Dec 08 2016

DEBATES AND DISCUSSIONS ON THE EMANCIPATION & LIBERATION BLOG ABOUT THE EU AND MIGRATION

The Republican Communist Network has been involved in the debate over Europe from the days when it was a platform in the Scottish Socialist Party. The earliest debate was in 2002 over whether the SSP should back joining the euro in the event of a referendum over the issue. The majority in the SSP was anti-euro, although there was a small pro-euro minority. The RCN formed another minority, which was for a campaign of active abstention.

The next set of discussions involved the SSP’s relationship to the European Anti-Capitalist Left, which formed in 2000. The RCN welcomed this development. The declining influence of the EACL after the Iraq War, and the downturn in the Anti-(Capitalist) Globalisation Movement, had its effect. The crisis in the SSP, caused by the Sheridan Affair, also lessened the SSP’s involvement. Nevertheless, the SSP stood as part of the EACL alliance in the 2009 Euro-elections.

The issue of migrants has been very important for the RCN. The RCN was central to getting the SSP to support the free movement of people and affiliating to ‘No One Is Illegal’. After ceasing to be a platform in the SSP on June 22nd 2012 (http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2012/02/11/the-rcn-platform-and-the-ssp/), the RCN continued placing emphasis on the importance of work in supporting migrants.

The post-2008 Crisis has had a huge impact on the EU. Emancipation & Liberation has covered the EU’s role, particularly in relation to Ireland, Greece and Catalunya. A major effect of this prolonged crisis has been the growth of opposition to the EU in the UK. This contributed to the EU referendum held on the 23rd June, 2016. The RCN became involved in the debate, without coming to any specific conclusions over which way to vote in the referendum. A majority of the RCN, as individuals, voted to Remain. These debates, including contributions by other organisations and individuals, were posted on this blog.

The RCN ceased to be an interventionist organisation on 29th May 2016 (see http//republicancommunist.org/blog/2016/08/29/new-rcn-statement/). Since then, some RCN members, along with others from England in the Republican Socialist Alliance, have become involved in the Campaign for a European Republican Socialist Party. The Emancipation & Liberation blog continues to cover its activities.

Below is a guide with links to these debates and discussions.

Allan Armstrong, 6.12.16

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 1. The debate in the SSP over whether the UK should join the euro

Boycott Any Euro Referendum, Matthew Jones http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2002/03/24/boycott-any-euro-referendum/

The Euro Referendum: The case for an active boycott, Allan Armstrong

The Euro Referendum: The case for an active boycott

 

2. The European Anti-Capitalist Left

 

Statement from the Conference of the European Anti-Capitalist Left, 12-13 December, Brussels, 2001 http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2002/07/25/statement-from-the-conference-of-the-european-anti-capitalist-left/

 

The Declaration of the Anti-Capitalist Left

The Declaration of the Anti-Capitalist Left

 

Strengthening the Anti-Capitalist Analysis, Rayner O’Connor Lysaght, http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2004/03/02/strengthening-the-anti-capitalist-analysis/

Another Europe Is Possible, Allan Armstrong

Another Europe Is Possible

The European Anti-Capitalist Manifesto

European Anti Capitalist Left Manifesto

 Supplement. The 2009 European Elections – a political assessment– Allan Armstrong

The Need for Socialist Unity

 

3. Migrants and Defending Migrant Rights

No One Is Illegal

No One Is Illegal

 

Marching in the footsteps of immigrant workers, Sharat G.Lin

May Day: Marching in the footsteps of immigrant workers

 

It’s a Free World, Corinna Lotz reviews of `Ken Loach’s film

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2007/09/27/its-a-free-world/

Internationalist Spirit, Allan Armstrong reviews of The Road of Tears by Battlefield Band and La Radiolina by Manu Chau

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2007/09/29/internationalist-spirit/

To Tame the City, Grzegorz Rybak http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2007/09/29/to-tame-the-city/

 The SSP Gives Its Support To The No One Is Illegal Campaign

The SSP Gives Its Support To The ‘No One Is Illegal’ Campaign

 

