Scottish independence: prospects for breaking up the British State

Issue: 171

Donny Gluckstein

A Scottish breakaway from Britain may be edging nearer.1 In the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence, the “Yes” vote fell short of victory by just 5 percent. Now, with a record voter turnout after a campaign centred on independence, elections for the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood, Edinburgh, suggest majority support for secession.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) is still growing in strength after 14 years in power at Holyrood, though the pace is slackening. Under the proportional representation election procedure (introduced to prevent one-party dominance) the SNP has 64 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), one shy of half the chamber. In conjunction with the eight MSPs from the Scottish Green Party, which also supports independence, the legitimacy of the demand for a second referendum—Indyref2—is stronger than ever. With 50.1 percent of all votes cast for the two pro-independence parties, the direction of travel seems set.

How important is this development for socialists? There is nothing inherently progressive about the restructuring of capitalist states. Norway’s split from Sweden in 1905 and Slovakia’s exit from Czechoslovakia in 1993 had limited wider repercussions. The partitions of India and Ireland were devastating experiences. However, the break-up of the British state could be different. This is why the forces that opposed it in 2014 encompassed most capitalists and their representatives and supporters, including the Tories, the Liberal Democrats, the Pope, the Queen, the European Union, the then US president Barack Obama, numerous celebrities and most of the press. Scotland’s population may be less than 10 percent of Britain’s, but rending apart the 300-year-old Union Jack would puncture British national arrogance. It would weaken reactionary ideology at home and hollow out prime minister Boris Johnson’s project for a supercharged post-Brexit Britain bestriding the globe. Fracturing the state that once ruled the world’s largest empire and ran the slave trade, and remains an important, if junior, ally of US imperialism, would be a gift to workers and the oppressed everywhere.

This article seeks to address why there is such strong support for independence and evaluates different scenarios that might unfold in the coming months and years.2

Searching for motivations 1: long-term trends

Little in Scotland’s long-term history explains the current motivation for a break. The 1707 Act of Union was not an English takeover, and national oppression, such as that seen in Ireland, was not the result. What cultural oppression existed was driven by Lowlander contempt for alleged Highland “barbarism” and anger at Jacobite claims to the joint Scottish-English Crown (something recalled in the media tsunami during the recent funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh). The events of 1707 represented a merger of two states, and under the agreement, some lucrative remnants of the Scottish component, including the legal system, continued. Surprising confirmation of Scotland’s formal status within that marriage came in September 2019 when Scottish courts overturned Johnson’s proroguing of the Westminster Parliament during the Brexit process.

Since 1707, Scotland has participated in the British capitalist project to a remarkable degree. It has been totally immersed in Britain’s imperialist adventures; at one point a quarter of all regimental officers were Scotsmen and one in four Scottish men joined the armed forces. Links remain, even once the end of empire reduced Scotland’s salience. Faslane, in Argyll and Bute, is the only suitable berth for the Royal Navy’s Trident nuclear submarines, a fact underlining both the continuity of Scotland’s relationship to British imperialism and the blow a Scottish departure could deal. Until the Union, Scotland lagged behind England economically. Afterwards, higher levels of domestic exploitation and abundant natural resources (coal, iron ore, deep rivers) bestowed advantages in shipbuilding, mining, iron and steel production, and overseas trade. Glasgow became the “second city of empire” after London. Recent declines in North Sea oil extraction and the shift from heavy industry have reduced Scotland’s economic distinctiveness, but not its economic integration.3

The working class was shaped by this environment. Facing a unified enemy, it also showed a pattern of thoroughgoing cross-border interconnection. Social backwardness and a stronger feudal system prior to 1707 meant Scotland lacked radical movements such as the 1381 Peasants’ Revolt and the Levellers and Diggers of the English Revolution. However, the 19th century industrial revolution in Scotland’s central belt created a powerful and concentrated working-class contingent that still functions as part of Britain’s labour movement. Sometimes workers in Scotland ran ahead of those in England; on “Red Clydeside”, during the First World War, rank and file militancy beat employers and humbled the government, and, in January 1919, convinced prime minister Lloyd George to send in the tanks in order to alleviate his fears of a Bolshevik revolution breaking out. At other times, Scottish workers lagged behind. Ultimately, however, today’s Britain-wide labour movement was created. Though not reducible to trade union organisation alone, this cohesion is illustrated by the fact that there is only one peculiarly Scottish trade union—the Educational Institute of Scotland—which arose due to the separate school system. This is thus a consequence of the Scottish state’s partial survival, not due to teachers’ nationalism.4 Until recently Scottish workers, like their English and Welsh counterparts, mostly voted Labour, and other left-wing organisations, such as the Communist Party, tended to be British-based.

