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How Far Should The State Go?

LAST MONTH we featured a pre-publication e-poster. It advertised issue 6 of British Worker. It’s the bi-monthly paper of Solidarity Trade Union. That issue is out now and – for an agitprop publication – it’s thought-provoking stuff.

What really caught our eye was the suggestion that the Government (i.e. the State) should do more to halt the decline of the high number of high street names that have recently gone into administration. British Worker called for the nationalisation – and subsequent break-up – of large corporations:

“Instead of throwing workers onto the dole – perhaps never to find a meaningful job again – wouldn’t it be better to temporarily nationalise large companies that go into administration? Jobs will be saved – and a wage will still be coming in. Terms and conditions of employment would be guaranteed. These companies can then later be run as one – or several – cooperatives once trading conditions improve.

We understand – and agree with – British Worker’s thinking here. The government’s policy of just allowing people to be thrown on the scrapheap seems totally insane. The solution – nationalisation and then break-up of large corporations – is a practical one. However, surely this can only come about via government intervention?

Like a lot of groups, organisations and individuals, the Third Way Think Tank is radically anti-statist. However, British Worker has raised a legitimate question regarding the role of the state – how far should it go to protect ordinary working people?

For us, there are more questions than answers. It possibly opens up a whole debate concerning the rights responsibilities and duties of both state and people. (This would be particularly important for anyone who supports the concept of ‘Small is Beautiful!’)

Indeed, could British Worker have highlighted possible ‘conflicts’ between ideology and practical matters? Perhaps this is a subject that we should examine in the very near future.

Whilst on the subject of Solidarity Trade Union publications, we understand that their first national publication – Scottish Worker – will appear within the next couple of weeks. We also understand that they have another publication (thought to be in support of all Employment Agency Workers) in the pipeline. Solidarity’s first trade-based publication, Health Service Worker and other national publications – English Worker, Ulster Worker and Welsh Worker – are also all on the drawing board.

The Third Way Think Tank hopes to review all of these publications as and when they appear. In the meantime, we understand that those interested can pre-order their copy of Scottish Worker simply by e-mailing solidaritygb@aol.com and asking for a FREE pdf copy.

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