Scottish Referendum shows – There are no short cuts to Freedom

Stephen McCourt with a piece on the Scottish referendum. It featured in the RNU website on 19 September 2014.

The referendum on Scottish independence was met with great anticipation, hope and fear by a mass of Scottish people. The people of Scotland came out in their millions to cast their ballots in order to decide if Scotland would become an independent nation or if it would remain in the blood stained hands of the British ruling class for years to come.
An escapee from the 17th Century

Unfortunately the British establishment coupled with some of the most reactionary elements on the planet, including the Orange Order and the BNP, stoked up widespread feelings of fear amongst the Scottish people, putting them in a box that labelled them unable to govern their own destinies.

This fear project unfortunately got the better of many potential yes voters and instead of voting for the independence of their country, they voted to maintain a Union which has unashamedly plundered the working class for 300 years.

The results were as follows; the ‘No’ side won with 2,001, 926 votes over 1,617,989 for ‘Yes’, with an 84.5% turnout.

While calling for a Yes vote, RNU stated from the outset that a referendum would not deliver freedom, or the change the Scottish working class deserve. Of course, a break-up of the Union is necessary to deliver this freedom, but the referendum provided many pitfalls, one of which was a no vote, that has the potential to demoralise and de-politicise the people who mobilised to vote in favour of independence.

The referendum has demonstrated the limitations of constitutionalism, but at the same time has created a political vacuum that a revolutionary movement could capitalise on. A revolutionary vanguard has the potential to gain the support of a significant number of Scottish people in a drive forward to spark revolutionary change in Scotland, the kind of change that will see a struggle for national liberation and socialism become intertwined.

Capitalism and Imperialism are the forces which enslaved Scotland, neither of which can be overcome through a referendum.

As predicted, big business, bankers and billionaires unleashed a systematic campaign of threats to jobs, pensions and other benefit institutions in an effort to stop a vote for independence.

Throughout the course of struggles for self-determination the destiny of the people has always been limited to the aspirations of the Capitalist class, and we have seen this again in Scotland.

revolutionary situation
Revolutionary situation

RNU state openly that true freedom in Scotland can only exist when the National territory, resources, means of production and decision making bodies are taken into the control of the Scottish working class and put to work for the common good.

Such a situation can only come about following a pro-longed process of popular agitation, raised political awareness and possible revolutionary encounters. This in turn requires an organisation in the now, rallying the people on a daily basis to organise and react to the political wrongs they find all around them.

RNU firmly believe that the task of winning independence from British imperialism is directly linked with the struggle to abolish the rule of the present ruling class in Scotland – The Scottish Capitalists. And this fight will take place in the streets, communities, workplaces, schools, colleges and universities, it wont confine itself to a vote at the ballot box.

A party of the working class needs to build for situations that can abolish the austerity cuts, give confidence to the Scottish people and challenge the bullying Capitalists. The Scottish working class need to unite with struggles all over the world, including the struggle for national liberation in Ireland.

Republican Network for U
The only catalyst for true freedom in Scotland is long term revolutionary struggle, based on class politics and emerged in the day-to-day struggles of the working class. It is this struggle, and this struggle alone which will deliver a socialist republic.


  1. Oh the irony, under the first pic is the caption 'an escapee from the 17th century' but under the next pic the caption should read 'escapees from the 1930s'. This article could have been written in the 1930s, all the rhetoric is there, 'imperialism', 'enslaved', 'bankers', 'national liberation' and the old Irish republican favourite-'struggle'. This hard left stuff should be in the proverbial dustbin of history, it has utterly failed to provide a version that trumps capitalism. As with most movements taking on the status quo it has fragmented and turned on itself, look at the Spanish Civil War and Labour in the 80s. The people of these islands have democratically and consistantly rejected this brand of politics. If capitalism is the problem this is not the solution.

    As for 'possible revolutionary encounters'-what the hell does that even mean? And how does it protect the NHS, education and welfare?

  2. Peter,

    a point of clarification if it is required, even where it does not alter the substance of your criticism. The author of the piece did not caption the photos. I did.

  3. This article could have been written in the 1930s, all the rhetoric is there, ' imperialism , 'enslaved', , 'bankers', , national liberation' and the old Irish republican favourite- 'struggle'. . This hard left stuff should be in the proverbial dustbin of history,

    Peter, if you click on any of the links you'll discover that this hard left stuff that should be in the 'proverbial dust bin' is in fact very much alive today and it is wrecking this rock we live on....

    "it has utterly failed to provide ' a version that trumps capitalism "........

    Dunno I reckon Jacques is onto something....

  4. Thanks for the links Frankie. Young Jacque puts over some salient points. I am working class and had I lived in the 1930s would have been a socialist no doubt but the revolutions failed, socialism failed. The day after the revolution the revolutionaries become the new conservatives, the new status quo. I find these articles with the old rhetoric pathetic. To defeat a capitalist system that benefits only the 1% will take more than this hard left nonsense that no one will vote for. The imparable Steve Ignorant destroys revolutionary socialism thus:

    You talk of overthrowing power with violence as your tool
    You speak of liberation and when the people rule
    Well ain't it people rule right now, what difference would there be?
    Just another set of bigots with their rifle-sights on me

    But what about those people who don't want your new restrictions?
    Those that disagree with you and have their own convictions?
    You say they've got it wrong because they don't agree with you
    So when the revolution comes you'll have to run them through
    You say that revolution will bring freedom for us all
    Well freedom just ain't freedom when your back's against the wall

  5. There is a bit of Punk inside you Peter. I'm with Jacque. What needs to change is peoples attitudes and the 1% will fall like domino's. And probably more important at the next general election in the Ireland and the UK no one vote.. It's as simple as....

    I don't see the need for a government. Take Stormout for example they can't agree on what day of the week it is never mind anything else. I heard on the radio last week a caller to a Radio Ulster phone in say... "Why don't we (people) simply employ the best 108 academics, Uni lecturers etc to run the show...' I thought that sounds like a plan. As Jacque said, "Money is an incentive that enslaves people and what people need is a new incentive" ....