Sovereignty has become a vital issue for Britain, one that requires informed and urgent consideration by the British working class – the great majority of the British people who must work to earn the means of their livelihood.
Italy provides a template for what happens to a state that loses its sovereignty. Patently, the power to order Italian affairs no longer resides with anything resembling an elected administration. Adherence to the euro trumps national integrity, so power can be assumed by so-called technocrats without any reference to even the pretence of democracy.
For Britain the lesson is clear: national sovereignty will be eroded or even nullified by the EU. Consider the recent bid by Germany to virtually take over Greece by economic fiat in the name of euro, and EU, stability. Essentially, Greeks are being ordered to implement EU-determined policy or face the prospect of external imposition.
Britain, not being in the euro, is not threatened to such an extent at the moment, though there are constant moves to enlarge the EU’s authority – witness the German-led “Future of Europe” report (see news p3). But a home-grown sovereignty issue threatens the integrity of the nation – Scottish independence.
In pursuing its own narrow ends the SNP seeks to persuade the Scots their best interests would be served by sham independence. Sham because parting company with the rest of Britain would deliver Scotland to the EU as a minor region unable to withstand the machinations of the big players.
The working class is not shackled to arbitrary notions of right wing or left wing. It exerts its sovereignty when it acts on its own behalf irrespective of definitions and labels others might wish to impose.
The sovereignty of the working class, above all a sovereignty and independence of thought, is the progressive force in Britain today. No matter the issue – the euro, Scottish petty nationalism or whatever – true democracy, the voice of the people, is the forceful expression of that sovereignty.
Labour under Tony Blair, with support from inside the Trades Union Congress, undoubtedly wanted Britain to join the euro at its inception. But the British working class, even without anything as formal as a ballot, was so obviously opposed that Labour was unable to impose its wishes.
It does not matter to the working class whether the present prime minister’s posturing on Europe is sceptical or not. Nor that the issue might drive the Coalition partners apart. The only concern for the working class is the complete repatriation of powers to Britain, the full restoration of sovereignty.
If Britain is to be rebuilt as an independent nation then, in its abounding diversity, the working class must recognise itself as being sovereign and take whatever action is required to secure its sovereign status. ■