Thus, over the long-term, Scotland, from both sides of the class divide, has been part of Britain-wide trends on many levels. Whatever the mythology, Scotland is not oppressed. Vestiges of statehood aside, no deep national differences lie behind Indyref2, however many Highland emblems such as bagpipes or kilts might be on display. The real motives for seeking a divorce now must be sought elsewhere.

Searching for motivations 2: short-term trends

There are two immediate grounds for the emergence of a mood for Scottish independence: a split in the ruling class, and a recent shift away from Labour in the working class.

In common with their southern equivalents, Scotland’s capitalists have suffered falling profitability, the decline of British imperialism and the collapse of heavy industry. A Scottish way out of the crisis seemed to beckon when the discovery of North Sea oil made an independent capitalist economy north of the border seem credible. The SNP won its first seat in a general election in 1970, following the discovery of major oilfields off Aberdeen. The number rose to 11 in 1974 but dropped to two in 1979 after SNP members of parliament voted against the minority Labour government, bringing it down and allowing Margaret Thatcher and the Conservatives to win the subsequent election.

Today, business people such as Brian Souter, owner of Stagecoach Group, and Benny Higgins, former CEO of Tesco Bank, advocate an independent Scottish state. They covet an arrangement whereby their competitiveness is assisted by local politicians wielding political and fiscal sovereignty. At the centre of this project, and the SNP’s mission statement, is a purported Scottish “national interest” that unites all classes. On its own, this narrow segment of bourgeois opinion would fail to give the British state much cause for trepidation or threaten vested interests. Things look different, however, if break-up were to gain mass popularity.

Awareness of variations in geography, distinct historical development, education, sport and even accent means a broad consciousness of Scotland as a place and community has long existed. However, in that guise it had few more political connotations than consciousness of being from Yorkshire or Dorset, and it thus posed little threat. Moreover, this consciousness did not contradict the prevailing ideology about the status of the Union. It was the idea of a Conservative prime minister, Ted Heath, later picked up by Labour, to hold a devolution referendum. The poll took place in 1979, but the Yes vote failed to reach the threshold set. Indeed, until recently most Scots found no difficulty in voting for unionist parties, whether Tory or Labour. Of the two, Labour was by far the most popular, and while it retained workers’ loyalty, indepedence was a pipedream. For a time, Scottish Labour’s fortunes ran high, its dominance cemented by Thatcher’s rule. During the 1980s, her war against steel workers and miners, and indeed the wider British working class, caused enormous resentment. Piloting the unpopular “poll tax” in Scotland in 1989 seemed to evince southern prejudice, although initially this simply further strengthened Labour’s position as the alternative for government. In 1997, not a single Tory member of Westminster parliament was elected in Scotland, compared to 56 for Labour and just six for the SNP.

However, Labour had a problem. After 1997, Tony Blair’s right-wing “New Labour” government offered virtually no reforms to Scotland’s electorate, in spite of its long dominance there. Partly to compensate for this—and also to retain support and head off the SNP—Blair held another referendum for a Scottish Parliament with devolved powers in 1999. This was Labour, a “capitalist workers’ party”, to use Lenin’s terminology, claiming to promote supporters’ demands but doing so within the framework of capitalism.5 Like the SNP, it was suggesting a Scottish “national interest” existed. Thus, north of the border two national interests were now being put into play—Scottish and British. Appealing to the former risked inadvertently undermining the latter. Political connotations were attached to Scottish consciousness where few had been before, and it was also given a national institutional form.

Labour’s participation in the US-led wars on Afghanistan from 2001 and Iraq from 2003 brought further disillusion and helped the SNP, which criticised the Iraq war, win the Holyrood elections in 2007. However, hatred of the Tories still shaped Scottish voting in general elections, as was shown in 2010, when all seats were retained by the victorious party from five years earlier. Ironically, it was the very fact that Scottish Labour still retained many members of parliament, and yet a Tory-led coalition was in charge of the House of Commons, that proved damaging. In the eyes of Labour’s own supporters a “democratic deficit” had appeared. A hostile Tory government ran the country, even though Scotland had voted against it. A chasm between voter expectations and what is delivered by bourgeois democracy is commonplace and usually explained away as normal or required by “realism”. Dismissing it like this became less straightforward once Scottish national consciousness had been politically aroused. Government from Westminster was not simply disappointing; it now seemed alien.

