Thursday, 24 June 2021

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From The Liberty Wall – National Liberal Trade Unionists – Restore The Guilds (Part 2)

WELCOME TO part 2 of Restore The Guilds. Written by Gary Dorrien for the Plough Quarterly,a US-based ‘magazine of stories, ideas, and culture to inspire faith and action’, the article – https://www.plough.com/en/ topics/justice/social-justice/economic-justice/restore-the-guilds – provides an excellent history of Guild Socialism (referred to as ‘Christian socialism’ in the article). This article should be read directly on from part 1: http://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-%e2%80%93-national-liberal-trade-unionists-%e2%80%93restore-the-guilds-part-1

As we’ve previously noted, we National Liberal Trade Unionists – NLTU – are neither of the ‘left’ nor the ‘right’. In fact, we feel that these terms are somewhat redundant as there’s barely a fag paper between the Tory ‘left’ & the Blairite/Social Democratic ‘right’ of the Labour Party. Indeed, who would’ve ever thought that any Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer – currently Rishi Sunak (1) – would be spending money like it was going out of fashion? (It’s just a shame that it’s taken Covid-19 to loosen the purse strings.)

We also view ourselves as ‘beyond class’ as we feel that to describe people solely by class is very restrictive. In fact, why should we effectively be forced to label ourselves according to the dictats of capitalism?

All of the above should make it very clear that the NLTU is interested in ‘alternative’ – and especially co-operative – economic systems. This is especially so when it can transcend the two traditional ‘sides’ of the economic equation – employers & employees. We feel that one way of doing this could be the introduction of a modern Guild system – Guilds, as described by the Encyclopaedia Britannica, being ‘an association of craftsmen or merchants formed for mutual aid and protection and for the furtherance of their professional interests’ (2).

As always, we invite our readers to share their thoughts when this article is reproduced on the NLTU Facebook site – https://www.facebook.com/groups/277840098977231/ - or the National Liberals Facebook site https://www.facebook.com/groups/52739504313/ It goes without saying that there are no links between Gary Dorrien, Plough Quarterly, the NLTU and the National Liberal Party. We’d also like to point out that whilst the article is written from a Christian perspective, the NLTU and NLP welcome members & supporters from all religions and none. Please note that the NLTU has kept the original US spellings and phrases as they are.

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Restore The Guilds – What today’s labor unions, democratic socialists, and mutual aid societies might learn from the colorful history of Christian socialism in Britain

(Top left) Robert Owen (1771–1858) was a Welsh manufacturer turned social reformer. An early advocate of utopian socialism, he put his ideas into practice with the establishment of his New Lanark mills in Lanark, Scotland. A visionary, he instituted social & industrial welfare reforms including the opening of Britain’s first infant school. (Top right) Charles Fourier (1772–1837) was a French utopian socialist who believed in a cooperative form of society where workers would live in communities he called “phalanxes.” He was also an early supporter of women’s rights. (Bottom left) George Douglas Howard Cole (1889-1959) was a noted anti-fascist libertarian socialist who developed & popularised the theory of guild socialism. He formed the National Guilds League in 1915 and published several books on guild socialism as well as books about Robert Owen & William Morris. (Bottom right) Arthur Penty (1875–1937) was influenced by William Morris & John Ruskin and is credited with formulating Christian socialism based on the Guilds. A distributist, Penty also published Restoration of the Guild System in 1906.

SOCIALISM WAS ORIGINALLY A VISION that society could be organized as a cooperative community. In the 1820s, Charles Fourier in France and Robert Owen in England championed the idea of an economy based on cooperation and community. Instead of pitting workers against each other, a cooperative mode of production and exchange would allow them to work for each other. Fourier and Owen founded socialist movements that dreamed of replacing the state, or restricting it, or enlisting it to support producer cooperatives. Debates over these issues roiled the socialist movement from the beginning and sundered the first movement for Christian socialism.

