What kind of strategy would unite the maximum forces for progress, reforms and socialist revolution at each stage of the revolutionary process?
Its starting point must be to identify the objective basis for building a broad alliance across a wide range of movements that would open the road to socialism. This can only be opposition to the policies of state-monopoly capitalism in Britain.
Clearly, building such an alliance would have to take into account the differing conditions in Scotland and in Wales, not least because each has its own parliament or assembly with their own distinctive politics and policies. The European and wider international dimensions would also have to be considered.
Nonetheless, the reality is that most of the capitalist monopolies based in Britain are owned and controlled at the British – not the Scottish, Welsh, English, European or global – level. Despite the importance of international markets, the predominant economic relations in Britain are domestic rather than international. Most production is for home consumption and most consumption and investment is supplied from within the British economy rather than from outside. Likewise, monopoly capitalist political power is exercised primarily through the apparatus of the British state. That is why the labour movement and its allies must propose an alternative economic and political strategy (AEPS) to that of the capitalist monopolies and the British state.
The struggle to implement such a strategy will undoubtedly be weakened if it is divided separately between Scotland, Wales and England while the ruling capitalist class remains organised and united at the British level. That is why the type of AEPS favoured by the Communist Party emphasises the need to maintain and enhance unity between the labour and progressive movements, across the three nations of Britain.
The Communist Party does not advocate separation, because it would fracture working class and progressive unity in the face of a largely united ruling capitalist class. It might also cause substantial economic dislocation as big business use threats and promises on jobs and investment to exert pressure on Scottish, Welsh and English governments to outbid each other in ‘business-friendly’ and ‘pro-market’ policies. Moreover, ‘independence’ would prove illusory in nations whose economy is still dominated by the capitalist monopolies and the anti-democratic, imperialist European Union (EU).
Of course, should the peoples of Scotland or Wales express a preference to secede from the United Kingdom, their wishes must be respected and negotiations take place to ensure that separation takes place on an amicable basis. For communists, the question of separation for Scotland and Wales is one of revolutionary strategy for united working class struggle against the British ruling class, not of supporting or opposing the union of the three nations of Britain in principle.
In seeking to challenge and defeat British state-monopoly capitalism, the AEPS must engage with the class struggle on the economic, political and ideological fronts. It must also propose the kind of policies that can promote the interests of the working class and the mass of the peoples of Britain, making inroads into the wealth and power of the capitalist class. Such a left-wing programme (LWP) would therefore need to embrace important economic, environmental, social, cultural, financial, democratic and foreign policy questions.
The AEPS would also have to identify the forces which, if brought together, would constitute the most powerful alliance to fight for the LWP against state-monopoly capitalism. This in turn raises the question of how such a popular, democratic anti-monopoly alliance would seek political power, including the role of elections and governments.
Finally, the AEPS must be able to outline the most likely stages through which the revolutionary process will have to go in the struggle for political power and socialism.