In 2015, boosted by the 2014 referendum experience and Labour’s siding with the Tories to save the Union, it was the SNP’s turn to win 56 members of the Westminster parliament in a general election. Labour now had just one MP in Scotland, as did the Tories. Discontent with both Labour and Tories had found credible electoral expression and a geographical base to work from. The progressive class aspirations of former Labour voters had not fundamentally changed, but the party for which they cast their ballots had.6 By then, disgruntled English Labour supporters had few options if they wanted to vote out a Tory government (unless you include the appalling choice of fascist British National Party and right-wing populist UK Independence Party). By contrast, the SNP dangled the prospect of an easy route via independence. Unencumbered by previous disappointing performances, the SNP could convincingly promise nirvana. Its leader, Alex Salmond, offered soft-focused social democratic promises, saying, “My vision is for a prosperous economy but also for a just society in Scotland”.7

The SNP’s ongoing electoral success bucks the global trend. Internationally, traditional parties espousing a version of social democracy can often seem impotent before neoliberalism’s offensive. After the 2008 crash, once powerful social democratic parties in France and Greece were plunged into disarray. Yet the SNP wears the social democratic emperors’ new clothes while avoiding the exposure suffered elsewhere. Shortcomings are blamed on Westminster’s control of the purse strings and Scotland’s lack of independence. Moreover, though Labour was damaged by equivocation over Brexit, the EU referendum saw Scotland’s Remain majority strengthen perceptions of a democratic deficit.

However, Indyref2 is not an unvarnished class issue, unlike, for example, pay rises for nurses and spending on public services. The “national interest” argument cuts both ways. British national consciousness exists among voters alongside the Scottish version, and this limits the SNP’s appeal on the right. Devolution of powers in areas such as health and housing also means partial responsibility for what happens in Scotland, where it operates as a conventional capitalist party, limiting its appeal on the left. Thus, the SNP is electorally strong but not all-powerful. It is unlikely that the Tories or Labour will readily consent to Indyref2. It is equally unlikely the SNP will force the issue, as it would rather pass it to lawyers and court proceedings rather than mobilise the masses into action. If the potential exists for something more, it lies with the working class. Compelling evidence for that came in 2014.

2014: a whiff of Tahrir

In 2014, the then prime minster, David Cameron, not noted for his political astuteness, approved a Scottish independence referendum. He thought the result was a foregone conclusion—a mistake he repeated with the 2016 EU referendum. Neither unfolded as expected, though what was most striking about 2014 was not the result but the campaign itself. The referendum offered a binary choice, giving millions on either side (including 16 and 17 year olds) a sense that, rather than electing someone to (mis)represent them in a faraway chamber, their vote might make a real, decisive difference. This mobilised people, rather than demobilising them as is usually the purpose of electoral politics under capitalism. The result was an 86 percent turnout, the highest of any similar ballot in British history.

The referendum had come at a particular moment—under the impact of austerity that focused hatred of the Tories, and following a period of growing disillusion with Labour. By contrast, the 64 percent turnout in the 1979 devolution referendum was much lower than that year’s general election; the 1997 devolution vote had an even lower turnout. From 1918 to 2010, the proportion of people voting in Scotland had been lower than in England and Wales in 21 general elections out of 22. Yet after 2014, in both the 2015 and 2019 general elections, turnouts were higher in Scotland. The 2014 referendum has affected “No” as well as “Yes” voters. Many of the former have since altered their preference. Ideas change in struggle, even if it is only the struggle of big ideas. Under the heading “A Wee Whiff of Tahrir”, a reference to the revolutionary events in Egypt in 2011 that centred on Cairo’s Tahrir Square, Keir McKechnie wrote in this journal:

Anybody who was fortunate enough to witness the gatherings of thousands of people in Glasgow’s George Square in the days running up to the referendum will confirm how electrifying and joyful the atmosphere was. Ordinary people would speak on an open microphone about their hopes for a better society. Large crowds of young people, many of them first time voters, spoke of a world without nuclear weapons, of the urgent need to save the planet and stop fracking. Working class women got up and spoke about how they were politically active and engaged for the first time and how things would never be the same again. There was a festival atmosphere in towns and cities across Scotland at the prospect of building a different kind of society that puts people before profit.8

