Scottish nationalism and British nationalism aren’t the same

Billy Bragg in The Guardian:

ScreenHunter_795 Sep. 18 16.47For me, the most frustrating aspect of the debate on Scottish independence has been the failure of the English left to recognise that there is more than one type of nationalism. People who can explain in minute detail the many forms of socialism on offer at any demo or conference seem incapable of differentiating when it comes to nationalists.

Confronted by someone recently who claimed to believe that there was no difference between the Scottish National party and the British National party, I can’t help wondering if this is wilful – like the Daily Mail’s insistence that anyone who wants to see a fairer society must be a Stalinist.

In the past months, I have found myself arguing with comrades who don’t understand how someone who wrote new lyrics to The Internationale can possibly be in favour of an independent Scotland. You’re betraying the working class of Britain they tell me. What about international solidarity?

It baffles me as to why they should feel that voting against the Westminster status quo is an act of class betrayal. People who marched for CND in the 1980s are now telling me I am wrong to support a decision that may force the UK to give up its nuclear weapons.

It seems to be a very English viewpoint.

In Scotland, Wales and Ireland nationalism is the name given to the campaign for self-determination. James Connolly gave his life for the nationalist cause; John MacLean, perhaps the greatest leftwinger that Scotland has produced, was in favour of independence and campaigned for a Scottish parliament.

Both recognised that the British state was highly resistant to reform, and that the interests of working people were best served by breaking with the United Kingdom.

More here.