Christian socialism began in the 1840s with the Anglican trio of Frederick Denison Maurice, John Ludlow, and Charles Kingsley. Maurice, a theologian and cleric, argued that cooperation is the moral law of the divine moral order. Socialism reflects the divine order by creating a cooperative society. Fatefully, the first Christian socialists clashed over consumer cooperatives, the state, and cooperative syndicates. Why should producer cooperatives be favored over consumer cooperatives? Should the state finance producer cooperatives? Are labor syndicates inevitably divisive and radical? Debates over these issues thwarted the first wave of Christian socialism.

The mighty second wave in Britain, beginning in the 1880s, was mostly Anglo-Catholic. Many Anglican socialists were stubbornly cooperative in the Owen and Maurice mode, some joined the Fabian movement after it arose in 1884, some joined the Christian Social Union reformers who came out of Oxford, some gave highest priority to socializing land, and many joined the workers party movement after it arose in 1893. But Christian socialism had an ethical wellspring that qualified its commitment to these ideologies. Christian socialists were committed to an ethic of equality, freedom, cooperative community, and divine love. No ideology, whether Fabian or Syndical or Social Unionist or Marxist, was more binding than these religious and ethical convictions.

(1) Britain’s Reactionary Racists React! http://nationalliberal.org/britain%e2%80%99s-reactionary-racists-react

(2) Encyclopaedia Britannica https://www.britannica.com/topic/guild-trade-association

• IF YOU want to help the National Liberal Trade Unionists promote a sensible non-socialist (but still anti-capitalist) form of trade unionism please contact us via natliberal@aol.com and/or visit our Facebook site https://www.facebook.com/groups/277840098977231/

• ALSO Check out: Twitter @National Liberal

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From The Liberty Wall – Nations without States – Calling All Aragonese Living In London …

FIVE MONTHS AGO – on 7th May – our friends and comrades of the National Liberal Party (NLP) should have been fighting the Greater London Authority elections.  The plan was to stand up to 25 candidates who would be campaigning to raise awareness of the vital issue of Self-Determination.

Regular readers will be aware that, due to Covid-19, the GLA elections had to be scrapped.  They’re now been rescheduled to take place in May of next year.  To some extent this has worked out in our favour as it gives Self-Determinists another seven months to organise.

With the above in mind, Nations without States would like to appeal to all of those who support our ideal of Self-Determination For All to financially support the NLPs GLA election campaign.

As we all know, democracy doesn’t come cheap – especially in London!  A quick look at the official London Elects web-site – https://www.londonelects.org.uk/im-candidate/nominations will confirm this.

Talking about Self-Determination is one thing, but doing something positive & practical is another.  So, will you put your money where your mouth is by donating to the election campaign?  Your donation doesn’t need to be much – in fact, all donations small (or large) are very much welcome.

Even if you can only afford to send £1 a month, it all adds up.  For instance, if 1,000 Self-Determinists sent in £1 a month, that’ll bring in a total of £1,000.  If these small donations are repeated on a monthly basis from (and including) today until to election day – on Thursday 6th May 2021 – we’ll be looking at a total of £8,000.

Now that’ll be small change compared to what the Establishment parties can raise.  But it’ll go a some way to promoting Self-Determination to London’s electorate.  The NLP are used to making a little go a long way, so something like £8,000 will give the enemies of Self-Determination something to think about!

Will you support those brave candidates who’re representing your nation & people?  Will you support the activists who’ll be out leafleting and canvassing in different areas of London?  Indeed. will you support the efforts of the NLP to promote Self-Determination?  Let’s put the noses of our oppressors out of joint & send shockwaves through the system – donate today!

This can be done via http://nationalliberal.org/the-party-organisation/donate or by transfer to the Bank of Scotland, NLP (ac)12-11-03, (s/c) 06186181

One group who may benefit from having their cause brought to the attention of London’s population of nearly nine million are the Aragonese.

The Arangonese, like the Andalucians who we featured last month (see here: https://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-–-nations-without-states-–-calling-allandalusians-living-in-london) hail from Spain.  However, whilst Andalucia is the southernmost of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities (Spain is a decentralised unitary state which has devolved some powers to these communities) Aragon is in the North East.

