The world is populated by nations and each nation has it’s own identity and culture. It therefore follows that each nation has national interests. Why is it then that negative connotations are often placed on the words national or nationalist? Often when these words are used it is intended to immediately conjure up a picture of extreme right or Nazi like behaviour. Nationalism is not the problem. It’s the way a nation expresses it’s nationalism that can be a problem. There is no doubt that nations who choose to express their nationalism by launching attacks on other nations or exploiting other nations for their own advantage is a very bad form of expression. I don’t think anyone would disagree that the sort of nationalism expressed by the Nazis was of the worst possible kind but that does not make nationalism in its self bad. Politicians talk of national interests all the time so, it is good when they express an interest in their national well being etc., yet somehow bad when others do the same.
Nationalists are very often accused of being inward looking and isolationist when nothing could be further from the truth. If you are a trading nation (which Scotland is) then you are by definition internationalist. Just because a nation does not attempt to interfere in the affairs of another or have ambitions to go off invading other nations does not mean that the same nation does not observe what is going on internationally or hold strong opinions. Some of this twisted logic can be quite baffling. For example, the use of the words ‘ politics of grievance’ which are much beloved by the English Conservatives living in Scotland. They constantly apply this to the SNP. Well hello? Is this not what democracy is all about? Do we not elect political representatives precisely to deal with real or imagined causes of complaint on our behalf? To be honest, I sometimes wonder if unionist mp’ even know the meaning of the word democracy. There is a huge difference between asking someone to vote a certain way and telling them to vote a certain way. During the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum, the unionist mp A Darling was happily wandering around telling people that, if they were not sure then vote no. How democratic is that? There is little hope if unionist politicians can not even get the simple basics of democracy right.
One of the many reasons I want an independent Scotland is precisely so that we can express our national and international interests accurately for ourselves. I know that the Scottish government is currently looking at foreign affairs and that’s a good thing. It is something which has been left to UK governments to deal with and more often than not Scottish opinion is rather different from the UK opinion. The vision I have for Scotland is that of a fully independent nation striving to do the best for all it’s people. Peacefully co-operating and trading with other nations. Not being afraid to be radical in it’s thinking (I mean really radical) A nation which does not cow tow to the discredited neo liberal rentier economic system which is doing so much damage throughout the world. A nation which, by it’s actions, can set a good example to the rest of the world.