Ultimately the vote for independence was lost 55 percent to 45 percent but the class impetus was clear. The more disadvantaged or impoverished the area, the higher the “Yes” vote and vice versa. Afterwards the network of “Yes” groups continued. The SNP became, per capita, one of the largest political parties in the world. Working-class activism underpinned the rapid progress for the “Yes” argument in 2014, but, as the more passive 2021 election shows, advances can slow. The SNP’s working-class supporters combine in their heads a volatile combination of contradictory ideologies—class consciousness and Scottish national consciousness. Together these fuel Indyref support, but this mixed character means not everyone is convinced, for both left-wing and right-wing reasons.

How much is the British state at risk today?

The 2021 election result confirms the analysis given above. Further polarisation over independence is taking place on class lines, hitting Scottish Labour in particular. As the Guardian’s Scotland editor put it in 2016:

Labour’s core constituencies are now almost entirely captured by the SNP, but the territories once crucial to the SNP’s climb to dominance—the rural shire constituencies won by Alex Salmond’s generation—are now in turn under attack by the Tories.9

This pattern was further affirmed in the recent election. The SNP has grown in the urban central belt at Labour’s expense, but simultaneously it has lost out in rural, small-town Scotland to the Tories. The SNP is also vulnerable to the left in the shape of the Greens, while Labour is in decline because of its anti-independence stance (see table 1).

There are three potential scenarios in light of these results. One is that the request for Indyref2 is met by the British government, the majority votes “Yes”, a peaceful transition occurs and two bourgeois states live happily ever after on this blessed isle. A break-up of the state on such terms is worthwhile, if only for its symbolic value. Such an outcome is doubtful because both Labour and the Tories oppose it, but it is not inconceivable. In Scotland itself the SNP’s neoliberal heart would eventually show. It has no organic link to the working class, such as exists for Labour via the trade union bureaucracy, and is a conventional bourgeois party. Under SNP rule, council services are starved of cash, and trends towards poverty and inequality are only marginally different from in England. Its leadership chose social democratic rhetoric and marginally progressive policies for electoral reasons, rather than due to ideological commitments. To establish Scotland’s credentials on the world stage, the SNP would join other states in a race to the bottom over living standards and public investment. Its Sustainable Growth Commission report charts a post-independence economic course bound up with austerity.10 Setting up a new branch office for global business is different to opening a new battlefront against the effects of capitalism on ordinary people’s lives.

A more likely scenario is that Indyref2 is ruled out by the British government. The SNP will then have to consider what happened in Catalonia. There, in 2017, the Spanish state prevented independence and arrested politicians for daring to hold a referendum without Madrid’s permission. The refusal of a new referendum leaves supporters of a Scottish breakaway facing a dilemma originating

Table 1: Holyrood elections 2021, total number of seats11




















Lib Dems










from the character of the call for independence. It is a “bourgeois democratic” demand that is shared by both sections of capital and of the working class, but for opposing reasons. It is “bourgeois” in character because the former want independence to advance the interests of Scottish capital. However, at the same time, workers see it as a “democratic” measure that would allow them to gain more control over their lives, so as to advance interests which run counter to the interests of Scottish capital (and capital more generally). Independence is also bourgeois democratic in another sense; the democracy envisaged remains in the framework of existing social relations—parliamentarism under the capitalist system.

The coalition behind this shared goal makes it politically powerful but brittle. Catalonia demonstrated that an established state may not easily relinquish its unity. Being numerically tiny, nationalist Scottish capitalists cannot hope to overcome the grip of the British state without calling upon mass working class support, but, insofar as this support is mobilised, it may unleash a threat to, or put obstacles in the way of, capital accumulation. The way this contradiction works itself out was demonstrated in 2014. In a televised debate, Alex Salmond forcefully promoted radical policies such as removal of Trident nuclear weapons. On austerity, he argued: “Yes, we’ve got troubled economic times, but the mark of a government is that, when you are in difficult economic times, you don’t take it out on the disabled and you don’t take it out on families with children”.12 A surge in support for independence ensued. For the first time opinion polls showed the “Yes” campaign ahead. Suddenly Salmond took fright. Afterwards, he allowed commitments such as keeping the pound sterling after independence to take centre stage, renouncing a key economic lever needed to reverse austerity. The momentum needed to win was lost. Such vacillation has been the default since 2014. Although Nicola Sturgeon replaced Salmond as leader that year, the strategy did not originate from an individual but from the SNP leadership’s class position. It is not an intermediary between classes, like the trade union bureaucracy; it is itself currently the boss in the Scottish public sector and identifies with bosses everywhere. Under this scenario the Scottish question would be an irritant to supporters of the Union but little more.

