Constitutional Settlement and Ireland. What is a Free Nation?

Now at a time when British capitalism has raise the question of a constitutional settlement British workers should recognise the legitimate claims of the Irish nation to be united and free. We must also declare for a united independent Britain too.

The civil wars of three nations of the 1640s in England, Scotland and Ireland acted as midwife for two nations,one on either side of the Irish Sea. After eight hundred years still two thirds of Ulster (Ireland’s fourth field) is still occupied by a foreign power, even though it is almost a century since the Green Flag was raised in Dublin along with the tricolour.

In the 1790s the United Irishmen led by Wolfe Tone an Ulster protestant outlined for the modern era the basis of Irish nationalism. In the 20th century James Connolly the Socialist trade unionist and Irish rebel showed for Ireland, but also for the world, how socialists should take part in the struggle for national freedom and against imperialism. He explained how this was a question of crucial importance for working class people.

Since the Good Friday Agreement at the end of the 1990s the struggle for unity and independence continues, now in political form. At the present Sinn Fein wish to see a true partnership of equal sovereign states, co-operating in social and economic development in the European Union.

James Connolly posed the question “what is a free nation?” and indicated that such a country would to have absolute control over: its natural resources and how it orders its economy; its harbours and what commodities its open to or shuts out; its customs and excise and merchant commerce; the industries it nurses to health; its postal and telegraphic services; its coinage; its legislative sovereignty and how it modifies its laws; how it orders its national and social activity; its fighting forces and its relationships with other nations.

For Britain we could well do with taking these points as a basis for a new constitution. However so many of these points bring us into direct conflict with the European Union. The Tory party and many other parliamentarians wish to solve the “West Lothian” questions – the fact that Scotland has a parliament and Wales an assembly. They would solve this by preventing Scottish MPs from voting on “English Matters”, or by devolution of powers to national assemblies including one for England, or some kind of federal solution. Attempts to develop such new governmental structures will undermine Westminster, have questionable legitimacy, have limited powers and be less democratically accountable. Such moves can only serve to weaken Britain and strengthen the EU.

United Britain, out of the EU! Ireland is One Nation!

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