Aragon broadly consists of the land that was formally known as the independent Kingdom of Aragon, which existed from 1035 – 1707.  Landlocked, it shares its Northern border with France, Castilla-La Mancha in the South West, Castile-León, La Rioja & Navarre (all in the West), Catalonia in the East & the Valencian Community to the South East.

With an area of 18,420 square miles around half of the total population (1,308,563 as at January 2016) lives in the capital of Zaragoza.   The idea of some greater form of Self-Determination appears to run high in Aragon.  In a  2011 survey, nearly 48% of the population wanted greater autonomy whilst just over 3% favoured full independence.

This may be linked to a popular revival of the Aragonese language – as of 2011 Aragonese was spoken – in several dialects – by around 12,000 people.  Aragonese speakers are largely concentrated in the mountainous northern counties of the Pyrenees.  (Aragon consists of three provinces, Huesca, Zaragoza and Teruel.  These are, in turn, sub-divided into 33 counties.)

There are several parties which advocate different forms of Self-Determination.  However, at root, they base their claims on the idea that Aragon is a historical nationality with its own history, language, laws & culture.

As with the Andalucians there’s no way of knowing how many Spanish living in London would define themselves as Aragonese & what form of Self-Determination they desire.  We know that Kensington, Regents Park & Chelsea (in West London) are the areas which have the highest number of Spanish-born residents.  We also know that Southwark (in South London) is the borough where Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language.

Therefore, if there are any readers who live and/or work in these areas of London who know anyone who is of Aragonese background, please ask them to get in touch with the National Liberal Party as soon as possible – e-mail:  natliberal@aol.com The message from Nations without States is clear: For the sake of Aragon don’t delay – take action today!

• ALSO Check out:

From The Liberty Wall – Nations without States – Calling All Aborigines, Aché, Ainu & Ahwazi People … http://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-nationswithout-sates-calling-all-aborigines-ache-ainu-ahwazi-people

From The Liberty Wall – Nations without States – Calling Åland Islanders Living In London … http://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-nations-withoutsates-calling-all-aland-islanders-living-in-london

From The Liberty Wall – Nations without States – Calling All Andalusians Living In London … https://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-–-nations-withoutstates-–-calling-all-andalusians-living-in-london

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From The Liberty Wall – National Liberal Trade Unionists – Restore The Guilds (Part 1)

WE NATIONAL LIBERAL TRADE UNIONISTS – NLTU – are neither of the ‘left’ or the ‘right’. In addition to this, we are equally opposed to both capitalism and modern-day socialism. Indeed, we believe that there is very little true difference between both systems. Whilst we believe that ordinary working folks are the backbone of any nation, we regard ourselves as ‘beyond class’. As the NLTU Facebook site – https://www.facebook.com/ groups/277840098977231 – notes:

The National Liberal Trade Unionist aims to promote a non-socialist trade unionism i.e. building employee protections rather than class revolution. The group will support the principles of liberty e.g. the protection of all individual employees, and patriotism e.g. the defence of workers from globalisation, and promote a liberal e.g. supporting greater employee share ownership, agenda.

From this, it follows that we’re particularly interested in alternative economic systems that offer both security & betterment for ordinary working folks. Thus some of our ‘points of reference’ include Distributism, Social Credit, the Co-Operative movement and Syndicalism. We’re also interested in Guild Socialism (as advocated by the likes of William Morris, GDH Cole and Arthur Penty). With this in mind, the NLTU recently came across a thoughtprovoking article in the Plough Quarterly, a US-based ‘magazine of stories, ideas, and culture to inspire faith and action’. Written by Gary Dorrien, the article – https://www.plough.com/en/topics/justice/social-justice/ economic-justice/restore-the-guilds – provides an excellent history of Guild Socialism (referred to as ‘Christian socialism’ in the article).

