New Communist Party of Britain
Since the establishment of the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly by the Labour Government in 1999, these institutions have played an increasing role in their respective countries. Both institutions had, under Labour leadership, used some of their powers to pass modest reforms beneficial to the working class. Since the coming to power at Westminster of the Conservative, Liberal-Democratic coalition (Coalition) government in 2010 policies on education, health, and other devolved matters have often been different in England.
In the Welsh Assembly Labour has since 2011 run a minority administration, having previously shared power with Plaid Cymru. At the 2011 Scottish Parliament elections the Scottish National Party gained a majority of seats and announced that a referendum on Scotland leaving the United Kingdom will take place in 2014. Since then the SNP’s energies in government have been largely devoted to removing powers from local government and constantly changing policies to enhance their chances of winning the referendum.
The degree of local autonomy won by the Scots and the Welsh is, in itself, no guarantee that the national traditions and culture of the Scottish and Welsh people will be developed, nor will it automatically lead to the strengthening of working class power. But the creation of national institutions in Scotland and Wales had some positive developments. The Scottish and Welsh Labour parties have developed policies, under pressure from the labour movement, that reflect more the demands of the working class for social justice and have a positive message for the workers in England.
The New Communist Party has long recognised the rights of the Scottish and Welsh nations to full national self-determination. We support Scottish and Welsh demands for the right to preserve and develop their culture and national identity. We support their right to possess and control all the physical and other resources present on their land and territorial waters. We support the tax-raising powers for the Welsh Assembly. While maintaining our call to vote Labour in Westminster, Scottish, Welsh and local elections, the New Communist Party will support a Yes vote in Scottish referendum.
The New Communist Party supports the demand for the encouragement of the Welsh language, which should be raised, in practice as well as in theory, to equal standing with English throughout Wales. We likewise support demands for the encouragement of Scottish Gaelic in traditional Gaelic areas.