Mr Woodis's pamphlet is of the greatest importance to all Scots
since it represents the most detailed Communist Party statement on
the National Question for many years.
Like "Scottish Marxist" the
factors behind its publication are primarily the success of the
U.C.S. work-in and the need to respond in a positive way to the
challenge of Scottish and Welsh Nationalism. Like "Scottish Marxist"
however, it reveals a contradictory and often schizophrenic attitude
to the question under consideration.
This confusion is underlined
by the ambiguous use throughout of the terras Britain,country,nation,etc.
In the section entitled "Communists and Patriotism" Mr Woodis
assures us that
"Communists,in fact,do not pose their internationalism,their
solidarity with other peoples struggling for their freedom,
against their patriotic duty to assist their own people to
defend their national freedom and secure their own social
He also informs us that
"In Britian,one of the greatest dangers for
the working class movement has been bourgeois nationalism
and racialism,expressed often in racial prejudice and the
toleration of blatant discrimination's well as in the
defence of imperialism. Not only right-wing labour leaders but
but many rank and file workers are prone to defend the
imperialist actions of "our troops" even when they have
been engaged in repressive actions whether it be Ireland,
Cyprus or Aden".
All good, hard hitting comment - and sentiments with which every
radical or liberal-minded Scot will wholeheartedly agree.
thus isolated the dangerous jingoistic and pro-facist elements in
our midst| Mr Woodis turns to examine the reactions of the working
class movement to such elements,and finds much to criticise.
"In understandable if incorrect,reaction to this jingoist
nationalism,these has often been expressed in Left-wing
circles,especially among the extreme Left,notions of
contempt for any form of national feeling. For this reason
such people scorn the just struggles of the peoples of
Scotland and Wales to secure satisfaction for their national
Least any dastardly Scottish Nationalist has the temerity to impute
such attitudes to the Communist Party Mr.Woodis continues by declaring
"Indifference to one's own nation,its historic achievements
and its future,has nothing in common with socialist principles."
Since Mr Woodis is an Englishman it would be consistent with a logical
train of thought to assume that in the above quote, he is reffering
primarily though not exclusively to England.
It is therefore singularly
disconcerting to discover in the next paragraph that Mr Woodis has
apparently a totally different nation in mind i.e. 'The British Nation !
We are informed that
"The British Nation is not Heath,Home,Carr and the
rest of the Tory pack. Neither is it the gang of industrial magnates,bankers and landlords who rob and betray the people.
Source United Scotsman 1973