Thursday, 23 August 2012

The Referendum on Scottish Independence

The BBC reported the following yesterday:

A panel of experts set up by Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems has come up with a question to be asked in the referendum on Scottish independence. The main pro-union parties have accused the SNP of selecting a biased form of words with its preferred question. The panel has suggested the words "Scotland should become an independent state", with voters being asked to "agree" or "disagree".

To my mind, the question asks whether I would prefer to have my throat cut with a sword or a knife. The operative word in the question is 'state'. Both a preserved Union and an independent Scotland would continue to be states - and therefore statist - and governed by an abrogatory system, a system whereby the citizenry are expected to sign away their democratic autonomy to the professional politicians every four years or so, by putting an X on a piece of paper, and the professional politicians then massage and blow in the ear of capitalism. Oh great.

The question asks no one how they want to be governed. Instead of independence, how about self-determination? I want to see self-determination for the Scottish people and, for that matter, for the English, Northern Irish, and Welsh people - indeed for all people. I want to see the grass roots at the heart of politics, at the heart of everyday democracy, not the professional political class.

Why won't that be on the referendum?

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