Unity, not separatism
WORKERS, MAR 2007 ISSUE
All over Britain collectivism is under attack from capitalism. In places, that attack is being resisted by the working class. Collective, unified class action is indeed our only defence, which is why employers and their political henchmen hate it so much.
One of the key collectives disliked by capitalism is the one that gave birth both to it and to the working class: Britain itself. Once of value to the employers, Britain and the working class unity based around it are now seen as an obstacle.
Their solution is two-pronged. Take power away from the centre, from Britain, and give it either upwards, to Europe, or downwards, to a splintered nation. So we have European integration on the one hand, and separatism and devolution on the other.
Devolution within England was dealt a strong blow in the North East in 2003, with the referendum rejection of John Prescott's plans for regional government there. But that has not deterred the Scottish National Party and its deluded dreams of "independence".
What is independent about becoming a province within the European Union? About joining the euro, and thereby handing your economy over to the unelected European Central Bank? And what about the rest of Britain – are we to have no say in the future of our country?
Nowhere is working class collectivism hated more than in Brussels, as it gears up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome which set the foundation of the economic predecessor of the European Union. Among the flurry of integrationist and reactionary legislation that continues to flow are proposals from the European Commission to outlaw collective bargaining and trade unionism (see Eurotrash, page 6).
The EU Green Paper "Modernising labour law to meet the challenges of the 21st century" is intended to remove any defensive or protective role from trade unions in support of their members. The proposed legislation, welcomed by Blair and the TUC (how surprising!) clamours for "flexible working practices" which in reality are about the labour movement acquiescing to and prostrating itself before whatever capital in the EU demands.
Collectivism in the form of trade unionism is to be replaced by further individual rights consciously designed to make it impossible for workers to strike, bargain or protect themselves. The European Union, based upon the Fascist concept of destroying organised labour, now seeks to outlaw the basis of trade unionism and render us powerless. That we cannot permit.