WHAT does the future hold for Scotland and England? The referendum campaign revived Scottish politics as nothing else had done since 1945. The defeat did not create despair and demoralisation as some commentators had predicted hopefully.

In the general election that followed, the SNP swept the board, undermining the foundations of the old UK state and almost destroying Labour as a political force; the change taking place in Scotland was symbolised by Mhairi Black’s electrifying maiden speech in the House of Commons, an oration that no Labour MP could have produced. Add to that the fact that many English voters regarded Nicola Sturgeon as the most effective politician in the country as a whole.

The proudly vaunted Thatcherite politics of Blair, Brown and their Scottish toadies accelerated the rise of civic nationalism and fuelled desertions from Labour to the SNP.

This helped them realise the only way to defeat Blairite Tories was by positioning themselves to the left of Labour on every major issue: the SNP opposed the Iraq war, defended the welfare state, demanded the removal of nuclear weapons from Scottish soil and slowly began to build up support. Labour was in denial. The first tremors were ignored.

The impact of Scottish events on young people in England should not be underestimated. In my view it was Scotland that helped fuel Corbyn’s success. What appealed to the young, who transformed Corbyn’s campaign into a social movement, was precisely what alienated the traditional political and media cliques.

Corbyn was untutored, discursive, too leftwing, wanted to reverse the privatisations of the railways and the utilities, etc. Many who registered to vote for him did so because of this and to break from the bland, colourless, unimaginative and visionless New Labour confections on permanent display, just like their Scottish peers had done.

The tasks facing radicals and socialists in Scotland and England are very different. In Scotland, the young people who dominated the Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) played an exemplary role in the referendum and the elections.

Broad-minded, non-sectarian, realising what was at stake and focusing all their energies to defeat the common foe. The results have vindicated their approach. They now need to assemble the forces that want a radical Scotland to represent them in the Scottish parliament that will be elected next month. This means a constructive left opposition that carries on the tradition of RIC but this time in Parliament, preparing the ground for a Scotland that is both independent and different.

That is why I think that a cluster of socialists in the Scottish parliament would strengthen the independence campaign and provide an important foil to the neo-liberal temptations on offer to the ruling party. Many in the SNP understand only too well that if they become too much like New Labour in its early years (what an awful thought) many causes will be set back.

Sturgeon’s call for school tests based on?the “3Rs”, and the weak response to Osborne’s budget, are not good signs. I was saddened to see Mhairi Black denouncing Rise and the Greens for not being real believers in independence but simple opportunists.

Did she ever attend a RIC meeting? Jim Sillars’ idea that in safe SNP constituencies the spare vote should be cast for RISE is a good one. The movement for independence will benefit.

Labour voters are more right wing than the SNP, research finds