The British working class is deeply patriotic and democratic. But it was painfully irresponsible when it let both Tories and New Labour wreck our industries, public services and social life, while handing over power to the corporations in the EU.

But in the 2016 referendum the silent majority took its revenge and spoke out for change and national independence.

Politicians sought to undermine or ignore the result, attempting coups and authoritarian manoeuvres in the courts; setting judges and Parliament against the people. The media frenzy and Remainers’ fortunes poured derision on the majority.

But all to no avail. The majority held firm particularly in former industrial areas where once trade union strength had furthered our interests. The Tories recognised this. Tragically the Parliamentary party of the Labour Movement did not. Rather than inheriting the best of the democratic tradition reaching back deep into our history, Labour chose instead to side with the minority and EU capital on the big issue of the day.

They fatally suggested that the EU membership issue was not the defining election issue and irrelevant to their transformative social and economic proposals. This underestimated our intelligence.

The Tories took us deep into the EU, ruined our economy and then led the 2016 campaigns both to remain and leave. Their government tried to get us to leave with a policy that kept us half in. So they changed their leader to get us fully out. Then Parliament blocked them and tried to stop them holding a general election.

On December 12th, the Tories won the election with the central promise to implement Brexit.

Their first challenge will be to get that policy sorted and reject the separatist demands of reactionaries in Scotland. Workers will have to raise their voices on this issue too.

The SNP have no right to a referendum and their illusion that they can be independent while subservient to the EU deserves all the ridicule it will get.

Meanwhile, most of the trade union movement, and the TUC in particular, has been absent and out of touch with most of the election debates. Our vital confidence in change that collective trade union struggle brings has been hollowed out by the historic sycophancy of many in the Movement to the false fantasy that EU Commissioners could save us from ourselves.

This retreat from politics by the organised working class is the key issue to address.

We need a new deal for workers, a united nation - England, Wales and Scotland. Once out of the EU we can unite against all those preventing the rebuilding of our economy and public services. We will have to seize all of the assets of the nation for ourselves.

So will the Irish people now have to take the opportunity to unite theirs and make it truly independent out of the clutches of Britain or Brussels.

The long term socialist vision of an independent Britain and an independent Ireland coexisting and cooperating in peace is coming closer.

Britain and the World

Socialism is a recent, infant development in the whole, long history of the human species, yet its seeds and embryos have grown within each previous social formation worldwide.

thumbnail of Britain and the WorldIts essence in collective labour, sharing, solidarity, mutual support and human empathy has been evident in every human society. What has been unnatural and inhuman has been the theft of the collective production of people and the private ownership of land. This has occurred in relatively recent, class divided history since the first City states in Mesopotamia 5,000 years ago. It was this division into various forms of haves and have nots over the centuries that gave rise to new ideas of socialism which aspire to and predict a future without class division, the oppression of women, or ethnic groups.

Yet the full realisation of these socialist, human qualities comes about only when the material conditions for securing equality and a better life for all have been sufficiently developed. Socialism requires plenty, not penury. It requires a high level of education and awareness to sustain active democracy and an educated, conscious working class.

In 2018 humanity’s general capacity to control the natural, social and physical environments is advanced enough to eradicate starvation, poverty, unemployment, many more diseases and to repair the very climate damage its own activities of industrialisation have caused and prevent more damage in the future.

Each country has the wherewithal to provide free housing, education, healthcare, leisure and work for everyone, and to control prices on essentials in food, energy, housing and transport, medicines and so on.

What prevents the fulfilment of this aspiration is the private ownership of the productive forces. These should be at society’s collective disposal through democratic government.

thumbnail of Britain and the World Published by The Workers' Party of Britain

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