When it comes to the limited additional powers enshrined in the Scotland Bill and the alternative SNP proposal that would grant full fiscal powers to the country, the bigger picture is important writes John Foster in the Morning Star.

Financial over expansion is being resolved across the world by the concentration of capital on an unprecedented scale and a political drive to shift the balance of power decisively against labour.
The biggest potential loser in this struggle is democracy - in its proper sense of rule by the people - and the ability to exercise some form of collective control over the power of capital and its market forces.
This attack on democracy can be seen today across the EU and in Britain, and this is the context within which to judge current pressure for constitutional change in Scotland.
It is important to recall that the modern movement for a Scottish parliament was initiated to assert precisely such a class understanding of democracy.
The first Scottish Assembly met in the Usher Hall in Edinburgh 40 years ago in the winter of 1972. Its demand was a Scottish parliament that would politically consolidate the industrial power exerted by the shipyard workers of the Upper Clyde and the miners of Fife and Lanarkshire.
Scottish Trades Union Congress general secretary Jimmy Jack foresaw a Scottish parliament as a "workers' parliament."
It would give the people of Scotland the economic powers required to defend employment and industry and, as a workers' parliament, it would strengthen the power of working people across Britain.
On these terms neither of the two current alternatives - the Scotland Bill or the SNP alternative of full fiscal autonomy, known as Devo Max - takes us very far.
Full fiscal autonomy has some immediate attractions. It would provide the power to tax capital. It would also give control of national insurance and welfare, allowing Scotland to escape from the current Con-Dem attempt to reintroduce the Poor Law.
Yet its tax powers would struggle to meet existing levels of expenditure even with control of oil and gas revenues, especially as these resources will run down over the next 10 years.
Worse still, its model for growth relies on cutting taxes on capital in order to attract it from other parts of Britain and Europe. In terms of the touchstone of democracy it would deepen dependence on big business and weaken class cohesion across Britain.
The Calman Commission proposals on devolution, as embodied in the Scotland Bill, provide some borrowing powers to permit investment in infrastructure and job creation, but these are only at the margin.
Their powers to tax are limited to personal income and would be broadly neutral in terms of stimulating economic growth.
Neither proposal assists the political dynamics required to redevelop labour movement cohesion across Britain, although the Scotland Bill would do less direct damage. Nor does either proposal measure up to the challenges currently facing the trade union and labour movement.
On the economic front these challenges hardly need repeating.
There is the assault on the public sector and public sector trade unionism, the main remaining bastion of organised labour. There is the impact of falling living standards on the service sector, and industrially there is the drastic loss of ownership to external companies - increasingly private equity speculators focused on short-term profits.
Politically the main challenge is perhaps less easily recognised, indeed almost perversely ignored, but it is exactly the same as that being battled by workers elsewhere in Europe - the EU neoliberal prohibition on any interference with market forces.
On paper, the Scottish Parliament already possesses significant powers to promote economic development and to intervene industrially.
There is nothing in existing legislation to stop it establishing publicly owned initiatives in transport or renewable energy, but these prohibitions exist within the provisions of the EU single market to which Britain is committed.
Paradoxically, if Alex Salmond - the arch proponent of "independence in Europe" - wants more real powers for the Scottish Parliament, he would be far better engaged campaigning against the EU single market, the Stability and Growth Pact, and whatever new treaty amendments will emerge this year.
This brings us back to the main issue. This year is likely to see a constitutional crisis.
The Scottish Parliament will reject the Scotland Bill, and the Scottish government will prepare the way for a referendum that will focus on what the SNP calls full fiscal autonomy.
The potentially divisive character of this proposal will then pose a direct challenge to the trade union movement and all those committed to the original perspectives for a Scottish parliament.
What should be the response? It cannot be defensive unionism. That would be no less a betrayal of the original intent.
We need to look instead to the two principles that inspired the movement of the 1970s and '80s.
One was the power to defend Scotland's economy to compensate for its small size, its exposure to destabilising market forces and especially market failure - namely the principle of social ownership.
The second was the financial power to do so based on the social democratic principle of income redistribution.
The Barnett formula - the strategy of adapting public expenditure in Scotland according to that of the rest of the union - was developed at the time of the first referendum on Scottish devolution. As noted previously, it is not perfect.
It was effectively an attempt to manage a geographical allocation of expenditure based on the earlier and far more interventionist practice of post-war governments. It now needs to be recalculated on the basis of existing social need.
But it has one great merit - it recognises that wealth is very unevenly distributed and that the concentration of finance and company headquarters in south-east England can only be tackled at the British level.
And if there are to be the additional resources to make a reality of the second principle, that of social ownership, geographical redistribution needs to be complemented by a return to that other form of redistribution - a properly progressive taxation system that can attack the grotesque maldistribution of income that makes Britain one of the most unequal states in Europe.
This might not suit the millionaires who fund the SNP, but the call for adequate funding for Wales, Scotland and the English regions would be a unifying campaigning demand for working people across Britain, especially if it was linked to rescuing local economies through social ownership and a practical fightback against cuts and closures.
It was the great Scottish-born socialist James Connolly who argued that the freedom of the Irish people would not be achieved by the hoisting of a green flag over Dublin Castle.
Ownership would still remain in the hands of a minute capitalist elite. Ireland's working people had to take possession politically and collectively.
Securing this principle for the Scottish Parliament will, as above, mean an active contest with the neoliberal principles of the EU.
However, it is a battle we cannot shirk if we are to resecure the enthusiasm and optimism that mobilised working people to demand a Scottish parliament 40 years ago in Edinburgh's Usher Hall.
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