Workers, Serf and Slaves: Managed Migration and Employment from No One Is Illegal

Workers, Serfs And Slaves: Managed Migration And Employment Rights

Workers are Not Blame for the Capitalists’ Crisis, Statement issued by the Campaign Against Immigration Controls

Foreign Workers are Not to Blame for the Capitalists’ Crisis

 

Brown’s Appeal to British Chauvinism, Mary McGregor

Brown’s Appeal To British Chauvinism

 

Blame the bosses not ‘foreign workers’, SWP

Blame the bosses not ‘foreign workers’

 

Letter from a Contract Worker, Antonio Jacinto

Letter From A Contract Worker

Migrant workers at the heart of our fightback, the commune, no.6

Migrant workers are at the heart of our fightback

 

Highland migrant workers, Bill Scott

Highland Migrant Workers

 

Let Them In, Mary McGregor

LET THEM IN

 

The Refugee Crisis, An Outcome of Capitalist Barbarism, Socialist Democracy (Ireland)

THE REFUGEE CRISIS – AN OUTCOME OF CAPITALIST BARBARISM

 

 3. The EU after the 2008 Crisis

a) from Socialist Democracy (Ireland)

Lisbon Treaty passed the second referendum

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2009/11/14/lisbon-treaty-passed-in-second-referendum/

 A New Tyranny Over Europe, Socialist Democracy (Ireland)

A NEW TYRANNY OVER EUROPE

 

Latvia in the Race to the Bottom, Socialist Democracy (Ireland)

LATVIA AND IRELAND IN THE RACE TO THE BOTTOM

 

Apple and Ireland – Who Would Have Thought It? Socialist Democracy (Ireland)

APPLE AND IRELAND – WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT?

 

b) Greece

 A Report on the Situation in Greece, Eric Chester

A REPORT ON THE SITUATION IN GREECE

 

Merkel Is Unwanted in Greece, Antarsaya

MERKEL IS UNWANTED IN GREECE!

 

What is happening in Greece and why, Lina Christou

What is happening in Greece and why

 

From Syriza to Scotland, Eric Chester

FROM SYRIZA TO SCOTLAND

 

Athens Calling: Unite Against Fascism, Sophia Lycouris

ATHENS CALLING: UNITE AGAINST FASCISM

 

When Will We See Tanks in Barcelona, International Viewpoint

WHEN WILL WE SEE TANKS IN BARCELONA?

 

Greek Voters Ignite the Flame for Democracy, Paul Feldman

GREEK VOTERS REIGNITE THE FLAME FOR DEMOCRACY

 

Defend the Greek People Against the Troika’s Coup D’Etat, World To Win

DEFEND GREEK PEOPLE AGAINST THE TROIKA’S COUP D’ETAT

 

A Very Capitalist Coup, World To Win

A VERY CAPITALIST COUP

 

The Limits To Reformism and the Greek Crisis, Eric Chester

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2015/08/02/the-linits-of-reformism-and-the-greek-crisis/

 

c) Catalunya

When Will We See Tanks in Barcelona? International Viewpoint

WHEN WILL WE SEE TANKS IN BARCELONA?

 

Catalunya, Freedom Come All Ye, Duncan McCabe

CATALUNYA – FREEDOM COME ALL YE

 

Catalonia prepares for independence, Liam O’Hare

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2014/09/21/catalonia-prepares-for-independence/

 

4)         The debate over the EU referendum and the Brexit vote

 The Debate on the EU Referendum, Allan Armstrong & Eric Chester

DEBATE ON THE EU REFERENDUM

 

EU and Internationalism From Below- Scotland Remains, England Abstains, Steve Freeman

EU AND ‘INTERNATIONALISM FROM BELOW’ – SCOTLAND REMAINS, ENGLAND ABSTAINS

 Socialist Democracy (Ireland) Statement on the EU Referendum

SOCIALIST DEMOCRACY (IRELAND) STATEMENT ON THE EU REFERENDUM

 

