First Published: As an editorial in The Worker, No. 12, June 26, 1975.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Sam Richards and Paul Saba
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Wilson has pledged that Britain will now “play a full and constructive part in all European Community policies and activities”. But in the acceptance of the EEC the Labour Government speaks only for capitalism.
Capitalists “go into Europe” by joining other capitalists in exploiting a Euro labour force, by investing their profits in whichever of the Nine gives them the biggest and quickest returns, by throwing hundreds of thousands out of work in Britain in the process of exploiting less well-organised workers elsewhere, by running with US imperialism as the scavengers battening on that superpower’s capitalist kills.
British workers can only “go into Europe” as wage slaves deprived of work here and therefore forced to seek jobs abroad – and thus to be separated from their work mates in the organised labour movement which is their only strength and protection.
Profits know no nationality, no boundaries. The greed for profits which turned Britain imperialist and enslaved other nations is now bent on destroying Britain itself as a nation.
The working class cannot go any place else – except it be led away in bondage. British capital goes where it can, joins whom it may. We remain here in our island home which we must defend against all invaders, whether they come in military or financial guise.
Nationalism is older than capitalism. It is the essential genius of working people who in a particular place over a considerable period of time have developed their peculiar skills and arts for the enrichment of life both materially and spiritually. The bourgeoisie used this nationalism to build their capitalist nation state – just as they used working people to defeat feudalism and then disenfranchised them.
Now that the bourgeoisie have no further use for British nationalism it is for us workers who have developed it down the centuries to liberate it, to liberate that spirit of Britain which is the genius, skill, courage, intelligence and initiative of the working people of Britain.