New Times,
New Thinking.

Miliband on Scotland: class solidarity must trump national divisions

Labour leader will tell the TUC general council: "What working people have in common matters more than any division of creed, race or region. Or even nation."

By George Eaton

One of the positives of the Scottish independence debate has been how it has forced all sides to return to first principles and examine the foundations of their ideologies. This most obviously involves the difference between socialism and nationalism. For followers of the former, solidarities of class trump those of nationhood. A worker in Dundee has more in common with a worker in Durham than he or she does with a businessman in Dunfermline. Any attempt to divide workers along alternative lines only serves to reinforce the dominant economic system. 

It is this point that Ed Miliband will make with admirable clarity in his speech tomorrow at the TUC general council dinner in Liverpool.

He will say: “The Labour movement was founded on the principle of solidarity. You know that unity is strength. You know that we achieve more together than we can do alone. You know that what working people have in common matters more than any division of creed, race or region. Or even nation.

“And that is why trade unions, trade unionists and the Labour movement are playing such an important role in keeping Scotland and the United Kingdom together.

“From USDAW to the NUM, from the GMB to ASLEF, from Community to the CWU, trade unions are fighting for the right kind of change in Scotland – and the whole of the United Kingdom.”

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

With Labour voters the key swing group in the referendum (35 per cent now support independence, according to the latest YouGov poll, up from just 18 per cent a month ago), the message that UK workers should unite along class lines, not divide along national ones, is one that must be delivered repeatedly. But after seven years of SNP government, and the cynicism induced by New Labour, the danger for socialists is that this argument has lost much of the potency it once held. 

Content from our partners
Peatlands are nature's unsung climate warriors
How the apprenticeship levy helps small businesses to transform their workforce
How to reform the apprenticeship levy