Point: We must build an anti-Westminster movement in England
by Anthony Jones, writer at The Lever
As the economic crisis deepens, Europe is particularly gripped by contradictions between various imperialist powers. This is most saliently felt in the “Brexit” regime which has pitted sections of the British ruling classes against their French and German counterparts. However, we in Britain are still living through the contradictions of capitalism-imperialism headed by Westminster, and in particular, the national contradictions within Britain which have the potential to splinter the UK as the EU is being splintered.
Naturally, I am referring to the potential of rising Scottish and Welsh nationalism to weaken Westminster imperialism and the English bourgeoisie, but it is very important that we understand how the English bourgeoisie is actually ruling Britain under the guise of not doing so. Through cultural soft power and economic and military hard power, the English ruling classes whose seat of power is Westminster attempt to convince all the peoples of this island of a shared political identity as “British”. This lie must be exposed not only by the Welsh and Scottish proletariats who can carry the struggle against imperialism beyond the weak positions offered by our “own” bourgeoisies, but also by the English themselves.
It is not enough for the English working class to not identify with British imperialism: they must show how British imperialism is seeking to dominate the market through national oppression, even “at home”. To do this, a line of demarcation must be drawn and an English movement against Westminster must be born, roughly based on the weak historical trend of English republicanism, now potentially strengthened by economic crisis and sharpened by the knowledge of national contradictions in these islands.
This is no appeal to a bourgeois English patriotism of the sort of the original English republicans, which itself sowed the seeds of capitalist-imperialist domination of Wales and Ireland. Rather the English revolutionaries must preemptively work to give up land dominated not only by the UK state as such, but even legally defined as England. As I have argued before, it is up to the English revolutionaries to begin this struggle against their ruling classes by continuing to question the borders of England itself. But whatever remains of England and Englishness after this investigation, must be realised as a particular site of struggle, and the “local” class struggle in England identified with the multinational proletariat imprisoned in and by England and Britain, in a united revolutionary struggle against the bourgeois dictatorship in Westminster.
Workers and oppressed peoples of the world – unite!
Counterpoint: Chas and Dave were English
by RCG representative
The position put forth by Anthony Jones would at first glance appear to take a creative and original anti-imperialist stance against the English ruling classes, dividing English workers from their “own” ruling classes by uniting them with the anti-imperialist movements of various oppressed peoples in these islands and around the world.
But “Comrade” Anthony Jones is forgetting one crucial fact: Chas and Dave were English.
How can the revolutionary multi-national proletariat around the world put any faith in any of the classes which belong to a nation so reactionary that it produced such “art” as Chas and Dave? They certainly cannot.
So as to prevent a continuation of this “debate” with opportunists such as Anthony Jones, we want to head off potential responses to what we consider is already the end of the discussion: Anthony Jones might offer that many English people also agree that Chas and Dave are bad and reactionary shit. This is certainly true: we know many individual English people who never listen to Chas and Dave, or indeed, any English “musicians”. But breaking on an individual level with Chas and Dave cannot be mistaken for a decisive break by English workers with the labour aristocracy ideology best exemplified by Chase and Dave and their rubbish “music”.
Since Chas Hodges passed away (tragically altogether too late) earlier this year, Anthony Jones might offer that Chas and Dave represent a historical threat to proletarian internationalism, but not a contemporary one. However, the continued life of Dave Peacock… really? His surname is Peacock? Disgusting. Right, the fact that Dave is still alive represents a concrete obstacle that we are confident no victim of British imperialism could look beyond.
Imagine you are in Belfast, engaged in solidarity work with the 32 County Sovereignty Movement or the Irish Republican Socialist Party. On this nearest front line against British Imperialism, if you were in a pub, and Dave Peacock came on television, speaking in that horrendous accent of his, what Irish republican would not be justified in taking out their rage on any English person in sight?
Under such conditions, no meaningful international solidarity can be built on the basis of anti-imperialism between the victims of British imperialism and the English, the nightmare nation which incubated the “cultural” abomination known as Chas and Dave. Not even the most apparently revolutionary elements of the English working class will be able to overcome the contradiction of Chas and Dave and Chas and Dave-ism at least until some hero ends the life of Dave. Until then, we must maintain a national liberation strategy of the entire legitimate territory of Wales and Scotland from English oppression “at home” and strict anti-imperialist struggle against Britain abroad.
KNEES UP MOTHER BROWN.
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