We invite our readers to share their thoughts when this article is reproduced on the NLTU Facebook site https://www.facebook.com/groups/277840098977231/ – or the National Liberals Facebook site https://www.facebook.com/groups/52739504313/ It goes without saying that there are no links between Gary Dorrien, Plough Quarterly, the NLTU and the National Liberal Party. We’d also like to point out that whilst the article is written from a Christian perspective, the NLTU and NLP welcome members & supporters from all religions and none. Please note that the NLTU has kept the original US spellings and phrases as they are.

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Restore The Guilds – What today’s labor unions, democratic socialists, and mutual aid societies might learn from the colorful history of Christian socialism in Britain.

(Left) William Morris (24th March 1834 – 3rd October 1896) was a British textile designer, craftsman, poet, novelist, translator, and socialist activist. His designs for furniture, fabrics, stained glass, wallpaper, and other decorative arts are associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement. (Right) John Ruskin (8th February 1819 – 20th January 1900) was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era. He was also a draughtsman, philosopher, prominent social critic, reformer and philanthropist. Ruskin was a major influence on Morris – especially his views on the social and moral basis of architecture.

IN 1906, a British Christian socialist named Arthur J. Penty had a straw-that-broke-the-camel’s-back moment. Penty loved the decentralized economic democracy envisioned by two Victorian literary icons, Oxford art critic John Ruskin and radical novelist William Morris, but there was no organization devoted to these ideas. Ruskin and Morris had passed on, and the dominant movement for socialism in England was the Fabian Society, which promoted a centralized government collectivism that nationalized all means of production, exchange, and distribution. Penty, a reluctant Fabian, did his best to stifle his revulsion at Fabian meetings and admonished himself to be realistic – after all, Fabians undeniably prevailed on the British left and were the most politically viable option. But when Fabian Society leader Sidney Webb hired a utilitarian architect to design the buildings for the school he founded, the London School of Economics, that was more than Penty could stomach – he couldn’t work with philistines. Fabian collectivism, he fumed, was socialism without a soul. Somehow the ethical, human-scale socialism of Ruskin and Morris had to be renewed in a twentieth-century form. The movement he sparked would call it guild socialism.

More than a century later, with capitalism run amok and several purportedly socialist states spectacularly come and gone, guild socialism might be just what we need. The cry for an alternative to corporate capitalism is certainly getting very strong. Decades of letting big banks and corporations do whatever they want have yielded a revulsion against neoliberalism from many sides. Americans are losing their tolerance for extreme inequality, an ecological crisis is pressing upon us, and an overdue reckoning for America’s long history of racism has come. The convention that Americans have nothing to learn from the history of socialism has become unsettled, to put it mildly. Democratic socialism has made a dramatic comeback as the name for a different kind of society in which freedom and equality strengthen each other and no group dominates any other.

But democratic socialism has a complex and problematic history of its own. The name registers that socialists who were committed to democracy had to distinguish themselves from socialists who were not. Democratic socialists ran for office, appealed to socialist ethical values, and achieved progressive reforms through coalition governments. Their socialist values should have made them principled feminists, anti-racists, anti-militarists, and anti-imperialists, but many settled for weak gestures toward these causes. They should have welcomed Christian socialists into the parties they created, but only in England, select British colonies, and Switzerland did that happen.

Democratic socialists never achieved democratic socialism anywhere. Instead, they built Social Democratic parties, enacted progressive reforms, and built advanced welfare states, which came to be called, revising the meaning of a distinguished name, social democracy. Democratic socialism has a predominant legacy of state socialist aspirations inspiring campaigns for progressive reform. I do not say this to slight social democracy. Only social democracy has come close to fulfilling the doctrine of human rights expounded in Christian social ethics, by establishing nationwide policies of universal health care, a living wage, generous parental leave, and free higher education. In Germany, social democracy has reached into the management of corporate enterprises, creating supervisory boards in which 50 percent of the board members represent workers.

