The following letter from Bob Davies appeared in the July issue of the Labour Representation Committee’s Labour Briefing (http://labourbriefing1.wordpress.com/):
I was interested to read Vince Mills’ article, ‘Socialists and Scottish Nationalism’ (Labour Briefing, June 2013).
The comrade is absolutely correct to point out the inherent dangers in the arguments of those who pursue independence as a means to counter government austerity. Striving to cement and develop an already fragile unity of the peoples and working-classes of Scotland, England and Wales to resist such attacks is hardly going to be strengthened by political trajectories which enhance the separation of people facing an attack from the same source – the British state – even if we acknowledge that that separation may well be given a radical left political twist and bent.
But let’s not kid ourselves either that a reliance on the ‘Union’ as it’s currently constituted is sufficient enough to provide long term solutions to genuine grievances which the Welsh, Scottish and English experience on a regular basis – grievances which are political, as well as economic in nature. Indeed, why on earth should socialists, in an attempt to counter the divisive political trajectory of nationalism, remain somewhat muted when exposing the weaknesses and failures of a unionism that has curtailed democratic aspirations and goals of Britain’s nationalities over the years?
The (just) furore over issues relating to self-determination since the mid-1990s highlights the need for socialists to take not only the question of self determination seriously but the question of unity too. With this in mind, it is surely incumbent upon socialists operating in whatever country they find themselves in within GB to fight for that country’s, and its neighbours’, right to full self-determination – a parliament with full powers with the right to secede – as well as advancing demands that challenge unionism yet strive to achieve the highest organisational unity of our class? Agitating for a federal republic would fulfil such a political perspective.
Bob Davies, supporter, Labour Party Marxists, South Wales