THE nationalist left outside the SNP are campaigning for another independence referendum as soon as possible, but the SNP has said it will not call another one unless it is 100 per cent sure of winning. However, Nicola Sturgeon has indicated that if Britain votes to leave the European Union in the June referendum and Scotland votes remain, she views another referendum as inevitable. Also there are no signs at present that the SNP will use any of the new powers it will get under the new devolution settlement to benefit working class people.
Finally, given the price of Oil at present, the economic case for independence, as pushed at the last referendum, has a large barrel shaped hole at its centre.
However, many left nationalists – including the new electoral group RISE (Respect, Independence, Socialism and Environmentalism) and Tommy Sheridan’s Solidarity – are campaigning for an “Indy 2” referendum.
The EU referendum comes at an awkward time for the nationalists and their left satellites. Although the SNP will campaign to remain in the EU, many of their supporters and voters are open to a leave vote. Jim Sillars, a prominent left nationalist and supporter of RISE, will be campaigning for a “leave” vote, as will Tommy Sheridan, the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI), Socialist Workers Party (SWP), etc.
RISE itself has decided to stay neutral on the EU referendum, as it is split on the issue. Hopefully, socialists in the Labour Party will be able to organise some public meetings and campaign for working class unity against all forms of nationalism and anti-immigrant scapegoating, and for the struggle for a socialist Europe