European Democratic Revolution – A Statement from the Republican Socialist Alliance

EUROPEAN DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION – A statement from the Republican Socialist Alliance

 

Racism, Nostalgia and the EU Referendum, Brendan McGeever, Nadine El-Enany and John Tummon

RACISM, IMPERIAL NOSTALGIA AND THE EU REFERENDUM

 

An Open Letter to Lexiters, Allan Armstrong

AN OPEN LETTER TO LEXITERS

 

June 24th – The FUKer’s Black Friday or Red Friday for the European Democratic Revolution, Allan Armstrong

JUNE 24th – THE FUKers’ BLACK FRIDAY OR RED FRIDAY FOR A EUROPEAN DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION?

 

Brexit – Views from Ireland, D.R. O’Comor Lysaght and Socialist Democracy (Ireland)

BREXIT – VIEWS FROM IRELAND

 

If Not Now, When? Murdo Ritchie

IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

 

Scotland in the Aftermath of the Referendum, Eric Chester

SCOTLAND IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE REFERENDUM

 

5. The European Democratic Revolution and the Campaign for a European Republican Socialist Party

The EU and the European Democratic Revolution, Steve Freeman

THE EU AND THE EUROPEAN DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION

 

Report of Republican Socialist Alliance Meeting in Stockport, 12th March

REPORT OF REPUBLICAN SOCIALIST ALLIANCE MEETING, STOCKPORT, 12th MARCH

 

European Democratic Revolution – A Statement from the Republican Socialist Alliance

EUROPEAN DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION – A statement from the Republican Socialist Alliance

 

The Reality of the European Democratic Revolution, Allan Armstrong

THE REALITY OF THE EUROPEAN DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION

 

Report of the Meeting to Set Up the Campaign for European Socialist Party, Allan Armstrong

REPORT OF MEETING TO SET UP THE CAMPAIGN FOR A EUROPEAN REPUBLICAN SOCIALIST PARTY

 

From Farage’s Brexit to Trump’s “Brexit Plus, Plus, Plus” and on to ‘Madame Frexit’,

Allan Armstrong, Alan Bissett, Brian Higgins, Paul Stewatt and John Tummon

FROM FARAGE’S BREXIT, TO TRUMP’S “BREXIT PLUS, PLUS, PLUS”, AND ON TO ‘MADAME FREXIT’?

 

Little England, Steve Freeman

LITTLE ENGLAND

 Which Way Now – ‘Brexit’ or ‘Ex-Brit’, Allan Armstrong

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2016/12/03/which-way-now-brexit-or-ex-brit/

 

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also see:- The RCN and the Campaign for Scottish Self-determination

THE RCN AND THE CAMPAIGN FOR SCOTTISH SELF-DETERMINATION

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For a list of articles on the RCN and Scottish Self-Determination with links posted on this blog see:-

 

THE RCN AND THE CAMPAIGN FOR SCOTTISH SELF-DETERMINATION

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Dec 08 2016

FROM THE GPO TO THE WINTER PALACE

Rayner O’Connor Lysaght (Socialist Democracy-Ireland) has written a pamphlet entitled From the GPO to the Winter Palace, outlining the period between the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin and the 1917 October Revolution in Petrograd. As part of our 1916 Rising centenary postings,  Rayner’s talk given to the Irish Labour History Conference in Dublin on Saturday, October 22nd. is given below.

 

FROM THE GPO TO THE  WINTER PALACE

Socialist historian, Rayner Connor O'Lysaght

Socialist historian, Rayner Connor O’Lysaght

 

Comrades, Friends, I will begin by making a brief comment on the centennial year that is now more than three quarters complete. Like most of you, I approached it with foreboding, which seemed justified with the twenty-six county Government’s notorious video last year, no more than to be expected from that gang, of course. Happily, in general, matters have improved considerably, mainly, it would seem, because the said Government has taken a back seat to let the people run things.