There is a third scenario made possible by the fact that the pro-independence movement is much broader than the SNP apparatus, and the bulk of its supporters have working-class aspirations different to those of the leadership. If a referendum is refused and the SNP is unwilling to mobilise against that, there is an opening for the left. Already many working-class Scots realise that large-scale mobilisation is required to hold Indyref2, and to win the vote itself something more than a mere formal change must be on the cards; meaningful transformation can be the result of, and depends on, action in the streets. Demonstrations called by the All Under One Banner movement are a manifestation of that notion. A crisis could give this idea still more momentum and extend its reach deeper into workplaces and communities.

Next steps

There is a fundamental difference between these three scenarios. Language is important here. The first two frame the issue in nationalist terms as “independence”, seen as a shared goal for Scottish bosses and workers alike. The third aims to break the British state using working class methods. The first two focus exclusively on the constitution and elections, with all other matters postponed until after independence. The third option foregrounds an active movement with radical demands—ending Trident, proper funding of council services, an end to dawn deportation raids and more—that is not confined to polling day or reserved for an independent Scotland.

Where does the balance of probability for each lie? In truth few supporters of Indyref2 would emphasise breaking up the British state over independence from it or even see any distinction. The common sense argument for independence without “distractions” (code for class demands) holds sway. Nonetheless, that approach, which has produced nothing tangible in seven years, is fraying at the edges. Impatience is in the air.

The Radical Independence Campaign, which in 2014 involved members of the Scottish Socialist Party, the Socialist Workers Party and many thousands more left-wing activists, dissolved itself in January 2021. However, bodies such as the Yes Alliance, which links “Yes” groups from the referendum campaign together, and Trade Unionists for Independence continue to exist outside formal SNP structures. The All Under One Banner movement has repeatedly channelled growing frustration over lack of progress, staging huge marches in cities across Scotland in order to demand something more than talk. Its supporters have been open to anti-racism and progressive ideas. The magnificent street confrontation that halted a dawn immigration raid in Glasgow in May this year symbolised the mood.13 At the end of 2020, the Now Scotland organisation, which includes Socialist Workers Party members in its leadership, was formed to fight for an active and radical approach to independence.

Despite making further electoral advances the SNP has been splintering, partially because the urgency of the desire for Indyref2 outstrips its snail’s pace approach. Some members have withdrawn into “Yes” group activities or created various small parties. One of these is Salmond’s Alba Party, though it has failed to get anyone elected. The very fact of splits in this once monolithic body shows the tensions. The bitter row between Salmond and Sturgeon indicated a malaise that is not reducible to Salmond’s behaviour towards women—it also related to vacillation over Indyref2.14

Together these phenomena may presage a renewed radicalism at an even higher level than 2014 or may come to nothing. If the mass of Scottish people and the British labour movement are passive bystanders to the political games of the elite, whether at Westminster or Holyrood, there will be demoralising consequences. Limited to electoralism, the SNP would hold the Scottish working class captive by seeming to offer the only route out of Tory rule. Moreover, leaving the movement to SNP electoralism would not help people in England find an alternative to simply voting for Keir Starmer’s Labour, through gritted teeth, to try to get the Tories out.

How far the third scenario—break-up from below—develops depends in part on the general Britain-wide level of class struggle. The future of the British state is not determined only by those north of Berwick-upon-Tweed. The battle for independence sits alongside fights taking place across Britain, but, in turn, reinvigorating and extending the spirit of 2014 can inspire others. Such cross-border references might seem misplaced—left-wing Labour supporters insist independence would destroy north-south working class unity. Many left-leaning Indyref2 campaigners look no further than Gretna Green in their own calculations. Both approaches are mistaken. Labour’s veneration of the British state and refusal to even countenance Indyref2 confirms nationalist suspicions and solidifies the SNP’s hold over Scottish workers, even pushing some Labour supporters to advocate a tactical vote for the Tories. That is reinforced if, from the other side, socialists in Scotland ignore politics at the British level or see no connection between their fight for independence and other struggles. Each strategy diminishes opportunities for the third scenario.

