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New Communist Party of Britain

adopted December 2015

Scotland and Wales

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 2010 General Election policies in Scotland and Wales on education, health and other devolved matters have often taken a different course than in England.

In the Welsh Assembly Labour has since 2011 run a minority administration, having previously shared power with Plaid Cymru. In 2011 the Scottish National Party secured a majority of seats in the Scottish Parliament. SNP rule has been marked a worsening health service, declining literacy and numeracy in Scottish schools. The loss of 140,000 college places under SNP rule is no compensation to the lack of maintenance support for potential students who cannot afford to attend universities despite the much vaunted policy of no tuition fees. The regular use of armed police and high rate of stop‑and‑search have resulted from the formation of a national police force.

Following the collapse of the Scottish Labour Party in the 2015 general election at the hands of the SNP the nationalists have been successful in deluding many people that they are a left‑wing party. Their neo‑liberal economic policies and their failure to use tax raising powers already devolved to the Scottish parliament expose these lies. A low level of class consciousness can only be countered by a reinvigorated labour movement and voting Labour.

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,