Of course, the 1966 commemoration was organised, in part, as the prologue for Eamon de Valera’s campaign for re-election to Aras an Uachtaran. Accordingly, RTE (Irish state television) was mandated to keep it narrowed to one of pure nationalism (whatever that was) and to suppress the subversive views of James Connolly. Such a directive may have gone forth this year, but they could not poison enthusiasm for the event that ensured formal political freedom for some three quarters of the Irish nation.

It had many aspects. One that has been welcomed is the discussion as to the relevance today of the programme hinted in the Proclamation of the Republic to Ireland. This is less than is claimed, in that such discussion has been continuing, at least on the left, since the failure of Operation Harvest (the IRA’s Border Campaign) in the sixties, and has tended to produce more heat than light. Yet it is better that the matter be discussed than that it be not.

At the same time, there have been coming to light questions significant only as part of overall issues. Connolly was not killed sitting in a chair but (more horribly) standing up gripping its back. Of more general import, it is established, now that the document denounced as a forgery by Rising sceptics, which contained Dublin Castle plans for general internment of republicans, was a copy of an authentic memorandum. It might be added, too, that Sean O’Casey’s report of the insurgents firing on the looters must be challenged.

There are still mysteries. Did Pearse or Clarke present the Proclamation? Did Connolly wear his Citizen Army Commandant’s uniform before the green flag was raised above Liberty Hall? However, it looks as if the important question as to what occurred at Connolly’s meeting with the IRB Military Council in July 1916 must remain one for deductive rather than inductive analysis.

What is more pleasant to record is that the discussions on the Rising have exposed the utter bankruptcy of those who would decry it. Despite having, on paper, considerable intellectual power they have been unable to turn their assertions into analyses. There is no question of them being intimidated by Trumpite/UKIP style mobs, though, no doubt, some would like to flatter themselves that they were. In fact, they have been defeated by the weight of evidence against them. They may yet try to get the verdict overturned on a technicality, but such an attempt seems unlikely to succeed.

What is being made is an initiative to reconcile feelings on both sides. The open Anglo-Irish struggle, that the Rising began, is to be regarded as one on which there were not only faults on both sides (as, of course, there were) but one in which the sum of these faults cancel out each other totally. This may be good maths: it is bad history. It is seen in Joe Duffy’s harrowing account of the child victims of the Rising. It is seen more crudely in the memorial wall erected with the names of all fallen participants on both sides.

As to the first, one has to scrabble to find that most Rising victims died from British actions, either indirectly or by actual murder. The second example needs more investigation. It is, after all, a pioneering move. Is there any other country which commemorates those who took arms against it on the same memorial that commemorates those who fought in its defence? Britain and Germany have many memorials of World War I, yet none of them would be expected to give space to combatants of the other side, as would be possible between twinned towns. This would be more justifiable than in Ireland, since the rights and wrongs of the two sides in the greater struggle are more evenly balanced. Today, of course, the far more genuine political difference of World War II make that initiative impossible. In any case, it is even less likely after Brexit. As it is, it remains a puzzle to unravel whether it is such a good idea to commemorate as equals Tom Clarke and the British officer who kicked away his stick or Tomas MacCurtain and Detective-Inspector Swanzy. More generally and decisively, this approach suppresses the causes for the fighting, that one state was the oppressor and its opponents were demanding the right not to be oppressed.

There is a weakness in the defences of the Rising and that is that they have tended to be more insular than those of 1966. Then, at least, Roger Casement provided data for an internationalist view. Today, the self-questioning of republicanism produces just solidarity with oppressed peoples.

A result of this is that there has been no investigation of the struggles of such peoples, let alone any serious comparison of their struggles with those of the Irish. The nearest serious attempt to do this is still Connolly’s articles on Revolutionary Warfare, which give some basic warnings as to what not to do, but little detail on the overall socio-political necessities for a successful revolution.

This pamphlet cannot fill the gap, but it is an attempt to provide a comparative study of the two revolutions begun within the restricted time frame of the First World War, that of Ireland being contrasted with that of Russia. Up to now, the general impression given most people has been that the war caused these risings by concidence in two countries, with obvious major differences in size, ethnic homogeneity, church-state relations and international status.

