Scottish radical left “cheery” but critical following Jeremy Corbyn success


Calls for cooperation and understanding between grassroots movements

CAMPAIGNERS have debated how the rise of the pro-Corbyn movement impacts the radical support for Scottish independence. 

The Radical Independence Conference, which was at the centre of the campaign for a Yes vote in 2014, met to reaffirm its continued support for radical political change. 

A coalition mainly between SNP, Scottish Green, and socialist parties, the rise of a socialist Labour Party movement raises questions over how calls for change elsewhere in the UK impacts upon the strategy for campaigners in Scotland.

Cat Boyd, a leading member of the coalition, said that those on the left in Scotland should be supportive of those with the same values elsewhere in the UK – but remain critical over a lack of constitutional policies.

Describing the surge behind the Labour leader as “largely English in character”, she added that “Independence is far more likely than a Corbyn-led Labour Government at Westminster.”

Boyd said campaigners in Scotland should be “cheery” but critical following Corbyn’s success.

Momentum activist tells #RIC2016 that “independence has a voice” in Corbyn movement

Aaron Bastani, of new media group NovaraMedia, in contrast called for a coalition of interests between the Scottish independence and pro-Corbyn movements, citing a "near identical agenda” which the groups were “pursuing through different means”.

He said independence supporters should call for greater engagement on constitutional questions, and greater power for the nations, regions, cities and local communities across Britain. 

Hilary Wainwright, editor of socialist magazine Red Pepper, said that both groups were held together through their opposition to the institutions of the British state, and the need to more towards a more democratic future. 

Audience members, although from a wide variety of political parties and groupings, said it was important to work together on common practical projects such as environmental change and workers rights.

Picture courtesy of Ryan Smith 

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