Statement by Solidarity on the Catalan Question
Adopted by the Conference 4th November 2017
This year is the 100th anniversary of the socialist revolution in Russia. One of the first things that this new socialist government in Russia did was to proclaim the right of nations to self determination. Shortly later the same principle was advanced by President Wilson of the USA. This principle has had a lasting impact on world history.
Sixteen of the states now making up the EU: Bulgaria,Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia had their origins in acts of self determination by which they won independence from larger states.
It is thus an act of utter hypocrisy for the EU to refuse to recognise the act of self determination by the people of Catalonia on the grounds that the vote was illegal under Spanish law. If the laws of once dominant states like Turkey, Austria, Britain, or Russia had been the sole consideration, most EU states would not exist. The principle of self determination holds that it is the wishes of the populations of the seceding territories that must ultimately be the deciding factor.
Although socialists support the right to self determination, we do not claim that secession is always socially progressive or in the interests of the working classes of the countries concerned. In some instances, for instances the breakups of Yugoslavia or the USSR, it has been catastrophic. But any attempt to prevent secessions that have broad popular support can only lead, at the very least to a heightening of national antagonisms and in the worst cases to the horrors of civil wars.
When we say that all socialists have a duty to defend the right of Catalonia to become independent following its recent referendum, we do not imply an endorsement of the economic and social policies of the Catalan government. Still less are we claiming that it will lead to a socialist Catalonia. But even among capitalist states, a democratic republic is to be prefered to monarchy, and socialists, as consistent defenders of democracy, must uphold the result of the popular vote.
Spanish nationalists argue that opinion polls show that only a minority support independence, but those polls pre-dated the repressive measures taken by the Government of Spain against the proposed referendum, which repression appears to have polarised opinion in favour of independence. Moreover, polls are no substitute for actual votes, or there would be no need for a right to vote. The polls were wrong about the UK referendum to leave the EU but the result of the vote is not contested on those grounds. The democratic legitimacy of the referendum that rejected independence in Scotland is not questioned. In the Catalan case, a considerably higher portion of the total electorate seem to have voted YES, than had voted NO in Scotland**. If the Scottish NO vote stands, so should the Catalan YES vote.
On this basis the case for secession is democratically uncontroversial. Opposition to the recognition of the result of the vote is an opposition to democracy itself.
*** Analysis of the two votes
votes counted 2,221,585
Votes confiscated 750000
Total cast 2,971,585
Yes share of total counted 92.01%
Likely total yes vote 2734098
Likely Yes as % of electorate 51.46%
Votes cast and counted 3,619,915
No as % of electorate 46.78%
It is assumed that the yes share of the confiscated votes would have been the same as the yes share of the counted votes, since there is no reason to suspect that the police preferentially confiscated no votes.
Please Sign Our Petition
Please Sign and Share Solidarity Scotland's Petition to demand the UK Government strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s ignorant, provocative, racist, inflammatory and dangerous tweet where he re-tweeted false information spread by the fascist Britain First. This is not acceptable behavior from any head of state and, we call on the government to cancel the proposed state visit.
Statement On President Trump Tweet
7th December 2017
By blindly repeating the lies of the fascist Britain First, who have constantly spread their bigotry and lies on social media, President Donald Trump has crossed a line. They had posted videos which they (wrongly) stated were examples of Moslems committing atrocities. These videos have been widely discredited after genuine investigation. He has already proved himself a sexist, racist bumbling oaf many times in his short spell as President and ‘Leader of the Free World’ but this latest outburst on Twitter has gone beyond mere condemnation as far as this party is concerned. As Brendan Cox husband of Jo Cox, the MP brutally murdered by a Britain First supporter, tweeted, “Trump has legitimised the far right in his own country; now he is trying to do it in ours. Spreading hatred has consequences and the President should be ashamed of himself.”
Trump should be condemned by every supporter of human rights and freedom. Freedom does not mean ‘freedom to spread racist and fascist propaganda’ but freedom to live in peace and harmony with our fellow human beings, no matter their/our race, gender or religion.
Solidarity condemns outright Trump’s poisonous messages and offers our solidarity with the Moslem population who have been further endangered by Trump’s irresponsible actions. We demand that the UK government cancel the proposed state visit by this poor excuse of a politician.
Tommy's Statement on Budget 2017
"Yet again Malevolent May and her horrible Hammond have re-dedicated themselves to the class war on behalf of the rich and powerful they represent using the brutal weapon of austerity to drive down living standards and drive up despair among millions of ordinary working people and benefit recipients.
They should be ashamed of themselves. Their tax give-aways to their rich friends and corporations represents theft from the public purse and confirms their political immortality. They really are, to borrow from the immortal Aneurin Bevan, 'Lower than vermin'."
"If the SNP don't use the mandate they have, what does that say about Scottish Parliament? What does that say about future mandates from the parliament? The very credibility of Scottish Parliament is on the table now" - Tommy Sheridan - Airdrie, November 2017.
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