But democratic socialism is not inevitably about aspiring to state socialism and settling for social democracy. The deepest impulse in it is the original socialist vision of cooperative community. Christian socialists championed this idea long before German Marxists (against their intention), Continental neo-Marxists (ambiguously), and British Fabians (very intentionally) made socialism a project of the state. “State socialism” was an oxymoron to the radical democrats, communitarians, Marxists, anarchists, and Christian socialists of the early socialist movements. Karl Marx himself envisioned a revolutionary order featuring collective ownership, no classes, and no state. The Marxian fantasy of a stateless communist utopia was a major problem for every socialist party that competed for votes and sought to take the reins of the state. Even as the Social Democratic parties drifted toward state socialism, equating socialism with nationalization, dissenters within these parties resisted this trend or tried to bend it in the direction of worker guilds, guild networks, and other forms of decentralized economic democracy. In Britain, guild socialism was the leading resistance movement. It was loaded with Christian socialists and secular ethical socialists who renewed a politics of radical democracy that is still worth reviving today.

• FIND out more about National Liberal Trade Unionism:

Liberal Trade Unionism
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Once upon a time the Trade Union movement in Britain was largely part of the Liberal movement. The majority of officials were even members of the Liberal Party. This continued from when the first unions were formed up until the turn of the century. The, then new, ideology of socialism took hold amongst many officials who believed that the future of politics was a class struggle and that only a working class party could represent or even deliver power to that class. Thus the Labour party was formed and Trade Unions became synonymous with the party.
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In the present day workers still require the services of a union, whether as individuals or as a collective. In the short run, jobs are under threat and employee rights are under attack. In the medium term, workers face the negative effects of globalisation e.g. wage depression or unemployment.
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Many however feel that those unions in the TUC, wedded to a confrontational class-based politics, are ill-equipped to respond to these problems.
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For example, socialism is no longer popular. The TUC’s ‘workers of the world unite’ slogan rings hollow to British workers losing jobs overseas. Class politics is the exception to the rule and the ‘working-class’ no longer automatically regard the Labour party to be their natural representatives.
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Non-Socialist Trade Unionism

In Europe there has always been an alternative trade unionism, either ‘Christian’ or Liberal, and this often resulted in separate unions that reflected their ethos. In the UK such groups failed to found their own unions and slowly shrank in importance within existing ones.

We believe in a non-socialist unionism that seeks to protect the interests of its’ members at work rather than as an arm of political or class revolution. In this way unions can focus their energies in the workplace rather than frittered away trying to control the Labour party. A separate liberal union could effectively influence ALL political parties to adopt policies to protect employees in the workplace.

A sensible alternative

Whether via its’ own union or within another our supporters will be support the principles of liberty (putting the individual member first) and patriotism (defending workers from globalisation), and be liberal (increasing employee share ownership) and economic (focusing activity in the workplace) in practice.

If you want to help us promote a sensible non-socialist trade unionism please contact us via natliberal@aol.com and/or visit our Facebook group http://www.facebook.com/groups/277840098977231

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From The Liberty Wall – Nations without States – Calling All Andalusians Living In London …

REGULAR READERS will know that the Greater London Authority (GLA) elections would have been done and dusted by now. Originally scheduled this May, Covid-19 has seen them been postponed to May 2021.  Whilst this is unfortunate, it has allowed our friends & comrades of the National Liberal Party – who were intending to stand under the banner of Self-Determination For All! – to continue organising for the election.

As we’ve previously noted in issue 2 of Nation – the Newsletter of Nations without States – fighting elections is just part of our strategy to ensure that everyone has the right to nationhood & to decide how they’re governed.

Briefly, this strategy also includes:

• Building the infrastructure of an alternative mass media of news and entertainment. Here we’ve made a couple of small steps in the right direction with the publication of Nation and our street paper Freedom, and the establishment of our Facebook site
https://www.facebook.com/groups/184919468292372

• Building both a cultural and counter-cultural movement. This is designed to provide positive alternatives – especially for our youth – to globalism and modern consumer culture, which is designed to reduce everybody to the lowest common level by abolishing all inherited cultures and identities.

