[Marxism] On English Oppression in Britain

DoC donaloc at hotmail.com
Wed Jun 23 04:31:42 MDT 2004

I am dissappointed but not surprised by the failure of Phil Ferguson to
correctly understand the dynamics of the British state.

He denies the fact of Welsh and Scottish (and Cornish) oppression within
the British state as mere economism - despite the undeniable history of
anti-Celtic oppression metered out to Cymraeg, Gaedhlig and Cernow
speakers and to their English-speaking compatriates. These constitute
the backbone of the oppressed nationalities within Britain and are now
joined by oppressed groups who have come to Britain from her former

Worse still is his position of opposing the struggle of many within
those countries for national self-determination within a People's
Europe. I have to say I totally agree with all what Michael Keaney said
in his definitive take on the tasks ahead of us all in Europe (and in
particular in the Islands of the North Atlantic). Breaking the British
state is a primary objective. To do this it is encumbant upon us all to
find a common unity in the face of the dominance of the British State
hegemony. Points made by comrades in the IRSP are also very well made.
Irish Republicans of all hues are keen to advance the cause of
pan-Celticism (in a similar manner as African liberation leaders pushed
for pan-Africanism to unify their people and to counter the cultural and
intellectual impact of Eurocentricism). Similarly, we must be able to
counter the cultural impact of the British Empire at home - and it is
much more difficult given the length and depth of English occupation of
our common homelands.

The fact that Phil doesn't understand this is mainly reflective of his
lack of experience of actual life in Wales or Scotland. My mother was
from a medium-sized Welsh mine town and it has to be said that even any
casual view of Welsh history would have to demonstrate clearly that it
was those elements who promoted working class (British) unity (to the
detriment of national consciousness) who ended up leading the militant
workers in Wales into supporting social democracy at a time when the
British State itself was on the defensive. It is undeniable that
militancy in the Welsh vallies and the radicalism of its Welsh-speaking
areas in the North is miles ahead of their equivalents in England's
urban and rural areas respectively.

The similar case of Scotland is further complicated by the division of
the Scottish working class on lines of Loyalism/Republicanism in much
the same manner as the North-Eastern part of Ireland.

Nobody is saying that the English working class aren't oppressed -
indeed in the North of England there are strong popular demands for
increased regional government (is it merely a coincidence that this area
was the centre of the non-Welsh British Celts and has large numbers of
Irish/Indian immigrants?).

The people who need to be disempowered are the twenty million or so,
Home County'ers who live in the Southern areas around London and
consistently vote Tory or else UKIP. The first step to doing this is to
break up the British state by uniting Ireland. Victory in Ireland will
aid the oppressed nationalities within Britain and will also prefigure a
huge challenge to the forces of reaction in Britain. Failure to
understand this leads to social imperialist positions on the British
State. I'm dissappointed that Phil F. doesn't understand this but he
usually never lets facts get in the way of what appears to be a nice
revolutionary line, this time its: Unity of the British Working Class!
Ah, how you miss the ultraleft!

Le meas,

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