Getting Over The Hee Bee GBs

An ‘Internationalism from Below’ critique of the British Left

In the current period the existence of a majority SNP government in power in Scotland and a referendum on Scottish independence on the horizon poses the question as how should socialists and communists respond to these developments. Should we condemn the rise of Scottish nationalism as separatist heresy or hail this democratic threat to the imperialist UK state as an opportunity for working class advance.

This pamphlet captures an important debate between Allan Armstrong of the Scottish Socialist Party and the Republican Communist Network presenting an ‘Internationalism From Below’ perspective with its associated strategy of breaking up the UK state and the UK unionist positions put forward by Nick Roger’s of the CPGB and Alan Johnstone of the SPGB.

The great strength of this debate format, which began at the Republican Socialist Convention held in London in Feb 2010 and continued in the pages of the Weekly Worker over a number of weeks, is that it allows each side to respond and develop their positions in a fuller, more nuanced and generally comradely but passionate manner. Such debates are all too rare.

Allan provides a republican communist analysis and strategy for defeating the UK state based on the concrete reality of the UK as a multinational but unionist state incorporating England, Scotland, Wales and part of Ireland (‘the Six Counties’), with the tensions and challenges this presents. This involves a critique of those approaches to socialist/communist organisation that abstractly demand that it mirror that of the UK state as a point of principle. Nick and Alan respond to this analysis and critique. This clash of viewpoints, well articulated, make this make an extremely relevant document for our time.

Bob Goupillot