• Building a social support network. It is hoped that such a network could provide help, solidarity and humanitarian aid for our peoples both here and abroad.

In respect of elections, Nations without States would encourage self-determinists to vote for the National Liberal Party – NLP – at all elections (but especially at the forthcoming GLA elections).  We believe that their idea of engaging with various self-determinists will create a whole new voting demographic.

With the above in mind, we’d appeal to all Andalusians who’re living in or near London to contact the NLP at natliberal@aol.com as soon as possible.  If you’re living and/or working in Greater London you’re eligible to stand for election.  Those living outside of Greater London can help out via fund raising, leafletting & social media.

But who – or what – are the Andalusians?  For those who don’t know, Andalusia is one of the 17 autonomous communities that make up Spain.  (Spain is a decentralised unitary state which has devolved some powers to these communities.)

Andalucia is located south of the Iberian Peninsula.  It’s bounded by the autonomous communities of Extremadura and Castile-La Mancha to the north & Murcia to the east, the Mediterranean Sea to the southeast, the Atlantic Ocean to the southwest & Portugal to the West.

There has long been a political current towards Andalusian nationalism – sometimes called Andalusian regionalism – or Andalucismo in Spanish.  Blas Infante Pérez de Vargas (1885 – 1936) is regarded as the founder of Andalusian nationalism.  He initiated an assembly in 1913 which adopted a charter based on the autonomist Constitución Federal de Antequera, which was written in 1883 during the First Spanish Republic.  Blas Infante also designed the current flag and emblem of Andalusia.

Local self-determinists regard Andalucia as a nation, with its own cultural identity.  Some want complete independence from Spain.

Nations without States is – along with our friends & comrades in the National Liberal Party – interested in all forms of Self-Determination.  We’d therefore like to hear from any Andalucians living in the UK (generally) and London (specifically).

Unfortunately – especially in respect of the forthcoming GLA elections – there doesn’t seem to be any figures relating to Andalucians living in London.  Our guess is that they’ll simply be recorded as ‘Spanish’.  With this in mind, the 2001 UK Census found that Kensington, Regents Park & Chelsea areas of West London had the highest number of Spanish-born residents.  Also, according to a 2014 report by the Local Area Research & Intelligence Association  –  https://laria.org.uk/2014/08/map-reveals-most-common-second-languages-in-london-boroughs/ – Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in the London Borough of Southwark in South London.

The question is how many of these ‘Spanish’ residents actually view themselves as Andalusian & desire Self-Determination for Andulusia?  Therefore, if there are any Andalucians out there who’d like to promote their cause at the highest level in London, please e-mail the National liberal Party at natliberal@aol.com as soon as possible.

• ALSO Check out:

From The Liberty Wall – Nations without States – Calling All Aborigines, Aché, Ainu & Ahwazi People …  http://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-nations-without-sates-calling-all-aborigines-ache-ainu-ahwazi-people

From The Liberty Wall – Nations without States – Calling All Åland Islanders Living In London …  https://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-–-nations-without-states-–-calling-all-aland-islanders-living-in-london

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From The Liberty Wall – National Liberal Trade Unionists – How Do You Go From Hero To Zero?

NHS workers have gone from Hero to Zero for simply asking for a pay rise. National Liberal Trade Unionists - NLTU – believe that the NHS is our ‘National Pride’. As such, it needs massive & sustained government investment. This needs to target both infrastructure, recruitment & pay and working conditions for existing staff. This could be achieved by introducing a system of Sovereign Money as opposed to borrowing from private banks. Under the current financial system we’d be drowning in debtbased interest payments forever and a day. Here the only winners will be the banksters. Sovereign Money is where the money supply is controlled by the nation & is issued free of charge.

HOW DO YOU go from hero to zero in a single step? That’s easy – just ask for a pay rise! For that’s the extraordinary position thousands of NHS workers find themselves in after they held a massive demonstration in London on Saturday to protest against their exclusion from a recent public sector pay rise announcement.

