By Neil Davidson, in New Left Review, issue of Oct-Nov 2014
The odds were huge. On one side, the might of the British state, the three parties of government, Buckingham Palace, the BBC—still by far the most influential source of broadcast news and opinion—plus an overwhelming majority of the print media, the high command of British capital and the liberal establishment, backed up by the international weight of Washington, NATO and the European Union. On the other, a coalition of the young and the hopeful, including swathes of disillusioned Labour voters in the council estates—the ‘schemes’—of Clydeside and Tayside, significant sections of the petty bourgeoisie and Scotland’s immigrant communities, mobilized in a campaign that was at least as much a social movement as a national one. Starting from far behind, this popular-democratic upsurge succeeded in giving the British ruling class its worst fit of nerves since the miners’ and engineering workers’ strikes of 1972, wringing panicked pledges of further powers from the Conservative, Labour and Liberal leaders. By any measure, the Yes camp’s 45 per cent vote on a record-breaking turnout in the Scottish independence referendum was a significant achievement. How did we arrive at this point—and where does the 18 September vote leave UK and Scottish politics?
Read the full article at the weblink above.