A first-time reader, Mary MacCallum Sullivan, reflects on our general election analysis (SLR 115)
I am ‘of the left’, but have never identified as a Labour supporter, or, indeed, as a socialist. I have no doubt that that position is, generally, shared by many. I enjoyed reading the issue – the first time! But it made me think about all these labels according to which your contributors were identifying, some of them new to me. They often seem to be limited by their history – the movements, I mean.
I have been doing a lot of researching since the disappointing outcomes of the election into where the possibilities lie for political and social action that will bring about the constructive changes needed to address all our social ills but in light of the climate emergency.
I take the view that the climate emergency is, in fact, specifically the outcome of the unbridled capitalism that has been accepted for the last at least 50 years or so as ‘There Is No Alternative’. The current formations of our rulers – big capitalism, the elites, the oligarchies – are arrayed so as to cross national boundaries, permeating the whole of the conditions of our existence, including how we understand those conditions. The intention is to keep us (‘the 99%’) confused, a strategy brilliantly realised in the general election.
The oligarchy and elites are a reactionary force, and will resist taking meaningful action, protecting its status – its safety, its security – until it is much too late for everyone else. The opposition – the resistance – has to be organised nationally, because that how our social and political reality is organised. Of course, there must be international cooperation, but the basis must be national, and by national, I mean, of course, Scotland. We can only start ‘where we are’, but I believe that Scotland currently stands as something of a beacon internationally – many eyes are upon us, and whatever action we are able to take will be noticed, could even be inspirational for other small nations. But Scotland is currently powerless to take any meaningful large-scale action against that large Tory House of Commons majority.
Independence for Scotland is therefore an urgent, and a moral cause. All ‘left’ political formations should be urgently considering how they can best serve the cause of independence in which the ‘left’ voice can make itself more readily heard than in a post-election Britain. At the very least, Kenny MacAskill’s series of citizen’s conventions could include one called for by all the organisations whose representatives have contributed to this particular issue of SLR.
Let all these organisations come together to at least address the question of independence openly and honestly, in light of the bigger, global, picture, and in light of a future which, at this point, looks very unstable and uncertain. The Tory Westminster government has no answers; in fact, it doesn’t even know what the question is.
Mary MacCallum Sullivan is a psychotherapist and educator with an interest in a more meaningful local and ethical politics.