The big London demonstration – as well as smaller ones held throughout the rest of England, Scotland, Ulster & Wales – were organised by Nurses United (1).

Nurses United describes itself as a ‘grassroots network of Frontline Nurses for Frontline Nurses.’ And like ourselves, Nurses United regard the NHS as our ‘National Pride.’ Indeed, it has pledged to ‘protect it and fight for a national service that is publicly owned, provided and that prioritises the care and safety of us all.’

In London, the ‘flagship march’ began at St. James’s Park, passing along Whithall before ending up at Parliament Square. It was the second demonstration in support of NHS workers to be held within the last few days in the capital. Over 1,5000 marched on Downing Street from St Thomas’ Hospital last Wednesday.

The union Unite – which has around 100.000 members in the health service – said that NHS staff were angry, discontent and frustrated at being overlooked for a pay rise.

The union noted that NHS staff have ‘seen their pay cut by 20 per cent in real terms – and no amount of Thursday evening clapping and warm ministerial words can compensate for this dramatic loss in income.

Poor rates of pay have contributed to the estimated 100,000 vacancies in the NHS and ensuing ‘recruitment and retention’ crisis.

We remain in the middle of a gruelling battle against Covid-19, and are facing a second wave, yet still we have to struggle to afford the basics.’

The reference to ‘Thursday evening clapping’ is a nod to the UK-wide Clap for Our Carers (2) campaign, which took place every Thursday at 8pm between March 26th and May 28th this year. Although it was a well-meaning campaign, it was – sadly – ultimately meaningless. Indeed, many ‘NHS Heroes’ claimed that it was an empty gesture, especially as the NHS faced budget cuts & severe shortages of equipment (3 & 4). This was particulary so as all manner of politicians – desperate for a photo opportunity – clapped their hearts out.

So what happens next? We National Liberal Trade Unionists – NLTU – believe that Boris Johnson & Co. will continue to praise the NHS to the heavens, especially in respect of Covid-19. In the meantime, NHS workers will have to content themselves by whistling Dixie when it comes to anything like a worthwhile pay rise.

Constantly praising the NHS will not change anything. Nor will another outbreak of Thusday evening clapping. And referring to NHS workers as ‘Heroes’ does not pay the bills.

So how do we turn the situation around?

First of all, we need to recognise that things are not going to change overnight. Years of underfunding have left the NHS in a terrible state. However, we National Liberal Trade Unionists – NLTU – believe that there needs to be massive & sustained government investment in the NHS. It needs to target both infrastucture as well as staff pay & working conditions.

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (5) may well go on some form of spending spree – for a Tory he’s opened the purse strings more often than many would would have expected. But under the current financial system we’d be drowning in debt-based interest payments forever and a day. Here the only winners will be the banksters.

The solution, however, is very simple – and that’s to introduce a system of Sovereign Money (6-7) as opposed to borrowing from private banks. Unfortunately, this is something that none of the establishment pro-capitalist parties would ever contemplate.

Despite this, the NLTU proposes that nation should control its own money supply which should be issued free of charge. Thus Sovereign Money should be issued as and when needed to help with NHS recruitment, pay & the upgrading/expanding of NHS infrastructure.

The NHS has recruited and trained people for years. They can be retained if they’re paid good wages. We know how to build hospitals, health centres and other infrstucture needed by the NHS. Money is man-made. As such, it’s impossible to ‘run out’ of money. Money isn’t some form of natural resource that we could run out of at any time. Therefore it should be used to benefit our nation and our people – such as a properly funded and resourced health care system.

