Jun 26 2014

SOLIDARITY FROM ENGLAND

E&L is posting the leaflet handed out at the Peoples Assembly conference in London by supporters of the Scottish Republic Yes Tendency in the new Left Unity Party.

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AGAINST TORY AUSTERITY
SCOTLAND VOTE YES

 

On September 18th Scotland will vote for or against the 1707 Act of Union. A ‘Yes’ majority is in the interests of the Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish working class. It will undermine Cameron’s position both in the UK and internationally. It will damage the Tory Coalition and their austerity policy. It will upset their plans for winning in 2015.

Short term advantage is by no means the most important factor. A Yes vote will make possible radical constitutional change. The struggle for democracy will not end in September and not stop at the Scottish border.

In Scotland there are currently three different constitutional positions – Unionists (46%), Nationalists (37%) and Republicans (22%). In reality this is a three cornered fight although the Scottish people are only given two options in the referendum. In the event of a ‘Yes’ vote the centre of gravity in Scottish politics will shift to the left.

Republicanism is not simply or even primarily a Scottish question. England has by far the largest working class in the UK. In many respects the English working class is a sleeping giant whose activists still support a Labour Party loyal to the institutions of the Crown.

It is time for a radical democratic break from the British Union which binds people to a Tory ruling class and the neo-liberal policies of the City of London. A ‘Yes’ majority in September will provide the working class movement in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales a major opportunity to link the fight for democracy to militant opposition to the austerity policies that do so much damage and cause so much distress to millions.

 

For a Scottish Republic ‘Vote Yes’

In England and Wales ‘Say Yes’

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Scottish Republic Yes Tendency

 

The Labour Party and Trade Union bureaucracy are fully supporting a ‘No’ Vote for two reasons. First the Labour leaders fully support the interests of the British rulingclass. Secondly they are also worried that the loss of Scottish voters will damage theirprospects of becoming Her Majesty’s Government and implementing the Labour version of austerity.

Left Unity (LU) is the new party of the left set up to oppose the Labour Party’s neoliberal policies on austerity, immigration and democracy. It now faces its first major challenge. How will LU deal with the Scottish referendum? Will LU intervene in the struggle against the Tory Coalition’s active hostility to the extension of Scottish democracy? Left Unity is divided into two main camps – “Neutrals”, who do not want to take sides, and those who actively support a ‘Yes’ Vote and want to extend the struggle for a Scottish Republic.

Those LU members who support the struggle for democracy not only in Scotland but in England and Wales have set up the “Scottish Republic Yes Tendency”. We have over60 supporters and need the support of many more. The aims of the new Tendency are:

a) Win a majority of Left Unity to support a Yes vote officially and thus change the current policy.

b) Although people in England and Wales have no vote in the referendum, we will campaign to win support for a Yes vote in the socialist and labour movement in both countries and counter the case made by the Unionist parties (Tory, Labour, Liberal Democratic and UKIP).

c) To invite speakers from the Radical Independence Campaign to speak in England and Wales.

d) To make a case that the referendum offers the Scottish people the right and opportunity to extend democracy and create a Scottish republic. This would serve the wider democratic interest by encouraging similar democratic change in the rest of the UK.

e) To reject the ‘abstract internationalism’ of the Unionist campaign (Better Together) and substitute active practical solidarity and support by working people in England, Wales and Ireland for the democratic and socialist movement in Scotland.

 

SUPPORT THE SCOTTISH REPUBLIC YES TENDENCY!

If you are a member of Left Unity and want to add your name to sixty supporters please fill in the form below.

 Contact us to register your support at: rsplatform@hotmail.co.uk!

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also see

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2014/06/10/letter-from-england/

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2014/04/01/internationalism-from-below-in-action-at-the-left-unity-conference-and-the-radical-independence-campaign-national-forum/

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2014/03/25/hands-off-the-people-of-scotland-solidarity-from-england/

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2014/03/07/republican-socialist-candidate-for-the-executive-of-the-left-unity-party/

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2014/02/15/republican-socialist-alliance-in-england-responds-to-cameron-and-osborne/

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2014/01/17/republican-socialism-and-left-unity/

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Jun 26 2014

THE DEMISE OF LABOURISM AND THE PASSING OF TONY BENN

Eric Chester (RCN) goes beyond the glowing tributes made to Tony Benn after he died earlier this year and takes a critical look his politics.

 

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Tony Benn was one of the most popular and respected figures on the Left in Scotland and throughout the UK. His recent death has been followed by many notices that have lavishly praised him and yet virtually no effort has been made to seriously examine the politics he represented.