Yet these differences count for less than the resemblances in the socio-economic relationships affecting the two countries. Though Russia was an empire, it was a semi-colony of French imperialism, just as Ireland was a British colony. Neither could be said to be run democratically. Within the two territories, the question of rural landlordism was being settled in a manner calculated to disturb as few landlords as possible. Both countries were pre-eminently agricultural with enclaves of highly developed mass industry. The form of the latter was the base for the decisive contrast in the fortunes of the workers in the two revolutions. In Russia, the dominant Orthodox Church was recognised, particularly by the workers as being an arm of the state that maintained their oppression. In Ireland, the church of the majority kept much of the popularity given it, despite itself because of its persecution by the colonial power. At the same time, in the industrial areas, the majority, not least the workers, were of ‘the Protestant persuasion’ and saw the colonial power as the defender of their interests against the Catholics. This division weakened the potential for their class to develop its consciousness beyond industrial unionism. In the less developed areas, Ireland’s workers’ consciousness grew further but more slowly. They could not go beyond syndicalism, the idea that their salvation lay with mass unions of inevitably heterodox political supporters without guidance from any single political cadre. The Russians were able to produce such a homogeneous leadership.

This overview has stimulated some bizarre misunderstandings. In Birmingham, over three years ago, I gave my analysis unchanged, but in two separate papers. I was complimented on the second one by one who had attended both, but who thought that the first had portrayed the Rising as a socialist revolt, rather than the nationalist one he heard described in the later presentation.

I have been unable to find the word or the punctuation, let alone any formulation that gave him the idea that I had changed my analysis. For the record here, I maintain the thesis of both: that the Easter Rising was a revolt on behalf of an oppressed nation for freedom from foreign oppression and that, as such revolts tend to do, it contained the potential for a Rising for working class power as the spark that might begin the struggle for world socialism.

Having said that, an individual, whom I had thought politically far closer to me than the person in Birmingham, attacked my position for stating that a nationalist Rising would lead to socialism. Not only did he not distinguish between Risings of oppressed or oppressor nations, but he also ascribed to me the view that any such insurgency would lead to the happy ending.

Again, in case anyone makes the same mistake, I repeat that the revolt of an oppressed nation can lead (as has been shown to be possible internationally since 1916), under certain conditions to the working people of that country taking state power. One such condition is the homogeneous working class party, and it is this that was lacking in Ireland, but existing in Russia.

It is precisely this combination of syndicalism and revolutionary nationalism that is pinpointed in the pamphlet’s treatment of James Connolly. There can be no doubt that nearly every biography has made a complete mess of his last months during the first World war. The outstanding exception is Desmond Greaves. Sadly, for reasons unnecessary to mention, his presentation of his data was only partial, allowing subsequent Connolly biographers to dismiss or just ignore it. That is no excuse for ignoring it here.

The traditional picture of Connolly’s strategy (the Ptolemaic view, as being comparable to the idea that the sun goes round the earth) has been that of a man whose left hand did not know what his right hand was doing. On the one hand, he was trying to organise a national Rising, on the other, he was doing trade union business.

The picture given thereby is of one who would develop like so many Irish trade union leaders into seeing his task as one of organising the workers simply to get benefits from a permanent Fianna Fail Government (and justifying his actions with quotes from – Connolly). Events might have forced him that way, but in 1916 it was not inevitable.

The fact is that the Ptolemaic accounts of Connolly’s last months fail to explain too much. The last paragraph of the Socialist International’s Stuttgart Resolution on War to which he adhered far better than the majority of his socialist contempories tends to be ignored. His background in the IWW is unrelated, as is his insistence in taking Larkin’s position as Acting General Secretary of the ITGWU, and his reversal of Larkin’s practice of concentrating on the Citizen Army at the expense of his union duties. I remember hearing recently a talk on the ICA in which the speaker admitted frankly that he could not understand why Connolly had raised the green flag above Liberty Hall when he did; surely it could have given away the game to the colonial power? Certainly, if Connolly’s strategy had been the purely military one of his fellow signatories, the flag raising would have been folly; as a provocation to Dublin Castle to attack the Transport Union and strengthen the working class component of the insurrection it is defensible.