(1) https://www.nursesunited.org.uk/

(2) https://clapforourcarers.co.uk/

(3) https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/19/nhs-workers-dont-want-applause-they-want-ppe

(4) https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/23/uk-key-workers-ppe-ministers-clapping-protect-nhs

(5) http://nationalliberal.org/britain%e2%80%99s-reactionary-racists-react

(6) https://sovereignmoney.site/what-is-sovereign-money

(7) https://positivemoney.org/our-proposals/sovereign-money-introduction/

• THE NATIONAL LIBERAL TRADE UNIONISTS – NLTU – would like to hear from any NHS workers who could provide us with up-to-date information concerning pay & working conditions in their local area. Contact us at natliberal@aol.com or via Facebook/National Liberal Trade Unionists

We’re passionate supporters of the National Health Service and believe that a huge debt is owed to Ernest Brown (1881-1962). Devon-born Brown was the Liberal National/National Liberal Minister for Health from 1941-1943 in the National Government of Ramsay McDonald. (Brown was also leader of the Liberal National Party from 1940 to 1945.) As Health Minister he commissioned the Beveridge Report which ultimately led to the foundation of the welfare state in the UK, with the NHS being one of its most important elements.

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From The Liberty Wall – Nations without States – Calling All Åland Islanders Living In London …

OUR LAST article explained how our friends & comrades at the National Liberal Party had hoped to bring the ideal of Self-Determination to the attention of millions of voters in London (1). They were going to do this by standing up to 25 candidates in the Greater London Authority (GLA) election, which was to be held on 7th May.  Sadly, Covid-19 put paid to that.  However, all is not lost as the election has been re-scheduled for Thursday 6th May next year.

To some extent, this delay has worked in the favour of all those who’re promoting the cause of the world’s captive nations.  It means that more & more Self-Determinists can become involved in the campaign to have Self-Determination For All! placed on the ballot ticket.  Hundreds – if not thousands – of volunteers are needed to raise money & spread the word, especially via various Social Media platforms.  Organising for & standing in the GLA election is no mean feat.  A simple glance at the official London Elects web-site – https://www.londonelects.org.uk/im-candidate/nominations – will easily confirm this.

As we indicated earlier, the whole raison d’étre for the National Liberal Party standing in the forthcoming GLA election is to draw attention to the fact that countless people around the world are demanding Self-Determination – whether it be some form of recognition, autonomy or independence.

With the above in mind, we’ll now take a look at the autonomous Finnish province of the  Åland Islands. Located in the Baltic Sea – at the southern end of the Gulf of Bothnia between mainland Finland and Sweden – Åland consists of around 6,500 islands – although only around 60 are inhabited – and a population of 25,000.  The largest island is Fasta Åland where 90% of the population lives.

Despite its relative remoteness and small population, the Åland Islands have been ruled – since the early 19th Century – by Finland, Russia & Sweden. Over 90% of Ålanders consider themselves Swedish and in 1917 started to organise for their own self-determination.  Three years later Finland granted them wide-reaching cultural & political autonomy.   Additionally, since 1922, Åland has had its own parliament as well as a representative in the Finnish national parliament.  This is ok to a degree – the only problem is that Finland effectively dictates Åland’s foreign policy, civil & criminal law, customs and monetary policy.

With the above in mind, Nations without States (NwS) understand that an increasing number of people are seeking independence for the Åland Islands.  Those who advocate independence say that this should be achieved by an Åland-wide referendum.

NwS would appeal to any Ålanders – currently living in London – to get in touch with the National Liberal Party as soon as possible.  Next year’s GLA election offers an excellent opportunity for Ålanders to promote their cause of self-determination to those living in Greater London area, which has a population of over nine million 9 (2).

We understand that the National Liberal Party is still looking for candidates, as well as help with their Social Media campaign & public activities like canvassing and leafletting.  Help with fund raising is also required.  If you want to promote the cause of the Ålanders – or any other group who desire Self-Determination – then don’t hesitate to email the NLP at nalliberal@aol.com

Make history – not excuses: On Thursday 6th May next year vote for Self-Determination For All!

1)  From The Liberty Wall – Nations without States – Calling All Aborigines, Aché, Ainu & Ahwazi People … http://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-nations-without-sates-calling-all-aborigines-ache-ainu-ahwazi-people

2)  https://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/london-population

• CHECK OUT Nations without States on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/184919468292372/

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