Class solidarity is both essential and a practical proposition. Breaking the British state machine does not undermine the common interest of workers. Quite the contrary: for our class, the horrors of Grenfell Tower, and the harsh police response to protests after the murder of Sarah Everard and against England’s Police Bill, are no more a purely English concern than the break-up of the British state through secession is a purely Scottish concern.

The SNP and Labour see electoral arithmetic as more important than mass struggles, but a substantial democratic deficit operates whatever the parliamentary arrangements. Major elections happen on one day every five years, and referenda even more rarely, but the defence of living standards and public services—along with opposition to racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and climate catastrophe—must go on. These struggles can assist a Scottish breakaway and simultaneously restore the left’s political fortunes in England.

Despite scenarios for independence from “above” or “below” being polar opposites, they will not unfold in isolation. Each of the three possibilities is in play today. The balance between bureaucratic constitutionalism on the one hand and mass mobilisation around class demands on the other is shaped by political interventions. One task for socialists north and south of the border is to campaign for, or support, the breaking up of the British state. Marx’s famous phrase, “workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains”, is more than a slogan. It reflects the interrelated nature of the fight against capitalism. Struggles do not exist in confined national silos or in separate conceptual compartments—economics, politics or anti-oppression fights. Their successes and failures are linked. Breaking up the British state is one of these struggles.

Donny Gluckstein is a trade union activist in the Educational Institute of Scotland union. He is one of the authors of The Labour Party: A Marxist History (3rd edition, Bookmarks, 2019).


1 Thanks to Joseph Choonara, Iain Ferguson, John Lucey, Sheila McGregor, Gerry Mooney, Keith Pender, Héctor Puente Sierra, Camilla Royle and Dave Sherry for comments and advice, and to John for the table in particular.

2 For a full discussion, see Sherry, Fotheringham and Bryce, 2021.

3 Huang, Sampson and Schneider, 2021.

4 Arguably the exception is the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), dating from 1897. However, as its website states: “From the outset, the STUC was not in competition with the TUC… Close contact was retained with the TUC alongside a series of reciprocal arrangements for mutual assistance and cooperation.”—

5 Lenin, 1959, pp460-461.

6 This point has a wider contemporary significance. It is argued in the media that the 2015 result, alongside the 2019 general election and 2021 English council election results, proves emphasis on class is outdated and has been overtaken by issues of identity such as Scottish independence and Brexit. This wrongly assumes one to one correspondence between a person’s class position and the voting system. Bourgeois democracy’s representation and reflection of social reality is highly imperfect, and the disconnection between them is growing. It is not the significance of class that is in question, but reformist parties’ reliance on parliamentary institutions to address workers’ needs.

7 McAnulla and Crines, 2017.

8 McKechnie, 2014.

9 Carrell, 2016.

11 Boundary changes between elections mean some statistics appear anomalous.

12 McAnulla and Crines, 2017.

13 See Kimber, 2021.

14 Salmond was charged in 2019 with 14 offenses against ten women. He was found not guilty on all the charges except one, on which there was a verdict of “not proven”. Salmond admitted in the trial that he ought to have been “more careful with people’s personal space”.


Carrell, Severin, 2016, “Scottish Voting Trends Show How Tories Benefit While Labour Flounders”, Guardian (9 May),

Huang, Hanwai, Thomas Sampson and Patrick Schneider, 2021, “Disunited Kingdom? Brexit, Trade and Scottish Independence”, Centre for Economic Performance,

Kimber, Charlie, 2021, “Hundreds Mobilise to Block Immigration Raid in Glasgow”, Socialist Worker (13 May),

Lenin, Vladimir, 1959, On Britain (Foreign Languages Press).

McAnulla, Stuart, and Andrew Crines, 2017, “The Rhetoric of Alex Salmond and the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum”, British Politics, volume 12, number 4.

McKechnie, Keir, 2014, “Scotland: The Genie is Out of the Bottle”, International Socialism 144 (autumn),

Sherry, Dave, Bob Fotheringham and Colm Bryce (eds), 2021, Breaking up the British State: Scotland, Independence and Socialism (Bookmarks).