Leading English leftist thinker argues Corbyn’s Labour is likely to adopt ‘devo max’ position
WRITER AND BROADCASTER Paul Mason has said that Scottish independence is “inevitable” due to the left-wing surge behind social change in Scotland.
Mason, who closely follows new political movements in Europe, the Middle East and America, argued that an international leftwing mood was translating into support for independence in Scotland.
He told an audience of around a hundred at Renfiled St Stephen’s church in Glasgow: “When I had the honour to cover the Scottish independence referendum as a journalist, I had to follow the strictest of professional standards of neutrality.
“As a private citizen, as an Englishman of the left, I can tell you now that I believe Scottish independence is absolutely inevitable.” Paul Mason
“As a private citizen, as an Englishman of the left, I can tell you now that I believe Scottish independence is absolutely inevitable.”
The author of the bestselling book ‘Postcapitalism: A guide to our future’ recently resigned his position as Channel 4 new’s economics correspondent to pursue more openly left-wing writing and media projects. Mason follows a range of left-wing thinkers in England supportive of Scottish independence .
Mason said that how he would vote in the Scottish elections was “academic” as he was an English Labour supporter, but said that that he would like to see “SNP, Greens and Rise” form a Scottish Government.
Speaking to CommonSpace after the launch, Mason said: “I think the Scottish independence project is, per say, a leftwing project, because what it is about is detaching yourself from the oldest imperial power in the world, and the most neo-liberal power.
“The moment that Scotland steps away from the United Kingdom I hope, as an Englishman, as a Brit, I hope we’ll be able to find the maximum possible federal structures.
Rise economics document launch
“That’s a legitimate demand for the left in the whole of Britain.
“The Labour party is going to end up advocating devo max, Scotland should get the maximum amount of autonomy under that policy, but not only maximum autonomy – penalty free autonomy.”
The comments came after the completed negotiations for the ‘fiscal framework’, the new funding arrangement between the Westminster and Holyrood parliaments that will underpin the devolution of further tax and spending policies to Scotland.
Mason was addressing the meeting alongside Rise lead candidate Cat Boyd and Professor Bridget Fowler of Glasgow University.
A report – ‘The Crash to Come’ – commissioned by the socialist electoral alliance and prepared by Scott Lavery of the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute argued that the UK economy is failing to emerge from its structural difficulties including growing regional disparities in economic performance and worsening inequality.
“The Labour party is going to end up advocating devo max, Scotland should get the maximum amount of autonomy under that policy, but not only maximum autonomy – penalty free autonomy.” Paul Mason
Mason, who recently joined the New Economics lecture series hosted by the Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell, said he agreed with the critique in the document and that it represented part of a Europe wide convergence between “social democratic, radical left and radical nationalist” political tendencies.
However, he also said that the left needed to “take seriously and develop its own monetary and fiscal policy”.
This would include, he said, a plan to have democratised central bank buy up private and public debt, including debt owed by local authorities to banks and the treasury.
Immediately after the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, Mason, who has formerly worked as economics correspondent for the flagship BBC news program Newsnight, criticised the BBC’s coverage as “propoganda”.
Mason also took part in an hour long new media discussion with CommonSpace, Kiltr, and Independence Live about his work.
CommonSpace journalism is completely free from the influence of advertisers and is only possible with your continued support. Please contribute a monthly amount towards our costs. Build the Scotland you want to live in – support our new media.
Pictures courtesy of Craig Paterson