy-and-religion/philosophy/philosophy-terms-and-concepts/worldview-philosophy

            AI and Cyber technologies interest me because I have studied these technologies development and I have made my own Neural based creation through Christina. Readers will have noticed I include religion and God in the weltanschauung “‘Christ in a’ Project: Neural Processing for Governments”.

            Unfortunately for me, our UK Governments and the EU have just dismissed my communications with them. They just respond with standard responses telling me what they have done! Their systems are way out of date and they don’t understand IT.

            Christina uses a 3-phase Neural Processing Architecture. Software written in C-IT. All. With all the I have now through lockdown I am just discovering that nothing is as it seems!
            Governments may think that they are in control but there is a level above that is able to manipulate towards a peaceful unity!

            EQUINE VIIRUS AND BREXIT, false flags?

            Covid-19 and worldwide lockdowns, possibly the real thing?

            1 Corinthians 15 is also significant, especially with the last trump.

            In the UK, the Michael Gove lineage is connected to this historic Bohemian (founding father’s of America) plan: Boris is just being used.

            Scotland is important, it is part of their kingdom plan (see New Scotland Yard) for security and peace.

            In readers have visions of doom, then God’s Revelation 17:12:

            https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation%2017&version=KJV

            Tells of God’s plan.

            I too was once an atheist but I am no longer a disbeliever in God.

            -CVB.

  7. Thom Cross says:

    A left fertilizer is a necessary ingredient in the successful growth of a national movement. However unless we are talking of a national liberation movement ( which we are not) then there is an inherent danger that left demands and objectives drive the centre towards the safe status quo. Secondly the left seeking power within the national movement creates schisms that are
    then exploited by Unionism. Finally left entryism with cells of left supporters can so fracture the broad coalition , the vital force for winning public acceptance , that the hostility created implodes the fragile mass indi movement. Shouty leftism can easily become an “infantile disorder”. This is no reflection on the article .

  8. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    While I agree that the nuclear base argument you have put forward is a strong factor in British Nationalist determination to retain Scotland as part of the Disunited Queendom, as you call it, I think there are other aspects, too, which must not be ignored.

    One of these relates to resources such as renewables and water. These are important in underpinning sterling and are also resources on which the economy of an independent Scotland will be based.

    I think, too, that the ‘left’ in England, whatever that is (and I thank Thom Cross for his observations, which apply equally to single issue groups, who seek entryism into political parties)) needs to get a sense that England and the United Kingdom/Britain are different entities and the England and the people of England have less power over their governance than the people of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. More often than not when they use the English=British terminology and I point out the difference and that I consider myself Scottish, the response is a patronising smile and an ‘it’s the same thing, ain’t it?’. They have ceded any concept of England to the far right and, consequently, have ceased to think about the governance of England.

    England had a long and honourable dissenting tradition and this inspired many independence and separatist movements across the world. Yet, that tradition is substantially ignored by many within the Labour Party and in other ‘left’ or as they like to style themselves, ‘progressive’ groups.

    Undoubtedly, making the argument about nuclear weapons is important, but do not forget other strands.

    1. Niemand says:

      This is perceptive – England as a country does indeed have less democracy than Scotland so it is somewhat inevitable that England sees its democracy as in fact British / UK democracy as there is no English parliament they can refer to only a UK one. This was a result of devolution and in political terms, England as a country began more and more to be seen as a domain of the hard right i.e. English nationalists (this isn’t true of course). But the England=Britain is also invoked again and again on these pages too, a category error nearly always done for political motives to deliberately entrench the notion, but is basically a falsehood.

      One thing I am a bit puzzled by in this article re Trident is why would those in Devon and Cornwall come to support independence for Scotland if it was like to mean relocation to there?

      1. Dougie Harrison says:

        Niemand, independence does NOT mean Trident moves to Corkwll/Devon. If the English Government tried to move the subs there, which it would have to, the English left would have a fight on its hands which, despite the naval traditions of the population of Devonport, they could WIN. Thus Scots independence could help the people of England. Such are the complications of living through history!

    2. Dougie Harrison says:

      Alastair, I’m very aware that there are many issues concerning Scotland’s strengths which this wee piece doesn’t try to cover, including those to which you refer. I think careful reading of what I wrote will tell you that. But I do take your point!

  9. Carl Potts says:

    Hi Dougie speaking as an English ( for now) Leftie and Corbyn supporting former Labour member there’s an important factor you’ve missed out,Kier Starmer (aka Keith) won the leadership election on a unity slate which he then reneged on engaging in a witch-hunt of left leaning Palestine supporters so you’ll find the more left wing folk want nothing to do with Starmer’s Labour or Nearly New Labour so they’re in a position not unlike the grassroots of Scottish Labour

    1. Dougie Harrison says:

      Carl, thank you for this. The left in England will BENEFIT from Scotland re-gaining our independence. Which was the whole point of my wee article.

      1. Carl Potts says:

        Thanks Dougie, Scottish independence will have a colossal impact on rUK politics.I can’t predict what would happen. It might entrench reaction sending rUK even further right.Most people I meet on the English left are sympathetic to the Indy cause but not very informed/interested their focus is on English politics 90% would have no idea what the section 30 order is about. sorry, if this is not what you want to hear its the truth as I see it.

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.