Roots of Radicalism

National Front Trade Unionism

By DAVID RILEY (APEX) Chairman, NF Industrial Department.

THE NATIONAL FRONT has committed itself to the creation of an N.F. trade unionists' organisation. This is confirmation of the Party's determination to broaden and deepen its ideological foundations and make a complete break with the kind of sterile, reactionary dogma that has bedevilled nationalist politics in Britain for too long.

There have been several attempts in the past to establish a National Front trade union group, but these have had only a shortlived success, partly due to splits in the Party itself and partly because the Party lacked a clear ideological commitment to trade unionism as a legitimate part of the social structure of our country. Now that the Party has repudiated reaction, we are in a position at last to take on the important task of developing a trade union section of the National Front.

However, we must first of all make it clear that the National Front is not involving itself with trade unions in order to infiltrate and destroy them. Far from it! A large number of N.F. members are already trade unionists and it would be absurd and deceitful for anyone to accuse them of "infiltration", although, on the other hand, we must vigorously encourage others who are not yet members of a union to join as soon as possible. However hostile certain unions may be to the National Front and no matter how objectionable certain trade union officials may be, the N.F. must not turn its back on the unions. To do so simply means quitting the field to the opposition.


As for the accusation (which is certain to be levelled against us by our opponents) that the National Front's trade unionist section is merely there to wreck the unions "on behalf of the bosses", we must show vigorously, by our own commitment to legitimate trade union activity, that this is not so. Our objective must be, not to weaken the unions, but to strengthen them, and to cleanse them of the real wreckers, those Marxist elements that are merely using the unions for their own political objectives. We must show that the real enemies of trade unionists everywhere are the Reds and that free trade unions can only exist and prosper effectively within a White Workers' State.

One of the first tasks of the National Front trade unionists' group must be to build up a nation-wide organization. National Front members must be actively encouraged to involve themselves in their unions and, where possible, to stand for office. We already have a number of shop stewards and various trade union officials within the Party, elected into office as known National Front members. Our task must be to encourage more members to follow suit.


Obviously, once it is seen that the National Front is starting to gain ground in the unions we must expect to face a substained and determined attack by the present trade union leadership, which will correctly see its grip on the unions being threatened by us. For this reason it is imperative that we develop our organisation into a co-ordinated and effective body as quickly as possible so that we can mobilise to defend any of our members persecuted by the union bosses because of their political commitments. Although many trade unionists pay little attention to union activities most of the time, it would not be difficult to activate trade unionists, whether National Front supporters or not, to defend N.F. members attacked by their union for their politics. This has already happened once within the National Union of Railwaymen when, a few years ago, the NUR Executive announced its intention to expel all N.F. members from the union. Since British Rail operates a closed shop this would have automatically meant the loss of their jobs. This was quite obviously too much for most NUR members in the areas concerned and, incensed at this blatant political persecution, they successfully quashed this attempt through the threat of industrial action against their own union. What has happened once can happen again.


One thing which must be constantly borne in mind is that it is not our purpose to awaken the slumbering "moderate majority" in the unions whose apathy and lack of involvement at branch level has allowed the Reds to dominate their local and regional committees over the years. We are not interested in stirring up sufficient numbers of these people in order merely to get "moderates" elected into office instead of the extreme left. 'Rightwing' Labourites and the SDP or Tories are no more attractive so far as we are concerned than the extreme left. Our efforts must be concentrated not on helping the "middle-ground" get control of the unions, but on wresting control of the unions for ourselves. One National Front trade union official is worth far more to us and the ordinary workers than any number of "moderates", who have sold out in the past and will do so again in the future.


It was the moderates who allied themselves with the multinational bosses and the Blacks against the White Workers of Imperial Typewriters. The N.F. stood up for the Whites.

It is the moderates who have encouraged immigration, in spite of the fact that the Blacks were brought here to undercut our wages. Only the N.F. has consistently opposed the Coloured Immigration which has done so much to weaken British trade unionism.

It is the time-serving moderates with their fat salaries and seats in the Lords, who have tied-up union pension funds in Big Business so that the workers have no choice but to fall in line with the status quo.


In contrast, the National Front offers a vision of truly revolutionary change.

Instead of tinkering within the present system, our aim is to smash collapsing capitalism. Industrial ownership must be handed to the workers and managers themselves with Workers' co-operatives and decentralized small business playing a vital role. The financial system must be totally reconstructed to end unemployment and give the workers the purchasing power to buy the products of their own labour.

Through rallies organized by the National Front trade unionists, through factory gate leafletings, through the publication of bulletins and a regular trade unionists' newssheet by the N.F., and through letters to the press, we must ensure that this message to trade unionists throughout the country is heard: there is only one Party for British trade unionists to ally themselves with, and that is the National Front.