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50 Years Ago: The Welsh Nationalist Party and the Workers

The Welsh Nationalist Party claims to stand in the interest of the workers in Wales. It is not concerned with the fact that because of the international nature of Capitalism, workers are exploited everywhere and therefore the attack against exploitation must be on a broad front recognising no national barriers.

The W.N.P. naturally cannot possibly possess this world outlook being a parochial organisation not recognising exploitation as being synonymous with Capitalism.

Its members base their policy on the importance of the National State, demanding National Status for Wales arguing that with its achievement the workers' troubles will end.

They conveniently forget (at least they never mention) that Wales was as much oppressed (i.e. the people) when she was governed by the Princes of Wales of “Welsh blood” as she has been ever since the statute of Ruddlian: that she has been oppressed in common with the workers of other parts of the British Isles from the inception of Capitalism is not so much history but a tale of yesterday and today. If the Nationalists get their way it will be the tale for tomorrow as well. [. . .]

From the point of view of the Welsh workers, the position would remain broadly the same – he would remain the vehicle creating surplus value. He could – if he has a mind to – stagger to the mine or steel mill in the grey dawn singing triumphantly the words of the Welsh National Anthem and consider himself as having achieved his emancipation. On the other hand he could get down to the fundamentals of Socialism and throw his exploiters out whether they scream Nationalism, Patriotism, or any other brand of moonshine – in Welsh or English.

The land of Wales could raise its voice in a mighty chorus which would reverbrate through the hills and valleys and beyond. “Workers of all lands, Unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains, you have a world to gain.”

This is the real message of freedom: these words spell freedom in any language.

(From article by W. Brain, Socialist Standard, October 1953)