Sadly its effect was delayed until after the fighting had begun, when the British Army bombarded Liberty Hall believing it to be the nerve centre of the revolt, which too many ITGWU members recognised as having been started by their Acting General Secretary.

Most importantly, among the biographical suppressions there is one that was total before Greaves. and has been at least partial since his work. The City of Dublin Steam Packet Company strike was not only the major stoppage of Dublin’s general workers between Lockout and Rising, but it involved two important events peculiar to itself (1).

One of these was the failure of Martin Murphy to revive his strategy of the general lockout. More significant is Connolly’s handling of it. Purely as strike leader, he was not impressive. He had the dispute continue until a fortnight before the Rising on the plea that to accept arbitration would betray agreements with the bosses of the port’s other shipping companies. Finally he accepted arbitration, which gained his demands. This account ignores the fact that throughout the stoppage, Connolly was plotting revolution. A continuing strike on Dublin and Kingstown docklands during the Rising would have caused a clash between union and British Army, radicalising the former, and strengthening the working class composition of the insurgents.

That Connolly was accurate in his judgement of the strike’s possibilities will be revealed in this afternoon’s paper. Hugo McGuinness’ ‘Streetfighting Men’, presented by Joe Mooney, will tell of the popular and successful communal resistance of the people of East Wall against the British Army, a resistance neglected by most Rising historians. It should be added that while this resistance prevented British disembarkment in Dublin port, it was organised communally in a homogenous nationalist area rather than by the organised labour movement. Such success was less possible in Kingstown. With its partly Unionist population, the British Army could land there. Had it been blocked, the counter-revolution would have had to advance miles across hostile country.

Though a closer failure than the standard account would imply, this failure helped ensure not only that the Rising would be defeated but that the reaction to its suppression would remain socially limited. With Connolly dead, there was no serious resistance to the idea that the world war be opposed on pacifist rather than revolutionary lines or that the labour movement be organised vocationally as a means to its mass political assertion. At the grassroots, there were attempts to take local militant initiatives, with third state power bases against those of the colonial and national capitalist states. There was no force to coordinate them and they were contained relatively easily by Labour’s national leadership.

The struggle for state power was left to the bourgeoisie grouped in Sinn Fein. It acted to copper fasten its scheme for an Irish capitalist order. On the one hand, it claimed to accept Connolly’s social and economic vision. On the other hand, it diluted it as in George Russell’s The National Being and later Eoin MacNeill’s interpretation of Celtic ‘Socialism’. At the founding Convention of the reorganised Sinn Fein in 1917, it dropped the 1916 Proclamation’s claim for state ownership of all property and committed itself to precise capitalist economic and social demands.

This was not negated by Labour leader’s Thomas Johnson’s draft Democratic Programme for the first Dail, let alone by the version that that Dail passed. That this has been neglected is because the labour leaders accepted it. After the Treaty was signed, their party sought a constitutional role in the divided country, only to find that uncompleted national business that it had avoided remained strong enough to consign it to third, if not fourth party status for nearly all its career.

I will end with a dual exercise in alternative history. Suppose Connolly’s strategy for the Rising had been fulfilled ? Suppose the October Revolution had been aborted or just defeated ?

In the first case, it is arguable that the workers’ political leadership necessary to success would have assured a workers’ republic. Probably there would have been a civil war (not two of them, as in Ireland), but there would have been a good chance that the class struggle would have spread abroad to Britain and elsewhere making more likely a transfer to world socialism.

In Russia, on the other hand, a Bolshevik failure (another near possibility) would have ensured reaction perhaps internationally. The parallels exist in and out of reality.

 

(1) This has also been a subject of a pamphlet, written by Rayner O’Connor Lysaght, entitled Connolly’s Big Strike,The Dublin Steam Packet Company Dispute. Along with From the GPO to the Winter Palace, this pamphlet can be obtained from Word Power Books in Edinburgh (http://www.word-power.co.uk/).

