I've always been highly suspicious of the motives of the old left in Scotland (be that Labour, the SWP or anyone else). Whilst they claim to be on the side of the working class, they have always argued in favour of Scotland (and as such, the Scottish working-class) remaining part of a UK which they otherwise would view as crypto-fascist and imperialist. I can only conclude that they do this for one of two reasons - either they are a) stupid or b) have vested interests in maintaining the status quo.
Whilst I am not an activist within Scotland's new left, I've greatly welcomed their emergence. The old left has always celebrated Scotland's strong socialist tendencies, but it's taken the new left to point out to them that the only way these tendencies can truly flourish is via independence. If you're a socialist, surely it's obvious that the prospect of Scottish-wide socialism is far better than the reality of British-wide capitalism?
So, how does this tie in with the title of this article? Well, the new left hardly shares common ground with the SNP. Whilst the SNP's stated ambition is to promote the economic and cultural wellbeing of an independent Scotland, the new left is much more interested in undermining the UK's ability to wage war against the working-class both at home and overseas, arguing that via independence, it can do this. As such, I wouldn't describe the new left as nationalists and I don't think they'd thank me if I did. What the new left's position demonstrates is that independence is not the sole preserve of nationalists, but rather it can be a means to an end for a variety of political positions.
So whether you're a nationalist or not, before you cast your vote in 2014, unless you want to explain to your children why you stood by and did nothing while the ConDems destroyed their job prospects and public services, you need to seriously consider the fact that independence is the only mechanism we have to throw off the shackles of austerity and create a better future for ourselves and our children.