Gordon Brown and Scottish independence (by Pedja dell'Arno)
Two days ago the former Brittish Prime Minister, the Scottish Gordon Brown, was shown in BBC programme Newsnight presenting his arguments against Scottish independence. He said that the idea of independence undermined the necessity for pooling and sharing resources implicit in the Union, and that the objective of better government and more fiscal responsibility could be achieved with more and better devolution. Whatever the specifics of the arguments, the intervention of Brown in this debate highlights the importance for center-left politicians of engaging in debates on sovereignty in communities where the weight of this kind of debates tends to reinforce the power of conservative movements. Bavaria, Israel, Ireland, Quebec, are examples where the left has a hard time in making their arguments heard. The left has to participate in these debates, which are debates about power and rights, and therefore are social debates. And it has to participate with its own values and using its own concepts.