 

This article was first posted at:- http://socialistdemocracy.org/RecentArticles/RecentDROConnorLysaghtOnFromTheGPOToTheWinterPalace.html

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Other articles on the Emancipation & Liberation blog, written by Rayner O’Connor Lysaght:_

THE MINT WITH A HOLE – A review of ‘A Nation not a Rabble – The Irish Revolution 1913-23’

 

BOB PURDIE, 1940-2014

 

Deirdre McCartin, 1944 – 2009

 

Strengthening the Anti-Capitalist analysis

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Dec 07 2016

BUILDING AN ALLIANCE BETWEEN RISE AND LEFT UNITY

RISE held a national members’ meeting in Glasgow on saturday 3rd December. The leaflet ‘Building an alliance between RISE and Left Unity’ was circulated. Steve Freeman and Allan Armstrong (of the Republican Socialist Alliance – RSA) addressed the meeting. Steve has subsequently written a report for Left Unity. These two ianti-Unionist allincetems have been posted below.

This is followed by giving the links to articles on this blog which have argued for  greater unity, on an anti-unionist basis, between the RSA , the Radical Independence Campaign, the Left Unity Party and RISE.

 

1. BUILDING AN ALLIANCE BETWEEN RISE AND LEFT UNITY

Steve Freeman speaking at first Left Unity Conference

Steve Freeman speaking at first Left Unity Conference

Preamble

Left Unity was set up in 2013 to organise a party standing in opposition to neo-liberalism and the politics of New Labour. The party aimed to unite democratic socialists and communists into one party to resist austerity politics. The majority of LU members were in England with a small membership in Scotland and Wales. Left Unity had no policy on the national question until the Scottish referendum in 2014 when the party voted to take an abstention position.
Continue reading “BUILDING AN ALLIANCE BETWEEN RISE AND LEFT UNITY”

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Dec 07 2016

TRUMPITY TRUMP

Pauline Bradley, from the EB of Emancipation & Liberation,sings her new song about Donald Trump at a Castlemilk Against Austerity protest.
Continue reading “TRUMPITY TRUMP”

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Dec 03 2016

WHICH WAY NOW – ‘BREXIT’ OR ‘EX-BRIT’?

Allan Armstrong, of the Campaign for a European Republican Socialist Party, draws some political conclusions from the online discussion of the political situation in the UK in the aftermath of the Trump vote. (http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2016/11/20/from-farages-brexit-to-trumps-brexit-plus-plus-plus-and-on-to-madame-frexit/)

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FILE -- A “Leave” rally in London ahead of Britain’s referendum on European Union membership, June 15, 2016. From Trump’s unexpected capture of the Republican presidential nomination to Britain’s vote to exit the European Union and the rise of right-wing nationalism in Norway, Hungary, Austria and Greece, white anxiety has fueled the year’s political tumult. (Adam Ferguson/The New York Times)

WHICH WAY NOW – ‘BREXIT’ OR ‘EX-BRIT’? 

a) Brexit and the change in British ruling class thinking

Since the Brexit vote, the Tories, under Theresa May’s leadership, have been moving away from the recently shared politics of the majority of the British ruling class and mainstream British political parties. A central feature of these politics was based upon the globalised neo-liberal economics pushed by Margaret Thatcher, in the interests of a turbo-charged City of London. The City had really taken off after Nigel Lawson’s ‘Big Bang’ deregulation in 1983. Following New Labour’s 1996 election victory, they adopted the same pro-City path. This was shown when Chancellor Gordon Brown abolished the few remaining government controls over the City’s operations. Under Tony Blair, Butskellism gave way to Blatcherism.
Continue reading “WHICH WAY NOW – ‘BREXIT’ OR ‘EX-BRIT’?”

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Dec 02 2016

ST. ANDREWS DAY OR JOHN MACLEAN DAY?

