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Posts Tagged ‘National Collective’

Manifesto for a Culture of Self-Determination

Gerry Hassan

National Collective/Open Democracy, December 5th 2012

Introduction: Scottish Politics and Language

In the last few weeks people have become increasingly aware, and to some extent concerned, about the rising prevalence of a culture of abuse, insult and invective in Scottish politics around and associated with the independence referendum.

There is a longer story to this, of the failure and dogma of Labour unionism, of the SNP’s adoption of command and control politics, and of an embryonic self-government movement unable so far to find full form and voice.

At the same time the recent Radical Independence Conference, held in Glasgow, for all its ultra-left origins and numerous posturings about ‘vanguardism’, caught something of a new energy and significant shift. It brought together over 900 people on a Saturday, from a range of backgrounds, places and politics, including a generation of politicised twentysomethings for whom Blair and New Labour are as much history as Thatcherism. It gathered under one banner a whole swathe of people who wanted to talk not in the old language of the left or traditional nationalism, but of hope, self-organisation and self-determination, in what was the biggest political gathering in Scotland since the Scottish Parliament was set up. Something is clearly stirring.

Yet parts of our political classes are locked in a gridlock of despair. Alastair Darling talked recently of Scottish independence as ‘the road to serfdom’. Gordon Brown similarly declared that independence would lead to Scotland becoming the equivalent of ‘a British colony’. These are serious interventions by senior Labour Westminster politicians and display a deliberate decision to caricature and misunderstand the issues and dynamics of Scottish independence and self-government. Read the rest of this entry »

The People’s Flag and the Union Jack: An Alternative History of Britain and the Labour Party
Gerry Hassan is a writer, commentator and thinker about Scotland, the UK, politics and ideas. more >
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