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Unity not devolution

The Communist Party of Britain is for the unity of Britain and against devolution and the fragmentation of a working class. The industrial revolution forged us as one working class whether we worked in a mill in Yorkshire, a mine in Wales or a shipyard in Scotland. That unity has been the basis for progress. Now we are under sustained attack from the European Union: Brussels attacks the nation state by pursuing the “ever greater union” into the EU superstate while actively encouraging devolution and regionalisation to fragment the nation state.

The proponents of the EU have had some success; there is now a Scottish Parliament and a Welsh Assembly. Workers in Scotland and Wales voted for those institutions, albeit in Wales by the narrowest of “official margins” and certainly not a majority of the people who are there. But the government’s favoured regionalisation was stopped in its tracks when the North East voted against a regional assembly: the last thing the area needed was another expensive bureaucracy and another layer of politicians.

The current economic crisis has exposed the nationalist mirage – remember Alex Salmond urging the working class in Scotland to join an “arc of prosperity” which included Ireland and Iceland? The working class in Wales were also asked to consider themselves as a “Celtic Tiger”. Now in April 2009 the teachers’ unions in north Wales are fighting to save 50 teachers’ posts as industrial decline in Wrexham and Deeside has again brought the spectre of depopulation.

We need unity because as a class our needs are the same. When the workers at Lindsey oil refinery demanded British jobs for British workers, across Britain workers knew the dispute was about the last remaining national agreement in the construction industry. Workers in Wales and Scotland took supportive action and identified themselves as British workers. The coming together of the Offshore Liaison Committee with the RMT union to demand the grounding of the Super Puma helicopters involved in the fatal crash in the North Sea is another example of one class, one voice.

The ruling class has abandoned Britain, some ultra-leftists will not even speak the word “Britain”, and so the only people who care about Britain are the working class. Britain is only really recognisable as the British working class. It is time that class took charge of the geographical territory to ensure its future. No Royal Bank of Scotland or HBOS is going to finance any exploration or development of North Sea oil, where production slumped by 78 per cent in the first quarter of 2009. British workers should decide we can do without politicians who don’t care about our country or our future.