Continue reading “THE DEMISE OF LABOURISM AND THE PASSING OF TONY BENN”

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Jun 26 2014

MAKING PLANS FOR NIGEL

Allan Armstrong (RCN) examines the situation Socialists face across these islands in the light of the recent European election and the ongoing Scottish independence referendum campaign. This  extended article  is also a more detailed contemporary update of  Allan’s earlier historical article, The Making and Breaking of the UK Statehttp://republicancommunist.org/blog/2012/01/11/internationalism-from-below-2/). 

 

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A SOCIALIST REPUBLICAN ANALYSIS OF THE STATE OF THE UK AND ‘NEW UNIONISM’ IN THE LIGHT

OF THE RISE OF UKIP AND THE FORTHCOMING SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM

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CONTENTS

 

Introduction

 

1.         How the British ruling class sees their strategy for retaining control over these islands

Continue reading “MAKING PLANS FOR NIGEL”

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Jun 25 2014

RACISM IN NORTHERN IRELAND BREAKING THE BOUNDS OF LIBERAL OUTRAGE

Below E&L has posted a leaflet distributed by Socialist Democracy  (Ireland) at an anti-racist rally in Belfast on 7th June.This was produced in response to Northern Ireland First Minster, Peter Robinson of the DUP and the initial support heave to a rabid rant directed against Muslims by a Protestant fundamentalist preacher, James McConnell.

 

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Anti-racist rally in Belfast to protest against Peter Robinson’s initial backing for James McConnell

 

 

Racism: Break the bounds of liberal outrage!

The sectarian state sponsors racism

Peter Robinson’s public “apology” to local Muslims for any offence that was caused by his comments on Islam and Muslims may have taken the heat of the racist controversy that has been raging over the last couple of weeks.  However, it has not changed the nature of the society or of the political system that generated it.

Continue reading “RACISM IN NORTHERN IRELAND BREAKING THE BOUNDS OF LIBERAL OUTRAGE”

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Jun 24 2014

LABOUR AND SOCIALIST LEFT UNIONISM IN THE SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE DEBATE

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Allan Armstrong (RCN) prepared a talk for the Conference of Socialist Economists Day School held in the Out of the Blue Centre in Edinburgh on June 21st.  The article below also incorporates some of the discussion points that were raised. It provides a socialist republican analysis of the British Left and the case for an ‘internationalism from below’ alternative in the Scottish independence referendum campaign.  This talk is also a chapter in the extended article, Making Plans For Nigel, which can be viewed at:-http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2014/06/26/making-plans-for-nigel/

 

On the British Left, continued support for maintaining the UK state and for upholding the internationalist nature of all-British party and trade union organisation stems from their understanding of the British ruling class and the United Kingdom. They view these as having played a key historical role in replacing the older feudal order in these islands, and other pre-capitalist societies in many parts of the world.

Continue reading “LABOUR AND SOCIALIST LEFT UNIONISM IN THE SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE DEBATE”

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Jun 17 2014

‘PROJECT FEAR’ UNVEIL THEIR LATEST THREAT

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J.K. ROWLING RAISES LORD VOLDEMORT FROM THE DEAD!

Also see

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2013/11/27/the-unionist-reaction-to-the-white-paper/

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2013/08/02/beyond-the-unionists-project-fear-the-uk-state-mask-slips/

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Jun 10 2014

CULTURAL CAPITULATION AND CULTURAL RESISTANCE IN IRELAND

Below are two articles from the May/June issue of Socialist Democracy (Ireland) about recent cultural developments in Ireland. The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) has always been seen as being on the cultural frontline of the Irish national movement. The first article outlines the retreat of the GAA in the  face of Sky TV’s global corporate onslaught. The gombeen capitalists referred to in this article are Irish  small wheeler-dealing businessmen always looking to a fast buck and ready to trample over others. They have traditionally formed the Right wing of the Irish national movement.

The second article provides an example of cultural resistance in Belfast. In this city, the Irish language emerged as a weapon if resistance in the ‘Jailtacht’ during ‘The Troubles’. Despite promises of being given official recognition under the Good Friday Agreement, Unionists have reneged on this. Sinn Fein has also backtracked. It appears that they are now content to develop West Belfast’s official Gaeltacht, alongside the city’s Cathedral and Titanic Quarters as money-making tourist attractions, rather than develop the language as part of  communities of resistance. However, as this article shows, they have met opposition. 