The Irish Workers' Republican Starry Plough does not have an equivalent accepted by the working class in Scotland

The Irish Workers’ Republican Starry Plough does not have an equivalent accepted by the working class in Scotland

Today is St. Andrews Day. It is not yet a full-blown public holiday, although there is some partial observance. The following article was written by Allan Armstrong for the Lothian SSP bulletin in November 2007. It is even more relevant today, when Scottish nationalists try to subsume all of us under the saltire.
Continue reading “ST. ANDREWS DAY OR JOHN MACLEAN DAY?”

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Nov 29 2016

LITTLE ENGLAND

We are posting the following letter by Steve Freeman of the Left Unity Party and RISE  which addresses some of the politics underlying Brexit.

th

 

LITTLE ENGLAND

The iconic picture of Trump with Farage reveals a certain truth about Brexit. Here we have a glimpse of reality, entirely absent from the Tory referendum. We can invent our own dialogue. Farage says: ‘Donald, I am handing you the UK on a plate.’ Trump, thumbs up, replies: ‘Thanks. I’ll take Scotland as my golf course, the NHS and more tax breaks for American multinationals. I want free trade deals to benefit America and no more wind farms.’
Continue reading “LITTLE ENGLAND”

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Nov 29 2016

ANTI-SEMITISM HAS NEVER BEEN A PROBLEM FOR ZIONISM

Tony Greenstein highlights the Zionist response in Israel, USA and the UK to the election of Donald Trump and his appointment of Steve Bannon, former head of the AltRight Breibart News, which has published anti-Semitic articles. 

Steve Bannon and Donald Trump

Steve Bannon and Donald Trump

 

A WELCOME FOR TRUMP AND BANNON

Jonathan Arkush: congratulated Trump on his win

It must have come as a shock to many young members of the Jewish Labour Movement when the president of the Board of Deputies, Jonathan Arkush, “publicly congratulated Donald Trump on his election win” (1). After all, these young things have grown up to believe that anti-Semitism is a leftwing phenomenon that exists in organisations like Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, and 21 of them were among the 175 British Jewish signatories to a letter expressing their ‘deep concern’ at Arkush’s statement (2).
Continue reading “ANTI-SEMITISM HAS NEVER BEEN A PROBLEM FOR ZIONISM”

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Nov 27 2016

MULTI-MILLION £ HOUSING BENEFITS SCAM EXPOSED!

In response to the announcement that we are gong to have to pay £369M to refurbish Buckingham Place, Allan Armstrong and John Tummon of the Republican Socialist Alliance wrote the following letters to The National, which were both published.

 

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Letter 1

Queen Lizzie is probably being shielded from the concerns of many of her subjects, who are being asked to cough up £370 million to do up Buckingham Palace. This, at a time when not only the usual “undeserving poor” but the “just about managing” JAMs are finding it difficult to make ends meet. Should she ever be informed, though, I’m sure she will answer: “Let them eat Tunnock’s Teacakes.”
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Nov 20 2016

FROM FARAGE’S BREXIT, TO TRUMP’S “BREXIT PLUS, PLUS, PLUS”, AND ON TO ‘MADAME FREXIT’?

 

WHAT DOES TRUMP’S VICTORY SIGNIFY?

– ALLAN ARMSTRONG IN CONVERSATION WITH

ALAN BISSETT, BRIAN HIGGINS, PAUL STEWART AND

JOHN TUMMON

(see short biogs at end)

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 1. ALLAN ARMSTRONG – 9.11.16

“An even greater leap into fantasy land is the belief that Brexit will provide a progressive example to other member states wanting to break away from the EU…. The first and unfortunately well-known non-UK person to celebrate Brexit was none other than the Right populist US Presidential hopeful, Donald Trump. With typical crassness he chose his new golf course at Turnberry in Scotland to declare his solidarity with Brexit… Another presidential hopeful, Marine Le Pen, of the French Far Right National Front, was the first significant European politician to proclaim her solidarity with Brexit.
Continue reading “FROM FARAGE’S BREXIT, TO TRUMP’S “BREXIT PLUS, PLUS, PLUS”, AND ON TO ‘MADAME FREXIT’?”

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