 

1. GAA AND SKY – GOMBEEN CAPITALISTS BREAK THE LINK WITH THEIR SUPPORTERS

Poster commemorating the founding of the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1884

Poster commemorating the founding of the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1884

With patronage by the elite, a middle class leadership and a large support base of working people the GAA has traditionally reflected Irish social stratification, but within the organisation a sometimes uneasy state of balance existed between the more plebeian club membership and the leadership at provincial, county and top management level at Croke Park. To many of those working class rank and file members the recent Sky deal has been a rude awakening, but like all degenerative processes the push towards the GAA’s commercialisation has been in progress for a while.

Continue reading “CULTURAL CAPITULATION AND CULTURAL RESISTANCE IN IRELAND”

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Jun 10 2014

THE SCOTTISH SOLIDARITY SPEAKING TOUR – REPORTS FROM ENGLAND

Below we have two reports of the recent RIC-backed  Scottish Solidarity Speaking Tour (SSPT)in England. The first is from Alan Story of Northampton LUP, who organised a panel in that city to interview Cat Boyd of RIC. He has sent on this report to Kate Hudson, the LUP National Secretary. The second is by Steve Freeman of the Republican Socialist Alliance, who spoke at the Radical Independence Conference last November. He attended the northern meetings of the SSST organised by branches of the Left Unity Party, where Mick Napier and sandy McBurney spoke.   

These tours have has given a considerable boost to the republican, pro-’Yes’ supporters in the LUP. They have now gone on to form the Scottish Republic Yes Tendency (see Founding Statement below). They  are preparing to organise more activities.

 

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REPORT no. 1- Alan Story

Cat Boyd

Cat Boyd

To the Left Unity National Council    

From: Alan Story (LU Nottinghamshire), Co-ordinator of the Scots Solidarity Speaking Tour (SSST)

Re: SSST Wrap-up report.

Date: 3 June 2014

Colleagues:

This is a brief report on the Scots Solidarity Speaking Tour (SSST) that occurred in the Midlands, the Yorkshire and Manchester between 29 May and 1 June.

Continue reading “THE SCOTTISH SOLIDARITY SPEAKING TOUR – REPORTS FROM ENGLAND”

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Jun 10 2014

2 NEW PIECES ON UKRAINE

The RCN co-sponsored a tour by Zakhar Popyvych of the Left Opposition in Kyiv to Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow from May 16th-18th (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2014/05/13/ukraine-caught-between-east-and-west/).  Patricia Kirk (RCN) videoed Zakhar’s talk in Glasgow, whilst John Lanigan (RCN) took a number of photographs. Two of these photographs and the video link are provided below.

This is followed by an interview with Vitaly Dudin, also of the Left Opposition in Kyiv on 24.5.14. Vitaly is a pro-bono lawyer for the independent trade union, Zakhyst Pratsi (Defense of Labour).

 

1. ZAHAR POPYVYCH SPEAKS IN GLASGOW

 

 

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Zakhar Popyvych (right) with chair, Christine Bird (centre) and notetaker Campbell MacGregor (left)

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Zakhar with RCN members and supporters after Glasgow meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For the video of Zakhar’s talk see:-

http://youtu.be/WnKbgMp8HWc

 

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2. TO BUILD THE HOME CALLED SOLIDARITY IN UKRAINE – An interview with Vitaly Dudin

Vitaly Dudin

Vitaly Dudin

 

Q. How do you characterise the politics towards Ukraine of the Russian Federation on the one hand and of the USA and the European Union on the other, if indeed you consider the latter to be a united bloc?

Continue reading “2 NEW PIECES ON UKRAINE”

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Jun 06 2014

JUST SAY YES? – A Review of ‘YES – The radical case for Independence’ by James Foley & Pete Ramand

Murdo Ritche (RCN)  reviews Yes- The Radical Case for Scottish Independence
 by James Foley & Pete Ramand (Pluto Press, 2014). This was first posted on Murdo’s blog (http://murdoritchie.blog.co.uk) and has been slightly changed. 

JUST SAY YES?

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The cover and the title of this book summarize the contradictory tensions that flow all through the text. The word Yes takes up nine-tenths of the cover referring to the authors desire to give positive affirmation to September’s independence referendum. Much smaller, is the claim that it will present the radical reasons for national independence. However, rallying a vote and constructing a case are two entirely separate tasks. By attempting both, the authors fail to satisfactorily achieve either. The book is entirely constructed out of these kind of incomplete, unresolved tensions.

Continue reading “JUST SAY YES? – A Review of ‘YES – The radical case for Independence’ by James Foley & Pete Ramand”

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